Extraordinary You: Episodes 21-22
The more our hero recalls of the characters’ lives in the previous manhwa, the more he understands why things are happening the way they are now between himself and his lady love. But that knowledge also comes with a terrible sense of foreboding, and he can’t help but worry that the truth could be much worse than he’s imagined. He doesn’t want to repeat the mistakes of his past, but without knowing the whole truth, he’s still just trying to hang onto what he has while he can.
After being separated (possibly deliberately) by the Writer for almost a month, Dan-oh is so desperate to see Haru that she slips out of her hospital bed the first chance she gets. She looks for him all over the school, and ends up crying underneath their tree.
But he was only on the other side, and when he shows himself, they run into each other’s arms. Haru confesses that he likes Dan-oh, and they share their first kiss.
Sitting under the tree, Dan-oh says it must have been hard on Haru to wait for her. He reminds her that he’s not going anywhere, and that he’ll find her no matter where she is. Nearby, Mi-chae watches them and sighs heavily.
Kyung waits in Dan-oh’s hospital room where she left him, and when he tries to call her, there’s no answer. He remembers visiting her here when they were kids, and how he’d done his “bibbity bobbity boo” spell to make Dan-oh feel better about taking her medicine.
She’d told him that all flowers have a meaning, so the next time he visited, he’d brought her pink roses. Dan-oh had asked what they meant and Kyung said they meant, “Dan-oh is stupid,” but his little note to himself said that pink flowers mean Only you know how I feel.
Kyung still has that note, and he’d brought Dan-oh pink roses almost every day for the past month, but she was always asleep when he visited. He’d tried to take her hand to wake her, but it reminded him too much of his mother’s death and he couldn’t bring himself to touch her.
When Dan-oh returns to school the next morning, Haru calls out to her and flashes the cutest smile. She goes all awkward remembering their kiss, but Haru just takes her hand as they walk together. He lets go at one point, and Dan-oh comes up with excuses for why it’s actually good for your health to hold hands, hee.
Haru entwines their fingers and says, “I just like it.” Awww. Dan-oh swoons hard, then leaps away from him when Do-hwa comes over to say hi. Do-hwa decides he wants in on the cuddles, but Haru pushes him away and says bluntly that he wants to be alone with Dan-oh.
Do-hwa offers Haru that romance manhwa to give him some pointers on dating, and Haru looks at Dan-oh pointedly and asks if he should study. Dan-oh grabs the manhwa and gets a papercut, which Haru fusses over. Dan-oh gives Do-hwa back the manhwa and drags Haru away, but Haru goes back for the book (lol), and I think Do-hwa pretty much has the picture by now.
Dan-oh visits the infirmary for a bandage for her papercut. She wonders out loud if Do-hwa has figured out what’s going on with her and Haru, and a cranky voice grumbles at her to quit making that happy face. It’s Kyung, and Dan-oh snaps that he’s back to his old self after being nice for a while.
He says that he’s convinced Haru can change the Stage, and he asks if she would have liked anyone who could do that. Dan-oh admits that it started because Haru could change Stages, so they were together a lot because she wanted to change her terminal illness. Kyung says it doesn’t change the fact that they’re still only extras, but she says she doesn’t care because Haru is special to her now.
She reminds Kyung that before she’s an extra in Secret, with all the set-up relationships that involves, she’s just Eun Dan-oh. She says that being with Haru makes her feel like the main character in her own story, so she no longer cares what role she plays in the manhwa when she and Haru are so happy outside the Stage.
LOL, the Yang bullies get to do the A3 strut for once, though the girls are grossed out instead of impressed. Their leader, Yang-il, approaches Il-jin, the Jin bullies’ leader, to flirt with her, and she immediately claims him as her man from now on.
In class, Nam-ju contemplates the plane ticket his mother threw at him — he’s being sent to a boarding school in France, presumably to get him away from Joo-da. Nam-ju orders everyone out of the classroom so he can talk to Joo-da alone. She doesn’t want to, but they’re in a Stage so she’s stuck.
Nam-ju asks if Joo-da meant what she said about there being nothing between them. She says that they don’t belong together, then leaves the room. Do-hwa witnesses the whole thing, and he finds Joo-da crying on a bench outside.
He jokes that she looks awful when she cries, and promises to make her smile again. He takes out his violin, but luckily the Stage ends before he actually plays, ha. Joo-da laughs, the first real laugh Do-hwa has ever seen from her, and he says that something seems different about her lately. Something is different — she’s self-aware!
Kyung angrily confronts Mi-chae, complaining that Haru is messing with his Stages and coming between him and Dan-oh, and vowing to discover whatever Mi-chae is hiding. Shaken, Mi-chae goes back to his kitchen, where he finds himself reliving scenes from Flower.
Mi-chae and Kyung stand in the bedroom of the king, their father, who has died. Later Kyung is visited by Lord Eun (Dan-oh’s father in this story as well), but their relationship seems tense at best. Kyung excuses himself, followed by his personal guard, Haru.
Lord Baek (who is Kyung’s father in Secret, but only has one son, Joon-hyun, in Flower) tells Lord Eun not to wait too long before deciding whether to give Kyung his support. Lord Eun warns Lord Baek away from the prince, and Lord Baek sarcastically thanks him for his concern.
Storming back to his rooms, Kyung throws a temper tantrum, breaking a vase and cutting his hand. Haru silently tears off his sash to bandage the wound as Lord Baek asks if he’s angry that Mi-chae was crowned king for no other reason than that he’s the king’s legitimate son.
Kyung informs him that such statements are treason, but Lord Baek says that if Kyung doesn’t strike first, he’ll be the one who ends up stabbed. He advises Kyung that if he wants the throne, he needs to gain the support of Lord Eun, and the best way to do that is to use his weakness to make him take Kyung’s side.
While visiting with King Mi-chae, Kyung dumps the drink that Mi-chae pours for him onto the floor. He heavily implies that Mi-chae’s mother poisoned his mother from fear of losing the king’s love, and he says he refused the drink because Mi-chae is too much like the Queen Dowager, including the way he keeps a court lady close to him.
Mi-chae is severely rattled, and his mother finds him drinking heavily. No surprise, she’s played by the same character that plays Nam-ju’s mother in Secret, and she’s every bit as nasty to her son in Flower.
She slaps Mi-chae, accusing him of being afraid of Kyung and reminding him that because he’s the king, the only way he can lose the throne is to die. While the Queen Dowager harangues him, Mi-chae’s hand begins to shake. Now, in Secret, Mi-chae grips that same shaking hand as he tries to calm his emotions.
In the school library, Dan-oh and Haru look at books about the stars, which don’t exist in the world of Secret because the Writer has never drawn any. Dan-oh says that it’s her wish to see a sky full of stars before she dies, but Haru assures her that they’ll change her fate and she won’t die.
As they return the books to the shelf, Haru remembers the scene from Flower when someone takes Dan-oh out to see a sky full of stars, and she thanks them for remembering her wish. Now Dan-oh asks what Haru is thinking about, and he says dreamily, “Dan-oh-yah, if we ever see some stars, the light must have traveled here from a faraway place… I think we have been running toward one another from a place further away than we’re aware.”
In the morning, Dan-oh gets giddy thinking about the romantic things Haru’s been saying to her. But she pouts that he always seems so confident when she feels like her heart will explode. She decides that however much time she has left, she wants to spend it all with Haru – all except the time spent on Secret Stages.
On his way to school, a new girl stops Haru and asks for directions to the faculty office. He points the way, then stares after her like he finds her familiar. Dan-oh finds him brooding later, and she leans on him back-to-back, recalling how they first met. Cute.
He says her name in that low, smooth voice of his, and Dan-oh pouts at him for making her heart race. She says it’s not fair that he never seems nervous, but he puts her hand over his heart to prove that he gets nervous, too. PFFT, they violently flail away from each other when Sae-mi and Soo-cheol approach, and Soo-cheol asks suspiciously if they’re dating.
Dan-oh starts to deny it, but Haru coolly says they are. Once they’re alone again, Dan-oh punches Haru’s shoulder and he wheezes that she’s strong for such a little thing (HAHA, that’s an inside joke – Kim Hye-yoon is infamous for punching Rowoon on set).
It’s time for Nam-ju’s big Stage as he dramatically leaves the school for the last time, heading to his French boarding school. He tells Joo-da that he’s really leaving, and she’s too upset to say anything… until the Stage ends, and she irritably waves the cartoon leaves away from her face. Well, I’d say that’s absolute proof of her self-awareness, if anyone still needed it. No longer upset, she tells Nam-ju not to worry about her, because she thinks it’s going to be fun to see what she’s like without him.
Haru nods off in class, and he’s transported to another memory from Flower. In it, he stands at a distance while Kyung and Dan-oh walk together in a field of flowers. Dan-oh says it’s her wish to see the stars with her beloved, but when she glances meaningfully at Kyung, he doesn’t respond. When Haru wakes up, he tells Dan-oh that she liked the stars a long time ago, too.
Kyung complains to Haru that he’s changed from a friend who did everything he said in only a few days. It triggers another memory from Flower – Kyung orders Haru onStage to kill someone who refused to support his bid for the throne, and Haru is forced to obey. Kyung tells Haru that he’s the only one who’s truly loyal to him, and orders him to learn what he can about Lord Eun’s daughter, Dan-oh.
So Haru starts following Dan-oh, which is how he sees her admiring the flower ornament in the market, and why he’ss there to catch her when she fell off the stool in the bookstore. Unfortunately for Haru, Dan-oh is onto him, and she leads him into a dark alley to confront him. She demands to know who he is and why he’s following her, but all he says is that he’s protecting her, then he distracts her and disappears.
He helps Kyung arrange a meet-cute with Dan-oh by dropping some books from the second-floor landing at the bookstore, allowing Kyung to swoop in and cover Dan-oh. Kyung leaves while Dan-oh is still swooning, and she finds the pouch he purposely dropped that has the name “Kyung” embroidered on it.
Haru watches Dan-oh mooning over the pouch and its mysterious owner that evening. He thinks to himself, “I should have told him that Lord Eun has no weaknesses.” He hears a strange noise and draws his sword, then he hears the noise again and suddenly he’s in the bookstore. Ah, this must be when he started becoming self-aware.
He spots Dan-oh in the next room, hopefully waiting to see if Kyung comes in again. When Kyung arrives, Haru can’t move until he hears the noise again, then he grabs Kyung and stops him from going to Dan-oh. She leaves, and Kyung is furious with Haru… but another ~BLIP~ moves them into another Stage in the market.
Haru wonders where that sound is coming from, and he realizes he can’t move again. When Kyung says the exact same line he just said in the bookstore, Haru realizes that the exact same situation is happening again, just in a different setting. Kyung walks past Dan-oh without acknowledging her, so she goes running after him, and this time he bumps into her then catches her dramatically.
He says that they’ve run into each other twice now, and that the saying goes that three times means they’re fated. With hearts in her eyes, Dan-oh asks his name, but he says he’ll tell her at their third meeting. After seeing the situation he tried to stop happening anyway, Haru determines that what’s supposed to happen, will happen no matter what.
At a later time, Haru waits in the flowered field where Kyung was supposed to meet Dan-oh, and she’s not even surprised to hear that Kyung couldn’t make it, grumbling that he’s always busy. She says that Kyung probably doesn’t like flowers, but Haru says that he does, so she invites him to walk with her. She trips and falls, breaking the ornament she was wearing on her belt, and Haru barely stops himself from reaching out to help her.
At this point, Haru snaps out of his flashback, and he runs to find Dan-oh. She’s in the infirmary taking her pills, and Haru is surprised to find tears streaming down his face. He goes outside to sit under his flowered canopy, and pulls the old ornament he found at the historical site from his pocket.
Realizing something, Haru heads to the library for the copy of Secret — the symbol on the cover of the manhwa is the same symbol on the ornament. In the kitchen, Haru tells Mi-chae that he keeps remembering new things from the previous manhwa, and that every time he does, he’s overwhelmed by painful emotions.
Mi-chae confirms that Dan-oh was Kyung’s fiancee in Secret, too, complaining that the Writer lacks creativity. He tells Haru that he needs to stop anyone who tries to change the Stage, even Dan-oh, and not to make the same mistake again (Haru: “Again?!”) because it provokes the Writer.
Haru asks what happened to him and Dan-oh in the other story. All Mi-chae will say is, “You two will never be together. That’s what the Writer decided from the very start.”
Do-hwa texts Kyung, admonishing him to treat Dan-oh well because her illness is progressing. Kyung calls Dan-oh to ask when she’s going to the hospital again, but she doesn’t know. He asks if she knows why he hates it there and she says she does, so she won’t call him when she goes in next.
She snaps that she doesn’t want him there anyway, and Kyung hangs up on her. Wondering why he’s acting weird, Dan-oh checks her calendar and realizes that tomorrow is the anniversary of the day Kyung’s mother died.
In the morning, Kyung watches as his stepmother fawns over his dad and stepbrother. He mentions that Dan-oh is getting sicker, but his dad just says that the sicker Dan-oh gets, the better it is for them. Oh. Wow. Kyung growls that if his father isn’t self-aware, he could at least act human offStage, then asks if he even knows what to day is. Stepmom chirps that it’s their wedding anniversary, and Kyung sneers that of course they wouldn’t remember.
Joon-hyun follows Kyung to say that he’s sorry that their parents didn’t remember. He says they’re not treating Kyung this way because they want to, but Kyung snaps that Joon-hyun doesn’t know how he’s always alone outside the Stage. Kyung stalks off, and Joon-hyun says sadly, “I do know.” Yep, he’s definitely self-aware.
Both Dan-oh and Haru notice that Kyung isn’t at school, so Dan-oh goes to the hall to try and call him. She runs into Do-hwa, who’s showing Soo-hyang, the new girl, around the school. Dan-oh asks what school she came from and she looks confused, and Do-hwa stage-whispers that she must not have a set-up yet.
Kyung is at his mother’s gravesite, and Dan-oh shows up with flowers and tattles on Kyung for being mean to her, hee. He smiles at that, then again when she says that he was so cute when as a kid that she doesn’t know how he turned out like he is. He tells her that she’s the only one who knows him on and offStage, and that he realized too late how precious… but he cuts himself off there.
He walks Dan-oh home, and he asks if she’s really going to die, saying hopefully that she could always set surgery. Dan-oh wonders why he suddenly doesn’t believe in her set-up, but Kyung tells her that he believes in her. Dan-oh heads inside, and Kyung says to her back, “Things aren’t too late between you and me.”
~BLIP~ Dan-oh wakes up in the morning to a Stage where she’s too sick to get out of bed. She’s more worried about Haru than herself, and for good reason… when he figures out that Dan-oh is sick again, he lies on the floor in the art room thinking of her.
He relives the scene from Flower where Dan-oh thanks someone for taking her to see the stars, and sure enough, it’s Prince Kyung. When he comes back to the present, Haru wonders why he feels so heartbroken and anxious. He curls up into a ball, missing Dan-oh.
She’s back the next day, and as soon as he sees her, Haru hugs her tightly. She reassures him that she’s fine, and he repeats that he’ll always wait for her. Kyung overhears them, and Haru’s words sound familiar, so he finds the pages from Flower that he’s hidden in the A3 hideout… on one page, a character whose face was destroyed by the fire is saying that exact line to Dan-oh’s character.
Meanwhile, Haru leads Dan-oh to the art room, where he made something for her while she was gone. He has her cover her eyes, and when she opens them, the windows are blocked by black curtains with hundreds of tiny stars cut out of them. OMG awwww.
Haru tells Dan-oh that he thinks they’ve known each other for much longer than they’re aware of. He continues seriously, “I will do anything for you… I don’t think we’re doing things only as the Writer wants. I think that’s why you found this nameless me. From now on, no matter where you are, I will find you again. I think I know why you were my beginning.”
Dan-oh thanks Haru for giving her this gorgeous starry sky, and for remembering her wish. They smile at each other, and out in the hall, Kyung watches them, and the pages of Flower fall from his hand.
These sweet kids, I just can’t with them. Their love for each other is just so open and unashamed — they get shy and silly because they’re kids, but they never try to hide their feelings or hold back on telling each other how important they are. I think (I hope) that Kyung is finally seeing that, because it’s way past time for him to accept that Dan-oh is not her character and doesn’t like him that way. I want Kyung to understand that he doesn’t have to possess Dan-oh in order to have her understand him like he wants to be understood.
I’m one hundred percent certain now that both Joo-da and Joon-hyun are self-aware. Joo-da made it pretty obvious in the last episode, but seeing her brush the manhwa leaves away was the final confirmation — only self-aware characters even notice those little touches. And I wanted to cheer when Joo-da said she’s going to enjoy learning who she is without Nam-ju around. I think that Joo-da hasn’t told anyone what’s happening because she probably thinks she’s the only one, like Dan-oh did when this all started, but hopefully she’ll speak up to Do-hwa soon. And Joon-hyun… I’ve suspected for weeks that he’s self-aware, but that scene with Kyung made me certain. First of all, his statement that their parents aren’t treating Kyung badly on purpose is a pretty big clue, because what he means is that they’re not self-aware and are only acting according to their characters. But the confirmation was when Kyung said Joon-hyun doesn’t know how he suffers offStage, and Joon-hyun said that he does know. Which means he also knows that Kyung is self-aware, so I hope that Joon-hyun tells Kyung soon that he is, too, so that maybe Kyung won’t feel so alone.
We finally got a good look at the plot of Flower, which seems to be a relatively simple story — the king dies and leaves behind two sons, one legitimate and one illegitimate. The legitimate son (Mi-chae) is crowned king, but the illegitimate son (Kyung) feels he’s equally entitled to the throne, so he sets out to take it for himself. This time it’s Kyung who is using Dan-oh, wanting her father’s support because he’s so highly regarded among the people. In learning about Dan-oh so that his prince can woo her, Haru falls in love with the cheerful young woman, and then… apparently tragedy strikes. I think that something terrible happened and Haru used his ability to change reality, but ended up making everything a lot worse. My guess, by Mi-chae’s behavior, is that both Dan-oh and the woman Mi-chae loved both ended up dead because of whatever Haru changed.
What we still don’t know is how Mi-chae ended up a mere extra in Secret (and an extremely minor one at that) and why he seems to remember everything as well as understand how the manhwa world works. I’m sure it’s the same reason that Haru is regaining his memories from Flower. I feel like maybe Mi-chae aided Haru in whatever he does in Flower, so they were punished with relative obscurity in the next manhwa compared to their previous characters. The disturbing part of this is that, in order for them to be under punishment, the Writer has to be aware of the fact that the characters they created are both self-aware, and that they understand the nature of their existence. I still think that the Writer has been using Stages to discipline characters for their unapproved actions, like the way they kept Dan-oh and Haru apart for a month after Haru changed another Stage. It’s scary to think that the Writer is one that would hurt their own characters rather than be kind, knowing that they’re chafing under their cruel set-ups, even to the point of deliberately keeping two characters in love apart forever.
- 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