Open Thread: Autumn’s Concerto Episodes 10, 11 & 12

Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! I feel like this picture – and the message behind it – is going to be pretty key to our story going forward, which is why this shot is headlining our post today. 😊

SOME IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS, before we begin:

ZERO SPOILER POLICY

1. 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 develop, later in the show.

We need to protect the innocent! 😉

SPOILER ZONE

2. 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! ❤️

My thoughts

Episode 10

I’d kind of expected that this would a rollercoaster of emotions, given what we already knew last episode.

But, Show’s really bringin’ it, and our OTP goes through so much this episode, that I wonder how they’re going to manage to keep their hearts (and bodies!) intact, through to the finale. 😅

That final date that Guang Xi and Mu Cheng go on, before his operation, is so full of finality and poignance.

First, there’s the possibility that he might not survive, since, even with a 30% success rate with the proton therapy, there’s still a 70% chance that he wouldn’t make it.

Second, Mu Cheng’s made that promise to President Mom, that the moment Guang Xi enters the operation theater, she’ll leave him.

Guh. That’s just too much, altogether, so this date feels like a final farewell, even as I watch the two of them share some sweet and happy moments.

I will say, though, that that kiss at the swing, is heart-wobbly, swoony stuff. Spazz. 🫠

The stop at the photo studio is a nice idea, and I get that this is to capture the moment for Guang Xi and Mu Cheng, while providing a reason for Guang Xi to have a lucky bracelet – which has a memory chip inside (which I’m sure is going to be important to our story, later on).

However, I have to admit that I found the execution a bit stilted and stagey, with the photographer waxing philosophical about the magic of photography and how it can capture the moment so that you can keep it forever.

It.. kinda felt like he was giving an impromptu TED talk, from where I was sitting. Sorry. 😝

Likewise, the scene at the church felt quite stagey and stilted too, but I appreciate the sentiment, that Guang Xi’s ready and willing to give Mu Cheng his “I do,” even though he doesn’t know how his future will unfold, or if he will have a future at all.

I feel bad for him, that Mu Cheng balks at his “I do,” because this was meant to be a romantic, meaningful moment, and instead, Mu Cheng’s running away, likely out of guilt, because she knows that she’s about to abandon Guang Xi, as per President Mom’s orders.

It’s like Show knows that it’s a hard time for us viewers, coz it serves up a good dose of shirtless Guang Xi, almost like to make up for the angst it’s putting us through.

And y’know what, I’m not about to complain about Show trying to make up for the angst, because, as we’ve seen, Vanness Wu is pretty fit and fab, underneath his shirt. 😁

I do feel terrible for Guang Xi, though, because he’s telling Mu Cheng that she’s the first person he wants to see after he wakes up from the operation, and.. we all know that she’s not going to be there.

Also, if Guang Xi only knew what President Mom’s doing without his consent – switching his doctors and his treatment AND getting rid of Mu Cheng – I’m pretty darn sure he wouldn’t be earnestly telling her that he will do his best to learn how to be a good son.

But, I get that Mom sincerely believes that she’s doing the best possible thing to maximize Guang Xi’s chances of survival, so I do cut her a bit of slack.

It’s still cruel of Mom to tell Mu Cheng to leave, the moment Guang Xi’s wheeled into the operating theater. I mean, couldn’t she give Mu Cheng some time? Let Mu Cheng at least have the assurance that Guang Xi survives this thing?

But I suppose President Mom wasn’t prepared to take the chance that Mu Cheng would change her mind and refuse to leave, which I suppose was always a possibility in her mind.

I still think that Director He’s characterization leans almost cartoony, in the way he’s so determinedly underhanded and manipulative around Guang Xi and the potential of Guang Xi dating Yi Qian.

However, I do think that that’s just part of the melo territory, and I shouldn’t be surprise if Director He gives us more of the same, even after this surgery is over.

OH. MY. GOSH. It’s so dramatic, that Guang Xi wakes up from the anesthesia, figures out that it’s all a scam by his mom, and runnnns over to Mu Cheng’s house, to look for her.

It’s all very melodramatic, the way Mu Cheng forcefully lies to Guang Xi, that he can’t give her the sense of security that she seeks, and that’s why she’s leaving him for Tuo Ye.

Man. You really really need your heightened melo lens for this, otherwise you’d be in danger of tearing your hair out. 😝

I hate that Mu Cheng lies to him and then leaves him.

I was so worried that Guang Xi would literally collapse and die, from running after Tuo Ye’s truck.

I mean, he’s got a brain tumor, AND he’s running barefoot in traffic, while still groggy from the anesthesia. A lot of stuff could have happened to him, right? 🫣

And then, we get that heartfelt, selfless, loving letter that Guang Xi had sent to Mu Cheng, where he tells her how he’d like her to not cry for him, and to live a happy life, if he doesn’t make it. Egaad.

Talk about rubbing salt into a wound, Show. Do you have to hurt Guang Xi like this?? 😭

Episode 11

Ha. Just when I think I’ve got Show’s number, and can guess what it’ll get up to next, it ups and surprises me by going where and when I don’t expect it to go. I rather like that, actually.

What I’m referring to, of course, is the time skip – but first, let’s talk about what happens before that time skip happens.

Dang, that Mu Cheng is actually moved by Guang Xi’s letter, and asks Tuo Ye to stop the van – but decides to leave again, when she sees that Guang Xi’s no longer running after them.

Duh, of COURSE he’s not running after the van anymore, because, 1, he’s still groggy from the anesthesia, and 2, he’s just been stabbed by Uncle Cai, which, EGAD.

Poor Guang Xi. Talk about kicking a guy when he’s down.

I’m glad that Uncle Cai doesn’t get away with it, and I’m also relieved that President Mom and Lawyer Lin arrive in time, to get Guang Xi the help that he needs.

On that note, I do find it a stretch that the doctors would deal with Guang Xi’s stab wound AND his proton therapy, in one fell swoop.

I’m no doctor, but based on what I’ve seen in shows like Dr. Romantic, it seems to me that the more realistic way of approaching this, would be to split up the surgeries, so as not to stress Guang Xi’s vitals too much.

But, since realism is really not one of Show’s priorities, I’m adjusting my lens, and just rolling right along.

AND THEN WE TIME SKIP.

Gosh, this did feel like quite the surprise to me, because I’d expected us to continue our story, from when Guang Xi first wakes up, post-surgery.

Instead, Show fast forwards us to 6 years later, when Guang Xi’s pretty much all recovered, and is a successful lawyer, even, and Mu Cheng’s living with their son, Xiao Le, in Hua Tien Village, which is Tuo Ye’s hometown.

Aside from feeling quite surprised by Show’s choice, I’m actually quite happy to have been able to skip past what must have been a difficult recovery for Guang Xi, and a challenging pregnancy for Mu Cheng, being a single mum.

Sure, the new 6-year-later present has a try-hard cutesy-happy vibe about it, but y’know, if I think about this as what I get in exchange for skipping out on what must have been a really angsty stretch in our characters’ lives, it doesn’t feel like such a bad deal after all? 😅

I find it really weird that Xiao Le addresses Mu Cheng by name instead of as “mom” or “mama,” because that’s just not A Thing, in Chinese culture.

But, I’m assuming that there is some kind of narrative purpose for it – like Xiao Le inadvertently spilling the beans about Mu Cheng’s identity, because he refers to her by name – so I’m just rolling with it for now.

Although circumstances have changed, it feels like Mu Cheng’s essentially the same, in that she’s still an earnest pure-hearted person, working hard for the sake of her family, while getting misunderstood by others, and being hit on by oily older men.

Okayyy. I can understand that Mu Cheng would have poured all of her time, effort and resources into Xiao Le’s health, while not caring about herself or anything else, since it looks like Xiao Le suffers from diabetes, poor kid.

Meanwhile, Guang Xi’s had a haircut!! Ahahaha!!

I know it’s a minor plot point, but since so many of us didn’t love the initial ‘do that Show gave him at the beginning of our story, I thought it was worth a mention, and a celebratory whoop? 😁

Not only does Guang Xi have a snazzy new haircut, he looks healthy and successful, and that’s all good stuff, yes?

On the not-so-upside of things, it looks like he’s lost his memories, which explains why he hasn’t tried to look for Mu Cheng, and also, why he seems so unperturbed by everything that’s happened in the past. He can’t remember any of it, that’s why.

More disturbingly, it seems like Guang Xi’s embraced President Mom’s way of thinking about things – he’ll take on any case and win it, as long as he gets paid well for it.

Eep. That’s not the Guang Xi we know, at all.

Not only that, Guang Xi’s all lovey-dovey with Yi Qian, and he wants to spend the rest of his life with her. Interestingly, though, Yi Qian seems hesitant, when he brings it up.

Is it because she feels some kind of guilt about not telling him about his past?

Or because she feels intimidated by the idea that he’ll regain his memories one day, and change his mind about their relationship?

It’s a tough one, because I’m sure Yi Qian’s done a lot to help Guang Xi through what must have been a really difficult period in his life.

And yet, I’m rooting for him to regain his memories, and find the love of his life, whom he’s lost – and the son he doesn’t yet know that he has.

Episode 12

I find it so bizarre and quirky of Mu Cheng, to have told Xiao Le that his father is an alien. An alien!

Of all the cover stories she could have come up with, this one seems to have the least longevity? Because as Xiao Le gets older, one of the things that he’ll surely learn, is that aliens roaming Earth and falling in love with humans and having little alien-human babies, is not quite A Thing?

As it is, even now, when he’s just a little kidlet, his friends are already telling him that it can’t be true that his father’s an alien.

But ok, I rationalize that perhaps Mu Cheng thinks of Guang Xi as belonging to a different world, and the closest thing she could come up with, is that he’s an alien..?

I really give props to Tuo Ye for having faithfully stayed by Mu Cheng’s side all this time, watching over her and helping her with Xiao Le, even though he probably knows that Mu Cheng won’t ever like him back.

And also, even though his mother is nagging at him and pressuring him to get married to someone else.

That is such a classic long-suffering second lead thing to do, honestly. I hope Show gives Tuo Ye a happy ending somehow, even though I know Mu Cheng will never love him – other than as a friend.

As Show ramps up the runway for Guang Xi and Mu Cheng to cross paths again, it seems like Show can’t resist complicating things as much as possible first.

Because, Guang Xi actually proposes to Yi Qian now, and she accepts – all with the glowing approval of both Director Dad and President Mom, who think that this is the most beautiful thing ever, even though Lawyer Lin has his reservations.

In the long pause before Yi Qian accepts, however, we do get some flashbacks to when she had helped Guang Xi with his recovery and physiotherapy, and – dang – that whole shoelace tying thing, with the rabbit rhyme, is the cringiest thing. 😝

This makes me very grateful that I’m only seeing this in flashback, and not having to watch this in real time, where it would likely have been repeated ad nauseam. 😅

It’s only after this, of course, that Guang Xi starts getting those flashes of memory, triggered by the similarities that his case bears, to Mu Cheng’s case from 6 years ago.

Ahh. I knew there had to be a reason that this current case also features a sleazy older guy taking advantage of a young girl, who’s now being accused of seducing him.

Guang Xi doesn’t manage to connect the dots, but viscerally, it seems to trigger something in him, since he ends up punching his client – and having to do community service, as penance.

Which, of course, is what will cause him to cross paths with Mu Cheng again.

Y’know, in some ways, this show reminds me of my second ever kdrama, 2004’s Save Your Last Dance For Me, where Ji Sung forgets the love of his life, but ends up falling for her all over again, when their paths cross, later on.

I loved that idea, that he would inevitably fall for her all over again, despite losing his memories of her, which just confirms their love from the first go-around. Like, even with a blank slate, I would choose you all over again – swoon.

And, I get the feeling that we’re going to explore that same idea here, with Guang Xi heading right into Mu Cheng’s path, with no memory of her.

I’m ready to lap this up, y’all. Bring it on, Show!

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eda harris
eda harris
1 month ago

one more thing that is buzzing in my mind, the reason i am so upset with all the people that supposedly love guang xi – his mom, her lawer, yi qian and her father.
all of them decided to keep his past hidden from him, for different reasons. a person with absolutely no past, is a person with no roots, no foundation, no personality. his personality is being artificially created by these so called people that are supposed to care for him and love him. without his past known to him, they mold his personality according to their own ways of life and want him to be whatever it is THEY WANT him to be and see him as…

and so guang xi has absolutely nothing to go by, he does not recognize anybody, including his mother. he is told that she is his mother, and so he has no choice left but to believe that what they say and where they direct him is the truth and the right way for him.
although we see him now as a successful lawyer, (a cut throat money hungry lawyer), that is not guang xi’s personality at all – this personality, without the knowing the past to rely on, is an artificially created by the people that surround him and guide him. as we know, guang xi is very sensitive about women’s abuse issues, especially sexual abuse. guang xi (from before) would have never taken on this case where a rich old disgusting sleazball rapes a girl and guang xi knowingly decides to defend him and wins his case.
basically, by hiding the past from him, they completely annihilated guang xi himself. if his memory ever recovers, how would he feel about it? and we already see flashes of his past happening, can a deceit and betrayal like this be forgiven?
that is why i am so upset with these people, even that i understand that they think that they are creating a better person for his own good. but this kind of excuse is not good enough for me, and i do not think it is going to be good enough for guang xi.
behind this brilliant young lawyer façade, there must be a lot of pain, missing a part of himself. i can not imagine a situation much more painful and cruel for any person.

Ele Nash
1 month ago

Oh, golly gosh, this show is only growing in its melodrama, isn’t it?! I mean, waking up from anaesthesia, having enough wherewithal to figure out Director Mum’s meddling, getting a taxi barefoot and gowned, being totally messed with by Mu Cheng (I really didn’t like her there), chasing a van, and then – argh – evil lecherous stepdad with a blade… 🤯😅 I actually cackled, it was so ridiculous! Also, I swear, I mean, swear, poor Guang Xi got stabbed on his right side of his torso. I was totally gleeful about the gratuitous shower scene later, obvs 😊, but the scar is on his left. Am I going mad?!

Anyway, yikes, I did actually expect the time jump because of the credits, but it was stupid of me not to guess about the amnesia! Of course Guang Xi’s has lost his memory 🤣 This is a soap opera extraordinaire, after all! Still wearing the bracelet, at least. Thing is, I really think he and Yi Qian are a good match and her support, patience (well, aside from shoelaces but, egads, we’d all be irritated by that 😆), she has more than cleared the “second female hurdle” status show seems to be going with. I mean, he was cute with Mu Cheng and everything but really, they only spent at most a few months together, right? Yi Qian has given him SIX YEARS!!! I know I’m “meant” to believe Yi Qian isn’t right for him and he should be with Mu Cheng…🤔 But I am #TeamYiQian. Who’s with me?!

As for Mu Cheng, my gosh. Why hasn’t she fallen for sweetie-pie Tuo Ye??!!! He’s adorable and kind and, yes, he has a mother who immediately gives me a headache (I actually almost stopped watching the whole thing because of her tirade at Tuo Ye at his dad’s memorial thing 😫 No, my brain wept, not more unlikeable, unkind, meddling-for-heightened-drama-reasons characters…) I’m so annoyed at Mu Cheng too for being indebted to some lecherous old man. Be indebted to someone good if you have to be indebted to anyone!!!! I’m baffled. As for the alien story…. WTF?! That kid. She is totally messing with him in a way that goes beyond quirky.

Anyway, I am kind of keen to see Guang Xi meet Mu Cheng again – and for him to finally meet his son. Though they’ll be strangers, of course. Familiar strangers… Oh, kfangurl, I am really still only hanging on watching this show by a thread. I scrolled the episodes and realised there are loads left and I must admit, my heart kind of sank. Can I hold out until the end? I just don’t know 😬

j3ffc
j3ffc
1 month ago
Reply to  Ele Nash

But I am #TeamYiQian. Who’s with me!?

I am with you.

And if you are playground choosing for #TeamTuoYe, I would totally raise my hand for that team, too.

Last edited 1 month ago by j3ffc
eda harris
eda harris
1 month ago
Reply to  j3ffc

j3ffc, sometimes when somebody is that infatuated, the mind is muddled. nobody gets a license to get the person you are in love with by all means possible. with all her intelligence, she went along with the plan. that is why i can not be team yi qian (manipulation is repulsive to me). and hides the past from him. yes, she’s head over heals for him, and so she dedicated a few years of her life to nurture him back to life, she did it because she loved him, so not really a sacrifice. don’t people that love do those kind of things? the other few years she lived with him, of course he’d be grateful to her, but is it enough…? we’ll see where it goes.

Ele Nash
1 month ago
Reply to  j3ffc

Yah! Totally #TeamTuoYe 😍 I found him a bit gawkily cringey in the earlier episodes but his loyalty and patience six years on, his very protective way of ‘fathering’ Xiao Le, and the sensitivity to not foist himself on Mu Cheng, or get angry that she’s so pitifully pining for Guang Xi (while simultaneously doing absolutely diddly-squat to contact him) just makes Tuo Ye beautiful. Which is what makes me even more irritated with Mu Cheng!

eda harris
eda harris
1 month ago
Reply to  Ele Nash

ele, i get you. and yes, it’s a melodrama, and yes it’s a soap opera in a way, but the acting is what does it for me. sometimes the story is not my cup of tea, but if the acting is reaching my emotional center (bad or good), I’ll watch it and enjoy the acting. this drama is this kind of appeal for me. there are quite a few good actings here, but just vanness wu and the boy are worth it.

tuo ye is the most loyal, sweet, good to the core man till the end, he’ll probably be my most favorite character of all dramas. the kindness in his heart can buy a mountain of gold.

mu cheng totally disappointed me in this episode, i hated, hated what she did. as a woman, i can not understand how she could do it to the man she loved.
i understand, that this was the demand from director he and guang xi’s mom in order for them to do the proton treatment and try to save his life. they wanted her out of the picture, because they considered her not good enough for quang xi, and on top they desperately wanted yi qian to take mu cheng’s place for quang xi. the price would be for her to disappear from guang xi’s life. yi qian new this, this is the height of manipulation and with all her intelligence, she went along with it. this is to trap a man in his most vulnerable situation.
to me this is equally disgusting, sorry.

but back to mu cheng. if she would have had some spine, she could have chosen another road, may be explain and come back to him after surgery, disregarding mom and director. it’s just that the cruelty of this situation was totally appalling and shameful. i hated her for that, and that feeling will stay with me for a long time, regardless of what difficulties she encounters.

so ele and j3ffc, am i team yi qian? i can not say it. although she’s sweet, pretty, intelligent and RICH, and i do like her as a character, she’s not telling him about his past, avoiding all together his and mu cheng’s story, even that she knows how strong their feelings for each other have been. that’s promoting a lie, letting him live in a lie. everybody makes mistakes, but some mistakes are unpardonable. that’s how i see it.
ele, wait and see how the story unfolds.

eda harris
eda harris
1 month ago
Reply to  eda harris

one more thing, i do not think i can ever forgive mu cheng, no matter what kind of excuses, motivations she comes up with.

j3ffc
j3ffc
1 month ago
Reply to  eda harris

I totally get your point about YQ helping to perpetrate the deception through her inaction. And agree that MC hasn’t behaved well
either. As the saying goes, we can only change the future but not the past (unless you’re Huang Yu-Hsuan, maybe) so it’s how they act from here on that will matter. I’ll say this: I’m more invested now than I was three episodes ago, so that’s something, I guess.

Ele Nash
1 month ago
Reply to  eda harris

I do love loyalty, Eda! As for Yi Qian, she didn’t actually see that much of Mu Cheng, did she? Especially as she went off to US sharpish. So in fairness, she can’t know how in love Guang Xi was. I also don’t think she was privy to her dad’s and his mum’s meddling schemes. Far as I can tell, her only duplicity was in administering the proton treatment. I wouldn’t say that is unpardonable, especially as his mum instigated that particular plot, and it was to save his life.

eda harris
eda harris
1 month ago
Reply to  Ele Nash

o yes, she was aware of the relationship (remember she even helped giang xi with his defense of mu cheng, he told her why he was attracted to this girl and it sounded serious. when giang xi came to her event for the children and wanted to get out early, there must have been more explanation on why he wants to get out, we are just not hearing all their conversations, but we can read between the lines. she told him to pretend sick.
also she heard about it from the other student who was defending uncle and she was kind of friends with this guy, he was telling her about things. it is not very obvious and can be missed easily.
she also saw him running on the high heels because he lost the bid, she’s not stupid, one does not do things like this for pure fun. and when they were at the doctor’s with the ankle, she heard the conversation mom had with giang xi, wanted them to date, and may be more. and there are more examples that she was aware of their relationship). she new about dad’s and guang xi’s mom plan also. she’s not stupid, there is more to come.

eda harris
eda harris
1 month ago
Reply to  eda harris

also, she new about the stubbing. about him running in his hospital gown in the streets after mu cheng. did she need any more proof of his love for this girl and his TRUE desires?
ele, i understand your desire to defend yi qian. and may be it looks that she would be a better partner for guang xi, but love does not go by this criteria, and this is not a match making.

CarpControl
CarpControl
1 month ago

On my second watch, I finally realized why everything from Guang Xi’s frigid hairstyle to the wardrobe selection, etc. was so dated and frumpy-looking up till now. That’s because the college-arc of the story was literally a long flashback. Autumn’s Concerto is a 2009 drama, so Xiao Le’s timeline is the present.
Guang Xi’s hairstyle (not my favorite) was thus, from the early 2000’s, like 2002-ish. So makes sense, heh?!

I also realized that Mu Cheng named their son after the little bird she & Guang Xi rescued together. I dunno whether to laugh or cry! :’)

j3ffc
j3ffc
1 month ago

I wasn’t expecting the time jump, but I gotta say that I like it. I like this new set of circumstances in our story, except for the fact that there’s a whole new creep trying to “trade” on Mu Cheng’s affections. It’s got to be exhausting to be her.

But getting here has been less than smooth. I can’t remember a clunkier set of expositions than we got in E11 “I guess no one can guess that I had a huge brain surgery and almost became mute!” At least we have the impossibly cute Xiao Le to make up for it (as not-spoiled by @Eda Harris, who was 107% right about him). And among the less-than-perfect adults in E12, I find myself still impressed by Lawyer Lim, who strikes me as the only real adult in the whole room, along with Yi “Emily” Qian, who is decent and lovely and who absolutely doesn’t deserve the heartbreak that is certain to come her way.

Last edited 1 month ago by j3ffc