Extraordinary You: Episodes 29-30
As the manhwa draws to its inevitable close, our hero is running out of time to help his lady regain her memories. His nemesis is trying to take advantage of the situation, and reinforcing her belief that he’s her true love. But he’s determined to set things right before the story ends, even at his own expense, because her happiness has always been his only wish.
After dying in the Shadow, Dan-oh returns to the story, but without her self-awareness or any memories of Haru. She’s wearing her engagement ring again, and Kyung seems happy to see her excited about marrying him onStage, but when the Stage ends he jumps away from her, expecting her to do the same.
But Dan-oh just repeats the line she just said about Kyung’s mother’s ring fitting her perfectly. Haru runs over and asks her to talk for a minute, and when Dan-oh acts like she barely knows him, Kyung realizes that something is terribly wrong.
Kyung tells Haru that this is probably for the best, since Dan-oh won’t suffer anymore between her Stage and Shadow selves. But when he’s alone, he thinks about how he almost killed Dan-oh purposely to make this happen, then changed his mind and put the oxygen mask back on her after remembering that he was the one who killed her in Flower.
Soo-hyang runs across Mi-chae in the hall and helps him carry the groceries to the kitchen. He asks why she keeps approaching him, and she says she just noticed him and wanted to be his friend. Mi-chae declines, but Soo-hyang refuses to take no for an answer.
Later Haru tells Mi-chae that Dan-oh lost her memories, and Mi-chae says that Haru reminds him of his past self when the same thing happened to his love. He’d told Haru in the Shadow during Flower that he wished his story would end differently, and now he says that he’d hoped Haru could change the story in Secret, but he didn’t realize how much Haru had changed.
Haru asks what happened when the story ends. Mi-chae explains that they fall into a deep sleep until the Writer draws them again. Haru realizes that this could be his and Dan-oh’s last story if the Writer never draws them again.
Mi-chae says that there’s a higher chance they’ll be drawn again if they make a big impression on the Writer. He believes that’s why Soo-hyang was added into Secret near the end of the story — she must have made an impression, or Mi-chae was so pitiful that the Writer added her because they felt sorry for him.
He gently warns Haru that when a story nears its end, the Writer stops drawing some characters so they disappear from the story. He tells Haru to stop attracting the Writer’s notice, especially since he’s an extra with a small role, otherwise he could suddenly disappear before the story is over.
Haru remembers that he wasn’t the one who killed Dan-oh, and that after she died he’d been like a lost soul, wandering to all the places they’d spent time together just to feel close to her. He had vowed to wait until they could meet again, and to remember Dan-oh forever. Now he makes the same promise, though he can’t make himself say the words.
Haru confronts Kyung about the fact that he was the one who killed Dan-oh in Flower, and that Kyung knows it. Kyung retorts that the Writer still intends for Dan-oh to be with Kyung, but Haru argues that it will torture her, like it did back then. He says he’s going to find the real Dan-oh and bring her back to herself.
He begins doing the same things that Dan-oh did when he lost his memory — putting himself in her path whenever possible, introducing himself every time they talk, and repeatedly going over the high points of their relationship even though it confuses her. He tries so hard to be as cheerful as she was, but sometimes his sorrow shows on his face for a moment.
Do-hwa has no idea what’s happened, so he’s confused when he says hi to Dan-oh in the library and she acts like she barely knows him. Later he tells Haru that it’s good that Dan-oh is cured and Kyung is acting nicer, and that it looks like everyone will get a happy ending, but he’s upset that Dan-oh is no longer self-aware.
Haru thinks he’s being punished for changing Dan-oh’s set-up, but he still smiles at how happy it made her. He tells Do-hwa that he’s going to follow his heart no matter what the consequences are.
He continues introducing himself to Dan-oh and spending time with her in the Shadow whenever he can. Sometimes, Dan-oh looks at Haru like she’s trying to remember something, and once he finds her staring at the red flowers, so he tells her that she gave him his name and asks her to remember, but nothing really changes.
Shocking news breaks regarding Nam-ju, and soon the whole school is talking about the fact that he’s not his father’s legitimate son. Oh, so that’s what his mother’s been trying to hide. The students loudly speculate whether this means he’s no longer an heir and if he’s out of A3, but Nam-ju says that he’s still the same person.
Joo-da follows Nam-ju to the hall, and he tells her to close her eyes. When she does, a tear slips down his face, awww. But she opens them again when the Stage ends, and when the Yang bullies come to rub it in Nam-ju’s face, she spits that they only care about money and status.
She pulls Nam-ju away by the wrist (love it!), and they sit in the science lab to talk. Nam-ju admits that he’s been having a hard time from all the pressure of being leader of A3 and protecting her, and it was inevitable that this would happen. He tells Joo-da, “I exist for you,” and she gently takes his hand.
A new Stage starts, and Joo-da watches as Nam-ju’s mother tries to convince him to leave the country. She’s worried someone will see them talking about it (so then why are you having this conversation in the middle of the school foyer??), but Nam-ju bellows and draws a crowd. He tells his mother that he’s glad this came out because now he can be himself.
Joo-da interrupts and tells Nam-ju’s mother that she needs to let him accept who he really is. She says that she doesn’t care if Nam-ju is a chaebol or a regular guy, “To me, you were always mine.” She hugs him right in front of everyone, and tells him, “I love you.”
When the Stage ends, she just hugs Nam-ju tighter and says it’s probably been hard to be the main character. Turning to his mom, Joo-da says she can’t use her son like a tool. She encourages Nam-ju to say what he’s thinking, so he announces (because of course it’s an announcement) that he’s going to live his life simply, “With the love of my life, Yeo Joo-da.”
Kyung asks Dan-oh what she wants to do together, and when she says there’s too much to remember, he feels bad for never asking before. Since they’re in the Shadow, he says that he’s going to believe her affection for him is real even though she’s told him it’s not.
In the library, the sunlight hits Dan-oh’s heart monitor and she absently plays with the reflection. Haru sits nearby, and something about the way he flinches when the light hits his eyes makes Dan-oh think that she’s seen him do that before. She whispers his name and her eyes fill with tears (she’s remembering!) but she doesn’t seem to know why.
Later she’s sitting under the ancient tree with Sae-mi, who says she’s never seen Nam-ju as happy as he is with Joo-da, so she’s giving up on him. She runs away sobbing, and Dan-oh suddenly hears voices talking about how they’ll meet under this tree every year.
Soo-hyang approaches Dan-oh and seems mildly surprised that Dan-oh doesn’t remember her. She says that the tree has seen thousands of students in its three hundred years, and that you could probably hide from the tree if you hid among them. Dan-oh says she wants to find her own path in life and not hide, and Soo-hyang asks if that life includes Kyung.
Of course, Dan-oh says it does, but then she frowns and adds, “Maybe?” Soo-hyang tells her that it’s not up to them — it’s up to the Writer who created them. OMG, she’s self-aware! She admits that she was scared when she first learned the truth, and she just wanted to be with her love, but they couldn’t escape or change anything. But she says that if your love is strong enough, you can overcome it.
After school, Do-hwa meets with Joo-da, and he asks what will happen to them. Joo-da says that she likes Do-hwa, but she also likes Nam-ju, and she doesn’t have the courage to fight back after using up all her courage just getting through her story. She says that Do-hwa can be happy without her, but Nam-ju can’t.
She doesn’t want to lead Do-hwa on by asking him to be friends, but Do-hwa does it himself. Joo-da thanks him for being her guardian angel, and he says he truly did like her, both onStage and in the Shadow.
Kyung takes Dan-oh on a Stage date to do whatever she wants, and when her heart monitor beeps, she says that it’s only because she’s with someone she likes a lot. Kyung looks happy as they spend the day enjoying each other’s company, and in the evening, he tells Dan-oh that he’s glad they finally found each other.
The Stage ends, and Dan-oh thanks Kyung for turning her from a sick girl with a crush into a healthy woman in love. But she accidentally calls him “Haru,” and she doesn’t even realize she did it, which bothers Kyung.
In class the next day, the students wonder why one of their classmates didn’t come to afternoon classes. A few kids start to contact him, but he’s no longer in their phones’ contact lists, and nobody can remember his number. Haru realizes that it’s started — characters who have nothing more to add to the story have begun to disappear.
He passes Dan-oh on the stairs, and her heart seizes up, making her fall. Haru carried her to the infirmary and waits by her side, and when she wakes, he notices that she skinned her knee. He kneels in front of her to bandage it and tells her that he did this once before, the first time she asked him to change her fate.
He asks her to remember him, and tells her again that she’s the one who named him Haru. Her heart monitor beeps and Dan-oh asks him to leave, since she thinks he’s the one making her heart hurt. Haru goes, looking heartbroken, and Dan-oh suddenly remembers another time when he bandaged her knee.
A strange wind kicks up while Haru is looking through Secret on the catwalk. He turns to see the portal hovering in midair again, and he understands that this means the story is coming to an end very soon. He doesn’t see Dan-oh standing below, looking up at the portal, in a reversal of the first time they saw it there.
Later Kyung finds Dan-oh sitting at Haru’s desk, though she says she’s just enjoying the view out the window. She asks him what kind of person she’ll become now that she’s no longer sick, and Kyung looks worried that she doesn’t seem to remember that she still has heart palpitations.
After school, Dan-oh sees Haru’s name on his locker and touches it tentatively. Haru approaches her, and yet again he introduces himself with a brave but sad smile. Dan-oh leaves the building, and when she notices that she’s crying she runs back inside, but Haru isn’t there.
Haru passes Dan-oh again in the hall the next morning, and her heart goes crazy. She stares after him, sighing that her heart has never hurt this much before. Later she and Kyung notice Haru sitting under the ancient tree and Dan-oh asks why he’s always there. Kyung says, “It’s obvious — he’s waiting.” He notes that she still looks for Haru even though she’s lost her self-awareness, adding, “I’m all alone again.”
They ~BLIP~ into a Stage where Kyung is walking Dan-oh home, and they pass a wall where they measured their heights as children. The marks are still there, and they remember how they’d pinky-sworn to measure themselves again in ten years. Dan-oh had been sure she’d be taller then, but now she jokes that she’s barely grown at all while Kyung is much taller.
Kyung asks Dan-oh to meet him at school for a date tomorrow night, since it’s the ten-year anniversary of measuring their heights. He thanks her for being by his side all this time, and leans in to kiss her…
But just before their lips touch, the Stage ends. Kyung backs off, so Dan-oh asks what’s wrong. He says that he desperately wanted everything the way he remembered, and he’d hoped the Stage was the reality, but now he knows that Stage Dan-oh isn’t real. He continues, “Wanting to keep you with me, knowing that you’re not yourself, makes me a monster.”
At school the next day, Dan-oh complains to Sae-mi that she keeps doing things that help Nam-ju and Joo-da get together, like someone else is controlling her actions. Haru listens in, wondering if his plan to get Dan-oh’s memories back so she can live her own life is working.
That evening, Dan-oh waits under the ancient tree for her date with Kyung. Eventually her heart monitor beeps again, then she sees him standing nearby in his familiar long coat. She goes over and leans on his back to measure their heights, and when their backs touch, her memories rush back all at once. She looks up… and sees Haru smiling down at her.
Haru says he wanted to see her one more time, and that he’s okay if he disappears in the manhwa so long as she’s happy, even if she doesn’t remember him. But Dan-oh does remember him now, and how he changed her fate, and she sobs that he promised never to leave her. Crying himself, Haru hugs Dan-oh tightly, sobbing, “Every moment of my life is meant for you.”
Soo-hyang comes to the kitchen the next day and surprises Mi-chae, but this time he smiles and says he’s missed her. He lays out a huge meal he made for her, and as Soo-hyang eats, he watches her with open love in his eyes. He says that they don’t have much time left, so he’s glad he could spend a little of it with her, because it’s impossible to pretend not to know her. Soo-hyang only smiles back sadly.
Dan-oh grows worried when Kyung doesn’t show up to class. He’s in the A3 hideout, thinking about last night — he had given Haru his coat and told him to go see Dan-oh in his place. He’d said he was doing it for Dan-oh, not Haru, and because he hates the Writer. Kyung had told Haru that if he’s the only one who can change the Stage, then to go do it again.
Dan-oh finds Kyung and returns his ring, and this time he doesn’t argue. He says dejectedly that he’s been a monster to her, and she counters that they were just playing their roles, but that she knows who they truly are. She tells Kyung, “That’s why Dan-oh of Secret wants to thank you, and Dan-oh of Flower forgives you. Those are just your characters created by the Writer.”
Kyung is crying now, and Dan-oh holds out a hand and hopes that he can find his real self like she did. Finally Kyung is able to touch her hand, and he smiles at her through his tears.
Later, Dan-oh sits outside with Haru, complaining that he made her miss out on the good bread at lunch because he was being too slow. Haru reaches for his drink to share it with her, and he spills it on his jacket. He reaches for it and notices that his nametag is blank again… oh no. Oh no.
He flips his jacket over so Dan-oh can’t see it, but she reaches for it, so he jumps up and hugs her. He tells her, “Dan-oh-yah, I don’t mind, no matter what the price is.”
They go to the art room, which Dan-oh says is her favorite room because it’s where Haru made her wish to see the stars come true. Haru thanks her for being with him in all of his scenes, and she thanks him for helping change her character and allowing her to live the fate she chose for herself. She asks Haru to be with her on her final page, and he smiles sadly.
They leave together, then they hear a strange sound come from the art room. Haru nervously opens the door… and the room is gone. Random props float in blackness, but they begin to disappear one by one as Haru watches in horror.
Oh, this is breaking my heart! I know they’re going to get split up, it’s inevitable as the manhwa finishes, but I just don’t want to watch it happen! Thankfully there’s not much left in Secret so Dan-oh won’t be alone for long, but then their memories will be erased. They’re going to have to find each other all over again in the next story, and what if the Writer decides to make one of them a main character and one an extra, or leaves one of them out completely like they tried to do with Secret? I just want Dan-oh and Haru to have a chance to be together, even if it’s just for one story, even if it’s only for a little while.
I’ll admit that at first, I was upset when I realized that Joo-da wasn’t going to be with Do-hwa and would choose Nam-ju instead. But then she explained that she likes them both, and that her knee-jerk reaction against Nam-ju was just because she didn’t want the Writer telling her how to feel offStage. But then she realized that she needs all her courage getting through all the bullying and hardship of the story, and she didn’t have enough left over to fight the Writer. And she’s right that Nam-ju needs her more than Do-hwa does — Do-hwa is happy and has plenty of friends, while Nam-ju always knew he’d lose the people who claimed to love him when the truth came out about his birth. Joo-da is the one person who can understand how it feels to be an outcast, so she’s the perfect person to be by him while he goes through this.
I’m so proud of Kyung for realizing that even though Dan-oh thought she likes him when she wasn’t self-aware, the Dan-oh he was with wasn’t the real Dan-oh. He tried to be happy with the un-self-aware version of her, but he couldn’t do it, and in the end he not only chose Dan-oh’s happiness over his own, but he even helped Haru remind her of who she is. I’m glad for Kyung’s sake that Dan-oh forgave him, because that will help him continue to become a better person in the next manhwa. As frustrated as I’ve been at Kyung through this entire drama, I always had hope that he would learn from his mistakes and try to be better, and ultimately that’s exactly what happened. I hope that in the next manhwa he gets a different love interest, and that she becomes self-aware and loves him back (might I suggest Sae-mi, whose Shadow self is the sweetest?).
I think this episode really highlighted Haru’s quiet strength and his dedication to Dan-oh’s happiness even at the expense of himself. We’ve known this about him forever, but at this late stage in Secret, it would have been easy for Haru to do as Mi-chae advised and sit back, let the story end, and hopefully find Dan-oh again in the next manhwa. But even knowing that drawing the Writer’s attention again could get him dropped from the story, he still chose to try and coax Dan-oh’s memory back, because it matters more to him that Dan-oh end the story fully self-aware and in control of herself than that he see the end himself.
I feel like Soo-hyang’s talk with Dan-oh was really important, and it backed up everything that Mi-chae has been saying since the beginning — their lives aren’t up to them, and no matter how hard they try to fight it or change it, ultimately they’ll fail. But there’s also hope in that maybe they’ll be able to find each other again in the next story, and this time the Writer will let them have the life they want. The story of Secret ends soon, but there will be another story, and hopefully Dan-oh and Haru can find each other again and be happy the next time around.
- Premiere Watch: Tale of Nokdu, Extraordinary You, My Country: The New Age
- Kim Hye-yoon rebels against her storyline in Extraordinary You
- Kim Hye-yoon pieces the truth together in new promo for Extraordinary You
- Character stills from A Day Found by Chance
- First stills for fantasy youth romance Day Found by Chance
- Fresh-faced cast assembles for youth drama A Day Found by Chance
- Lee Tae-ri, Kim Ji-in head to high school with Kim Hye-yoon for new MBC drama