I was quite okay with this episode, but as I was doing the recap, I felt an increasing sense of frustration. This episode is meant for build-up. There's not much plot movement but it plants seeds that are useful for future plot development. I get it, but I just feel that they are pushing Tian Xing into an unbreathable corner, and I'm impatiently waiting for some sort of release.
The episode continues with the Mother rubbing salt into the couple's wounds by saying that she was out early morning trying to find a suitable venue for the wedding.
Look at her evil face, "I'm sure Miss Tao will give your blessings?"
Tao Zi is completely stunned and is unable to make any replies.
The Mother invites her for lunch and Tian Xing immediately cuts in with an offer to drive her home. Evil Mother laughs that since OZ is gone, Tao Zi should have enough time to accompany them for a meal. The couple gazes at each other, both with many things on their mind. During the meal, Huan Huan does her usual FEED ME! thing while Evil Mother 'innocently' brings up the past about how Tian Xing pretended to be Xiao Lu, "You guys must have a shock, especially you, Miss Tao. I even heard that you fell in love with Xiao Lu."
Tian Xing tries to stop her but she continues about how love will be forgotten after time, "I'm sure Miss Tao will not have lingering affections for a fictional character."
She reveals to Tao Zi that she will transfer OZ's management rights to Tian Xing as a wedding present. After the meal, Tao Zi rushes out of the house and Tian Xing runs after her. He wants to fetch her home but she is shocked with the news. She reaches out to take off her necklace but Tian Xing quickly stops her, "Don't! Follow me…I have many things to tell you, can I?"
At a more private and green setting, Tao Zi learns about the whole conflict, "So you want me to believe that you can use yourself in exchange for OZ's peace and that things will be back to normal once you marry Huan Huan…that I will be very happy and in bliss, is this what you want me to believe?" Tian Xing shakes his head but tells her that's the only way he can protect her. Tao Zi cries, "Why must you sacrifice our happiness to protect me? WHY?"
"Because you are very important to me!!"
Tao Zi cries out loud that she has already fallen in love with both Tian Xing and Xiao Lu. Every time, he comes to her side and disappears. Now that he has finally returned, he's going to leave in a hurry. Tian Xing tells her that he really wants to hug her now and bring her somewhere no one knows the both of them, "I will tell you how much I love you, how much I don't want you to leave…but I can't do that. I'm already selfish enough, I can't let you be selfish like me."
He wants her to trust in his love for her and OZ, "In that case, I won't be scared of anything." She breaks down in tears, "I don't want, I don't want you to leave me, I don't want!!"
Tian Xing grabs her in an embrace and both of them let out tears of regret and despair.
Lance wants Ting Wei to release news to the press about how OZ is going to be shut down and that Tian Ji is willing to help out with any clients that OZ was previously handling. Ting Wei has an issue with this, knowing that the news article will destroy OZ. Lance is nonchalant about it but starts to lose his cool when Ting Wei questions him if he had anything to do with OZ's transfer. He stands up and asks threateningly if Ting Wei has forgotten where he stands, if he wants to go on a long vacation to dream like Tian Xing, and if he has forgotten that it is Tian Ji which has brought the both of them thus far.
Now that's your problem (and your Evil Mother's). You can't measure obligation and gratitude like this! And it frustrates me the more this episode progresses.
Ting Wei doesn't like Lance's tone and train of thoughts, "It seems like your philosophy is really different from mine. I quit. I know now it's not the right time to quit. Oh no, I should have phrased it this way — if I had known earlier that you are someone like this, I should have quit earlier."
Lance reels quietly from this rejection and touches the patch of hair behind his ear again. He seems really pyscho when he does that hahah and I quite like the effect of it.
Miao Miao returns to her bedroom to find a sad Tao Zi, who breaks down in tears when she hugs her. She reveals to Miao Miao that Tian Xing is marrying Huan Huan just to protect her and OZ.
Even though Tian Xing is doing so much for her, she can't do anything for him. Miao Miao wipes her tears, "You love Lu Tian Xing, right?" Tao Zi replies that she loves both Xiao Lu and Tian Xing, and she wants to fight for them, "Do I fight? If I fight, Lu Tian Xing will be destroyed for sure!"
Miao Miao hugs her and cries along with her.
In the Evil realm, Huan Huan practises standing up again and gets a shock when someone knocks on her door. Chill, because it's just her bro coming in for another evil talk. She confides in her brother that she's scared she would have to sit on the wheelchair forever and that Tian Xing will one day come to know of the lie.
Lance convinces her that she must hold tightly to her own happiness and that they should go visit OZ in a few days to announce her marriage with Tian Xing, "Let them know that Lu Tian Xing belongs to you and Tian Ji, and that no one can snatch him away." Huan Huan calms her nervous thoughts and smiles back at her brother.
OZ continues whatever work they can do in the reception area of the house and Tao Zi's mum cooks green bean soup for them. Evil People arrive on the footsteps, much to everyone's displeasure and shock. Miao Miao asks directly what they are here for and Lance says that he should be here to see how things are going, seeing that his ex-assistant and his production director are here. OZ is pleased to know that Ting Wei has left Tian Ji and will be helping OZ to return to normal running.
Hehe, Miao Miao's really cute every time she does the -poke Ting Wei's chest and smiles shyly- thing. Tao Zi's mum offers to massage Huan Huan's legs for her and she starts to panic upon hearing that her mum has really good skills, "She knows what's wrong with just one touch."
And since Huan Huan has, well, nothing wrong with her legs, she swipes Tao Zi's mum's fingers away, "Don't touch me!"
In this movement, her left leg moves along with her arm momentum, but unfortunately, no one catches it.
She quickly looks to her brother for intervention and Lance hands money over to Tao Zi. This is the final payment from Guai Guai, which was very satisfied with the way OZ has handled the advertisement. Lance's chauffeur comes back into the house with gifts and invitation cards. Uh-oh.
Lance drops the bad news on everyone else when Jia Gai Xian asks what those things are for, "Tian Xing didn't tell you guys?"
Tian Xing realises what Lance is up to.
Okay, I don't really understand this expression because it seems like a smile. I think we are supposed to interpret it as a oh he understands what Lance is doing kind of thing, but it doesn't connect with his expression before and after this exact scene, so it irritated me for a teeny bit:P.
Jia Gai Xian reads the card and is shocked, "Tian Xing, you are going to marry Huan Huan?"
Lance hopes that everyone will be able to make it for the wedding. Huan Huan invites Tao Zi to accompany her to the sauna and being nice, Tao Zi smiles and accepts.
Miao Miao immediately says that she's going to come along too. Haha, I like how she's so protective of Tao Zi.
After the siblings leave, Tao Zi's mum asks if Tian Xing is really going to marry Huan Huan but he doesn't make a reply. Tao Zi stops her from continuing her questioning and Leo realises that Tao Zi knew of this impending marriage already, "So the fact that OZ gets to stay has something to do with this marriage." Tian Xing evades discussion and prompts OZ to continue working.
On the way home, Lance asks if Huan Huan really wants to chat with Tao Zi, hence the invitation. She smiles and Lance praises her for knowing how to fight for her happiness.
Tao Zi's mum recalls repeatedly the incident with Huan Huan and seems to be perplexed about something. I think she half-subconsciously caught the movement in Huan Huan's legs but just hasn't put together the pieces — that Huan Huan's legs are really all right. This niggling feeling is obvious, as she expresses her worry that Tao Zi is going to accompany Huan Huan to the sauna, but she's reassured after knowing that Tao Zi will have OZ to accompany her.
Cue a much needed happy moment where OZ gathers and waits for the Tian Ji people to come. Jia Gai Xian wants to know if Ting Wei has helped him invite Helen, and the answer is yes, he did HAHA. Helen turns up in shorts and cropped top, much to Jia Gai Xian's excitement, "Sooo hot."
And everyone else laughs at his reaction.
AHH I miss those moments.
What Huan Huan was really planning on doing was not to chat with Tao Zi, but to rub salt in her wounds. She rambles on about how loved she is, how her Tian Xing accompanies her everyday and listens to her with smiles.
Her biggest wish is to marry Tian Xing and be with him till they are old. She can't wait for the day she will be wearing her wedding gown and saying "I do" to someone she loves. "Tao Le Si, you will give us your blessings right? Because we are friends."
Someone just drown her already.
Tao Zi doesn't make any reply but looks down instead.
Miao Miao pushes Ting Wei into the sauna and the both of them have a fun time splashing water at each other. Jia Gai Xian on the other hand, is 'confronting' Helen with his drawn-on abs and non-existent biceps, which trigger really funny reactions from Helen HAHA.
Tao Zi and Leo sit side by side as they watch Tian Xing wipe Huan Huan's legs after she got up from the sauna. The couple catches each other's eyes and she smiles at him, as if she's trying to give him strength.
He sees her smile and he looks down and smiles slightly too. Huan Huan turns around to look at her and Leo looks at Tao Zi as well. Later on, OZ plays a game and Huan Huan gets very uncomfortable watching them. I think it's because Tian Xing is laughing so much and it just makes her unhappy that Tian Xing is so much more in bliss when he's with Tao Zi. She leaves to shop alone, rejecting her brother's help.
She sees something she likes on the top shelf and tries to reach out for it while still on the wheelchair. She can't reach obviously, so she starts to push herself up. At the same time, OZ comes into the store and takes a selfie WITH HER IN THE BACKGROUND STANDING UP. But it seems like the scriptwriters are storing this for future use, because even though Jia Gai Xian zooms in on the photograph to look at Helen, no one notices the standing figure in the background.
Leo finally notices her presence in the shop but she has already sat down. She pays for the bottle and leaves the shop. Leo starts to suspect something, because he sees that the bottle she's holding was from the top shelf.
That's right smart boy! Go go go.
When Lance helps Huan Huan onto her bed, she tells her brother that she wishes OZ never existed. Maybe if it disappears, her Tian Xing wouldn't have changed like that.
This prompts a very evil look from the Evil Brother.
Tian Xing meets Ting Wei and asks him if he's willing to protect OZ just like he is, and Ting Wei nods.
I love this look hehe!! And it's a nice merge between Tian Xing and Xiao Lu.
Tian Xing goes to Huan Huan's room and Lance happens to leave at the same time, "How can she fall asleep when you aren't here?"
Lance calls out his name and Tian Xing turns around. The former watches the latter with fierce eyes at first, but suddenly hides this expression behind a facade.
And that change of expression happens within a split second so I thought that was pretty good acting.
He tells Tian Xing that it's nothing so Tian Xing goes inside Huan Huan's room. But he makes a call to goodnessknows what evil land, "I need you to do something for me."
The next day, the party of people has breakfast together. Miao Miao is disgusted at how Huan Huan wants Tian Xing to feed her, "It's not like her hands are injured and she still needs people to feed her."
Tao Zi receives a call from her mum and her eyes widen at the bad news.
Tian Xing watches her closely and Huan Huan in turn, watches Tian Xing.
She watches as Tian Xing gets up and walks over to Tao Zi, asking what's wrong. Turns out, OZ has been burnt down in the early morning.
They immediately return home to find the remains of company — the Guai Guai poster and the blackened header in front of the company. Tao Zi's mum breaks down in tears because this is the only thing Le Yuan has left for the family and now it's gone. The police couldn't find the arsonist, even though the cameras at the main road show that the fire was not an accident. Leo says that they should find the arsonist and the motive soon, because now it's OZ, next time…
Tian Xing says that he's going to leave for a while and Tao Zi worriedly asks him where he's going. He replies, "I'm going to find the person who set fire to OZ."
Huan Huan is worried and wants to visit OZ, but her mother thinks that her fears are unfounded. Tian Xing barges in at this moment and questions Evil Mother if she was the one who set fire to OZ. Evil Mother rushes up to him and gets super agitated about how he's questioning her.
Tian Xing shouts, "Why are you unwilling to let OZ go? It's the only thing I treasure. What do you want me to do now?!"
Evil Mother slaps him in her anger. She didn't know that she's such a despicable figure in his eyes. Ever since he was young, she looked out for him and arranged things so meticulously for fear that he would stray.
"For a lousy company, I didn't think that you would come back and question me!"
Tian Xing tries to calm down and explains that he's so worried because the fire was done by an arsonist. Evil Mother shouts that even if she was the one who started the fire, he has no rights to question her. "I have decided to take back all resources, including Fu Bo! When you understand that what you have now has not been obtained easily, you will realise that the people you should treasure are Huan Huan and I!"
She walks away, leaving a stunned Tian Xing, a triumphant Lance and a scared Huan Huan.
What the heck?? Fu Bo is not a resource you idiot. Also, don't you think you have absolutely NO RIGHTS to be agitated? What you have done IS despicable and who could blame Tian Xing for thinking that you were the one who did such a despicable thing? It frustrates me just having to listen to your illogical train of reasoning.
Back at OZ, Tao Zi washes the header till it's sparkling clean again. She pep-talks her friends, "Even though the Guai Guai poster is burnt, but the warmth and spirit still exist and will not disappear. It's the same for us…and I finally realise that I'm really lucky, to have sincere friends like you guys by my side. With you, I'm not scared of anything."
Everyone is touched by her speech, and she reaches out a hand, "That's why all of us should work hard and overcome this obstacle." The rest of OZ come forward and place their hands on hers, "Jiayou, jiayou, jiayou!"
At this optimistic moment, a company called Ting Wei to inform OZ that they are postponing the meeting with OZ indefinitely. OZ's positive spirit suddenly chills and you can see that they are sad again.
Tao Zi's mum talks to Tao Zi and reminds her that even though Huan Huan loves Tian Xing a lot, but the feeling is not reciprocated. Tao Zi should think about what the best thing is for the both of them.
Thanks to Ting Wei's friend, they have a new working space and OZ moves in. Jia Gai Xian arrives with bad news — OZ's potential closure has been 'leaked' to the press. Ting Wei reveals that he quit because he was made to reveal this news. Tao Zi stays calm, "Since there's nothing to be scared of.." she takes out her phone and everyone watches her as she makes a call.
"Huan Huan?" OZ looks at her worriedly.
Tao Zi requests to find Huan Huan later for a talk and Huan Huan says okay. Tian Xing is worried but Tao Zi knows that OZ's predicament is because of the feelings between the three of them and she doesn't want to stay low any more. She wants to have a proper thrash out talk. Before Tian Xing fetches her to Huan Huan's house, Leo asks him aside for a talk, "You use yourself to exchange for OZ, but you traded in your promise to Tao Zi, your happiness and the future you want." He disapproves of the method Tian Xing is using even though Tian Xing already says that that's the only way out. To Leo, Tao Zi is actively fighting with Huan Huan for her love, but Tian Xing isn't.
Leo continues that he's unable to give his blessings towards Tao Zi's choice, "Because I love her. And because I love her, I can't stay silently and see you make the wrong choice." He tells Tian Xing that he has own way of protecting Tao Zi and leaves.
Evil Mother praises Lance for the good article and Huan Huan reveals that Tao Zi is coming for a talk. Lance tells her that she should tell Tao Zi how if she doesn't leave, the harm she inflicts will get greater. Evil Mother agrees, "She's the biggest obstacle between the two of you. Let her leave, let her leave Tian Xing's side forever."
Tian Xing and Tao Zi arrive outside of Lance's house and Fu Bo comes to greet them. Tian Xing says that even though Fu Bo has returned to Evil Mother's side, it will not break the relationship the two of them share. Fu Bo is apologetic because he was also asked to take back the house that Tian Xing lives in, but Tian Xing is okay with that. Fu Bo sighs helplessly. Tian Xing looks at him and Tao Zi, "Eh, can you guys not sigh and have a sad face?" Fu Bo replies, "How can I not sigh? You have nothing left."
Tian Xing retorts, "Who says? I have you (Fu Bo) and you (Tao Zi). I have Fu Bo who dotes on me the most, and I have the person most important to me, you."
"That is enough."
Ah, I really like this small interaction between the three of them. It is filled with a sense of love and a tinge of hope.
The three enter the house and Tao Zi goes upstairs to talk to Huan Huan. Before she disappears up the stairway, she turns around to look at Tian Xing, and he gives her a nod of encouragement.
Tian Xing stays in the living room to talk to Evil Mother while Tao Zi enters Huan Huan's room. Huan Huan is happily trying to choose a wedding gown from all the newest styles but Tao Zi asks directly, "Is your blissfulness…bringing you too much pain."
Huan Huan drops her fake smiles and does the -whip fringe up bitch face- thing, "What do you mean?"
"Happiness should be between two people who are in love, and this love should stem from the heart. If there's any shred of force used, wouldn't this bliss bring too much trouble?"
Tao Zi meant to say that Huan Huan and Tian Xing are not a couple in love, but Huan Huan cleverly throws Tao Zi's words back at her. Because of the differences in background and family, Tao Zi and Tian Xing are the ones who are forcing the relationship and she will put Tian Xing in a difficult situation. Tao Zi acknowledges that she doesn't want to give Tian Xing trouble, "That's why I choose to put this love inside my heart, and not make things difficult. What about you?"
"I didn't make things difficult for him!"
"You didn't? You guys sell OZ and destroy OZ, you didn't make things difficult?"
"It's not me!"
"Then what about using marriage as a condition?"
Huan Huan goes berserk, "That's not a condition! That's my love to Tian Xing. I will do everything for him and give him happiness and future." Tao Zi pushes her, "You guys arrange everything for him, will he be happy?"
"HE WILL! AND AFTER I MARRY HIM, HE WILL FORGET YOU!"
"Really? The Tian Xing you know will be like that?"
Huan Huan gets increasingly agitated and pushes herself up while shouting, "How long have you known Tian Xing? How much do you understand about him? I played with Tian Xing since young! SINCE YOUNG, I WANTED TO BE HIS BRIDE. SINCE YOUNG, I KNEW THAT HE WOULD HOLD MY HAND AND WALKED DOWN THE ALTAR!!! ONLY I, ONLY I CAN BRING HAPPINESS AND A FUTURE TO HIM! ONLY ME!!"
Tao Zi tries to calm her down but she slaps Tao Zi away and Tao Zi gets thrown to a side. Huan Huan's energy gets expended and by the time Tao Zi looks up, she is already back on her seat. She cries and shouts at Tao Zi, "Tell me that I'm the only one! TELL MEEE!"
Omg she's crazy!!!
…I think Beatrice did a good job in acting out this scene, but that aside, it has allowed my distaste for Huan Huan to grow even bigger if that's possible. I like this scene in that I think it shows Huan Huan's insecurities at their worst. In the previous episodes, she has allowed her brother and mother to lull her into this sense of comfort and entitlement, but I think she knows herself, that Tian Xing will not be happy with her. That's why she cracked the moment Tao Zi asked her if she thought Tian Xing would be happy. However, even though I like the way this scene was scripted, I'm frustrated that the showdown between Tao Zi and Huan Huan had to end like this.
Showdown #2 happens in the living room where Tian Xing shouts at the other Evil People and asks them what else they want him to do. Evil Mother says agitatedly that he's always running to OZ and protecting Tao Zi, "What does that mean?"
I think Tian Xing is also affected by Leo's words, because he answers directly, "All right Auntie, since you've asked, I shall not evade the question. It's because I want to protect her, it's because I love her!" Lance is upset and retorts, "What about Huan Huan? What is she to you?"
"She's an obligation, an obligation that you guys gave me." The truth stings but the Evil People already knew it, isn't it? Lance wants Tian Xing to break off all contact with Tao Zi but he says he can't do it. Evil Mother reminds him again that the day his parents left, he was destined to marry into the Li Family. She did so much for him just for today, and "Even if you can't do it, you have to."
Tian Xing begs her to think if this is the best for Huan Huan, because he doesn't love her. To Evil Mother, as long as Huan Huan wants him, she will do it, "Even if you hate me, I'm fine with that." Tian Xing looks away with tears and Evil Mother begs him to be good to Huan Huan forever, "I will give you whatever you want, even the whole Tian Ji!"
Oooh, Lance's face just melts into hate and disbelief.
Tian Xing doesn't notice and retorts that love cannot be exchanged, so what did the Evil Mother do???
She kneels on the floor and begs Tian Xing, "Is this not enough? I beg you! Is this not enough?" Tian Xing mutters, "Enough…" before shouting, "Enough!!"
I guess showdown #2 didn't go well too.
Huan Huan begs Tao Zi to believe her that she will be good to Tian Xing and she doesn't give Tao Zi a chance to speak. She asks Tao Zi to take a wedding gown for her and Tian Xing enters the room at this moment. Huan Huan reaches out for him LIKE A BABY and asks him to come and look at the gowns. He follows her request and allows Huan Huan to wrap her arms around him. Knowing that Tao Zi is watching, Huan Huan even takes a step further by kissing his cheek.
I think this episode is important in planting seeds of doubt in a few people, such as Leo and Tao Zi's mother. Foreshadowing is a good way to lead to an explosion of conflict so I'm really hoping that the reveal will be done well and not disappoint me.
I think there's some teeny progress in the couple's relationship in that we see how they are willing to fight for each other in this episode. Before, it was just Tian Xing being the good guy in the dark, but now that everyone knows what he's doing, it makes his efforts seem less futile. I also like that Tao Zi was active in calling Huan Huan out for a showdown. That breakdown scene between the couple at the start of the episode was heartbreaking but I think Episode 16's is going to bring a lot more tears.
However, I'm getting increasingly frustrated because of the way the showdowns turned out. The tinge of hope and affirmation has dwindled down and now I sense that the couple is giving up, because they are banging into too many walls just trying to get out of this conflict. But that shouldn't be the case! Even if Huan Huan was truly wheelchair-bound, I wouldn't have any shred of sympathy for her because (other than the fact that she was the one who threw herself down the slope in a completely stupid fashion) she is so blinded by her self-righteousness and her supposed love that I'm unable to accept her. She just cannot accept that there's indeed someone else who can bring love to Tian Xing and make him happy. She thinks that because she loves him the most, she's entitled to him, and that's a problem I have with the Evil Family. They have to understand that entitlement doesn't work when it comes to human relationships. Love and family? Those come from the heart and cannot be 'entitled' or be 'obligated to' understand.
This is why I'm also disappointed with both Tian Xing and Tao Zi. Tian Xing just has to break away from the Li Family to understand that it's very easy to stop becoming a slave of this family. He is bound by his obligation, love, gratitude and sense of kinship to this family, but what they are doing? That's not love or kinship. Tao Zi too, she retreats upon seeing Huan Huan break down. The thrash-out talk started out quite well I thought, and I only wish that Tao Zi had continued that fire.
It seems like Episode 16 is going to continue down the same path and that the only way the couple is going to save themselves is when people start to realise Huan Huan is a liar. Leo's plan of trading himself for Tao Zi's happiness doesn't impress me either haha.