Extraordinary You: Episodes 25-26
This episode gives us a lot of the same conflicts we’ve gone over before – whether it’s a good idea to change the Stage, how it’s ruined lives in the past, and whether it’s safe to try again and expect a different outcome. Our heroine’s health is rapidly declining, and her suitors disagree on whether surgery will save her life or kill her. Haru is growing desperate to save her, but if the past is anything to go on, his interference is a risk that some aren’t willing to let him take.
Dan-oh grows scared when she sees a storyboard vision foreshadowing her death on the operating table. She hugs Haru tightly and he hugs her back, just as frightened after remembering her death in Flower.
He recalls another scene in which he and Prince Kyung are playing a game. Kyung notices that Haru is suddenly making weak moves, and reminds him that you have to stay alert on the battlefield, because you only get one chance to kill your opponent.
He takes Haru’s sword and re-wraps the hilt, and he tells Haru that he’s going to marry Dan-oh soon. “I will become king,” he says, “through Dan-oh’s blood.” Haru hurries to Dan-oh to warn her that Kyung is a danger to her. She tells Haru confidently that she’ll change her fate if she has to, and that she’ll wait for Haru and find her own answers.
Skipping forward to the confrontation with Kyung when he tries to leave, Haru says, “If there is no answer to my beginning, then I will create my own answer.” Kyung forbids Haru to leave him, and reveals that he knows Haru is in love with Dan-oh.
Another time skip, and Haru cries in horror over Dan-oh, who’s bleeding from a wound in her stomach. She collapses in his arms… and Haru wakes from the memory, the scar in his palm in agony. He runs to the kitchen to ask if the story from Flower is repeating itself, and Mi-chae guesses that Haru has remembered Dan-oh’s death.
He says bleakly that Haru won’t be able to save Dan-oh now any more than he could then. He tells Haru to just let things happen but Haru screams that he can’t, so Mi-chae tells him, “I know a man like you. He also tried to change his role and the story.”
Back in Flower, Mi-chae had left his throne behind and run away with Soo-hyang, the woman he loved. But they’d been caught in the forest, and an assassin had killed Soo-hyang right in front of Mi-chae.
He warns Haru that when he changes the story, things happen that aren’t intended, and eventually he’ll end up surrendering to the Writer, too. He says that changing Dan-oh’s fate will change the fates of others as well, and not in good ways.
Meanwhile, Dan-oh worries about her upcoming surgery, and she admits to herself that she’s terrified. She ~BLIPs~ to a Stage at the hospital as Doctor Lee suggests they schedule the surgery for November, and the urgency scares her even more. The Stage drags on and Dan-oh wonders why it’s not ending, until Kyung shows up.
They end up at the school to talk, and though Kyung seems to want to say something, he evidently has no lines in this Stage. Dan-oh apologizes that he had to visit the hospital again and says that when she called off their engagement, it was because she needs major heart surgery.
She tells Kyung that she wanted to marry him because when she was young, the only two things in her life were the view of the ceiling from her hospital bed, and him. She’d thought that her heart would heal if they got married, and never cared about how he felt for her.
She says that people think he was mean to her, but that actually, she feels sorry for hurting him. Starting to cry, she says they should call off the engagement, and gets up to leave. The Stage ends, but this time Dan-oh still feels sad even though she’s back to her real self.
Now that he can speak again, Kyung asks if she’s really having surgery. Dan-oh confirms it, and wonders why he looks so upset. Fighting back tears, she tells Kyung to just wait a bit and he’ll never have to visit hospitals again. Awww…
Dan-oh sobs that she hasn’t got much time left, but she forces back her tears and smiles. She tells Kyung that he can’t help his behavior onStage, but she wants to be friends in the Shadow. She holds out a hand, but Kyung backs away, recalling that he was holding his mother’s hand when she died. Dan-oh takes it as a rejection of her offer of friendship, but she doesn’t get offended, and she leaves Kyung gaping like he has no idea what just happened.
Back at home, Dan-oh looks at her pictures and thinks that at least she has a lot of happy memories. Seeing the photo of herself and Kyung when they were little, she realizes that, even though they’ve spent a lot of time together, she has no idea who he is beyond his set-up. Her heart seizes up and kills her cheerful mood, reminding her that her time is limited.
At school the next day, Dan-oh thinks about all of the times she’s spent with Haru, and how close they’ve become. She visits Mi-chae and asks him to hide Secret from Haru and not to tell him about her upcoming surgery, because she wants to enjoy her remaining time with him. She admits that she likes Haru, saying that even an extra in a manhwa should be allowed to have a first love.
When she gets to class, Dan-oh has to take a moment to appear cheerful in front of Haru. The overly-dramatic entrance of now-engaged Yang-il and Il-jin reminds them that they successfully changed a Stage and prevented Kyung from proposing. Haru says that they don’t know what else might change when they alter a Stage, but he’s glad that things are going how Dan-oh wants.
On her way to her desk, Dan-oh asks Kyung to keep her surgery a secret from Haru. But another Stage starts, and Kyung and Haru find themselves sitting together in the lobby. Kyung confesses that he’s always had feelings for Dan-oh, they were just masked by his resentment for how his father treated her.
He wonders why he’s telling this to Haru, and Haru says it’s because they’re friends… then the Stage ends and he can’t wait to get away. But Kyung says that he and Dan-oh share a lot of things that Haru doesn’t know about, even now (hey, that is NOT what Dan-oh meant by not telling Haru about her surgery!)
Dan-oh notices that Haru is extra serious today, so he says he’s worried that she’ll get sick in a Stage he’s not in. Dan-oh chirps that her heart hurts most to see him looking so upset, and she coaxes him into smiling for her.
Mi-chae sneaks to the library to get Secret down from its hiding place, only to get caught by Do-hwa. Dan-oh shows up seconds later and fusses at Mi-chae for hiding it so badly that even Do-hwa can find it (LOL). Do-hwa reads that Dan-oh needs surgery and starts to burst into tears again (I luff him), and she threatens to kill them both if they mention the surgery to Haru.
Sitting under their tree, Dan-oh looks up into the bright sunlight, slowly backing up until she bumps into Haru. They say they were thinking about each other, and Dan-oh jokes that they’re saying cheesy lines now like Nam-ju and Joo-da. She hugs Haru and tells him that he’s her male lead, and how much she likes him.
~BLIP~ and a new Stage starts with Dan-oh sitting under the tree, holding hands with Kyung. He confesses that at first he hung around her because of his father, but that now he wants to be with her because he likes her. The Stage ends, but Kyung refuses to let go of Dan-oh’s hand.
He tells Dan-oh that he’s her fiancee even in the Shadow, and he hugs her and says he likes her even offStage. When Haru storms over angry, Kyung tells him that he likes Dan-oh, and that even the Writer wants them to be together, which is why Haru will never be with Dan-oh.
Haru takes Dan-oh’s hand and says that none of that impacts their time together. Kyung says that Dan-oh needs someone who knows the story and can help her, and he asks how Haru intends to change the story when he has no idea what will happen next.
Inside the school, Mi-chae tries to ignore Soo-hyang, but she asks for his help taking down a poster. While he does, he thinks about what Dan-oh said about deserving a first love. Soo-hyang mentions the fact that he serves dried squid in the cafeteria when his name literally means “dried squid fairy,” and after she’s gone, Mi-chae mutters that he’s glad that Soo-hyang isn’t self-aware.
Joo-da runs afoul of Sae-mi and the bullies again, but since they’re in the Shadow, this time she tricks them by saying that Nam-ju is waiting in the science room. When they get there, Joo-da asks Sae-mi why she’s always smiling and kind even when she’s bullied. She answers her own question: “Because I’m the main character.”
Giving each of the bullies a good hard shove, Joo-da reminds Sae-mi that she said that Cinderella only married Prince Charming because she was of the nobility. But she growls that Sae-mi is wrong, “Even if she was a beggar, she’d have married him. Because she was the main character.”
She waits for Do-hwa in the music room, and when he shows up, she offers to share her earbuds with him. She’s listening to a classical song, though she says that she likes Do-hwa’s version better. Do-hwa asks why she keeps making him feel hopeful that she might like him, then sighs that she won’t remember this anyway, but Joo-da tells Do-hwa that she wants him to hope.
Later, Dan-oh catches Do-hwa reading Secret and praising Nam-ju for being so cool. He says he gets a weird feeling whenever he talks to Joo-da lately, but when he reads the next page, he wails that Nam-ju and Joo-da are about to begin officially dating.
Do-hwa whines that the story is boring and the lines are horrible, and Dan-oh agrees that it’s ridiculous to have high school students getting married. They scream at the Writer to quit doing this to them, and ~BLIP~ we move to the scene where Nam-ju asks Joo-da to officially date him, and of course she simpers happily… but only until the Stage is over.
Do-hwa runs across Kyung later and brags that by changing the Stage, he saved Kyung a lot of embarrassment from a cheesy public proposal. But Kyung growls that it’s his Stage and they have no right to change it.
Feeling hurt, Do-hwa finds Haru and snuggles his shoulder (hee, Haru keeps sliiiding away). He says that he sees why Dan-oh likes Haru, because he’s nice and he can even change the Stage. Joon-hyun is walking by and hears that last bit, so Do-hwa tells him about changing the Stage, thinking that Joon-hyun won’t remember this.
Joon-hyun stares hard at Haru, and later he corners Haru at his locker. He tells Haru to leave Kyung alone, for his own good and everyone else’s, then he pastes on a bright smile and chirps for Haru to get along with Kyung and not to fight. But when Kyung wanders by and complains that they’re both annoying, Joon-hyun shoots Haru a downright frightening glare.
Kyung breaks his promise and tells Haru that because he changed the Stage and stopped his proposal, now Dan-oh will be getting heart surgery (I think the logic is that since she wasn’t occupied accepting Kyung’s proposal, she had another collapse instead, making her heart condition worse).
He sneers that of course Dan-oh was tempted by his ability to change the Stages, making it sound like Haru took advantage of Dan-oh on purpose. Kyung says that he knows how it works now, so Haru won’t be able to make any more changes.
He’s waiting when Dan-oh arrives home, and he snaps that she’s all he has because his friends and family are all fake. He says that he didn’t want to like her because he was afraid of losing her, but Dan-oh stops him there. She says it’s not personal that she likes someone else, but Kyung counters that the Stage is real to him.
Dan-oh admits that she’d still be in love with him if she weren’t self-aware, but she says things are different now. Kyung yells that he doesn’t care how she feels, because he can change her fate and make sure she doesn’t die. He declares that when he does, “You’ll come to me whether it’s real or not.”
After all the warnings he’s been getting about not being able to help Dan-oh, Haru goes into Overprotective Boyfriend Mode. He refuses to move more than a couple of inches away from her, shields her from dangers like art pencils and splashing water, and asks her if she’s okay every few minutes, hee.
Do-hwa and Joo-da talk again in the music room, and when Joo-da talks about how much she loves the shoes he gave her, Do-hwa realizes that she remembers the Shadow. Joo-da confirms it by repeating exactly what he said to her when they changed the Stage at Nam-ju’s party. He’d asked her to remember that moment, so she had.
She tells Do-hwa that ever since then, she started wondering why she was putting up with the bullying, and soon it didn’t feel right anymore. She’d started noticing that other people couldn’t remember things she remembered, but she wasn’t scared because Do-hwa was there. She asks him to keep it a secret, because for a while, she wants to only be remembered by him.
Dan-oh’s plans to walk home with Haru are ruined by an unexpected Stage, and she notices in her mirror that the Writer has her looking very sick all of a sudden. She starts to cough, drawing Kyung’s attention, and he offers to take her home. He says that he hates her illness, not her, and he hates the fact that his father uses her to get investments. Dan-oh tells him that she doesn’t want the surgery because then she won’t be able to see him at school, so Kyung promises to stay by her side.
Dan-oh throws off Kyung’s coat and tries to wipe off whatever is making her lips so white the instant the Stage ends. Kyung follows her, and Dan-oh wonders when the storyboard for her surgery will start. She says she’s growing more different from her set-up character as time goes by.
But Kyung says that he’s turning into his character even more, wondering the Writer seems to know his feelings better than he does. He adds that the one thing he knows is that if she dies, he’ll never recover. He admits that he’s selfish and asks her to let him win this time, urging her to get the surgery.
When she finally gets free, Dan-oh finds Haru in their classroom, and he asks again if she’s okay. Dan-oh whines that he’s been asking that all day, but Haru looks pretty upset and says that he was worried she was sick. Dan-oh says she’s not going to spend all her time being sad and that he doesn’t need to protect her all the time.
She says she’s just happy to be experiencing her first love, but Haru tells her that they were in another story before Secret, and that in that story, he saw her die. Dan-oh says it’s different now, but Haru wails that the story is repeating itself in Secret.
He says that he can’t live without her, so he’s going to change the story no matter what it takes. Seeing how much this is hurting him, Dan-oh says she doesn’t want to change anything, but Haru refuses to listen. Dan-oh turns away so he doesn’t see her tears, and Haru hugs her tightly, sobbing, “I’m scared to lose you. I’m scared, Dan-oh.”
Haru walks Dan-oh home, and she tells him again not to let Mi-chae scare him regarding what happened in the previous story. She says she’s never expected to live a long life because of her heart problem, but he’s still scared, so Dan-oh says she’s not even sure she’s getting the surgery.
Haru asks if she wants the surgery, which makes Dan-oh stop and think. He asks what she wants, and she says she wants to spend time with him, just like this, until the Stage starts. With a cheerful smile, she wishes him goodnight and heads through the gate to her house.
Unaware that Haru is still watching her, Dan-oh says to herself, “I really want to change it. I want to live just as much as anyone. I don’t know how I should change the Stage or what I should tell Haru.” Crying, she prays to the Writer, begging them to let her live just a little longer.
The next day, Do-hwa tells Haru that his brother told him they’ve picked a date for Dan-oh’s surgery. Alarmed, Haru says he needs to change the Stage, and Do-hwa heads to the A3 hideout to look for something. Kyung hears him muttering and guesses what Haru is going to do, but he says it doesn’t matter because it’s been drawn already.
He goes to the library to look for Secret, but it’s not on its shelf. Suddenly the lights go out, and Kyung stumbles into Haru’s hidden corner, where a few drawings of Dan-oh are still on the wall. The portal is open, and through it, Kyung sees the scene from Flower where Haru urges Dan-oh to run, because Kyung is a danger to her.
He watches as his Flower character finds a drawing of Dan-oh and demands that Haru explain it. Haru says that Kyung won’t remember anyway, and begs him to stop his treasonous plan and let Dan-oh live. He pleads with Kyung to remember this conversation, otherwise they might end up against one another.
The scene changes to Dan-oh’s death, ending as Haru catches her limp body. A single flower falls to the floor, and Kyung picks it up, stunned by what he just saw.
I’ve tried, I really have, but I just have zero sympathy for Kyung anymore. He’s had so many opportunities to be better than his character, and not only does he not take them, but he’s becoming worse in the Shadow than he is onStage. I know, he has a terrible set-up and his father is an abusive user, but that’s no excuse for treating Dan-oh like a possession and hurting Haru on purpose, like when he twisted Dan-oh’s “Please don’t tell Haru about my surgery,” into “Dan-oh and I keep secrets from you and that’s why you don’t belong with her.” Maybe Kyung does have feelings for Dan-oh, but they’re twisted and unhealthy, and he doesn’t seem to understand that liking someone doesn’t mean that they’re obligated to be with him forever. Even Dan-oh’s set-up as his childhood friend and fiancee doesn’t entitle him to make claims on her in the Shadow. I’d like to think that what he just saw will make Kyung think twice about his actions, but knowing him, it will just make him double down on stopping Haru from changing the story.
As much as I like Dan-oh as a character and want good things for her (for example, Haru), I really like her whole “terminal heart condition” set-up, because it gives her character all these interesting layers. She’s bright and cheerful because she’s an optimistic person who wants to make the most of what life she has left, yet beneath it, you sometimes see these glimpses of stark terror at the idea of dying so young. Still, she broke my heart when she told Kyung that soon, he won’t have to visit hospitals anymore — not because she thinks the surgery will heal her, but because she’s sure that she’ll die. Then she broke my heart again when she kept smiling at Haru to convince him that she’s not scared of dying, when really, all she wants is a little more time with him.
It’s interesting how Joon-hyun started out as a very minor extra, then we learned that he’s as self-aware and cognizant of the dangers of changing the story as Mi-chae, and now he’s almost become sinister in the way he spoke to Haru. He didn’t act much differently than Mi-chae always has, growing angry and issuing dire warnings at the news that Haru changed the story, but for some reason it scared me more, seeing it from someone who’s been so innocent and sweet until now. I really want to know what Joon-hyun knows and how he knows it. Mi-chae heavily implied that Soo-hyang died from a butterfly effect as a result of Haru’s trying to change Flower‘s story, and the way Joon-hyun acted makes me think that maybe he also lost someone he loved in the fallout. If Mi-chae and Joon-hyun were innocent victims of Haru’s failed attempt to save Dan-oh, it makes sense why they view him as a threat and are trying so hard to make him stop.
I’m actually getting pretty worried about Haru himself. He feels like it’s all his fault that Dan-oh has to have surgery because he changed the Stage, while at the same time, changing the Stage is the only way he can think of to save her. He knows that in Flower, he failed to save Dan-oh and caused pain to others in the process, but he loves Dan-oh so much that he can’t help but try to do things better this time around. He’s in an impossible situation, unable to act without causing potentially terrible ripples, but unable to sit back and let Dan-oh die, and the strain is really showing on his face and in his behavior. I don’t know what will happen next — the beauty of a fantasy story like this one is that literally anything could happen — but it feels like something horrible is looming, and that things are going to get a lot worse before they get better.
- 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