Desperation is a dangerous emotion to have as it can push you over the edge and have you do something unthinkable. With Dan Oh’s lifeline hanging in the balance, Ha Roo tries his hardest to alter her stage and save her. As repeated constantly, changing one’s fate affects another — who benefits and suffers from the butterfly effect is a risk that one just has to learn to live with.
Episode 25 and 26
With the startling revelation of Dan Oh’s death in the other comics, Ha Roo is freaking out and talks to Dried Squid about his memories. We see in a flashback that Dried Squid also tried to change his fate by running away with one of his court ladies who happens to be his lover but she was killed in the process. He warns Ha Roo that the more he tries to change Dan Oh’s story, the more she will suffer.
At the hospital, Dan Oh visits Dr. Lee and he discusses the date of her heart surgery. She is nervous about the operation because of her vision but tries to think positively about it. She and Baek Kyung have a heart-to-heart conversation in the stage about liking Baek Kyung because he represented her will to live. Once they enter the shadow, Dan Oh holds out her hand to Baek Kyung declaring that they should get along with each other since he is her lifelong friend. Because of his traumatic memory as a kid of holding his mom’s hand and the latter dying when touched, Baek Kyung is taken aback and doesn’t shake her hand.
Dan Oh asks Dried Squid to hide the Secret comic book from Ha Roo so he doesn’t worry about her future. While they both hide their concerns for one another, Baek Kyung becomes open with his feelings for Dan Oh in the stage. He confides in Ha Roo that he truly likes her now and even admits to Dan Oh in another stage that he does have feelings for her. Once the shadow commences, Baek Kyung doesn’t let go of her hand and asserts his feelings once again, emphasizing that they are in the shadow already when he says this. Ha Roo catches sight of Baek Kyung hugging Dan Oh and they get into a heated argument over her.
There’s no stopping Baek Kyung in professing his true feelings for Dan Oh as he insists that she is all he has and that he can change her destiny more than Ha Roo. I know he is sincere with declaring his emotions but it just comes off as self-serving because he views her as the only real component of his life in the comics. It’s not fair to Dan Oh who always reiterated that she only likes him in the stage which she has no control of, but I guess it’s also unfair to Baek Kyung who has to experience a change of feelings from Dan Oh — he gets swayed by her behavior in the stage while receiving a lukewarm treatment from her in the shadow.
Once Ha Roo realizes that Dan Oh could also be in danger in the comics here as well, he goes over the top protective on her in every situation she gets in. She gets into another stage situation with Baek Kyung as he continues to be sweet with her. He tries to talk her into getting the surgery in the shadow and for a moment, I truly think she is considering it. Ha Roo thinks otherwise though because he thinks that the operation will cause her death. He discloses to Dan Oh that what happened in Trumpet Creeper is also happening in Secret but she reassures him that the other comic’s story is in the past anyway. It’s just a front though as Dan Oh herself is truly terrified of dying😢
The last scene has Baek Kyung discovering the secret spot in the library and witnessing a scene in the other comic book where Ha Roo seemingly is the one who stabs Dan Oh to death with a sword.
Episode 27 and 28
Taking matters into his own hands, Ha Roo won’t be held back in changing Dan Oh’s fate. With Do Hwa’s help, he gets Dr. Lee’s coat and goes inside his office to check for Dan Oh’s medical records. Baek Kyung tries to change the stage too but it is Ha Roo who makes an impact. After several failed attempts and resets of the same scene, Ha Roo thinks of swapping Dan Oh’s records with someone else’s to ultimately make an impact on the stage. The records that he changed though was Ju Da’s grandmother (If you have an eye for detail)! The consequences of Ha Roo’s action not only affects Dan Oh but someone else’s loved one, I have a bad feeling about this. It does work though as Dr. Lee tells Dan Oh and her father that she doesn’t need the surgery anymore.
Baek Kyung and Dan Oh talk in both the stage and shadow about her miraculous recovery and shows her the charred pieces of Trumpet Creeper, prompting her that she shouldn’t trust Ha Roo because he’ll end up killing her. She becomes confused about her own self seeing the drawn out scenes in the other comic while Ha Roo remains anxious even after changing Dan Oh’s stage. Dried Squid also reads Dan Oh’s miracle not needing surgery anymore in Secret and recalls how he lost his lover twice, Su Hyang, in the other comic. If a character dies in the shadow, they will be revived again but without their memories of self-awareness. It is when a character dies in the stage that they are permanently written off the book. No wonder Dried Squid was so adamant in things remaining exactly as they are, sheesh!
Tensions continue to rise between Ha Roo and Baek Kyung as the latter exposes that it is the former who kills Dan Oh in the other comic and with him interfering with her surgery, the same thing will happen in this world too. Despite preventing Baek Kyung from proposing to Dan Oh in the school auditorium before, the same scene still plays out between both of them in another stage with Ha Roo as a witness. It’s a cruel situation for the 3 of them but at least the shadow Dan Oh doesn’t lead Baek Kyung on and returns the ring to him. Baek Kyung explains how he came to like Dan Oh for real but she only responds with a sincere apology.
Tired of getting bullied around, Ju Da uses Nam Ju’s affection to make Sae Mi jealous and get the upper hand against her. She initially doesn’t take his feelings for her sincerely and is even cold and rude towards him. It’s understandable that she feels that way because people do torment her because of Nam Ju, but the way she finds solace in Do Hwa makes me nervous now because she’s like a ticking bomb waiting to explode. With her grandmother getting the surgery instead of Dan Oh, it’s revealed that the operation was a success. Ju Da gets swayed by Nam Ju’s sincerity even in the shadow and starts to warm up to him. Poor Do Hwa as he has to witness this development again and again just when Ju Da is giving him hope that she can like him too.
Dan Oh’s heart still continues to ache in the shadow but she pretends that everything is okay in front of Ha Roo. Baek Kyung’s words that he killed Dan Oh keep haunting Ha Roo and he finds out from Do Hwa that Ju Da’s grandmother got the operation intended for Dan Oh. He feels helpless when Dan Oh’s heart starts aching again and it’s Baek Kyung who is able to give her the medicine she needed to recover. When Ha Roo himself remembers that he killed Dan Oh in Trumpet Creeper, he starts avoiding Dan Oh out of guilt.
Remembering what Dried Squid said that dying in the shadow means only losing one’s self-awareness, Baek Kyung is tempted to kill Dan Oh in the hospital. He cries as he reluctantly removes her oxygen mask when he suddenly recalls his past self holding the sword from behind Ha Roo and pushing it forward ultimately killing Dan Oh. So it wasn’t Ha Roo who killed her after all! The mask has been removed and Dan Oh’s vitals go haywire.
Ha Roo races to the hospital when Do Hwa informed him that Dan Oh is ill. He finds her with her oxygen mask intact, meaning Baek Kyung didn’t have the guts to kill her (Thank goodness) even if they are just in the shadow. She flatlines for a few seconds though but a new stage commences immediately. Ha Roo is at school and to his surprise sees Dan Oh walking in the hallways, smiling and alive! He calls her and takes her hand in his but she releases her grip from his as she runs down to greet her other classmates. That means she did die in the hospital and is now not self-aware anymore!😱
I’m not sure that if Dan Oh took the surgery that she would have lived given the storyboard that she saw was her flatlining. But as the rules go for the comics, since Ju Da’s grandmother didn’t die from the operation, it should be that Dan Oh would have had a successful surgery. I can’t totally blame Ha Roo for wanting to change the stage but what if Ju Da’s grandma had died instead? He wouldn’t have been able to live with that fact, even Dan Oh would be mortified that someone else died in her place. Altering the stage has serious consequences and lucky for Ha Roo, Dan Oh died in the shadow so she can still be brought back. With the show ending, I’m sure that Dan Oh will remember Ha Roo one way or another. I just don’t agree with what he did because someone else’s life hung in the balance.
Okay, Ju Da may be bullied and pitiful but I didn’t expect her true character in the shadow to be flirty! To my defense, I never said I liked Ju Da’s character (haha) but I appreciated the fact that she started to fight for herself too. I honestly believed from the previous 4 episodes that she and Do Hwa would be endgame but with Nam Ju swaying her heart with his sincerity, she might actually just end up being with her intended leading man. I guess I can’t 100% blame her pettiness towards Sae Mi and coldness for Nam Ju because even if she’s the female main character, her life hasn’t had a rosy trajectory. I’m so glad Dan Oh is the real lead in Extraordinary You because I don’t think I can stand watching Ju Da get the spotlight for this show.
Baek Kyung not killing Dan Oh was the only move that I see possible because if he had killed her even just in the shadow, no amount of remorse or apologies can ever redeem hin. His character in Secret is certainly different from the one in Trumpet Creeper, I don’t think he became self-aware in the latter and he never really cared about Dan Oh there. I am glad that he’s not a bad guy in this world and hope that his scars will heal too as this kdrama comes to a close. He doesn’t have to get the girl to have a happy ending, like Do Hwa, having self-love is enough to make you happy.