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Gloomy Salad Days Episode 19 and 20 Recap

Whoo! We have finally come to the last recap!

We left off last recap where Du Ji is trying to fight his urge to take drugs. He finally succumbs to it and he decides to climb out of his window and goes outside Du He and Gao Chao’s room while they are obviously going to do it anytime. Before I say my thoughts, let’s just see the screenshots:D

Hee! I think the bed scene is there not just for us to fangirl, but it actually provides this depth to the story…. In a sense, because to me, it’s just sick for a guy who is in love with the woman to be JUST OUTSIDE the room and listening to them doing it. Is it just me? Anyway, I interpreted it as the scene is also there to add dimension to the conflict in Du Ji’s heart. 

Okay actually I totally forgot that there was going to be a bed scene, even though I first heard of Gloomy Salad Days because of the bed scene. Hmm… on a less fangirling-side of point of view, and a more ‘technical’ perspective, I think that this drama is interesting in the sense that it dares to take a relatively different approach to this kind of scenes. I’m thinking of the dramas that are screened on television, hence there will be some form of restriction, and I’ve always felt that those scenes have a lack of… something… that they are there simply to increase viewership ratings (something which I’ve mentioned before), like Fated to Love You and Autumn’s Concerto etc. However, I actually feel that this scene in Gloomy Salad Days is well done, because without needing to show too much skin, I could feel like both the actor and actress are IN their character roles.

Gao Chao manages to slip the ring out of her finger, and while they continue kissing, Du Ji takes the stone (which is exactly the same one that is used throughout the drama) and throws at the window. The two of them halt when they hear the sound, and Gao Chao goes to the window (with a robe of course!) to see who is there. However, he accidentally drops the ring and goes out from the window to find the ring.

Du Ji starts to hallucinate that Gao Chao is rubbing salt in his wounds, like how Du He is his, and will never be Du Ji’s. He hallucinates to such a bad level, that he takes a bat and hits Gao Chao. Gao Chao falls forward from the impact into the pool, unconscious. Du He quickly climbs out of the window, wanting to save Gao Chao, who is shown floating on the surface of the pool. Du Ji refuses to let her go, and tells her that he has a secret — "Brother really loves you." Du He tells him….. that she has the same secret as him, but she cannot betray Gao Chao, and so she breaks free from her brother’s arms and joins Gao Chao in the pool.

Okay my initial thoughts were Hello Du He? You see Gao Chao drowning there? Shouldn’t you be saving him, instead of spending like a few minutes wailing with your brother about how you two cannot be together? Then I was like 0.0 when she joins him in the pool, because I didn’t realise that she wants to die with Gao Chao instead of saving him… which is kinda strange if you think about it, cos someone will always save the person first, not die with him right?

Yet that being said, I really like how they draw the five-year-before to the present with Du’s narration that if she’s with Gao Chao, she lets her brother down. If she’s with her brother, she lets Gao Chao down. With her, there will be troubles and both the alive world and dead world have no place for her, and hence she stays in this in-between state. So yes…. okay I shall forgive the joining Gao Chao in being dead part(: That’s the last time that we see Gao Chao by the way! Aww I really like him, he’s so cute and carefree!!

Shen Qi recalls him shouting "So what’s the reason of your existence?!" at Du He and now he feels very guilty for it. He goes to the library to find details on Gao Chao and Du He. He comes to this shop selling paintings and the shop owner turns around. That owner is actually the art teacher, who for a moment, mistakes Shen Qi for Gao Chao (thus clearing up any questions that Gao Chao and Shen Qi are related. They are just two different personas)

The art teacher reveals that Gao Chao survived the incident and went to Japan. He even met someone he likes and he is marrying her that month. Shen Qi is happy to know that Gao Chao is doing well in Japan. Then, he goes to Du Ji’s house and Jia Jia opens the door. He lies that he’s the president of the present art club. After that, he rushes to the hospital where Du He is and shouts at her, that Gao Chao and Du Ji both overcame their obstacles in their hearts. They overcame and moved on. Even Du Ji married Jia Jia and they had a kid. "Did you hear me? So just wake up now!" The nurses try to shoo him away but he gets increasingly agitated.

In the end, the hospital calls his father to tell him that his son has been talking to a vegetable. His father arranges for him to go for a check up at the hospital. Du comes to find Shen Qi and Shen Qi apologises for wanting her to go away. "I thought you think that I’m someone who only knows how to bring people away?" "That’s because they themselves can’t get over the obstacles." "Du He too, she also cannot get over her own obstacle… I thought of bringing her away." "That’s not her fault."

Du asks if he has gotten over his own obstacle and he says that if she really disappears, that’s when he really can’t get over. The nurses come in on their conversation and one of the nurses makes a jibe since he looks like he’s talking to himself, but Shen Qi doesn’t want to explain. The scan reveals that he has a brain tumour in his head, and the doctor says that’s the reason for his hallucinations. He tries to convince the doctor that the Death Girl isn’t a hallucination but to no avail. Du says that it’s because anyone who sees her has all turned into stones… (which is not true. Da Dong in the previous episodes manages to get over his obstacle and he survives, didn’t he?)

He smiles and tells the doctor that he doesn’t mind his tumour so he will just leave it alone, but the doctor says that his life will be in danger. Du asks if he’s not afraid, and he answers that there’s nothing to be afraid of. The doctor tells him that he has to stop talking to his hallucinations but he retorts that he’s not even harming anyone. The doctor shakes his head and tells the nurse to give him a heavier dosage of medicine. Shen Qi’s father is a politician who is preparing for the upcoming election. His assistant comes to tell him that he has to go for a new style. Instead of showing that he can take of financial things, he has to appeal to the females by showing that he loves his family. Shen Qi’s father says that his wife is in the asylum and his son is going for a surgery soon, so there’s no way they can take a family photo. "Think of better ideas." He replies.

Shen Qi visits his mother at the asylum and his mother is disappointed that his father did not come along. In school, Shen Qi’s classmates laugh at him for talking to vegetables and being crazy. He murmurs that he only has a tumour and needs to have surgery.

His classmates laugh mockingly that now he even has a tumour. WHAT THE??? You mean this kind of unfeeling stupid idiots really exist? (Sorry for the words lol) He gets frustrated and leaves the classroom. He visits his mother again but this time round, he gets worried because his mother does not respond. He asks angrily why the medicine for her is getting heavier.

The helper answers that since she’s talking to the plants, the doctor thinks that her condition is getting worse and decides to make the dosage heavier. Shen Qi tells the helper that he will take care of his mother and asks her to leave. He asks gently if his mother still recognises him, and his mother murmurs his nickname, Xiao Qi. He asks if she can see his friend, Du, but she says that she cannot talk nonsense anymore or his father will be angry. Shen Qi gets increasingly frustrated. In school, he throws his medicine away and washes his face.

Ooh wet hair! 😛 Sorry, I have this liking for guys with wet hair hehe:P

He tells Du that he doesn’t want to have the medicine because it makes him have slow reaction and he wants to have a clear mind.

Du tells him that life will be easier if he eats the medicine, but he says, while unbuttoning the top button, that he doesn’t want to have an easy life. I think that unbuttoning the top button thing is quite cool because it symbolises that Shen Qi no longer wants to be just that obedient quiet guy. Two guys suddenly come into the toilet, and Shen Qi’s eyes show shock. (I think he acted really well for this scene!) He quickly grabs his things and leaves, but not before he hears the guys’ mocking that he is talking to himself again. Shen Qi’s father’s political rival disseminates information that he has abandoned his wife at the asylum, which is ah kinda true. The assistant manages to convince Shen Qi’s father (who is called Shen Du Wei) to carry out the photo taking.

Shen Qi smiles and assures his mother that everything will be all right.

However, Shen Qi’s mother gets very freaked out by the flashlights and she cannot continue taking the photos. Shen Qi asks Shen Du Wei to stop taking the photos and he flares up, "Why can’t she take it? Your mother can do it. It’s only for a while!" Sensing the tension, the assistant halts the photographing taking session and tries to come up with other ways. Shen Qi walks to a side in frustration and takes out his bow tie, before unbuttoning his top button. (More foreshadowing!)

Shen Qi’s operation is arranged to take place after his graduation. On the day of graduation, Shen Qi comes to the rooftop and Du asks why he’s not happy when he’s graduating. He says that there’s nothing to be happy about. Du asks if his father will be coming to fetch him and he replies that he’s only doing that because he’s scared of losing face.

Turns out his father did not even bother coming. He sends his assistant to fetch Shen Qi to the hospital. On the way there, Du says, "I’m even accompanying you to the hospital, I’m a good friend yeah." Shen Qi smiles and says, "Thank you." The assistant thinks that he’s talking to him and replies, "You are welcome." Go away assistant.

At night, Du asks if they want to go appreciate the moon that night.

He happily replies, "Sure!"

The nurse says, "What sure? Eat your medicine." She asks him to stick out his tongue for her to check, and he quickly does that. After she leaves, he spits out the medicine, which he has hidden under his tongue. Du asks if he’s not worried about his condition and he says that he thinks he has no illness. The one being crazy is his dad and the assistant. Shen Du Wei walks in on this conversation and realises that Shen Qi has not been taking his medicine. The nurse gets a scolding and the doctor instructs her to put the medicine in the drip in the future.

They put the dosage so heavy until Shen Qi is not supposed to wake up until he gets send into the operation room the next day. Du calls his name but he doesn’t respond. In the middle of the night, Shen Qi wakes up from the sedatives.

Hee -me sneakily putting a screenshot to show how long his eyelashes are, and his flawless skin- envious envious.

He pulls off all the needles and stumbles onto the rooftop. Du asks why he still comes up there when he’s so weak.

He replies that he’s afraid he cannot see her anymore after the surgery and she looks sad. After a while, she asks if he wants go up. He smiles and nods. Okay I like this part a lot, so I’m going to translate everything! -imagine sad piano chords-"Is everything going to change once I wake up from the surgery tomorrow?" "Maybe… you might not see me once your body changes." "So… you are really my illusion?" "Of course not… I’ve never changed before… so how could you say that I’m the illusion?" "Sorry…" "Just that… in the future, I will have one less companion…"


"Will we never see each other again?" "Mm… I will miss you…"

"I don’t want to leave you." Shen Qi lets a tear down.

She places a palm on his face. "Why do you look so sad? Are you not overcoming the obstacle?"

"It’s not that I can’t get over it…. it’s just that I love you. If loving you means that I need to die, so be it." He hugs her. Okay I shall admit this — I cried here. For the first time (I think), I cried, like the tears just suddenly came, while I was watching Aaron Yan because…okay honestly, not entirely because of his acting, but also because of the script. To hear Shen Qi say so honestly and truthfully that he loves Du…such a simple statement, but it creates a huge impact. It makes me think…. that love is something simple. It’s not something complex at all. What is complex is how you face love and what you do based on that love, but love itself is merely a pure feeling.

The nurse finally realises that Shen Qi has escaped from his ward and she quickly asks help in finding him. Du places him back to the ground and gives him a kiss, before disappearing.

The next day, Shen Du Wei is out campaigning when he gets a call from the hospital telling him that Shen Qi’s tumour has gotten bigger. His assistant asks someone to use to that as a means to get more sympathy votes and after that, Shen Du Wei asks if he can go down to the hospital as quickly as possible. The assistant tells him that he has too many meetings and the earliest he can make it is 7 that night. Even when they finally make it there, they make such a publicity of it that Shen Qi knows they are just making use of him.

The doctors tell Shen Du Wei that Shen Qi’s tumour has grown twice in size and the percentage of success changes greatly if he goes through with the surgery.

Shen Du Wei still wants to go through with it because he doesn’t want Shen Qi to be "crazy" anymore. The assistant asks if they can place the surgery on the day after the next day so that the media can come get coverage. Shen Qi asks sarcastically, "So what theme is this?" The assistant answers, "A kind father." Shen Du Wei asks what kind of attitude is that, and Shen Qi answers, "If I have to live so hypocritically, I might as well die with my tumour!"

Another confession from me — in that scene where Shen Qi confesses to Du, I wasn’t very sure if that was real tears or just eye drops… because the lighting is quite dark and it’s very hard to tell. However, that above screenshot is taken when I saw how the tears gathered in Shen Qi’s eyes and I guarantee that they are real tears. (If you are a little confused by me talking about tears, thoughtsramble is someone who really places a lot of emphasis on watching crying scenes, and how the actors/actresses carry them out, because to me, that’s a great test of acting skills.) It’s very natural and moving, and I’m very glad that Aaron Yan does not just have looks.

In the end, Shen Qi runs away from the hospital, leaving his father a note which says, "Dad, forgive me for wanting to spend time alone with my tumour. Wish that you have a smooth election. Shen Qi." Music plays as Shen Qi is shown sitting alone in a bus. Du appears next to him and asks if he’s really not worried about his tumour.

He half jokes that if he dies, then he can be with her. Du says that may not be the case because he might cross the bridge to the next life, and she will still be stuck. Shen Qi asks if she cannot be in a relationship, and she answers that love will only bring disaster, "How can I be in that relationship?" She reiterates that they are from different worlds. Shen Qi smiles and says that then he will have to treasure whatever time he has left with her.

Shen Du Wei holds the meeting with his fellow members/ helpers and asks for suggestions. The (arghhhh) assistant suggests for him to use the media as a means to find Shen Qi. He should apologise to Shen Qi on national tv. Not only will that help them gain sympathy, he can also find Shen Qi back. Shen Du Wei looks torn between making use of his son and losing the chance to increase popularity, but he chooses the former.

Shen Qi goes to the mountains to find his uncle, who we have seen a few episodes before. At night, his uncle reveals that his mother has the ability of talking to spirits, thus revealing where Shen Qi gets his ability as well. His uncle starts singing, and Shen Qi turns to give Du a smile.

So cute!:P

In the morning, the uncle is singing while he’s doing his chores. Du quietly observes Shen Qi, who opens his eyes.

"What are you looking at?"


Du says that she still doesn’t understand him no matter how much she looks. After Du He lands in a coma, it causes Du to forget what is love anymore, but Shen Qi is the one who evokes her memories of it. Shen Qi asks if she really cannot love anyone and she answers that she can’t because she’s still stuck on the bridge. "Then I will go there and accompany you." Shen Qi smiles and says, but Du says that he’s crazy. Looking at Shen Qi talking to himself, his uncle does not dismiss him as crazy, but rather, as a boy sleeptalking.

His uncle calls Shen Du Wei to tell him that Shen Qi is with him. Shen Du Wei lands into this dilemma — should he go ahead with the press conference or just admit that he has found his son? His assistant tries very hard to convince him that there’s no harm in going ahead with the conference, and then pretend that they find Shen Qi a few days later. Convinced by the assistant, Shen Du Wei goes on tv, telling everyone that he apologises for what Shen Qi blames him. He can not run for the election but he cannot not have Shen Qi. "Think of your health and come home soon." Du comments that his father seems to dote on him a lot.

Shen Qi looks very touched.

Okay I’m utterly convinced that Aaron Yan has potential in acting. Stop giving him roles like Ah Yi (even though I love him, don’t get me wrong) and give him awesome roles that he can have space to grow as an actor!

Shen Qi’s uncle goes to buy milk for Shen Qi and reads the newspaper of Shen Du Wei’s press conference. He clenches his fist in anger. The assistant flaunts a newspaper article in triumph, and the article shows that Shen Du Wei’s popularity has just increased again. They go to fetch Shen Qi. Shen Qi and his uncle gather at the fire, and his uncle asks him to take the milk from the fridge. While Shen Qi is in the kitchen, Shen Du Wei arrives. Shen Qi’s uncle asks what they are doing there and says that he doesn’t want to get used by them again. Shen Qi overhears this when he comes out of the kitchen and murmurs, "So you already know I’m here…" The assistant tries to make things sound nice, and says that he should faster return to have the surgery —

"Stop using me as topic to increase popularity."

Shen Du Wei says that he really must return but Shen Qi’s uncle asks for his opinion, and Shen Qi answers determinedly, "I don’t want to return." However, a call from the asylum brings the trio back hurriedly because… Shen Qi’s mother is ill and is in the intensive care unit. She is very happy that Shen Du Wei finally comes to visit her (genuinely) and she tells Shen Qi, while taking difficult breaths, to take care of his father. Shen Qi returns home and asks if Du is still there. She appears and asks him to go for the surgery. "We have to part sooner or later anyway." "Why can’t things stay like this…" Shen Qi holds a tight grip to the stone, which is throbbing faster than ever. Du sees the stone and grabs it from him, saying, "You can’t have thoughts of death!" Shen Qi says that he would rather die, to which Du suddenly assumes a cold face and says, "Fine, then let me make things clear. If you continue to be like this, I will disappear immediately."

Then, she goes away, leaving Shen Qi looking shocked.

On the day of the surgery, Shen Du Wei looks worriedly as the doors close. Du appears and Shen Qi asks if she’s bading farewell. She says that she comes specially to say a goodbye to him.

Shen Qi tears and asks if he can hug her. Du comes over and he hugs her tightly. "You must lead a good life with your dad." "I have no confidence that I will be a good son… I would rather be a stone of your bridge."

The moment he says that, Du gets angry and pushes him away, "Don’t speak nonsense anymore!" She disappears and Shen Qi gets off the bed to run after her. He gets up to the top floor and uses something to block the door. The security guard who is chasing after him reports that "There’s a blood trail leading up to the rooftop", revealing that Shen Qi is bleeding. Shen Qi turns around and his nose is bleeding. He quickly climbs up the railing while the doctors and nurses kick down the door.

There’s an interlude of the elections’ results. Shen Du Wei lost. The assistant brings bad news — Shen Qi’s mother has died.

Shen Qi looks at his stone and smiles.

He turns around and throws the stone into the air, shouting, "Du, bring me away!" before jumping into the air. He smiles and closes his eyes as he falls.

I love this scene!! I think that it’s really well shot, and in fact, I cried here. I think both the directing and acting are so good here that it becomes a very memorable scene. When I describe it to my friend, she got goosebumps just by listening to the description (alternatively, you can say that it’s because of my excellent storytelling skills:P…. kidding!) It’s really good, how Aaron Yan just throws the stone and shouts into the air, before throwing himself down…. with blood trickling down his face.

Du appears in the mid air and lowers him gently to the ground. As the doctors and nurses rush to him lying on the ground, Du cries and says, "Shen Qi…goodbye, if we will ever see each other again… when that day comes, I hope you still remembers me."

-pause- There’s many ways to say goodbye in Chinese, and the form Du said was literally ‘See you again’ yep -unpause-

Shen Qi’s mother’s spirit watches as Shen Du Wei reads the letters that she wrote for him. In there, she penned down her longing for him to put down his work and her faith that one day he will come to care for him. Now it’s too late, but all she could do is to continue waiting. Shen Du Wei cries and the scene fades out.

Shen Qi wakes up from his surgery and the first person he sees is his dad. This sort of signifies a new beginning because now his father really has nothing left — no wife, no work (not much anyway). Shen Qi pulls up the blanket to put on his dad and he looks into the distance.

After some time, (I think a long time, since his hair all grow back to normal length), he brings flowers to find Du He, but she’s no longer there. He asks the cleaner if she knows where the girl is and she answers that she’s new there so she doesn’t know. Shen Qi walks out of the hospital as Du says in a voice over, "Sometimes when people get over their own obstacles, I will leave… as time goes by, they will even think that is a dream." Shen Qi looks behind him, as the automatic gates close behind him. I really like this as well, because the way it is shot symbolises a closure to the entire 20 episodes of stories. It’s a new start from here.

Shen Qi is on a bridge and he looks at the stone in his hands.

Whoo look at his muscles!:P

His friend (whoo hoo he has friends now thank goodness) thumps him on the back and he accidentally drops the stone into the waters. He couldn’t do anything but to watch the stone sink to the bottom. As he turns around, he spots this girl behind his friends.

That’s right! It’s Du He.

Shen Qi’s face shows disbelief and surprise as he walks up to her and smiles.

He asks happily, "You have returned?"

Du smiles and nods her head. Shen Qi motions for them to join his friends, and they look each and smile as they walk down the bridge (which is kinda cool because it sort of shows that both of them have managed to cross that bridge in their hearts).

-the end-


Gloomy Salad Days has indeed earned lots of my tears, especially because of all the tear jerking stories that they’ve put in here, and I feel like I can relate to the stories…not because I personally went through them before, but because the acting by all the various young actors and actresses is really quite convincing. I don’t know if I’m hugely biased, but I feel that even Aaron Yan acted quite well here. Love Buffet and MIT are good entertaining watches, granted, but they don’t really require much acting skills from anyone (though GuiGui really did a good job in MIT). However, Gloomy Salad Days simply just need that emotional committment or none of the audience will want to continue to watch.

I really think that the script is written quite well, and as you can see, I love the symbolism used in these 2 episodes. Maybe I’m thinking too much, you’d say…but that’s how I interpreted the acting and the script and to me, the drama really came alive.

I’m really glad that Shen Qi and Du end up together ALIVE, because when I first started watching this drama, I had this prediction that Shen Qi will die so that he can be with Du lol, and I was like NOOOOO. Thank goodness:P In my earlier entry, I mention that I have this dilemma right? Haha the dilemma is,…. okay, I’m sad that Gao Chao and Du He didn’t end up together, but at the same time I’m really glad for that because it means that Shen Qi and Du can be together! Haha, and I’m even more torn because I like both Gao Chao and Shen Qi:P AND and and now I’m doubting Gao Chao’s love for Du He because if he can go and get engaged to someone else while Du He is in a coma, then… it shows that their love isn’t very strong right? I guess it kinda makes sense too… since they didn’t get engaged because of strong undying love, but more of a sweet mild love.

No matter what, I’m really glad that I’ve watched this drama — it really shows me that you need to appreciate people around you more. You never know who is going through a hard battle because they might not even show it. To me, it was a good choice of drama to act in for Aaron because it really portrays another side of him. He doesn’t need to just act in roles that show how good looking he is, in a sense. In fact, after watching his 3 dramas, he doesn’t seem to act as well if you give him mellow scenes, but if you give him scenes that require him to be agitated and angry, he can do a great job! Serena Fang’s acting is quite expected, since I’ve watched her in Summer’s Desire, so I knew that she can act the scenes quite well.

Another journey thus ends here… I will miss this drama and how meaningful it is. If anyone’s thinking of this question, my answer is "Yes you must go watch this drama, but prepare a box of tissues just in case". (: 


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