At the Moment takes us from a plain old story of deceit to a love story between an alien and a time traveler. Episode 4 isn’t a new story at all; it’s just one of those 2000s rom-com stories repackaged in the era of the pandemic. It’s a bit of a stretch, but the leads have decent chemistry to keep us going. This episode follows a writer named Chih-hsuan, who believes she’s traveled to 2021 from the year 2012 because she graduated about two weeks ago and is 22 in her mind, while physically 32. Soon, she’s going to find the one person who believes her.
What Happens In The Episode?
Chih-hsuan wakes up every day with a note over her head, surrounded by sheets of information. She happens to be a really popular romance author at age 32, but she doesn’t remember having written any of those books. The pandemic is in full swing, and Chih-hsuan rushes to the grocery store to get her supplies. She’s completely shocked to find that there’s no toilet paper left for her. At that moment, a man tells her he knows where she can find some. To her surprise, he takes her to her building and gets off on the same floor as her. Lin Yu-Te happens to be Chih-hsuan’s neighbor. Lin takes her home, where he has his personal stash of toilet paper. Looking at the devastating news, Chih-hsuan suddenly feels like she’s dying immediately, and she’ll never get to go back in time, so she should make the best of the moment. So, she tries to kiss Lin, who faints from impact.
When Lin wakes up, Chih-hsuan has made her way back home and left a note for him. As an apology (or at least that’s what we’d imagine it to be), Lin leaves food delivery at Chih-hsuan’s front door with his number and LINE ID. Chih-hsuan gives him a video call, and they get talking. Lin says he’s an alien, so kissing an earthling is why he fainted. In between the little happiness, Chih-hsuan is getting from her neighbor, she’s also getting hammered by her manager to put out something new and hold a meet-and-greet online. Of course, Chih-hsuan doesn’t remember anything she’s written, so how exactly is she supposed to speak to people about something she doesn’t know?
Leaving the negativity behind, Chih-hsuan spends all night talking to Lin, sharing popcorn and details of their lives. Chih-hsuan notices her books in Lin’s house, and he says he has the books for research. It turns out a girlfriend of his used to quote Chih-hsuan all the time, so he wanted to find out what she was all about. To get to the crux of her story, Chih-husan needs to meet someone from her past. Lin sends her to go talk to her first love to figure out her past. The conversation doesn’t help at all, except for her learning that he cheated on her, and she’s very over him. When she’s back, she’s back to talking to Lin.
In her meet-and-greet, Chih-hsuan uses the words Lin told her during their conversation. According to Lin, love is like a cold in the brain; it comes and goes like a storm, but there’s a scientific explanation behind all the feelings it leaves one with. Chih-hsuan argues that there’s one feeling that is the same for all, and that’s pain. It seems that the stars Chih-hsuan refers to in her quote are the pain that gets left behind after love disappears. Chih-hsuan mentions that whatever she’s said is a message from the universe, and the messenger is watching—that is Lin, of course. After the meet and greet, Chih-hsuan and Lin continued to get close. One night, he goes on a run and video-calls her. She doesn’t want to go out because the pandemic is terrifying to her, but he shows her what’s around. He then flips the camera to the sky, which is clear, and the stars are perfectly visible. He explains to her what the constellations are, and Chih-hsuan has a deja-vu moment, believing she’s seen this in a dream. She tells Lin that the next step is for them to fall in love, but the call gets cut right after. He doesn’t come back home all night, and Chih-hsuan waits outside his flat for him to return. When he does come back, she’s like a possessive lover, asking him why he didn’t pick up her calls or return home all night.
He says he went back to Pluto for a little while. Chih-hsuan is in no mood for jokes, though, and she wants them to think about the present that they’re in just for a little bit. After spending the night together, Lin disappears for real with a simple note on his front door that simply reads that things will be fine and will go back to normal, signed by her “alien neighbor.” For some time, Chih-hsuan is devastated by the situation, not knowing what to do with herself.
What Happens To Lin?
On one fateful day, the security guard of the building asks Chih-hsuan if Lin is doing okay. She has no idea what he’s talking about, and he says Lin was dropped off in an ambulance a couple of days earlier, and he took all his important things in a rush, leaving the building for good. The security guard hands over something Lin left behind for Chih-hsuan. It’s a video clip from Lin. First, he apologizes for leaving Chih-hsuan with no answers. Then, he narrates the story of how the two of them really met back in 2018. They were new neighbors, and after some interesting meetings, they started hanging out and fell in love. Remember the stars? It really did happen. But Lin fell terribly ill and broke up with Chih-hsuan because he didn’t want to leave her heartbroken for worse reasons. At the end of the video, Lin says that someday Chih-hsuan may return to 2012 and meet Lin in a different universe somewhere far away.
We can assume that Lin has died, but Chih-hsuan is now fully in the present and has written a book about an alien and time traveler falling in love. It turns out it’s her only book with a happy ending, so it must be highly celebrated. At the end of the episode, it’s 2012, and Lin works in a planetarium, where he finds a little plushie left behind by a visitor. The said visitor is Chih-hsuan, and she returns to take it from him. The episode ends with them standing about 5 meters apart, pointing at each other. We can imagine that this is the happy ending Chih-hsuan gave them in her book since Lin is gone for good. This is the dream scenario Chih-hsuan would have wanted for them.