Open Thread: Nirvana In Fire Episodes 31, 32 & 33

Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! Such an iconic scene from the drama, finally on our screens! This was the highlight of my watch, these few episodes. No lie. 🤩

Here are our usual ground rules, before we begin:

1. Please don’t post spoilers in the Open Thread, except for events that have happened in the show, up to this point. If you really need to talk about a spoiler, it is possible to use the new spoiler tags, but please know that spoilers are still visible (ie, not hidden) in the email notification that you receive, of the comment in question.

We have quite a few first-time viewers among us, and we don’t want to spoil anything for anyone.

2. Discussions on this thread don’t have to close when newer threads open, just so you know! But as we progress through our group watch, please keep the discussions clear of spoilers from future episodes, so that future readers coming to this thread won’t be accidentally spoiled. Does that make sense?

Without further ado, here are my reactions to this set of episodes; have fun in the Open Thread, everyone! ❤️

My thoughts

Episode 31

As it turns out, we are still in set-up mode for our Next Big Thing, with things being shifted into place this episode, for what promises to be fireworks, next episode.

I distinctly remember that during my first watch, there was an episode where I’d felt bored, because Mei Changsu had spent the entire episode being ill.

Heh. This is that episode, for sure. However, I am not bored this time around, most likely because I’m watching this with a much more detailed sort of lens than the casual lens I’d had on during my first watch.

This episode, I’m quite intrigued, actually, to see how our various characters manage, when Mei Changsu isn’t there to provide all the answers. I even found it rather refreshing, to see the wits of our various supporting players at work.

They really are a solid bunch, which I’m not at all surprised by, because of course Mei Changsu would have recruited the best, for his mission.

Before we get into that, however, I just wanted to take a moment to appreciate how sincerely Physician Yan, Li Gang and Zhen Ping care for Mei Changsu’s wellbeing.

Even when Mei Changsu gives them Meaningful Looks, to prompt Li Gang and Zhen Ping to help persuade Physician Yan to give him some breaks from complete bed rest, Li Gang and Zhen Ping decline to accede to his request, and instead provide him with all the reasons that it should be fine to rest for the next 5 days.

They even nudge Fei Liu into joining their little campaign, and I kinda love that it’s Fei Liu’s emphatic, “Be good!” that gets Mei Changsu to back down, lie down, and go to sleep, just like the doctor ordered. It’s cute.

As an aside, my subs translate Fei Liu’s words as “You have to listen!” Literally speaking, 听话 (tīnghuà) means “listen to what is spoken / listen to the words” but the use of this phrase is typically meant in the spirit of “Be good.” Isn’t it cute that it’s Fei Liu telling Mei Changsu to “be good”? 😆

It’s a little trying to watch everything shifting into place to entrap Jingyan, while Mei Changsu is all laid up in bed, but it seems that – at this moment in time, at least – fortune is favoring Prince Yu and Xia Jiang, because there couldn’t be a worse time for Mei Changsu to be unavailable for counsel, than this.

I’m pretty sure neither Prince Yu nor Xia Jiang knew that in all of their scheming, that even without their intervention, Jingyan would have to fend for himself, without Mei Changsu’s guidance.

Aside from Wei Zheng’s capture, I do think that the whole idea of having the Empress bully Consort Jing in the Emperor’s absence, and then having a fake Jiangzuo Alliance representative convey an idea from Mei Changsu that would entail Consort Jing’s continued inconvenience, humiliation and hardship, is from Xia Jiang.

After all, he’d been the one who had said that they needed to cause Jingyan to not want to listen to Mei Changsu’s advice.

It’s very shrewd, really. Jingyan is very protective of his mother, so an indication that Mei Changsu treats her lightly would not go down well at all.

I’m curious to see if Jingyan falls for this trap. Will he reflexively turn on the person who allegedly has no care for Consort Jing, or has the trust between Jingyan and Mei Changsu been built up enough, that Jingyan will instantly know that this is not Mei Changsu’s doing?

In the meantime, I feel terrible for Tong Lu, as Banruo makes her move and has him attacked and bound. To be fair, Tong Lu does a valiant job of fighting off his attackers, and I’m somewhat impressed that he’s got some fight skills in him.

Honestly, I’m rather shocked that Banruo draws blood from Junniang, while, er, “negotiating” with Tong Lu. I can’t help wondering if Junniang was prepared to suffer physical wounds while helping Banruo; I have a feeling that this was never agreed upon.

Which means I also can’t help wondering if Junniang regrets agreeing to help Banruo, at any point during this whole thing.

How smart of Tong Lu, to give Banruo “intel” about Miao Yin Court (I just realized in this scene, that the characters for Miao Yin Court are 妙音房 (“miàoyīn fáng”), which translate literally as “amazing/wonderful sound room” – isn’t that cool? And apt?).

This way, he buys time, while indirectly alerting Mr. Thirteen and gang that something’s up. I am rather worried for Tong Lu, however. Is Banruo going to kill him for this? 😬

The other thing I’m a little shocked at, is how Prince Yu tells the Empress that the physician who had testified that the herb in Consort Jing’s quarters was harmful, knew the consequences when he’d agreed to the task.

Given the way Prince Yu says that the Emperor might take his anger out on the physician, but Prince Yu will treat the physician’s family well, he’d planned this knowing that this might cost the physician his life.

And, the way Prince Yu talks about it, it’s as if he’s paying a very reasonable price for the man’s life, by taking care of his family. I know this is par for the course in palace intrigue, but it still disturbs me.

The last thing I wanted to mention about this episode, is the phrase Prince Yu uses, in answer to the Empress’s question about how prepared he is, in his plans. (It’s one of my mom’s favorite phrases that she’s learned from this show.)

Prince Yu says, “万事俱备 只欠东风” (“wànshì jù bèi zhǐ qiàn dōngfēng”). This translates literally as “ten thousand things prepared, lacking only the east wind.”

This proverb refers to a situation where all possible preparations have been made, and the only thing left to do, is to wait for “the east wind,” where the east wind is something that is critical to your success, but is not within your control, and also, is not something you can predict.

At this stage of our story, Jingyan’s reaction is the east wind.

All the preparations have been made, but will Jingyan react in a manner that Prince Yu expects?

Episode 32

Watching this episode was like waiting with Prince Yu, to see whether and how the east wind would blow.

This episode isn’t slow per se; it just feels a little frustrating to watch, because there are traps every which way that our good guys turn, and no one enjoys watching the characters that they’re rooting for, struggle to win, right?

On the upside, Consort Jing comes out of the situation with the Empress totally looking like the bigger person, with the gracious way that she speaks up for the Empress in front of the Emperor.

Although the Empress had said, last episode, that she finds Consort Jing passive-aggressive, I actually don’t detect that, in her words. She strikes me as wise and gracious, always having a farsighted view of things, and her words in defense of the Empress feel respectful and sincere, with no hidden daggers.

Of course, this doesn’t make the Empress feel great, especially since the Emperor compares her to Consort Jing to her face, and finds her wanting, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the Empress is sore about this.

I also wouldn’t be surprised if the Empress henceforth looks for an opportunity to crush Consort Jing. 😬

Afterwards, that scene where the Emperor’s interest is piqued by what Consort Jing says, when she mentions that Consort Chen doesn’t have any memorial tablet or shrine where she can receive incense or joss paper, feels potentially significant.

I mean, he’s asking her to do something for him, and to keep it a secret.

Circumstantially, it looks like he might be asking Consort Jing to erect a secret memorial tablet for Consort Chen? If that’s true, and if the Empress were to ever find out about it, that could spell trouble for Consort Jing?

..But then again, if she’s doing it under the Emperor’s orders, I suppose he will end up being her safety net.

Over on Wei Zheng’s side of things, it’s not great that our Jiangzuo guys stage a rescue, and fail. It’s even worse, that lots of people are injured as a result – Zhen Ping being one of them.

Sniffle. I find that I have a soft spot for Zhen Ping, so I was really sad and kind of shocked that he got so hurt, especially since he’s proved himself to be such a formidable martial artist. 😭

It’s also troubling to see how pleasantly relaxed Xia Jiang is, in instructing Xia Qiu not to guard Wei Zheng too tightly, because otherwise he would be useless as bait.

With Xia Jiang looking so confident about how effective Wei Zheng will be as bait, I can’t help but worry for the people who would probably try to break him out of that prison: our guys at Jiangzuo Alliance, and maybe-probably Prince Jing’s side as well.

I’m actually really quite surprised that Junniang appears to be genuinely concerned for Tong Lu. After all, the only reason she’d gotten involved with him in the first place, was as a favor to Banruo.

And yet, now, she’s asking Banruo to let Tong Lu go, and Banruo correctly estimates that as long as Tong Lu is in her hands, Junniang will continue to stay by her side.

Well. I guess this means that Tong Lu really did win Junniang over with his sincerity after all. I wonder if Junniang will attempt to save Tong Lu, then?

I have mixed feelings about Mei Changsu waking up and getting involved in the strategizing for how to counter the happenings with Wei Zheng.

On the one hand, it’s a relief that his brilliance is now available to our guys, who have been struggling to do their best without him, and who haven’t had great results, on their own.

On the other hand, he really does look very weak and wan still, so it feels rather cruel, to have him dropped into the thick of this political battle, when he’s still in such poor shape.

I don’t know why it never occurred to me before, that Li Gang and Zhen Ping had also been part of the Chiyan Army. Somehow, I’d just assumed that they were people that Mei Changsu had come to know as he’d formed the Jiangzuo Alliance, kinda like how he got to know Tong Lu.

Now, their background as having served in the Chiyan Army from a pretty young age, because they were orphans, does add a pretty thick layer of poignance to their allegiance to Mei Changsu.

The way they beseech Mei Changsu not to ask them to leave, as he gives instructions for all former Chiyan Army members (aha! So there are many more known survivors! This is comforting news?) to stop operations and lay low, is so.. personal.

They sincerely want to stay by Mei Changsu’s side, and I find that very moving. I’m glad that he agrees; I’m not ready to say goodbye to Li Gang and Zhen Ping. I’ve grown really fond of them both. ❤️

In the meantime, it’s slightly nerve-racking to watch Prince Yu intercept Jingyan, and bring him before the Emperor, for the staged heckling that he and Xia Jiang have in store.

Ugh. It really is quite infuriating to see Xia Jiang and Prince Yu role-play upstanding members of the court, when what they’re really doing, is pushing Jingyan’s buttons, and baiting him to say something that will put him out of favor with the Emperor.

My mom had a very good point about the Emperor’s reaction in this scene. Her point being, the Emperor is a shrewd man, so of course he isn’t blind to the baiting that Xia Jiang and Prince Yu are engaging in.

Mom and I agree that the reason the Emperor allows the baiting, and even seems to side with Xia Jiang and Prince Yu, is because he himself has some regrets about how he had handled the Chiyan case 13 years ago, such as the death of Consort Chen, for example.

By testing Jingyan on this, and asking if Jingyan has any objection to how he had handled the case 13 years ago, I do think that the Emperor is looking for Jingyan to soothe his conscience and smooth over any lingering regrets that he feels.

Thank goodness for Commander Meng, who does his best to signal Jingyan with a Meaningful Look, and tries to speak up on Jingyan’s behalf.

I think that probably does give Jingyan enough pause, to hold back just a little bit. And thank goodness for Gao Zhan, who basically saves the day by reminding the Emperor that he’s promised Consort Jing not to fret before meals.

Jingyan’s bad day is far from over, though, what with well-meaning but misguided maid Xiao Xin blurting out that Consort Jing had suffered a lot in his absence, and had almost not been able to see Jingyan again.

Dang, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, isn’t it? It’s literally the last thing Jingyan needs, since his nerves are already frayed. Will Jingyan lose his trust in Mei Changsu, like Xia Jiang and Prince Yu have planned?

Episode 33

Oof. This was an episode that felt full of emotion. Even though the real fight with Xia Jiang and Prince Yu doesn’t seem to have fully begun, I already feel like we get a solid amount of payoff, for our patience over the last several episodes.

It’s really not much of a surprise, that Jingyan becomes furious, after listening to Xiao Xin’s recounting of events, particularly at the part where the supposed representative from the Jiangzuo Alliance had relayed Mei Changsu’s casual treatment of the report that Consort Jing had been detained by the Empress.

After all, like I mentioned earlier, Jingyan’s nerves are already frayed from being baited by Xia Jiang and Prince Yu, plus, Consort Jing is precious to him, and of course he would be upset at the idea that Mei Changsu would treat her suffering lightly.

I was hopeful that Consort Jing would be able to get through to Jingyan, but even her impassioned (for her) efforts don’t get very far, especially with Xiao Xin piping up and fanning the flames in her well-meaning but misguided way.

Gosh. I’ve never heard Consort Jing speak so sharply to anyone so far, and the way she commands Xiao Xin to be quiet, is quite startling in how forceful it is. Too late, though, because the damage is done, and Jingyan’s not about to listen to reason, even if it’s from his own mother.

Certainly, when Jingyan’s in such a state, it’s probably not a good idea for Mei Changsu to speak with him, but time is of the essence, and of course, that’s why Mei Changsu seeks an audience with Jingyan, even though he’s still weak from his recent bout of sickness.

Sighh. It’s hard to watch this conversation between Jingyan and Mei Changsu, because we can see exactly how each of them feels, and therefore, we can pretty much see the misunderstanding growing, and the estrangement descending on this partnership, from a mile away.

From Mei Changsu’s point of view, he feels it’s important to protect Jingyan at all costs, and not involve him in something as dangerous as rescuing Wei Zheng. He can clearly see that this is a trap, and of course he doesn’t want Jingyan to walk into that trap.

But from Jingyan’s point of view, he can’t ignore the fact that Wei Zheng, who was Lin Shu’s vice-general, is in prison, and in danger of losing his life.

Given that Jingyan already feels disillusioned by the false report of Mei Changsu’s stance on Consort Jing’s wellbeing, it’s not very surprising that he would decide that it’s best for he and Mei Changsu to put an end to their alliance.

Even so, that moment when Jingyan takes Zhanying’s sword and slices the bell down from its place where it had worked as the signal between him and Mei Changsu, is breathtakingly dramatic. I think I felt my heart drop to the ground, along with that bell. 💔

This is awful; I feel so misunderstood on Mei Changsu’s behalf.

Mei Changsu really does understand Jingyan well; it seems that he can tell that there is more to Jingyan’s agitation, than the issue with Wei Zheng. Augh. I do hope that Jingyan will learn the truth about this particular incident with Consort Jing, since that isn’t resolved this episode.

I really appreciate Zhanying at this point, because with Jingyan cutting off Mei Changsu and therefore everyone in the Jiangzuo Alliance, Zhanying is the only person who can reason with Jingyan, whom Jingyan would give ear to.

I love that even though Zhanying doesn’t have the full picture himself, he’s able to say some things in Mei Changsu’s defense, and also, reason with Jingyan, that because Mei Changsu hasn’t walked the same path as they, they can’t expect him to understand the sense of loyalty they feel towards Wei Zheng. Good man, Zhanying!

Thus far, we’ve already seen that Consort Jing is masterfully tactful and wise in just about all situations, but this episode, the way she answers the Emperor, when he poses her the very delicate question of what she thinks about how he had handled the Chiyan case, is in a league of its own.

She is so smart, to ask for forgiveness first, and then present both views of the case:

“I grew up in the Manor of Lin and was very friendly with Consort Chen, so if I speak ill of them how will you not be hurt? Consort Chen didn’t have many friends, so not many people miss her after she died. If I consider our past relationship and speak for the Chiyan people, then your majesty will think that that I didn’t understand your heart to steady the kingdom.”

With this answer, she not only is able to avoid stirring up the Emperor’s anger – and we already know this is a very sensitive, sore topic with him – she even manages to present an alternative perspective to his, while she’s at it. Consort Jing really must be peerless, I think. 🤩

The true highlight of these few episodes, for me, though, has to be the conversation between Jingyan and Mei Changsu, when Mei Changsu seeks Jingyan out at his manor, because he just can’t let Jingyan cut off their relationship.

That moment, when Jingyan finally comes out to meet Mei Changsu, and proceeds to cut off their relationship all over again, and Mei Changsu goes after Jingyan in the snow, dropping all decorum, and shouts in desperation, “Xiao Jingyan! Stop right there!” is so very, very iconic.

This feels so honest and raw; it feels like it’s Lin Shu calling out to Jingyan, not Mei Changsu. I love it.

The following argument is heated and heartfelt, and – I’m sorry, but I couldn’t help giggling a bit at the part where Mei Changsu exclaims, “You have loyalty, but why don’t you have brains?!” I can really feel Mei Changsu’s exasperation at Jingyan’s stubbornness, in this one single utterance.

I do love that ultimately, it’s a demonstration of understanding and empathy, that mends the bridges between Mei Changsu and Jingyan.

Though a lot of stuff that Mei Changsu says is basically shouted at Jingyan, through his words, he does display a deep sense of grasping not only the nuances of the situation, but also, exactly how Jingyan feels, particularly towards his fallen friends and comrades.

I’m glad that Jingyan chooses to back down, and ask Mei Changsu for his thoughts on how to proceed. Yay for mended rifts! (But still, I need Jingyan to know that Mei Changsu has been wrongly accused, on the matter concerning Consort Jing!)

I’m pleased to see that Jingyan does look chastised and apologetic, when he realizes that the attempted rescue of Wei Zheng at the city gates, had been done by the Jiangzuo Alliance.

I also find it interesting that Mei Changsu doesn’t bother to tell Jingyan that he’d had been laid up in bed and therefore hadn’t been involved in any of the happenings of the past 5 days. It seems that he’s choosing to own everything that Jiangzuo Alliance has done, even in his absence.

That is a mark of a true leader, and I respect him for that. I do hope that Jingyan comes to know that Mei Changsu had been out of commission though, and had nothing to do with botched rescue attempts or (like I keep saying) any alleged purposeful neglect of Consort Jing.

It looks like Xia Dong is going to be the key to Wei Zheng’s rescue from Xuanjing Bureau. Mei Changsu has an excellent point, that she’d look upon Wei Zheng, not as a criminal, but as a friend of her late husband.

And, given that she now knows that Xia Jiang had actually killed her husband under the guise of helping him, she now won’t trust Xia Jiang either.

Let’s hope that Jingyan will be able to keep that temper of his in check like Mei Changsu advises, and not take any bait that Xia Jiang or Prince Yu throw at him, in the meantime!

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phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 year ago

Character Reference Guide
(In order of appearance and description is based on their place in drama at time of appearance)
Episode 31

  • -Wei Zheng – one of Lin Shu’s Lieutenants (Vice General in the novel) , adopted son of Yaowang Valley’s leader Chief Su Tianshu, married to Yun Piaoliao a daughter of the wealthy Yun family
  • -Concubine Xiang – Price Yu’s birth mother who lived outside the Palace
  • -Physician Zheng – one of the Royal physicians on staff at the Palace
  • -Xiao Xin – Consort Jing’s maid seen very briefly in a few prior episodes

Places/Sects Reference Guide (in order of appearance)
Episode 31

  • -Wei San – site of the Grand Empress Dowager’s tomb

———————————————————————————————
Character Reference Guide
(In order of appearance and description is based on their place in drama at time of appearance)
Episode 32

  • -Chief Su Tianshu – Chief of Yaowang Valley, ranked 7th in wealth on Langya Hall list

Places/Sects Reference Guide (in order of appearance)
Episode 32

  • -Yaowang Valley – remote valley far beyond the reach of the central government, renowned for its herb production

No new characters or places for E33

Last edited 1 year ago by phl1rxd
beez
1 year ago

@BE – I was going to reply with just an emoji smile 😊 but then I realized it’d just be floating, not attached to anything.

This 😊 is in response to your all around pleasantness about where my comments land (don’t land).

beez
1 year ago

– Looks interesting although, we can’t be sure you’re wrong as Mr. Fine/Elf’s ears don’t show in that photo. Is Ice Fantasy any good?

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 year ago
Reply to  beez

@Beez – LOL! Ice Fantasy is not that good to be honest. I just got stuck on it while I was watching it. It goes around in circles. It was one of those dramas that catches you while you are watching it and afterwards you don’t remember what you just watched? I only started it because I am partial to Feng Shao Feng. 🙄

beez
1 year ago

– “Would Prince Jing fight him on those?” Yes. “If MCS’ life is threatened. would Prince Jing allow MCS’ plan to continue as is?” No.

That’s my opinion. I agree with MCS’ opinion, his mother’s opinion, MCS’ crews’ opinion, Prince Yu and Emperor Palpatine’s thanks s@Snow Flower) opinions that Prince Jing would not only cut off his nose to spite his face but shoot himself in the foot to boot! Prince Jing”s attitude is “What’s so special about ruling an empire. Justice at all costs! I want to set the record straight!” 😆

BE
BE
1 year ago
Reply to  beez

@everyone: Prince Jing is a battle tested general, meaning the lives of his troops has rested in his worthy hands, meaning sacrifice is not an unknown, or unexperienced phenomenon. He has managed to just run a disaster relief program with greater aplomb than any one since the king has taken over. He grew up with Prince Qi as his mentor, and his most trusted pal Lin Shu. All that needs be done for MCS given their true relationship is explain how the preferred action lines up with virtuous outcome. And his stubbornness will then as it has already keep MCS in line forcing him to make decisions that does not compromise the vision shared between them. S’ condescending to keep him out of the loop.

beez
1 year ago

– Ohhhh. I have to try that with you and a few others and see how that works. You’re talking about through WordPress, right?

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 year ago
Reply to  beez

@Beez – yep – I always use my Word Press account to comment.

beez
1 year ago

@BE – This show makes me realize that women in the court, no matter how benevolent, would have to keep spies to know about anything going in the world, country, city streets, and even in the rest of the wings of the palace.

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 year ago
Reply to  beez

@Beez – the Palace is a hotbed of spies. I agree.

beez
1 year ago

– I’ve tried both responding directly from the email and being on the website and responding there. It doesn’t matter. The only thing I’ve noticed that is different is if I reply to myself. That lines up directly under my previous comment. *puzzled*

Elaine Phua
Elaine Phua
1 year ago

https://youtu.be/djcGn8Ucb58

Thank you phl1rxd this made my day! For the rest, no spoilers in this little skit of the Great Grandma scene. But to be safe, turn off autoplay in case YouTube pushes more spoilerish videos to you.

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 year ago
Reply to  Elaine Phua

Elaine – I’m glad this was in the batch. Enjoy! There is a ton there. I myself am looking for a video of Pengie doing martial arts that I viewed several years ago. It is probably in that bunch. There are a ton of fan videos out there as well, some of them very well done. Fans have also written some great little stories that add to the novel.

I think everyone will enjoy looking at these (even unsubbed) once the group watch is complete and the worry about spoilers is over. NIF is definitely a drama that you want to avoid spoilers.

One of the best videos on that channel is the interview where Hu Ge is in that white shirt but there are a ton of spoilers in it so avoid this at all costs if you are a first time NIFer. Once we are done I will post the English subbed version of that interview.

Last edited 1 year ago by phl1rxd
Ele Nash
1 year ago

I have several (presumably very dense 😁) questions about what Xia Jiang knows following replies to my query on why he didn’t implicate Prince Jing in the first rescue attempt. I get that Jingy was out on his disaster relief mission at the time, so does Xia Jiang just keep quiet about the rescue attempt altogether so the Emperor is unaware it happened and does he do that so he can push Jingy into a corner to force him to be the one to try saving Wei Zheng? And, if so, who does Jiang think did the first rescue attempt? Am assuming Xia Jiang is aware there are many survivors from the Chiyan Army who would be willing (and aware enough of each other’s comings and goings still) to rescue Wei Zheng – but does he realise that the Jiangzuo Alliance are made up of those survivors?? I’ve got a bit confused about who thinks what and why. I mean, why doesn’t Prince Jing himself wonder why the Jiangzuo Alliance tried rescuing Wei Zheng at the gate? What’s it got to do with them – assuming he’s ignorant of the survivors of Chiyan? Sorry if this is stupid and all you NIF fans are rolling your eyes…🙄
As a wild guess, by the way, I wondered if the connection between Xia Jiang and Banruo (I didn’t miss that little eye-exchange when he arrived like a wraith in the hooded cloak to speak with Prince Yu) is that he is (dun-dun-duhhhhh) her father…. 😱 And – eep – that Princess Xuanji was in fact Banruo’s mother and the love of Xia Jiang’s life. Yes. Yes. I have watched too many soap operas in my life…

BE
BE
1 year ago
Reply to  Ele Nash

Banruo, the love child of XJ and XJ, though it seems more likely given her name that might be Lady in Waiting Double X? Well then Ele, knowing MCS’ soapy post traumatic complete change of appearance, are you predicting Princess Xuanji comes back from the dead with a case of amnesia?

Ele Nash
1 year ago
Reply to  BE

Of course, BE! I think I speculated on another episode that she’s probably not dead 😆

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 year ago
Reply to  Ele Nash

@Ele – I am going through the novel to see if I can address your questions.

In the meantime I want to share how Xia Jiang knew who Wei Zheng was and where he was living. In the novel Wei Zheng married Yun Piaoliao, a former Lang Ya beauty and one of the daughters of the Yun clan who were highly regarded in the nation as a clan of great physicians. It was an informer in the Yun clan that let the secret out. It does not say to whom Wei Zhwng’s identity was divulged, only that the leak came from within.

I will continue to look for other hints in the book about Xia Jiang and the ambush rescue attempt.

Elaine Phua
Elaine Phua
1 year ago
Reply to  Ele Nash

Well Weizheng as part of the Yaowang clan is well connected to the martial arts jianghu world. I maintain that if they managed to arrest anyone in the first rescue attempt by the city gate who had a connection with Prince Jing, they would have pinned it on him whether or not he was out of town at the time. I think Lie Zhanying was wondering whether to take action himself before Prince Jing’s return but was advised not to by MCS’ folks. As for why Prince Jing didn’t think to question why Jiangzuo Alliance would have tried to rescue Wei Zheng, good point, I wondered that myself! But I think MCS would have a ready excuse like maybe Jiangzuo has close ties with Yaowang clan.

Melka
Melka
1 year ago
Reply to  Ele Nash

These are good questions that help us discuss the writing. Otherwise, we’d be howling against the lack of logic and plot holes. 🙂

In eps 30, during the discussion between Xia Jiang and prince Yu, the former stresses that he has no evidence that Prince Jing even knows Wei Zheng is alive, and that this revelation is important in order to ensnare him. Yes, Xia Jiang does not bother to mention the failed rescue attempt, the first time he reports the capture to the Emperor is at the same time that Prince Jing returns and also hears of it in eps 32, This is orchestrated to have maximum emotional impact, which is why Prince Yu deliberately intercepted Prince Jing at the city gate and kept interrupted Lie Zhangying from saying anything. So that Prince Jing has no opportunity to emotionally or mentally prepare himself in any way. The overarching plan is that Prince Jing will do everything in his power to save Wei Zheng, thus incriminating himself in some way. This includes speaking out too strongly in Wei Zheng’s defense, which is why Xia Jiang and Prince Yu kept trying to goad Prince Jing into crossing the line, to say that he disagreed with the Emperor’s verdict and judgment. Prince Jing actually had enough self-preservation to not say this outright, but he comes pretty close. Hence the back and forth, he questions Xia Jiang’s report, Prince Yu insinuates that this questions the Emperor’s official decree and disrespects him. This is the first corner they try to push him into that could have potentially sunk Prince Jing then and there. Failing that, they know he’ll try something else to rescue Wei Zheng that they can try to entrap him with. Note how Prince Yu wanted to continue pushing, but Xia Jiang signaled to him to hold back.

As for Prince Jing wondering why the Jiangzuo Alliance would bother to save Wei Zheng, judging by his expression later, I think he simply realized/believed that they were already acting in his best interest through MCS. Another possibility is that Wei Zheng himself has Jianghu ties in general, which he’s built up over a decade. When it comes to ppl tied to healing clans, it tends to be a given that they’ve helped plenty of ppl and racked up any number of favors. There’s no reason for Prince Jing to start suspecting any rescue attempts are by fellow Chiyan survivors.

Ele Nash
1 year ago
Reply to  Melka

Thank you! You lot certainly know these plots / characters very well. I see what you mean about them orchestrating telling the Emperor about Wei Zheng’s capture in Jing’s presence – and right, Prince Yu may well have kept pushing if Jiang hadn’t hushed him, knowing a better set of implicating incriminating evidence would no doubt come from our act-now-think-later Prince Jing.
And, sure, I can accept maybe Jingy thought MCS’s crew were acting to save Wei Zheng for other allegiances, or even for his sake. I wonder, if Mei Changsu had been awake, he’d have talked them out of that rescue mission? Am guessing he would have.
Anyho, the writing is very tight so I can’t imagine there really are plot holes – more like me overthinking! I am properly enjoying it 😊

Geo
Geo
1 year ago
Reply to  Ele Nash

@Ele: I think the rescue attempt by the Jiangzuo Alliance could be reasoned as due to the close relationship between the Alliance and the Yaowang Valley clan, whose chief adopted Wei Zheng. Yaowang’s chief immediately goes to meet MCS when he enters the capital and their conversation is like that between close friends.

Geo
Geo
1 year ago
Reply to  Ele Nash

@Ele: I like your idea of Xia Jang and Princess Xuanji being Banruo’s parents, she certainly inherited their machiavellian tendencies.

BE
BE
1 year ago
Reply to  Geo

Well one thing is certain, Banruo was not so fortunate as to inherit Xia Jiang’s other worldly good looks, alas.

Ele Nash
1 year ago
Reply to  Geo

@Geo Right? Banruo seems kind of regal to me. I like her. I don’t know I’m meant to, but I admire her tenacity. It feels personal in the same way as Mei Changsu’s. Not a general avenging “the people of my homeland” but more like avenging “my people”.

Geo
Geo
1 year ago
Reply to  Ele Nash

@Ele: Banruo is one of my favourite characters, she has a fairly significant part in the show but I would have liked to see even more of her as she pursues her revenge for the Hua people but it looks like Xia Jang will be carrying this ball for the most part. She is attractive, ruthless, scheming, determined and so poised, even under stress.

I wonder a bit how Xia Jang was able to conceal his Hua roots from the Emperor who wiped out the Hua peoples and not only does Xia Jang survive but he becomes the head of the secret service.

One of the highlights in the show is the number of strong female characters on all sides; from the intimidating, expert fighters like Nihuang and Xia Dong to the verbal sparring and treacherous court scheming in the palace, what a hotbed of vipers! It takes tremendous presence of mind and smarts to survive in this environment, fortunately Consort Jing has both. And there are spies everywhere, what a high stress situation.

Elaine Phua
Elaine Phua
1 year ago
Reply to  Geo

I don’t think Xia Jiang is of Hua ethnucity, but he had close ties with Princess Xuanji of the Hua tribe. More will be revealed later.

Geo
Geo
1 year ago
Reply to  Elaine Phua

@Elaine: Thanks for the clarification. I think I just assumed Xia Jang was from the Hua people as he was working closely with Banruo.

beez
1 year ago

@Natalia – very good points about Prince Jing making a very flawed emperor but I’d rather have him for an emperor with his stubborn traits thatput the welfare of his people first as opposed to the corrupt candidates went seem so far.

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 year ago
Reply to  beez

@Beez – I second that.

beez
1 year ago

@Snow Flower – hajaha! So it’s obvious you’re not a die-hard Star Wars fan because Darth Vader could control the force just by waving his hands. He could move and throw objects, forcefully if needed. He once choked a subordinate to death without ever touching him. 😆

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
1 year ago
Reply to  beez

@beez, I was comparing Xia Jiang to evil Emperor Palpatine, not Darth Vader. The Emperor is never shown wielding a light saber. His preferred attack mode involves shooting blue lightning from his hands. I can totally see Xia Jiang doing the same.😀

Elaine Phua
Elaine Phua
1 year ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

Snow Flower you have proven yourself as a Star Wars fan haha. I heart the original trilogy myself!

beez
1 year ago
Reply to  Elaine Phua

@Elaine – interesting that I received an email of your message but not of Snow Flower’s. 🤔

I only knew about her message because of your reply to it.

beez
1 year ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

@Snow Flower – Ahhhhhh. I stand corrected and bow to your superior Star Wars’ knowledge! 😆

beez
1 year ago

– just very recently, I’ve noticed other things that used to work on the site don’t work for me any longer. But if the tweaks kfg is doing work well for everyone else, then so be it. I wouldn’t want things rolling backward if she tried to rectify things just for me.

BE
BE
1 year ago
Reply to  beez

I sometimes have trouble too and I suspect that is what KFG is spending so much time trying to work out for everyone.

beez
1 year ago

– ummmmm hazel nut cookies. Picture me drooling like Homer Simpson.

I wonder why my comments didn’t used to appear all jammed to the front like this?

beez
1 year ago

@BE – I’ve tasted those cakes before and didn’t care for them.

BE
BE
1 year ago
Reply to  beez

LOL. There was a Japanese Buddhist temple, I think the oldest in the US, originally built in Chicago I think and moved out to CA in the 50’s, the building. Every year they would put on a fund raiser with a teriyaki chicken barbque platter, and as much tea as your bladder could hold. House plants for sale, bingo with dried shrimp chips among the bagged prizes, if we were lucky some years taiko drumming; ot was an annual deal of family friends with young children and my girls would go to. The last thing we would have were these bean cake desserts. Since we only had them 1ce a year & it was associated with this delightful ritual, I always enjoyed having them…but as pastries go…well you won’t see them being made on The Great British Bake Off any time soon.

beez
1 year ago

– here’s a screen shot of what an email looks like on my screen

beez
1 year ago
Reply to  beez

oops. Here’s the screen shot

Capture+_2021-08-05-17-10-20.png
phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 year ago
Reply to  beez

@Beez – that is what I used to receive. If I remember correctly there was a ‘Comment’ or ‘Reply’ button at the bottom of the email. If I clicked the bottom button my comment would shoot to the top.

If I clicked on the commented at the phl1rxd ‘commented area at the top it would take me directly to the exact comment link and I would hit reply under their comment. I do not know if this helps you or not.

Don’t forget to click the bell button. 🔔

It is no big deal – just tell us that the cream always rises to the top 😁

Last edited 1 year ago by phl1rxd
beez
1 year ago

– new mail system? My email is coming in exactly the same. 🤔

I get an email, I open it and I can see who made a comment and who they’re responding to. I can also see the original comment unless it’s rather long in which case it says “click here to see entire comment”.

But I don’t get any stacked emails.

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 year ago
Reply to  beez

@Beez – that is odd. Here is what I see.

Screenshot 2021-08-05 at 17-50-15.jpg
phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 year ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

@Beez – oops & never mind – I think these emails in this screen shot are generated because I follow you….

beez
1 year ago

@BE – 😊 at the murkiness. And since my comments don’t appear where they should, I’ll try to add a bit more reference to what I’m responding to.

beez
1 year ago

@BE – I’m soooo sorry. I don’t know how to fix it other than pulling out my Chromebook and that’s usually not something at all convenient. I wonder why I’m the only person that’s happening to (assuming that I am?)

BE
BE
1 year ago
Reply to  beez

Do NOT be sorry beez. I was telling the truth; s’like one of those brain puzzle things for the old and confused like I am 1/2 the time. Keeps me sharp. And in doing so also always brings your latest fascinations to the window, making me smile.

beez
1 year ago

@Elaine – so was Mr. Fine in another show with a white wig or something?

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 year ago
Reply to  beez

#Beez Yep – Ice Fantasy – see his photo in my comment below.

beez
1 year ago

@BE – yes and no. I you tube searched and I did see a recording entitled Amos Milborn’s Chicken Shack. Maybe after that record was a hit, maybe the back up band changed their name so purple would know that they’re the band from that hit record. There are a few records on YouTube of the Alladin Chicken Shackers but I couldn’t find the main song I remember that my dad had.
Here’s one that I’d never heard before
https://youtu.be/2TTOElz4BM8

But as to crankin’ it up loud and dancing – oh no! My dad was king of his castle and a strict authoritarian but when it came to religion mom ruled and there was no “devil’s music” or dancin’ allowed. Although she did lighten up on that later. Fond memories.

beez
1 year ago
Reply to  beez

@BE – I didn’t mean for you to listen to that song because it’s slow and draggy. I just wanted you to see that the group existed under that ChickenShackers name.

BE
BE
1 year ago
Reply to  beez

Ah Amos, singing those old & universal Tong Lu blues, the story of our lives, Amos on the ivories, & that chicken-shacker sax man of his going low & mean.

beez
1 year ago

@BE – That does make sense. But whaddayamean by Jing would not still have Sgt. Knuc– I mean Commander Meng in charge of important operations? What operations did Prince Jing put Cmndr. Meng in charge of? And what if he did? Cmndr. Meng didn’t reach his rank by being stupid or a bumbler. Just because he’s not a Divine Talent… hmmmpfffft!

BE
BE
1 year ago
Reply to  beez

I mean Jing would be on the fella with more gusto since the time he nearly took MCS head off during his fight with Fei Liu.

beez
1 year ago
Reply to  BE

Ohhhhh. You weren’t talking about Mengie but the other doofus. Gotcha.

Elaine Phua
Elaine Phua
1 year ago
Reply to  beez

Probably referring to Qi Meng, the well meaning but bumbling commander who sparred with Fei Liu, lost then tried to take a shot at MCS, breaking the rules of combat. Qi Meng was dispatched to travel with Xiao Xin the escaped maid to inform Prince Jing of his mom’s plight but got knocked in the head and drugged by the fake Jiangzuo guy.

BE
BE
1 year ago
Reply to  Elaine Phua

Bingo

Geo
Geo
1 year ago
Reply to  beez

@beez: All credit to your guy, Meng, he does his best with meaningful glances and carefully chosen words to help Prince Jing and I think he prevents Jing from going too far. guess he’s not only muscle after all, lol. Gao Zhan provides the final saving comment, he is clearly on Prince Jing’s side but obviously has to appear impartial or the Emperor would have his head.

beez
1 year ago

– I’m totally lost. I wanted to know why you call Mr. Hottie Right-Hand-Man of Prince Jingy “Fairy”???

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 year ago
Reply to  beez

@Beez – because he (Lie Zhanying) looks so ethereal. I nicknamed him and Gong Yu ‘Fairy’. They are two beautiful people. Go and find my comment below with his photo from another drama Ice Fantasy (for which I was weirdly attached to). 😅

beez
1 year ago

– Thanks I’ll check it out to see how big a role Meng Bean has. I had actually searched for more shows that he was in back during my first watch of NIF but the list that came up on MDL was very short. I was surprised by that but then recently I searched again and I see he has quite a long resume.

Melka
Melka
1 year ago

The scenes between Consort Jing the Emperor get overshadowed by the explosive scenes between MCS and our favorite Water Buffalo, but I just want to give a shout out to Consort Chen, who sounds as brilliant and fiery as her nephew. First off, it was interesting to note that the Emperor mentioned Marquis Yan visiting him, which sparks two thoughts: Yan Que is indeed sussing out the situation, as he agreed to help Prince Jing for the throne. And the Emperor knew that his friend was also in love with Lin Xie’s sister.

As for Consort Chen herself, there’s been a lot of discussions about women’s limited roles n society and whether or not Consort Chen or Grand Princess Liyang love the men they’ve been stuck with. I see it more as captor bonding, the same psychological drive for women to protect their abusers in court is a matter of survival for them. The Emperor had enough affection for Consort Chen to pardon her for the alleged offenses of both her son and brother, and most women would gratefully live on, but she essentially gave him the middle finger by killing herself. Sure, Consort Jing frames it as a matter of pride and unable to face the Emperor, but judging from the Emperor’s disturbed psyche, the message is more one of blame. I don’t know what the actual Chinese phrasing is, but according to the subtitles, when he says that in his dreams, he sees her hanging, I think it’s quite literally referring to her act of defiance against him, rejecting his ‘gracious pardon’ when she killed herself.

Maybe I’m reading too much into it, and the first few times, I’d assumed Consort Chen was doing the noble and expected thing of her, after her entire family was executed, but something about Consort Jing talking about her coming from a proud family of generals made me think otherwise, and the fact that she’s haunting the Emperor’s dreams…

Consort Jing is so mild mannered and tactful, I wonder what a pair her and Consort Chen would have made, and what parallels are meant to be implied between our current main characters.

j3ffc
j3ffc
1 year ago
Reply to  Melka

I think that Consort Jing is remarkable Queen Mother material….

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 year ago
Reply to  Melka

@Melka – great comment. I often wonder about Consort Jing’s real feelings toward the Emperor. We see how she takes very good care of him using all of her knowledge as a physician. But does she love him?

Referring to the novel, Consort Chen and Jing were two peas in a pod as they say.

I am grateful that I live in a time when women can be financially independent and chose to live alone!

Melka
Melka
1 year ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

Not that these women had much of a choice in who they married, but it sounds like the Emperor at least used to be a more idealistic guy, judging by how Marquis Yan spoke about them working together to help the country. And considering the constant refrain of NiF2 is ‘ppl change’ …. I think it more likely both consorts at least respected and admired the Emperor in their youth. Consort Jing is now operating as a matter of duty towards her sovereign and in the best interest of her son.

BE
BE
1 year ago
Reply to  Melka

Well in one way these consorts unless favored by the King, are basically sequestered more fiercely than nuns, birds in a gilded cage. Consort Jing is mild and wise, but there is also a distinctly tactile and sensual side to her nature. One can imagine the King both gentle and attentive and rather manly too when the spirit moves to be, if nothing else, a welcome partner in bed, allowing Consort Jing to remain warm with him when those moments arise and take some pleasure in how she relaxes him so.

Elaine Phua
Elaine Phua
1 year ago

So I spent some time last night and today doing a bit of fangirling and looking up behind-the-scenes videos and variety shows featuring the NIF cast! So cute, General Meng Bean (Chen Long) and MCS (Hu Ge) in real life seem really pally, as phl1rxd said they have starred in a few shows together, a bit like how General Meng was MCS’ faithful wingman! I too heart General Meng in the show, he is such a faithful friend and so silly and adorkable too. I like how Li Gang had the wit to call General Meng to help intervene in the bromance breakup between Prince Jing and MCS.

Other trivia, Liu Tao (actress of Nihuang) has been thrown off a horse filming dramas twice before NIF, and got injured. So she really didn’t want to ride anymore but just had to for NIF since Nihuang is a badass warrior. Apparently during filming her horse stumbled and threw her, and the cameraman quickly tossed his camera to the side and caught her! Phew! She said if she hadn’t already been married she would have married him for saving her!

But I can’t find the variety show where Liu Tao acted as Tai Nai Nai and gave Hu Ge the hazelnut cookie! I know I’ve seen it before but I can’t find it now.Can anyone send me the link?

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 year ago
Reply to  Elaine Phua

Elaine – try this link https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_0POVnhxbhn5QNHEZ2iOJw/videos

For first time watchers be careful as I am sure there are lots of spoilers on this YT channel!

Elaine, I will post a link to my favorite fan video once we get to a certain episode as it is rife with spoilers but it is so good.

Last edited 1 year ago by phl1rxd
BE
BE
1 year ago

@beez: what I like best about your comments appearing at the top of these posts with their added 4th dimensional puzzle of which the eff comment of mine is she responding to puzzle, a kind of mini zen exercise, is that it so corresponds to my current mental state of everything being all over the place rendering my ability to follow anything in a linear fashion almost impossible these days.

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 year ago
Reply to  BE

BE – I love how this new plug-in (that Fangurl put in right before the start of NIF group watch) takes everyone’s comments and stacks them in an email for me. No more sifting through tons of emails looking for the right one – they are now all together and each new comment (with its individual comment link) gets added to the bottom and re-emailed. This is a very useful feature indeed. I love this Fangurl.

So I can now find Beez right away 😀 hooray! – the problem is that I have to scroll around to find the original comment that she responded to. 😆 Beez – I think it is your phone doing some kind of disconnect. It keeps me on my toes for sure and keeps my mental processes going which at my age is age good thing.

beez
1 year ago

– BE has pretty fathomless knowledge in a myriad of subjects. I’m always amazed…

BE
BE
1 year ago
Reply to  beez

Been fooling folks on that account for decades beez. Maybe from the murky surface appears fathomless, but more like knee deep when you get below the murk. LOL

beez
1 year ago

@kfg – Ahhhh. Good point, mom. 👍

beez
1 year ago

– I think so too! And it doesn’t matter if I respond directly from my email or if I reply on the web site, my comments never go underneath the person whom I’m relying to.

beez
1 year ago

– yes, in looking for more dramas Mengy is in, I caught (half slept due to Viki’s autoplay) through a few episodes of The Warriors. Both so very young.

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 year ago
Reply to  beez

@Beez – I do not know if you want to check out Ode to Joy S1 and S2. I loved both seasons and I waited for new episodes. Both Daylight Productions dramas.

Mengie is in Ode to Joy season 2 along with Jingy, Chen Lin, Nian Nian and Nihuang and many others.

Both S1 and 2 have multiple NIF actors. Tong Lu was casting director of S1.

I am passing on S3 as all new faces.

Elaine Phua
Elaine Phua
1 year ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

I’m interested in Ode to Joy as well! Not sure how I’ll react to seeing familiar faces in different roles though haha.

seankfletcher
seankfletcher
1 year ago
Reply to  Elaine Phua

Ode to Joy is a fabulous show, Elaine. Thumbs up to the familiar familiar faces 😊

beez
1 year ago

@BE – 1970’s? I was a teenager and I’ve still never heard of the music you guys are talking about! You may as well be talking about my father’s 33rpms like Alladin and the Chicken Shackers for all I know. 😆

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 year ago
Reply to  beez

@Beez – you crack me up – I am over here laughing. BE is saying the original band was back from the 70s. The song we are discussing was remade several times over and my favorite version was released in 1994. BE has some pretty deep music knowledge.

BE
BE
1 year ago
Reply to  beez

@ beez: Are you talking about Amos Milborn’s “Chicken Shack” on the Alladin label? The boogie woogie number with the big bottom sax hitting it? Heh. Ah, the era of youtube. Did your folks get up and dance when he put the stylus to the wax and turned the volume up?

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 year ago
Reply to  BE

OK BE – that is impressive. I found it – big fun and yes, thank goodness for YT.

beez
1 year ago

– I don’t think PJ is being dense. If you think about it, this was back when there was no surgery to alter a person’s face and no amount of trauma would render a person completely unrecognizable because if it were that bad, they were usually dead (from fire or body in water for weeks or something like that). So to have a walking, talking with a different voice, face, and body and even handwriting – who in those times would imagine it possible? Consort Jing is actually the more unbelievable one here (although she hasn’t actually seen MCS but she would have to know that there’s no way that her son would not recognize his closest friend. She should be assuming that she has to be mistaken.

BE
BE
1 year ago
Reply to  kfangurl

I really like how your mom is in on this with you K. It is true the NIF group watch makes for hopping posts that gratify the gobsmacking amount of work you must be putting in each week, but it makes me happy that this for you is not a solitary task, esp. fun to do it with input from your mother.

manukajoe
manukajoe
1 year ago
Reply to  kfangurl

I seem to recall MCS mentioned poison? Or maybe that was metaphorical.

Elaine Phua
Elaine Phua
1 year ago
Reply to  manukajoe

Ah, has poison been mentioned already? Indeed there is poison involved, more will be explained later.

Elaine Phua
Elaine Phua
1 year ago
Reply to  kfangurl

Actually MCS himself contributed to the misunderstanding by sometimes acting more manipulative and unfeeling in front of Prince Jing than he actually is. There was an earlier scene where he pointed out Tong Lu to Prince Jing. He said he could count on Tong Lu’s loyalty because he is holding his mother and family hostage in Jiangzuo Alliance territory. Prince Jing even asked MCS why he has to portray himself so cruelly.

I do feel bad for Prince Jing that he is quite alone. He doesn’t have a peer that he can confide in and turn to in times of trouble. Lie Zhanying is more of a loyal subordinate than a good friend. Whereas MCS has General Meng and Nihuang whom he can be himself with as they’re in on the secret, and his Jiangzuo stalwarts.

beez
1 year ago

@BE – Au contraire mon frère! My Meng Bean is No. 1, but I have eyes and I’m just noting my observations just in case he had gone unnoticed. It’s similar to the Lanyan lists. Gotta make sure everyone’s accounted for don’t cha know. 😊

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 year ago
Reply to  beez

🤣😅😂😆

beez
1 year ago

@Natalia – Show’s casting is consistent because the Crown Prince looks older than his mom. 😆

Natalia
Natalia
1 year ago
Reply to  beez

Ha ha, that’s a common thing for all mothers and sons in this show, but yes, the Crown Prince is the most evident example.
It makes you ponder on injustices for women in the entertainement field, but it’s too early in the morning for such a subject!

BE
BE
1 year ago
Reply to  beez

I think he in fact is older.

beez
1 year ago

– Fairy?

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 year ago
Reply to  beez

@Beez – it is odd how your answers end up on top. Must be your phone. Yes, he had pointed ears and all. He was quite cute if I say so myself.

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 year ago
Reply to  beez

@Beez – so I am wrong on the pointed ears! 🤣 At least I remembered the drama correctly which is no small thing at my age.

CYlXLx0WsAAB91j.jpg
Elaine Phua
Elaine Phua
1 year ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

Side braids, white hair, that costume all strike me as a very Legolas look!

beez
1 year ago

@BE – What-Who-Where were disparaging my Meng Bean??? But like I said, he’s not dumb (or he couldn’t be a General/Commander) but he’s not the brightest amongst all the gargantuan gray matter floating around in this kingdom. As to him catching on before PJ, PJ was hit with it completely unawares whereas Meng Bean had time to see it unfolding as he’d been at the Emperor’s side from the moment it was reported that they’d captured Hidden Lieutenant. With his knowledge of Hidden Lieutenant from back in the day, to being included in MCS’ discussions, and seeing how PJ was virtually exiled in the past because of his loyalty to the “traitors”, Mengie would be outright stupid of he didn’t figure out what they were trying to goad PJ into doing.

beez
1 year ago

@BE – I don’t think it’s condescending. It’s not that MCS is saying Prince Jing doesn’t possess the intelligence or maturity to comprehend the situation, but rather MCS knows, without a shadow of a doubt, that PJ is too upright in his morals l, too emotionally unstable, not to do something crazy if he knew MCS’ true identity (as we see with his stubbornness to rescue the Lieutenant when the situation is impossible).

BE
BE
1 year ago
Reply to  beez

For purposes of sticking to my guns. Trust Jing to act more clearly when in on things he won’t make gargantuan errors like he has in these 3 episodes. Jing maybe stubborn and upright, but he is not gonna get all up in his self righteousness if he knows it’s Lin Shu who would never put his Auntie in danger, and if he knew it was Lin Sh’s lieutenant that was captured. And maybe, too, Jung would not still have Sgt. Knucklehead still put in charge of important operations. Kid’s gonna be Emperor some day, big decisions, trust him a bit more to effing handle it if he is privy to the whole 9.

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 year ago
Reply to  BE

@BE, Elaine and Beez – this take on Prince Jing’s knowing MCS identity has me thinking very hard about what BE posted. Kind of like when I think about ‘where would Ling Shu be at 31 if Meiling had never happened’. 🙄

It is very interesting as BE does have a point in that Prince Jing was so very close to Lin Shu that he would trust him to handle events that are happening around them. I wonder what would happen when those ‘not so nice’ things had to be done. Would Prince Jing fight him on those? If MCS’ life is threatened. would Prince Jing allow MCS’ plan to continue as is? Very interesting.

It is a lot to think about and I appreciate that different point of view. Thanks BE!

Elaine Phua
Elaine Phua
1 year ago

Off topic, but would anyone be interested to watch The Disguiser together? I am so intrigued, and so many of the Nirvana in Fire cast are in the show. Daylight Entertainment even did prom posters juxtaposing the cast in their NIF and Disguiser outfits, very cool. Just attaching a couple here for visual ooh.

Has anyone already watched The Disguiser and can tell me spoiler free whether it is worth watching. I heard there are torture scenes, are they really terrible? I couldn’t take the violence of Game of Thrones, as a ref.

Disguiser-NIF.png
phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 year ago
Reply to  Elaine Phua

Elaine – I watched the Disguiser. Jin Ding is brilliant in this! There is one scene where he literally took my breath away! It has been a few years so I do not remember all the details, except that it is about one family’s struggle during the Japanese occupation and the beginnings of communism. I do not remember torture, or if there was any, it was not brutal enough to make me remember it. It kept me on the edge of my seat. There are so many cast members from NIF 1 and 2 in it. It was a blast to see them in a different era. It was well acted and well directed as we can expect from Daylight Entertainment. I am up for it.

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 year ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

Apologies – Jin Dong!

beez
1 year ago
Reply to  Elaine Phua

I don’t see my Meng Bean though?

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 year ago
Reply to  beez

@Beez – you are correct. He is not in the Disguiser. Sorry Beez! 😥 He has appeared in 2017 with Hu Ge in Game of Hunting (I only lasted until E21 – they were good but the writing was not) and going back to 2006 he appeared with Hu Ge in the Young Warriors. They were both so young.

BE
BE
1 year ago
Reply to  beez

FYI for when you are in a pinch or want one from your Meng Bean Cake:
https://worldfood.guide/dish/mung_bean_cake/

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 year ago
Reply to  BE

@Beez – adding that to the list along with the hazel nut cookies!

Elaine Phua
Elaine Phua
1 year ago
Reply to  kfangurl

Cool, maybe we can put Disguise and NIF 2 up as candidates for next group watch!! Although I did hear from Avenue X that she cried a lot watching NIF 2 so not an easy watch either…

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 year ago
Reply to  kfangurl

Fangurl – yes, NIF 2 was quite good.

Elaine Phua
Elaine Phua
1 year ago

All the comments spurred me to watch the snowy scene again (I am far far ahead on this rewatch, heh). The direction and framing are amazing. After the bell-cutting, MCS is at the manor waiting for Prince Jing who finally shows up and tells him they cannot see eye to eye because saving Wei Zheng is something he must do, else how will he face Lin Shu in the afterlife? MCS is visibly moved when he hears that, and has to take a couple of breaths to swallow his emotions before offering to save Wei Zheng.

And then of course they walk into the heavy snow, and the iconic yell , “Xiao Jingyan, stop right there!”. When Prince Jing finally realises the futility of his impulsive plans and thumps the pillar, I find it beautifully shot, that MCS’ face is framed by the pillar and the “V” formed by Prince Jing’s arm, as he gently unfolds the guilt Prince Jing must have been feeling toward Lin Shu and his Chiyan friends all these years.

My interpretation of this episode is that MCS did indeed want to give up on Wei Zheng because rationally it is too costly and he knew Wei Zheng would not want Prince Jing and MCS to risk so much just for him. But Prince Jing’s fervour moved him to plot the rescue for real this time. That interpretation seems to be supported by phl1rxd’s quotation of the novel, where MCS realised that to give up on Wei Zheng would be to give up on his morals.

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 year ago
Reply to  Elaine Phua

Elaine – That courtyard scene was awesome. I think Hu Ge looked so good. I do not know whether is was the lighting, the way it was framed, or even the emotions he was portraying. I just always felt he looked so darn good. He was extra special handsome.

Elaine Phua
Elaine Phua
1 year ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

True that. He was absolutely regal and commanding!

In contrast, not sure if it was the lighting, hair or makeup but Hu Ge looked very un-handsome in the “breakup” scene in the secret passage. His hairline didn’t look like its usual position.

Elaine Phua
Elaine Phua
1 year ago

Ah one of my top favourite scenes of the drama for sure! “Xiao Jingyan! Stop right there!” And yes I heart the line, “I appreciate that you have loyalty. But why don’t you have any brains?!” hahaha. Tough love the only thing that can get through to the stubborn water buffalo.

I thought for sure he would have been outed as Lin Shu for daring to yell at Prince Jing like that! In that way and in those words I felt it was really something only your bestie would say to you.

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 year ago
Reply to  Elaine Phua

Elaine – I agree with this totally. How does Jingy not feel Lin Shu talking to him? Oh dear, he is dense at those kind of perceptions.

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
1 year ago

And the trap is sprung! Will Prince Jing fall? I hope that Consort Jing will be the first to figure out what is going on and warn her son.
The two scenes of Prince Jing and MCS (severed bell cord and snowy front yard) were this week’s highlights for me.

Even though things seem to be going according to Evil Sith Lord’s (aka Xia Jiang) plan, there are cracks in the carefully constructed scheme. I was surprised by Fourth Sister reaction to Tong Lu’s torture. Has she fallen for him?
Also, Xia Jiang does not know that Xia Dong is investigating on her own and is suspicious of her Shifu.
Team Jing is in trouble, but not everything is lost!

BE
BE
1 year ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

I can see you are getting into it SF. It makes me happy. The scene in the snow, MCS and Jing, oh might there be a musical theme in that!

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 year ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

Snow Flower – I love your Sith Lord reference. 🤣😂😅 That Banruo is such a biotch for using Tong Lu to keep 4th sister tied to her hip. 😮

Natalia
Natalia
1 year ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

Ha ha yes, I thought from the beginning that Xia Jiang is an ancient Chinese model of Darth Sidious! I’d expect him to take out his lightsaber and yell “Power!Unlimited Power!

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
1 year ago
Reply to  Natalia

He probably would not need a lightsaber, he could just control the dark side of the force with his hands…

BE
BE
1 year ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

The actor would be a great Captain Ahab in a Chinese version of Moby Dick.

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 year ago
Reply to  BE

Yes BE – that he most definitely would!

Geo
Geo
1 year ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

@Snow Flower: I’m not too surprised by 4th sister’s reaction. She is, I think, a little weary and distrustful of all these schemes that end up hurting people but not accomplishing much. Because of this, she left the cause sometime ago and Banruo had to work very hard to convince her to do this one last task, promising not to disturb her anymore after that. Does anyone believe Banruo’s promises? Not I, Banruyo is MCS without a conscience. Female of many species is often deadlier.

To top it off, 4th sister, already disillusioned by the human cost of the Hua enterprise, even if she’s not moved by Tong Lu’s sincerity and open heart, is already feeling guilty about her part and I’m sure she fears/suspects Banruo has no intention of letting Tong Lu go, ever.

Ele Nash
1 year ago

Grr, ooh, I LOVED that last episode!!! So much tension!!! So many mistakes!!! I know – bad me – I should be anxious for our guys but I was all the way delighted to see them argue and fracture and thought, blimey, that Prince Jing is all kinds of hard-headed and stubborn and then sigh, lovely MCS (or maybe, as you say, kfangurl, Lin Shu) roars his name and – eep – I thought here it comes, he HAS to tell this wrong-end-of-the-stick Jingy his true identity… And, oof, he doesn’t. Instead, he very very handsomely and quietly walks up behind Jingy – in the bitter snow, no less, just up from his deathbed – and shows Jingy such understanding and compassion. My mind was blown and I now officially think Mei Changsu / Lin Shu is just about the most painfully brave person in our Nirvana world 😢 I just know I’m going to cry and cry and cry when Jingy at last discovers who the strategist he’s treated at times so coldly is actually the love of his life friend 😭

That maid. No way is she well-meaning… I have *thoughts* she is not team Jing…

But, ooh, Fourth Sister on the other hand – in love with Tong Lu? Hmm…

I also like the police guy getting hung up on why Xia Jiang is gunning for Prince Jing. Well done you! Ask more questions ASAP!

And, ah yes, Mama Jing is all kinds of smart but – that cup drop 😨 And then assuming the Emperor meant Lin Shu had been captured 😱 She really dropped more than the cup. We know the Emperor is super-suspicious and I feel her reaction may come back to him at some vital moment… It also confirms she totally know Mei Changsu is Lin Shu.

As for Jingy’s rather dashing confidant, Zhanying, what a guy! I really liked the way he stuck up for Mei Changsu as he wasn’t blind to MCS’s apparent lack of heart but could rationalise why. I think if Jingy does indeed become Emperor, he’ll need to be surrounded by guys like Zhanying to keep that ridiculous stubborn temper of his in check – just as the Emperor needs the white-haired guy, whose pertinent mention of Mama Jing simultaneously cooled both the Emperor and Jingy. Impressive!

Anyway, I just wanted to also point out that while rescuing Wei Zheng will naturally point toward a rescue by Chiyan-lover Prince Jing – even if they use other men unrelated to him – they, um, already did try at the gate? Why didn’t Xia Jiang already implicate Jingy for that rescue attempt? I like the baddies. Is that bad?! I kind of liked how Xia Jiang guessed Jingy’s stupid cross reaction over Mama Jing’s unfair treatment and I kind of like Banruo scheming and smarts and Prince Yu thinking he’s got the better of them all. Yes, yes, of course I don’t actually want them to win the day, but I think the show benefitted from these episodes of triumph for the Bads and losses for the Goods. I am all about the drama 😁

Natalia
Natalia
1 year ago
Reply to  Ele Nash

So many of you thought the servant was suspicious, I only thought she was just stupid… But you may be right!

BE
BE
1 year ago
Reply to  Natalia

There was this discussion with the Empress of allowing someone in Consort Jing’s entourage to escape the palace in service of the plot that was a tell for me.

Melka
Melka
1 year ago
Reply to  BE

That maid also easily leapt over a wall to escape…

Elaine Phua
Elaine Phua
1 year ago
Reply to  Ele Nash

I think Xia Jiang would have used the ambush at the gate for sure but they didn’t manage to arrest anyone or get any evidence of a link to Prince Jing. All of the attackers fled without a trace.

Elaine Phua
Elaine Phua
1 year ago
Reply to  Ele Nash

You have to admire Mom Jing for having so much faith in Mei Changsu. Remember that she is cloistered in the Inner Palace and only hears of the outside world from Prince Jing and the gossip of the maids. She’s never seen MCS yet from what she heard Prince Jing say of him, and the clue of his mother’s name in the book (must be a very unusual name for her to be so sure!) she has a steadfast faith that he is Lin Shu back from the dead. That dropped cup indeed!

Melka
Melka
1 year ago
Reply to  Ele Nash

Xia Jiang couldn’t implicate Prince Jing for the first rescue attempt because the prince hadn’t yet returned to the city from his relief efforts, and it was too clear that none of his men were involved. With no substantial evidence, the accusation wouldn’t have been strong enough, so they stuck with riling him up in front of the emperor.

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 year ago

Excellent review Fangurl!! Special thanks to Mom 😘 for her favorite lines!

E31 – Things move very quickly this episode and you have to be fast to catch it all – or make bullet points like I had to. 

Fangurl, I so agree with your assessment of Pingie, Li Gang and Physician Yan! They are such a good tag team for MCS! In the novel MCS had become so very ill that Physician Yan asked him to have someone stay in MCS’ room to watch him at night.

Wei Zheng is captured! I can only hope that no humans or horses were hurt during filming! A question you may ask – Why did Xia Qiu allow those 3 subordinates of Wei Zheng to go free? I cannot find anything in the novel, but I believe it was because Xia Jiang wanted as many people as possible to know he had captured Wei Zheng.

Big thanks to Fangurl and Mom for your translation of that phrase – I am filing this for future reference. I love this attention to language detail! When Prince Yu goes to his adoptive mother the Empress to discuss throwing Consort Jing under the bus, he mentions his birth mother Concubine Xiang. According to her, his birth mother is someone the Emperor saw outside the Palace.

Notice how Xia Chen intervenes on behalf of Xia Dong when Xia Jiang makes a reference about Xia Dong’s ability when discussing where she has been. In this, and in E33, we see him start to question Xia Jiang and this comes into play later.

Poor MCS is really, really ill from the cold and overwork. If you look closely, you can see the big scar from his 2006 car accident on his neck while Physician Yan gives him acupuncture.

Consort Jing is the picture of grace when falsely accused of trying to poison the Emperor. Her rational response to her subsequent interment is a thing of beauty.

Xia Dong and Prince Yu make the following moves:

  • -Set up poison allegations against Consort Jing by using the Empress
  • -Enables Consort Jing’s maid to get out of the Palace to Prince Jing’s residence (using Consort Hui’s eunuch Xiao Jin) where she and Qi Meng, Prince Jing’s general, set out to warn the Emperor to return to rescue Consort Jing
  • -Sends a man pretending to be in the Jiangzuo Alliance to stop above telling them that MCS says to ‘ignore this danger to Consort Jing’
  • -Returns the maid to Consort Jing’s residence
  • -Gives Qi Meng a sedative and leaves him at Prince Jing’s
  • -Manage to get Physician Zheng a death sentence once the Emperor returns

I cannot begin to describe the level of stress I feel over the Tong Lu situation. I had to FF through these parts from my 5th watch on. It gives me agita and writing about it is a bit worse. 

The Miaoyin House is raided by Prince Yu’s men but thank goodness Mr. Shisan and Fairy Gong Yu are already in hiding.

E31 Recap

  • -Xia Jiang is a master schemer of many bad things – so many in fact, that I had to make bullet points to keep track of them all

DID YOU KNOW…

  • -Mr. Shisan/Mr. 13 appears shocked (39:00 in) to find out Tong Lu has not appeared. However, in the novel he knew about Tong Lu by then and they had all already gone under cover. 

——————————————————————————–
E32 – While the Empress gets a verbal lashing from the Emperor (I so enjoy this 😏), Consort Jing lays down sound advice. She is majestic!  

The Jiangzuo Alliance attempts to rescue Wei Zheng. I cannot help but worry that this was not planned by MCS – too many variables. Poor Fei Liu is mad because he did not find a worthy opponent.

The Emperor is going through some things. He keeps dreaming of Consort Chen and the memory of her suicide by hanging haunts him. The fact that he tells Consort Jing to set up a memorial tablet shows how disturbed he is.

So, while watching these exchanges between the Emperor and Consort Jing I ask you – do you think she really cares about the Emperor? Do you feel that she is manipulating him somehow, or, are her motives for looking after his health heartfelt?

Tong Lu has kept his mouth shut and 4th Sister is pleading his case to Banruo who shows her real manipulative spirit. Will 4th Sister take this laying down? 

More bullet points to keep this together in my head…

  • -Yaowang Valley’s leader Chief Su Tianshu arrives to save his adopted son Wei Zheng.
  • -Qi Meng returns with info that MCS sent orders for him to return.
  • -MCS wakes up!
  • -Prince Jing returns
  • -Pingie and Li Gang are not sent to the doghouse for the botched rescue attempt

MCS’ mind starts operating at full speed and he starts rattling off a chain of commands of precautionary measures against the threat they are now facing. Just for a minute, stop and consider him as Lin Shu on the battlefield issuing rapid fire commands to his troops.

The look of disgust on Consort Jing’s face when she hears the Physician was killed tells you how she views the dealings in the court.

I am really disliking Prince Yu right now as he stops Fairy Lie. We will soon get to see how much Jingy has learned from MCS…

Pay close attention as we see the Big Bad in action. Watch how easily Xia Jiang manipulates this situation. Pay close attention to the anger from the Emperor.

E32 Recap

  • -Xia Jiang is truly the BIG, BIG (and nasty) BAD
  • – 4th sister may have fallen for Tong Lu

DID YOU KNOW…

  • -The Jiangzuo Alliance losses from the rescue attempt: According to their {spies} report [to Pengie & Li Gang], out of the approximately hundred men, in addition to the 30 or so who died on the spot, 8 were arrested. The rest may have fled away to the mountains and forests outside the city, or were currently being concealed, so there was no need to worry about their being arrested. Source
  • -During the attempted rescue Fei Liu was described as completely unfazed, changing directions so swiftly no one could pin him down. From the beginning up to the present, no matter how the battle situation had diverted, there was one person who was not in the slightest affected by the sharp change in the surroundings–the one dressed in crimson red [Fei Liu], engaging in combat with the head of the convoy [Xia Qui]. He [Fei Liu] just continued to engage with great concentration and seriousness, and it seemed that the martial art skills of the head of the convoy [Xia Qui] greatly satisfied him…At the moment, they were in the heat of the battle, forcing the head of the convoy to resist with all his energy, and in order to keep his breathing steady, he [Fei Liu] couldn’t open his mouth and say a single word. Source
  • -In the novel Yujin had a wounded Li Gang in his carriage and in the drama we can assume it was Pengie.

——————————————————————————–
E33 – When maid Xiao Xin spills the whole story of Consort Jing being accused of poisoning, we see the rare time Consort Jing shows real anger and I think she is pretty awesome. Why did she allow this exchange to go this far – hmmm we shall see

Prince Jing is mad as a hornet. Why is he so mad? It is because the capture of Wei Zheng reminds him of the Chiyan Army affair where he lost his best friend as well as Prince Qi and so many others – the author calls these ‘his deepest and most painful wounds’.

So who is surprised when he rejects MCS? Well, I for one am very disappointed in him to be honest. To see MCS on his knees is pitiful and then to see him waiting in the freezing cold for Prince Jing to open the door is exasperating. I 💖 Meng Zhi!

For a moment we again meet Lin Shu. The argument they now have is the way Prince Jing and Lin Shu would argue their differences when they were younger. Notice how MCS calls him sharply by his personal name (this would be considered a big no-no).

Bottom line – would MCS personally want to rescue Wei Zheng? Wei Zheng was his personal Lieutenant. If anyone cares about the Chiyan Army it is MCS. Here is what MCS said to Fei Liu after they got home from the big meeting in Prince Jing’s house: “…In my own heart, I had never hesitated over whether or not I ought to rescue Wei Zheng. This shows that it is not a wrong thing. Since this is right as far as I am concerned, it should be so for Jingyan as well. We cannot possibly turn completely into people who can cast aside the past, so what we can do today, is to use all our capabilities to the best we can, to try hard not to fail, nothing more…..” Source

Now, when Consort Jing dropped that cup, who still does not think she knows MCS is Lin Shu?

With everyone calm again, Prince Jing finds out that there already was a rescue attempt that failed. Yes Jingy – you should be embarrassed!

E33 Recap

  • -I definitely do not trust Jingmom’s maid
  • -Prince Jing has selective hearing and chose not to hear “I was told Sir Su was gravely ill”
  • -Be careful what you wish for Jingy…

DID YOU KNOW…

  • -One should not sit down in the presence of a prince, unless told to do so. Especially if the prince is still standing.
  • Xiao Jingyan had a firm and persistent character, and was often pig-headed and willful. The more he faced adversity, the more he would not bend in spite of setbacks. Source
  • -During the meeting in Prince Jing’s house they were discussing who was to do what to rescue Wei Zheng when MCS had a slip up:

 
Mei Changsu followed his first instincts and intuition in the spur of the moment, feeling comforted and gratified, he said, “When Your Highness was at war, you were also of such temperament, willing to fight bravely in the forefront, unwilling to be shielded by others, even more unwilling to redirect difficult-to-defeat adversaries to other people; even if the odds were great, you would still insist on fighting together with everyone else, cannot……..”

[Fairy] Lie Zhanying who had been standing and keeping watch quietly by the side could not help but interject at this point to say, “That is exactly how it is. His Highness is exactly of this temperament. How does Mister Su know?” Source

Last edited 1 year ago by phl1rxd
Natalia
Natalia
1 year ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

I just love those novel insights, phl1rxd! Thank you!

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 year ago
Reply to  Natalia

Natalie & BE – I 💖 this group watch! I cannot begin to tell you how much joy it has brought me! For so many years I have watched this alone and now – wowsers! – I got a bunch of great folks to discuss this with! I am in NIF heaven.

BE
BE
1 year ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

Yes I most certainly get it phl1rxd. Besides other critics I know, do you realize you are the only person on earth addressing me to ever raise the title, “Yaye Boy,” originally recorded in the 1970s by Star Band No. 1 of Dakar, and then at the end of the nineties stuck in every Cuba/Africa comp produced for European and American delectation?

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 year ago
Reply to  BE

BE – Yaye Boy is the Bomb and in my top ten! I favor Africando’s version. I was not aware this was originally covered by Star Band No.1. Wow. This would pack the floor every-single-time it was played. It begs one to dance ‘on 2 – mambo’ instead of ‘on 1 – salsa’.

BE
BE
1 year ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

Well Africando’s large horn section and piano put the song far more in the context of Caribbean salseros, whereas those old Senegalese bands were guitar and saxophone oriented (modern instruments that had more correspondence with traditional African instruments). I find it interesting that the lead singer on Africando’s version was a much lesser star than the back up singers in Africa. And I certainly like Star No 1’s far more wicked, far less ubiquitous sounding vocal. Amadou Balake one of the back up singers on Yaye Boy with Africando was from Burkina Faso, and is a kind of cult favorite, this piece with a very rare piano, the spectacular, spectacular Cuban pianist, Alfredo Rodriguez, in its ensemble:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AZ7YBFYfkE

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 year ago
Reply to  BE

BE – that was a feast for my soul…

BE
BE
1 year ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

feast for the soul:
there is a vid of the great Celia Cruz performing “Guantanamera” with the Fania All Stars in Kinshasa. Ah “Guantanamera” the original guajira son, mother of hit songs rhythms and melodies all over the world, written to the most touching poem ever by Juan Marti, with its distinctly Congolese antecedents. Anyway.

BE
BE
1 year ago
Reply to  BE

The one done at the night performance

BE
BE
1 year ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

This one:
!AZUCAR!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W777MIR8-ko
Yo soy un hombre sincero.

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 year ago
Reply to  BE

BE – that was great. She was a larger than life human being. She radiated ‘STAR’ from every fiber of her being.

BE
BE
1 year ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

!!!!

beez
1 year ago
Reply to  BE

@BE – I have a question for you (since you’re the most literary (?) person that I know). Putting aside the fact that I’m not sure if that’s the correct word to use to refer to someone who is very knowledgeable in syntax & other stuff… lol

Anyway – of this is not something that you’re familiar with and/or if this creates a “project” for you, then just ignore, okay? Here goes:

[This part is not the question but which started me on this journey] how did the Korean name 최 come to be pronounced and spelled as Choi? [In Korean the ㅊ is pronounced “ch” and the ㅚ is pronounced like “way”.]

Wikipedia gives this as the pronunciation key tɕʰwe.

[Here’s the actual question] What the heck is ɕ?
I tried to look this up but didn’t understand the answer here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voiceless_alveolo-palatal_fricative

Especially since the answer in that link says that ɕ sounds like “C” yet another page says it sounds like “sh”.

Anyway, like I said, if this is in any way annoying or not something you can do without intensive research – I’m good not knowing. 😊

BE
BE
1 year ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

The one two punch of K and you is just so helpful. My first reaction, strangely, or not so much given my weird associative process, is did anyone else besides me really note what a slick hairstyle General Wei Zheng sports when his hair is up. Now that is manly man movie star look.
Also, did it bother you or anyone else that Jing’s perpetually knuckle headed lieutenant (forget his name) was so obtuse as to not recognize that the guy who stopped him and Double X on the way to Jing was Yu’s man, and one pretty high up in his cadre, and not MCS’?

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 year ago
Reply to  BE

Yes BE – I agree as it is a very sharp hairstyle. I like when their hair goes straight back instead of parted (and puffed up) in the middle (referring to the men’s style). The actor, Li Shuai, is quite good looking. The hairstylists and costume folks were so darn good!
Ha Ha – Qi Meng is a knucklehead (perfect description BE) and he cannot get out from under his own feet. 😆 He is a right hot mess but he does redeem himself in at least one aspect later on. I had to laugh when he showed back up and was rubbing his head.

Natalia
Natalia
1 year ago

K, it’s fun how I read the recaps first thing in the morning, then I go to work, and here I am, during my coffee break, at it again! I’m going to miss this when we finish watching the show. Saturday open threads don’t count, first because it’s Saturday, so no work normally, and second because well, the shows aren’t comparable.

Just like Trent, I really, really liked these three episodes. I actually watched all of them over the weekend (I usually have to binge watch on Tuesday evening just to be able to catch up) and it was hard not to go on watching.

I thought it was fascinating to see all those traps being laid and have this feeling of doom, with MCS in bed. Thank God Consort Jing seems to have got a real good grip on the Emperor, and she’s obviously much more clever than her son, so she can do some work on her side to help Jingyan as much as she can.

Jingyan, on the other hand, is a very good man, but I sincerely doubt he’s good material for Emperor. I don’t think his stubborness and impulsiveness are traits that can change, at his age, and he will not have MCS at his side to soothe and guide him, helas.

I agree with you all, the best scene in all 3 episodes was MCS pleading with Jing to stop being an ass and listen to him. It was so dramatic, it felt like a break up scene between a romantic couple. And a very good one at that. Excellent, powerful scene.

Xia Dong is probably my least favourite character so far, but it seems we all depend on her now. And where on earth is Nihuang?

Oh, and going to a discussion from last week, I still think Fourth Sister is very, very beautiful. And obviously she has feelings for Tong Lu. I hope he never finds out her game and they get to go away together and live happily ever after.

Elaine Phua
Elaine Phua
1 year ago
Reply to  Natalia

Prince Jing is stubborn and shortsighted indeed so he is terrible at scheming and playing the politician. But compared to the other princes, he has the strongest moral compass, and his pigheadedness means he also has an iron will and won’t bend his morals. MCS is counting on that moral strength of character to make Prince Jing a benevolent Emperor who would truly look out for the welfare of the people, and would come hell or high water do the right moral thing. Also once he is Emperor he can offend all the people he wants, it won’t matter they still have to do his bidding. So the most important thing to MCS is to have a moral, just, incorruptible Emperor.

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 year ago
Reply to  Natalia

Natalie – never fear as Nihuang will be back and fiercer than ever! Hooray!

I have a suspicion that poor Tong Lu would still love 4th sister even if he knew what was going on. In the novel when Banruo found her, 4th sister’s biggest worry was that someone she had run a scam (for lack of a better word) on would recognize her. So she had been ‘around’ shall we say. I think she is realizing that Tong Lu truly loves her and this may be the first time she has ever received real love.

Elaine Phua
Elaine Phua
1 year ago
Reply to  Natalia

Nihuang is a short distance from the Capital, at the Imperial Cemetery (or whatever it’s called). She volunteered for the extended mourning for Great-Grandmother the Grand Empress Dowager, so that she would be closer to MCS (otherwise the Emperor would have sent her far away to Yunnan).

BE
BE
1 year ago

Thanks K. You are on a roll. Love the screenshot of Banruo knife to Fourth Sister’s throat, all so casually menacing facing Tong Lu and us as audience seeing her through his eyes with that diabolical smile on her face. Nasty.
And your translation of “ten thousand things prepared, lacking only the east wind”: I know translators are trying to put this into a kind of spoken English, but that literal translation trumps whatever it was I saw on the Viki subs, and would work for any viewer. S’obviously an aphorism that would be appropriate to story, but also the meaning is quite clear, especially given that Yu is full of his most charming, handsome and smooth, and confident bordering on smug as he delivers the line to the Empress. Thanks. I really like all the language cues.

My own thoughts: well the biggest takeaway I have from this set is right now, I sincerely have to question why Mei Chang Su has thought all along it has been such a good idea to keep his true identity from Jing. If Jing knew MCS was in fact Lin Shu, all this catastrophic misunderstanding would have been avoided. NOT KNOWING has been a distraction of what appears to me consequences with fatal possibilities all around.

My second big impression has to do with Commander Meng (ahem beez, why am I the one to stand up for your man?). Everyone is always saying he is such a knuckle head but when Jing, Yu, Xia Jiang, and Meng are all up there in front of the Emp, Meng figures out the whole setup at least a half beat quicker than Jing, if we suppose Jing ever gets it but just doesn’t care, and is far better at playing the tableau than Jing is.

Oh Ho. Who is Yu’s mama? Boy is there ever an age old adolescent insult waiting to surface in the answer to that question. The kind of something-something with which a man like Yu with all his narcissistic insecurities, read tragic flaw, will certainly have to contend, methinks.

If it weren’t for the bit of Mei Chang Su just flat out telling Jing, listen short stuff, everbody dies, you too, nothing gets solved, I am telling you and it is me who is telling you wtf face are you gonna have when you come upon Lin Shu in the afterlife bub? If it weren’t for that, these episodes are owned outright by Consort Jing. Yeah, as I said in the last post, if I were twenty five years younger and she were willing, we’d elope. And as much as I love when she is wise, gracious, loving, generous, when that woman gets mad, righteousness, true righteousness, personified by a beautiful woman in the prime of her powers. Gotta love her.

On the other hand, Xiao Xin! First of all on a superficial note, the way all those court ladies in waiting, and most specifically Xiao Xin, wear their hear all up like that in that cone shaped head gear makes them all look like petite lady dinosaurs of the parasaurolophus family. it annoys me. But beyond superficial. Aren’t we told by Yu in a convo with Empress that she is part of his plan? And don’t we all figure Consort Jing knows MCS is LS? Meaning while Double X is nattering on in front of Jing p***ing him off each moment all the more, doncha think Consort Jing is beginning to be on to her? I mean isn’t among the number of scores we want settled after these three episodes, Xiao Xin getting her just hazelnut cookies? I know I feel that way.

These three episodes appear to be the unfolding of the challenges hinted at in the previous three episodes. But more they also appear to be doling out details that will be important later. Like K, we are speculating what will be up with what. Now it does appear since the Jiang-Ju-Banruo Alliance has the upper hand as the first battle is about to occur in the oncoming war, we are going to enter what appears to be a rather long one, as we are finished with only 33 of 54 episodes, and this first serious battle sure looks like we might still be in the middle of it after next week.

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 year ago
Reply to  BE

OMG BE – …most specifically Xiao Xin, wear their hear all up like that in that cone shaped head gear makes them all look like petite lady dinosaurs of the parasaurolophus family – I just almost fell out of my chair I am laughing so hard!

I love your comment! 💯

BE
BE
1 year ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

Has bothered me in both first and second watches. Distinctly not my favorite look.

Ele Nash
1 year ago
Reply to  BE

Who’s yo mama?!
Ah, the east wind blew but Prince Yu didn’t factor on Lin Shu being alive and using the ghost of his breath – Xiao Jingyan! – to blow in from the west and scatter those ten thousand things prepared 🌬

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 year ago
Reply to  Ele Nash

Brava Ele! 👏 Well said you!

Elaine Phua
Elaine Phua
1 year ago
Reply to  BE

I heart the dinosaur analogy. But also “just hazelnut cookies” instead of “just desserts!”

Elaine Phua
Elaine Phua
1 year ago
Reply to  BE

Also the quick answer to why MCS is keeping his identity as Lin Shu a secret from Prince Jing – if Prince Jing gets so rash and emotional over Wei Zheng who was Lin Shu’s *lieutenant*, can you imagine how rabidly over-protective he would be of Lin Shu himself? He might even blow MCS’ cover in front of the Emperor before it is time and get them all executed!

BE
BE
1 year ago
Reply to  Elaine Phua

Or…he might 100% believe in and follow without ornery muleheadedness MCS’ lead. I get the reasoning given, but judging by these three episodes the danger because of Jing not knowing strikes me as even more dangerous, not to mention condescending in a way.

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 year ago
Reply to  BE

Elaine and BE – those interesting observations are food for thought!

Elaine Phua
Elaine Phua
1 year ago
Reply to  BE

Ah that’s an interesting perspective! Yes I wonder how the show could have gone differently if they had trusted Jingyan with the secret from the start.