Really enjoyed this episode too! It was 50 minutes of pure acting goodness, tears, character development and some answers.
We are given another flashback as the opening, where Huan Zhen was praised by her friend for winning second in the recent English Speaking competition. Her classmates suddenly ganged up on her, I’ve heard that not only can she speak English, she also likes to snatch other people’s boyfriends. Arrogant! You think you are great because you can speak English?
Over Huan Zhen’s narration, she wishes that someone will appear in her life and when the whole world is against her, that person will determinedly stand up for her and tell the whole world that she isn’t like how they say she is.
I will keep waiting, until the day he or she appears.
Cut to the day when the best friends met each other in the same class in university.
Huan Zhen watches a sleeping Hao Meng and but quickly hides her thoughts when he wakes up. She cuddles up to him and hopes that the day will last forever. Hao Meng kisses her tenderly on the forehead and they hug even more tightly.
I love Alice’s acting in this episode (actually I love everyone’s acting so you are going to hear this phrase a lot more times throughout the recap oops) – even here, you can see her teary eyes.
The couple strolls by the beach and Hao Meng wants Huan Zhen to take responsibility for what she did last night. Huan Zhen thinks that he’s referring to their ahem *rolling around on the bed* but he was really talking about the fact that he fell asleep so quickly with her around. Huan Zhen asks, “How do you want me to take responsibility for this?” He replies, “You have to stay by me so that I can sleep well next time, understand?”
He leans in to kiss her but notices a couple eating cake nearby. He inhales in shock as a memory hits him and he leaves her on the pretext of finding his lost phone.
I guess it’s the fact that Huan Zhen herself is planning to leave Hao Meng that exacerbates her worry and insecurity. After a while, she tries to find him along the streets but to no avail. In the meanwhile, Hao Meng finds what he is looking for.
The both of them return to the beach around the same time and Huan Zhen turns around with relief. She hugs him and cries, “Do you know how afraid I am that you will disappear?” Hao Meng smiles, “Rest assured, I won’t disappear.”
Turns out that day is Huan Zhen’s birthday so he actually got a birthday cake for her. Huan Zhen’s eyes tear up as he sings a birthday song for her. He looks to his side and she notices that there are sparklers arranged in a heart shape on the beach *awwwwww* (for all you dreamers out there, this is not realistically possible – it took like an entire team of backstage helpers to get the sparklers going at the same time). But you know, a drama is a drama and I really love this beautiful scene.
Hao Meng urges her to make a wish, so she spends her first wish on Hao Meng, “I hope that from now on, you will be happy everyday.” As long as he’s happy, she is too. For her second wish, she hopes that she will become more courageous. She keeps the third wish in her heart and blows out the candles.
They had a scuffle trying to get cake on each other’s face but the moment suddenly grows solemn as Huan Zhen looks at him and says, “I love you”. I don’t know if it’s the music or the acting or both, but I think the drama’s really good at the subtle shifts in atmosphere.
“Hope that you will remember today at Busan…by this beach…I really like you…I really wish that I can be with you forever.” She smiles and cries even harder when Hao Meng assures her that they will be together forever.
Hao Meng do you know? I secretly made a third wish…that you will forget me and chase your dreams, that you will be with a woman who really suits you, and you must lead a life more blessed than mine.
Thank goodness they finally hit the studios or I would be shaking my head thinking that this Korea trip is just a lame thing to get the couple into beautiful scenes. Hao Meng smiles when he spies Huan Zhen in the wedding dress (looking more beautiful than the day she almost married his uncle). He frowns intensely at her and says, “You look really beautiful in a wedding gown.”
WHEE. The photographers love what they see and start snapping away.
After some fan service and lots of pretty scenes, they review the photographs and Huan Zhen starts crying. Hao Meng knows something is wrong – I love his acting, you can see his heart dropping to his stomach, if you know what I mean.
Huan Zhen abruptly ends the session and requests for Hao Meng to take a walk with her.
While walking, he calls her name gently and looks at her worriedly, but I feel like deep in his sinking stomach, he kinda suspects what’s going to come after. Huan Zhen takes out his phone and insists that he talk to her while back-facing her.
101% sure that this woman is going to escape mid-call.
The reason why she cried was because she felt so real and happy walking towards him in a gown, but the truth is, those photos are proof that it’s just work. Hao Meng tries to turn around, but she makes him turn back.
“You used to be the prince whom I want to be with, but what a pity, I am never the princess who suits you.” I actually really like this way of putting it?? even though it’s really just another way of saying it’s not you, it’s me.
(I thought that she has already fled but the camera pans to show her standing behind him.)
Hao Meng’s heart starts to break as Huan Zhen determinedly tells him that they weren’t meant to be together and those words she said by the beach were just borne out of good atmosphere, “In reality, we don’t suit each other at all.”
The truth is, “When I’m with you, I feel tired and it’s a waste of time.”
(Oh oh, camera pans again and this time round, her shoulder is no longer in sight. Sorry that’s not the point, just thought I should point it out when she flees.)
Huan Zhen points out that she’s already at the marriageable age but he doesn’t even have plans to marry. He replies gently and urgently, “Who says I don’t want to marry? I want to marry YOU.”
Music plays, Huan Zhen stops walking, and Hao Meng continues, “If the person is you, I’m not scared of marriage, because I know you are the one I want.” Huan Zhen tears up and replies bitterly that they haven’t even been together for a year, but Hao Meng reminds her that he has fought divorce cases for so long and time is never a good gauge of love. “Let’s marry.”
You probably can hear Huan Zhen’s heart shattering as she steels herself and starts mocking him, “Are you thinking too much?”
Hao Meng finally turns around and realises she’s gone. He rushes out and panics but Huan Zhen doesn’t tell him where she is (actually they are really near each other – she’s just there on the bridge, and why do I have the suspicion that this is the same bridge in the ending music video?). Instead, she pretends that the presence of Hao Meng and Sheng Nan has been a disaster to her life…and the sad thing is, Hao Meng just takes it as if it’s the truth.
“Can you give me another chance, another chance to get you back?”
“I beg you, Cai Huan Zhen.” OMG I love Roy Qiu’s acting? There’s that delicate mix of heart-break, denial, and I feel like I even sense fear…legit fear that he’s going to lose the woman he loves and there’s nothing he can do about it.
He begs her not to give up so quickly and Huan Zhen stops herself from sobbing into the phone. “Maybe one day, when we start the next relationship, you might even wonder…why did we break up so difficultly when we didn’t even love each other that much?”
“Let’s break up.”
She hangs up on him and ahhhhh, lovely scene!! With the music (Hebe is a great singer gosh) and the two of them sobbing their eyes out.
I just have a question – from the background, it seems like Hao Meng is only a minute or two behind Huan Zhen?? There’s no way he wouldn’t see her. I keep expecting the camera to pan out and show how they are obstructed by a car or a wall, or something to explain why he ISN’T seeing her…I guess it’s just to show us subtly they are so near yet so far from each other.
Hao Meng returns to the stadium and collapses into a seat. Huan Zhen returns to Taiwan and scans through the photos in her phone while on flight. The both of them recall their happy times in Korea and cry.
Fairytale is over; it’s back to reality. Huan Zhen’s mum accidentally finds the list which Huan Zhen made a while ago (see, I really love how this show has mini-throwbacks) and stuffs it into her shirt when Huan Zhen pops into her room hahaha.
She finds out from Huan Zhen that the couple has broken up but assumes that it was due to a quarrel. The next day, Hao Meng gathers his courage to find Huan Zhen at the office and runs into Sheng Nan.
Sheng Nan guesses that they had a quarrel and grumbles that she has no idea how Huan Zhen’s mind works, “With such a big scandal, she still goes with you to Korea?” I LOVE IT that she said this sentence – I think it just pokes at Hao Meng and his guilt (since he now thinks that Huan Zhen broke up with him because he has destroyed her life and the idea to go Korea together was his, not hers). He turns around and says tiredly, “Can you not point fingers at her anymore?” He reveals that they have broken up and Sheng Nan instantaneously becomes worried for her brother.
With this news in her mind, it’s not a surprise that Sheng Nan is irked to see Huan Zhen happily giving out souvenirs in the office and telling everyone to come for a networking/match making session with hot pilots that night.
Sheng Nan blows her top and drags Huan Zhen to the lobby, before giving her a dressing down. Huan Zhen suddenly drops her cold pretense, “Fine I will tell you how upset I am. Now everyday whenever I close my eyes, I see him smiling at me. When there’s silence, I can hear him talking to me, and I really, really want to hug him tight. But I can’t. I feel so much pain, so much pain until I want to die!!”
Sheng Nan looks guilty and tries to apologies, but Huan Zhen resumes her bitchy self and laughs at Sheng Nan for falling for her acting. Sheng Nan slaps her and bursts out that Huan Zhen has always been making use of her brother.
Huan Zhen astutely asks, “If I’m genuine towards him, will you let us be together?? When I love your brother whole-heartedly, you keep trying to break us apart. But when Jiang Qian Yao appears, you want to matchmake us together. Hao Sheng Nan, the one making use of your brother…is it you or me??”
WOOHOO WAY TO GO. She finally looses her top and pushes Sheng Nan because when she’s with her brother, Sheng Nan hates it, but now that they have broken up, Sheng Nan blames her for not wailing about it. Yes yes yes. The co-workers break them apart and Huan Zhen leaves after shouting that both siblings will not be able to hurt her again.
Hao Meng finds Huan Zhen’s mother in his office and she tries to give him a prophecy that even though a fiery planet/Mars has landed in his life which causes him to be short-tempered, “You must cherish it.” Hao Meng pauses, “You know about our break-up.” The mum tells him about the list she made before marrying Huan Zhen’s dad and passes him a bag. She kisses him on the forehead (???) and leaves. WHY, I don’t get the kiss hahaha. Is it supposed to motherly.
Anyway, this episode might as well be called the “Battle of the Trio” where each lead takes turns to flash their acting skills. Roy Qiu nails this scene as well, where he opens the bag and finds Huan Zhen’s list.
He tears up as he reads her first two reasons for giving up – his mother and his sister hate her.
Third, he’s a environmentalist weirdo. Fourth, he doesn’t believe in marriage while I want to marry. (Can you see how Roy Qiu’s face just shifts so quickly haha)
Fifth, he has insomnia and causes me to sleep badly too. Sixth, he gets drunk easily and will easily be kidnapped. Seventh, if I love him, I have to leave Taiwan and my parents. Eighth, he will lose everything if he’s with me.
As for the reasons to hold on, we aren’t really told what she wrote for each reason, but at the end, she wrote this – I can find a counter-reason for every reason to give up, but only this one, I can’t…because I love him so much. Ahhh nice nice nice.
Next day, both siblings end up at the hotel to sleuth for evidence. Sheng Nan confesses that the Huan Zhen she knows would never engage in such a sex deal. Prompted by her brother, she suddenly recalls that the waiter who just walked past was the one who spilled wine on Huan Zhen.
Hao Meng asks the waiter really sharp and to the point questions, which causes the waiter to be flustered. I thought that was enough but Hao Meng/the script had to go into this explanation how oh the waiter’s hands are unstable and his pupils enlarged when Hao Meng was questioning him, showing that he’s lying…that kinda puts a dent in the cool part of it all. We, as viewers, can see that his hands shook. At Hao Meng’s insistence, Sheng Nan passes him a photo of Qian Yao and the waiter, upon learning that he has become an accomplice in this huge scandal, panics, “I didn’t think it would blow up. I only took the money; it was him who wanted me to spill the drink. Don’t find trouble with me, please?”
Hao Meng immediately wishes to find Qian Yao (and smashes him) but Sheng Nan attempts to stop him, “Let me go!” She wants to face the truth herself, “Please, if the culprit is really him…let me go…”
Sheng Nan calls Qian Yao to inform him of her impending arrival, so when the bell rings like 5 seconds later, he smiles and opens the door…but it turns out to be his drunk brother. Oh drunk brother, I’m so glad you appeared.
Drunk brother reveals that because of the scandal, he’s going to be stripped of his position and Qian Yao will take over. Brother guesses the truth behind everything and Qian Yao pushes him away, “Yes, I set you up! I spiked your drink, and sent Huan Zhen to your room.”
Oooh, guess who arrives and closes her eyes in shock.
Qian Yao gives his brother two options – acknowledge the sex scandal and resign, or he will stand as witness that his brother attempted to rape Huan Zhen. Brother gets provoked into trying to punch Qian Yao but he’s drunk so Qian Yao gets the upper hand and finally unleashes all the pent up fury.
He smashes his brother repeatedly, until the speechless Sheng Nan finally utters, “Senior…you…”
She runs off and Qian Yao runs after her. She breaks and asks Qian Yao for the truth, “You made use of me to woo Cai Huan Zhen, is that true?” Qian Yao tears and confesses the truth but he broke the deal when he realised he had feelings for Sheng Nan. “I lied to you about many things, but I’ve never lied about this and that is – I really like you.”
He hugs her and she reciprocates but at least the girl has a conscience and sobs – she hated Huan Zhen for many years and didn’t believe her; he set Huan Zhen up and caused the whole world to attack her. “She’s the most innocent out of us.”
She stands back, “Such a horrible pair of people…what rights do we have to say that we like each other?”
Sheng Nan finds Huan Zhen and offers her a way out but Huan Zhen laughs it off since there’s no way she can explain the ‘sex deal’ away. Sheng Nan stands up angrily and scolds Huan Zhen for always escaping. She’s just scared of being hurt and being abandoned by those whom she cares. “Have you thought of those whom you abandoned…how would they feel? They misunderstand you for so many years, and live on hating you, and only find out now that they are in the wrong. How do you want them to face you? How do you want them to apologise to you??”
Huan Zhen tears up and turns around but Sheng Nan insists that she turns back because she doesn’t want Huan Zhen to see her crying. “I don’t feel apologetic at all! Because, Cai Huan Zhen, YOU DESERVE IT!”
The truth is the person who really doesn’t believe herself..is herself, and the one who really abandoned her, is her pride.
Huan Zhen ponders over what happened and tears up. If you saw through how fragile I am through my pretense, can you not abandon me?
Sheng Nan finds her brother at the office and reveals the truth of the matter. Even though her brother wants to rush out and smashes Qian Yao again, Sheng Nan stops him by feebly explaining that Qian Yao didn’t mean it; he was just being oppressed by his brother.
Hao Meng reminds her that they will never be happy together because her conscience will remind her what her love was built on. “For love, you can’t even discern between black and white?” Sheng Nan shouts, “NO I DIDN’T!” She just doesn’t want either of them to be hurt. Hao Meng gently advises her – sometimes it hurts to do the right thing but you still need to do so. “I hope you will not let yourself and your good friend down. Actually, you know what to do.”
Sheng Nan finds Qian Yao at his apartment and hugs him.
I really love how this week’s recap looks. The actors display their best performance; the tears are not just sad tears – they encompass a myriad of emotions.
I think what the drama’s greatest failing is, is that it fails to convince rational and cynical people like me (actually I haven’t quite decided whether I’m cynical or idealistic) that love is so easily formed. Maybe this isn’t a failing. It’s just different philosophy, but I would have liked to see couples forming relationships based on understanding and communication, rather than relying on fate. This applies both to Huan Zhen/Hao Meng and Qian Yao/Sheng Nan. I can see the great chemistry in both couples, and this is why I think the great potential could have been tapped on better.
Although the break-up scene took up half the episode and the couple is probably going to get back together the very next episode, I love how everything is portrayed. Roy Qiu and Alice’s acting are sharp and on point. If not for the fact that I know they are going to have a happy ending anyway, I would probably have bawled my eyes out seeing Roy Qiu’s heart break.
I also like the character development seen in Sheng Nan (at least she has a conscience), and I appreciate Huan Zhen’s role in the drama. Most controversies revolve around her, and she points out astutely all the hypocrisies in society. Thankfully, Harry Zhang, although obviously the weakest actor out of the four leads, did not fare too badly either!
Can’t wait for next week’s episode! I LOVE the soundtrack of this drama. I can’t stop humming the happy song!!
P.S By the way, the recaps are going to be released around this timing for the next 2 weeks, so if you don’t find it available immediately after the episode is released, do check back one or two days later! Don’t give up on me LOL~