Yep! I'm back in business again, at least for a while. Well, an what an episode to start with.
Ting Yu tells everyone that he has something new to try out and the conductor makes a snipe about how he might want to try blowing the trumpet instead. He shocks everyone, including Die Fei herself, by making her sing in front of everyone. Die Fei feels humiliated and refuses to sing, choosing to run away instead.
Ting Yu stops Hai Jie from running after her, saying that it's a problem between them. Hai Jie retorts, "There's no need for you to humiliate her like that right!" Ting Yu bites back, "Humiliate? Pretending to be ignorant of her feelings, you're the one humiliating her!" He follows her agitatedly into the toilet where she locks herself in and he shouts about how he won't allow her to waste her talent away like that, not when people have to train for fifteen years to get themselves somewhere and she, two years. A tiny comic relief arrives in the form of Ting Yu realising that he has been shouting at the wrong cubicle. Die Fei sheepishly appears and expresses her doubt at her ability.
Ting Yu assures her that he will make her into a good singer, and she questions, "Really…?"
Yu Shu comes home to find photos of herself and the Chairman kissing appearing on the cover of a magazine. Even though Die Fei disapproves of what her sister has done, she helps to buy every single magazine from the nearby convenience stores so that their father will not chance upon the magazines. Imagine their dismay when they return home and realise that their dad has used Die Fei's copy of the magazine as a pot mat. Hahaha.
They try different ways of distracting their father, and helps arrives in the burnt smell of the fish in the kitchen. As their father disappears into the kitchen to fuss over the fish, Die Fei holds up the pot while Yu Shu quickly exchanges it with another magazine. Hi-five, mission accomplished.
Chairman praises Ting Yu for his composition and berates Die Fei when she comes in, late on another errand. Ting Yu requests for Die Fei to be his personal assistant, not just a normal assistant, but one that stays at his house twenty four seven to take care of him.
Chairman allows it, and tells Die Fei that he will adjust her salary. Die Fei is very perplexed and distracted by this change of events and feels frustrated that no one listens to her. She stares out of the window at Hai Jie, and Ting Yu makes a snipe at how obvious she is.
He reveals that he's only giving her lessons under the pretence of being his assistant. She tells him that there's no need to tell Hai Jie about her moving into his house, and Ting Yu replies that it will be even better to make him jealous.
Chairman tries to clear up with the orchestra about the issue with Yu Shu, but everyone quickly changes the topic. The conductor assures him later on that he has tied up all loose ends, "I promise you that the first chair (Ting Yu) will not know about this." Okay now what, ganging up on Ting Yu?:(
A++ sings during their audition, and despite Chairman's not-so-encouraging looks and comments, he tells Hai Jie to arrange for the two girls to negotiate terms with him. Hai Jie invites Die Fei for their celebratory dinner, which she attends begrudgingly. Ting Yu finds her at the dinner, and notices her sad and uncomfortable looks.
When she says that she wants to leave, Hai Jie suggests that she plays with Ting Yu and he will drink up if she loses. Ting Yu helps Die Fei out by playing with Hai Jie instead, and (possibly on purpose) loses, drinks up, before the two of them leave.
A++ stops Hai Jie from tagging along, claiming that the two of them are going on a date.
Knowing that Die Fei doesn't feel good about this, Ting Yu tells her, "I know you may not like what I'm going to say, but I will still say it anyway…"
He points out that she doesn't even need to confess to Hai Jie, "Did he specially notice that your dishes are gone, your cup is empty…or to even linger his gaze on you for a little longer? But he didn't…he doesn't treat you differently from those around him…I might as well say that the way he likes you is the way he likes me…you are just like a pitiful dog, constantly wagging your tail to attract his attention." Ouch Ting Yu…but isn't that quite sweet? He's indirectly showing that HE notices that her dishes are gone, and her cup is empty of drink. Die Fei starts tearing, and he reaches out a hand to comfort her but stops in the end.
Chairman goes home to break the truth and to propose divorce to his wife, who is determined on ignoring his statements and going about in her role as the perfect wife. It is only when she turns her back on him does she close her eyes with tears.
Dad knows about Yu Shu being the third party and scolds her with disappointment, for breaking up a family. Yu Shu defends herself, saying that the marriage was already on the rocks before she turned up, and that just because two people live under the same roof, doesn't make them a family. Dad gives her a choice — break up with the Chairman or get out of the house…and she chooses the latter. Die Fei doesn't understand Dad, "If you chase her out now, she can only depend on the Chairman..isn't that worse?" She thinks that her sister only fell in love with the wrong man, but one cannot choose who to love. Dad almost hit her again, and she shouts, "Hit me! Hit and then tell me, why am I always the one getting slapped in the end." Dad takes his hand back, and she mutters, "I know, without you telling me."
As she cries in her room, we see flashbacks of her sister blaming her for their mother's death/accident. The Chairman finds Yu Shu by the roadside and tells her that they will live together.
Ah, way to go to play up on the play-uncle look…what's with the earring seriously.
Die Fei goes to Ting Yu's house to sleep instead and in the morning, she quickly runs back into her room when she meets Ting Yu in the corridor with her kiddy pyjamas. Ting Yu stares at her closed door for a second, and drinks the rest of his wine, as if in a salute.
Haha. Later, Die Fei gets concerned at how Ting Yu is treating his body, and he tells her that his body and him are always at odds. She offers to take care of his health, despite knowing that she's just there for lessons.
And so they start, a process of training Die Fei and her voice, which includes running, singing to the sea, doing weights and more.
One night, she enjoys a good bubble bath,
After she comes out of the bathroom, Ting Yu asks shyly if a bubble bath is really that good. He demands for her to stay outside the bathroom, in case he faints inside.
Hahaha. Die Fei mentions that she sees no photos or memories of him and his family in his house, but comforts him that as long as his heart is warm, it doesn't matter even if he has no family.
When she gets concerned over Ting Yu's lack of reply, he mocks gently that she's treating him like a child, and that she's good at buying every good intention that people have towards her, not knowing how to differentiate friendship from love. She disappears into her room in a huff, and Ting Yu disappears into his bubble bath haha.
In the night, Ting Yu practises on Siren, and we see Die Fei smiling and being enchanted by it. There's a mishmash of images, of her coming out of the room, of Ting Yu playing fervently on the violin, of her on the bed, and it ends with her waking up as the song ends. Shucks, this is one weird violin. Alice on the other hand, reads the magazine that she just purchased — because Hai Jie's featured inside. She flips to the cover where Ting Yu's face is.
In the morning, Ting Yu gets irritated at Die Fei's lack of ability to read scores, even simplified ones at that, and Die Fei asks, "Why can't you give me an education with love?"
Ting Yu replies dryly, "I don't have that much love." He doesn't like how Die Fei is using time as an excuse of herself, and tells her that if she doesn't get it in the end, she will have to stop going to the orchestra. He leaves after getting a call, and turns out it was Alice who wanted Lisa to invite Ting Yu over for a meal. As he helps out in the kitchen, she passes him some food and their hands linger for a moment.
Ting Yu is pleased when Alice knows how he feels about sunrises and insomnia, "Usually people are happy at seeing sunrise, but the insomniacs will feel dismayed."
Can I say…the two of them do look quite compatible.
He's staring so obviously at her!
Ting Yu invites the both of them to his upcoming concert and Alice's calm demeanour breaks for a moment, when Ting Yu says that there's a newbie called Chen Hai Jie who will be playing. Lisa can tell that Ting Yu is interested in her daughter, and makes herself scarce by returning to her shop. Ting Yu walks her to the cab, and laughs at how obvious she is. After she leaves, a car drives towards him and brushes against him. Except you know, it's a car, not a cat, and Ting Yu falls to the ground with his elbow bleeding. He returns back to Lisa's house, where Alice treats his injury and washes his shirt.
She says that she's a little jealous of how happy Lisa is when she sees him, and he teases her that Lisa's his mother, and she's the one that popped up from nowhere.
As she irons his shirt, she asks when his frequent bouts of insomnia whenever he has a concert started, and he sinks momentarily into a memory of the dark period of his life — when his mother went mad and later on, killed herself. He jerks himself out of it and replies, "Ever since my mother died." She helps him into the shirt —
and tells him that she has no idea what's the truth and the lies anymore, not when what her grandparents told her and what her mother told her are so different.
Ting Yu smiles and caresses her face, "Don't you have any true memories?" She stares at him, "Then can you tell me if this is real?"
They start kissing, and end up on the bed.
As they roll around passionately, (and may I comment, however 'perverse' this may sound, Aaron does film good bed scenes:O) we see that Alice isn't so passionate until she starts to imagine that Ting Yu is Hai Jie.
She realises with a start, that well he's not, but Ting Yu continues to kiss her sensuously…until he starts thinking that she's Die Fei, and continues with a renewed vigour.
In the morning, they wake up, cuddled up against each other. Alice leaves the room to take a call from SJ, and that wakes Ting Yu up.
She sees photos of Ting Yu getting knocked down, and calls SJ, telling him that he's not CJ, and that she will deal with the matter with her own way, "There will be progress very soon."
Since this is my first recap on this series, I have loads to say.
First up, acting. I'm biased, and I'm an Aaron's fan true and true…but with that disclaimer aside, can I just say that I think he has done a pretty good job! He has moulded the character of Ting Yu so well that you could almost feel like he was just being himself…until you watch behind-the-scenes, or you're like me, an Aaron fan, and realises that Aaron is not like Ting Yu at all, well at least not completely. Lara's acting really needs serious brushing up. I like Die Fei, but Lara makes it hard for me to completely love this girl who lives in her sister's shadow all the time — a character that would have gotten my pity and love if it had been properly played out. And out of the four leads, I felt like Zhou Cai Shi did the best. Having watched so many jdramas, I'm quite impressed at her Japanese, because it sounds authentic, and she brings out the different sides of her well. As for Xiu, well…I thought it was pretty okay, but his character hasn't yet asked for any breakthroughs.
Plot wise. I don't see the parallel to Nodame Cantabile yet, but it will probably arise in the form of Die Fei facing up to her singing ability and Ting Yu embracing his fear, just like how Chiaki and Nodame faced their problems with courage. I have no problems with the Seagull, music, mystery and all, but the romance does get called into question here. I know Ting Yu likes Die Fei (argh, keep calling him Aaron) but he's definitely interested in Alice somehow…and that makes me confused. He seems to have a crush on Die Fei, but his relationship with Alice takes on a darker tone, especially with the bed scene. They are feeding on each other's need and desire and while I say that there's an interest lurking somewhere, the basis of their relationship is almost undoubtedly one that is filled with motive. And worse, we know that they get attached in the next episode, much to Hai Jie's dismay. We know that Alice definitely has a motive here, but I will love it if it turns out that Ting Yu did not just seduce Alice simply because of his desire:/ or the wounded ego credits to Die Fei.
If you think about it, Die Fei and Hai Jie are the innocents of the show, simple-minded and happy. Alice and Ting Yu are the dark characters, the characters that are so obviously flawed, and to pair the both of them up together is like…darkening the whole plot immediately, at least that's how it comes off to me.