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King of Romance Episode 9 Recap

One of the best episodes thus far! Whatever you want – a heartbreaking secret, jealousy, tears and cuteness overload – we have it.

Anyone who has followed thoughtsramble for a short period of time should know that I have a serious case of second lead syndrome – to the point that I really disliked You’re Beautiful, which imo is the epitome of a naive female lead + selfless second male lead. But when you reverse it onto the first male lead, I’m sold. The chance of the main couple being together is almost 100% and therefore, the question becomes when are they going to get together??? as opposed to feeling pity for the guy. Nonetheless, I desperately want Wang Zhen/Nuo to have his happy ending. Give this guy a break already haha!

Enough of my ramblings.

In a slightly odd panning of faces (imo), Wang Zhen admits, “Yes, I’m not Wang Nuo.” This is a secret that only both of them know. Zhen explains that he was wearing Nuo’s trunks the day he drowned, so he decided to just go with the flow. From young, the one who was obedient was Nuo; Zhen was the naughty one.

Bing Bing thinks that Wang parents wouldn’t think like that, but he replies, “Wang Zhen knows best.” As for why no one has ever suspected, “Who would have guessed that the last in class could get into medicine school?”

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Zhen sobs and Bing Bing asks helplessly, “I feel sad if you are sad…oh no…”

He suddenly starts laughing and she is insulted – was he just pull her leg?? Zhen chases her out  of his house and she struggles, “Goodnight, Wang…” but settles with, “Romeo”. Aww that was sweet.

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We wonder why Zhen feels like this and a flashback of a nosy auntie telling Wang Mum that it’s a blessing in disguise it was Nuo who survived shows us just why. Back in the present, his lower lip trembles as he murmurs, “What’s in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” (Reference to Shakespeare </3).

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Bing Bing worries over Bruce’s reaction to her rejection but still daydreams of his confession. She grins and murmurs, “Yes!” but jumps awake when Zhen smirks next to her hahaha. He advises Bing Bing to give up because Bruce would never confess to her again, “Just take the Michelin for example. My sister is a four-star, and all those whom he have dated are at least a two.” Bing Bing retorts, “I may not know anything else, but there are at most only three Michelin stars alright.” HAHA. Zhen brushes her remark aside, “The main point is – how many stars are you?”

Bruce nitpicks on the furniture and the wall paint, and requests a new wash of paint because Bing Bing agreed to a colour that was a shade off. She texts Wang Nuo (going to start using the names interchangeably now, prob Wang Nuo when he’s a doctor) and grumbles that Bruce is picking on her. Wang Nuo laughs at Bruce’s butthurt self and replies that they can talk at night but generally, he would stay calm and not react. She smiles and texts back, Thank you for being Romeo and not the jerk Wang Nuo. 

This leads our male lead to a full-on beam. Watch as he suddenly swallows his smile and dishes out orders in a deadpan-Nuo face.

At night, the couple meets over drumsticks and Wang Nuo consoles her that it’s okay, better get ditched now than later. She glares, “Can’t you say hey it’s not that bad, there’s still a possibility for change??” She gets into an angry rant but deflates when she touches on what happened yesterday. Instead, she’s reminded of a book that she read recently – The Cat That Lived A Million Times.

It’s a story of a cat which has been loved by a million people, but it never feels happy. Zhen mutters that a cat which has lived a million times would have died a million times too (lol what an on-point glass is half empty person). Bing Bing ignores him, “Yet the cat has never cried before, that’s because it doesn’t feel like it’s free. It doesn’t know who it is living for, until one time, he reincarnates into a cat which doesn’t belong to anyone. He can be himself, and that’s when he feels real happiness.”

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Ermygawd, what a great narration and watch Zhen’s eyes tear up!!

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Zhen doesn’t like the story because reality is much crueler than that. Bing Bing knows he’s Wang Zhen and cares for him because Juliet doesn’t want him to suffer. “No one can force you to wear a mask, and only Romeo can take off his own mask.” Because he’s wearing a mask, he can’t feel that it’s great to be alive. Zhen grimaces, “It is me who has lived this 15 years…how great.”

He sits on Bing Bing’s bed and cries that he’s wearing a mask because of his guilt – Wang Nuo wouldn’t have died if Wang Zhen didn’t insist on swimming out so far. It was Zhen who sunk first and it was Nuo who saved him but drowned. “I killed him. Why is Wang Zhen alive?” He sobs as he confesses that he couldn’t bring himself to tell his parents it was the useless Zhen who caused Nuo to die.

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Bing Bing asks, “What about your life?” and he replies that this is his life; he’s trying his best to live out the lives of two people – it’s what he owes Wang Nuo…but like what Bing Bing points out, Wang Zhen has disappeared the day Wang Nuo died.

“True…in reality, I’ve only lived the life of one. Wang Zhen has disappeared long ago. It’s only when I’m Romeo that I could feel a bit of Wang Zhen. It’s only in a virtual world where I can breath a little…and feel that it’s good to be alive.”

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Bing Bing cute-ly turns herself to him and, after an inner struggle, pats him gently on the shoulder. “Nobody knows that Wang Zhen is working so hard…” Zhen cries silently but waves it off, “It’s okay, sometimes I don’t even know who I am anymore.”

In one of my most favourite scenes, Bing Bing kneels in front of Zhen, “I can! The cool doctor is Wang Nuo…the one who speaks harshly is Wang Zhen…the one in the virtual world who is gentle and kind is Romeo.”

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She reaches out and touches his birthmark, “Hello…it’s been a long time, Wang Zhen. We have seen each other when we were young.” Awwwww<3

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Zhen smiles through his tears, “That’s right…it’s been a long time, Wang Zhen.” Ahh I love it everything about this!! Her touching his birthmark (something which belongs only to him) and him saying hi to himself.

In all honesty, I find Wang Zhen’s monologue a teeny tad too long. It would have been more poignant if it was shorter, but nevertheless, Lego Li’s acting is daebak! I wish Cindy Lien could have expressed herself more here, but I think she did a good job too. Also – (1) did Wang Mum really not see the birthmark all these years? (2) Can parents really not tell their twin sons apart??

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Later, Zhen wants Bing Bing to keep it a secret and she promises that the person who leaks it is a dog. She grabs his hand, “Juliet promises Romeo to keep it a secret.” Aww. I think from now on, I will think of this couple whenever I hear “Romeo” or “Juliet”.

Back in their separate houses, Bing Bing recalls telling Romeo in the virtual world that if one day they found someone where they can be themselves, they should meet and give each other a hug. Knowing that Wang Zhen will be the happiest as Romeo, Bing Bing tells her softtoy, “Let’s volunteer as tribute and play with him today!” Indeed, Romeo smiles and when she comments on his good game, he puts down his headphone and murmurs, “It’s of course to do with you, stupid sparrow. Zhen is back because of you… and that feels awesome!”

The next day, Bruce confesses to Bing Bing again and our dear girl goes into a fangirl mode and accepts it again. Our poor Wang Zhen asks if Bing Bing wants to meet on the rooftop for a meal and Bing Bing says yes because she’s eager to share some good news. On the way home, Zhen sees a sparrow softtoy in the claw machine and is determined to get it out – to the point where the guy is like hey you can just buy it if you want but our dear Emperor is like change this note to coins! So cuteee and I love this scene because it shows his kiddish side.

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While waiting for Bing Bing, Zhen smiles at the sparrow (which he has finally won thank god) and writes a card, Thank you for letting me be myself. Even if Bruce rejects you, I will be by your side. You are the most important teammate to me. And after a brief hesitation, he signs off, Wang Zhen. 

I realise Zhen is only happy for like 10 minutes in this episode because Bing Bing descends onto him with the bad news that Bruce has confessed. Ouchh. Even though Zhen suddenly feels awkward, he still dishes the juice to Bing Bing because she can’t drink beer. Double ouch to Zhen when Bing Bing grins that he’s her good friend and that’s why she wants to share the good news. I feel so sad for Wang Zhen when he has to hide his gift (although technically he doesn’t, more on that below) and he SOS-es his friend. His friend calls and Zhen hilariously concocts a story, “Oh 502 is going to give birth?” With that pretext, he leaves Bing Bing and throws the present at home.

I laughed out loud when he games online at home and Bing Bing comes online too, “You have finished giving birth?” And he’s like, “What birth — oh, I’m just gaming for a while, I’m going into the surgery room soon.” Sadly for Zhen, Bing Bing asks him how she should reply to Bruce’s goodnight message. Eew.

Our Wang Nuo decides to take on all the unwanted shifts to numb his mind. Ai Zhen returns to Taipei and arranges for a dinner with Bruce and Wang Nuo…and Bruce brings Bing Bing along. Noooo whyyy, my poor Wang Nuo is already as sad as he is.

During dinner, you can see Romeo’s pained smiles as he watches Bruce’s loving smiles and when he holds Bing Bing’s hands. Gah. Bruce wants to order a seafood platter but Ai Zhen reminds them that Ah Nuo doesn’t eat fish. Bing Bing sees a good chance for Zhen to be himself, so she pipes, “Why but fish is nutritious! He doesn’t like it when he’s young but he would now that he has grown up – ” Zhen cuts in, “Seems like Ai Zhen knows me best. I’ve never liked fish since young; it’s my brother Wang Zhen.”

Bruce asks Bing Bing what she wants to eat and she gets distracted from her shock, “I will eat whatever you want<3” I find this so annoying because don’t you think Bing Bing always loses her mind and character when she’s with Bruce? She has NO personality at all and that’s so telling! Ai Zhen also shoots the both of them a questioning look and I wonder what she’s suspicious of?  I can’t think why she would be suspicious just from that dialogue.

Bing Bing’s game mates think that Bing Bing must have pissed Wang Zhen off somehow. Bing Bing deduces that Zhen is not happy with her being attached to Bruce but doesn’t know why. Back in the hospital, we see Wang Nuo rushing around the hospital with his sudden increase in patients. He runs into Bing Bing who has  come to the hospital to visit Wu Granny but ignores her. She learns from the other doctor that Nuo has only slept for 3 hours each day and runs after him. Sadly, he is very cold to her and asks her to mind herself. “I thought we were friends…shouldn’t friends care for each other?” Haha all this friendzoning…

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She asks him outright if he’s not happy with her being with Bruce. She knows that she’s not as good as them, but she just has a simple wish of fighting for her dreams with her loved one. Zhen retorts that his life isn’t simple like hers and she replies that Zhen does not have to lead such a hard life, “So long as you are willing.” Zhen regrets telling her the truth that day, “Please forget everything.”

Yi Le runs into Wang Nuo in the cafeteria and teases him that drinking too much coffee will cause hallucinations of ghosts hahaha. She pretends to be one and whispers, “Do you feel that you can’t sleep at night, and feel an inexplicable heartache when you see her with someone else?”

Nuo grumbles that he just doesn’t approve of the two of them – Bruce hasn’t recovered from his ex-relationship, and Bing Bing is just worshiping him. Wow what a great and critical analysis. He asks why Yi Ye doesn’t feel down now that Bruce has a girlfriend and she very cute-ly realises, “Oh does that mean you feel down?” She suggests that Nuo should go near to her next time and feel his heartbeat. Nuo confesses that they have already kissed twice and quickly clarifies that they are all accidents. Yi Ye nods sympathetically, “I know…Uh nope I mean no wonder…”

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She recalls her own one night stand with Bruce and looks a bit sad.

Even though he was really cold to Bing Bing in the afternoon, he still makes it to the launch of their dessert shop at night. Aww<3 A drunk Wang Min appears and goes at the drinks. Bruce invites Bing Bing to the stage and explains that it’s Bing Bing’s passion which inspires him. This is why their shop is called La Muse, “Because you are my lucky star.” Uhh although I don’t see the direct link (then it should be called The Star?? or he should have said because you are my muse??) THIS IS MUSHY.

Wang Min is triggered and drains the glass of wine before smashing it. She rushes to the stage and declares that Bing Bing is just a kid who will drag Bruce down. “She’s just a jinx!” Wang Zhen manages to drag her out and she whines that even though she has cheated, she gave 8 years of her feelings. Zhen asks her to leave them alone if she’s really sincere towards Bruce. Wang Min realises that Zhen likes Bing Bing and mutters more nonsense, so he kicks her out of the car.

Over text, Bing Bing apologises for her words at the hospital and thanks him for coming because his blessings are important to him. Zhen tells her to ignore his sister’s words, “It’s your decision to be together, you don’t have to care about anyone.”

The next day, a sober Wang Min can’t remember everything but still doesn’t apologise to Bing Bing for her words. Even though Bruce is annoyed that Wang Min is picking on Bing Bing’s drawings for the shop’s menu, he is swayed when she explains that it’s important for the image to be congruent with the chef (and Bruce isn’t the act-cutesey kind). She also picks on the dessert top because there isn’t enough white space among the dessert and Bruce asks Bing Bing if the furniture can be changed (Omg dude!!! Just put less dessert or something).

It’s pouring at night and Bruce sends Bing Bing home but runs off after a cursory tap. Bing Bing returns home to find her house leaking. She runs into Wang Nuo on her way out and informs him that she will escape to her friend’s house or Bruce’s. Wang Nuo is annoyed that she’s so eager to sleepover with Bruce even though they’ve just gotten together so he leaves her alone. Bing Bing calls Bruce who ignores her and on his way out, Wang Nuo realises Bing Bing hasn’t gone. She’s dizzy because she’s on her period so Wang Nuo decides to offer his house since he will be making hospital rounds later.

She washes up and realises that Zhen intentionally gave her a shirt with a printed slab of abs. LOL. According to him, it’s to motivate her to gym more often and be healthier. Bing Bing retorts that it’s more likely Zhen only has ribs and wears the shirt to console himself. Her stomach growls loudly and Zhen laughs that he has steak in fridge. “What do you think of my ribs now?”

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Bing Bing praises him, “Oh they are arranged nicely and packed tightly, so charming! So man!” Hahaha.

Zhen asks about the dessert shop because he notices that there was “Fool!” written all over the menus in her bag. She rambles that she’s a fool because she put in so much effort into hand-drawing all the menus but they have to be thrown away just because of Wang Min. She’s also heartbroken because the dessert top which costs 1/4 of her winnings has to be changed.

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Zhen asks her why she doesn’t tell Bruce directly that she doesn’t want him to be close to Wang Min and that she wants the dessert shop to be fruits of their hard work, not anyone else. Bing Bing realises that Zhen knows her so well, “I have seven fates with Teacher, why doesn’t he understand me?” Zhen smiles, “There’s many different kinds of fate. Like ours…” and both chime, “Ill-fate.”

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Zhen gently ventures into the question which WE ALL HAVE BEEN THINKING BUT BING IS NOT, “Speaking of ill-fate, don’t you think that as compared to you and Bruce, the both of us are more fated?” A sleepy Bing doesn’t get what he’s driving at, so he avoids elaborating by brewing coffee. When he’s back with the coffee, Bing Bing has fallen dead asleep and doesn’t awaken even when he kicks her (LOL I love it that he’s so rude to her sometimes it’s quite funny). Zhen suddenly remembers Yi Ye’s words and moves his face close to Bing Bing. All music stops and we hear the loud thumping of Zhen’s heart.

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-the end-

The ratings for this drama has been on the rise recently and it’s making good progress, so I’m really glad for that! Cannot stress how much I like all the sidekicks + Serena Fang’s acting. It’s really strange because while I don’t mind Bing Bing and I actually root for Wang Zhen/Bing Bing to be together, Cindy Lien as Bing Bing in behind the scenes loses all appeal to me. I think one reason why we all watch behind the scenes is because we want to see another side of the characters/actors, and how much fun they have filming together. However, Cindy Lien was incredibly whiny in EP9’s behind the scenes and I just have this feeling that she’s trying to keep in character as Bing Bing; it’s as if she just can’t step out of the character even for a minute. She speaks differently from how she does in normal interviews and I think that’s a pity, because she’s pretty likeable in those interviews (for e.g the one she did with Lego Li on Mint TV).

Although Bing Bing is a little dense herself, I feel that she can’t be blamed for not realising Wang Nuo’s feelings for her – because Wang Nuo himself hasn’t even realised these feelings. He wanted to thank Bing Bing for being his best teammate but felt disappointed with Bing Bing’s news that she is now Bruce’s girlfriend. Therefore, the problem isn’t really with Bing Bing because if she was really just his best teammate, that doesn’t change even though she’s attached to Bruce right? (Don’t get me wrong, I still love Wang Zhen and root for him all the way. I’m just trying to analyse his feelings here). So his disappointment should be a warning signal to himself, that hey, I don’t just treat this girl as a gaming partner, it’s something else. If it’s a gift just to appreciate Bing Bing for letting him be himself, it technically doesn’t contradict anything.

That being said, I find that feeling of having told a secret to a friend which you later regret very relatable.  I really like how Wang Zhen tells Bing Bing to forget whatever he told her; he’s hiding back in his shell and I can totally see why – because when he finally mustered the courage to reach out and be himself, he is hurt by Bing Bing’s news. He’s shocked.

However, I wish to see more of scenes where Bing Bing cares for Wang Zhen, such that it’s obvious to the viewers that she likes Wang Zhen, even if she doesn’t know herself. She’s still a young girl at heart yes, and therefore I can understand somewhat why she would think that she’s in love with Bruce, but that doesn’t preclude the possibility of her subconsciously liking Wang Zhen through their interactions. Now, although I can tell that she cares for Zhen’s feelings and they connect on an emotional level, I don’t feel the same kind of telltale signs as we all do with Zhen. Do you know what I mean?

Besides, just let my TORTURED EMPEROR be with Bing Bing already!! Also, I’m using Zhen/Nuo/Wang Zhen/Wang Nuo very interchangeably because like what he says, what’s in a name? It’s who he is that matters. Hehe.

<3thoughtsramble

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