Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! We’ve got “Quansheng” and Yuxuan headlining our post today, because I cannot wait to see how this courtship unfolds. 😍
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!
Without further ado, here are my reactions to this set of episodes; have fun in the Open Thread, everyone! ❤️
Watching this episode, I’m blown away all over again, at just how good this show is. Everything is so intricately drawn, from the various details of our mystery, to the characters and their relationships. It’s all done with such care, too. I love it.
I mean, it’s so well done that I find myself feeling challenged to keep everything straight in my head – and this isn’t even my first watch! 😅
First of all, though, I just wanted to say that that opening (dream? fantasy?) sequence, of 2019 Huang Yuxuan talking under the tree with 1998 Li Ziwei, is so beautifully poignant.
Clearly, the writers of this show have delved deep into what grief looks and feels like, on a daily basis, and listening to Yuxuan’s description, I felt it all – and agreed with it all – even as I felt completely wowed by the poetry of the words themselves.
Here it is again, just because it’s so beautiful that I feel it deserves a bit of the spotlight, for itself.
“Huang Yuxuan. Were you really sad when Wang Quan Sheng left you? What was that feeling like?”
“Obviously knowing you will never see them again, but still constantly thinking of the person.”
“What exactly does that feel like?”
“That kind of feeling is like, you’ll suddenly realize you’ve become very small. Very small. No matter how hard you try to fill every gap that reminds you of him, as soon as you stop paying attention, you’ll notice this world is still filled with his presence.
A lot of things around you will also become very heavy. Unknowingly, your chest will become a little bit heavier with every breath you take. Your cheeks will become heavy too. You’ll have to try very hard to lift the corners of your mouth, to squeeze out the smallest smile.
Even tears seem to get heavier. No matter how many times you tell yourself, “Don’t cry. You must not cry.” the tears still seem to fall on their own. Perhaps this kind of feeling is like an ocean wave. If you wait a bit longer, it will recede. After a while, you probably won’t miss him as much.
Once you tell yourself this, you’ll realize you’ve long been overwhelmed by your longing for him. And then you’ll really understand, this longing will only rise. The tide will never recede.”
Augh. This entire description is so detailed, and so beautiful, in such a bittersweet sort of way.
Through this scene, we see Yunru in that tent-like house-like space, where she has access to all of these memories (dreams?), and I find it intriguing, that she appears to be repeating Yuxuan’s words to herself. Is she touched by the description, and therefore committing it to memory?
Or.. could she be learning to be more like Yuxuan, because she can see how Ziwei is drawn to Yuxuan..?
Back in 1998, I actually like Yuxuan’s decision to tell Junjie and Ziwei the truth about her time traveling, and how she isn’t Yunru, like they think she is.
Of course the boys don’t believe her right away, but since the three of them are trying to figure out Yunru’s attacker together, it makes sense that Yuxuan share full information with them.
And, I appreciate that her reason for taking the step to share full information with them, is because she sees this as the key way to put an end to the cold war between Junjie and Ziwei.
I’m glad that Junjie and Ziwei eventually talk things through, and get past the awkward cold war thing. I find it interesting to see that the key thing that Junjie’s upset with Ziwei about, isn’t about Ziwei liking Yunru, but is more about Ziwei not telling him about his family’s plans to move to Canada.
Aw. Junjie’s more concerned about his friendship with Ziwei, than about them both liking Yunru.
On that point, I’m glad that the two boys talk through this delicate topic, and I’m glad and relieved that Junjie’s clear on the fact that his feelings for Yunru now, aren’t the same as his feelings for Yunru before.
Also, I can’t help but spazz-melt at the look on Ziwei’s face, as he dreamily talks about how it feels to be around Yuxuan. Melt.
Boy’s fallen hard and true, that’s for sure. 😍
I think that’s definitely one of the reasons that he wants to entertain that possibility that what Yuxuan says is true. That, plus his gut instinct, gets him to seek out Yuxuan, to ask her to tell him all about 2019 – which definitely adds a layer of interest to where we end the episode.
Before that, though, I wanted to say what a lovely, lovely scene Show gives us, of Junjie waiting with Yuxuan for the bus, in 1998.
“Tell me the truth. Do you also not believe the things I told you yesterday?”
“If you want me to believe it, I’ll try to believe everything you’ve told me. I don’t want to be someone who causes you distress. I’ll do anything you want if it makes you happy. Also, part of me really wants all that you’ve said to be true.
That way, I can continue liking Chen Yunru and also treat you as Huang Yuxuan from the future. That wouldn’t make you distressed, and I wouldn’t count as being heartbroken.”
“Whatever, it’s fine. I’ve already told you the truth. You can believe it if you want, or don’t believe it if you want. At least I won’t feel like I’m hiding something from you. Mo Junjie, I realized that you have very mature thoughts. If you showed up in 2019, you’d be what we call a warm man.”
“Warm man? What’s that mean?”
“It’s a term we use in the future. It means someone like you, someone that girls think is a kind and considerate guy. The more I think about it, the stranger I find it. Why didn’t Chen Yun Ru like you instead of that idiot Li Zi Wei? She must have been blind.”
“Yeah, I think she must have been blind. She had a really bad taste in men.”
Augh. Such a warm, honest, uplifting conversation. And I’m so, so taken with Junjie’s way of looking at things, that he’s happy to do anything that will help to make Yunru/Yuxuan happy. He’s SUCH a sweetheart. 😍
I have to confess to feeling quite taken aback by the murder of Cai Wenrou.
I mean, the girl was mean and her plan to post all those photos of “Yunru” on the bulletin board was cruel and uncalled for, but man, getting literally killed for that seems more than a little excessive. 😳 Class Monitor is more than creepy; he’s legit murderous.
I do like seeing Yuxuan and the boys piece the clues together, to figure out that Cai Wenrou’s murder has something to do with Yunru’s attacker.
And, I do think that Junjie’s hit the nail on the head; that this murder wasn’t to protect Yunru, so much as it was the attacker’s intent, to mark Yunru as his property.
Ack. That’s way darker than one might expect, from a high school setting. 😬
I have to confess, though, that even though we have a literal murder in school, I’m much more taken with that flashback into Yuxuan’s memory, where we see that Quansheng had had that exact same drawing – that Ziwei had drawn! – on his studio wall. Ahhhh!!!
The connection between Ziwei and Quansheng has never felt so thick; this scene legit gives me chills.
THEN! Just as Yuxuan comes to the conclusion that Ziwei has to be Quansheng, she gets transported back to her own body and timeline – and then meets Cake Dude, at Uncle’s cafe?!? This just HAS to be Ziwei, right..?
AND THENNN. We get some important backstory, in a flashback to 2003, where we see that Ziwei had attempted to visit someone in prison, and then had gotten himself into an accident, while listening to that magical song on that magical walkman.
..Which transports him into Quansheng’s body. Ahhhh!!!
This whole thing gave me chills. CHILLS, I tell ya. It’s all coming together so perfectly, and yet, in a way that still feels hard to wrap my brain around. SO WELL DONE. 🤩🤩
We mostly leave the 1998 timeline this episode, and there’s just.. so much to digest. I love how Show manages to do so much, in every single episode! 🤩
The first thing I’d like to say, is just, mad props to Greg Hsu, for delivering Original Quansheng with so much nuance, even though there is literally no spoken dialogue for the flashback blurb at the top of the episode, that fills us in on Quansheng and his life, before Ziwei arrives to take over his body.
There’s something so.. delicate, about the way Greg Hsu portrays Quansheng, and I find it all the more impressive, because there’s no trace of that delicateness, in how he portrays Ziwei, or the other version of Quansheng that we’ve gotten glimpses of, via the various flashbacks.
Original Quansheng feels like a completely different person altogether, and I am just so very impressed, with how Greg Hsu is able to infuse Original Quansheng with such an original flavor, such that I don’t detect any traces of Greg Hsu’s other characters in this drama world, within him. SO WELL DONE, seriously. 🤩🤩
Even though it’s such a short blurb – like a quick skit, almost – that flashback to Original Quansheng, and what he went through, was completely heartbreaking to watch. 😭
His crush on another boy, and how he nursed that crush, bringing food, drinks and towels, as tokens of affection, feels really pure, in the sense that I didn’t detect any guile about him, as he did those things. It didn’t feel like he actively wanted anything back, and the love confession had felt like a simple desire to have his feelings known.
The way the other boy – and the other schoolmates – reacted was terrible and heartbreaking, but it’s also not unexpected, of kids at school. As many of us have probably learned the hard way, kids can be cruel.
I hate the thought that Original Quansheng was so brokenhearted, that he decided to take his own life. 💔
I also can’t help wondering what’s happened to Original Quansheng, now that Ziwei has time-traveled to 2010, and has taken up residence in his body..?
It’s sobering to hear that Original Ziwei fell into a coma as a result of the accident, and hasn’t woken up since, but it’s still comforting to see that his essence – what makes him, him – is alive and well, and getting a new chance at life, via Quansheng.
At the same time, I have to love the dedication that Ziwei-now-Quansheng puts into his chosen mission, to meet Yuxuan at college just like she’d told him about, and try to find a way to prevent the events of 1999.
It’s clearly not an easy journey for him, and I especially felt the poignance of his teary expressions, as he thinks back to all the good times that he’d shared with Junjie and Yuxuan, back in 1998.
Because it’s such a difficult journey for him, I kinda love that Uncle is there for him, through all of the timelines that we see. Although Uncle had been rather suspicious of Ziwei in 1998, since then, he’s been faithfully helping Ziwei through every other timeline, and that’s.. really kind of him, yes?
I love the idea of Uncle taking Ziwei-now-Quansheng in, at the cafe, not just housing him and feeding him, but also, basically treating him like family.
That scene, where “Quansheng” (argh, can you tell, that I can’t quite decide what to call him?) comes home, completely thrilled at getting into the same college as Yuxuan, is so very heartwarming.
The happy whoops and the excited hugs that “Quansheng” engulfs Uncle in, followed by Uncle happily saying that all the customers’ drinks will be on the house, is just such sweet, cozy, chicken-soup-for-the-soul sorta stuff. I love it.
“Quansheng’s” approach to wooing Yuxuan at college is ruefully funny, because he’s so optimistic about it, like he expects her to recognize him on sight as the love of her life, and accept his sudden love confession with open arms, and instead, his hopes come crashing down, so hard, when Yuxuan tells him flatly that she has a boyfriend.
Aw. Poor Ziwei, he’d been applying himself so fully to his goal, that he hadn’t even given thought to how he actually planned to win Yuxuan’s heart, when he arrived there. Which, honestly, is just the sort of thing I’d expect of Li Ziwei. 😅
It’s sad but hilarious, that Yuxuan even mistakes him for a playboy type who is simply out to woo girls, never mind who they actually are. Ha. That was an unexpected second strike.
I’m glad Ziwei gains new insight from his memories of his conversations with Yuxuan, though I do think that he does come across as a little smug, when he starts that whole pretense that he’s in Yuxuan’s orbit, not because he’s interested in pursuing her, but because he happened to sign up for the same class, and happened to need a job.
Pfft. I wouldn’t believe him either, if I were Yuxuan. And, I’d find him rather annoying too, to boot. But, I’m so on board to see this romance unfold, that I don’t want to nitpick at “Quansheng” too much. 😁
ALSO. What is this, where we see Present Ziwei, calling Uncle to check on “Quansheng” and his progress, when.. he’s supposed to be “Quansheng”?!? How does that work, exactly..?!?
Last but not least, what an emotional scene we have, closing out the episode.
As it turns out, it really had been Junjie in prison all this time (for.. Yunru’s murder..??? 😳 Surely not..?!? 😱).
The look on Present Ziwei’s face, as he faces his best friend again, is just so wonderfully complex and poignant. There’s so much contained in his gaze; heartbreak, wistfulness, relief, plaintiveness; it’s all there.
Will this friendship be able to be mended, after all that’s happened? Also, what did happen? How the heck did Junjie land in jail, and what does that flashback mean, where we see Junjie holding that bloody shard of glass in his hand, as he crouches over Yunru’s body..? 😱
So many questions, even as Show continues to steadily serve up nuggets of information. I love it. 🤩🤩