Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! I just had to have this shot headline our post today, because it’s such an iconic moment in the show. Also, I love how happy all three of them look, as they pose for the photo together. 🤩
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS, before we begin:
1. ZERO SPOILER POLICY ON THE OPEN THREAD
We will be adopting a ZERO SPOILER POLICY for this Open Thread, except for events that have happened in the show, up to this point.
The spoiler tags don’t work in email notifications, therefore, please take note that WE WILL NOT BE USING SPOILER TAGS FOR THIS OPEN THREAD. ANY AND ALL SPOILERS WILL BE REDACTED to protect first-time viewers in our midst (although, I’d appreciate it if you would save me the trouble of having to redact spoilers, heh 😅).
*This includes (but is not limited to) how characters or relationships evolve over the course of the story. Just pretend that this is Past You, on this Open Thread!*
2. SPOILER ZONE AVAILABLE
HOWEVER!! If you’d like to discuss spoilers from a rewatcher’s point of view, I’ve created a SPOILER ZONE for you, where you can discuss all the spoilers you’d like, without the need for spoiler warnings. You can find it here!
Edited to add! No Open Thread next week; we are taking a break for Christmas! Next Open Thread will be on 1 Jan 2022!!
Without further ado, here are my reactions to this set of episodes; have fun in the Open Thread, everyone! ❤️
Oh. My. Goodness. Listen, I know I’ve seen this show before, but I’m still blown away by just how good it is. Can all dramas be this good, pretty please? 🤩🤩
I love how Show plays with our perception, and does it so well. I mean, on my first watch, Show really had me going for a while there, with Yuxuan settling into Yunru’s life, and coming to terms with the idea that everything about being Huang Yuxuan, and being in love with Wang Quansheng, had been a long and detailed dream that she’d had, while unconscious.
I’d seriously started to believe that narrative, and started to adjust my understanding of our story – until Show brings everything back into focus at the end, when Yuxuan wakes back up, in her own body, in Taipei.
Just, WOW. EXCELLENTLY PLAYED, SHOW.
But first, let me back up, because there are other things which I love about how Show handles itself, this episode.
One of the biggest things I appreciate, is how it makes complete sense to Yunru’s friends and family, that she’s acting a bit weirdly. After all, she’s suffering from a serious head injury, so it makes sense that she might forget things, or get confused about things.
Plus, there’s how Show gives Yuxuan access to Yunru’s memories, such that she can plausibly pull off being Yunru, by tapping on those memories, and the general knowledge of Yunru’s world.
On that note, I do find it quite intriguing, that we see Yunru in what appears to be some kind of prison, where she seems to be able to hear what Yuxuan hears, like when she hears Ziwei talking to Yuxuan at the hospital. Also, she seems to have access to Yuxuan’s memories, because we see Yunru gazing upon all those mental pictures of Yuxuan with Quansheng.
It seems reasonable to conclude that while Yuxuan is in control of Yunru’s body, Yunru’s still in there, just shoved away into a corner, in manner of speaking.
It also seems like Yunru’s able to communicate, to some extent, since, in the scene at the hospital, where Yuxuan asks where her mom and brother are, we first hear what I assume to be Yunru’s voice, asking the question first, “Where’s my mom and my brother?” – and that’s what prompts Yuxuan to actually give voice to the question.
But, back to my thought on Yuxuan in Yunru’s body – I am so amused by how thrown her mom and especially her brother are, with this new, much more outspoken and assertive version of Yunru. And the best part is, they can plausibly put this change in Yunru’s personality, down to Yunru’s head injury. Ha. Love that!
On a random tangent, the whole way that bandage is stuck onto Yuxuan’s hair, in such a flimsy manner, is kind of distracting, and totally unrealistic. But y’know, Show is so good on just about every other front, that I’m very willing to close my eyes to these imperfections, and just roll with it.
I have to admit that I got a great deal of satisfaction, watching Yuxuan shock Siyuan, with Yunru’s stronger, much more self-assured personality. I mean, he’s been really quite annoying, particularly in the bratty way he talks back to his sister, and this felt like pretty excellent payback.
I just love how effortlessly Yuxuan gets him to toe the line, and stop being so rude and insolent. The world does not revolve around you, dude. 😏
I also love the detail, that Yuxuan feels rather detached from Yunru’s memories, even though she has access to them. It feels pitch perfect, that she wouldn’t feel personally invested in those memories, even though they are literally coming out of her head.
And, on that note, I love how Alice Ke interprets Yuxuan-as-Yunru; she’s always got a slightly detached, quizzical air to her, as she navigates Yunru’s world.
I also like the fact that Yuxuan-as-Yunru is completely unmoved by Li Ziwei, even though he’s the spitting image of Wang Quansheng. I mean, she does forget herself, and address him by the wrong name, out of habit, but I like the fact that she doesn’t fall for Ziwei just because he looks just like Quansheng.
Even in the stretch of the episode where Yuxuan believes that she really is Yunru, and everything had just been a dream, she remains indifferent towards Ziwei, while her thoughts still sometimes linger on Quansheng.
This endears her to me, because it convinces me that her love for Quansheng doesn’t hinge on what he looks like; she’s drawn to him because of his person, and Ziwei is just.. a different person.
On a different note, I am loving the friendship between Ziwei and Junjie. I mean, there isn’t a moment when Junjie thinks that Ziwei likes Yunru, and wants to snatch her for himself. There’s an unshakable trust there, even when Junjie’s peeved and doesn’t want to talk to Ziwei. I love that.
What a difficult position for Ziwei to be in, though. Junjie blames him for being so harsh in rejecting Yunru, because if Ziwei had been gentler with her, Yunru would have likely felt comfortable enough to ask either of them for help, when she’d found her mother and brother missing.
That’s asking for a lot from Ziwei, in the sense that, how would he know the perfect level to pitch his rejection of Yunru? It’s not like he’s super experienced with these things, and it’s not like he’s the sensitive type, either.
However, I really appreciate how Ziwei reflects on his actions purely because of Junjie’s words, and therefore seeks out Yunru, to apologize to her. That willingness to consider a different perspective really does endear him to me.
As for Junjie, I freaking love his love confession to Yunru, after he drops her off at home. It’s so brave of him, to own his feelings like this, when before, he’d been so shy to approach Yunru.
The fact that he gathers up his courage to be so frank about his feelings, because of his feelings of regret after Yunru’s accident, really endears him to me too. I love a guy who chooses to be brave. ❤️
That beat, where we see the flashback of Junjie watching Yunru from afar in school, is so poignant. I love the idea that he feels a sense of similarity and solidarity with her; that he understands that she feels different, and wants to be the person who understands her, sees her, and hears her.
Oof. That is so touching, I feel like my heart might burst.
What is this, about the police finding a hearing aid at the location where Yunru had been attacked..?!? 😳 We only know of one hearing impaired person in this drama world, and that’s Junjie. But it can’t be Junjie.. can it..?
And there are those memories that come back, where we see that Yunru’s attacker is a boy in school uniform. Surely it can’t be Junjie..?
Yuxuan’s (and our!) assumption that everything had been a dream comes crashing down, when she finds herself waking up in the bus where she’d fallen asleep – and we see CAKE DUDE, hurrying to hide himself from her. Unless Wang Quansheng somehow survived the plane crash (and aged significantly from the trauma), this is mostly likely Li Ziwei, right?!? 😱
I freaking love how this show works like some kind of kaleidoscope. Every time we are shown a scene subsequent to the first time we see it, there’s always some other kind of angle or layer or nugget that we gain from it.
This time, we see the bus journey from Cake Dude’s perspective, and in the moment, it’s all very confusing. His expressions speak of a deep yearning and wistfulness towards Yuxuan, so much so that he’d put on Quansheng’s old phone, and read all the messages that Yuxuan’s sent to that number in the 2 years since Quansheng’s passing &/or disappearance.
But then again, how curious, that when Yuxuan discovers that her messages have been read, and tries to call the number, Cake Dude refuses to pick up, saying to Uncle that Yuxuan isn’t looking for him, but for Wang Quansheng. That.. doesn’t really make a lot of sense, put together, does it?
I mean, if he’s not Quansheng, then he’s Li Ziwei, isn’t he? But if he’s Li Ziwei, why the accumulated depth of feeling, towards Yuxuan?
That scene where he reacts to hearing Yuxuan’s voice in the voice memos that she’s sent to Quansheng’s phone, is full of profound emotion (such an amazing scene by Greg Han, truly. 🤩). What is that about, and why does he have these emotions for her?
Also, how curious, that he blames himself for giving in to his feelings and reading those messages, “at such an important time,” as he says to Uncle. Why is this an important time..? And why does he appear to be staying at Uncle’s home, and why is Uncle keeping his secret for him?
It’s quite interesting, isn’t it, that Uncle’s keeping his secret for him, and yet, is pretty open with Yuxuan, when it comes to telling her that her dreams of Yunru, Ziwei and Junjie aren’t dreams, but reality? It doesn’t seem very consistent, does it? Why would he keep some things a secret, and yet, be so open about other, very much related things?
And then we are introduced to Psychiatrist Dude, who seems nice and harmless at first, but then DOESN’T. I mean, what the heck is that, with that old secret diary that appears to be full of articles about Yunru’s death? And he’s got photographs of Yunru tucked away in a box of their own, and those photos look like they’d been secretly taken. What in the world..??
It gives me chills, that Yuxuan is seeking psychiatric treatment from someone who definitely seems highly suspicious, and telling him her personal secrets so trustingly. 😬
ALSO. What is that standalone entry about, in the diary, that Yuxuan sees in 2019, where it states that “he” is Wang Quansheng..??
Yuxuan assumes that “he” must be referring to Li Ziwei and hurries back to 1998 to see him – but.. the math definitely doesn’t add up..? The age is just all wrong, and that makes piecing this together extremely fiddly.
There’s always at least a puzzle piece or two, that doesn’t fit, when trying to figure out how all of these pieces of information could possibly all co-exist and all make sense, in the same logic flow.
How interesting, that when she gets back to 1998, she re-enters the timeline a little earlier than when she’d left. It reminds me of when I stop an episode mid-way, and my video player resumes playing where I left off – but about a second or so earlier than where I actually stopped, as if to jog my memory a little bit. 😅
Y’know, all this also begs the question of whether time flows at the same speed in both timelines, doesn’t it? I mean, when Yuxuan returns to 2019, she actually spends several days there, and yet, when she returns to 1998, no actual time has passed.
ALSO, come to think of it, during Yuxuan’s first trip back to 1998, she spent several months there, but in 2019 time, only the span of a bus ride had passed. Innnteresting.. 🤔
I must say, though, I do enjoy the time that we spend in 1998.
I’ve grown fond of Ziwei and Junjie especially, although, this episode, it does look like things are rather strained between them.
Last episode, I’d just been saying that Junjie trusts Ziwei implicitly, but this episode, I’m somewhat dismayed to see them actually almost come to blows – over Yunru.
Like I said before, it’s tough to be in Ziwei’s position. When he doesn’t show enough concern for Yunru, Junjie gets upset. But when he does show concern for Yunru, Junjie bristles. And it’s not like Ziwei’s the super diplomatic sort. He’s a bit rough around the edges, and I certainly wouldn’t expect him to know how to tread delicately between Junjie and Yunru, in this situation.
I feel for both of them, honestly. Junjie’s sincere in his feelings towards Yunru, and he’s put his heart out there, by telling her how he feels about her. But at the same time, he’s cognizant of the fact that she still (presumably) has feelings for Ziwei.
That’s tough. I can understand why he’d have feelings of resentment towards Ziwei, in this situation.
But it’s tough to be Ziwei too, like I’ve said, and I feel for him, as he broods alone at home, feeling rejected by his best friend, and possibly slightly confused at his own growing concern for Yunru.
I do think that his chosen solution, which is to talk things out with Yunru, is a pretty good choice. He’s making a conscious decision to reframe how he thinks about Yunru, and wants her to also consciously reframe how she sees him.
That is Ziwei’s way of honoring his friendship with Junjie, and I really do appreciate that. I mean, he’s putting away any potentially confusing feelings about Yunru, because he wants to put Junjie first. That’s really loving, isn’t it?
But that final scene, though, where they both lie down on the grass, is so.. hesitantly tender, that I can’t help but feel a connection between Ziwei and Yuxuan.
He looks at her, and watching her sleep, slowly blinks, and says, “When I saw you yesterday, coming to find me after crying, I don’t know why, I started to feel sad too. The whole day, no matter what I was doing, I kept thinking about you crying. Why did you look at me and cry so sadly?”
And she, waking up, looks at his sleeping face and thinks, rather wistfully, “You obviously are not him. But why do you both look alike and have the same voice? And have the exact same facial expressions?”
Augh. I can practically feel this connection leaping off my screen, as he opens his eyes, and looks right into hers. 🤩
But.. IS he Wang Quansheng like the diary entry states, and what is Yuxuan supposed to do, with all of this conflicting information? And also.. how is she supposed to make her way back to 2019..?