With every passing episode, Extraordinary You doubles down on its narrative and plot ideas whilst managing to evolve each of the characters in a way that keeps the show feeling fresh and unpredictable. This latest double bill of episodes is arguably the strongest of the season too, with some thought provoking ideas about whether the story is cyclical and continued tensions between Dan-O and Kyung.
After his encounter with Ha-Roo last time out, the episode begins with Kyung storming off angrily before coming across burnt pages of the book Jimmiche tried so hard to destroy. Wondering what the Joseon Period storyline means, he heads back into the library and talks to Do-Hwa about the direction of the story. Getting nowhere and desperate for answers, he speaks to Jimmiche instead and tells him he wants everything to go back to how they were before.
Meanwhile Dan-O and Ha-Roo discuss words during English class and in particular, the theory around the word Extraordinary. As she and Ha-Roo grow closer, and she starts to fall in love with him, Jimmiche approaches while she’s out walking and tells her to be careful. This all feels very familiar to what we’ve seen before during the first story.
As the shadow changes back to the scene, Kyung snubs the tennis racket Dan-O bought him and apologises for being sick. The narrative here begins to evolve significantly too, as Kyung tells her to throw the racket away while the onlooking students whisper about Kyung’s temperament. As the scene changes back to shadow, Kyung realizes how hurtful his character is being and apologises to Dan-O. It’s here he also realizes that Ha-Roo is becoming a main character in the story.
Speaking of main characters, Do-Hwa questions the love triangle he has with Joo-Da and Nam-Joo, eventually resulting in him questioning the cheesiness of his hopeless romantic angle. Joo-Da tells him she likes it though, leading them both discussing their feelings. Kyung and Jimmiche discuss Ha-Roo’s ability to change the story soon after, with the former asking just why he’s the one able to change everything. Jimmiche shakes his head and tells him he doesn’t know how it’s possible, before Kyung and Ha-Roo have another tense encounter together outside the nurse’s office.
It gets worse too, as the shadow changes back to the scene and Ha-Roo becomes the number 1 student in class. It’s a brief moment, and one that changes back to shadow soon after. He confronts Dan-O and tells her he wants to change the story before promising not to leave her side. It all feels very cyclical and as this scene-changing plays out infront of the school, as we switch back to the shadow one more time, Kyung watches helplessly as Dan-O is carried away by Ha-Roo.
He’s certainly changed the story too, as Joo-Da happens to not be aware of herself again. She waits for Nam-Joo in the school and after failing to show up to meet Do-Hwa he heads into the school where she tells him there’s nothing she can for herself. Do-Hwa throws his arms around her as the shadow turns back to the scene and Joo-Da tells Nam-Joo there’s nothing between them after a fiery encounter with his Mum.
Realizing she may have to undergo surgery, Dan-O puts this to the back of her mind for now before heading in to school and spending the weekend with Ha-Roo. As we receive a beautiful montage, they spend time together and their feelings intensify and grow. As the night closes out, he tells Dan-O they’re crafting their own story together, before she heads home and looks over the photos they took together that day.
As the shadow turns back to the scene, Dan-O finds herself confined to a hospital bed while Ha-Roo waits for her under the tree at school, oblivious to what’s happening with Dan-O. Desperate to get back to him, the scene constantly cycles through days as Do-Hwa eventually informs Ha-Roo that Dan-O is in hospital. The writer appears to be intentionally keeping them separate too, as over two weeks pass and different visitors come and go, apart from Dan-O.
As Kyung arrives at the hospital with flowers, the scene finally changes back to shadow as she hurries back to the school to find Ha-Roo; if she’s going to die, she’d rather the time she have be spent with him. However, as she looks around the school, he’s nowhere to be seen. As she looks up to the sky and weeps, worried the story may very well be repeating itself again, Ha-Roo shows up and tells her he likes her. As the two kiss, Dan-O ignores her wristwatch and the two continue to embrace as her heart-rate increases.
With deeper characterisaton and more thought provoking ideas coming to the foreground, Extraordinary You continues to deliver here with its latest episode. Seeing Kyung as more of a victim is such a clever move and it’s one that adds some much-needed depth to his character too. The idea that the story is cyclical and following the same tragic trajectory as before is something that certainly seems possible, especially if the writer follows conventional tropes for the story. I still stand by by theory that the shadow is as much a part of the narrative as the scene is. There’s too many convenient dramatic spots here, including Kyung being forced to watch Dan-O walk off and Jimmiche playing out the wise-old wizard trope.
Still, out of all the Korean dramas I’m covering right now, Extraordinary You is the one that has me the most puzzled, with some wonderful mysteries bubbling up behind the scenes. Going into next week, there’s some serious questions hanging over this one and hopefully we’ll get some answers sooner rather than later!