Distinguishing what’s real and what’s fake can get blurry in the comic book world and with the stage changing, there’s no telling what can happen next. Ha Roo disappearing hits Dan Oh hard, even Do Hwa starts to contemplate what he truly wants to do in the comics. Will this finally be the trigger for our self aware friends to stop changing their destiny?
We backtrack a little bit and get a glimpse of Baek Kyung’s perspective the day that Ha Roo went missing. It turns out that he was the one who tore out the drawings in Ha Roo’s notebook into the school pool. Baek Kyung also knew for quite some time about the truth and even lectures Dan Oh about being bold enough to change things when she’s just an extra. Jerk!! Dan Oh and Do Hwa talk to Dried Squid about the situation and he gives it to her straight that it’s because she wanted to change the stage that’s why Ha Roo disappeared.
Baek Kyung starts acting up in the shadow now that he knows his family’s memories will be erased once the next stage scene commences. Dude has a lot of pent up anger, I almost (but not quite) feel sorry for him. Dan Oh is devastated and crying at the loss of Ha Roo and she asks Dried Squid for help to find him. He only repeats his words that the consequence of her altering the story lead to this.
Things don’t look too good for Do Hwa as well because even if they somehow altered the story between Nam Ju and Ju Da, the stage dictates Do Hwa to tell Ju Da to forget about his feelings for her. Do Hwa apologizes to Nam Ju in the shadow as he feels awful about everyone affected with what happened at the party. For a second lead, he is perfect as a leading man. Maybe in another comic book?😁
Dan Oh constantly thinks about Ha Roo and is in a somber mood all day at school. Surprisingly, Baek Kyung tries to comfort her, in his own methods, and volunteers to help her change the story. Dan Oh explains that she can die anytime when the writer wants her to but instead of being able to spend the time she has left for herself, it’s used to build up the main or supporting characters of the book. I think this is the 1st time that Baek Kyung actually understands why she’s trying so hard to change her fate😢
It’s a sports festival at Seuli high school and everyone but Dan Oh is excited to participate in the activities. A stage scene has Dan Oh and Baek Kyung competing in a three-legged race but along the way, she loses one of her rubbershoes and her heart rate starts to increase. To make matters worse, Baek Kyung leaves her in the middle of the field. Dan Oh cries in despair when suddenly, someone approaches her to give back her shoe. It’s Ha Roo!! But is he the same person we knew from before?
Dan Oh catches up to Ha Roo who happens to be talking to Baek Kyung. It’s a weird sight to see Ha Roo be nice and comfortable with Baek Kyung but cold towards Dan Oh. Do Hwa comes running to them and he shows her the comic book with a new addition to the list of extras — Ha Roo. This is not good😐
Secret’s comic book leading lady gets bullied as usual and Do Hwa comforts Ju Da over strawberry milk. He also apologizes to her as he continues to mull over the changed story, especially now that Ha Roo has a different character altogether. I know I said that even if Ju Da was self-aware, she’d still choose Nam Ju. But with how mature Do Hwa is handling things, a small part of me wishes that she’d fall for him in the shadow.
A dodgeball session plays out and Dan Oh tries to jog Ha Roo’s memory of him saving her from getting hit by the ball last time. He doesn’t protect her this time but he does lightly throw the ball at her. Baek Kyung is suspicious about Ha Roo’s new attitude and tries to test him if he has really forgotten about his past or if he’s merely pretending to forget. It seems that for now, he really has forgotten about his previous appearance in the comics.
Later that same night, Dan Oh visits Dried Squid to talk about the comic’s latest development. She shares that she had a good time whenever she and Ha Roo changed the story and that maybe she could change her set-up of having a terminal illness but ever since he disappeared, she’s become afraid. She could live her life as a quiet extra but she fears getting killed off as well. I feel bad whenever Dan Oh becomes sad because she’s such a positive and persistent heroine that doesn’t deserve this, huhu😓
On the other side of the school, Ha Roo finds himself drawn to the library. He finds himself at the spot where he used to tape drawings of the comic book world and Dan Oh. The mysterious portal that keeps popping up from time to time is there and it showed a scene with Ha Roo and Dan Oh, but they’re wearing what appears to be Joseon period garments. Dan Oh utters a line that she has said in this comic book world already. So both of them are from the Flower comics after all!🌸
Since there’s a rule about the stage being an inevitable occurrence in this world, it’s excusable for Baek Kyung to be a jerk because that’s his set-up. It’s only natural that his brash and mean spirited character can spill over to his shadow so it’s sometimes hard to blame him for being who he is. I don’t know if Baek Kyung really likes Dan Oh for who she is or if it’s like Do Hwa’s feelings for Ju Da, who since he likes in the stage, he also learns to admire her in the shadow. Since Baek Kyung is used to Dan Oh liking him in the stage, it is second nature for him to think that too in the shadow. But for our heroine, Dan Oh, she deserves someone who is kind and patient to her, no matter how sincere one’s feelings are for her.
If Dan Oh and Ha Roo are characters from another comic book, does this mean that they were reincarnated/reused for this one? Maybe the reason for Dan Oh becoming self-aware is not by chance but because she was the leading lady of another tale. Ha Roo disappearing momentarily was possible perhaps so the writer can give him a new character to include him in Secret but not to Dan Oh’s preference. For whatever reason, I don’t think this writer likes happy endings… but Secret is supposed to be a romcom genre. But if Ha Roo can alter someone else’s story, e.g. someone’s free will, then maybe one’s destiny isn’t as predetermined as we’re led to believe. I hope that Ha Roo can remember Dan Oh and they, together with Do Hwa, fight back towards the writer.