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Zero: Fever Part. 2

Updated: Jan 28, 2023

Fireworks (I'm the One)

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)) Ateez gathered as friends and spent time together in a warehouse where they sang, danced, and hung out. They became each others' support systems and encouraged eachother to go after their dreams and escape the pressure the adult world was placing on them. A series of events occurred and the warehouse was locked up and everyone was separated. That is when Hongjoong broke in and met Halajoong in a dream. He was gifted a Cromer (hourglass) and told about the other diminsion where Halateez is from. The Cromer remained after he woke up and he used it to bring the boys back together again. This could have possibly happened through an inception where Halateez placed thoughts inside the boys dreams and ignited their desires to unite again. They grew from school boys under adult control to wanting to shirk off that control and follow their own path.

Sadly, 15Kim stopped making theory videos after Thanxx. My hope is she wanted the full series to be complete before she made another one. But it was completed in December and there isn’t one yet. This makes me sad, becuase she was the one who was getting the cloest to the truth and THEY EVEN SENT HER A FREE SIGNED ALBUM SO DO YOUR JOB 15Kim!!

Sorry, moving on.

Before we get into Fireworks (I'm the One), however, we need to look at the concept teasers for the album. The first teaser is the brighter side of the album and it is related to Celebrate which was a song Ateez gifted to Atiny on their 2nd anniversary (I don’t think it has much to do with the storyline honestly so I am not going to add the whole video and explanation to the music video but I will show the teaser). The second teaser has a message and those always have to do with the storyline.

Teaser 1:

Fun fact about the creatures on San and Seonghwa’s suits:

They are a skeleton and turtle as seen at the end of the Thanxx music video. They talked about it in their Jacket Making video. We also see these suits in Fireworks (I'm the One) minus the creatures.

Teaser 2:

"Stars in the sky could not be seen because people never raised their heads. The stars didn't stand out, but it didn't mean that they were gone. When all the lights were put off, then they appeared shining faintly, and the boys came from the horizon crossing the border. But the darkness stopped the boys, there was no light to cast it away. People hope that the flame within the boys would consume the darkness and as they prayed, the fiery voices of the boys broke the silence and awaken the world."

My Takeaways

  • It sounds to me like the boys have entered the alternate dystopian dimension 15Kim talked about. A place where people need saving from the "big baddie" and think Ateez may be the ones to save them.

Now that my faith is starting to be restored in Bookish Theories, let’s hear what she has to say about the teasers.

My Takeaways

  • Fireworks as the comeback title was teased through writing on Yunho's hand, Seonghwa's neck, and San's back (in Morse code)

  • The comeback will involve exploring the concept of duality

  • Teaser 1 is placed in a dreamy landscape similar to Illusion, Teaser 2 is in a desert

  • Concept pictures reveal the locations are one in the same using the tree in the clouds and the burned tree in the desert = illusion of the dream vs. the reality behind it

  • The second picture being behind a paper curtain, is the same picture (or at least the same frame of the picture) that is in the museum in Say My Name

  • The message of the teaser talks about the darkness stopping the boys when they crossed the horizon to enter the alternate dimension and that fireworks may be what are needed to defeat the darkness that surrounds them

Fireworks (I'm the One) is the comeback Mingi was on hiatus for, but they did an excellent job including him in the music video through the ham radio. I also love that is harkens back to Mingi using the ham radio microphone in Hala Hala. This is also the first music video we know of that takes place in the alternate dimension. Which was confirmed in the diary entires and is named, Strictland. Let's refer to the diary entries from Zero: Fever Part 2 to learn a little more about where they are. As a reminder, I am going to summarize the entires instead of not directly quoting them.

Intro: The Cromer took Hongjoong and the members to the same warehouse in the alternate dimension and soon after they arrived, giants in white with masks who did not feel like people broke down the hideout door and came after the Cromer.

Hongjoong: Understanding the Cromer is what will get them back to their dimension, Hongjoong knew he had to protect it and the members from the giants. He used a piece of from the floor to provoke the giants by telling them he would give them the Cromer and throwing the glass out of the window. When the giants ran outside to fetch it, Hongjoong yelled for the members to run away.

San: Since the alternate dimension's surroundings were similar to their dimension, they were able to find safety in the area around the hideout away from the giants and take a break in relief that they kept the Cromer safe from the giants.

Wooyoung: The giants found them again while they were resting in the forest and captured Wooyoung and started dragging him away by the ankle. While the members were saving him, they lost the Cromer to the giants. A girl living in a cave in the forest, gestured them over to her and let them rest with her and her brother in their cave home. Her brother introduced them as the Grimes siblings and informed the members that the girl's voice was taken away from her by the giants. While the members slept, the Grime girl tended to Wooyoung's injured ankle.

Seonghwa: The Grimes boy told the members about the dimension they were now in. A place where the central government blamed human emotions for crimes and terrorism so have established a "stable future policy" for the human race. They passed two bills, one to lower human emotions below the threshold using advanced technology and one to ban the arts since they greatly affect emotions. Efficiently and logic became the priority of the land and laughter disappeared. The central government achieved high growth and the people enjoyed material affluence. He told them of men in black fedoras who appeared one day and began to sing and dance. They awaked those under the central government's control and those people formed a resistance called the "Black Pirates". The central government put the men in the black fedoras on wanted posters but repeatedly failed to capture them since they were using the Cromer to teleport and escape. Finally, the central government was able to capture them by using Android Guardians (the white giants). Seonghwa listened to this story but all he wanted to do was get the Cromer back so they could go home.

Yeosang: In a letter written to his father, Yeosang talked about walking towards Strictland and seeing the people there who were without emotions and only talked about their needs or looked at their small machines while walking quickly to where they were going. In the letter Yeosang apologizes to his parents for choosing the members over them and talks about how he no longer wants to resent them, especially his father who was the one to lock the members out of their hideout. He promises not to return to the world his parents have created for him and to try not to blame them anymore.

Mingi: The members have to get the Cromer back from the Android Guardians and the Grimes siblings tell them the only person who knows where the Android Guardians' bunker is located is Left Eye, the manager of the Strictland dump who seems to be under the influence of the yellow smoke in the air which is siad to cause hallucinations. Since Wooyoung is nosy (Mingi's label, not mine) they decide to split into two groups, one to talk to Left Eye and one to go into a pile of trash that looks like a cave to get the Grimes girl's voice back since that is where they were told it was located. Mingi is the in the group going to talk to Left Eye.

Jongho: Jongho is in the group going after the Grimes girl's voice. He entered the cave with a string tied around his waist, wearing a gas mask to protect him from the yellow smoke. Her voice looked like a shining blue pearl at the center of the yellow smoke. While he was in the cave, Jongho started to hallucinate being back on the basketball court. He forgot about looking for the Grimes girl's voice and started playing basketball.

Yunho: Left Eye was once a fashion designer but was not let into the fashion houses due to his appearance. He lost his daughter when she was hit by a car and slowly died while the people around her passed by her in their desire to reach their destinations. He met an illusion of his daughter by inhaling the yellow smoke of the dump and ended up being named the dump's manager by the Android Guardians. Left Eye's grief over his daughter reminded Yunho of the grief over his brother. He wanted not only find the location of the bunker, but to help Left Eye by getting him away from the yellow smoke and reminding him that what he was seeing was not his daughter but an illusion.

Outro: Yeosang was on the other side of Jongho's tether and realized something was wrong so put on the last gas mask and went into the cave to find him. Meanwhile, Jongho was still in the illusion of the basketball game that caused his ankle injury. He dismissed the illusion as a feeling of déjà vu and kept playing. Yeosang found him lost in the illusion and running towards a cliff. The Left Eye group found a way to lure him away from the yellow smoke and Yunho shouted at him that his daughter was dead, trying to get him to escape his illusion. This angered Left Eye and he started to swing a big bat at Yunho.

That's A LOT!! Remember how I was intimidated by the Zero: Fever series and didn't want to dive into it? The diary entries have changed my mind completely! I am LOVING the storyline of their time in Strictland. It is so much more than just the music videos now!! Chef's kiss!!

Bookish Theories' Fireworks (I'm the One) Theory:

My Takeaways

  • Fireworks deals with Ateez's passion and determination that sets them apart from the crowd

  • This song has 3 official titles: 1. Korean = Playing with Fire, 2. I'm the One, 3. Fireworks. They are the ones playing with fire and creating fireworks

  • The lyrics talk about how they are sober in a crowd of drunks indicating they are in control of the fire and in power

  • The boys are taking shelter in an underground station and preparing for a battle of sorts

  • Seonghwa confirms the world is a dystopia (right again 15Kim)

  • The Android Guardians look human but are AI (Artificial Intelligence)

  • Since we don't see the Cromer in the music video, we can assume this takes place when they are trying to regroup and prepare to get it back

She didn’t talk about it here but if you look at that picture she used for Stictland, all of those cables look an awful lot like the Wooyoung “jabberwocky” shot in Wonderland.

Making of and Reaction to Fireworks (I'm the One):

Look what I just noticed in the Making Of video: Look at the signs on the structure behind Yunho! The top on is “I’m the one” but the other two are “The Real Recognize” and “Welcome to my Class”!! This means there is a direct connection to The Real here. I’m excited to see what that is when we get there.

And her is one of the signs in the music video:

From the reaction video, they talk about the ending scene (the music of that scene is The Real by the way because that was the next song that released through Kingdom). San reminded the guys that the white man was from Answer and Hongjoong says, “The white man has appeared again in a long time and if you watch the ending closely here you can see snow on the ground while we are dancing.” They talked about how their shooting was delayed due to snow but why did he bring it up after talking about the white man? I think he was connecting that to the snow we saw in Answer.

Now let's watch the music video:

Final Thoughts

Ateez has found themselves in Strictland as a group of sober people in a world of drunken fools (either drunk off of yellow smoke or those who have had their emotions removed enough to not care about anything but fulfilling their needs). They have fought the Android Guardians (the same AI who have captured the men in the black fedoras, Halateez) and lost the Cromer while trying to save Wooyoung. They have met the Grimes siblings who have told them about Strictland's central government and the resistance fighters, the Black Pirates. They split up to talk to Left Eye and discover where the Android Guardians' bunker is so they can retrieve the Cromer and to find the Grimes girl's stolen voice. While going after her voice, Jongho falls victim to the yellow smoke and starts to hallucinate he is playing the same basketball game he was injured in, thinking he is experiencing déjà vu. Yeosang goes after him and sees him running towards a cliff. Images in this music video are easter Easter eggs to other songs they have performed, whether the picture in Say My Name or the flag bearing a phrase from The Real, which has not been released yet at this point. There is also snow that connects Answer to the end of Fireworks as it is present in both Android Guardian scenes at the end of each music video. I am still trying to figure out what that is about.

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