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[OFFICIAL THREAD] DDONGI COUPLE ~ (Eric Nam ❤ MAMAMOO Solar) LEGGO~!

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Eric's SNOW app update (didn't expect him to update here... need to check every account from now on :blink:)

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trans: choreography practice ㅠㅠ

Spoiler

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---

eric's magazine shoots and interview

Spoiler

ELLE

GQ

(i wanna know what's the article talking about.. look at the amount of RTs)

W KOREA (with translated article under this thread by ericnam_USA!)

 

---

i just watched solar's diary with moonbyul, solar was dancing to My Ear Candy's opening dance but stopped it right away haha (they did the titanic pose before this)

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(whoops i shouldn't do this here)

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Lol I just watched that diary. It's funny how Solar added that My Ear's Candy to her random dance repertoire (kinda like the one she did while giving Eric his cake). She really can't help it. :phew: 

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Annyeong yeorobun~

I am still working on my final piece of the series. It turned out to be quite more challenging to write than I expected. Because of the new development, there are many things I have to adjust. I will try to get it in as soon as I can put them all together into one cohesive piece.

I have written something else for chingus to read in the meantime.

- - - - - - -

A while ago, I wrote an analysis post on the entire rescue mission in Hongdae to explain the symbolism behind it. If you haven’t read it before, please pause at this moment and check it out first before continuing on:

~~~~~

[Rescue Princess Solar from Hongdae Tower – The Symbolism by enko20]

~~~~~

However, I purposely omitted many important parts from that post back then. The reason I did that was because I was waiting for further developments between Ddongie in order to expand on what was written. At this point, thanks to some of the other editorial pieces done by myself and another writer ( @cinnaminskies), I finally have enough information to chain link everything together for a complete version of this analysis.

I found this article thought-provoking to write about, and I hope chingus will enjoy it.

Hongdae Tower Rescue Mission – Echoing the Past, Foreshadowing the Future

by enko20

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A beautiful day full of sunshine, what could possibly go wrong?

On that fine morning back in April, Eric went on a journey to Hongdae to find out who his prospective partner would be. Brimming with suspension in imagination of the days ahead with his ideal girl, Eric said goodbye to Wilson the Teddy Bear one last time before taking his first steps toward the path of sunlight.

Even though he already received a warning on the mission card that he would have to go through a trial to rescue the princess that was locked away, Eric probably couldn’t even imagine exactly how serious it was going to get once he’s there.

~~~~~

[Part 2: Solar – The Enigmatic Yeba]

~~~~~

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The mysterious princess was briefly shown, confined in a tiny room full of combination locks and electronic keypads. She was instructed to put on a mask to hide her identity and stay quiet at certain time to not give herself away.

As discussed in the previous article, the room here is an image of Solar’s personal space, but It’s not just that. It represents many different images of her personality and her life. It’s a room that she used to lock herself in as a kid to do nothing but sing all day long (and as you could see, even Eric was forced to go through the same routine). It’s also a room that serves as an image of her loner self – a girl who stays away from the light, putting multiple layers of locks on any person that attempt to get closer to her.

What about the mask and her quietness then? The mask is a representation of what Solar uses to mask herself – specifcally, her bright smile that hides away her vulnerable sides, which might not be very pleasant to look at. As for her quietness, it is a depiction of the inability to express her feelings with words, something we know as a fact given to us from Solar’s own mouth.

- - - - - - - - - -

Stage 1 (Episode 1 – 14)

~~~~~

[Stage 1: Virtual Spouses (The Tower – Jeju Island) by cinnaminskies]

[Stage 1: Virtual Spouses (The Tower – Jeju Island) by enko20]

~~~~~

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Is this real life?

When Eric arrived at the tower, his mission did not even begin in front of those room locks at first. He had to start further back behind the jail bars. Now, was this even necessary? Was it not a bit redundant to make him went through both that AND the room locks? It really didn’t seem to do anything but to screw with his brain and his patience. As if that’s not bad enough, they even made him wear a thick suit while doing this. It’s almost as if they were trying to get him heated up both physically and emotionally or something.

If that is your line of thought at this moment, then you certainly are on the right track. Yes, that was exactly the point. If you still don’t know what I’m hinting to, then keep on reading. By the end of this, you will understand what I mean, trust me.

     Writing on the Wall

Remember this?

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A mysterious, nonsensical writing

This particular piece of code on the wall made little to no sense to me back then. It was completely out of place, and it suggested nothing useful at all compared to the other hints/tools given to Eric in that jail cell.

Looking back now, everything written on there was actually the most crucial hint of them all. I will decrypt this vague writing to explain why it was necessary for Eric to read this first before anything else, regardless of whether he understood it back then or not.

 

 ~~~~~

Quote

누곤지는 모르나, 우리(나의)편일거라믿네

I don’t know who you are, but I believe you are on our (my) side.

With pretty much zero knowledge of who her partner was, Solar stepped into WGM hoping that the man she met on the other end would be a person who’s on her side. There are two meanings to “on my side” here. The first one is referring to a sympathetic person who would want to understand her, and a person who can make her feel safe to be with. The second meaning is about a person who’s committed to the same approach with her to WGM – a marriage with a friend vibe, focus on truly getting to know each other rather than just going through the motions for the show.

Whether by coincidence or not, Solar expressed this once again six months later, when she serenaded Eric for their 200th day event going to Dubai:

Praying with all my heart, the person I’m yearning for
I believe that person is you

....

Quote

많은비밀 이감옥세포에있다.  어서탈출하다여기서

There are many secrets in this cell. Hurry up and escape from here.

Even though Solar’s feelings might be difficult to understand, she will drop subtle, vague hints here and there about what she wants, and her partner needs to have a keen sense to pick up on those. If he manages to do so, he will escape from these bars that separate him and her from each other.

But he needs to hurry up though, because Solar isn’t exactly a very patient girl. Every second of her not knowing whether the guy has the ability or the will to break this barrier between them will only make her feel more and more uneasy.

And to make sure he understood that, Solar knocked on the wall afterwards as if to tell him “Please hurry, I can’t wait any longer…”

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Is this a haunted house or something?

Quote

이 셀에서 살아남은 사람으로부터

From the person who already survived in this cell

The person who survived here was none other than Solar herself. How do I know, you ask? Here is the answer:

Quote

“I was walking around Hongdae with a friend one day, when by chance there was an event where they gave you a present if you sang, so I sang there. In the audience, there was a person who worked in the business, so I had a brush of fate with the music industry.”

Four years ago, Solar was a girl who wandered the street of Seoul with little hope of a successful future. In a sense, she was living like a prisoner herself – a prisoner of her own past failures, a prisoner of her own fearful mind.

However, in this same place in Hongdae where Eric’s at now, her life was changed. The person in that crowd who noticed Solar free her from the jail that she once held herself in. Now, it is Eric’s turn to walk in her shoes, so he could have a taste of what it feels like to be her for a day.

“This is to give you a glimpse of what I went through. I hope that this experience you are feeling here will bring you closer to me, and I hope it will help you understand and sympathize with me for who I am.”

Eric was about to find out exactly what all of this meant in just a moment.

     Lived Like a Fool

 

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This is Eric Nam – A classy gentleman with a Bachelor’s Degree in America wearing a manly suit – crawling on the floor, grasping at any piece of straw he could find, spewing English words loudly in frustration, and beating himself up over and over again In front of Solar for being dumb.

While all of that was happening, his “ideal” girl was over there banging on the wall and nagging at him for taking way too long. What’s worse, MBC even jokingly put many captions to mock his lack of Korean proficiency while he was reading and figuring out the clues, just to further emphasize how foolish and helpless he really was looking at that moment.

And after vexing himself out finding a way to grab the key, it turned out to not be the right one instead.

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Nope, try again

At this moment, we began to see the parallel between his experience with Solar’s experience in the past. During her pre-Mamamoo days, Solar pretty much went through the same thing. She was a shy girl with a dream, a story she wanted to share with the world through her music, but soon she found out how miserable of an auditioning experience it was going to be for her.

I would like to tell a short, fictional story with images and a song to portray to us how eerily similar Eric’s experience probably was to hers:

Spoiler

 Solar’s Emotion Part I

 

Spoiler

One day, at the sound of leaves falling
I saw my empty mind

Felt the fleeting times
That flew by

Like the falling leaves
Have I lived my life

I lived foolishly
I lived foolishly
I lived foolishly, I lived foolishly

Is it lost?
Is it too late?
To return the times that have passed
Wouldn’t it be great?

I lived foolishly
I lived foolishly
I lived foolishly, I lived foolishly

I lived foolishly
I lived foolishly
Foolishly, foolishly
I lived foolishly

Foolishly, foolishly
I lived foolishly

 

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Eric: Wilson, don’t you think I’m ready to get married today?

Solar: Omma, appa, I’m ready to become a singer today.

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Eric: There’s no way you will lock me in here, right?

Solar: It will be alright, trust me. They won’t reject me this time around.

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MBC: Look at this guy, he can’t even read Korean properly

Solar’s judges: Look here, how can we give you a spot if you can’t even do it right?

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Eric: I… I’m here to get married. How did it turn out like this?

Solar: I… I really want to become a singer. You know what I mean right?

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MBC: You really think we would let you out of jail that easily? Maybe you should try again for that other key over there.

Solar’s judges: We’re sorry, you should try again. Maybe you will have better luck next time.

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Solar: Hello? Why are you taking so long? Just come here already!

Solar's parents: Hello? What did I tell you before? You're not going to become a singer, you stubborn girl!

 

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Eric: Why am I so stupid?

Solar: I’m a fool, I’m a fool, I’m a fool, I’m a fool, I’m a fool, I’m a fool…

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Eric: It’s okay, there has to be something I can use here. Stay calm

Solar: It’s fine, stay strong girl. I will find a way out of this eventually. Don’t give up yet.

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Eric: Umm… Some help, anyone?

Solar: Someone, please give me a chance…please.

 

 

 

Now, I want you to scroll up and read through that again for at least forty more times. Would you do that? Of course you wouldn’t, but Solar did. She crawled, grumbled, agonizing over her own failure, asking for help in vain, over and over again, all because she saw the key to her jail cell hanging over there – the key that will let Solar escape her dark past for a brighter future - and she just wanted it that badly.

That was as close as I could possibly get in portraying the “dark” person that Solar was before RBW came to her rescue back then. Around four years later in the same place, Eric experienced the same thing she once did on a miniature scale.

     When There’s a Will, There’s a Way

In essence, all the hard work Eric was made to put in here served as a humbling experience for him, and it was a wake-up call to help him realize that the life he will spend with Yongsun ahead won’t be a road full of unicorns and happy sunshine like what he once thought he would get out of Solar the bubbly girl.

All Solar needed to know in this stage of relationship, and same here in this jail, was whether Eric will keep on fighting for the real key further away – the real her that he wants to become closer to. If that is his intention, then these bars will come falling down in front of him, and he will be one step closer to meeting Yongsun – the girl on the other side of the wall that he has been working so hard to reach.

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Good thing Eric was probably just as stubborn as her 21-year-old self

Spoiler

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The moment Eric escaped from his jail cell signified the end of the first stage of their relationship – the stage that was the most agonizing and frustrating for him, Solar, and for us to go through. Nonetheless, it was a stage that was necessary to define the direction that their relationship would be heading toward from this point on.

     But Wait, There’s More!

Soon, Eric realized that all that struggles he went through to get out of jail was just the beginning of what’s about to come.

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Not one, but four?

Spoiler

Stage 1-  Jail Lock P Solution: The 2nd key

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???

???

???

 

- - - - - - - - - -

Stage 2 (Episode 15 – 24)

 ~~~~~

[Stage 2: The Concept of Friendship (Jeju Island - Chuseok) by cinnaminskies]

[Stage 2: The Concept of Friendship (Jeju Island - Chuseok) by enko20]

 ~~~~~

Before Eric even attempted to solve the other locks in front of him, there was a piece of paper presented to him on top of the table:

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나의 신부는 지금 옆방에 있다.

My bride is in the next room.

(If you change 신부는 to 신보, the word “bride” becomes “NEWS”)

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이곳을 벗어나려면 그녀를 추리하며 문제를 풀어야 한다.

To escape from this place, I need to make inferences about her to help me break this problem down.

Raise your (virtual) hand if you actually paused and read the second line on that piece of paper the first time you watch it.

I bet not many of us did, because neither Eric read it out loud nor was it subbed/captioned. It’s only after watching again for the nth time did I notice it. Turned out, that line was actually the clue, unlike the first line which was just stating something obvious.

But why does that line matter? Well, let me rephrase that second line in a way that will perhaps click with us more:

Quote

“To move on from this stage, pay attention closely and try to understand her so that you could break this wall down.”

If the first stage was all about figuring out each other’s intention (Solar’s intention by putting Eric in jail, or Eric’s will to escape it), the second stage now is about soldifying the premises that was established in the previous stage.

     Passing Remarks

Right from the start, the first thing I noticed from this particular puzzle was how much It revolved around Solar’s personal information and personality. The first combination lock contained the keyword “YEARS” next to it. It didn’t take a genius to figure out that the 4-digit number had something to do with Solar’s birth year.

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You can’t just ask for her age, that’s cheating

But the lock is not what I want to focus on. Rather, it was the conversation happened during this time between Eric and Solar that were more intriguing to discuss about.

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Scarily accurate statements

With one little conversation, Eric managed to guess two characteristics of Solar before even getting to know her:

(1) The “Yeba” that can’t do things right and always looks like a clumsy idiot.

(2) The girl that does things by her lonesome, not just during breakfast, but pretty much everything else in her life, especially before she met Mamamoo.

You could argue that it was just a simple reasoning process and not really anything special. However, what I’m trying to drive at here is that this was a prelude to Eric’s careful attention given to Solar and how much he relates to her emotionally in this stage.

If you would remember, this period displayed many trivial things Eric secretly know about Solar that wasn’t mentioned or only briefly mentioned before – things that Solar regarded as “passing remarks”:

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She already gave him “the look” before he even gave her “the look”

Like the hint on that second line that was easily missable, little conversations or gestures that show how much Eric cares about Solar are the kind of things that touch her greatly, even it if it didn’t seem obvious at first. His caring thoughts did not only move her heart, but also something else – that is, the wall she once put up against him. The emotions she hid behind her laugh couldn’t help but be shown on her face, even if it was just for a brief moment in time.

And these moments were already foreshadowed by something that happened to her the moment Eric unlocked the 2nd lock of their relationship:

Spoiler

 

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The mask that hid her surprised face briefly fell down

 

 

     Who Are You?

After opening up the upper combination lock, Eric received this piece of clue:

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A dragon toy wearing sunglasses

Now, we move on to another aspect of relationship that was prevalent during Stage 2: The gradual discovery of Yongsun the girl.

In Eric’s hand laid a toy that wasn’t just a wordplay of her real name/nickname (용/용가리 – Yong/Yonggari) but also something that revealed an important trait about Yongsun – her dislike of 허세 (bluff) displayed by the sunglasses. This piece of evidence was exactly like what was written on the paper Eric read before this – that he needed to make inferences about her based on what was given to him.

Through the many activities they did together in this stage, Eric began to learn and understood Solar bettter as a girl. There were many things he was able to infer about her based on her words and behaviors.

For example, he found out that Solar actually hesitates a lot in doing things she’s never experienced before because he saw how afraid she was of fishing and decorating. Later on, he quickly pieced together that this must stemmed from her low self-confidence and her fear of making mistakes. He realized that the best way to keep her going is by surrouding her with support and praises, something that she desperately needs even though she never tells him that out loud.

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You are actually good at a lot of things, you know that right?

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Confidence is the one thing she needs the most

That dragon toy, her birth year, the board with letters (which I had no idea what the solution was) etc. were things that gave him hints to progress in this stage. The best way to build up trust and friendship with her is by showing how much he understands her feelings.

Even though Solar liked to play cool a lot of times, she definitely showed at certain times that she also gradually became more caring and understanding of him as well.

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You know a day in Mongolian jungle is way more exhausting than a day at Moosical concert, right?

 

Spoiler

Stage 1 -  Jail Lock P Solution: The 2nd key

Stage 2 – Combination Lock 1 (YEARS) P Solution: 1991

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???

???

 

- - - - - - - - - -

Stage 3 (Episode 25 – 31)

~~~~~

[Stage 3: The Honeymoon (Chuseok – Dubai) by cinnaminskies]

~~~~~

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What is 나침반 (na-chim-ban), you ask?

Quote

GA

This is a hint about your wife!

It will show you how to use the compass to escape from here!

 

Eric:나침반?? Ms. Wife, could you kindly explain to me what 나침반 is?

Solar:나침반 (compass) is what you use when you are lost

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Let’s navigate through this together

Like the compass used for cardinal directions, this stage represents a challenge to realign the needle on the compass of feeling that fluctuated wildly the moment Eric and Solar reached stage three of their relationship.

Even though the BGM “Good for You” was played by MBC, I felt like there was a much more appropriate song for this part. That is “I Won’t Give Up” – the song Eric sang for Solar at Jeju pool.

 Why “I Won’t Give Up” though? Sure, it does have something about navigating in there which is related to the compass, but isn’t this song about a guy patiently committing his love to a girl who might be so-so about it? That doesn’t sound very promising for a stage of relationship that is dubbed as “The Honeymoon” stage.

But that’s exactly why it is relevant, and I will explain it very soon. For now, I will sum up the sentiment that I, and both Eric and Solar probably shared while going through this stage with this one simple sentence:

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I don’t even know what’s going on anymore!

     Emotions Pouring Out

After the events that transpired during Chuseok, many new and strange feelings developed between them. These feelings that couldn’t yet be defined require them both to navigate through by constantly communicating their emotions to each other. The words they wanted to say, the feelings that’ve been building up inside them, everything came pouring out like a dam that was broken. It’s not just limited to love emotions though (something which we will get to), but this also involved other sides we barely, if never saw from them before.

Solar started cheating with Eric during games. Eric put in extra efforts just to make sure he won everything against her. Then he would turn around and make fun of her failures in a light-hearted manner too, especially her cooking, which we all know was something very sensitive to her. The best part of this was Solar getting bolder with her nagging and even her subtle innuendos toward Eric.

They became happy to show these hidden sides of them to each other, and Solar even wished Eric would do it more. It’s almost like they got tired of playing cool with each other – either Eric with his usual sweetness and kindness, or Solar with her innocent and reserved side. Chuseok has pushed them toward being more honest toward each other even more than they already did before. It definitely was the key to open the lower combination lock – the lock that contained feelings they once hid from each other.

Spoiler

Stage 1 – Jail Lock  P Solution: The 2nd key

Stage 2 – Combination Lock 1 (YEARS) P Solution: 1991

Stage 2-3 – Combination Lock 2 (KEY) P Solution: 1605 (?)

(The solution to the third lock was never shown. However, since the lock was displayed with the keyword “KEY”, I assume that the combination of the lock was: 1605)

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???

 

     I Guess It’s Okay to Be Cheesy Now?

But along with those comfortable feelings came another one as well – a romantic one.  Like Eric said, it’s only natural to develop this kind of feeling after spending many months working together, regardless of how much stock they invested into it.

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Their love expressions grew exponentially ever since Chuseok

It was absolutely shocking for me to see how casually they confessed their love to each other like that, knowing that they both have had problems expressing their romantic feelings before. I felt like I experienced a time skip in their relationship a few years into the future. It made me happy, but it was also a surreal experience at the same time.

Along the line, I kept wondering how they managed to make it happen between them. Then I remembered that it’s no different than their other feelings toward each other. Because they had become so incredibly comfortable at this point, they both knew that their love expressions would no longer rub the other person the wrong way. Whether they were serious or joking about it or not didn’t matter, the other person would gladly play along and tossed those romantic/playful gestures straight back at them like what two close friends would do.

At the end of the day though, love is a pretty serious word, and at some point, sincerity must be shown toward it for a romantic relationship to go anywhere. That finally begged the question: How much gravity did these two actually put into this word “love”?

     I Want to Stay Like This Forever (But… Can We?)

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On that day, Eric - whether by an irresistible urge to blurt out his deepest desire, or by some careful considerations beforehand - told Solar that he wanted to stay like now with her forever. All Solar told him afterwards in regard to his wish was “I can see you really mean it.”

A sudden burst of yearning came out from him, and for a brief moment, everything became dead silence. Both him and Solar realized something that they had been unconsciously doing the whole time in that pool – they were inching closer and closer to each other until there was no longer any space left between them.

So, in both a physical and metaphorical sense, Eric was suggesting that he wanted to stay next to her like that forever – confessing their love while sitting so close that I thought they were going to become two lovebirds cuddling each other.

And there was absolutely zero response from her since that day for that particular wish up until Dubai. He fulfilled (or at least he tried) her wish to make her laugh to death with a Korean joke. She fulfilled his wish for unexpected skinship in ways he would never imagined. Not only that, she even put in effort to make a better version of fried rice that he asked for on that beautiful afternoon in Dubai.

Well, if she already took the initiative to make every wish of his came true, then it would only be a matter of time before she granted him that wish too, right? She just needed time for something of that magnitude, that’s all. There’s not much to be concerned about.

Or so I thought…

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Why that song?

As the day darkened, and the end of their yacht tour approached, Solar suddenly requested Eric to play a song that contains a very somber message behind the cheerful tune. It’s a song that she’d been listening to for a while, and would continuing on doing so even a month after this.

What was that somber message? A detailed breakdown was provided here in this piece of analysis, which I not only consider to be extremely thought-provoking, but certainly is so accurate now looking back in hindsight.

~~~~~

[I Wish You Love: A Lyrical Analysis by cinnaminskies]

~~~~~

In a sense, Solar herself had become lost. She no longer knew where to draw the line between their relationship anymore. Even though the trip was filled with joy and heart-fluttering moments like a love story in a faraway land, she realized that all of this would soon be over. It’s not like they can be this way ever again once they wake up from this beautiful, yet fleeting dream.

The girl who smiles all the time could no longer hide the sadness on her face. Solar had been denying this feeling the whole trip so she could enjoy something she doesn’t get to do often, but when that fountain show ended, it all came crashing back into her. She finally understood the sentiment that Eric had one month ago in that inflatable pool, and it turned her happy mood in Dubai into a sour one.

And as she looked at Eric in the eyes, I personally believe that this was what she was trying to communicate, but couldn’t utter out a word in fear of bursting into tears:

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I know what you want, I can see it in your eyes. I wish for it too, but… you know it’s not possible, don’t you?

Perhaps it was too little too late, the realization of this mutual desire. What good is a relationship with no security for her? After all, she and Eric both already knew that the end was near. When that end comes, they will no longer be able to chase each other on the streets yelling “I love you” anymore. It hurts, it really does, but it’s best that they should just pretend like this feeling never happened in the first place for the sake of their hearts and their careers (but not after giving Solar some time to get over it).

Of course, it’s not like they would suddenly become strangers after all of this. They have already become good friends with each other, and not even WGM could take that away from them. But this feeling, this fantasy of a honeymoon between two lovers – a romantic getaway in Dubai – was what felt like a daydreaming thought of a future that was only short-lived.

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I… also just want us to stay here forever too

The lower combination lock was opened, but it revealed yet another electronic one behind it. Just when Eric thought Yongsun was finally within his reach, she still seemed so far away. The key was found, and it opened a heap tons of emotions from them. One thing it didn’t manage to open though, was her heart.

Where do they go from here now?

     This Is All I Need to Know

Fortunately, when all seemed lost, Eric figured out something crucial during that trip:

Quote

“They say you can see the true you when you travel. There’s a saying that not getting along when travelling means that you’re not supposed to be together. We (I) didn’t have to worry about that. That was really nice.”

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I guess we’re meant to be together after all

Eric had been fighting so hard for his wish to “stay like this forever” with Solar – a wish that Solar understood but found impossible to be fulfilled – to become a reality. If there was ever any doubt that they aren’t meant to stay like that together, the days in Dubai with Solar have made all doubts went away for him.

Up to the last day, everything seemed to be smooth sailing like that yacht on the calm sea at Palm Jumeirah. Yet, at the sight of the sky darkened, Eric realized that he finally hit another wall created by Solar. But just like every other wall before this, he knew exactly what to do to get past it, because unlike her, his mindset was clear – he wanted this, and he will help her see it clearly for herself.

     The Light of Hope

After spending his time around piecing two and two together from the instructions given to him, Eric realized that the answer was inside the safe this whole time.

epPz7IC.png

Even though the numbers scattered all over the place, the answer to this was in a dark place that required flashlight to be used.

(And it is here that I should remind you that the word “bride” can become NEWS with a slight adjustment)

The usage of flashlight by Eric here is analogous to the idea of a lighthouse guiding ships through the dark sea. To explain what I mean more clearly, I would like to borrow lyrics from Bruno Mars’s “Count on Me” that contain a perfect imagery for this:

Quote

If you ever find yourself lost in the dark and you can’t see

I will be the light, to guide you

The compass is very similar to the lighthouse(flashlight) in a sense that both of them are used for maritime navigation. As you can see, the two biggest hints given to Eric in this stage (beside the obvious “GA” that went over his head) were:

BqUNn71.png

(1) Compass is what you use when you are lost (from Solar)

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(2) Feel comfortable using flashlight for your own convenience [(4) from the instruction]

Solar was no longer certain where they stood. In a sense, figuring out what he was to her, and what she was to him, was like groping in the dark at this point.  She wanted to give up, she wanted to not think too much about this, so she won’t feel hurt anymore.

But Eric’s direction for their relationship was as clear as the needle on the compass or the light that he would soon shine to guide his bride (a.k.a the word “NEWS”). He spent a wish just for this, and like the first wish he made to drop formalities with her, he will again patiently wait for her to figure everything out. Her wish for him to truly know her was fulfilled even if she wasn’t sure it would happen at first, and now his wish for things to not change will be fulfilled the same way. Eric was ready to make it happen once more.

And with that, I will leave you with the song “I Won’t Give Up” to show how relevant it is to everything up to this point before we move on to the last stage.

Quote

Ultimately it was about, you know, regardless of what happens in this relationship, I don't have to give up on loving this person, or loving myself, or give up on whatever my dreams are…  For me, the true meaning exists in the bridge saying 'I don't want to be someone who walks away so easily, I'm here to stay and make a difference.' That is for all of us. We all have something that we're fighting for or that we're striving for. Whether we want to coach our soccer team to victory or lose five pounds in a month, whatever it is, there's nothing too small worth fighting for and there's nothing too big worth going after.

- Jason Mraz

Spoiler

I Won’t Give Up (by Eric Nam)

 

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When I look into your eyes

xJ6BNUW.png

It’s like watching the night sky

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Or a beautiful Sunrise

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There’s so much they hold

~~~~~

 

b8eAMsN.png

And just like them old stars

I see that you’ve come so far

To be right where you are

How old is your soul?

~~~~~

 

VzEUwsy.png

I won’t I give up on us

Even if the skies get rough

I’m giving you all my love

I’m still looking up

~~~~~

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And when you’re needing your space

To do some navigating

 

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I’ll be here patiently waiting

To see what you find

‘Cause even the stars they burn

Some even fall to the Earth

neA4n0S.png

We’ve got a lot to learn

God knows we’re worth it

No, I won’t give up

~~~~~

 

80nzTzg.png

I don’t wanna be someone who walks away so easily

I’m here to stay and make the difference that I can make

 

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Our differences they do a lot to teach us how to use

The tools and gifts we got, yeah, we got a lot at stake

 

IoZWUd7.png

And in the end, you’re still my friend at least we did intend

For us to work we didn’t break, we didn’t burn

We had to learn how to bend without the world caving in

I had to learn what I’ve got, and what I’m not, and who I am

~~~~~

QSPiyU7.png

No, I won’t give up on us

Even if the skies get rough

I’m giving you all my love

I’m still looking up, I’m still looking up

 

bXACbhH.png

I won’t give up on us

God knows I'm tough enough

We've got a lot to learn

God knows we're worth it

NtwVn5j.png

I won’t give up on us

Even if the skies get rough

I’m giving you all my love

I’m still looking up, I’m still looking up

 

 

Spoiler

Stage 1 – Jail Lock  P Solution: The 2nd key

Stage 2 – Combination Lock 1 (YEARS) P Solution: 1991 

Stage 2-3 – Combination Lock 2 (KEY) P Solution: 1605 (?) 

Stage 3-4 – Electronic Keypad  P Solution: 6385

CCfKJ46.png

- - - - - - - - - -

Stage 4 (Episode 32 – Final)

~~~~~

[Stage 4: My Aching Heart and I Agree (Dubai – present) by cinnaminskies]

 ~~~~~

We pick up where we left off at the end of last stage, when Solar scared the daylight out of him with the song “I Wish You Love”. Speaking of scaring Eric, there’s a certain image of something that was eerily similar to that:

Spoiler

3o6ZsSDwbEb7JNfS3S.gif

 

Just when both Eric and I thought we were going somewhere, Solar sent us straight back out of the room. I mean, wasn’t she complaining earlier about how long he took to get to her? Look at this silly Yeba wasting even more time just to make Eric looks like garbage. But It’s okay, it’s probably just a funny prank for the camera, right?

Not. If anything, we all should be able to see at this point that everything happened in this jail cell was for a good reason. Now in this stage, I can finally explain what I meant earlier in my remark about the necessity of putting Eric in jail.

Unlike the last stage when I was left feeling lost out in the sea about where everything was going, this stage basically left me dumbfounded by another plot twist that I never saw coming at all.

Sd7CcmE.png

Phew, hello there Yon…A MASK?

It didn’t take Eric long to figure out that even though he already went through all kind of trouble for those previous locks, he still had some more work to do. He’s in the room now, he’s there, but he’s not there. The mysterious Ms.Wife was still standing with a mask on her face looking at him without a word. He must have thought that he mistakenly went to the set of “King of Masked Singer” instead of “We Got Married’ at that time.

All of this really seemed like an elaborate prank to make him lose his mind. Hours of him crawling around in that jail like an idiot, and now MBC and this girl was about to turn him into a fool again?

     The Final Seal

During the days apart from each other after coming back from Dubai, Solar spent time on her own to absorb everything that just happened. She put “I Wish You Love” on replay while going into a deep brooding state of mind. Although I really have no idea what was going on in there (or if there really was anything to read in the first place), whatever that she thought about eventually drove her to set up a very elaborate scheme for Eric in their upcoming meeting. Her change of heart left me in absolute disbelief by what happened, and until this day, I am still left to wonder if there was any external factor that influenced her choice.

But she cares too much about Eric for that. She can’t just put him through the struggle without taking care of his health first. After all, Solar is a very kind and innocent girl, is she not?

M0Tf9rW.png

Sorry you had to go through all that. Here’s a fruit basket for you

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Oh, and another present for you too. It looks beautiful, isn’t it?

KOzEkoM.png

Thanks for taking me out on a date, oppa. Here, let me feed you

qhqHZS3.png

Done? Okay, let’s go to Hongdae for shopping… something beautiful like that

Poor Eric had no idea that behind that caring leader of Mamamoo Solar is an evil scheming queen called Yongsun.

~~~~~

[Are You on My Side? – A Test of Trust, Wit and Temper by enko20]

~~~~~

We began to see many parallels between that candid camera sequence and what Eric went through in jail. They both were a test of how much he relates to Yongsun, a test of his wit to find a way out of a sticky situation, and most importantly, a test to see if he has the calmness to withstand everything thrown at him.

But that wasn’t the only similarity that could be drawn, in fact, the mission given to Eric carried pretty much the same meaning to that as well. Remember what I said about the meaning of this confined room?

02RVnSZ.png

It’s a room that echoes the image of her own bedroom in the past – the room she locked herself in and sang to her heart’s content. Now, if Eric wants to enter her room, then he has to live by this one simple rule from the room owner:

KZOOhVk.png

Sing for me, like I used to sing for myself before (and make sure you get at least a 90)

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“If you want me to take down this mask once and for all, then I want you to see my childhood first before you can see the me of today.”

qZIG90X.png

“If you want a possible future with me, then show me that you accept and love me despite my past.”

    We Meet at Last

The perfect score Eric received from the karaoke machine, and the perfect score he received from Solar and Eun Ah from both test finally made Solar – a girl famously known for her skepticism – believe in something she never thought she would be able to. It is now okay for her to take off her mask and let Eric sees her face. It is now okay for her to open up her heart and trust again even though she was once let down by it.

It will be embarrassing and a bit awkward though, just like the feeling they had when they recognized each other for the first time. But soon, everything will turn into laughter and Eric screaming “Um Oh Ah Yeah!” off the top of his lungs in excitement instead. Solar doesn’t have to worry too much anymore.

~~~

Six months ago, Eric sang this song to break the final seal that prevented him from reaching the real her. Six months later, Yongsun sang it once again - this time to finally let him know many feelings within her that at one point she couldn’t, and wasn’t sure she could express to him, in fear of becoming vulnerable to tragedy and heartbreak.

Spoiler

I’m in Love (Narsha ver.)

 

kjBXggX.png

To be honest, from the first time we met

Saying I like you wasn’t easy for me

ZgnY52S.png

If I don’t approach you first, I’m afraid of losing you

I wrote a message, hesitated a bit, then deleted it again

73QjBnZ.png

 If my love for you gets any deeper, it will only result in getting hurt

These fears are filling in my mind, this is the truth

 

Fh5rLQe.png

Praying with all my heart, the person I’m yearning for

I believe that person is you

 I’m in love

I fall in love

 

VPB7slS.png

I won’t be scared if I’m with you

The world is so beautiful

~~~~~

I thought I’m never gonna fall in love

But I’m in love

‘Cause I wanna love you baby

~~~~~

jDVH0UL.png

To be honest, from the first time we met

Somewhere deep in my heart

You crashed in like a strong wave

You’re the only thing on my mind all day

~~~~~

I can be a good lover

Wanna be your four-leaf clover

 

jKBLp6P.png

It feels like I’ve become the happiest woman in the world

~~~~~

RQMljJ9.png

You gotta believe me

Make you never gonna leave me

I won’t doubt, I will believe you

~~~ 

I’m in love, want you my baby

I fall in love

~~~

VD3q2ZD.png

Whenever I’m with you

You always touch my heart

You are so beautiful

 

     

     If Only We Had More Time

Everything is now solved. There’s no longer a need for gimmicks like locks or masks to test each other anymore. The Solar and Eric Nam of the first meeting has now made way for Yongsun and Yoondo to take their stage with pride.

Sadly, the moment they realized this was also the moment their time together on WGM was over. The months they spent together on this show were just like the time they both spent inside that tower in Hongdae. It was a safe haven, a place where they can play prank, crawling and screaming around like two kids. They were left alone on their own, with no one to meddle with their business, and they naturally found their way toward each other.

 

7JhhIXo.png

There’s a first time, and last time for everything

Every good thing in this world must come to an end though. The first day they realized what the other person truly meant to them was also the last day they would get to experience this newfound sweetness. It truly was a bittersweet experience, and something that they won’t be able to forget for a very long time. They can take solace however knowing that they made it happen before it was too late. Now it is time for them to walk out of the tower to finish up the mission - the beautiful story they created here once and for all.

Spoiler

Stage 1 – Jail Lock  P Solution: The 2nd key

Stage 2 – Combination Lock 1 (YEARS) P Solution: 1991 

Stage 2-3 – Combination Lock 2 (KEY) P Solution: 1605 (?) 

Stage 3-4 – Electronic Keypad  P Solution: 6385

 

The End

 

…Or is it?

------

Stage 5 (Episode 33 - Future)

0elfCzl.png

Wait, there’s a fifth one?

(Notice the fan symbol engraved next to it)

Spoiler

Stage 1 – Jail Lock  P Solution: The 2nd key

Stage 2 – Combination Lock 1 (YEARS) P Solution: 1991 

Stage 2-3 – Combination Lock 2 (KEY) P Solution: 1605 (?) 

Stage 3-4 – Electronic Keypad  P Solution: 6385

???

 

    I Am Yours, You Are Mine

After the dust settled between Eric and Solar, they were shocked to find out there was actually another electronic lock to be solved. This time, this lock was an obstacle that prevented both of them from exiting the tower instead of something that separated the two.

The combination to this was hidden inside the three fans on the top. At first, I thought that it was just a spontaneous idea to put them there, but oddly enough, I might have made a connection as to why it had to be a fan and not something else.

 Now this might be the purest of coincidences ever, but the word “fan” in English has two definitions to it:

(1)  Fan – an instrument that produces air current

(2)  Fan – a supporter of a public figure

Technically, in Korean, there are two different words for this – 부채/선풍기 (1) and (2), but the term used to describe a fan (2) in Korean is also pronounce (paen).

Thus, this electronic lock represents their next stage, and the final challenge that they have to go through -  a challenge against their own fanbase. I call this stage “Post-WGM”, a stage where they will have to fight for the survival of their relationship now that they have moved on from the show.

Hs8SSnO.png

You gotta believe me, make you never gonna leave me

However, this time, neither of them will have to face any trial alone anymore. They are now together, they now have seen and known each other too well. The entire event at Chuseok has taught them how to believe and lean on each other in tough times, and now they can finally put that to good use.

That red electronic lock was solved by their collective effort together. It was no longer Eric doing the dirty work while Solar sat in one place offering him advices or nagging him to come to her. Yongsun herself stepped in and became his active partner for the first time for this final puzzle, and she proved that she had just as much will and capability as him to find a solution for their escape.

KMnl7Ry.png

As long as we hold each other’s hands, we can overcome anything together

TgkiAzp.png

As long as we hold on to these shoes, we will always be together

Her absolute refusal of the parting, and every ounce of effort she put into those shoes was the biggest sign that she wants to keep their relationship alive as much as he does. If there was ever any doubt before that Eric was the only sincere one, then this certainly just squashed all of that. Yongsun has now taken part in this battle that they will have to face from now on.

     Promise Me This: Don’t Change Your Mind

RQMljJ9.png

Solar had given Eric every sign in the world that she could. The meal that she cooked (with love I should remind you) for his birthday, the personal letter she wrote and decorated will all her heart, and finally the gift that emphasized her intention in the most obvious way, all of that showed how much gravity she put in the request for Eric to not change his feelings for her.

FHXOBld.png

But long before she asked him for this commitment, Eric had already had this in him. Even back in the early days when he barely knew who she was, he already desired to become closer to her more than anything else. Everything he had done up to this point, from his sweet treatment of her to even his brutal honesty later on, he did it all simply because he truly cares about the relationship he has with her.

Kiukker.png

I have always been there behind you, watching and supporting you all this time

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And from now on, you should know it will remain that way

If all of the souvenirs he brought back for her from foreign lands, or even the tiniest things he has remembered about her aren’t big enough of an affirmation, then the album that he has secretly been working on in what little time he has as a busy man just cemented how much Solar means to him.

There’s no reason to believe that he would give up now. He didn’t give up when Solar kept her distance before their Jeju trip, he didn’t give up when Solar pushed his wish to stay the same away. Now that it’s a wish Yongsun ask from him, it becomes even more of a motivation for him to make her wish come true.

V49wGB6.png

Stay back Solar! This tunnel is dark, let me be the first one to go


The path post-WGM certainly will be very dark and filled with thorns. Many anti-fans will be against them. The future might contain things that could get out of hand before they even know it. Like the fan that produces blowing wind, the opposition they face from their fans certainly will blow them apart if they don’t hold on to each other tightly enough.

However, Solar can take comfort knowing that this time around, Eric will be the one to make that first venture into the unknown. She had already sent him down the path against darkness and hopelessness she experienced before, and now it’s up to him to use what he has learned to make sure that from now on, he will hold Solar’s hands and walk away from darkness toward the path of flowers and sunshine instead.

 

aNfBXjX.png

I believe in the happy days ahead

And we certainly have begun to witness all of this unfolding slowly in front of our eyes.

Spoiler

Stage 1 – Jail Lock  P Solution: The 2nd key

Stage 2 – Combination Lock 1 (YEARS) P Solution: 1991 

Stage 2-3 – Combination Lock 2 (KEY) P Solution: 1605 (?) 

Stage 3-4 – Electronic Keypad 1  P Solution: 6385

Stage 5 - Electronic Keypad 2 P Solution: 3224

Z7BkOuM.png

Note: The actual solution was revealed when Eric and Solar read out the numbers on the four fans in this order: 3, 2, 2, 4.

~~~~

???

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Hey everyone! Finally managed to do all the steps and log back in. Fortunately I wasn't totally cut off from you fellow ddongie shippers since I joined the Kakao chat. You all should definitely join that.

@enko20 I know I already like flailed to you about that article, but just... wow. You're amazing. You know, at first I was wondering why a couple so carefree and easygoing as Eric and Solar had to start their marriage out with something so dramatic, but now I am not only glad they did (for without it your wonderful article wouldn't exist), but also am thinking maybe it was our grand-gesture, movie-inspired Yongddongie who came up with the idea.

And, just... the fans. The symbolism of the fans. I can't even begin to describe how happy that made me.

I am going to try and keep my mind away from the "those pictures kind of make it seem like you're on a date, Eric" place for my own sanity, but.... it's going to be hard. Ahh I've been writing fic for too long.

Speaking of, I don't know if I mentioned, but I started writing a fic, because I figured we all need some new content on Saturday, since there's no episode and no subs to wait for/get excited about. It's been fun, but it's also leaving me a little more delusional than usual, so feel free to call me out on any of that. Still, Eric was the one to go through the tunnel first...

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[MAMAMOO FUN FACTS]
Member's Zodiac Sign
Solar: Pisces
Moonbyul: Capricorn
Wheein: Aries 
Hwasa: Leo

 

[MAMAMOO FUN FACTS]
Solar wanted her stage name to be “DoReMi” but because of the fact that she can reach higher notes, her name became Solar or So La instead.

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5seconds of Minhyuk x MoonByul =(MMs Couple) MinByul Moment

Mamamoo @ Today Music Core's 5 mins delay (featuring BTOB)

 

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@enko20 Great article as always. Very detailed insights! I envy all you Chigus that are such great detectives!

I went back to see the puzzles after reading your article. And I think the solution to the board with letters, should be what Eric found out "ACTRESS" (Eric is really an intelligent guy).

I listed all the alphabets on the board :

Green : ACE、b

Blue : f、g、h、i、j、k

Purple : l、m、n、o、p、d

Yellow : q、RSST、u

Orange : v、w、x、y、z

(Which contains all the 26 alphabets and just one extra letter "S")

aaurvit.jpg

AFzFkXJ.jpg

CqBlIcA.jpg

And I believe you can find that there's only 7 capitalized alphabets ( A、C、T、R、E、S、S ). I tried shifting these letters around and the best solution I could get would be "actress".

Or I just lack of English vocabularies in my head :sweatingbullets::sweatingbullets:

6NldYZD.jpg

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CyK_E3JUoAAA1zK.jpg

 

 

CyK_EXRUsAAOnim.jpg

 

1st snowfall :(

you didnt catch it together with appa eric :(

 

CyLAZtkUoAA3pxm.jpg

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so sad because we don't have new episode anymore this weekend :")

Spoiler

but i checked on kshowdaily, wow the new couple really got the all the airtime. Sleepy & gookjo got 34 mins, taemi only 18 mins, samsam 17 mins. and only samsam doesn't have preview for next week.. the show is screwed.. 

 

Eric for MAMA countdown! Of course tteokppoki is number 1 :rolleyes:

---

Solar's diary ft. jjingjjing

Spoiler
 
 
moonbyul memo ft. solar
 

 

Solar today~ 

Spoiler

 

 

---

is this jjing plushie that she brought to ddongi's house?

IMG_20161126_200926_zpss3g4orgf.jpg

Spoiler

CyGuDMPVQAAtFwn.jpg

 

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Just check wgm clip at mbc yt ch, i watch the preview and no preview for sam2 cp...is this kind thing has happen before?

and like @gureentea i check kshowdaily too...under 20min for taebom and sam2, cao2 cp have 30+ min too for their beginning  ep and if i'm not wrong bbyu cp have under 20 min too that time

@enko20 after read your article i rewatched ddongie first meeting again...thanks for write this chingu

I'm glad to see update from yong sun and yoon do

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@trowabarton99 That was also my line of logical thinking at first too, but... I think it's more complicated than that.

First of all, the word "ACTRESS" really isn't much of a hint for Solar. She's not well known for her acting career (with only one mini drama project thus far), so that's not what you would use as a clue to help Eric figure out who she is, nor would it be helpful to figure the solution to the third lock (which again, by my logic should be 1605)

Secondly, I think it's not just the capitalization of the letters, but the color of the letters also has some meaning behind it. If you notice carefully, most of the clues revolved around the use of colors like the hint NEWS - North East West South for the safe keypad.

Why do I think it's not as straightforward as it looked? Because the solution for the fourth lock was not that simple either.

Spoiler

 

SShmNJg.png

Judging by his solution, you would think that the color-coded numbers has to line up with the cardinal direction of the word NEW- 6 for North, 3 for East, 8 for West , and 5 for South.

dXDI9Ll.png

But when he pointed to the North direction,  the only number that's in blue was 4, while the number 6 was brown.

HtokyXr.png

All the numbers on the wall actually had another smaller number written on it that's color-coded differently. That number was the real answer, like in this case for the South direction, the little number 5 inside the number 8 matched the hint.

aQnFwXR.png

Or for the North direction, the little number 6 inside the number (it's difficult to see)

 

The letter board was use as a hint to solve the lower red combination lock. I suspect that it is related to the colored numbers on the wall somehow (kind of like letter-number code conversion -  A = 1, B = 2), rather than just simply putting all capitalized letters together.

Spoiler

I really don't think ACTRESS was the right answer. It didn't suggest anything about the 4-digit code no matter how I look at it.

R3Gsd21.png

Even Eric had no idea if what he put together meant anything at all either, but he somehow figured out an answer afterwards, and the solution was never aired.

 

One more thing:

Spoiler

I thought it was weird that the last lock only had 3 digits in it while the rest had four, so I checked again. There were actually four fans on the top, yet they only used three fans for the answer. How did they know that it wasn't a four-digit code but three-digit? They just flat out ignored the fan on the far corner.

rKBovyY.png

 

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@Ira Ajja Ahh I feel bad for the 33 couple. It doesn't look like they'll get to go out with a bang like Eric and Solar did. Also, they're always the couple I think about when I read the criticisms that Eric and Solar should've been more romantic with each other. Jota and Jinkyung certainly have that aspect to them, but I'm not entirely sure whether or not they're in contact outside the show. So, their fans are probably not in the best boat right now. Hopefully they at least get a heartwarming final episode.

Hmm... I wonder if Eric's ever gotten to meet Jjing Jling. 

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@cinnaminskies 

Spoiler

The last time I read an interview about 33 couple, Jota said he was busy in Japan so he didn't contact Jinkyung. He also said the question about dating her was a very sensitive subject.

http://www.soompi.com/2016/09/07/madtowns-jota-declines-comment-possibility-really-dating-kim-jin-kyung/

I think right now he's also busy doing Real Men (if they end soon, this could be the reason). I don't know if they are as close in real life as they are on screen, but I hope MBC doesn't just give them a terrible ending like they did to some other couples before.

 

- - - - - 

I watched Moonsun diary earlier and apparently not only did Solar imitated the Titanic pose earlier, she also started singing "And I..."  melody from "I Will Always Love You" (Isn't it supposed to be "My Heart Will Go On"?)

Then Moonbyul said this:

W2KVIap.png

Sounded like Moonbyul told her to stop (again?) then she sneaked in the My Ear's Candy dance afterwards.

Full sequence:

Spoiler

oiCJHSnQ0pAgo.gif

full delulu mode on

Spoiler

Solar having flashback

And I......

7s1i0G4.png

Titanic

J0l8pS6.pngmX3kmsk.png

My Ear's Candy (She also sang the "La la" part from My Ear's Candy lyrics too.)oUEdow1.pngOd2sMoF.png

- - - - -

Something off-topic

Spoiler

I just checked Taejoon-Bomi thread and apparently they got a lot of hate for their photoshoot this episode, it was crazy. Now I wonder if Eric-Solar did one would they have gotten the same hate too?

Article: 'WGM' Choi Tae Joon "Isn't that too erotic?" to Yoon Bomi wearing a slip dress

Quote

1. [+849, -59] Me? Or her? -Seolhyun-

2. [+546, -23] So just according to script, right PD-nim??

3. [+533, -23] These two really seem like they're playing according to the script

4. [+48, -8] 100% PD made him say that. Men don't care if their girl is wearing a slinky slip or not, it's stuff out of a woman's imagination that they want the man to act concerned

5. [+43, -4] Seolhyun will run over there

6. [+38, -5] Her

7. [+32, -2] Ironic how girls wear it to show off but guys have to act like covering them back up is manners

8. [+20, -3] At least he's better than that rapper

9. [+19, -0] Don't act so naive

10. [+17, -15] Yoon Bomi looks pretty in that last screencap, Choi Tae Joon looks handsome too

And Taejoon apparently has some connection with AOA Seolhyun? I wasn't aware of this.

 

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@cinnaminskies @enko20  i check the other thread to know what happen with no preview for sam2 and with taebom photoshoot...for sam2 still no explanation and for taebom it's said it's only netizen act

I don't have mood to watch wgm this weekend so i rely on viewers comment at kshowonline and yt ch...it's look that sleepy gukjo have good respond and sam2 still have lower viewers, kshowdaily comment section so quiet and there's no comment for new cp i wonder who will make thread for new cp

this morning i only replay mamamoo stage at blue dragon award that sub by mmmtrans, solar and moonbyul adlibs make me laugh

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