Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! We’ve got this pivotal piggyback scene headlining our post today, because it’s just the cutest, sweetest thing. I LOVE. 😍
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! ❤️
Oh. My. Goodness. What a rollercoaster of an episode this was – and also, what a confident rollercoaster this was.
I’m really impressed with the way Show toggles the two timelines this episode. We’re only specifically told once, which year we’re in, when we open the episode, but thereafter, I never had any doubt which timeline we were in, even though Show moves fluidly between both timelines all the way through the episode. This was really nicely done, I thought.
The other thing I wanted to say, is that Greg Hsu really does an amazing job, this episode, portraying so many different shades of his character.
In 2008, with all the experiences that he’s had, there’s a sadness and wistfulness about him, particularly when he contemplates the past, when he, Junjie and “Yunru” had been happy together. And in 2010, where he’s finally getting to be in Yuxuan’s orbit as Quansheng, there’s a playfulness and amusement about him, that’s tempered by the sobriety that he feels, when thoughts of the past come to mind.
It’s all so textured and distinct, that I can’t help feeling very impressed with the way Greg Hsu has digested the various iterations of his character.
On the lighter side of things, we get to see “Quansheng” on his journey to win Yuxuan’s heart, and it’s sweet and cute, yet also slightly discombobulating, at the same time.
Why I say it’s discombobulating, is because, when I think about it, the only reason “Quansheng” is able to win Yuxuan’s heart the way he does, is because he’d already interacted with as Ziwei, back in 1998. It’s because she’d told him things about her experiences with Quansheng, that he’s now able to lean into that knowledge, to recreate that for her.
Like the joke about meat bun and noodle. He’d first heard that joke from her, in 1998. But she’d first heard it from Quansheng, in 2010. Which means that it’s this neverending chicken-or-the-egg cycle, where you can’t pinpoint exactly who told whom that joke first. It messed with my brain, in the best way, honestly. I love that Show is so good at this.
And then there’s how he already knows that her favorite drink is a hot Americano, from his interactions with her in 1998 – which is how he’s able to win that bet with her, in 2010, which makes her perk up and take notice of him, a little more. Again, that catch 22 sort of cycle. Likey.
On top of this, that moment of tearful vulnerability, as “Quansheng” thinks about Junjie’s suicide, which he’d only heard about in 2010, is also a bit of a catch 22 thing. It’s because of this moment of vulnerability, that Yuxuan opens up to him and helps him feel better by spending time with him during the stock take, but without this time travel business, this moment of vulnerability wouldn’t have happened – or at least, it wouldn’t have happened this way.
More than that, though, I have to admit that I’m completely taken with “Quansheng’s” dreamy smitten looks in Yuxuan’s direction, this episode. Honestly, the fact that she remains unmoved by those looks for so long, is very impressive to me, ha. 😅
I like “Quansheng’s” approach to winning Yuxuan’s heart, which is to take things slow, and build a real connection with her. That feels so much more organic than his original approach, of declaring his love for her at first sight. It’s really through these everyday interactions, that Yuxuan starts to see his sincerity, and it’s nice to see her softening towards him in degrees, as time passes.
One of my personal highlights of the episode, is the birthday cake scene, which is just, so, so sweet.
The entire context is so pure, on “Quansheng’s” part. He’d rather give up his carefully laid plans of celebrating her birthday for her, than have her take on a shift on her birthday, and cancel plans with her boyfriend. That’s thoughtful and selfless of him, I must say, especially since he doesn’t like Yuxuan’s boyfriend one bit.
And then, when Yuxuan gets unceremoniously dumped by said boyfriend, it’s “Quansheng’s” slightly bashful, sincere desire to wish her a happy birthday, that ends up being the birthday celebration she didn’t know she needed.
The moment, when he’s talking to her on the phone, with the candles lit on the cake he’d gotten for her, is just the sweetest thing, and I’d melt to the floor into a big ol’ puddle, in her shoes, no exaggeration. And, his look of wonder, as he realizes that she’s standing right there in front of him, is so precious. I love it.
On a tangent, I really have to wonder which came first, Yuxuan’s love for that flavor of cake (coz we see Cake Dude deliver this exact cake, in our early episodes) and that’s why “Quansheng” made sure to buy this one for her, or if Yuxuan had come to love that cake, because it had been the first cake Quansheng had ever gotten her. Intriguing, yes?
What a great little reward for “Quansheng,” to realize that the lost little girl he’d once taken home, was Yuxuan herself, and she’d remembered him, all these years – despite conveniently (bu understandably!) forgetting what he looks like. How ironic, that Yuxuan had decided to date her now-ex, because he’d done something similar, in taking care of a lost kid.
And then, there’s the scene where Yuxuan asks him what he’ll do, if she ever takes his flirting words seriously, and he turns all serious, and tells her, “If you took my words seriously, I’d never leave you.”
Augh. Melt. That is so swoony, seriously.
Last but not least, there’s the kicker incident, where he proves to be absolute boyfriend material, in the way that he’s so caring, understanding and thoughtful, when she unexpectedly gets her period while at work.
Oh my goodness, the way he carries her home on his back, and tells her that he’ll go buy her dinner and breakfast, so that she won’t have to leave the house while feeling unwell, is just so dreamy, honestly.
It’s no wonder Yuxuan chooses to accept his feelings, and start dating him for real. His delighted look of surprise and wonder, in between whoops of delight, as he gazes up at her, is just so precious and so pure. AUGH. Seeing him like this, and seeing them finally come together as a couple, really made me smile.
..On the other end of the spectrum, however, Show serves up consistent lashings of bittersweet, throughout the episode, via looks into 2008.
Ziwei’s quiet efforts to reconnect with a distant, disillusioned Junjie really tug at my heartstrings. They’d been so happy and so carefree, not so long ago, and now, Junjie’s served prison time for Yunru’s murder, and is unable and unwilling to move past this terrible incident in his life.
Even though Ziwei says that he’s never blamed Junjie, because he just doesn’t believe that Junjie would do anything to hurt Yunru, Junjie himself can’t forgive himself. And it looks like he’s basically in a state of constant torment.
With Gran’s collapse and eventual death, I can imagine why Junjie would decide to end it all, after having one last drink-and-make-up session with Ziwei. It’s his way of mending this last bridge, before saying goodbye to the world. 💔
The sight of Ziwei rushing to the scene, trying ever so hard to make it in time to stop Junjie, but being held back by his bad leg, is so heartbreaking to watch. His best efforts aren’t enough, and – horror of horrors – all he manages to do, is catch a glimpse of Junjie’s last, sad look, before Junjie falls to his death.
SOB. How horrible, for Ziwei, to have determined in his heart, to use this timeslip opportunity to save Junjie – and then have it fail, in spite of his best efforts. The way he crumples, in horror, disbelief and grief, is so incredibly hard to watch. 😭😭
What. An. Episode. Gosh, I’d forgotten just how well-written and intricate this show is. 🤩 But also, Wahhhh, this episode is so heartbreaking too. 😭😫
The puzzle pieces are starting to come together, this episode, and it’s as mind-blowing for me, this time around, as it was, during my first watch.
One of the things I think Show’s excellent at, is delving into a thread, then leaving it hanging while it delves into another angle of our story world – and then going back to that hanging thread, as if we’d never left it hanging in the first place. That makes me feel like we’re playing with one big kaleidoscope, and turning it back and forth, and revisiting certain pictures, as needed. I love that.
I’m glad that we return to the thread where Yuxuan finally meets with Present Ziwei, and I’m glad that he fills her in on all the details, so that she gets a fuller picture of everything.
While part of my brain protests that he could’ve told her all this earlier instead of running away from her while she’d been looking for him, the other part of my brain rationalizes that it’s about timing. It’s only at this point, when Yuxuan knows as much as she does, that it becomes meaningful for her to reconnect with Ziwei, so that they can talk about everything together.
The way Ziwei paints the picture of the never-ending time loop is so mind-bendy, to me. It’s hard to wrap my brain around the idea that Ziwei and Yuxuan are riding different timelines to love each other, where those timelines intersect.
Based on what we find out this episode, this means that there are, essentially, different versions of Ziwei and Yuxuan time traveling and body swapping, over many time cycles, and they just keep reaching for each other, and loving each other, in the little overlaps that they manage to grasp. Oof. That’s painfully poignant, and yet, rather poetic and beautiful, at the same time.
That scene of “Quansheng,” desperate to be with Yuxuan, but realizing that his role in this loop is over, and he needs to get on that plane, in order that Yuxuan would time travel in the future, to meet him in the past, is just so sad to watch. He chooses death, and entrusts Yuxuan to his future self, because that is the only choice that he knows will support this time loop; that will assure him of the chance to love Yuxuan again, as another him.
It’s still sad, though, because, if I understand this whole thing correctly, this is the end of the road, for this version of him. There will be another him in the future, but that isn’t going to be the same him, who’s making the choice to step on that plane. In that sense, his choice is very sacrificial, and.. it’s a lot, to digest. 😭
On top of this, it’s just pretty mind-boggling, that the two versions of Ziwei can not only co-exist in the same timeline, but can talk face to face, even. That’s wild, but it doesn’t break any of Show’s internal rules, which makes it all the more impressive.
I find it interesting that Present Ziwei offers “Quansheng” the opportunity to defy his fate, by not getting on that flight. I wondered what would happen too, if “Quansheng” did that. Like, wouldn’t that give him the chance to stay by Yuxuan’s side, and break the time loop that way?
But then I realized that “Quansheng’s” heart is to save both Yunru and Junjie, and it’s only by allowing the time loop to cycle through once more, that he – or rather, another version of him – would get the chance to save them. Augh. That’s so selfless and loving.
Also, what an interesting idea that Ziwei floats, that it’s by not fighting the time loop, that he actually begins to see glimmers of change. It’s as if these changes are a natural evolution, when the time loop is allowed to run its course?
The other major thing I love about the reunion between Present Ziwei and Yuxuan, is how she welcomes him and loves him, even though he’s no longer Wang Quansheng. She’s so clear that the person whom she’s loved all along, is Ziwei.
I loved the scenes of her welcoming him back, to the apartment where he’d once lived with her. The mix of tentative wonder and gentle familiarity, is quite lovely to see, and I just want these two to finally be happy together, now that they’ve finally be reunited.
BUT ALAS. That’s not to be. 😭😭😭 I’m so gutted, at the direction that our story takes, with Creepy Psychiatrist, and what happens to Ziwei.
First of all, it occurs to me that when Yuxuan had time traveled back to 1998, Yunru had already suffered the attack, which is why she was in hospital. This means that Creepy Psychiatrist had been the first one to time travel, in this drama world. WOAH. 😱 I hadn’t seen that coming, that’s for sure!
This means that Present Day Yuxuan getting knocked out by Creepy Psychiatrist, had kinda been a pre-condition that had to exist, in order for Yuxuan to have time traveled into Yunru’s body in the first place. Dude. This show totally makes my brain feel like it’s on hallucinogens or something. 🤪
Also, what a twist, that it wasn’t Class Monitor who’d attacked Yunru, but Class Monitor’s younger brother, Creepy Psychiatrist, in Class Monitor’s body!
And apparently, Younger Bro had been obsessed with Yunru for a really long time, after seeing her photos in Big Bro’s desk drawer – which is why he listens to his hallucination, and attempts to kill Yunru. What an interesting twist, that it had been Yuxuan calling out to Creepy Psychiatrist, that had ended up saving Yunru from being bashed in the head, to her death. 😳
The thing that guts me the most, this episode, is how Creepy Psychiatrist bashes Ziwei in the head, not once, but twice! 😭😭😭 I mean, Ziwei’s already been through so much, by this point; he’s suffered so much physical and emotional trauma. It just feels so cruel, to allow him to suffer this kind of attack.
How absolutely inhumane of Creepy Psychiatrist, to attack a helpless, physically disabled person like this – and all because of his personal thirst for blood. UGHHHH.
I’m completely creeped out by that final shot of him sitting in that chair, presumably time traveling back to 1998 and trying to finish off the murder that he’d started. But more than that, I’m sooo concerned for Ziwei, who’s suffered serious head trauma. DON’T LET HIM DIE, SHOW!!! 😫😫😫