I was rather annoyed throughout this episode!
It’s time for the shop to close and Bruce carries out his farewell party as per planned! Yi Le is a bit grumpy and uncomfortable due to the baby and Bruce tries to cheer her up with dessert. His happy demeanour pisses her off because he’s so flippant about things. The boys wonder what happened to the VVVIP that she claims she is (well the situation is different now, he’s her baby’s father!). Side note: Serena has mentioned before that in the entire drama, she has only one scene out of the set so I believed it’s this one! Poor her! She’s always in the hospital.
Chef Ding recommends a job to Bing Bing and gets distracted by Bai He’s hairpin. The girls visit the antique shop to get a valuation of the hairpin and that’s when Bing Bing notices the pocket watch. Chef Ding immediately brings it out and asks if the guy in the photo looks like Wang Zhen. Bing Bing finds herself inexplicably attracted to the pocket watch but has to relinquish it because it’s too expensive to buy. She doesn’t realise this is proof that Zhen is her fated lover because the photo of the woman was too blurred.
At night, she dreams of herself in her past life – when she passes the pocket watch to someone who looks like Zhen and she says, “Take care, I’ll wait for you.” She wakes up and dismisses it as her just thinking about Zhen in her dreams.
The next day, she goes for her job interview but screws up her cooking (also she was late? Why Bing…) Despite her having been the sous chef for four years, the boss thinks that she’s not up to par with the standards of a head chef and doesn’t take her in. She decides to take up her teammates’ suggestions and does a live broadcast of playing games as Juliet, in order to earn some money. Even that doesn’t work out because the gamers think that Juliet is outdated and she only has 100 viewers. To make things worse, she drops her phone on the floor.
Zhen worries about Bing Bing and in the moment, she lies that she has gotten a job. He is so happy for her and reminds her to move into his house when he is in Vietnam – there’s aircon, bathtub and a big kitchen. Bing Bing is delighted because she can finally take a bubble bath in his house. Zhen mutters that she shouldn’t say such things in front of a guy, “I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night” and she’s like, “Aren’t you a gynecologist? Shouldn’t you have seen lots?” HAHA.
At night, she feels guilty for lying but then rationalises it as being thoughtful towards Zhen and not making him worried. Uhm… Zhen wonders if something is up because she smiles less and less nowadays.
One of the doctors in Zhen’s team breaks up with her boyfriend because he doesn’t think about their future and only works. Zhen thinks this means that women need marriage to feel secure. Nooo Zhen, I thought you learnt last lesson that you can’t treat Bing like any other girl?? He texts Bing about her day and she concocts a lie about how successful her work has been. Zhen searches online for RINGS, while Yi Le rushes into the lounge and stuffs her face with snacks, causing Zhen to be suspicious of her.
Bing Bing’s teammates suggest that Juliet should team up with Romeo in order to increase her viewers’ count (and earn more money). She shuts them up and goes back to work.
Yi Le rushes into the stairwell with a bottle and Zhen follows after. He snatches the bottle and deduces from the medicine that she’s pregnant. Can I just say – a demanding and caring Zhen is super charismatic??
He wants to know how Yi Le is going to handle the pregnancy and she is speechless. “You aren’t my patient, but you are an important friend to me. I care about you.” Yi Le tears up and tells him of her decision to bring up the child alone, “I’m not going to tell the father.” She will be responsible for her own actions and doesn’t want to be connected to those “immature men” (which explains her outburst at the shop).
Zhen immediately infers that she was with a man younger than her hahaha. Yi Le diverts the topic by asking about his searches for rings. Yi Le asks if he’s just trying to tie Bing Bing down before going to Vietnam, but he explains that he wants to give Bing Bing a sense of security and let her know that, “In my life goals and future, it’s not just me but her as well.” Aww.
After the talk, Yi Le cheers up a lot and pats her stomach, “Both of us need to think carefully about a life that’s not just us alone.” Can I just say, I LOVE how the second female lead and the main lead are such good friends, giving each other comfort and advice.
Bruce goes back to being a dessert teacher. After his lesson, he tells Bing Bing of the opportunity to learn under Akira-san in Japan. She is in doubt of her capabilities and needs time to think about it. She struggles with the new game and dies constantly. Zhen wants to surprise Bing Bing and visits her at work, only to find out that Bing Bing wasn’t even employed by the boss. At the same time, Bing Bing’s teammate messages him and asks him to do the live broadcast with Juliet.
Bing Bing comes home to find a worried Zhen. She still tries to make things sound alright by saying that gaming is a good job too, but Zhen retorts that with only 100 viewers, she’s not going to get anywhere. She is pessimistic about her culinary skills and Zhen doesn’t understand why she’s like this now. In a series of flashbacks, we suddenly remember how hard Bing Bing was working towards her dream of opening a shop. OMG THOSE DAYS. THOSE DAYS WERE SO LONG AGO. Thank you flashbacks, for reminding me that Bing Bing used to be so determined and courageous. I like it how the drama knows that it has deviated from Bing Bing’s culinary passion and is trying to guide her back towards her love now.
Zhen mutters, “The one I like is the brave sparrow, not the cowardly tortoise!” Bing Bing finally breaks down and says that she’s inferior to him, “You wouldn’t understand.” She kicks him out of the house and shuts the door.
In the morning, she does a batch of macarons under Bruce’s eye but it fails. Bing Bing knows that her biggest failing is doing things half-heartedly, because that’s her way of dealing with failures. Bruce tells her his big secret – actually he doesn’t even like desserts, but he keeps on working hard because he remembers how touched he was when the first person who ate his dessert smiled. He wants Bing Bing to believe in herself and keep moving forward for that passion.
At night, she brings her successful matcha macarons to Zhen, and Zhen engulfs her in a hug. Awwww. She apologises and he shakes his head, “It’s my fault. I’m sorry.” As he stuffs the macaron into his face, Bing Bing promises that she will pursue her culinary passion. “I’ve decided that when I have a new goal, I will tell you.”
Now, here is when it all goes wrong. She declares that she’s going to study under Akira-san, “I’m going to go overseas. If things go well, it will be really quick and I will be back within one or two years.” Zhen almost chokes, “Wait what? Why didn’t you discuss with me?” “I’m discussing with you right now…” “No, you decided with Bruce and you are just informing me.”
Bing Bing explains that she thought that he would say yes for sure – she doesn’t get it! Zhen tries to explain that there’s something wrong with the order – she discussed first with Bruce, before informing him of her decision. “I feel like I’m the last person to know!” “No! You are the second person I told!” OMG someone just kill me. How can she be so indignant right now. Zhen grimaces that happiness is from little bits of life and times when you share your emotions with the other partner, “I don’t feel like you appreciate us being together.”
Bing Bing takes his hand, “It’s precisely because I value this relationship that I don’t want to be passively loved.” Zhen asks her, “Won’t you miss me if I go for a year or two?” She narrates inwardly, of course I will miss you, but this is a rare opportunity…does this mean that I can’t go? No no no you DON’T GET IT.
Zhen goes to gym and rants about Bruce’s way of planning life with his girlfriend. Bruce doesn’t think anything is wrong – women need dreams. He analogises it to Yi Le and enthuses about how she’s successful, driven and great. Zhen accidentally leaks that she’s pregnant, not knowing that the father is Bruce. Bruce quietens down and asks how many months it has been, causing Zhen to wonder, is this done by Bruce??? while Bruce wonders, am I that accurate??
BING BING STILL THINKS THAT SHE DIDN’T DO ANYTHING WRONG and thankfully for my heart, her friends similarly get frustrated with her thinking. Bai He snatches her phone and writes an apology to Zhen. While this is funny, it makes me super annoyed because this apology isn’t even real!!
Zhen decides to visit a ring shop and reserves a ring. Nooo what, you haven’t even settled your dynamics with Bing Bing. He reads Bing Bing’s apology and replies with, “The King accepts your apology,” leading her friends to think that they are doing some cosplay HAHA.
Bruce finds Yi Le with some lemon meringues and asks her honestly if the kid is his. Okay this I approve – I like it that the plot gets straight to the point and doesn’t leave us hanging for a few episodes. Yi Le lies that the father is some young boy and he heaves a sigh of relief, which causes Yi Le to feel sad. He sobers up and promises that if the baby is his, he will take responsibility till the end. Yi Le doubts it and jokes about his sincerity. Before she rushes back to do her rounds, he asks if she really doesn’t plan to tell the father. Yi Le smiles that she can’t be careless in choosing the father, “He’s not very dependable right now, so I’m going to observe him for a while longer.”
Chef Ding links Bing Bing up with the owner of the pocket watch, who mistakes her immediately for someone she knows. It’s the old lady at the hospital who mistakes Zhen as her brother. She hears how Bing Bing wants to buy the pocket watch for her boyfriend, who looks like the man in the watch. Honestly, this is only romantic and cool because we know that Zhen IS the person in the photo. Otherwise, isn’t it super creepy?? To get a present with a doppelganger???
The old woman beams that she has always wanted to sell the watch to someone who is fated to have the watch, so she has decided to sell it to Bing Bing. Bing Bing picks up the watch and packs it nicely before deciding to give it to Zhen only when he goes to Vietnam. She cooks a good meal for him and falls asleep waiting for him to return.
When he comes home, he remembers how the lady at the ring shop (which is actually Tiffany’s) advised him to sneakily put a string around her finger in order to know her ring size. He cute-ly kneels next to her and successfully gets an estimate, but stumbles in shock when Bing Bing wakes up. She doesn’t get it and asks why he’s holding her hand HAHA. Also, not so sneaky reference to the red string fate story.
However, the next day she describes what happened to Bai He and she immediately deduces that Zhen is going to buy a ring for her. Yi Le informs Bing Bing that her womb is indeed aging and she will have difficulties carrying a baby next time.
Ai Zhen visits the shop just as she overhears Bai He saying that Zhen is going to buy a ring for her. Ai Zhen jibes at how this moment must be the most successful in her life, causing Bing Bing to reveal that she’s going to be Akira-san’s disciple. Ai Zhen immediately infers that Zhen is just tying her down because she’s going overseas.
Bing Bing retorts that this is between the both of them (good), but Ai Zhen sarcastically replies that yeah sure, 15 years is nothing. “He’s so outstanding. Are you sure you are in his leauge?” The Wang Nuo she knows is someone very demanding and driven, “He may let you go Japan for now, but I don’t think that he will be so compliant forever. One day, when he becomes himself again, you will find out you guys aren’t so compatible after all.”
Bing Bing worries whether she should tell Zhen about her womb’s situation but still comes to a conclusion that, “I’m not giving birth now, why do I need to tell him now?” Bai He is super worried because her sister-in-law’s marriage is in ruins because she can’t carry a child.
Zhen brings Bing Bing to pay respects on his mother’s death anniversary. It’s the first time he’s visiting her as Wang Zhen (omg the feels) and the dad assures the mum that they have worked it out. Zhen even jokes that he might come back to rear the fishes. He introduces Bing Bing and says that she’s the only successor of the Wang Fried Rice. The dad jovially mentions that their family might increase by a member soon. Bing Bing smiles awkwardly and wonders if the far-looking Zhen family means that she should confess the truth now.
What I like so much about this episode is that the drama continues to show us how the couple navigates dating. It’s a very unique concept and I appreciate that. If you think about it, most dramas either have the couples fall into deep love really early and then throw LOTS of obstacles in their way, until they only get their happy ending at the end (e.g W, Descendants to some extent) or they have the couple in the ‘grey’ zone till mid-way and then same formula. Very few dramas actually focus on the inherent quality of the couple’s relationship – how does each party react to external factors, how much do they trust each other, how do they make decisions individually and collectively, what are their life plans etc, yet King of Romance does exactly this. It’s an accurate (mostly) portrayal of real-life couples’ dynamics. I’m aware that I might have said this about other TW dramas before, such as Refresh Man and See You Again but the former teaches you how a successful couple looks like and the latter deals more with external issues (the mum etc). I’ve not liked a drama this much recently just on this point. The couple’s relationship is far from smooth-sailing but I’m so glad we got to watch 4 episodes of how they work it out.
Now, what do I not like about the episode? I disliked almost everything that Bing Bing did here. The annoyance bubbles a little when I saw how she gave up and self-pitied (although I know it’s important for the plot and I understand where she’s coming from). It starts to swell up when she keeps lying to Zhen (still understandable) and finally tips over when she just can’t understand for the sake of her life – why is Zhen angry at her for making decisions with Bruce and not him. She genuinely doesn’t get it?? and still claims indignantly that he’s the second person she told. Girl, you need to understand how a relationship works. You involve the person in your decision-making process (note, there’s a fine line between listening to whatever that person says and discussing with that person but ultimately making your own choice); you don’t decide on life decisions with some other guy?? What makes it worse is that she keeps up with the same reasoning and keeps the truth of her womb from Zhen. She thinks that she’s doing this out of consideration for Zhen (I don’t want to worry him etc etc), but this is a very unhealthy habit and honestly, I think it’s just her being selfish because she is in denial. Indeed, she’s not the brave, chirpy sparrow that we all come to love like Zhen; she’s a cowardly tortoise (Zhen’s words) and I hope she stops this soon.
Also, I do think that Zhen is moving things a little too quickly with the proposal. I guess there’s no harm just being engaged and showing that you are serious towards her + you guys are both 30 so there should be some life goals. I’m just worried because how could you think of marrying Bing Bing when she’s in this stage where she doesn’t trust you enough to confide anything?
Hoping that next episode will cheer me up more!