With an all new stage and Ha Roo starting to have a more prominent role in the comics, things are finally going on a positive trajectory for Dan Oh. She remains oblivious to the threat that something will go wrong if she keeps changing the intended storyboard and someone else might have to pay for her actions.
Cheers erupt as Baek Kyung makes his announcement for Dan Oh. Ha Roo’s hand start to ache again and he drops the tray with the champagne glass on the ground. Baek Kyung tries to stop Dan Oh from leaving but the former tries to process what the latter said that she never liked him willingly and that it’s only what the writer wanted. Dan Oh catches up to Ha Roo and she is hopeful that they have definitely changed the stage this time. She doesn’t see Ha Roo’s concerned look though as this is the 1st time that he looks genuinely scared of their actions.
Ju Da tells Do Hwa that she likes him too, but only as a friend. She admits that something feels off and this is where Nam Ju finds them both. He decides to cancel the party and is in a sulky mood when his mother scolds him for being MIA. Later that night, Ha Roo visits Dried Squid and he says that the pain indeed is getting worse when the stage changes. He divulges that both Dan Oh and the flower (The one in the keychain and the one present in the school garden) feel familiar to him. Dried Squid cautions him again that even extras have levels, like Dan Oh, and that Ha Roo is the only one who’ll disappear.
Do Hwa feels bad for both Nam Ju and Ju Da seeing them miserable as a result of what happened last night. He mumbles that he thought confessing his feelings would make him feel better, but I guess in the end he feels worse for having interrupted the comic book’s OTP romance. Meanwhile, Ha Roo continues to ponder about his fate until Baek Kyung decides to provoke him by mentioning that he’s just playing with Dan Oh’s emotions. Man, I cannot believe how rotten this guy truly is! And this is in the shadow too.
Ultimately, it’s wanting to protect Dan Oh that makes Ha Roo decide that he wants to continue helping her change the story. He feels happy seeing her smile and I think Dan Oh’s determination to change her role as a dying extra has infected him too (in a good way). He professes to Dried Squid that he couldn’t keep his distance from Dan Oh and that he’ll find the answers that he’s looking for with her. Awww!❤️ This doesn’t bode well with Dried Squid who thought that Ha Roo finally conceded defeat and won’t aid her anymore.
Feeling something beyond friendship, Dan Oh’s heart rate increases whenever Ha Roo is physically near her, haha! With a cleared mind and mission, Ha Roo is becomes more comfortable in talking to Dan Oh and he even (handsomely) initiates saying “Hi” to her at school. The sparks between these 2 are definitely evident and endearing to watch⚡️It’s too bad that things are not going well for our other self-aware character as Nam Ju informs Do Hwa that he doesn’t need Ju Da anymore and this leads to a confrontation between the 2 of them. Do Hwa punches Nam Ju in the face while reiterating that he likes Ju Da. Unfortunately though, the stage takes control and the exact opposite happens as it’s Nam Ju who ends up punching Do Hwa because the latter cannot declare his feelings out loud for anyone to acknowledge.
Little by little, the butterfly effect is working its magic on the comic book’s stage. Nam Ju announces that Do Hwa is now out of A3 and that he’s looking to add a new member to the group, even asking Ha Roo. Ju Da tries to fix the issue with Nam Ju but the latter misinterprets her gesture as concern for Do Hwa and walks away. Baek Kyung consoles Do Hwa about him getting kicked out, not realizing that his words (again) about not remembering anything could be triggering Baek Kyung’s self awareness.
Ha Roo is getting noticed in class for having aced an exam, playing the flute really well, and being a natural at painting. His classmates even know his name already and Dan Oh notices that his name tag is already visible too. This time, it’s Ha Roo who gets nervous around Dan Oh as she unconsciously sits near him and motions her face very close to his, haha! I just don’t know if Ha Roo becoming a character in the comic book is a good thing since this means he can change the stage more often and the consequences for that must be bad.
Baek Kyung asks out Dan Oh to the movies as part of a stage scene. Sae Mi helps Dan Oh get ready and even gives her tips to flirt subtly for her date. On the way to the movie theater, Baek Kyung states that he doesn’t think he can marry Dan Oh. His father is enraged and orders him to get out of the car which in turn leads Baek Kyung to call off his date with Dan Oh. Devastated in the stage but once in the shadow, Dan Oh nonchalantly wipes her tears away and is back to normal, haha!
Before she leaves, like a true prince charming, Ha Roo suddenly shows up and rescues Dan Oh from having a dateless night. It’s the two of them who end up watching a movie and Dan Oh is flustered when they accidentally fulfill Sae Mi’s flirty tips😈 It turns out that the conversation between Baek Kyung and his dad happened in the stage because he now comes running inside the theater to look for Dan Oh. They don’t even realize that he must be self-aware at this point to have gone to the movies, but Dan Oh doesn’t think to much about it.
Another stage scene sets up a face-off between Nam Ju and Do Hwa. It’s a swimming competition to see who finishes first but before the race ends, Dan Oh notices that Ha Roo’s name tag in his school uniform is disappearing. UH OH. The school’s alarm suddenly goes off and everyone evacuates the gym. Dan Oh is pushed into the water by accident due to the chaos and Ha Roo dives in to save her.
When she wakes up, she sees Baek Kyung beside her, sobbing and being genuinely worried. He has a flashback of his childhood days where his mom was also in her deathbed in the hospital and he mutters that everyone eventually ends up leaving him. I’m not sure if this scene took place in the stage or shadow but when Baek Kyung comes back to check on Dan Oh, she has already left the hospital. Raining and gloomy, Dan Oh desperately tries to find Ha Roo in school. Still in her hospital pajamas, she is shocked to see another classmate sitting on Ha Roo’s seat and claiming that he is No. 13. When she goes to the school pool, she discovers Ha Roo’s drawings ripped out and floating on the water.
Like a woman possessed, Dan Oh hurries to the library to find the comic book. As she goes through the bookshelves, she is met with Baek Kyung who throws the book on the floor towards her.
NOOOO! Ha Roo’s gooonnnee🥺 Just when Dan Oh and Ha Roo are growing closer, they are separated direly from one another. Dried Squid never explicitly stated to Dan Oh or Do Hwa what it would cost Ha Roo if he helped them, but that’s not much of a relief no matter how they spin the truth. Now that Baek Kyung is fully self aware, I’m curious to see if he’ll help or stop Dan Oh navigate through the comics. Whatever he decides to do, I’m sure it won’t be pleasant.
It just also occurred to me why Dan Oh is the only one who gets a preview of the storyboard. Not Do Hwa nor Ha Roo can have these visions, so why her? I know that Dan Oh is special not just because she’s this kdrama’s main character; but I have a feeling she, like Ha Roo, might actually belong to another comic book where they are the main characters. I’m not sure how she ended up in Secret but perhaps it’s the writer who intended them to split up.
With this new development, I am also wondering if we’ll ever get to see the “writer” of Secret. Ha Roo was erased from the comic book world because he kept interfering with the stage but why let it happen in the first place? Shouldn’t the writer be powerful enough to prevent this he/she wrote the book? I hope he finds a way to come back and be with Dan Oh🙏🏻