Didn't really like this episode but it's needed in the plot development so here goes.
Remember the second tip that Tian Xing was talking about? He was referring to "Taste".
He brings Tao Zi to an expensive boutique and gets her to choose any clothing that she likes, "The one which you think looks best on yourself will be the best piece that suits you." Tao Zi grabs three pieces off the rack but Tian Xing shakes his head and intervenes with a simple blue gown. In the advertising world, one should have an accurate and unique taste.
Tao Zi changes into the outfit.
And we have the typical moment where the guy gets all googly eyed. Tian Xing walks towards her while she awkwardly pulls up the tube part of the dress. "Erm..it doesn't look nice?" she cautiously asks, and Tian Xing does the cutest thing ever.
He frowns and shakes his head,
before breaking into smiles and nodding his head.
He gives her a necklace for a present and puts it on for her. "Are you ready for the most important moment of your life?" Turns out that he's bringing her to an important social gathering where she will get to see the most realistic portrayal of the advertising world. He does not like it himself, but she needs to see that this is a world that has everything but it doesn't mean that everything is genuine.
He offers his arms and she links hers up.
They walk down the stairs and get swamped by reporters. It is even showed on big screens, those that are on buildings (a bit exaggerated over here). Everyone wants to know the reasons behind his backing behind OZ but he diverts the attention towards Tao Zi. The reporters' attention is immediately directed towards her and under the scorching focus and scathing questions, Tao Zi stumbles backwards. Tian Xing steadies her with a hand on her back but she runs off, leaving Tian Xing to fend off the questions himself.
In the toilet, Tao Zi questions why she is here with Tian Xing but quickly hides when other models come into the toilet. In drama-land, this is when the female lead hears gossip about herself, specifically how they think she is just using Tian Xing to climb the advertising ladder.
Ting Wei gets mocked by his friends as he entered Tian Ji full of ambitions and dreams, but it seems like Tao Zi is the one getting noticed and nurtured. He gulps down a cup of alcohol (never a good thing) and goes to confront a confused and sad Tao Zi.
He mocks her for having turned into phoenix even though she is just a sparrow (there's this saying 'a sparrow turned into a phoenix' which is often used to say how someone of a low status has managed to attain a higher, esteemed status). He asks her how she is to repay Tian Xing for his kindness towards OZ, "Turns out that in this advertising industry, even if you have dreams, you will never win…a mere sparrow."
Tao Zi turns around to walk away from him but knocks into a table, bringing the whole tower of champagne glasses to a crash. Tian Xing hears her scream and immediately rushes over, before giving Ting Wei a punch. He is furious and would not have stopped hurling punches if not for Tao Zi's shout, "Stop!"
"I fell down myself."
As cameras click away and people murmur nonstop, she runs out of the ballroom and Tian Xing follows. He stops her outside the ballroom and she retorts, "Do you want to see me cry? I will never cry over this." Tian Xing grabs her in a hug.
"Idiot… you should cry even more in this kind of situation, if not how can I console you?"
Tao Zi wants to go, "I've already seen the practical advertising industry you are talking about, can I leave now?" But Tian Xing brings her to his house, knowing that she would want to clean up before going home.
No one looks like a model while putting the bathwater, Tian Xing, that's too much.
Okay but since you are feeling troubled, you are forgiven. Hee.
Tao Zi waits outside in the living room and almost reaches out for the softball which was her brother's. Tian Xing tells her that the bath is ready and she cries while thinking of the humiliating experience.
Outside, Tian Xing messes his hair up while agonizing over the issue.
Heh the hair looks like a nest.
When Tao Zi is done bathing, she places her clothes on a table before putting a coat over Tian Xing who is asleep. He reaches for his hand, "Just a minute will do," but she quietly pulls her hand out, leaving me to think that Tian Xing was sleeptalking.
She takes off the necklace and places it on top of her gown. She leaves the house to find Huan Huan waiting for her. Huan Huan tells her that she likes Tian Xing because he's her dream. She would do anything for him, "When I was bullied, he would scold the bullies. When I forgot to bring an umbrella, he would lend me his and run home in the rain. When I couldn't make it for the bus to graduation trip, he sent me there on motorcycle. Since young, I've imagined us growing old together. Tian Xing is just that good…how can I not like him? Tao Le Si, can you not like him? Even if he likes you a lot, can you not like him?"
Tao Zi nods.
Tao Zi asks Xiao Lu to come to the company the next day because the Samsung project is drawing to a close. Tian Xing reads the text and frowns.
It's joyous in OZ as the Samsung project is finally in its final stages. Xiao Lu is asked to say something and he thanks them for the memories which he will always remember. Miao Miao teases that he sounds like he's leaving them and that there will be even more projects in the future for him to work on. He smiles awkwardly while Tao Zi's smile freezes.
Leo tells Xiao Lu privately that he has talked to Tao Zi about him before and that he has seen Tao Zi grow up. "Whenever she likes someone, she will be stubborn till the end…and ultimately the one who is hurt..is her."
Xiao Lu realises that Tao Zi is waiting for him and offers to go home together.
On the way back, he apologises for not having replied her texts as he was always too busy helping out for the movie. Tao Zi stops him and tells him that she wants to make a wish. She closes her eyes and clasps her hands, "Recently, I have liked someone, someone who is very important to me."
XIao Lu closes his eyes in frustration and pain.
"I hope that he will always be by my side to see the stars, have suppers…sit on carousels, celebrate two birthdays with me, accompany me when I'm feeling scared and insecure and tell me it's all right…I wish that he will like me too, is that all right?"
She ends off her wish the way Xiao Lu taught her, "One…two…three…" Xiao Lu leans in to kiss her but as she reaches the count of six, he opens his eyes and with an expression both full of pain and determination, he pulls away from her.
She opens her eyes to realise that Xiao Lu has disappeared. Something has gone horribly wrong. She starts crying out his name and asking where he disappeared to.
Xiao Lu hides behind a wall and drops his glasses. He can hear her cries, but he can't go to her, because she can't see Xiao Lu again.
Tao Zi finally walks home but breaks down in tears again. She tells herself that she just needs a bit more time. Behind her, Tian Xing appears. He wants to go towards her but stops himself, "Lu Tian Xing, if you let her see Xiao Lu again, it will only hurt her even deeper."
Guys, I don't mean to spoilt the moment, but did he just miraculously go through a haircut while behind the wall???
Tao Zi returns home nonchalant,but her mother guesses that she's upset. She almost goes after Tian Xing again with a sword, assuming that the only person who could make Tao Zi this upset is him. Miao Miao guesses it's Xiao Lu and calms Mum down. Mum tells Tao Zi that no matter what happens, there will be many people who will be concerned for her, because she is this awesome person who has always shown concern for others.
Back in her room, Tao Zi sends a text to Xiao Lu, asking where he had gone. He's tearing back in his apartment.
He reads Tao Zi's text about how she's worried about him and that she wishes everything is well for him, "P.S I'm well so don't worry about me," causing him to break down in tears. Tao Zi sees the "read" sign on her text but gets no reply. She quietly covers the word 'read' with her thumb, which is a heartbreaking gesture.
In the morning, Tian Xing looks around his apartment and recalls all the memories he has with Tao Zi there, in the kitchen, at the dining table and on the sofa. He tells himself, "The one she likes is Xiao Lu, not me, Lu Tian Xing."
That's a very poignant sentence to me. As one person, he has to deal with the pain and regret of leaving Tao Zi but also the ultimate rejection as his genuine identity. The girl he likes has liked someone else, not him.
Tao Zi waits for Xiao Lu to appears at the company and he does, only to deliver the bad news, "Today will be my last day with OZ."
Despite all attempts to make him stay, he resolutely hands over his assignments, contacts, soft copies, lists and everything else to different people of OZ. With the excuse that something has cropped up with his family and that he needs to leave OZ to settle this trouble, he turns around and walks out of the company. Tao Zi chases after him, asking if he really needs to leave and the reason behind the trouble. His answers are short and curt, " Not convenient to tell you." She's confused and frazzled, "I thought we liked each other!"
"Yeah, we like each other…as good friends."
She asks if he will ever return to OZ and he shakes his head.
He tells her that the way he likes her, is the same as how he likes OZ. "Take care," and with that he walks off. In voiceover, he apologises, "I can only love you properly when Xiao Lu disappears."
Tao Zi squats down and breaks down in sobs, while Leo, Miao Miao and Jia Gai Xian watch on worriedly.
Even though she's heartbroken, she sends Miao Miao home, promising that she will be okay in a few days. She sends a text to Xiao Lu, "Even though we can only be good friends, but no matter where you are, please remember that I am concerned about you. Hope that things will go well for you everyday. If you are happy, I will be happy too."
Aww:( Tian Xing reads this text and all the other texts that he never replied to. She sees the 'read' sign and knows she has been ignored once again.
Tian Xing appears at the office, "Why do you seem like someone has pulled out your plug?"
He guesses that she has quarrelled with Xiao Lu (though I wouldn't call it a guess hahaha) and she breaks down, "Xiao Lu has left OZ."
"Do you remember the shoulder that you have lent me? Come here to take it back." She makes no move, but he pulls her in.
"A minute of shoulder." She starts sobbing, "It's Xiao Lu who taught me how to make wishes, it's him who wanted to celebrate birthdays with me…but he ran away. When I opened my eyes, he has already ran away. My heart really hurts." Tian Xing reaches out to pat her head but places his hand on her shoulder instead. "I thought we like each other, I really thought we like each other. I didn't know that we are only good friends."
I like this scene because it shows that even though Tao Zi dislikes Tian Xing on the surface, she can't help but reveal her feelings to him. Also, I love the matchy matchy shirts~
She slowly quietens down and Tian Xing takes out his handkerchief to wipe her tears away, "When you are done crying, you have to remember to put it down. Life moves on."
Dude, use your hand to wipe her tears away, it's sweeter than a handkerchief.
He walks to the mannequin with his face on it and says that he's pretty useful as an emotional dustbin. Tao Zi thanks him, and he retorts, "Just a word of thanks?" before gesturing to the face. Tao Zi pulls out the dart that is right in his forehead and he laughs, "That's much more comfortable."
He sweetly places her beloved watch back on her wrist and she is so happy. He asks, "Do you feel a bit better now?" She nods happily and he is like, "Great." AND HE PROCEEDS TO TAKE OFF HER WATCH HAHA.
He protests, "I didn't say I will return it to you. Anyway you said you feel better, so…mission accomplished!" You jerkXD
He brings her for supper and unloads all the onions again. While eating, he asks her why she returned the necklace which was his present to her. "Is it because of Xiao Lu?" "It's because I don't want to give you a misunderstanding."
He nods and takes back the necklace, but reminds her, "The one who decides that I like you…is me and not you."
After the meal, they sit at a bench for a chat. Tian Xing cute-ly checks whether her eyes are red and she tells him that her mother thought it was him who made her cry. "Oh..then I should run faster later when I'm at your house." "They think that the one who will bully me is you." "Turns out it's your Xiao Lu."
Tian Xing asks her why she likes Xiao Lu so much and she replies that she feels very happy with Xiao Lu, "He thinks of me whole-heartedly. You won't understand." He pushes, "Then how do you explain his decision to leave you and OZ the day after you have decided to confess?" "I believe he has a reason." "What if the reason is that he doesn't want to lie to you, or he has a secret that he can't tell you, or that he doesn't want to hurt you?"
I think both of them did a great job at handling the sad crying scenes here but as always, sad scenes are not my favourites:/ Especially since Episode 9's preview shows further crying which doesn't make me anticipate the episode. There are so many more conflicts that they have to resolve before the show is up, so I hope that they can do a satisfactory conclusion!
Some people commented that Xiao Lu leaving Tao Zi is such a plot twist, but honestly, it's the expected solution and I think the right one. You can't leave Tian Xing to fade away and for Xiao Lu to take over because there's no such person as Xiao Lu. He's after all, a character that Tian Xing created. So you have to love the real one, not a figment of creation. This is why it's so heart-wrenching for Tian Xing because he has to fight with himself, for the woman he loves. And he struggles to keep his decision going, knowing that he wants to stay with Tao Zi as Xiao Lu.
I'm not sure if I might be saying a potential spoiler or it's just a loophole, but notice how Tian Xing says, "after you have decided to confess"? I don't think Tao Zi ever told him the contents of her wish, so it could be the catalysis for future development…or it could just be me overthinking and that this is just an oversight on the writers' part.
I particularly like how Xiao Lu leaned in for the kiss but had to pull away in the end. It shows the internal struggle very poignantly — the thing he wants to do, the choices he has, and the decision he ultimately makes. I did find it a bit funny how Tao Zi cries after Xiao Lu disappears because normally, one would just…be pissed? or call the person right? but I think she has seen it coming — this sudden distance between the two of them and the impending loss of Xiao Lu, hence the tears.
I'm excited to see how the conflicts will play out, so please keep the plot going on strong!
*cannot get over his haircut*