I can’t seem to catch up with the recaps for this kdrama so I’m going to do a 4 episode summary for now. Hopefully, my recaps will align with the weekly launch of new episodes!
As each stage unfolds and the shadow lurks after, more and more characters are becoming self aware of themselves. What are the secrets that Dried Squid is so desparate to keep hidden and how will this knowledge affect the lives of our characters?
Episode 17 and 18
Our star-crossed lovers have reunited as Ha Roo reassures Dan Oh that he won’t be going anywhere this time. Even Do Hwa is ecstatic and doting that his close friend finally remembers him too, haha! Dan Oh and Ha Roo decide to play hooky one day and ditch their music class to explore around town. Dan Oh swears that this is the last time she’ll try to change the stage for the fear of losing Ha Roo again. They spend the day eating candy, playing games, and even taking pictures together. To add to a list of their firsts, they hold hands as they walk back to school.
While Dan Oh’s luck has changed, the same can’t be said for Ju Da as Sae Mi and the other girls lock her inside a room agian because they know that Nam Ju is going to officially ask her to be his girlfriend. She is pissed off but can’t do anything in the stage. Do Hwa figures out that she was bullied because Nam Ju had prepared something for her in the auditorium but had to postpone it since the balloons, confetti, and poster were ruined. It’s Do Hwa who finds Ju Da in the shadow but as the stage plays out, Nam Ju naturally finds her instead.
Ha Roo gets recurring visions of his former life with Dan Oh in the Trumpet Creeper comics but he is not yet sure what these visions mean. He deduces that the reason he keeps seeing the flower that symbolizes waiting, is because it is telling him to wait for Dan Oh to find him no matter what happens. Dried Squid talks to himself lamenting that the writer has been reusing the same characters, plot, even the lines that they said from the other comic. He is anxious that the same tragedy that happened in Trumpet Creeper will occur here too.
Ha Roo ultimately asks Baek Kyung if he likes Dan Oh (Finally someone asked!) and although Baek Kyung doesn’t give an answer, the former steps up to admit that he does.
Episode 19 and 20
Baek Kyung finds the charred pages of the Trumpet Creeper comic book and deduces that the lines Dan Oh had said to him before in the stage here in Secret are exactly the same with the Dan Oh lookalike in the comics. Dried Squid is mortified when Baek Kyung shows him one of the burnt pages and swears that he’ll take back what was taken from him. In a new stage scene, he yet again gets angry at Dan Oh but as soon as the shadow commences, he immediately walks back to her to try and apologize. He’s not given a chance to at the moment though but he awkwardly tries to say sorry the next day instead.
Getting triggered by people around him, the green-eyed monster in Baek Kyung is heightened as he is constantly being told that it’s better to be an extra like Ha Roo who is not limited by any predetermined set-up. Despite this fact though, he feels that people are adoring and treating Ha Roo like a main character. When Dan Oh’s heart rate watch starts beeping, Ha Roo places it on Sae Mi’s hand instead since he thinks that the scene intended is for Dan Oh to collapse and have Baek Kyung come to her aid. The watch continues to buzz even on Sae Mi so when the stage does happen, Baek Kyung discovers that a person indeed fainted, but it’s Sae Mi who’s on the ground! Ha Roo was able to creatively change the stage once again but Dan Oh still faints; only this time, Ha Roo is the one who brings her to safety.
Nam Ju’s confession to Ju Da is thwarted when his mom intervenes to not do anything of the sort. Ju Da goes to the auditorium where Nam Ju prepared to confess only to find no one there. Do Hwa unexpectedly finds out that Ju Da is not answering her phone and goes to see her at school knowing that something went wrong. Although Ju Da does not directly confess that she’s become self-aware, she does vent out her frustrations that she decided to keep waiting for Nam Ju because he was the 1st person to reach out to her.
With her chest pain affecting her in the shadow too, Dan Oh grows increasingly worried about her time left in this world. She and Ha Roo spend the weekend hanging out at school and make a promise to meet up at the largest tree in the garden there on October 10. Things don’t go exactly as planned though as the succeeding stages has Dan Oh confined in the hospital for more than 2 weeks. Ha Roo senses that something is wrong when Dan Oh doesn’t meet him and tries to see her in the hospital; but whenever he tries to go in the shadow, the stage keeps creating a new scene and he doesn’t make it every single time.
On October 31st, Dan Oh finally gets time in the shadow and she frantically goes to school to find Ha Roo. She searches for him everywhere before breaking down at a spot near the tree. Ha Roo hears her crying and goes to hug her while also confessing his feelings for her. They seal their long-awaited meeting with a kiss on the lips❤️
If this were a horror movie, the ending would probably be that the same set of characters will be created in another comic book, just in a new plot and setting. Everyone won’t be aware again and a devilish smile would be seen from the writer as the same loop of events will just restart all over again. Yeesh, thinking about this gives me the creeps and I am hoping that Extraordinary You is not that kind of kdrama! It would be a daring conclusion but please NO!🙅🏻♀️
Before these episodes, I thought that Dried Squid was a gatekeeper for the comics to be stable, but it seems like he could have been a character from Trumpet Creeper too. Given his ominous foreshadowing and constant barrage of warnings to Dan Oh to not change the stage, maybe he suffered a great consequence too. The “tragedy” he mentioned could be a death of a character, I’m just not sure if it’s Dan Oh or Ha Roo. I know that this is a work of fiction but damn, how can the writer be so lazy to reuse lines and characters like this?
Based from the snippets that we are privy to from the other comic book, I think it’s Ha Roo who first fell in love with Dan Oh’s character there. The reason why he can change the stage in the current story is probably because he was the 1st one who became self-aware in his other life and he was also 1/3 of the love triangle so he possesses more power than other characters. I agree with Ha Roo that the book is probably ongoing given that he can change the stage, hopefully the writer does something right this time around and help Dan Oh achieve a happily ever after.