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Extraordinary You: Episodes 7-8

As exciting as it is for our heroine to discover that she may be able to change her fate, in the manhwa world, anything that goes against the Writer’s planned story has major repercussions. She finds a possible partner in her quest to change her fate, but he’s got some dark secrets of his own. It may not be possible for our girl to save herself without causing a lot of harm to others — she’s got a big decision to make.

  
EPISODE 7

Dan-oh is disappointed when Number 13 doesn’t help her change a Stage scene, then she can’t make her stone tower stay up and get her wish. She cries to Number 13 that she thought he could change her fate, but now she believes that he can’t.

She walks away, and he stays behind and stacks up her stone tower, seeing that her wish is, “I want to live.” We see that in his backpack, he has a copy of the “Secret” manhwa, and he finally speaks for the first time: “Eun Dan-oh.”

Dan-oh finds Kyung, who’s breaking relationship stones with other girls because he just doesn’t care. Dripping seawater, she glares at him, thinking, “I don’t know when and where I’ll die. Will I spend all the time I have left getting hurt by Kyung?”

The girls accuse her of trying to make Kyung like her by acting pathetic. Dan-oh thinks that she’s not crying because of Kyung, she’s sad because she keeps getting her hopes up but nothing ever changes. Kyung mutters that she should have stayed in the hospital, and Dan-oh Has. Had. ENOUGH.

She runs over and slams her hand into his back, and he screams that she’s crazy. She snaps back that he’s the crazy one and stomps off. Number 13 watches their exchange, and later, he reads the scene in his copy of “Secret.”

Dan-oh has another storyboard vision — this time she sees Kyung in a dark forest, growling that he doesn’t like her. She sees herself screaming, Nam-ju and Joo-da clinging to each other, then Kyung yelling angrily that he’s been looking everywhere for her. When she wakes up, she gets upset with the Writer for giving Kyung such hurtful lines to say to a sick person.

A3 rest up ahead of the evening schedule, Nam-ju complaining that he’s been running from girls with relationship stones all day. Do-hwa notices a red mark on Kyung’s back when he changes shirts, and he recognizes it as the shape of a girl’s hand (Nam-ju: “You deserve many of those on a daily basis.” I’m starting to like Nam-ju.).

Dan-oh studies the hiking trail map for tonight’s couples’ hike, and Sae-mi says that lots of couples are formed during the couples’ hike every year. She tells Dan-oh to stick close to Kyung tonight, and for sure he’ll fall for her.

Number 13 goes to check out the trails in person. He ignores an “off limits” sign, and he peeks through some vines to see something that appears to surprise him.

The students draw numbers to see who they’re paired with. Sae-mi wails when she doesn’t pick Nam-ju’s number, because naturally he and Joo-da picked the same number. It disappoints Do-hwa even though he knows the Writer planned it that way. Dan-oh knows it too, plus she’s seen the storyboard, so she correctly guesses that she and Kyung chose the same number.

He’s annoyed when she rushes down the trail, so Dan-oh confesses that she studied the route. Soon the ~BLIP~ alerts her that the Stage has started, and her chest starts to hurt. She asks Kyung pitifully if they can take a break, and he says his line about not liking her right on cue. He continues down the trail and leaves Dan-oh alone in the forest, and the Stage ends.

Dan-oh stops crying and stands, her chest pain gone. She finds the spot where she saw herself screaming for the next Stage and lets loose a loud shriek. Nearby, Joo-da clings to Nam-ju, then they jump apart awkwardly and awww, Nam-ju clutches his pounding heart. An owl hoots and Joo-da grabs Nam-ju again, so he takes her hand in his, acting like it’s only so they don’t get separated.

Dan-oh wanders the forest waiting for the next Stage and gets lost despite all her studying. The battery dies in her flashlight and she doesn’t have her phone, and she realizes that she’s in big trouble.

Kyung gets all the way back to the resort, but within moments he starts to feel guilty for leaving Dan-oh. Do-hwa gives him the keychain from Dan-oh that he spurned, and reminds Kyung that she has a weak heart. Cursing, Kyung runs back out again.

Dan-oh is genuinely scared now, huddled by a tree and singing songs to herself. Someone approaches and she shakes with fear… but it’s just Number 13, whew. Dan-oh is so relieved that she tackles him and cries into his chest (or more like his bellybutton — why is he so tall??).

While they walk, Dan-oh asks Number 13 to turn on his flashlight, and he startles her by accidentally aiming it at his face. He says, “Sorry,” and Dan-oh’s eyes grow wide to hear him speak. She asks why he’s never spoken before, but he gets distracted and wanders off to inspect a scary mannequin someone left on the trail. Dan-oh is scared it might be a ghost, but Number 13 says, “We are real. This is fake.”

Number 13 and Dan-oh take a break, and she wonders why he waited so long to talk. She complains that she’s cold, so Number 13 starts to take off his jacket and shirt, displaying some mighty fine abs. Dan-oh shields her eyes and says he shouldn’t take off his clothes in front of her, then peeks through her fingers and makes sounds of appreciation at the view, hee.

He lowers his t-shirt but gives her the button-down he was wearing. Dan-oh is pleased, but she tells Number 13 that no matter how good-looking he is, if he can’t help her change her fate… but she remembers that Kyung was supposed to rescue her and realizes that the story has changed.

She and Number 13 keep walking, and he leads her past the “off limits” sign. There’s a sweet moment when Dan-oh slips so Number 13 offers her his hand, awww. He takes her to the spot he saw earlier, which turns out to be a clearing next to a waterfall, surrounded in flowers.

He asks Dan-oh if she knows what kind of flowers they are, and whether she knows this place, but she says she doesn’t, making him stare at her strangely. He leans in, and Dan-oh braces herself for him to kiss her, but he only pulls a flower out of her hair, HA.

Dan-oh’s foot slips out from under her and she lands on her rear. Number 13 tries to help but he also slips and falls, so they give up and lie there, laughing. As they gaze up at the starry sky, Dan-oh confesses that she was sad to think about following a path that had been decided for her.

She says dreamily, “Thanks to you, I think my day can change.” She asks if she can call him Haru, which means “day.”

Before he answers, there’s a ~BLIP~ and it’s the following day. The class is visiting an ancient palace, and the Stage ends pretty quickly. Dan-oh sees Kyung, who says the exact lines he was supposed to say when he found her in the forest (“Where have you been? I’ve been looking all over for you!”).

He asks about her heart and says he’s worried about her. Since they’re in the Shadow, Dan-oh is doubly surprised, but Kyung just awkwardly shuffles away. He stares after Dan-oh so intently that Do-hwa startles him, heh.

Do-hwa asks what Kyung did last night, and he says he went looking for Dan-oh. His voice trails off, then he asks, “Where was I?” Whoa, is he becoming self-aware now, too?

Dan-oh finds Number 13, hoping he remembers her. She snatches his sketchbook and flips through it, marveling at what a good artist he is. She goes into her self-introduction, then tells him that his name is Haru, which he repeats softly.

She draws a circle in the air with her finger and does a little “You remember me… I can change the future…” incantation. Number 13 — Haru now — grabs her finger and makes her shy, so she pulls her hand back and comments on the scenery.

She jokes that she feels comfortable here and must have been a princess in a past life, then has to tell Haru it’s a joke when he doesn’t laugh. He does give her a little half-smile, and it’s adorable. They walk for a while then stop to rest, and Dan-oh says it’s a shame she’s the only one who knows Haru’s new name.

The wind picks up and blows Haru’s baseball cap a short distance, and when they catch it, Haru notices something sticking out of the sand. They bonk heads leaning down to look, then laugh shyly, and awww, Haru’s real smile is lovely. He pulls a small box from the sand and find an old hair ornament inside, with the same flowers on it that were blooming in the forest clearing.

Suddenly, Haru gasps as if in pain and drops the ornament, revealing the scar in his palm. Dan-oh leans down to pick up the ornament… ~BLIP~ she’s at the train station and the trip is over. She looks up, and Haru is a distance away, but he’s staring at her so intently that she wonders if he really does remember her.

On the train, Joo-da falls asleep, and Nam-ju leans her head over to rest on his shoulder. Kyung keeps watching Dan-oh as she stares at the window, looking at Haru’s reflection. And awww, Haru is also watching Dan-oh’s reflection, and he draws her name with his finger on the glass… he definitely remembers her.

EPISODE 8

Back at school, the Yang bullies (all their names start with Yang-) tease Dan-oh to cure her heart problem so she can have a good time with her crush, Kyung. She snaps that she’s working on a project to change her fate and has no time for their shenanigans, but they don’t stop until Kyung gives them the stink-eye.

Soo-cheol, who took pictures during the class trip, offers to sell the pictures to the students for a few dollars each. The girls clamor to snaps up the pictures featuring their A3 bias. Dan-oh hangs back, so Sae-mi buys her a couple of pictures of herself, but she’s only interested in the picture that captured Haru in the background.

Kyung grabs the picture from her hands and is baffled because he’s not in it. Dan-oh chirps that that’s why she’s keeping it, and HAHA, Kyung is so mad when he can’t even get her to look at the picture he’s in.

The girls shoot glares at Joo-da when the only picture Nam-ju chooses is one of her by the ocean. He looks so busted when he runs into Joo-da and tries to hide the picture, hee. Do-hwa sees them talking together, and later he asks Dan-oh how she deals with her life being so limited by outside factors. He spots Joo-da, and Dan-oh encourages him to go to her and change his fate.

While visiting with Mi-chae, Dan-oh mentions that she’s given Number 13 a name, Haru, and that being with Haru does change the storyboard. Mi-chae looks disturbed, almost angry, and he tells Dan-oh, “When extras get names and start acting on their own… everything will go wrong. Leave.

When Dan-oh gets home from school, her dad gives her a little pot of flowers that she planted with her mother. He says they bloom reliably every year, as if her mom comes to visit her. She remembers her mother, and she tells herself that even if she was created by the Writer, her feelings are real.

Haru stays in the art room after school, sketching a picture of Dan-oh holding the keychain she gave to Kyung, which reminds him of the hair ornament they found. He pulls his copy of “Secret” from his backpack and reads the scene, seeing how Kyung rejected her gift, and he tears his picture from the easel.

The next day, Haru offers to carry a cooler that a pair of weaker boys are struggling with. They protest that it’s their job, but Haru says, “Nobody cares about extras, anyway.” Whoa.

Nam-ju and Kyung watch the girls playing basketball, and Kyung notices that Nam-ju’s gaze is glued to Joo-da. Nam-ju denies liking her, so Kyung tells him to manage his facial expressions better, lol. Joo-da gets hit in the head when her ball ricochets off the net, so Nam-ju goes over to give her a little lesson. The other girls lose their minds when he sinks a basket, but he ignores them in favor of Joo-da.

Mi-chae sits in the library reading “Secret,” and suddenly, Haru’s sketches of Dan-oh start blowing around the room. He follows the trail to a little corner of the library, where the whole wall is covered in sketches of Dan-oh and the school. Oh, I don’t like that look on Mi-chae’s face at all.

Haru brings the cooler to the gym and starts to approach Kyung. One of the Yang Trio tosses a wild ball, and Haru reflexively throws out a hand to stop it from hitting Kyung in the face. He asks Kyung where the keychain that Dan-oh got him is now, saying that he needs it, but Kyung claims to have thrown it out.

Kyung asks who he is, and Haru tells him, “Haru. My name is Haru.” (He just claimed his name!) Kyung tries to follow Haru out of the gym, but he loses sight of him.

Dan-oh sits in class, scoffing at the idea that extras can’t have names and musing that “Haru” fits him. Haru catches her staring at him, and she mouths What are you looking at? He points at her and mouths back, You, and whoa, big-time swoon. Dan-oh’s response is to wrist-grab him out to the hallway (I love that she’s constantly wrist-grabbing him) and ask excitedly if he remembers her. Haru seems confused, like he doesn’t remember pointing at her just a minute ago.

In the library Haru, catches Dan-oh staring at him again. She awkwardly pretends to be reading her book, and when she peeks, he’s moved to the chair next to her. He says shyly that he moved because of the sunlight, then holds a hand out as if he’s catching a sunbeam.

Dan-oh mimics him, and they smile at each other. Dan-oh laughs when her watch reflects light into Haru’s eye and makes him squint cutely. He flashes a bigger smile as he watches her laugh, and across the room, Kyung gets annoyed at their antics.

He stands and ~BLIP~ a Stage begins. Kyung grabs Dan-oh’s wrist and grumbles that she’s getting on his nerves, then he turns to Haru and asks angrily if he’s having fun with Dan-oh. He yanks Haru by the shirt and throws him into a bookshelf, and when Haru touches his head, his hand comes away bloody.

Kyung bellows to Dan-oh, “If you don’t want to end up like him, don’t get on my nerves.” Her heart monitor starts beeping, and Kyung says he can only tolerate so much, then Dan-oh passes out and wakes up in the hospital again.

Doctor Lee does some tests, and he sounds like he’s struggling not to cry as he tries to tell Dan-oh the results. She says that she knows she doesn’t have much time left. Cheering up again, she assures Doctor Lee that she’ll change the story and somehow save her own life.

The next day, before school, Dan-oh is alarmed that her mother’s garden is suddenly gone. Her father doesn’t know what she’s talking about when she asks what happened to the swing and the flowers she planted with her mother.

She starts crying and runs up to her room, where she sees her picture of Haru. It reminds her that Mi-chae warned that everything will go wrong if extras get names and start behaving independently, and she realizes that it’s starting, all because of her wish to become real.

At school, Haru doesn’t even look at Dan-oh when she waves to him, though he walks within inches of her. She turns away, dejected, and Haru looks back to watch her go.

Dan-oh helps Mi-chae cut onions in the kitchen, refusing goggles for her weepy eyes, wailing that she deserves to suffer. She tells Mi-chae that he was right — the more she tries to change things, the worse it all gets. She vows never to speak to Haru… no, Number 13… again, and OMG I wish she’d put that knife down! Mi-chae just listens, then goes back to his onion-chopping.

When Haru gets to class later, Dan-oh has left some medicine for the cut on his forehead on his desk. He just pushes it aside, so Dan-oh gets up to tell him to doctor his cut. But the class president stops her to ask why Kyung isn’t at school today, then he notices Haru’s forehead and fusses over him. Wait — a named student noticed him.

Dan-oh goes to the classroom after school, but the antiseptic is still sitting on Haru’s desk, untouched. Dan-oh says she’s sorry to Haru… no, Number 13… and lays her head on his desk.

Chairman Eun goes to Kyung’s house for dinner that night and apologizes that Dan-oh didn’t accompany him. Kyung’s stepbrother asks why she didn’t come to dinner, and Chairman Eun says she’s a bit tired from her one-sided love and asks Kyung to be nicer to her.

After Chairman Eun leaves, Chairman Baek drags Kyung into the house and yells at him for not being nicer to Dan-oh. His wife tries to calm him down, but Kyung snarls at her to stay out of it. Chairman Baek punches Kyung in the mouth, then again, then he grabs a golf club and starts smashing everything in the room. Someone has issues.

At school the next morning. Do-hwa notices Kyung’s split lip, but Kyung just asks where Dan-oh is. He finds her at the school’s outdoor theatre, and as the Stage starts, Dan-oh’s chest begins to hurt. Kyung picks up the heart monitor that Dan-oh dropped and tells her that he’s jealous because she always gets her way, and he asks why she didn’t come to dinner.

She won’t answer, and in frustration, he slams her heart monitor to the ground and stomps on it. He accuses her of deliberately provoking him, and tells her to just go back to her quiet crush.

It starts to rain, but neither of them moves. Kyung says again that Dan-oh always gets what she wants just because she’s sick, so she uses her illness to get her way. He snaps, “It’s not like you’re dying!” and Dan-oh just stares at him in disbelief.

Suddenly, Haru is there, and he punches Kyung so hard that he spins around and falls. He says to Dan-oh, “Let’s go, Eun Dan-oh,” and he leads her away. Kyung screams after them, “Who are you?!

Haru says, “You won’t remember even if I tell you. The scene will change soon.”

  
COMMENTS

Well that answers that question – Haru is absolutely self-aware, and he knows that they’re in a manhwa. There’s definitely more to Haru than meets the eye – in fact, I have a feeling that this guy has a lot of secrets. He was a faceless extra, so he shouldn’t really have any distinguishing characteristics, yet he stands out as more unique than any of the other characters. There’s his scar, which feels very incongruous because all the other characters are healed of their wounds whenever a new stage starts. He can draw quite well, and then there’s the fact that his very presence can change the Stages.

And some very strange things have happened around him, like the hair ornament seeming to sting or burn him. He looked some strange way when he asked Dan-oh if she knew the glade and the flowers in it and she said no… like he was disappointed, almost. Why should she remember that glade, and why did he ask her that? It’s like he has memories he shouldn’t have, yet so often Haru appears to be experiencing the world for the first time. And how about the fact that he’s twice been featured in a Stage where Kyung became jealous of his relationship with Dan-oh? He’s gone from faceless random extra to a named character with a story arc in the manhwa.

And then there’s Mi-chae’s reactions to Haru, which are indulgently amused when Dan-oh talks about him, but seeing Haru evolve and gain a face and a name seem to make him almost angry. Mi-chae appears to be some sort of gatekeeper, as if it’s his job in the story to keep things going the way they should, but he confuses me because he doesn’t seem that upset about Dan-oh and Do-hwa’s awakenings — in fact, he gives them a lot of information once they wake up. But he definitely knows much more than he’s telling Dan-oh and Do-hwa about how the manhwa world works. He’s not worried that they’ll be able to change anything, but that doesn’t seem to be the case with Haru — like he sees Haru as a serious threat. I’m scared that Mi-chae is going to stop being a benevolent fairy and start going dark on us.

I’m also growing super worried about Kyung, who’s stuck in an abusive family and engaged to a very sick girl to benefit his father’s business. It’s no wonder he’s so angry, and the only person he can take that anger out on is Dan-oh. He’s still horrible to treat her so badly, especially knowing about her (character’s) feelings for him, but I think he truly believes that Dan-oh isn’t really that sick, and that she exaggerates a minor illness to get what she wants… including him. I need him to become fully self-aware soon so he can learn the truth about Dan-oh, and discover who he really is underneath the frightened, stifled boy he’s written to be.

It hadn’t even occurred to me before the show started because I was just expecting something light and fluffy, but now that we’ve seen that Extraordinary You is willing to go to the dark, scary places, I find myself hoping that the story delves deeply into more serious topics like free will. Dan-oh and Do-hwa are self-aware now, Haru has probably been self-aware for quite some time, and now Kyung seems poised to break free of his pre-determined character. We don’t yet know why they’re self-aware or what’s causing it, or why it seems to be spreading. But since they know now that their words and actions, and even feelings, aren’t their own, I want to see them explore the limits of their world and discover what it means to be independent. I’m curious what Mi-chae means by everything going wrong, but I’m scared that Dan-oh will sacrifice herself to “save” her friends. But I kind of want to watch what happens when everything goes “wrong,” because who’s to say that Mi-chae’s idea of wrong isn’t the best thing for the self-aware characters? I want to see them break free from the mysterious writer and make their own lives and futures, not lives that only happen in the background of someone else’s story.

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That's it, I'm off every ship except Ha-ru's. I. LOVE. HIM. He is so heart fluttering. "You." "Because of the sunlight." His character must have never talked because he talks like he is learning to talk for the first time. "Don't you know this place?" OMG, something happened in their past. When Dan-oh asked, "Doesn't this place look familiar?" Ha-ru's yearning face killed me. Alas, she doesn't remember. I'm thankful Ha-ru let Dan-oh know he is self-aware.

Hell to the no at asshole Baek Kyung throwing innocent Ha-ru into the bookcase in the Stage nonetheless making Ha-ru bleed for real. At least in the Shadow, Ha-ru could self-heal. We love Baek Kyung because he's Lee Jae-wook, but it is honestly unhealthy to love a guy like him because he is borderline abusive. Thank goodness Dan-oh doesn't like him in real life.

Baek Kyung judging Nam-joo was the best. "You like her that much? Manage your facial expression. What are you doing?" Nam-joo keeps getting Joo-da hate by acting so blatant.

Forget the other boys, I'm in this for Ha-ru. Thanks a ton for the recap, @LollyPip!

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Omg maybe he interacted with her when he was self aware but she wasn't? That's why she doesn't remember that place? And maybe that triggered her to become self aware maybe?

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They are laying the motivation for Kyung's behavior fully with his Dad, and it is so Meta because abusive Dad here was also abusive Dad in Heirs, the horrible father who was partly responsible for how messed up Kim Woo-bin's character was... the abusive bad-boy with daddy issues strikes again, and it is beautifully cast that it is the same actor (Choi Jin-ho, who always does an amazing job playing Menacing).

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Exactly my thoughts!!! I knew that abusive father was familiar.... of course (form Heirs)!!!!!! from minute 1 I recognize him. Must admit he's prettygood at those roles!!! He also kinda reminded me of Kwon Shi Hyun's dad on Tempted ... oh those abbuji....anyways, META of the META. Let's see what happens next regarding that particular dysfunctional family...I am curious.

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I feel like with the historic sites and the ancient headpiece going on, #13 and Dan-oh probably met before in another manhwa of the author's - like u know how manhwa artists draw ppl in similar styles and some characters in a new manhwa look like the ones in an old one? It was probably a historical manhwa hence #13 is so bad at interacting in the modern romance manhwa world. #13 was probably a main character back then, which is why Mi-chae is scared because that might make #13 more powerful than other characters who gain self-consciousness.

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I was legit shocked when the gentle Haru punched Baek Kyung hard enough to send him crashing to the ground. This episode had so many beautiful moments, my own heart was fluttering the whole time. I've memorised eps 3 & 4 by now because I watched them so many times, and am ready for more episodes.

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Haru and Danoh are so cute together I'm trying so hard not to squealll <3

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Thank you for the recap, LollyPip!

I think the writer has noticed Haru, and that in turn is making the students notice him. He is getting scenes on the stage, even if he's not doing much, he's still there.

Jin Mi-chae's reaction to him is kind of creepy, I don't think he wants Haru to be anything but the faceless, nameless extra he was. I think it's like what @lollypip said, he's the gatekeeper and his job is to keep the story going the way it should, he was fine with Dan-oh and Do-hwa's awareness because he didn't think much of it, he didn't expect them to be able to do anything about it, but now Dan-oh's persistence is actually paying off and she is making changes with help from Haru, so that's why he is getting angry!

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But that suggests that his role as fairy-for-the-story is independent of the writer, because if the writer noticed Haru and began writing him into scenes, who is the fairy to object? That's why I thought he might be a manwha editor or publisher, but then how would he get into the story? I really want it all to make sense in the end and not just be random.

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He could be a self aware character that wants others to suffer the same way he has. He didn't get to change his fate & gets shuffled around by the writer to be reused whenever they want, so why should other characters get to have any different of a life?

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I too think Jin Michae is some sort of gatekeeper, probably a representative or incarnation of Secret's creator in this universe. This is partly because I think Secret is a webtoon and usually webtoons are released once or twice a week on a publisher site, so I interpet that Wednesday, the day Jin Michae works at the school cafeteria, is the day the episodes are released.

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It's possible we're dealing with alteregos?

The warning about extras seemed to signify it has happened before. It's possible he himself started life as an "extra" but became more and more an alter ego of his creator. Let's face it - pop fiction writers have to have split personalities because as they write the cheesy stuff their own minds go meta commenting on the cheese! But the alter ego extra got out of control, maybe took the manwha in an unpopular direction, so the writer has to reassert control of him?

I say this because I just watched all four episodes today for the first time and I have a suspicion that Haru might be Kyung's alter-ego, the part that the FL loved as a child but was beaten out of him by his father - the artist, the protector, the kind friend.

Just a potential thread that might be connecting some things.

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Thank you for the recap Lollypip. The school, library, Dan-Oh’s clothes and shoes, Chinese trumpet vine, sceneries, everything in this drama, most of all HARU are all pretty. #MyExtraClassmateCantBeThisCute

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PS. I squealed when Dan-oh suddenly found Haru sitting beside her!

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the whole library seen was so cute before Baek Kyung interrupted them 😠😠

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I was wondering if Baek Kyung would've acted the same if stage didn't happen? He acted so badly because it was a written scene but would he have gone as far as he did and hurt Haru? I don't know, I want him to become self-aware to find out!

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It's weird because it seemed like the stage scene happened because of the shadow scene. Like most stage scenes BLIP Dan-oh away but this one transitioned easily from shadow into stage and it happened as Baek Kyung was marching forward. So does that mean, Baek Kyung also has the ability to change their fate? If so, will he want to? Or what will he change it to?

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That transition from shadow to stage was super disturbing. So far Haru has kinda been aloof and indifferent and has been nasty to her only verbally. He hasn’t shown any signs of physical outbursts. This felt totally out of his character.
It does look like his ‘jealousy’ in the shadow is bleeding over to the main comic.
Is the writer setting up a dan-Oh love triangle because it’s starting to happen in the shadow??

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I thought he was just going to walk out. I was surprised when he suddenly grabbed Dan-oh and hurt Haru. 😨

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“ I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way.” - Jessica Rabbit.

Baek Kyung’s home life certainly sucks, he’d change his story if at all possible.

The hair ornament found at the historical site, were Haru and Dan-oh characters from a different time ala Queen in-hyun’s Man ? Oh,the meta is too much 😀

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@lilramenlover it seems like that. I think it's because the focus of this scene was Baek Kyung, we usually see the scenes from Dan-oh's point of view, she blips and she's in a different place entirely and in a scene that requires the main leads getting the attention, she's only there to be the "extra" she is, someone in the background but not this time, she was there to bring that anger in Baek Kyung and have him snap, to me the transition from shadow to stage seemed smooth and in line with how he was feeling. I think Baek Kyung is somewhat aware but he doesn't realize it yet, maybe he isn't hearing the pages turn but he definitely remembers how he feels towards Dan-oh and Haru in the shadows, he notices them!

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@mayhemf I think it was @bcampbell1662 who said that it would be really interesting to see how much their set-up characters will affect them when they're self-aware. I don't think it will be easy for all to break free from that, they've been written that way for the longest time, each character has their own personal traits, how do we know that certain behaviors that they show when their self-aware aren't from their set-up? How much do these written characters become a part of the real them?

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You know, I wonder, with the themes of the manwha becoming a little darker, if we're not being mislead into thinking that Baek-Kyung cares about Dan-Oh. What if he doesn't like her at all but is acting out because he can feel there's a shift in the status quo? If she stops caring about him, then he can no longer tell himself that she's the one making him miserable with her one-sided crush, and he will have to confront the reality of everything that is wrong in his life. So far, Dan-Oh liking him afforded him some kind of control: he could be a jerk to her, but also count on her feelings to have her act devoted to him in front of his father. However, if she stops liking him, then he loses the little bit of control that he has over her, and that might force him to confront the fact that he doesn't have control over his own life, richocheting thematically onto the whole "characters have no control in a manwha setting" thing. This is purely theoretical at this point of course, and the next episode might completely change the setting, but I don't think he was upset that Dan-Oh didn't want his picture because he likes her. I think he was upset that his coping mechanism was slipping away from him.

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Danoh really all of us when she is like "how can someone this handsome be an extra?" and the sneak peek at his abs yes.

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THIS EPISODE WAS THE BEST!

I seriously shrieked when Haru revealed that he knows they are in a manhwa. This episode also made me really think that he's known longer then Dan-oh. And that maybe they've been a couple in a previous manhwa. Here are my reasonings:

1) He lead her to a BEAUTIFUL place that he shouldn't have known existed in that location
2) He asked her (somewhat intently) if she knew this place
3) He asked again about that flower which is at their school, on the keychain Dan-oh tried to give Kyung and on the mysteriously found pendant(?) in the box.
4) Speaking of the pendant, he got a mysterious ache from his scar when he grabbed it
5) Also that whole moment leading up to it had a tropey feel. Like the wind perfectly blew his hat to that location??? Please....
6) Also, he made a weird face when Dan-oh said she must have been a princess. Was she unknowingly right or was it awkward for him because she was something else?
7) He quickly blocked the ball coming towards Baek Kyung like it was an instinct but there was a weird moment after where he seemed to regret it. So was Baek Kyung part of their other manhwa life???
8) Honestly, the way he stares at her sometimes feels too much like love. Like he's already head over heels for her and it makes sense if they've loved each other in the past (because he's been constantly drawing her before she even noticed him)
9) also, the wall of drawings that was discovered by the dried squid guy - there were pictures of the place they visited as well as more drawings of Dan-oh. Also, squid guy looked serious in that scene which means it is serious.

I LOVE IT! Also, I knew it would be too soon but I really wanted a kiss at the beautiful pond location.

Also, that ab scene was hilarious - Dan-oh's reaction was spot on for every viewer.

Also, that moment Haru punched Baek Kyung - gave me all the feels. Same with the library scene.

Also, I'm confused about that because stage scenes are generally blue-toned but the library fight and the rain scene happened in blue tone so is Haru showing up in the Secret manhwa? Are they changing the manhwa? Is it for the best?

I'm done with my also's. WAIT - one more.

Also, I cannot WAIT for Wednesday.

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He's definitely becoming a part of the Manhwa now, both scenes you mentioned were on stage, he was included, Baek Kyung was supposed to see him and get jealous/angry and do what he did, is writer using Haru for BK's character arc or would he get his own side-story in "Secret", now that will be interesting!

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But what's confusing to me is that it is still blue-toned when Haru says to Baek Kyung: "You won’t remember even if I tell you. The scene will change soon." Is that part of the STAGE scene? Because if it is, THAT is something interesting (and a little terrifying - maybe I'm flashing back to W)

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The characters forget the Shadow scenes not the Stage ones. So it should be a Shadow scene if Haru said that Baek Kyung will forget. But Haru seems to have a bigger role in the story now since the library scene.

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It should be a shadow scene if Haru says Baek Kyung will forget. BUT it's blue toned and Dan-oh says it's a stage scene at the beginning of her confrontation with Baek Kyung. The scene doesn't change from it's blue tone to a warm tone (if anything, it get bluer and it starts raining, which is very tropey) and I don't hear a page flip sound effect.

Unless the next episode shows a colour change or a page flip sound between, it's either a production mistake (weird because they're good) or it's intentional. And if it's intentional, then I'm freaking out!!

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I have the feeling that the scene was supposed to be different. But Haru stepped in, CHANGED it, and KNOWS the author will "reset" things. And because he doesn't know that Kyung is becoming self-aware, he expects him to forget everthing that happend. Which means, there is a reason he, while able, barely changes, scenes (only when necessary: To save Dan-Oh from harm). Which would mean, he did it before. How would he know the consequences otherwise?

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My understanding was that the last scene was stage but Haru made an entry without the writers knowledge. Am still not sure if the writer put him there and Haru is not sure it’s stage or if Haru has the capacity to change the stage to this extent.
So far his actions did not affect the main plot. But here him punching BK is affecting the supporting actor.

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Agree. Like when Dan-oh fell down the stairs. It was a stage scene and the others also saw Dan-oh and Haru fell together but when Dan-oh asked Sae-mi about Haru, she said there's no Haru and it was also not shown in the comic.

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I was confused at first too, so I replay the scene one too many times. For me, if we stick with the rule that all Stages are in cool (blue) color tone and Shadows are in more warm (yellow) tone, this stage starts when it starts to rain. So HaRu is definity showing up in the Stage, he's interfering. Then that means he must have had history with doing this kind of thing be it in this manhwa or other.

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Probably not this manwha, or the others would remember him from being on stage. If it happened in another manwha, that may be another reason he started out as a faceless extra here, as a way to try to keep him from interfering. Maybe the manwha characters are like actors in dramas -- they wait to be cast in another one.

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I also thought it may have been a previous manwha or a previous life where Dan-oh was a princess and Haru must have been her or Baek-kyung’s bodyguard or childhood friend.

That Baek-kyung was also engaged to Dan-oh in that lifetime/story line. It makes sense because being engaged since childhood is more of a historical drama trope.

He fell in love with Dan-oh but something must have happened to them. I honestly don’t know for sure but I hope this time it ends well and they end up together.

Haru seems to have been awake for a long time and that he didn’t do anything for fear of the story repeating... 😩

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Oh, that's interesting if they (Baek Kyung and Dan-oh) were also engaged in the previous historical manhwa. Though, I think Haru was the lead in whatever previous manwha it was. Dan-oh is right - he is too beautiful to be just an extra.

Yeah, I think he's got a bodyguard vibe to him too. His instinct seems to be to protect Dan-oh and even Baek-Kyung. We've seen him throw himself in front of a dodgeball for her and curl around her when they fall down the stairs. He always seems to look back to see if she's okay or offer a hand.

But in other ways, he's careful about how he touches her. He invades her space often but it's to do something for her - remove a flower, grab an umbrella, give her his shirt, apply medicine on her knee, stop the boxes and her from falling. In fact, Dan-oh always leads the skinship - mostly by doing the wrist grab (I love that, he always follows her like a slightly confused puppy). In fact, he seems to anticipate her doing so (like on the stairs when she goes to say hello and stops - is it just me who thinks he slowed down for that reaction and then was confused when he didn't get one. Maybe it stirred him to take action??). The only time he does the wrist grab is to pull her away from Baek Kyung, who is being a jerk!

I also agree Haru (having seen what happens when a story goes wrong) is scared of changing things. But if that's true, it is so much more romantic that despite knowing the worse, he can't stand to see Dan-oh miserable!

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We love a gentleman who is respectful of a lady's space and follows her lead!

I like the idea of a bodyguard, and them having an Arthur/Guinevere/Lancelot vibe.

I'm also intrigued by the idea of being kind, when you have the freedom to choose to be kind and when you're pretty sure there'll be no return: we see Dan Oh choose to be kind putting the cardigan on Joo Da, and Haru spares the struggling extras and protects Kyung from the hurtling ball. Haru, by choosing to be kind to Dan Oh and spare her what little pain he can, may have been the one to get this narrative ball rolling. It'd be cool if kindness is what saves them: if Do Hwa chose to make an effort to stop Kyung (Do Hwa, did you know Dan Oh was in the woods?! YOU could have gone after her, bud, she's your friend and you have free will!). And if Kyung, who is written as so spectacularly unkind, chose or wanted to be kind as well.

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I feel like it makes sense they were in a previous manhwa. When you read multiple manga series from the same writer, the character designs in one series will be reused for different characters in a subsequent series.

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Dan-Oh's reaction when she blacks out after the library scene: "Wait! Am I dead? Already? Just like that?"

Poor girl. She is really concerning about her life. How scary it would be if we know we can die any time anywhere? I found myself rooting deeper and deeper for her.

And the onion peeling scene makes me laugh in tears ("I deserve the pain, then, why do these onions sting so bad") . Kim Hye-Yoon is really awesome.

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I think most of her Stage scenes started with chest pain this episode. I wonder if she really has a heart problem, even in Shadow? She seems fine when off the Stage.

It’s as if the writer decided to use Dan Oh for the sob story component of her manhwa, and possibly as a plot device to change Kyung’s feelings towards her. If it’s severe to send enough to send her to the hospital every time, I think she would have had a heart attack by now. Maybe it’s one of those mysterious drama medical conditions.

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Yes, her stage scenes almost always have her clutching the heart. What happens if she dies in the stage?
I too wonder what the original intent of the writer was. With DO and BK. Was DO’s death supposed to be the redemption arc for BK?

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What I'm afraid the most is that the Writer intends to use her death as a wake up call for Kyung's character. To make him grow and become a better person.

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I know! Dan Oh's rage is so justified. Reminds me of this quote from the L Word: 'It’s not my job to make you a better man and I don’t give a shit if I’ve made you a better man. It’s not a woman’s job to be consumed and invaded and spat out so that some man can evolve.' But at the same time, a writer isn't doing something wrong by writing a character as supporting!

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You know, among the Hollywood writers the trop of having a woman die so that the man can evolve into a better version of himself/badass hero is called "raging". Ironically, it enrages everyone but the writers.

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That most likely be the case. That Her character was created for Baek Kyung’s love line and character growth.

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Thanks @lollypip for your wonderful recap.

This is just unique and fresh drama. Its been a long time since i became so attached to a kdrama. Its not perfect but its fresh storyline and the loveable and intresting characters make up for its shortcomings. As its not following a traditional narrative , we have no idea what is going to happen which makes it more exciting to watch this drama.
I am looking forward to dan oh and haru s relationship and to see kyung become self aware because he already knows something is not right here. I love Dan oh and nam joos friendship, hopefully we will get more scenes of them laughing at the manhwas cliché tropes and helping each other out.
Impatiently waiting for the next episode .

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The scene where Danoh and Haru were playing with the light at the library sealed the deal for me. I know I can ship Danoh with everyone in this show (again, except Namjoo) but I will confidently say that my #1 ship would be Danoh x Haru after that scene. It is really rare to see Danoh play innocently like that given her tragic life and condition BUT Haru brought her happiness so whoever makes our girl happy is No.1 for me.

Haru definitely knows something about the flowers (and he might be heavily tied/connected to them) that we always see (subtle details but I think those things matters). So far we've seen the flowers 1) at school, 2) at the glade, 3) the key chain Danoh gave, 4) the old key chain they found at the school trip (which burned Haru), 5) Haru's sketch, and 6) the cover of Secret comic book. Heck, even the memory that got deleted where Danoh planted flowers with her Mom is even connected with flowers. (And there might be some flower things that might come based on the webtoon but don't worry I won't spill it here).

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Re: the red flowers
The flowers are also present on the posters and they're very big. They're even bigger than the leads in the poster where Danoh and Haru are falling from the book.

(what are these flowers called? does someone know?)

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Haru specifically askes Danoh if she knows what they're called, so I wonder if their name is relevant somehow.

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I hope the name of the flower is relevant. I'm sooooo curious.

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@reijeanne said they are Chinese trumpet vine flowers when I asked last episode.

They are really prominent and hold some key to understanding Haru and the drama. I really hope they don’t fall back on reincarnation to explain it, but it is after all a drama.

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Thanks for this! So we're probably leaning on the Wuxia side (in terms of backstory) since the writer of the webtoon's previous work, Twelve Nights, seems to be on a Wuxia setting (and Jinmichae is probably from there). The flower ornament seems to be from there too!

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i wrote my curiousity about the flowers on my fan wall, and someone said it was hibiscus flower. It might look like one, but i still dont know for sure

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I really hope we know its name soon!

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It's not a hibiscus. They grow like bushes and this plant is a vine.

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Thank you @lollypip for the recaps. I started watching this because of you. And I am happy I did. Dan Oh is the first character I have ever related to. This drama is a gem. I am very happy to be watching it.

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This episode was awesome but really puzzling when it comes to theories developing, so for now I stick with idea that awaken character comes from author other manhwa that didn't end well, like was never finished or something to that effect.
Haru and DanOh make cute couple, he looked like a puppy following him and falling for her so fast she didn't even noticed that. But I'm not sure if he was always awaken or if it was DanOh that make him remember who he was?

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That's an interesting thought. I think he was always self-aware but maybe Dan-oh is sharpening his memory. Or maybe Dan-oh is giving him the story board space to figure out this world.

I seriously think he was a character from another manhwa. Like a historical one, which is why the modern high school world confuses him and as an nameless, faceless extra, it's not like he'd get a lot of time to explore the world. He probably recognizes Dan-oh because (I suspect) they were lovers in the historical manhwa (and I think Baek Kyung was there too). He was adrift until Dan-oh started to pay attention to him and gave him a name. suddenly, he's in more storyboards and he's got more time to figure out the current manhwa world.

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He's definitely been awaken for a long time. He knows about the floating objects. Although he might not have an idea that they are manhwa characters until he heard it from Dan-oh and after reading the Secret comic. In the preview Haru was looking up at Dan-oh in the rooftop wearing the uniform from the class picture. If it's in the past that means Haru has already noticed her before and might be crushing on her for long. We'll find out in the next episode!

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Unfortunately, this show IS becoming the very thing it mocked in Episode 1+2, and I don't think it will ever give answers for most of its questions, thus rendering it inevitably not as smart as I wanted it to be, and also somewhat meaningless.

I'm a bit disappointed to be right so soon about that, and disappointed that the satire is growing increasingly less, because that was my favourite part.

Although, if anything, this show is a testament, however unironic, to how and why Story Archetypes have existed and worked for over two millennia.
No matter how much we like to rant and rave, and poke fun at and satirize, we're all suckers for the Meet Cute and the Slo Mo Romantic Stare done right, and this drama is living proof.

I maintain the fear that this show's reliance on its comic gimmick with no explanation will continue to be its downfall, but I'm just going to try and watch this with heavily lowered story expectations from now on, and for the Puppies. (Kyung and Haru totally had a Moment™ at the Basket Ball court ;) )
It may spark another essay out of me yet though.

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For the love story, I think it's about point of view. When Dan-Oh thought she was the lead of the story, she was very happy to have so many boys falling for her and was pretty ready to live a beautiful love story. But then she discovered she was just an extra, and she found all the main love story cringy. But she's still a young girl and wants it too.

I think the main part is about to choose her own life. For the mystery, they give clues but I hope will have all of them at the end.

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Mmm how do I explain where I'm coming from here...

First of all I explained my POV (lol) on satire and the direction of the show best in the Episode 2 recap: http://www.dramabeans.com/2019/10/extraordinary-you-episodes-3-4/#comment-3532580

Secondly, to me, a show like this needs careful treatment in how it goes about dealing with its themes and characters.
It's relying on the comic book concept to drive pretty much everything right now, but for character and theme to exist in the SHOW, there needs to be some kind of reason to believe that characters and themes should exist in the shadow at all, some kind of reason to believe that Dan Oh has or should have any personality outside of her comic book character, which there currently isn't, because the worldbuilding hasn't dealt with that yet, and I fear it won't ever deal with some of these issues.
For me, EY is the kind of show that focuses too heavily on its unique concept or gimmick, rather than just using the concept as a support for other story telling fundamentals such as character and theme, and even plot.
For example, Memories of Alhambra focused too heavily on the Game, and not enough time on its characters or even its plot, but it never actually explained or developed the game either, so you just had weak everything across the board. It relied too heavily on the pretty fantasy gimmick of the game, rather than trying to make a coherent story.
On the converse end, something like Healer or INAR use their concepts (the Night Courier and the Robot) to support character and plot development, but the concepts are by far from the most important parts of the show.
I fear that EY will become the former, and use the comic book self awareness to create more problems than solve them.

Ofc it may not, but with the dropping of satire, my cynicism meter has gone way up. I can also just see patterns in story telling that make me fear for the direction of the show.
But that's just me.

Hopefully this made sense. I intend to write more about this issue in story telling later, but that's a brief summmary anyway.

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I totally agreed, the writers have great ideas but can never really execute it perfectly. it is becoming clear that it’s Becoming just a typical love story and not plot driven.

People praise this show to the highest heavens but when I completed last week episodes, I started noticing the elements which caused W(Similar theme) downfall.

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p.s. don't let my cynicism or incessant obsession with analysing the crap out of stories stop you from enjoying the show.

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Oh, don't worry I'm not so easy influenced :p

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I see what you are saying. For one thing, Dan Oh’s budding relationship with Haru uses tropes, some of which are found in the Nam Ju-Joo Da romance, such as touching hands (or heads), caught while falling off a chair, etc. The probable love triangle with Kyung makes it more likely to see more tropes in future episodes. (But all the squeeing suggests that we.actually.like.it)

This doesn’t make me less curious about what happens when characters start messing with the planned story -or if they actually can at all- but as you say it might not be addressed. I’ll give the Writer a chance though. I’m enjoying this too much to start dissecting it just yet. 🙃

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This episode was really great!

First, I was really happy when she slap Baek Kyung's back, he deserved it so much! (I found pretty funny how Do Hwa thinks Dan-Oh is crazy and has a strange attraction to men's back :p)

The scene in the forest was so great! I love how Dan-Oh is not so shy. When Doo Ja just took Nam Joo's arm when she was afraid, Dan-Oh run and gave a big hug to Haru :D Then the abs scene (thanks PDnim :D) and her "Daebak", I just love her! And she gave him a name! A beautiful one!

The train scene was so sad but so beautifuly filmed.

I think Baek Kyung was tired by Dan-Oh one-sided love but now he's scared by the fact she could not love him anymore. He's not used to loose things and he doesn't know how to react except by screaming and violence.

I'm very happy they casted Kim Hye Hoon and Rowoon. Rowoon doesn't say a lot but all his looks toward her are very swoony and he looks so warm. He's like a puppy! And now he smiles and speaks! I'm happy they didn't withewash him too. I like his skin color.

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I think Baek Kyung is afraid of losing Dan-Oh's love because it's the ONLY love he's experienced, with his disfunctional family and all the crazy girls around him. He's probably starting to realize that he's about to lose the only thing he genuinely has and I feel sorru for him on that sense. But being a jerk that he (well, at lease his stage character) is, he response with such a violence.

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Yes. And this is one place I disagree with @lollypip - Kyung is not borderline abusive, he's outright abusive. Anyone who pushes someone else into a bookcase like that or crushes someone's heart monitor is abusive, no question. But if he does those things on stage and he's not self-aware yet, then he's really still a puppet in the hands of the writer, right? One more reason to hate the writer.

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Also, Baek Kyung needs to become self aware ASAP because he's being stereotyped by both the show writers and the manhwa writer as a Jerk and I want better development for him.
Otherwise I may end up satirizing the satire this show should've been.

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I think we will see that soon. I really hope we do!

Ok, granted, I’m a bit slow to differentiate Stage and Shadow and now things are getting blurred so it’s even harder. But when Kyung spoke his line “I was worried about you” in Shadow, was that him really being worried about Dan Oh? And did he intend to assault Haru or did he experience a BLIP in the library, when he stormed over and sent Haru flying into the book stacks? (Does everyone BLIP at the same time? Oh right, we’re only seeing Dan Oh’s blips. But I digress).

Also, Kyung asking himself “where was I?” hints that he might already be becoming self-aware. He remembers going out to find Dan Oh in the forest but not coming back empty-handed.

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I think Baek Kyung is not very different between Stage and Shadow. In the both cases, he can't handle feelings and he just reacts by being angry and violent.

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I guess for him the BLIP happened while he was still in the forest looking for Dan-oh that's why he got confused coz just awhile ago he was still in the forest. When he saw Dan-oh he automatically said his lines "Where did you go? I was looking for you everywhere!" He was supposed to say it when he finds Dan-oh in the forest.

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This show will be that what could have been & what it is. It is absolutely becoming the very thing it's parodying, & I doubt we'll get any answers to the questions you asked.
One explanation could be that there's no way out of the tropes because they live in a manhwa setting.... So even the objects are all manhwafied.... But I myself don't buy that explanation..... Alas! 😅😫

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“Because of the sunlight” Smooth Haru, very smooth!

I’m scared but also excited for Kyung to be self-aware. Puppy will be so frustrated knowing how awful he is written if his self-aware personality is diff. And excited for Lee Jae-Wook’s interpretations of those emotions in the future episodes.

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I thought it was smooth too. He left the book he was reading.... He definitely moved to be near her.... Or maybe this was an oversight - a typical plot hole & I'm just justifying that he intentionally left the book when he changed seats.

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He wanted to be near her

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Haru is really a big puppy i want to keep and protect. Tho as a puppy, we never know when he will start to growl and bite back, the way it happen in the last scene. From the moment he appear, he seems to be drawn to Dan Oh's presence,like when he save her twice when she about to fall, and he also sketch her too. It was almost like his very presence is also created by Dan Oh's awareness to save her fate. I dont think this is possible because i saw a few other theories about him, but at first i thought that his character was created by Dan Oh's her self, like maybe her mind manifasted something to appear to help her. This theory of mine sounds so wrong but i just really want to say that.
I love Lee Jae Wook so much, he really is a new actor to look forward. But regardless of that, it is still not justified his jerky character Kyung towards Dan Oh. Whether onstage or offstage, he got so many anger issues and i dont like how he always take it out on our drama heroine. I'm curious about their manhwa writer if they ever intended for Kyung to like Dan Oh or not because his every words are just so painful and seems careless on stage, but outside of it he looks like he care about Dan Oh. Maybe in the manhwa this is the case where the writer wants him redeem and mourn of all his mistakes and sins after his true love's dead. The writer story is really one hell of cliche.

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Flutter, flutter.

Fluttered for Haru and Donah...he's so sweet...loved that moment at the window, the way their eyes met.

But....

I STILL GET ALL BREATHLESS FOR KYUNG.

His eyes...like he likes her. Like he hurts saying all that mean stuff to her. Like he's so jealous of Haru.

I can't help feeling he isn't feeling what he's saying. I can't wait for him to be self-aware.

He's just so charismatic. That scowl. Omg. It's like he dominates a scene just by stalking into anywhere, anytime, with that scowl on his face. Have we ever seen him smile? NEVER. Imagine what it'd be like...as it is, I'm already swooning with that scowl.

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Getting serious Heirs flashbacks here...

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I'm kind of on the same page as you here. I mean, I think he's slowly being "awakened", but without someone there to explain to him what's going on - he can only default to stuff his character would do (be a huge jerk, have severe uncalled-for reactions). I defo think he actually likes Dan Oh, or cares about her in some way, and maybe that thought scares him?

Or maybe... he's always meant to be the villain?

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Two words. Daebak Abs ^^

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I cannot believe I love Dan- Oh more every episode. I just love her so freaking much. And I love how Kim Hye-yoon puts her whole body in the role. She made that shriek in the forest so funny! Dan- Oh could come of as petulant very easily, so it is all due to Kim Hye-yoons portrayal of her. Also to capture the difference between Stage Dan-Oh and Shadows Dan-Oh.

Harus Behaviour just keeps on confirming my suspicions. He is not only self-aware but knows a lot more than others. He knows Dan - Oh from before the manhwa. He has more memories than he "should". His confusion could still be real but maybe he doesn't want to push Dan - Oh too far too fast. I think he might be the "anti-thesis" to Mi-Chae. Which does not bode well. In my last comment I already suspected that Mi-Chae (and the author) are actually the villans of this story. Mi-Chae who wants the story to stay the way it is (Why? What does he gain from that?) and the author who holds very real, very dangerours powers. I already said that I believe that Dan - Oh starts being "punished". Her heart troubles and her abuse by Kyung are getting so much worse so fast, that is starting to scare me. In the first two episodes, while we were aware that there was a problem with her heart, it was no where near: You are dying soon. And while Kyung was a bitch, he was not this... malicious. The second part can, at least a bit, be fixed by Kyung becoming self-aware. But the first. The author and his/her everlooming presence SCARE ME. In regards to Kyung. I really do think that he is getting the short end of the stick by the author. For example, in the library when he pushed Haru: He did get up in the Shadows, but he hurt Haru on stage. We do not know what he would have done otherwise. Would he have walked away? Very likely. He doesn't seem violent in the Shadow. Dickish, yes. But not someone you need to be worried about. At least in that regard. But he does seperate himself from situations. Either by headphones or by walking away. So it would have been more likely for him to just leave. Also while saying: 'It is not like you are dying' is a very mean thing to say it tells us that he actually has no idea how bad it is. Why is that? I had the feeling that the author had it in for Haru and Dan-Oh. I am starting to suspect she/ he has it in for Kyung as well.

One last thing: In regard to the library scene. If Kyung was walking away, does that mean the author deliberately changed it to fit her/his agenda. Was it an accident? Because that gave Haru an actual role. Does the author know whats going on? Because that seemed like a fat hint, that he/she does.

Sorry for the long comment.

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Baek Kyung: "It's not like you're dying", had me wonder. How could he possibly not know her conditions are more than real? Her doctor is his best friends brother. Hasn't Do-Hwa conveyed her serious health problem to him, ever? Or is it just a plot hole to blindly make him the bad guy? Or is he too ignorant to care?

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Well, there is only so much the doctor - brother (how convienient) can tell others about her condition. So I cool with that. But what about her father? If he is so gung-ho about Kyung being nice to Dan - Oh, isn't that something he would share? I actually think it is a plot - hole. An in-manwha plothole. The writer wanted to have her cake and eat it too. To have Kyung be the eternal asshole to Dan - Oh until she dies, and then have a redemption arc, in which we find out that he never knew how sick she was blah blah blah. But since the plot is starting to run away from him/her...

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Just because Do-Hwa's hyung specifically asks him to look out for Dan-Oh because her health is going downhill, so I wonder why he wouldn't emphasize this fact to Kyung. But then one can argue that he might have not known that Kyung doesn't realize Dan-Oh's weak heart is killing her for real.

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Also Do-Hwa told him: Dude, she has a weak heart. So he might have been satisfied with doing his part.

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I think Kyung thinks Dan-Oh is just milking her illness. She's been sick all her life and they've know each other from childhood, so he just assumes she will just continue as is. And it's also his role to be as much of an asshole to her as possible and then, I suspect, regret it once he learns the truth.

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While I watched all eps, I noticed that Dan-oh has so many scenes where she runs or skips. No wonder Kyung thinks that she is milking her illness and her condition is not so serious!

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But isn't she completely fine in shadow? I feel like the heart illness is part of her stage character so usually when she is running, she is in shadow and nothing happens to her either.

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that is true, i did not notice that, that is when she is in shadow, she is healthy but only in comic book world, her heart would cause havoc.

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Could Haru be a human who entered the manhwa world? Like Yeon Joo in W?!

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Personally, I hope Ha-ru (and Jinmichae) is not human. When the black hole sucked in Dan-oh's arm, I considered it could be a portal to the real world, but I hope Extraordinary You stays strictly in the manhwa world versus mixing the two worlds like W.

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I think it's more likely to be a portal between manwhas, considering that Dan-oh and Haru seem to have known each other in a historical manwha.

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Thanks for the recap Lollypip.

I was startled by mi-chae's aggressive response to Haru's name. He is the only one who is benefitting from the manga, the author leaves him alone for the most part. I'm wondering what the relationship is between the author and Dried Squid Fairy. Surely there has to be a character which represents the author in the shadow world. Is mi-chae the narrator and therefore must ensure that the authors will is being followed. I thought it was odd in a previous episode, how mi-chae snapped his fingers and the pages flipped.
The black hole, does that only appear to characters that will be erased - such as Dan-oh who is dying?
I do think Kyung is growing awareness but I'm intrigued if this will change anything in his home life. I'm assuming his father remarried and kyung is the child from the previous marriage.

What if Haru can change the story through his art? Remember that scene where the flowers bloomed, was that his drawing coming to life?
The off limits scene was drawn in such detail, I think this must be from Haru's sketches. Maybe he can draw a version of the mangwha where dan oh lives.

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Ooooh that'd be great Ayan. I also think Haru definitely has some power - whether it's through his presence or drawings, it's why Fairy was so startled & wary of him.

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I am addicted to this show 😍
The actors are doing a great job as well.. i liked Kim Hye Yoon in Sky Castle but here her acting has really impressed me..
She smoothly transits from her damsel in distress role in the stage to the fiesty and confident main lead in the shadows

Also.. unpopular opinion but even though i like seeing Dan On and Haru together i ship her with Kyung as well.
He genuinely seems to like her so i am eagerly waiting for him to become self aware and regret being such a jerk.

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Adding my own no doubt unpopular opinion here, but so far I am seeing Haru as pretty much a walking Ken doll: tall, pretty, gallant, good at art ... did I mention he is tall? Also, acting chops with idols is hit or miss, I am reserving judgement until he is actually given words of more than one syllable as to whether he's got any talent to back up the looks. And, of course, the tallness. Because he is tall.

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It's not an idol thing, it's how not fleshed out his character is in the drama. No doubt him being tall & pretty lends to that image, but compared to the manhwa, he's already less of a Ken doll & seems to have more of a purpose than rescuing EDH in her DID moments.

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Thanks for a great recap, Lollypip! You totally picked up on all the little details I missed about Haru's progression within the story, like the named character fussing over his wound and him telling the other extras people don't care about extras. Seems like he was going to just watch Dan Oh and try to help her in tiny ways whenever he could, with whatever consciousness he could muster, but now Dan Oh has incited rebellion. Dan Oh has unleashed someone who's a bit of a tiger, in his quiet way! Power to the Extras!

So many questions! Is Dried Squid a mole for the author, to stop whatever disaster may have occurred last time? Was Haru a noble captain of the guard for an unhappily married emperor/empress married couple Dan Oh and Kyung, giving them a Goblinesque past life story, which is again meta? What punishments are doled out for self-awareness... Dan Oh's mother's flowers, or Dan Oh's heart problems getting worse?

This makes me watch for every sign of story progression as hints at the storm to come. Messing with people's heart monitors and abandoning a girl he's known from childhood, having a heart episode in the woods at night... Kyung could easily have killed her. Of course, he's not entirely culpable, but if I was Dan Oh I would be ready to assassinate him... he's an avatar for the injustice she's suffering. And oh lord, I love me a really justified, I've had it with this guy if only..., but the other guy would never... OH WAIT HE DID! punch. Haru coming along and being so firmly on Dan Oh's side reminds me of watching A Poem A Day, and how tired I was of seeing people be mean to the heroine, so when someone came along and was took her part I was sold instantly.

I'm glad we got a sense of Haru's character this episode, and am excited and nervous to see him on the warpath. I wonder if Kyung's developing self-awareness will play out into him actually feeling bad about what he's doing, rather than leaning into it. (Him demanding that a girl he's always scorned stay focused on him is such interesting business: we've all had that dog in the manger feeling, but it's just not justified... but then he's literally trapped in his narrative.) I also think it's interesting how stage and shadow are bleeding into each other, Haru getting a part (are there real world readers of the manga who liked a minor character, causing his role to get inflated?) in the drama. And Haru and Dan Oh are getting very classic romance cues, which people are responding to. Indeed, I've also seen Nam Ju and Joo Da shippers. We both respond to these romantic tropes and want to see ourselves as above doing so. All fascinating!

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After all the hints, I will be kind of disappointed if we dont get a glimpse of historical scenes. Also it will be epic if the comic characters will get to meet their creator if the drama is willing to go there.

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First things first.
The part where Kyung slams Haru into the bookcase, idk if it was a scene or not but if it wasn't I really really wanted off-scene furious Danoh to sucker punch him; right then & there. Ugh. Why did the writer of the manwha create Kyung & what's his purpose of being mean to Danoh since day1 ughhhhhh

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Ok now that the bug is out of the way, off to the next things.

Since we've yet to see Haru's thoughts & his perspectives, I'll reserve from making any comparison with the manhwa. But, as of yet, we've slowly seen him evolve from an extra extra to the main. It's an interesting development. Also thank you for flooring Kyung. 👏👏👏

Squid fairy obv knows way more than he's letting on, I was surprised he didn't tell (a crying) Danoh about Haru's sketches. But I feel he has good intentions in telling Danoh to not deviate from script.
Who knows what kind of past he has. What if, according to other beanies' speculations, he's from another manhwa, came here through that black hole thingy; & WHAT IF in his past manwha he had tried to change his own fate but things turned around wickedly.... 😮

Meanwhile Danoh IS dutifully fulfiling her extra supporting character role in bringing the Hero & Heroine together I mean that howl 😂😂😂

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I don't think he has good intentions. He's just playing with self aware characters for his own amusement.... Because if it's like he's implied & nothing changes, then the shadow scenes & beginnings of self awareness are his only break from the monotony.

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Oh. I just made assumptions based on the manwha 😅 (he doesn't have bad intentions nor overly helpful in the manwha, more like an observer)

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I know. I read till the latest translated chapter. In the drama though they've changed Jin Mi-Chae to a shady character, & he's especially villainous in ep 5! (aka 9-10)

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@maybemaknae
Oh noes!!!!! 😱😱😱😱

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I'm just all around in love with Dan-Oh's character. So freaking «aware» of herself, of her surroundings, of what's right and wrong, without being so perfect herself. (i love her «pervy» side of her, YOU GO GIRL whispering Daebak! at haru). I think that's a huge reason why I like this show. Im curious to know more about haru. seems to me like he's been aware for a while (as seen before Danoh started noticing him he seemed to be following her, helping her, drawing her...) Im just not sure if he was AWARE that he was aware? Idk. Ugh I hate that this week we had two episodes at once, because of course I gobbled it all up in one sitting.

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Thanks so much for the recap. There was a moment there -- i don't remember what scene or what episode-- when a horrible sense of dread flooded over me. Something numinous and foreboding. The only other time i felt that foreboding was in Strangers from Hell. So yeah, i feel something weird is coming and that this drama can definitely not be depended upon to be "fluffy safe." And yep, i'm ready for it.

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I was very satisfied when Haru punched Kyung at the end of the episode. Dude got issues at home but to lashed out at Dan Oh is just a NO. It's not like I don't like Lee Jae Wook, he's indeed one of the biggest reason I watched this show but watching Kyung behaviour makes me decide to just root happily for Dan Oh & Haru. What's with the flower and the glade and the ornament, oh my curiosity!

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Okay after 4 episodes, I can say that I am invested in the story!
The manhwa story reminds me of a mix of BoF, Heirs and so many others combined! They are really taking stereotypes seriously! :P

I can't wait to see what the writer, and the manhwa writer have in store for us!

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With all due respect to @sicarius , I think this show is doing a good job of fleshing out its characters and storylines. Yes, it started out with a great satire of BOF, which we all loved and helped pull us in. But should it spend 14 more episodes on that, when it has its own story to tell? I think a few deferential references will do from hereon out.

The problem with world-building is that it's really hard to think through all the details. Like, when do characters actually live in the shadow (the train ride back home) and when do they just fast forward to the next scene (from the palace scene to the train station). How much of their back story did they live and how much was essentially downloaded to their brain as setup? I rewatched all four episodes for clues about Dan-oh and Haru's past, but now I feel like I need to go back and watch again to find out more about how this world works.

There's one character in this drama who's always off stage -- the Writer. This writer doesn't seem all that great, relying on tropes and giving characters cheesy lines. Still, the writer theoretically can control everything that happens on the stage, so why would Dried Squid Fairy say that giving extras names and trying to change your fate can make the story go wrong? We can see the conflict between the person you have to be and the person you want to be in several characters: Dan-oh, Do-wha, even Kyung. But they don't seem to be able to change their lines even when they want to.

I don't think Dried Squid Fairy can be the writer or even the writer's avatar, because if he were, he could fix everything and keep all the characters in their places. So why is he worried, even angry (which suggests loss of control) and what is he trying to protect?

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I also dont think any of them is the writer or the writer's avatar. Im not sure if we will even meet the writer. The story is about the manhwa world and its characters who became self-aware. Fairy is suspicious but I dont think he is bad. (Or I dont want him to be bad coz I like Lee Tae-ri 😋) What if in the previous manhwa where he is a part of, there is a girl like Dan-oh who got involved with an extra and died? Perhaps he feels like the tragedy is repeating again with Dan-oh and Haru. I think he sincerely cares for Dan-oh.

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So is the real question now, how many *times* has Dan-oh become self-aware?

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As a reader of the webtoon, it seems that the scriptwriter has a significant potential to change the storyline and to twist the story fundamentally. Because in the webtoon itself, there are still many fundamental questions that have not been answered. Like how they can be self-aware. Or how Danoh and Haru could fall in love easily for an unexplained reason.

I reminded of the movie Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind. Where what we watch could be the "second meeting" of the couple after both experienced memory loss. Perhaps because of that, Haru asked Danoh if he remembered the place of the waterfall/flowers. Or Danoh said that he felt familiar with the traditional house. And maybe it's possible also to answer why Danoh's heart started beating fast when Haru passed him on the stairs!

I can't wait for Kyung to become self-aware, because his jealousy makes the webtoon feel so alive. And in this drama, my heart beats every time I see Kyung's eyes. Furthermore, it's also because Jae Wook plays this role perfectly. But I'm not going to explain further, worrying about being a spoiler for those who haven't read the webtoon. It's just that I can feel his pain so much, that I can understand what his real feeling for Danoh.

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Ditto to the Eternal Sunshine of Spotless Mind vibes. This is why I think the webtoon could already be over and they are stuck in a loop of sorts. This might not be their first time going through and meeting within the shadows of this story...

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Since HR has memories different than the story and MC seem to be disturbed by the holesand changes I think the story was originally different. Because of the tragic vibe of the story I wouldn't be surprised when DO changed the story to safe his life. But probably those changes makes the characters wake up. It is like they notice their fate was changed and they long for getting back their old one.

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Thanks @lollypip!

I agree that it's very possible Jin Mi-chae is a gatekeeper of sorts. I'm not that put-off by him because he seems very jaded under the surface, like maybe he's even been through all this himself before. Still that line in ep 3-4 “At first, everyone has expectations.”, definitely implies he's had many experiences with characters gaining awareness and nothing ever changing on the Stage...until now. And he's stayed completely aware of all of this.

What I'm curious about, is whether it's just for this webtoon? Are we even certain this is an ongoing series? If he just has experiences with this webtoon, considering we were introduced to Dan-oh at the "start" of it, that could mean that it's already completed and all characters are trapped in an endless loop. Different characters have come aware in Shadow, but the Stage never changes and runs through until the end. Everything resets at the "start" again. Haru goes back to being a faceless, nameless entity every time...but still remembers and remains self aware on some level...which explains why he remembers Dan-oh and the place with the flowers. But if that were the case, why is the Stage finally changing this time around? Why would Haru remember and is it related to his scar?

I suppose, if the Stage is changing and we're getting flashes of storyboards, it could mean that this is just an ongoing webtoon and that the writer is now responding to the changes happening in the Stage. If that's the case, then Jin Mi Chae could just have experiences being the gatekeeper of other webtoons and this would tie in to the theory that Haru and/or Dan-oh are connected from another manhwa. This could be cool, but it would be a lot for the show to pull off.

Anyway, these are just some of the endless theories in my mind and they only bring me to more questions. Have I mentioned this show makes me nervous in the bestworst way?

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That's actually a really interesting theory! Of how this manhwa world, specifically this story, is on a repetitive loop. So once the story ends, the story resets again. Just like how you borrow a book from a library and you finished reading it and the next person borrows it and the same story starts again.
So it makes me wonder if that's reason why Haru draws? ...so that he could remember his memories with Dan-Oh once the story resets itself again?

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Kyung is such a damn teenage.

One minute his is upset at the attention Dan oh gives him and then the next he is upset that she is not giving him attention.

But the assault on 13 was too damn far and what was the point of the writer doing that. Why is he so unlikable instead of just been a emo teen.

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I know right! I am so mad at the writers for doing this to his character..

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I wonder is Mi-chae has a hand is the behavior. I mean Kyung is a jerk, but this is going dark and he is just getting meaner as the pages go on.

I wonder if this is his way of trying to keep Dan-oh in her place.

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Interesting. If Mi-chae is indeed the writer (or avatar) then it makes sense. But what is the purpose of DO's character? The original intent or purpose of her character. her one-sided love and heart problem cannot be a recurring theme till the end right. The writer should have had a plan for her..
But, I thought the writer saw BK's jealousy in the shadows and decided to go for it. The whole Haru entering the comic seems to be a product of BK's jealousy stemming from DO's wavering.

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I thought she was there to prop up the female lead and the second lead, her friend Sae mi.

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@larelle79 Then why be BK'a fiancé?
She could have just been an extra.
Associated her with BK (part of A3) makes her feel more important than an extra.
Also, to me it looks like BK has a side plot for himself in the comic. He is not the second lead and has no role whatsoever in the main leads romance. So I expect something written for him.

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Okay, you are making sense.

STOP IT !!! 😃

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4 hour in I think this drama already are starting to talk about real life subject like identity, self awareness, free will and self image. Even how much of our personality is determined by our genes (in this case the manhwa writer). Would love if this drama explore more of this tru out the story! I think it is cool using those manwha characters to make a comment about those issues.

like I said in last recap I feel there is an invisible thread between Dan oh and Haru. I strongly think they have been in another manhwa and this thread are pulling them back together. Seems like Haru have been self aware for a long time trying to make connection again with Dan ho. The wall with drawings of Dan oh make me think this way. He gently help her in the corner waiting for her to make the first move and the moment she talked to him was the first time he started to be more openly proactive.
Consider he is a minor extra make me wonder if this also give him more room to move behind the scenes. Like a quiet cat that you will not notice before he make an "attack". I feel this specially in the end scene of ep 8.

Really love our Dan oh. Hye yoon make her so animatic and lively girl! Also think Ro woon those a great job so far with his facial expression that shows you what Haru is thinking. I think every cast those a great job make their character comes to life ❤️

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I thought I was being extra by looking for a philosophical meaning in the show but I'm glad someone else did as well. The show does discuss our existence, self awareness and resilience. I think it is very smart of the drama writer to incorporate all these things in such a narrative.

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My head is spinning with all these theories, speculations and possibilities. How does a writer deal with that in real life?

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High-school dramas are not really my thing, but I was pleasantly surprised by this drama! Really enjoying it right now, and I like how the drama has balanced the high-school youthful energy and tropes with more exploration in-depth into the different worlds, character development etc. It’s a good mix.

Here’s hoping the drama does not disappoint with the answers to the questions we all have burning in our heads right now!

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It seems that as soon as Min Chae finds the drawings, the "bad things" start happening: Baek Kyung attacks Haru on stage, and the garden that Dan Oh planted with her mother disappears, like a punishment. I also think it's interesting that Haru starts avoiding Dan Oh after it happens as if he knows that it was a consequence of them being close to each other.

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Whoa I never thought of it like that but it makes so much sense. Mi Chae is definitely shady. The preview was foreboding too.

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When a drama generates extensive discussions on possible theories and clues of its plotline development, you'll know that the production is doing something right. I've missed this so much. The last time I had a blast reading and participating in the drama community theory discussions was Black. And when they gave us that sorry excuse of an ending I remember going on a MAJOR riot, LOL.

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Omo! I gain new insight every time I read your recaps @lollypip. I didn't notice that the class prez noticed Haru!
I'm iffy about the last scene of ep 4 aka 8.... Because the lighting, the dialogues... They were just confusing about when stage actually started.

I've rewatched ep 3 & 4 so many times, but I still found something new because of you. Loved reading the recap!

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i think haru used to be the main character with danoh in another manhwa, but something bad happened so everyone's memories got erased and now theyre new characters in another manhwa, with michaw there to make sure the same thing doesnt happen again. i mean, haru seems to have all of these underlying memories connected with danoh, and it definitely is suspicious that michae is so adamant about keeping haru unaware

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what if haru and danoh were from a previous manhwa and tried to change their fate but something wrong happened - with haru having these underlying memories that are tied with danoh? so the reason michae doesnt want haru to become more aware is because his job is to make sure the manhwa goes smoothly.

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I agree. I don't think jin michae is just a character but most probably someone who had seen what happens when characters start interfering and his role is to maintain the smoothness.

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I know this is a very self aware drama and exaggerating the dumb high school rom com tropes but I still love all the Joo-da and Nam-ju moments. Na-eun is really really cute. I keep re-watching her scenes... lol

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Thanks for the recap. It helped clear up a few things. The episode is a bit confusing, or maybe I was tired and I may have missed a few minutes. I still like the show, and it's intriguing. I have a feeling that Haru is the writer of the manhwa, somehow getting pulled by Dan Oh into the story.

The neatest thing about this show is that you realize it's only in a finite universe, at least that's the face value. And yet you feel that it's still part of the bigger world, because certain people have a self-awareness that all of us have. In some ways, it's a bit metaphysical, which is where I'm at in my life as well. Why are we here? What does it mean? Is there a meaning, or is it just something that happened and we're all just part of a long chain that begins somewhere and ends abruptly.

Sorry to go off on a tangent. Like I said, I've been thinking a lot about existence and whether or not it actually means anything or if it's just a very minute part of the universe as it expands and then finally contracts, only to start again.

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