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Extraordinary You: Episodes 19-20

Extraordinary You brings up a lot of questions about the nature of being human, and what it means to be in charge of your own destiny. The self-aware manhwa characters want nothing more than to be in control of their own lives, and they’re willing to stake their continued existence on it. Unfortunately, it seems as though their Writer may be more aware of their rebellion than they know, and determined to make sure the story goes as they plan.

  
EPISODE 19

Kyung blows up at Haru for beating him at tennis, and they end up fighting about Dan-oh. Haru asks if Kyung likes her, admitting that he does. Kyung goes up to the roof and kicks over a barrel, and he sees the mostly burned copy of Flower spill out.

He salvages a few pages that are still readable, including the one where Dan-oh’s character is happy to be marrying someone. He recognizes the lines from the night the two families had dinner at his house, which practically recreated the scene from Flower panel by panel.

He finds Do-hwa in the library, reading yet another romance manhwa, sighing that only main characters are given the cool scenes. Do-hwa tells Kyung that he really should stop reading these because he identifies with the second male leads and they make him miserable.

In class, Kyung glares at Dan-oh, who keeps sneaking adorable little peeks at Haru. Kyung takes out the charred pages from Flower, thinking about how Do-hwa said only the leads get great romance scenes, and we see that one of the scraps has three characters standing together who look just like himself, Dan-oh, and Haru.

He goes to the roof and shows the pages to Mi-chae, whose eyes go wide with fear. Kyung asks if Flower was another manhwa by the same Writer as their story, but Mi-chae says it doesn’t matter because Flower has ended, and the two stories have nothing to do with each other.

Kyung asks why Mi-chae tried so hard to hide Flower if it has no power. Mi-chae asks what Kyung wants, so he says he wants back what was taken from him, and for everything to go back to the way it was.

Later, Dan-oh finds Haru doing his English schoolwork, which he struggles with. Dan-oh says she’s good at English and offers to help him. She explains that the word “extraordinary” means that something is amazing, and Haru says that the word is like the two of them — a pair of ordinary extras who met and created something special.

He says, “So to me, you aren’t just an extra… ‘extra-ordinary you.'” LOL, Dan-oh floats on that swoon for hours. She reads a poem later that perfectly describes the way she feels about Haru, calling that feeling love, so when Haru comes over to say hi, she panic-flails around the library like a pinball.

At lunch, Haru shows up moves in close to wipe the crumbs off Dan-oh’s lips. Dan-oh chokes and reaches for her drink, but Haru closes his fingers around hers and opens it for her (okay, cheeky boy is doing this on purpose). Dan-oh’s heart monitor beeps and she runs off, and when Sae-mi comments that she keeps acting awkward around him, Haru smiles knowingly. Yep, he’s totally flustering her on purpose.

Haru watches Dan-oh nod off in class, and later he sits and mirrors her position, laying his head down on her desk so he can look at her up close. He closes his eyes, and when Dan-oh wakes, she leaps to her feet in surprise and tries to run away again, but Haru’s hand catches hers.

He asks why she’s so shy today, smiling like he already knows the reason. She doesn’t answer, but his friends come to get him for tennis practice, so he ruffles Dan-oh’s hair and says he’ll see her later.

Mi-chae spots Dan-oh literally dancing just from thinking about Haru, and he mutters that she hasn’t changed at all from the previous story. He complains that the Writer lacks creativity, writing the same story over and over again. To Dan-oh, he says that she likes Haru too much, but she doesn’t want to hear from him about how extras don’t matter.

He tells her that everyone, leads or extras, have the right to like someone. Dan-oh asks if he likes someone and he admits that he used to, but that the Writer didn’t put her in this manhwa world. He says sadly that he’s better off not seeing her again, but Dan-oh says that even the Writer can’t keep her from seeing the person she likes.

And ~BLIP~, she’s in a new Stage, and she wonders if the Writer is punishing her for badmouthing them. She waves Haru away so she can talk to Kyung, and as he goes, he gives her a little nod like he knows it’s just her character.

Kyung takes the tennis racket she bought him from his locker, and Dan-oh tells him that Haru helped her pick it out. He grumbles that he doesn’t need another racket, then tells her to stop collapsing and needing to go to the hospital, because being there makes him crazy.

Nearby students exclaim that they feel bad for Dan-oh when she hangs her head, and Kyung says she always makes him out to be the bad guy. He storms off and the Stage ends. He immediately turns back, but Haru is already there, and Dan-oh tells Kyung tearfully that she knows he doesn’t mean it, but that his words are still hurtful.

Haru warns Kyung to stop bothering Dan-oh, and Kyung grabs him angrily. Class president Ban-jang rushes over and begs them to stop fighting, and Kyung realizes that they’ve drawn a crowd. He lets go of Haru, asking sarcastically when he became a lead character.

Later, Kyung compares the character page from Secret to the salvaged page from Flower. Other than having different haircuts, it’s obvious that he, Haru, and Dan-oh are in both manhwas.

Haru falls asleep in the library and dreams of a scene from Flower. He watches from a distance as Dan-oh talks to someone about the stars, looking up at them adoringly. She thanks the person for remembering her wish, and Haru can see the trumpet creeper ornament hanging at her waist. Haru wakes, and he remembers Mi-chae saying that the secret of his beginning doesn’t exist in their current world.

The next day, Kyung catches up to Dan-oh to apologize for what he said onStage, though he can’t get the words out. Dan-oh sighs that it might be better to be an extra, because even though her set-up is pretty bad, Haru can change the Stage because he has no set-up. Kyung bristles at her mention of Haru, and he asks if she likes him, but he immediately takes it back.

Do-hwa brings Kyung a romance manhwa he thinks he should read, and when Kyung refuses (Do-hwa: “But we’re in a romance manhwa!”), he says he’ll lend it to Haru to give him some ideas for getting a girlfriend. Kyung asks why Do-hwa pays so much attention to an extra.

But Do-hwa says that he’s jealous of Haru… for example, he’s embarrassed every time A3 has to walk together with the cheesy lights and music. Suddenly they’re in one of those Stages, and the Writer is making Do-hwa wink and flirt so much that he wonders if he’s being punished for what he said, HAHA.

Joo-da approaches them and thanks Nam-ju for helping her in the science lab, and Do-hwa figures that Nam-ju saved her like a true protagonist. Nam-ju tells Joo-da to meet him in the auditorium after school, and he spots Sae-mi sending Joo-da a death glare so he pulls her closer to him protectively. But Joo-da says she’s fine, because she knows that whatever happens, he’ll save her.

Do-hwa ends up playing his violin while he whines internally that he should throw the damn thing away. Joo-da shows up right on cue and Do-hwa asks her if she and Nam-ju are dating. She denies it, making him wilt in relief.

She asks about the song he was playing, and he says it’s called “Love’s Sorrow.” He plays another few measures until the Stage ends, then he stops and complains that the Writer always gives them the same scenes, and he’s always playing that stupid violin.

He tries to leave, embarrassed, but Joo-da stops him and says that to her, his playing is comforting. He says it’s fine for her since she only remembers positive things, and she tells him that she likes the song he played before, the one called “Love’s Joy.”

In their hideout later, Do-hwa tells Kyung that since Nam-ju and Joo-da are the romantic leads, he’s decided to support them and wish Joo-da happiness. Kyung asks about Do-hwa’s confession at Nam-ju’s party, and Do-hwa explains that his public confession to Dan-oh was really supposed to be Nam-ju and Joo-da’s scene, but Haru changed the Stage so Kyung and Dan-oh were pulled in.

Do-hwa doesn’t know how Haru changed the scene, so Kyung goes to see Mi-chae. But Mi-chae tells him smugly that not everyone can change the Stage, and that he has no idea how Haru does it. He says that maybe it’s because the Writer tightly controls the main characters, and Haru slips his notice because he’s just an extra, but that it doesn’t ultimately matter since the changed Stage is also drawn by the Writer.

Suddenly Kyung ~BLIPs~ into another Stage and finds himself sitting beside Dan-oh, who’s asleep in the infirmary. Haru brings him something, and Kyung asks what he would do if he didn’t have much time left. He says he wants to do everything Dan-oh wants, and Haru replies that she probably wants to be with him as much as possible.

As soon as Haru leaves the infirmary, the Stage ends. He tries to go back to Dan-oh, but Kyung stops him and tells him to stick to his role. He says that Haru is only good for doing what he says, and that he’ll never beat him, because he’s just an extra.

EPISODE 20

Some test results are posted, and the students are all curious who tested in first place. They assume it will be Kyung, but first place goes to Haru. Their teacher wants the first-place student to help Dan-oh catch up on her missed schoolwork, and Haru can’t resist asking Kyung why he couldn’t beat a lowly extra.

Dan-oh catches Haru daydreaming and she assumes he’s upset about her recent collapse. She says that her chest pain is worse lately, and Haru replies earnestly that he wants to change her character. Dan-oh is scared he’ll disappear again, but he says that he has a role as Kyung’s friend now, so he won’t disappear so easily.

He asks Dan-oh, what if Kyung is the one who can change her fate and not him. But students suddenly flood the main room and Dan-oh’s heart monitor beeps, and Haru says a Stage is about to begin. He muffles Dan-oh’s heart monitor with his hand and says he’s going to change her story, then he leads her to Sae-mi. He tells Dan-oh that she’s probably supposed to collapse in the Stage and that Kyung will save her.

Haru takes off her monitor, which keeps beeping even after it’s off Dan-oh’s wrist. He straps it onto Sae-mi’s arm, and it starts beeping even faster. Then a bunch of things happen at once… Kyung walks in, Dan-oh sinks to her knees, Haru catches her, and the Stage starts up.

Kyung sees a crowd of students huddled over someone lying on the floor. Across the room stands Haru, and Kyung thinks snidely, “Let’s see if the main character of this Stage is you, or me.” He rushes through the crowd, but the person lying there is Sae-mi, not Dan-oh.

She sits up, claiming that she collapsed because Nam-ju is so gorgeous, ha. The Stage ends and Kyung sees Haru carrying an unconscious Dan-oh out of the room. Whoa, he actually did it — he made himself the hero.

After school Nam-ju waits for Joo-da to give his confession, but his mother shows up instead. She acts like his feelings for Joo-da are a personal insult to her, and Nam-ju accuses her of seeing him only as something to make her look good. She tosses a plane ticket at his feet and tells him that he can explain about Joo-da to his father, because she can’t afford a single mistake.

By the time Joo-da arrives, Nam-ju is gone and isn’t answering his phone. When the Stage ends, Do-hwa goes to see Joo-da at work, figuring Nam-ju’s confession must be over, but her boss doesn’t know where she is. Do-hwa runs back to the school, and he yells at Joo-da for waiting for Nam-ju for so long.

He says that he knows she’s not self-aware, but she should still put herself first. Joo-da asks what she can do when she gets bullied at school, and after school she has to work to pay her grandmother’s hospital bills, when she’d rather have friends and be a real Seuli High student. She says that Nam-ju was the first person to offer her friendship, so she can’t help but wait for him even if he isn’t coming. Do-hwa hugs her, crying, unable to say anything.

In the morning, Joo-da enters a Stage, and Nam-ju’s mother shows up and slaps her. After she snarls a few hateful insults, the Stage ends. Joo-da wipes her tears, and with contempt in her voice, she orders Nam-ju’s mother to stop this because she won’t change anything. I’m convinced — Joo-da is definitely self-aware.

She goes back to school where Nam-ju is pacing nervously. She tells him not to say any more things that could give people the wrong idea, because there’s nothing between them. Nam-ju starts to complain about everything he’s given up for her, but she cuts him off and tells him to clean up the room, then leaves.

At the hospital, Dan-oh barely hears Dr. Lee’s instructions because she’s too busy thinking about Haru. Things get serious when a Stage starts, and Dr. Lee recommends that Dan-oh be admitted for a full physical. Back home, she experiences another painful heart episode, and she worries that they really want to do surgery.

She goes to the school looking for Haru and complains that she hates her character, but Haru says that he likes her character because she’s cute, pretty, and honest. Dan-oh chirps at him to keep going and makes him laugh, then they decide to hang out together since it’s the weekend.

They do a lot of nothing much, and end up outside with Dan-oh posing for pictures. LOL, Haru falls over when she flashes some leg at him. They try to take a selfie in front of a tree, but Haru is so tall that Dan-oh doesn’t show up in the frame, so he has to crouch down to her level. They draw picture of each other in the art room, then lie down on the floor and just talk.

They go up to the roof after dark, and Dan-oh asks Haru to tell her his dream. He says he’s not sure, but Dan-oh says she just wants to be an ordinary person who can enjoy ordinary days like today. She wonders how their story will end, and whether she’ll even live to be nineteen, but Haru says that she’ll be beside him when she’s nineteen, and twenty, because they’re making their own story.

Looking through her photos, Dan-oh tells Haru that the tree they posed in front of will turn three hundred years old on October 10th. She says they should meet at the tree on that day, and that thinking of it makes her feel like they’ll be able to be together for a long time. Haru says they can do it again when they’re nineteen, and twenty, but Dan-oh just nods sadly.

When she’s alone later, Dan-oh squeals to herself that Haru’s line about being with her when she’s nineteen and twenty was practically a confession. She looks forward to seeing him tomorrow, but instead, she ends up in the hospital in yet another Stage. What’s worse, the calendar on the wall says it’s October 10th.

Haru waits under the old tree all day for Dan-oh, but she never shows up. She tries to leave the hospital when her Stage ends but another Stage starts almost immediately. This time, the calendar tells her it’s October 13th, then another Stage takes her to October 17th.

Meanwhile, Do-hwa tells Haru that Dan-oh is in the hospital, but every time he tries to go to her, another Stage snaps him back to the school. Sae-mi and Soo-cheol are able to visit Dan-oh, but Haru eventually gives up trying to get to her. Instead, he sits under their tree night after night, begging whoever is listening to let him see her.

On October 31st, Kyung visits Dan-oh with flowers, but as soon as the Stage is over she jumps out of bed. Kyung tries to stop her, but she says desperately that she needs to go see Haru, and he lets her go.

She runs all the way to the school, ignoring her beeping heart monitor and thinking that if her time is limited, she wants to spend what time she has with Haru. She can’t find him anywhere inside the school, so she goes to their tree, but he’s not there, either.

Dan-oh breaks down and cries, and the sound of her sobs brings Haru out from where he was sitting on the other side of the tree. He calls her name and they run into each other’s arms. Haru says, “I missed you. I like you. I like you,” and Dan-oh goes up on her toes to kiss him.

Surprised, Haru doesn’t respond, and Dan-oh backs up and apologizes. But he pulls her close and swoops down for a longer kiss, and when her heart monitor starts beeping, he just muffles it with his hand and keeps kissing her.

  
COMMENTS

These two are just such a sweet couple, and I’m so invested in their romance it’s not even funny. A lot of it is the way they’re played by Rowoon and Kim Hye-yoon, who look at each other like just seeing the other one is all they need to be completely happy. They make me believe that Haru and Dan-oh have loved each other for a long time, through multiple stories, and will always find each other no matter what story they’re written into next. Normally by this point in a drama I’m dying for a kiss scene to confirm the characters’ feelings for each other, but with Haru and Dan-oh, I’ve felt the pure honesty of their feelings for so long that the inevitable kiss was almost a surprise (and I do love the fact that Dan-oh went for it first — that’s our fearless girl!).

I originally thought Joo-da was a bland Candy-character, and I’ll admit that my opinion was heavily influenced by my deep and intense hatred for Jan-di from Boys Over Flowers, the character that Joo-da is based on. Joo-da was just such a doormat, and even knowing that it was the character given to her by the Writer, I didn’t find her very interesting at all. But now she’s rapidly becoming one of my favorites, because she’s proven to me that she’s self-aware, though it’s still unclear whether she knows the exact nature of her situation. I feel bad for Joo-da because she’s quite the little badass in the Shadow, especially with the way she stood up to Nam-ju’s mother, but onStage she’s forced to submit to bullying and can’t stand up for herself. She’s stuck in this manhwa where all the other kids are rich and spoiled, yet she has to work every day and finds herself doing and saying things she doesn’t even mean, with a guy she doesn’t like, while the guy she does like (I’m convinced she likes Do-hwa and you can’t change my mind) thinks she doesn’t care about him. That’s truly got to suck.

Mi-chae said something in this episode that I’ve wondered about myself — that changes to the story don’t really matter, since even the changed Stages are drawn by the Writer. Of course, the Writer has to know what’s happening on some level if their story ends up different than they planned (and how many times do real-life writers complain that their characters never behave the way they want them to?). There were several times in this episode that it seemed as though the Writer were punishing the characters for thinking or acting on their own, such as when Do-hwa thought how much he hated doing the A3 strut, only to immediately find himself in one of those scenes. It was funny, but it was also a bit too well-timed to be a coincidence. And it was so scary to see Haru and Dan-oh kept apart for weeks by the Stages, which did feel like retaliation for Haru’s changing the story again.

This show raises many existential questions, a lot of which I’ve written about before, and I really hope it intends to offer some answers. We’re most of the way through the story now and we’re still asking questions and not getting many answers. I’m not sure that Mi-chae is correct that Haru can change the story because he’s just an extra and the Writer doesn’t notice him. If that were true, then other extras would also be able to change the story, and as far as we still know, that ability is uniquely Haru’s. Besides, he apparently changed the story in Flower, and he may not have been a major character but he at least had a name and a set-up. I think it goes a lot deeper than that, and I don’t think we’ll discover the answers until we see more of what happened in Flower.

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“ A lot of it is the way they’re played by Rowoon and Kim Hye-yoon, who look at each other like just seeing the other one is all they need to be completely happy” — you couldn’t have said this better @lollypip

It’s so true that if it were another drama, I would be dreading for a kiss since ep 8 😅 but here, I could see, even without that, that they love and cherish each other so much!

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Having read the webtoon I was a bit worried that Danoh and Haru's relationship and dynamic won't be captured in the beautiful and poignant way it was in the webtoon and would come across as bland and that Danoh would have more chemistry with Baek Kyung (since a more intense chemistry is preferred by most of us than a cute one and also because Baek Kyung is played by LJW) but WOW was I proven wrong and I'm so glad for it as well, KHY and Rowoon have incredible chemistry (I mean the entire cast does as well) and this drama has managed to capture the beauty of their dynamic, and like you the kiss was a surprise because KHY and Rowoon have been heart eyeing each other from the start, I always seem to forget that they don't realise they like each other

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Yesss. Their feelings for each other are so pure and unquestionable. I've been so satisfied with how their relationship has been portrayed. This episode especially delivered on the cuteness and made me swoon on so many occasions! The way they look at each other in adoration is so cute.

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Ahhhh, finally a kiss! I agree wholeheartedly, LollyPip: episode 12 is a long time to wait for the formulaic first kiss but Haru and Dan Oh’s relationship is just so, so sweet that I didn’t even mind waiting this much. The way Rowoon and Hye Yoon look at each other is just so beautiful - you can practically see the honey dripping from their eyes.

That sweet bit aside, it’s horribly obvious that their reckoning is coming and coming veeeery soon. Dan Oh is on a very short timeline and Haru’s flashbacks are indicating an eerily similar backstory from the Flower manhwa. I just hope that these two manage to survive it together.

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I love their love story. Danoh wanted to change her fate but in the same time she found love and she's super cute. I really like how she became aware of her feelings and doesn't know how to handle them. She always is the first to act by taking his hand, by kissing him. Fortunately, Haru learns fast and follows her very well.

I'm happy to see happy and lovely moments between them. Usually, the couple needs time to find each other, and then the happiness lastes one episode before the angst then few minutes of happiness and it's the end. I want happiness because the end when they couldn't see each other was pretty sad.

I want Dohwa and Juda to be happy too. Juda has feelings for him, so he needs to tell her all the truth.

Baek Kyung really needs to make efforts to change his personality, he's trying but it's not enough.

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Honestly, they are really adorable. I know it was a youth drama, but that kiss was meh. They have so much chemistry and cuteness that they didn't need to kiss, it reminds me of School 2017. A kiss wasn't necessary and it worked. Sorry, about the tangent. Cute leads, lol.

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Things I love:
- Joo-da. I thought she was the blandest of Candy who turned out to be actually really interesting off stage. I would hate to be in her position. Her setup is poor, bullied, with a sick grandmother in a posh high school which means that she needs the protection from someone whether it's money (for living expenses or hospital fees) or status (protection from the other students). In the future, I like imagining Joo da as a female CEO of her own company (why not?) taking care of her grandmother and kicking ass left and right, but her young age and her present circumstances prevent that.
- the OTP. They are cute and fluffy together.
- Do-hwa and his violin. The true OTP of this show.

Things I don't love:
- The lack of answers. Kyung investigating is frustrating because he has a very clear agenda and therefore he is only interesting in answers that suits him. And being the only one to investigate, we, as viewers, are also limited to those answers.
- The same conversation between Kyung and Haru about changing the story/sticking to your character said 20 different times.

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"The same conversation between Kyung and Haru about changing the story/sticking to your character said 20 different times."

Agree with you. At this point, it's a repeat of the same stuff every episode. The same thing repeated over and over. It's just in different clothes, and different settings. You can't change the story. Leave it be. No, I'm going to change the story. Ha! A scornful laugh. A sneer. Slamming of doors. Slamming out a room. Dried squid looking on. No. No. No. Don't do it. Don't change the story. I have to. I must. For Danoh's sake. No one can change the story. It's the way it is. Yep. Back to the start.

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finally someone i can agree with, The first episodes were so perfect, i dont know whats happening right now.

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And I agree with you :)
The first 6 episodes were perfect but then sometimes around Haru disappearing, the plot has fallen apart too. I realized yesterday that I forgot to watch the latest episodes. From counting down the days until the next episode, I am here, totally forgetting that they are out. At this point, I am only watching the drama for Juda, Do Hwa and Baek Kyung.

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@12345mee @hanabi I feel exactly like you. The first six episodes were terrific. Like you, I'm watching for Kyung, Juda, and Dohwa now. So disappointed.

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I've read some complaints about how passive Juda was despite her self-awareness. But I think I can understand her decision to not make any changes and keep quiet about her awakened state. Juda knows too well that her happy ending with Namju is the only good thing that could save her pitiful life. The writer didn't give her any wriggle room, and it's not like she has the means to dramatically change her financial condition. She might be liking Do-hwa romantically and wanting revenge towards the bullies in her school and Namju's mom. But she is probably afraid that by doing something about it, it will only aggravate the story and make unwanted changes in her tale. Who can guarantee that it will open another happy ending opportunity for her? What if it only end up leaving her with tragic outcome? Also, she is probably worried that she will inadvertently awaken those bullies if she acted out of character in the Shadow. Sure, it's okay if they turned out to be nice in the Shadow, but what if they were just as nasty as they were on Stage? If I were Juda, I wouldn't want to bet my crappy luck on something as unpredictable as that.

Is it just me or does this most recent turn of event (a.k.a the forced separation between Dan-oh and Haru) couldn't be explained by the involvement of human writer anymore? I mean, is she/he drawing super fast or what that Dan-oh and Haru didn't have any Shadow time left? And how come Haru could trick her/him just by giving Dan-oh's wristwatch to another character? Unless she/he only planned to draw the wristwatch and Kyung coming to the rescue without showing Dan-oh's face at all from the beginning, that change didn't make any sense. Or maybe I should just stop questioning the logic in this drama, and simply enjoying Kyung and Juda who were becoming more and more interesting lately.

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But there is one thing that we overlook regarding Juda's self-awareness t- all the aother self-aware cahracters that we saw "waking up" did not know exactly what is happening to them until somebody told them (DanOh, Do Hwa), or until they found the manhwa book and read it (Kyung). As far as we were shown, Juda IS self-aware, but she is probably still un-aware that she is a manga character and therefore doesn't know why she acts the way she does when she doesn't want to, and that is why she is - before everything else - confused.

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I feel really bad for Joo-da. You're right that she doesn't have any wiggle room. As the main female lead, she probably has the most stages. She's self-aware, but I don't think she knows she is a manga character, like kimchiturka indicates. She just knows that there are times when she is trapped in her own body and that she is being controlled by some force and it's all tied to Nam-joo. The only thing to do is to let her body take control, but how much of this abuse can she take?

The Dan-oh/Sae-mi switcheroo didn't make sense to me either, but I really did love the execution of that entire scene. It would make more sense in the scenario you posited. Where Haru knew how the storyboard would look like and managed to recreate it without DanOh.

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Jin Michae is really growing on me, since he shows us more and more glimpses of his own thoughts and feelings in this episode, rather than just calling out the Writer in general. However, I was not prepared for a wistful and lonely Michae. He clearly has a tragic love story, why else would he be relieved to not have his lover in this manhwa? It explains a lot of his behavior up till now, and I am curious to find out more about them.

Haru, you sneaky toll one! ;) I love how he is all flirty and playfulness with only Dan-Oh, and yet balances it perfectly with his sweet and gentle demeanor. It reads like an unoriginal knight in shining armor on paper, but Roswoon turns Haru into a real man. :D

The kiss was nice, but indeed not necessary, with all the heart eyes those two keep giving each other. A Roswoon hug however, is mandatory in every episode from now on. As a smoll I hope my future toll oppa will hold me like that! :P

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Haru and DanOh are adorbs as usual!

It's interesting to recall Kyung did ask about changing the scene--that he's clinging to the stage because he feels powerless in the shadow. But on the other hand, it's in the shadow that he's able to face down his dad. (But then it doesn't change anything on the stage, which must be hard.) Awful to hurt someone you don't want to hurt--worse to hurt them of your own will, though. It sucks but get it together, Kyung--neither Haru nor Dan Oh want to hurt him, and will be his friends if he lets them.

I was mildly fond of Stage Nam Ju/Joo Da, as the actors were doing well with their slim storyline, but Shadow Joo Da DEFINITELY likes Do Hwa. And who wouldn't? He is adorable, metatextually hilarious and loyal. Plus I like a lady with edge to be with a sweetheart boy. Kind of wonder if it might go Stage Nam Ju/Joo Da and Shadow Joo Da/Do Hwa, but then I don't like to think of Joo Da trapped into anything, any more than I like seeing any of the poor babies trapped doing what they don't wish! (Maybe I get amused by Do Hwa plus the violin.)

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Oh, and I was thinking: maybe it makes sense for the kiss to be in ep 12 rather than 8 because Haru and Dan Oh technically met in ep 4 rather than ep 1 as usual? The courtship period must be obeyed!

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In Stage, he knows he has Dan-oh's unconditional love.

In Shadow, he is all alone. His dad and step-mom hates him. And to be self-aware of your loneliness must be really tough. Do-hwa, even if he doesn't end up with Jooda, seems to have a good family life. Dan-Oh and Haru have each other.

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To be fair, Kyung also has his brother, who seems to really try to have a good relationship with Kyung. It's sad that Kyung is so wrap up in his sad situation to notice or care. Also, I do think that Do-hwa, Dan-oh and Haru would be more than willing to be there for him if he tries to be just a little nicer and less condescending.

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I agree with each and every word of this post. This drama while being a *trope-y* drama, actively makes fun of the cheesy tropes(thanks to our self-aware characters specially Dan Oh and Do Hwa) and from the start to now, has been brilliant in posing painfully relatable existential questions about our reality. Life is after all a stage and we are all characters here, already moving forward according to a predetermined fate. As much as we like to think of ourselves as the main character, we are still under the influence of an unseen force that determines our life. We keep saying that we'll change our life, much like our characters here continue to break free and change their set up but can they, for that matter, can we actually change it? There's infact no guarantee that whatever we think we change about fate isn't already planned for us. Like our characters have now found out that no matter what they do, their story remains the same, still under the writer's control. I love when the drama delves into these aspects of our reality.
One thing our main characters do best other than the perfect romance,
(Courtesy- RoSwoooon) is telling us that no matter what life, in their case- their set up, holds for us/them, we can still be happy or try to be. Atleast that's what Dan oh seems to be doing now and it breaks my heart but hey, isn't that life for real?

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This week was filler. Even the kiss which I felt should have happened last week when Ha-ru became self-aware again. I know I'm supposed to love the new confident Ha-ru who confronts asshole Baek Kyung, but I prefer old Ha-ru. I miss Rowoon's wavy hair. I wish we got to see Ha-ru's family now that he is a named extra. Does he have siblings like A3? What did his chaebol parents donate to Sports Day? Will Chairman Baek try to take advantage of his father Chairman Ha?

Sigh of relief that self-aware Joo-da is not evil. Thank goodness she genuinely likes Do-hwa. I was terrified Show would go dark and make Joo-da jealous when Do-hwa gave her up because she loves being the center of attention and having the guys fight over her. Now we only have Nam-joo left to become self-aware.

I thought Dan-oh was ranked #1 in her class, but damn at A2 (Nam-joo, Baek Kyung) being rich, handsome, AND smart. Thanks a bunch for recapping, @LollyPip!

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To me, losing the old Haru feels like I am re-living the trauma that was losing Kang Chul 1.0 in W. Just like Kang Chul 2.0, he feels like a different person now and I just want the fluffy and innocent Haru back.

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I miss the wavy hair on Haru too 😆

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"Normally by this point in a drama I’m dying for a kiss scene to confirm the characters’ feelings for each other, but with Haru and Dan-oh, I’ve felt the pure honesty of their feelings for so long that the inevitable kiss was almost a surprise..."

I second this! I always felt that Haru and Dan Oh had instant connection and were very open about their feelings that if they never kissed, I would've still been happy (sacrilege!)!

I love Joo Da's development. Her Shadow self/real self seems to be a fighter and doesn't seem like she'll take bull from other people while the Stage character has two settings: cry and be gullible. I feel for her having to juggle all that responsibility while being a normal teen still and I hope she'll find happiness later!

I never noticed the Stages being almost like punishments for characters saying certain things. I thought that the Writer was just oblivious to the Stage but reading that made me scared for our group of manhwa characters. Stay safe my comic book friends!

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Need to preamble that I love this show very very much and Dan oh is a great character BUT... These episodes made me feel (like a few other Beanies, I think) that Dan oh is starting to get overshadowed by all the dudes around her. She's still the one with the least information - all the boys either have Flower power (Haru, Kyung, Mi-chae) or are doing their research (Do hwa). Her goal shift to Haru-all-day-err'day, despite making sense for a high school teen, also downplays her spunky go-get-em attitude.

Thankfully, I think it's starting to come back in the more recent episodes. And I'll just echo everyone's 'Yasssssss' moment for self-aware Joo da. She is fire.

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Someone commented that it is not unusual for Show to shift from the heroine to the hero once the female lead has fallen in love with the male lead. I was hoping that Extraordinary You would be an exception but the past couple of episodes have made me rethink that.

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Switching from heroine to hero is one of those things that really bug me about kdramas. They suck you in with the heroine and then shove her aside.

Here, I can see how Haru's disappearance convinced her of the intractibility of the writer's story and that she should just enjoy what time she has left. But it does suck that she has so little information now. It would be nice if the writer could spare her a flashback. Kim Hye Yoon is keeping up her sparkle even with these character limitations.

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I hope this show doesn't disappoint and gives us answers cause I get tired of not getting much.
I felt bad for Baek Kyung during the scene when everyone was looking at him but ouch his yelling hurts my ears. Getting tired of his behavior.
I feel very sad for Mi Chae, and Do Hwa and Ju Da. How they feel helpless at not being able to do much.
It was heartbreaking to see Haru and Dan Oh not be able meet each other but finally they did. And ah the 'Extraordinary You' part was so good. Lots of Sweet and Cute moments in this episode.
But if nothing much can change even if they manage to make even a little difference then what's the point. Are the characters going to get a good ending, there are only so many episodes left but nothing much is being done. Even as they clear up somethings there are just more questions. Only four episodes are left now. I repeat I don't want to be disappointed.

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Maybe it is the writer of the drama punishing Baek Kyung by portraying him a non stop jerk?? Baek Kyung has not had a heart to heart talk with Dan oh, he often hesitates to confront his true feeling and fear but it is also Dan oh, who often neglects him in the shadow and she does not have ears to listen to him at all. The writer needs to give him more time to express his feeling etc, otherwise the drama would be felt that something is missing. Does the writer not want to let BK steal a scene???

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This episode was so cute and Haru made me swoonnnnnnn so many times with how sweet and doting he's being toward Dan-oh now that he officially made it known that he likes her. Him being so open with his affections towards her and her being so shy now that she's (started) to realize her feelings towards him, too, has been really fun to watch. That scene where they're facing each other, asleep on the desk with the wind blowing and the soft, golden light reflecting around them? Such a beautiful scene. I died when he grabbed her hand and asked her why she was acting so shy that day, and when he ruffled her hair and said he'd see her later. And her smiling back at him. So cute! They are so smitten with each other (and I with them!)

I feel like when webtoons are made into dramas, they should give them longer runs (maybe 20 episodes?) since there is so much story to tell. It kind of does a disservice to the webtoon since you basically have to cram a bunch of story into a 16 episodes. Some of these webtoons are longgggggggggg (Cheese in the Trap, anyone?) so it would be better to have more episodes (if possible), or even better, a second season (one can only dream as I know that it's a huge commitment for the actors).

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I actually feel a bit like eps 19-22 could've condensed some of the character development bits in order to move the plot along - maybe add some additional story elements. I think @luzitania brought this up above, about Kyung/Haru having the same argument multiple times, not sure the show writers needed to hammer that point so much.

I do agree though that it feels like they could totally use an extra 4 eps to cover even more ground. I don't have any experience with webtoons, but this is a frequent issue with transferring stories from one media to another (Western book-to-movie adaptations are the worst for this).

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The episodes have definitely slowed down pace wise, but I guess that's because it's becoming more serious. Yeah, Baek Kyung and Haru keep arguing over the same thing. Anyone know if that happens in the webtoon, too?

I would love to explore more of the sageuk story if that meant more episodes!

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LMAO I was just on Soompi reading one of their recaps and the writer called Rowoon "RoSwoon" hahahhahahahaha. This is so accurate. Had to share!

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Pfft I'm probably the only one who's still watching for the BOF parodies. I enjoy the A3 strut and cheesy music.

To be serious, I'm watching for Do-hwa and Ju-da. Their pathos is subdued, and it hurts me more to watch Do-hwa giving up if it means Ju-da's happiness, than hearing Dan-oh and Haru saying again and again that they will never be apart and yet being torn apart again and again by the writer.

I was hoping Kyung would be redeemed but that prospect is looking bleak (unless he goes and sacrifices himself for Dan-oh in the end, which grrr). This show started out so good and now... Oh well. Thanks for the recap @lollypip!

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I like Haru and Dan Oh, but I'm getting a little tired of the love triangle that seems so forced (literally) by the writer. I'm more interested now in Do Hwa, and his self-aware lines are both entertaining and witty. I can imagine how a stage starts and suddenly you're sitting there playing a love song, acting like a caricature of some drama character.

Still, I'll continue to watch the show as I enjoy the existential questions raised by the story and hope that there will be a few more twists off stage, as the on-stage twists are old and done time and time again. I wouldn't be surprised if we get an amnesia episode, LOL.

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We’ve already had amnesia off stage, hehe. But yes, I agree it would be nice to see more twists off stage, since nothing really seems to be happening.

Regarding answers: If only Fairy opened up a little! It was so frustrating to see him approach Dan-oh and try to talk to her but she didn’t want to hear him.

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I LOVE Haru and DanOh. What chemistry and beautiful scenes they have. Their love is so pure and it makes me moved that when two people who love each other so much can go against all the odds to be together till the end. Such love is rare is in this real world.

I do feel sad for Baek Kyung. I never knew i would even try to like him, but now whenever i see him, I am like please give some girl like Dan Oh to him, because he is so utterly lost and lonely.

Coming to the story, i think whenever Haru changes the stage, there are going to be some really bad consequences. I have an ominous feeling that this will definitely affect Dan Oh in a very bad way, maybe she dying too early? And it is proven that the same lines will be repeated on stage no matter who are the characters. They might not be that free-willed as they assume they might be.

Since the ending is near, i really wish we would get all the answers we want. This show is super mysterious, but engaging so well with interesting twists and turns. I hope we wont get a sad ending, because i love the lead couple too much.

PS: I love the "First love" OST sung by Sondia. It is no.1 in my playlist. Such a sweet yet heartbreaking song.

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I mean yay but the last scene would've been much better without Dan oh breaking down & just finding Haru sitting there. The impact would've been much more powerful (for me)

Also, I didn't understand the significance of that heart rate monitor switching scene.
I hope that 'substitute' & 'stand-in' concept becomes more useful to them in the future in.... figuring out a solution of their doomed fates(?)

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Thank you for the recap!!

It really does feel like the writer is retaliating against our characters! Either the Writer is tremendously stupid or vicious. I agree with you that it is too well-timed to be a coincidence!

Keeping Dan-Oh confined to the hospital for all those weeks and preventing Haru from going to her - so cruel. My heart broke for them. And Dan-Oh will only just get sicker.

I get cynical sometimes with teenage romance, but Dan-oh and Haru are just so made for each other - helped by their shared circumstance as the early self-aware characters and them being stuck in the manhwa. There really isn't any "hey, you'll meet your future wife/husband in college or at work sometime in the future" option.

I get why Kyung clings to the Stage. But how does clinging to the Stage and antagonizing Haru help Dan-Oh, dude? He did wring my heart when he turned back to Dan-oh immediately when the Stage of him being mean to Dan-oh ended.

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Hello Lollypip, when will you be releasing recaps for ep 21-24? Ep 21-22 was alr out the week before the last and ep 23-24 was out last week. I have watched those eps but can’t wait to read your comments on it.

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