You Who Came From the Stars – Episode 2

It’s official – this show owns my heart! Even for Heirs I haven’t felt this level of excitement with which can compete only one drama this years – SBS’s Jang Ok Jung (despite the lackluster second half). And I don’t want to speak too soon but when every newspaper, blogger and fan out there is putting together their year-end polls for top-or-flop, it appears that we still  may have the best drama of 2013 before us. The second episode continued to soar in the ratings and brought in 18,3% (a substantial improvement from the 15,6% of episode 1) as the Korean audience grows fascinated by this inspired drama just as me. I thought I make a short post about it but in the end it ended up like this. (It took me over an hour to sort through the 1,5 GB of caps I made. That visually gorgeous is this show!).

Episode 2 opens up with another beautiful flashback to the Joseon era as the aliens from KMT 184.05 dressed in androgynous black robes gather samples of Earth’s fauna and flora – they are obviously a group of explorers and scientists. Just as we spot one of them leviate like he felt zero gravity, DMJ approches and secretly leaves his fellow aliens to visit a nearby town. It looks like the aliens don’t consider the humans interesting object of studies or are under orders not to make any contact and draw attention. I love how he is the one who is fascinated with humans and sneaks away to mingle among them which is such in stark contrast to his current apathy and resentment for them. He reminds me of a little boy with stars in his eyes who has just started to discover all the miracles of the world or me during my first day in an amusement park. He even uses his skills to help a man to win money for his daughter’s medicine as he prevents the stallholder from cheating.

Later during the night, the young widow transcribes a text she was ordered by her mother or mother-in-law ( it’s about people commiting suicide in various ways). Soon after she falls asleep and is kidnappped by a masked man…

I have to say the story gets more intruguing every episode and not only MJ’s real origin and how it will work out with his romantic/physical relationship with SY in future but also this new twist involving her doppelganger being in danger. I think that her family is definitely behind it as either her mother or mother-in-law ordered her to transcribe that particularly book to create a fool-proof alibi for her death. The question is why they want her dead? What is so special about her? And was the death of her husband also deliberate?

What I like is that the writer keeps SY’s Joseon doppelganger her sassy and bold character which is apparent from her annoyance at having to transcribe the useless book and then when she handily and quick-wittedly frees herself from her bonds, single-handedly fights off her kidnapper and rans away from him until she is saved by MJ and his supernatural skills.

This is clearly only their second meeting as she recognizes him as the man who saved her. It’s clear MJ is curious about her and she wants to show her gratitude. We learn her name is Seo Yi Hwa and she would like to know his name, too (Well, stand in line, girl, because this is one of the questions I’m dying to learn the answer to and also the way it will be revealed. I’ve bee already writing fanfics in my mind when he tells SY! Yes, I’m utterly addicted in case you haven’t noticed, yet ;-)).

However, instead of a verbal answer MJ starts to leviate. I mean just this gesture and the few seconds it takes leave me with so many questions andthat’s one of the million things I so love about this show. I suspect he is obviously unable to speak the human language (so there is a limit to his perfection, after all) which leaves me wonder whether those aliens speak at all, whether they don’T communicate with each other through telepathy.And then, there is the reason why he actually started to fly. I think it’s because he really wants to communicate to her and tell her about himself. That innocent, unsure look when he is in the air just guts me – he really tries so much to make her understand him and not to run away from him. I’ve realised it was his first and maybe the last genuine try to connect with another human with such a child-like innocence. After he lands back on the ground he returns her the binyeo she dropped when she attacked her kidnapper and which he saved for her.

It’s the same hairpin (but this time without the crystal ending that was broken when SYH used it to attack her kidnapper) we see at an exhibition organized at an university museum and which also includes other Joseon artifacts donated by “mysterious” sponsor (I’ve already learned that in this drama the words anonymous and mysterious always mean Min Joon):

“This hairpin is an important folk artifact. The official designation is “Crystal Bamboo Hairpin.” They made the head by polishing a crystal into a bamboo-like root. For the body, they rolled up the copper and inserted the head. Originally, that portion too would have been crystal, but while we do not know the cause, it broke and became lost. We’re assuming that it was created around early 1600. There’s nothing known about the owner of the hairpin. For reference, all the artifacts displayed in this room were, at the time our school was established – 1914, said to be donated by an anonymous sponsor. Since there were many artifacts that were so meaningful and valuable, they moved heaven and earth trying to find the donor. Ultimately, it is said that they could not find the person.”

You know what guts me the most about the museum scene is how lonely and completely detached MJ is from the people in that exhibition hall despite the fact that he is knows about those things which are being exhibited more than anyone else – they once belonged to him, he used them, he touched them, they used to be part of his life just as the unknown owner of that hairpin. What is for the teacher only a simply fact, for MJ is a blow to his heart; in 2013 Seo Yi Hwa is only known as the “unknown owner” of a jade hairpin because none now lives who would remember her. None but one man who has been left behind all his life keeps her in his seemingly frozen heart.

“Just helping for a second didn’t change anything. What was bound to happen happened anyway. I only had made things worse.”

After meeting SY in front of the elevator MJ has another prophetic dream – this time of a woman wearing a sparkly pair of shoes (the same one SY later wears for her photoshoot) falling over a fence and into water. His lawyer friend thinks these dreams are a sign for him to help as many people as possible in the remaining 3 months, however, MJ dejectedly tell him that it has never done anyone any good: SYH died and the man whom he helped to win the game became a gambler who was ready to sell his own sick daughter for another chance at the table. It’s sad to see MJ being so bitter and the complete opposite of the young alien who wanted only to help and meant no harm only to learn that his innocent action to prevent injustice lead to a far greater tragedy. On the other hand. it’s also very believable and makes MJ much more human than he thinks.

“I also love taking propofol. It’s really effective. I feel so good that I think I can fly.”

Propofol!LOL!!!Frankly, the writer must be a genius because how else she could incorporate so many hilarious metas in 2 mere episodes? It appears her ability to make fun of the kdrama industry and the follies of its stars is limitless. (It’s been merely a month since 3 Korean actresses including Park Shi Yeon were convicted to suspended jail time for abusing propofol.)

I’ve read many posts where people say that they like SY’ “stupidity” and how adorable it is. Maybe it’s just the language barrier since many of the fans are not native English speakers, however, I don’t think that she is stupid, maybe foolish at times and uneducated in some areas but never stupid. SY’s posseses that kind of intelligence you can’t obtain at any school and you can only get it only through years of experiencing the real life. You know how you always think up the perfect retort when someone is dissing you only hours after it’s over? Well, SY can come up with it on time and throw it to that person’s face with vengeance! I would kill for my brain to know that! And let’s be honest with each other – who haven’t done a similar mistake in he/her life or better this month alone. We all have areas we don’t anything about or only from hearsay and I think that this show works perfectly with people’s penchant of making fun of somebody in order to mask their own ignorance.

How sweet is it that MJ can’t already help himsef but be curious about SY even before knowing she is the doppelganger of SYH he saved 12 years ago? OMG! Just the looks these two exchange give me heart palpilations! I don’t know what I will do when they sart to act all lovey dovey.

MJ already gives SY a special treatment even though he doesn’t know it, yet. Frankly, I suspect that that public scathing he gave her in front of the classroom full of students and TV crew was partially an act of a little boy calling carrots the girl he is attracted to. The rest is the fact that he thinks SY to be annoying with her constant rants about him he has to listen through his wall and to be the embodiment of the double-faced quality of humans and this is a way of taking his personal revenge on her. Even if her report was that terrible he could have told her in private like he probably would have with any other student. I’ve noticed there was quite a few other reports on that F pile and he didn’t publicly critize anyone else. beside SY.

In the drama, this scene is shown to have a funny undertone but only after the class end MJ and the audience learn the consequences of his personal vendetta. You know, he might not have used any super natural abilities against her but he hurt her nevertheless and proved to us that he is far more humanized that he would like to admit because these petty revenges are so typical for our “species”, are they not? When everyone starts gossiping about it in the corridors and the incident goes viral, a female student wants to upload the video she took of it to get thousands of views while commeting on “botox SY”. It’s when he realises what has he done and how he has unwillngly become the source of her misery, the reason why he will have to listen to another of SY’s heartbreaking outburst this night. Was anoyne else cheering for him when he dropped her phone to make amends and revenged SY?

“I just don’t understand. Why do people say that they like me… But hate me behind my back? That’s because you always do the things… I don’t know. Why do they do that?”

Poor SY being left alone in that classroom reading all the hateful comments online even trying to defend herself as an anonymous only to be recognized. If it wasn’t bad enough she receives several text messages alerting her on her mother expensive purchaces. God, I loath that woman so much! Well, what does a national actress do when she is bullied by her teacher and the whole nation? She goes incognito and to read manhwa, eat ramyun and drink herself under the table to an otaku shop! LOL! If I already didn’t love her this would have done it for me! SY, never change! 

Cuteness overload! This alien CAN smile! It doesn’t matter whether it’s 2013 or 1953 and I bet that he didn’t need any dentist to give him that smile (I guess being alien has many perks).MJ is so adorkable here while playing mahjong with Lawyer Jang and a group of granpas and not being able to prove he has been the best mahjong player in Seoul for well…ever. It looks like he doesn’t take it well when someone doubts his perfection. LOL!

Later, he goes home to relax in his amazing apartment with telescopes even NASA would envy, a full-grown hundreds-years old tree growing in the middle of it! and plants that starts to grow when they hear classical music! Are they brought from his home planet or did he experimented with the flora himself? Curiouser and curiouser. However, it’s not to be because the woman whom he bullied earlier that day is playing on Alibaba in front of his flat trying to enchant his door with “Sesame, open”. Fate is bitch, buddy. However, it appears like it’s him who has been enchanted instead as he watches her amusedly through the intercom camera.

After SY intivites herself to his home and the comfort of his sofa despite his incredulous roar we can see that not even the seemingly cold-blooded alien is immune to the charms of the national actress. The look he gives the troublesome woman lying on his sofa reveals he would like to exchange more than saliva with her.

“If she’s really as famous and great as you say…Then how can I trust you and let you take her? I never know what you’re going to do with the hottest actress in Korea.” – MJ

This comes from a guy who was just ckecking out her cleavage 30 minutes ago. What a hypocrite! It’s so sweet to watch MJ being suspicious of LWH’s intentions and doubting whether it’s really safe to let him take SY with him considering it was MJ who called him so he could get the drunken woman out of his department. I guess he didn’t trust himself to touch her.

There is no denying that MJ has been drawn to SY from the beginning even before he realised she is the girl from his past and I’m certain he would have fallen for her even if she weren’t. Fate or not. It wasn’t Fate that made him stare at her so often, insult her, sympathize with her or cover her bare shoulder with his supernatural abilities. She makes him him break out from his shell, lose his calm and react to her. WIth other people he has no problem being indifferent and care less about them but she is different, she always was.

MJ is so adorable here! He just couldn’t help himself but eavesdrop (and take another shower in his favourite towel). How happy he was when he heard SY throwing LWK out. I think he was secretly dreading they will “mate” considering his low opinion of humans’ character but SY reaction made him smile despite himself.

The writer sure doesn’t like to drag the story as she makes MJ learn about SY’s identity at the end episode 2. To say he’s experienced the shock of his long life would be an understatement of the century.

By the way, how hot was that angry driving! One of the best use of car product placement ever! But why use a car when you have super-speed? I think MJ got himself used to the human way of life too much.

“It’s not that I can’t have him. I don’t want to have him. Just in case you didn’t know… I don’t want to be a loser who changes her life with someone else’s money. I do well enough on my own.”

Also how amazing and badass was SY when she stood fearless and unafraid against that awful woman while defending herself, but what’s more, her horrible mother, as well? That scene revealed so much about SY and where she comes from – her mother left SY’s beloved father because he lost his money. His money  was the reason she married him and she leeched it from him just as she’s been leeching on her daughter because she hasn’t earned a penny her whole life. This experience marked SY and she has spend her life trying not to become her mother. Awww! How more awesome can she get?! It’s so telling when we learn that the reason why she doesn’t give LHK the time of the day is because of his money and not because she would be intentionally cruel and cold but because of his. I think her greatest fear beside being abandoned and left alone is to be thought of as a woman with mercenary intentions.

SY is perfectly able to hold her when suddenly MJ appears out of nowhere to catch Yoo Ra’s hand before she manages to slap SY. It’s obvious he is looking at SY in a completely new light and doesn’t have time nor patience for the crap Yoo Ra is spouting so he blows off all the lights in the room! OMG! OVARIES EXPLODE here! He is so hot when angry and we have our first hand grab of the show! YAY!

“If you want to, and even if you don’t, things are bound to happen. Earthlings call it as fate.”

Even as MJ asks SY who she is he already knows what her answer will be – the girl he’s not been able to forget for the past 400 years or her doppelganger stands mere inches in front of him and it’s none other than the national actress whom the almighty Fate accomodated right next to his apartment only 3 months before his scheduled departure from Earth. If that isn’t the ultimate irony of Fate I don’t know what is then.

“No one says that life is long whether he lives until 80 or 100. They all say that life is as short as a nap. I have lived here for 400 years. But when I look back, there’s only a handful of memories.”

I think the main reason why MJ doesn’t have many recollections of his time on Earth is that the things people remember most vividly, and it doesn’t matter whether those are good or bad, is connected to particular, special people – people you love, people you hate, people you admire, people you can’t forget because of your feelings for them. This is where MJ’s problem lies – he doesn’t dare to make any connection he has been putting up his indifferent suave facade for 400 years in fear of being left behind and ultimately alone.

It appears that MJ has somehow assumed that memories are made by long term experience for which even 100 years doesn’t appear to be enough.However, memories are not about the quantity of time but the quality of it; it’s the short little moments that matter and which eventually become the fragments of our memory we remember the most because they are connected with our emotions we felt in a particular moment in time and people for who we felt those emotions. That why we often say that the brain might forget but the heart always remembers – while on brain scan even people who have suffered memory loss show reaction amygdala the part of the brain that releases hormones and which is responsible for emotion. I bet if MJ was to leave Earth this very moment he would remember more moments he shared with SY during those few days than from the 400 years.

Please, show, stay this awesome forever!

The truth is that this drama reminds me a little of BBC’s Sherlock with it’s movie-like quality of each episode, putting emphasis on details, good editing, directing mastery and the inclusion of prologue and epilogue to each episode. It’s such a refreshing change from your usual hastily edited drama when the PD is more concerned whether he would manage to shoot all the scenes and meet the deadline for the next week broadcast rather than than taking his time editing extra footage.

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