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Don't Stop

Updated: Feb 5, 2023

Don't Stop

What we know so far: (See final Treasure recap in Zero: Fever Part.1 (Part 1) and the Diary Film recap in Zero: Fever Part. 1 (Part 2) and the Zero: Fever Parts. 1-3 recaps in Zero: Fever Epilogue). Ateez found themselves back in their warehouse without Yeosang several weeks before the death of Yunho's brother. They were distraught but then Yeosang's drone knocked on the warehouse door signaling he was still alive in Strictland. Seonghwa found an article about a religious group, the Sciensalvars, trying to steal a Mayan relic, their dimension's version of the Cromer, and he and Seonghwa talked the boys into going after it so they could return to Strictland and save Yeosang. Yunho chose to stay behind with his brother while the rest of the boys went to the museum. While there, they boys were taken hostage by the leader of the Sciensalvars, Henry Jo. Yunho saw this on the news and went to save the members with his biker friends. They were able to get free with the Cromer but Yunho's brother how was struck down at 5:07, the exact same time he was previously hit by a car. He told Yunho to neither of the times he was hit by a car were his fault and that he needed to live his life without regreting the past. They then used the Cromer to return to Strictland, save Yeosang while wearing the Halateez outfits, and send a message to the Black Pirates bunker that they had returned, the message said, "SAY NY NAME, ATEEZ."


So before I got into the storyline, I thought the Don't Stop music video was going to bridge the gap from the Fever series back to the Treasure series (I pretty much only knew the Fever series was a prequel and that they were pirates with a Jekyll and Hyde thing going with Halateez. Look how far we have come). So I thought this music video was them getting all of the paraphernalia they need in order to be pirates (the compass → Mingi, the eyeglass → Wooyoung and San, the deed to the ship → Yunho, Jongho, Seonghwa, and Yeosang, and the key → Hongjoong). Also, did you notice that Mingi’s scene was shot in the Fireworks location? That was in Strictland which was another reason why I thought it was bridgeing the gap. But now that we know Fever leads directly into Say My Name, I need to reassess.


Making of Don't Stop:

Starting from the Making Of: Hongjoong says, “I was a pirate who had everything but lost everything so I’m very angry. I’m mad from the start. Right now, this [points to his black eye] while losing everything, I got a wound and it hurts a little. I’m a pirate with pain. [insert me: 😭🤗] It’s a scene where I’m all mad and then meet the members. I’m filming all of the scenes today so I don’t come to work tomorrow [cute excited dance for a day off] [insert me: 🤗]. So I’ll do my best today.” Later on he says, “I’m going to smash the piano now. I’m enranged with anger right now. Please keep that in mind that I’m different from my real personality; I’ll bring Tyrant Hongjoong soon.” Also, his coat says, “War is over” on it. Maybe that is another clue to something since they did that with Anarchy in the Treasure series. A little later, he is on the road to the members and says, “This is the street where I go to meet the members after hurting my eye. Smashing the piano wasn’t enough I guess so I burned the house because I was the person who had everything but lost everything in an instant. I guess I can’t control the anger."

Then when the other members join, there is a scene in the van where one of them starts singing Rythma Ta (I think because it is reminiscent of the van scene in their Rythma Ta kingdom stage. I can’t tell if this is a clue or they are just messing around though). One of them (I am assuming Yeosang because he always calls Atiny, Tiny) says, “Tiny, do you really think we are Ateez?” Which reminds me of what they were saying in Say My Name. Now that we know Say My Name took place in Strictand and the scene Mingi filmed also looks like Fireworks which took place in Strictland, I would like to say this too takes place there. Halateez is also refered to as “Black Pirates” there. Additionally, if they WERE singing Rythma Ta to clue us into a parallel, then maybe this is the music video version of the storyline of Rythma Ta (they did break into a vault there too). Or maybe once a theif always a theif mentality is happening and this is a different heist. I don't know.

Reaction to Don't Stop:

Moving on to the Reaction video: When Seonghwa drops the loot at Hongjoong’s feet, San says, “'Take this and leave!' was not what happened, we took it.” then Hongjoong says, “It’s more like ‘we found it all’”. The members then see the ship and say, “Woah, the ship is wrecked” and “Yes, we found the ship, the lost pirate ship” and “The 8 got together so they found it.” Wooyoung wanted to make sure Atiny knew he wasn’t the one shuffeling the cards because he didn’t want people to ask him to do that in the future and get disappointed when he couldn’t [inserte me: 🤗]. Hongjoong then says, “There are a lot of Atiny who are curious about this storyline. Actually all of the members were very angry at the beginning and I’m angry too. It’s just us, who’ve lost everything and started again from nothing to find the pirate ship back and regain our reputiation.” Then San says, “From nothing to something” and Hongjoong says, “yes”. Hongjoong says later, “For your information a lot of fans were guessing how the storyline connects to Ateez but more than that, you know our variety show Universe, I think you should see how it connects to that. I think that could be more fun. I think it’ll be easier for you to understand. I think you can see it as something a bit more special.” AND NOW I NEED TO FIND THAT.


Bookish Theories' Don't Stop Theory:

My Takeaways

  • Don't Stop explores the contrasting emotions of a person who is overcome by desire and does not want the other person to stop

  • We are moving back to the pirate concept from their Treasure series and now more than ever they are not stopping until their achieve their goal

  • They are getting what they need in order to begin their next adventure

  • Metaphorically the burning desire to get their treasure is a drive that literally blinds them

  • Bookish Theories' personal guess is that the key Hongjoong finds in the ship is a key to a treasure. If this is true, they are now closer to the treasure since before it was associated with a dream or illusion. Now they know exactly what they need to reach their goal

  • The deed of the ship states that Destiny's Ship is owned by HJ (Hongjoong) [Also, love the name of the ship!! Destiny!! Ateez + Destiny = Atiny!!]

Now let's watch the music videos:


Final Thoughts

I still don't think this fits where I originally thought, between the Fever and Treasure series, but I am not sure where it goes. They are gathering what they need to set off on their journey as pirates and we have seen each of these things, or versions of them, in other music videos. The compass was in Illusion and Wave, the spyglass was in Illusion and Answer, and the ship also was in Illusion. So I am uncertain if they are getting these things for the first time or getting them back. No matter, they end up with everything they need and walking towards their ship, Destiny. I am so excited to see what will happen next!!

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