You Who Came From the Stars – Episode 4

If you told me a month ago that I would end up suffering from insomnia writing long ramblings about YWCFTS I’d call you crazy. Yet, it’s 2 a.m. in my timezone and here I am typing about my total addiction for this drama.The ratings are on the rise sweeping past the 20% percent mark with 20,1% nationwide (22,1% in Seoul), LYn’s OST My Destiny has dominated all the music charts in SK in a span of mere 20 hours as the Korean population has been enchanted by the magic and the heart of the man from the star.

“I’ve lived here for 400 years. A lot has happened. Terrible things you can’t even imagine.”

OMG, those words just gutted me. 400 years that’s a lot of time to watch all the bad that happened on Earth considering humanity’s penchant for wars, backstabbing and greed but mostly what happened to him with SYH.

When SYH returns to her family with MJ in tow they are shocked but happy to see her alive until she introduces MJ as the man who helped him. Her father invites him for a feast as thank you for saving his daughter and MJ is absolutely adorable tasting his first Earth food midly curious at first and then stuffing his mouth full! LOL! However, it has been a ruse to poison him while SYH’s mother is trying to strangle her own daughter. Fortunately, she can’t go through with it and stop after her husband leaves. She tells her daughter she “shamed” their family the moment she brought a strange man and that her father has always valued the family honour above the life of his own daughter. Then she gives her money to leave and live like a dead, like a ghost. SYH worries for MJ who is bound and feverish, however, the terrestial poison didn’t manage to kill him. He sees through the window three UFO’s leaving the night sky, far beyond the Moon where he can’t reach them, and he realises he has been left behind.

Throughout the series we have been watching MJ being afraid of being left behind if he was to develop an emotional bond with humans because of their short life span. Yet, how poignant it is to learn that it weren’t humans who abandoned him first but his own kin. It makes me wonder whether MJ is somehow special from his fellow aliens who were shown being androgynous, clinical in their research and rather cold while MJ has always had stars in his eyes and just as SY mentioned in her interview he has this feeling of warmth and caring about him – an alien born with human heart.

I don’t know who decided to bring Jang PD and Park writer-nim together but it was a stroke of genius because he hit a jackpot. The combination of her fresh, smart and witty writing with Jang’s deft, sophisticated directing style really helps to give YWCFTS the little extra that only the very best of kdramas can boast of. They should receive just as much credit as the inspired performances of KSH and JJH.

After MJ decides to ignore the danger SY is in, he accidently tunes in for her documentary. This scene is awesome on so many levels. On one hand, it’s another meta – this time about the popularity of the childhood actors, especially for their sageuk roles; no doubt referencing to KSH’s previous drama, the mega successful MTETS which shot three of its child stars to stardom.

On the other, how bittersweet is it to watch SYH’s wish of MJ seeing her grow into a beautiful woman come true only 404 years later as he’s watches SY’s gradual maturing and transformation from the teenage girl he had rescued into a “national goddess”. If it weren’t she is shown in her sageuk roles. It must be for him as if seeing SYH again. But the memory of SYH alone isn’t enough to force him to save SY.

“I don’t know if he still remembers me. But I think I’d recognize him when I see him. Like fate.”

Only after he hears SY re-telling the tale of how he saved her, as she still vividly remembers him after all those year, he spurs into action and we see him go quickly to his bedroom. So in the end he doesn’t go to save her because of the woman from his past but for SY herself – it’s her confession, clearly very genuine, that moves him and his heart as well.

I admire the director and his courage to experiment and change the stereotypical way of shooting kdramas. The events of the wedding are shown in flashbacks which are deftly incorporated and connected with the present. It takes great mastery to successully convey to the audience a story that takes place in three different temporal universes. Yet, Jang PD manages that with style and flare.

This is beyond hilarious – While the whole nation has been abuzz with the news of Yoo Ra’s supposed suicide and SY’s involvement in it for the whole day, the woman in question has slept though it all! Ignorance is such bliss! After hearing of YR’s early demise from her manager SY learns that her apartment building is imperviously surrounded by reporters out for her blood and that she needs to run before they get to her. Without a care for her “escape fashion” she literally bolts from her flat still wearing her nightwear! Fortunately, despite her obvious hurry she found the time to grab a matching DKNY coat and a clutch! You gotta love this girl!

Sadly, it’s from the fire into a frying pan for SY because the mob has managed to get past the security and cut all her escape routes off. She can’t even get back to her apartment because she forgot her new password under all that stress and no doubt a subsiding hangover. She looks like a sitting duck out there wearing only her pyjamas and waiting for the inevitable slaughter when suddenly MJ opens his door and SY doesn’t waste time to invite herself in just in time. That boy has a hell of a timing.

They are so cute together as MJ exasperatedly asks what is going on only for SY to silence him in the 2nd best way possible – putting a finger on his sensual lips. She starts asking him for help from the reporters but then her stomach rumbles and she gives him the cutest puppy eyes ever and asks for ramyun or cold rice! How is any man, be it human or alien, supposed to resist her?

It looks like MJ might resist SY’s charms after all because he manages to escape her puppy eyes and steps straight into the corridor filled with reporters seeking a sensational exclusive while SY is left cowering from fear he would expose her. However, MJ just deadpans them to stop the camera. This is epic – they are waiting there to catch a glimpse of a k-actress only to have a hundreds years old alien get past them unnoticed! They are left completely oblivious they have just missed a story worth a Pulitzer.

Awww! So MJ couldn’t resist her after all, not even for a minute, because the moment her stomach crumbled he shot through his door and went to a nearest convenience store to fetch her everything she wanted and more; he even brought extra snacks for her! What a perfect husband material! SY has him wrapped around her manicured finger already. So he IS HER manager Do after all, ready to do her bidding even more readily than her real manager. 

I swear this show wants to kill me with all the OTP awesomeness because next we know we are watching SY actually ENTER MJ’s bedroom! My mind is in a gutter! She tells him to eat with claiming she isn’t be able to eat anything when eating only for MJ to shoo her away with that annoyed wave he clearly learned from watching The Master’s Sun. Of course, it turns out SY is more than capable eating on her own because she has been eating alone for most of her life and this was her attempt to finally share a meal with someone and show her gratitude to MJ, as well. These are such small gestures but it’s even more apparent from them how utterly alone she is.MJ, why couldn’t you just eat with her? Then you wouldn’t have to listen to her cursing you.

It’s no suprise that SY discovers MJ’s own secret chamber full of books,  memorabilias and valuables dating back to Joseon and the Fate would have it the first book she picks is no than MJ’s diary with his record of his last 3 months on Earth…

Please, Drama gods, hand them the 2013 Best OTP Award already! I know all the TV stations have already handed out all their Best Couple Awards, some even more than one (the bosses at KBS either couldn’t decide and the vote ended up in a draw which happends quite often there), and the SBS’s Award went to the uber-popular MinShin pairing (handed by no other than  Young Do in an epic irony of Fate). However, even though I was a huge shipper of them and liked their youthful chemitry, the out-of-this-world, sizzling intensity between KSH and JJH that makes the air crack is something that occurs once in a year at most. I bet they are going to sweep the 2014 edition or else I’ll be on my way to SK to have a word with the jury.

MJ realy can’t help himself but to touch SY, can he? Always reaching to her, grabing her hand, arms, shoulder,… When he finds her in his secret library he immediately wants to kick her out on the street right to those vulture reporters and not even her puppy eyes have any impact on him. Obviously, nor her appeal to his sense of teacher responsibility:

“I’ve never considered you to be my student.” – MJ

Really? Is that a sexual innuendo I hear? I know my mind is in a gutter. Either way, at least we don’t have to worry about his moral scruples in this matter  😉 .

The best moment comes when SY has enough of MJ’s high-handedness and after he doesn’t answer her when he was born she drops the polite speech and talks to him in banmal and thent she starts to threaten an immortal? alien like a professional thug! YES, YES, YES!!! THANK YOU, KDRAMA GODS! I dislike when an OTP talks to each other jondae (using the -yo, -mnida suffixes) but what I truly hate is when one of the couple talks to the other in different level of politeness (usually the female lead talks politely while the male speaks in banmal).

I can buy this divergence in sageuk, however, in contemporary drama which should be a reflection of the modern society, no matter the age or station, both the male and the female should be equal in their speech, too, and drop the jondae. It gives the relationship more intimacy and more spontaneity and naturalness. It’s OK in the beginning when they barely know each other but later when they become friends or lovers I find it disturbing to hear the discrepancy. I noticed that the Korean couples rarely speak jondae with each other unless they are really old.

“First, do not touch anything in this house. Second, do not ask any questions. Three. Stay at least 1 meter away from me.” – MJ

It’s so epically hilarious as SY literally blackmails MJ into letting her freeload – she tells him that the moment she comes out from his door he will become known as her “boyfriend” and the whole nation will be hunting him down wanting to know every bit of salacious information about his life. SY’s proved to be very perceptive and she has clearly noticed MJ’s obssession with his privacy. What she doesn’t know, however, is the reason for it is that he simply doesn’r want to blow his cover that held firm for 404 years!When MJ caves and recites his rules to her she offers him to shake on it only for him to add she isn’t to come closer to him than 1 metre. OK, alien boy, but can you yourself promise that? I’ll be a betting man and say NO WAY!

“What the heck? You should stay away from me! Strange. It’s impossible for a man to not like me. Is he gay?” – SY

Nah, just an alien from another star. I’d like to have her self-confidence, though.

When he sees her next she is sprawling at his pristine cean sofa with mess and food all around her. MY FEELS! She is messy he is a pedant and stickler for cleaness! Clearly, MJ has no other reason to come to her or sit next to her(Breach of the 2nd rule! that’s clearly less than one metre! Awww! He just can’t help himself can he?) or ask her whether it’s true what they say on TV and she is really responsible for YR’S death (breach of the the first rule but apparently the rules don’t apply to him. I bet that’s that lawyer past of his),other than his own curiousity and the pull he feels towards her.SY and MJ remind me of two magnets that are being attracted towards each other no matter how much they deny it.

They often bicker and argue, however, I love how honest and genuine they are with each other. Especially, SY who drops her national actress facade and is just Cheon Song Yi with him – being messy, frank-spoken and gasp without make-up. These are the moments when MJ sees how truly vulnerable and alone she is. He realises how it guts her that the people who praise her one moment are more than ready to accuse her of indirect homicide.

Suddenly, SY remembers a dream which she suspect to be a memory and asks MJ whether he wasn’t at that ship to which he retorts there is no way for him to be there. However, there must have been a way as SeMi’s prosecutor brother has just found him on the CCTV footage from that night…

We knew the whole time that MJ’d managed to get on that ship in time to saved SY with his time-stopping abillity but we didn’t know how he get there – some were expecting super-speed, others angry, super-speedy driving and only few joked that the environment-friendly MJ would ride his trusty bicycle. However, the reality surpassed even our wildest fantasies and expectations – he TELEPORTED himself through his bedroom door right to the ship!!!

I bet Superman must be watching this drama somewhere wishing he was that cool! Or not as MJ interrupts a hot make-out session (the utterly embarrassed look at MJ’s face is just epic) and if it weren’t enough he is still wearing his comfy slippers! How adorable is it to see MJ being so desperate and determined to save SY that he forgot to even change his shoes? I applaud the writer for this subtle, yet signficant touch – Bravo!  I was laughing so hard as he was dismantling one camera after another, playing inconspicuous like with the calm of trained spy…while wearing his slippers!

I’ve already voiced my utter admiration for the director and his brilliant touch, technique (he has a matrix camera and he knows how to use it) and the way he manages to interpret this story on screen and make it more magical than even the writer could have dreamed of. The huge illuminated ship cruising on the Han River, the splendid real fireworks (no CGI and after watching the New Year fireworks I’ve realized how costly it must have been) and the flying snowflakes perfectly punctuated and underlined the fateful atmosphere of this moment when these two lonely people surrounded by vast crowds find each other despite the huge odds.

MY FEELS! That insane, explosive chemistry combined with their loneliness and vulnerability just slays me! Without any doubt one of the best kisses of 2013! It isn’t one of those sucking and eating lip-fests but still it’s a lips-on-lips kiss of the best kind – they are completely alone together away from any prying eyes and how heartwrenchingly gentle he with her when he lays her on bed?! Like she way something irreplacable and beyond precious to him.And then when his brain tells him to go his heart doesn’t allow him him to leave her just, yet, and makes him to touch her, this woman that vexes his heart, just a little longer. Just look at that enthralled look at MJ’s face – I swear that deep down he willed for the kiss to happen because when SY lifts her hands just so slowly, hooks them beyond his neck and pulls him slowly to her he has enough time to slip out of her embrace but he just can’t!

Oh my! The way he holds her, completely cocooning her in his embrace like he was holding to her for dear life, protecting her from the whole world, never wanting to let her go! And in this rare moment of shown vulnerability allowing himself this intimacy with a woman that stirs his heart and makes his body tingle with awareness.   

You know I don’t think that MJ loved SYH in the past, at least not that powerful time and space transcending love. They spent too little time for that together.However he already cared for her, felt the pull, the connection so their past is certainly an important thing that motivates him to protect SY.  I think that his fascination with SY isn’t so much about seeing SYH in her as he himself acknowldedged she is a different woman, however, it appears as if he wants to rectify the things he failed in the past and he feels cheated and wondering what would have happened if SYH were alive and they were allowed to have a future together. If he was allowed that one chance to have a genuine romantic relationship , having a chance to love because it was taken from him even before it began.

“Kiss? I’ve had the chance. But I’ve never done it. There were many tempting occasions because of my looks.” – MJ

And the epilogue is another amazing flashback to the Joseon Era as we learn that MJ isn’t only a virgin but also a virgin who hasn’t had his first kiss, yet. Well, he clearly filmed himself before his Han River rescue mission.

Despite his “inexperience” his self-confidence in his looks is astounding!Clearly he had the most beautiful of Joseon ginsaeng wooing for his attentions and kisses ( she even gave him the famous paintingby Dan Won that now hangs in his library) and MJ doesn’t mind but doesn’t want her to have any misconceptions about him and he points to a star in the sky and tells it’S where he comes from. The ginsaeng thinks he is making the tale up to reject her and flees and MJ is again left alone.

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