Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! I love how Xiao Le gloms onto Guang Xi like a little baby duckling, which is why this shot is headlining our post today. So cute! 😍
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! 😉
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! ❤️
Well, this felt like a filler episode, if I ever saw one. 😁
Basically, we get a few things to fill up screen time, in the lead-up to Guang Xi and Mu Cheng meeting in Hua Tien Village – which looks set to happen next episode instead of this.
I can practically feel Show throwing lots of shirtless Guang Xi at us, to distract us from the filler, and y’know what, I’m mollified, I am. 😁
As you might recall, I’d thought that we wouldn’t be seeing much of fit and shirtless Guang Xi for a while, after his brain tumor diagnosis, but whaddya know, Show got around that with a time skip, and this episode, we get shirtless Guang Xi not once, but twice. Oooh. 🤭
I do feel a bit bad for Yi Qian, who’s currently being showered with attention by a loving Guang Xi who only has eyes for her, because he’s inevitably going to fall in love with Mu Cheng again, isn’t he, once he actually gets to Hua Tien Village.
At the same time, as Eda pointed out in our last Open Thread, while it’s true that Yi Qian has dedicated a lot of time into helping Guang Xi recover after his surgery, it’s also true that she has not told him anything about him or his relationship with Mu Cheng, prior to the surgery.
It sounds like she’s told him about how they’d met on the ice, when she’d visited during his hockey practice, but it doesn’t sound like she’d told him that he was never interested in her to begin with.
So yes, it does look like there’s some degree of deception there, which, actually, might help to explain why Yi Qian appears to have some hesitance about her thus far, when it’s come to Guang Xi’s mentions of marriage. Perhaps she has some guilt around that?
Mostly, though, this episode is kinda like a comedy of errors, with lots of OTT lashings (because that’s what most Taiwanese dramas seem to tend to favor) with Guang Xi getting a flat tire, and having his car getting stuck in front of the bus in which Mu Cheng’s a passenger.
Yep, it’s heavy-handed, but y’know, I think we need to buckle in for more of this heavy echoing of past situations, because I think that’s the way Show’s likely to go about jogging Guang Xi’s dormant memory around Mu Cheng.
Of course Guang Xi’s going to overhear Boss Hua trying to intimidate Mu Cheng into dating him, and of course Guang Xi’s righteous streak rears its head, so that he comes to Mu Cheng’s rescue, without Mu Cheng ever seeing his face.
The repeated almost-meet is a classic drama trope, designed to amplify audience angst, and I believe it was popularized by kdramas, back in the day. I think we need to buckle up for more of that too, at least until Mu Cheng finally sees Guang Xi face to face.
The most endearing moments for me, this episode, are the ones where Xiao Le (whom CarpControl pointed out was named after the rescue bird! Ha, I don’t know why I never made the connection before. Thanks, CarpControl!) gloms onto Guang Xi, with stars in his eyes.
There’s just something so pure and innocent about the way Xiao Le just decides that Guang Xi is his alien dad, that I can’t help melting a little, even though I still think the alien dad concept is very weird.
Even though I never liked the shoelace thing in previous episodes, it goes down A LOT better, when it’s Guang Xi showing Xiao Le how to tie his shoelaces.
Also, it really is a sweet sight, to see Guang Xi offer Xiao Le his hand, even though Guang Xi had been so perplexed by the strange little boy, in the beginning.
And of course the villagers get Guang Xi drunk, most likely so that Mu Cheng can see his face and react to his presence, without him actually being cognizant of her reaction.
There’s one other person in Hua Tien Village who knows Guang Xi, though, and that is Tuo Ye, who’s suitably shocked at the realization, when he hears Guang Xi say his name, through the closed window.
I’m guessing that Tuo Ye’s going to do whatever he can, to stop Guang Xi and Mu Cheng from meeting, but y’know, I’m not sure that there’s anything that he can do, really.
By drama law, these two are fated loves after all, right?
..And we have contact. Finally!
Of course, on hindsight, I can see why Show had Guang Xi intervene to save Mu Cheng from Boss Hua.
It was so that he would be able to greet Mu Cheng in a more familiar manner – thus messing with Mu Cheng’s mind and giving her the impression (at least for a split second) that he actually remembers her.
Yes, Show is a little manipulative that way, but I don’t mind it, for some reason. I think I just enjoy the nostalgic feeling of watching a retro drama.
One thing that I do find not sitting so well with me, is the way Tuo Ye has all this anger towards Guang Xi, as if Guang Xi’s the rat for not coming out to look for Mu Cheng, for the past 6 years.
Additionally, Mu Cheng herself has this wistfulness around the same thing, that Guang Xi hasn’t sought her out, in the 6 years that have passed.
I think they – and Show – might have forgotten one important thing, and that is, Mu Cheng’s the one who had made such a big show of leaving Guang Xi.
Sure, she’d done that under the influence of President Mom, but Guang Xi didn’t know that. Even if he’d retained his memories, he would probably still believe all the terrible things Mu Cheng had said, when she’d abandoned him.
And Tuo Ye had been a witness to that. He’d known that Mu Cheng had been the one to leave Guang Xi, even if it hadn’t been her true desire.
All this leaves me scratching my head as to why both Mu Cheng and Tuo Ye seem to think that Guang Xi should have come looking for Mu Cheng, if he’d had any conscience. That.. doesn’t make any sense to me, sorry.
Even if Guang Xi had retained all his memories, Mu Cheng and Tuo Ye can’t blame him for not seeking out Mu Cheng, because she’d essentially told him to get lost, and then gone into hiding.
I think the writing messed up somewhat, there.
That said, I do enjoy the scenes of Guang Xi interacting with Xiao Le. There’s something really precious about the way Xiao Le is so attached to Guang Xi.
I can see why Guang Xi might be growing a soft spot for Xiao Le really fast, even though he’d never intended to be close to the odd little boy.
The whole thing about Guang Xi needing an assistant is obviously just Show looking for a reason for Guang Xi and Mu Cheng to spend more time together while he’s in Hua Tien Village.
So while the writing around it is uber clunky, I do like the idea of Guang Xi getting the chance to spend time with Mu Cheng, so I’m just rolling with it.
Also, I really like the conversation that Guang Xi has with Xiao Le, on the way to school.
The way Guang Xi identifies with Xiao Le on needing injections of crystal energy, and talks with Xiao Le about it in a way that Xiao Le understands, is really sweet. I do love that.
At the same time, I can see why Mu Cheng would balk at the idea of them becoming close. Guang Xi’s only going to be spending a limited time in Hua Tien Village, after all.
What’s going to become of Xiao Le, once Guang Xi leaves, right? I can’t imagine how brokenhearted Xiao Le would be.
For this reason, I can understand why Mu Cheng thinks it would be wiser for Guang Xi not to get too close to Xiao Le.
And of course, it’s the same reasoning that she’d once used, to explain to Guang Xi why he shouldn’t get too close to the rescue bird, nor to her.
The heavy mirroring; it’s all going to come together to jog Guang Xi’s memory at some point, I’m sure.
..Just like giveaway clues like the way Tuo Ye approaches Guang Xi, obviously showing that they know each other from before.
Tuo Ye manages to come up with a cover story for now, but it doesn’t sound very convincing to me – particularly the part where he emphasizes to Guang Xi, that he’s the one taking care of Mu Cheng now.
I’m so sure that at some point, Guang Xi’s going to put everything together, and these will all be clues that will point him to the truth.
First of all, let me confess upfront that I find the Hua Tien folks wayyy too noisy for my personal liking. I feel like if I had to spend as much time with them as Guang Xi, it would very likely drive me up the wall, just from decibel stress. 🤪
That said, I understand that they are in our story for a purpose.
Primarily, they’re there to help Guang Xi appreciate the small town warmth that they represent, and which we see in action, this episode.
The fact that Show amps up the Intended Funny through them, is just Show going for a twofer, and hoping to milk some laughs from this particular style of humor.
The humor isn’t landing for me, about 99% of the time, but I can appreciate the intent behind idea that the small town charm, with its emphasis on relationships and warmth, is the thing that helps Guang Xi see things differently.
Speaking of seeing things differently, this is also the episode where Guang Xi starts to see Mu Cheng a little differently too – which I consider our Main Event.
I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that Guang Xi’s even friendly enough to want to make amiable small talk with Mu Cheng, since what we’ve seen of his personality, post-surgery, has only been his legal shark side, and his smitten-with-Yi-Qian side.
I feel like I haven’t seen him actually be friendly with people he barely knows – my impression is that he’d be more aloof with those – but here he is, making small talk with Mu Cheng, after being bombarded by an entire morning of Hua Tien Village loudness.
It’s a bit of a stretch from where I’m sitting, but I’m willing to rationalize that Guang Xi’s always had this friendly side to him, and we just haven’t seen it in a while.
And of course, there’s also the Drama Thing, where we’re likely expected to believe that he’s inexplicably drawn to Mu Cheng, because theirs is a Fated Love.
I appreciate that Xiao Le’s the Mediation Fairy, and steps in every time Mu Cheng tries to keep Guang Xi at arm’s length from the both of them.
Plus, Xiao Le’s just really cute, so I find that I’m always happy to have a bit of Xiao Le on my screen. 😍
The mechanics are far from refined, but I can appreciate the idea that Guang Xi’s rudely pulled back to reality, when Director He calls him to remind him of his mission at Hua Tien Village, and thereafter, is conflicted when facing the Hua Tien folks.
The whole incident with Uncle Hua wanting to commit suicide, and everyone coming together to talk him down from it, also isn’t very subtle, but it effectively brings across the idea, that the humanity in the Hua Tien folks, is getting under Guang Xi’s skin.
Most importantly, this incident brings Mu Cheng and Guang Xi to a friendlier state of being, where Mu Cheng isn’t so adamant about having Guang Xi keep his distance.
And, it’s also giving rise to more honest conversations, like when Mu Cheng tells Guang Xi how upset she’d been at him, in the morning, and then how his assistance with Uncle Hua had changed her mind about him.
Yes, this is a nice step in the right direction.
Mu Cheng manages a pretty believable save, when she lets slip that she knows that Guang Xi’s engaged to Director He’s daughter, by saying that it had been Tuo Ye who had told her this detail.
BUT THENNN. Guang Xi starts getting more memory flashes of Mu Cheng, albeit blurry ones, from the time when they’d been together.
Ahhhh!! Will it be enough for him to put two and two together, and remember their past???