Open Thread: Autumn’s Concerto Episodes 16, 17 & 18

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Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! I love this shot of Guang Xi and Xiao Le – aren’t they so cute together? 🤩

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 16

Ok, so the memory flashes continue, but Guang Xi doesn’t manage to connect the dots quite yet.

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HOWEVER, the father-son moments between Guang Xi and Xiao Le are so precious this episode, that it’s all good.

Like when Xiao Le runs home crying, and Mu Cheng’s words of consolation don’t do much good, it’s nice to see Guang Xi step in to carry him and coax him with a story of Santa Claus.

I mean, that’s exactly the sort of thing I’d expect a dad to do in this situation, so it’s extra heartwarming to see Guang Xi and Xiao Le in this father-son sort of space, even if they don’t realize that they really are father and son.

It’s so cute that Guang Xi manages to not only comfort Xiao Le and stop him from crying, but even gets Xiao Le all psyched up to protect Mu Cheng, “like a man.”

Tee hee. That’s so cute, coming from Xiao Le.

We’re also getting glimmers of closeness growing between Guang Xi and Mu Cheng.

It’s all technically platonic, in that, I wouldn’t say that Guang Xi is cheating on Yi Qian in any way, but there’s a more personal dimension to their interactions now, which feels like a step forward towards Guang Xi reconnecting with the Mu Cheng from his forgotten memories.

Like the way he tells her that she has a nice smile, and asks that they be friends.

Significantly, Mu Cheng agrees to the request, where before, she would have backed away with some kind of excuse. She’s letting down her guard around Guang Xi too, and that’s nice to see.

Mu Cheng going off on a thoughtful tangent about Xiao Le’s father, telling Guang Xi what she feels about him and what she’d like to say to him, is pretty poignant, in a retro-melo sort of way.

Clearly, she’s taking this chance to say the words to Guang Xi, even though he doesn’t know that the words are meant for him; that she doesn’t hate him, and wishes him a happy life.

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“Actually, I really want to thank him in person. I want to tell him… Thank you. Thank you for giving me Xiao Le. This kid, is the best gift ever in my life.”

This scene really does bring a nice amount of feels – as long as you have your retro melo lens on.

And, it looks like Mu Cheng getting all emotional, has a visceral effect on Guang Xi too; he looks like he’s got tears in his eyes, just from listening to Mu Cheng share her heart.

Possibly because of this, it feels rather significant, that when Xiao Le asks Mu Cheng if Guang Xi can be his alien dad at Parents’ Day in school, Guang Xi actually looks a little disappointed, when Mu Cheng tells Xiao Le that Guang Xi isn’t his dad. Aw.

On a completely shallow note, I have to say that I am rather appreciative of the fact that Show is dressing Guang Xi in these short-sleeved deep V-necked t-shirts. The strong-looking arms, and the glimpses of those pecs; it’s all very nicely distracting, ahem. 😁

It’s completely predictable that Guang Xi does show up at Parents’ Day dressed as Xiao Le’s alien dad, and I gotta give it to him; he really leans into the role, showing up all dressed up and with a fancy alien car, to boot.

It’s lovely to see he and Xiao Le having such fun together, in, again, such a father-son sort of space.

It’s little wonder that it brings tears to Mu Cheng’s eyes; she’d never imagined that Xiao Le would be able to have such an experience with his dad, after all. 🥲

That said, what WAS a big surprise, to me at least, is the way Xiao Le admits that he knows that his father isn’t an alien, and that Guang Xi isn’t his dad; that these are all stories that Mu Cheng had made up, so that he wouldn’t be sad.

OHMYGUH. So Xiao Le’s been playing along, all this time, for Mu Cheng’s sake, even though he’s known for a long time, that he doesn’t have an alien dad who’s receiving those signals that he’s been sending through the broken radio?

How precious is he?? Glug. 😭

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Back to Show’s memory-jogging efforts, I realize that with one rollerblading arc, Show manages to not only link us back to Guang Xi’s childhood memory of rollerskating with is dad, but also, to that time when he’d taken Mu Cheng on the rink, and they’d come up close and personal, when she’d almost fallen – just like she’s almost falling now.

That’s.. rather impressive, isn’t it? 😁

And, it does seem to trigger more memory flashes in Guang Xi, even though they’re still blurry and indistinct, at this point. He doesn’t make the connection to Mu Cheng, but it does seem to give him pause, along with Mu Cheng’s sudden jumpiness, at their moment of hyper-proximity.

How nice of Guang Xi, to have quietly fixed the fan for Mu Cheng and Xiao Le. Again, it’s one of those things that you kinda expect “the man of the house” to do, and it feels rather meaningful, that he’s fulfilling that role so naturally here.

As Mu Cheng offers to tell Xiao Le actual stories about her and his non-alien dad, I can’t help but wonder if Guang Xi might overhear some of those stories, and therefore have more of his memories triggered. 😋

Episode 17

Ok, so Guang Xi doesn’t end up overhearing the snippets of story that Mu Cheng tells Xiao Le, but he does ambush her in the hallway with what feels like a more smoldery look than absolutely necessary, as he checks whether she’s applied medicine to the wound on her leg.

And when Mu Cheng tries to dismiss the need for any medicine, he grabs her by the wrist (so classic, but done with care and concern this time, so this is better than the average classic drama wrist-grab) to lead her to the living room so he can put on the medicine himself. Ooh.

That does feel rather personal, yes? I guess Guang Xi’s taken their friendship handshake to heart, and is dispensing with formalities for good?

When Mu Cheng’s tears are triggered by a sudden rush of memories of the times she’s shared with Guang Xi, I like that she turns it into an opportunity to thank Guang Xi for everything that he’s done for her and Xiao Le.

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That feels more believable and organic than a simple, “No, nothing’s wrong, I’m not crying,” and it really is how she feels, as well.

And, it’s true that some things just don’t change.

When Mu Cheng asks Guang Xi why he’s so good to them both, his answer totally echoes what he’d once said to her, “I’m just that kind of a domineering person; once I get involved, I just can’t let go.”

It’s a reasonably nice segue into our next main arc, which is Guang Xi promising to work hard to help the people of Hua Tien Village – and then running right into a roadblock, in Director He.

That “you love eating your hair” moment, where Guang Xi brushes Mu Cheng’s hair out of her face, feels completely random and intrusive, and this is the first moment that I feel like Guang Xi’s behaving inappropriately, considering that he’s engaged to someone else.

I suppose Show just wanted to keep the burgeoning bond between Guang Xi and Mu Cheng front-and-center, while Guang Xi learns more about why Director He is so set on buying the land that Hua Tien Village sits on, but.. yeah, that was weird for me.

I wasn’t so hot on the whole arc of everyone getting angry and disillusioned with Guang Xi, but I’m mollified that this doesn’t drag out for very long, and pretty soon, everyone’s agreed to give Guang Xi another chance to prove that he’s there to help them.

On another note, again, I find Tuo Ye’s anger towards Guang Xi unwarranted.

The way Tuo Ye gets all upset talking about how Guang Xi had gotten together with Yi Qian right after his operation feels completely misguided. I mean, the guy had lost his memory, ya know?

He’d had no idea that Mu Cheng existed; he only knew that he woke up to a sweet and helpful Yi Qian, who reminds him that they’d met on the ice.

Is it so wrong that he’d believed her, since he’d had no other memories to speak of?

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Grumble. I just wish that Tuo Ye would get this straight, and stop blaming Guang Xi for things that were completely out of his control.

As we close out the episode, Guang Xi starts piecing together the various fragments of information, to land on the hypothesis that Huan Yu’s glass factories have contaminated the underground water in Hua Tien Village, and it looks like they’ll have a case, if they can only prove it.

Happily, Guang Xi looks rather confident about this?

Episode 18

We spend the bulk of this episode with Guang Xi working on securing evidence for the case, but I’ve got this screenshot headlining this episode, because this is the episode where Guang Xi definitively misunderstands that Mu Cheng and Tuo Ye are in a romantic relationship.

He picks up this idea from the various touches that he’s seen Mu Cheng and Tuo Ye exchange.

First, last episode, when Tuo Ye holds Mu Cheng’s arm, and now, this episode, when Mu Cheng holds Tuo Ye’s arm. I suppose it’s a reasonable conclusion, particularly given how territorial Tuo Ye gets around Mu Cheng?

The way Tuo Ye works with Guang Xi on the case, reminds me of how they’d worked together to defend Mu Cheng at the university Hearing, all those years ago. It’s a touch nostalgic, really.

Back in Taipei, where Guang Xi takes Uncle Hua to see Yi Qian, I’m actually quite impressed that Yi Qian tells Guang Xi that she will support him, even though the case that he’s working to prove, will be to her father’s disadvantage.

I must say, aside from the fact that Yi Qian’s conveniently hidden Guang Xi’s past from him, she really is all-in, in this relationship.

Which makes me wonder how Show is going to justify Guang Xi going back to Mu Cheng, like he obviously will. But I suppose that is a question for another day.

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That said, it does seem like Yi Qian’s feeling some discomfort when it comes to Guang Xi’s so-far-nameless single mom landlady, because her expression darkens each time Guang Xi mentions Mu Cheng or Xiao Le to her, albeit not by name.

I’m guessing that this is because she sees that Guang Xi’s expression is so relaxed and happy, when he talks about them, and about Hua Tien Village.

In fact, when she asks where Guang Xi would take her if they were to elope, and Guang Xi answers with “Hua Tien Village,” Yi Qian’s expression definitely falls.

She isn’t saying anything to Guang Xi about it, and even gives him special diabetic-friendly biscuits to take back to Xiao Le, but it’s clear to see that she’s not suuper happy about Guang Xi being so taken by Hua Tien Village and its people.

On another note, I have to say that this episode, I felt rather sorry for Chi Xin (whose name, hilariously, either literally means “Infatuated” or is a homonym for “infatuated” – how apt, yes?).

She’s hopelessly devoted to Tuo Ye, and she knows that he doesn’t reciprocate her feelings, and likes Mu Cheng instead, and yet, she continues to stay steadfast in her feelings for him, hoping that he’ll come around.

This episode, that scene, where Tuo Ye tries to tell her that he only treats her as a sister, and she keeps interrupting him to change the subject, is pretty painful to watch.

She’s in denial and needs to face the truth, but I can see that she actually knows the truth, and is hurting from it. Aw.

In the meantime, Tuo Ye himself needs to also come to terms with the fact that Mu Cheng only sees him as a friend as well – but again, the heart wants what it wants and won’t listen.

Ordinarily, I find myself rolling my eyes whenever a drama sets up the two male leads in petty competition with each other, but I have to say, it’s much more palatable, when Guang Xi and Tuo Ye are (metaphorically) jostling each other to get on Xiao Le’s good side.

It must be Xiao Le’s cuteness quotient that’s making it work, heh.

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This episode, we finally see why Show has Xiao Le addressing Mu Cheng by name, instead of as “Mom” like most other kids would.

I KNEW that at some point, Xiao Le calling Mu Cheng by name would be an important plot point, and this episode, he calls out her name while in front of Shu Fang Guo, which then jogs Shu Fang Guo’s memory of the Hearing, back at Shende University.

AND, Shu Fang Guo even says to Guang Xi in a very pointed manner, “It turns out you now have your old love so you forget all about your new love.”

OY. That’s essentially telling Guang Xi in big ol’ blinking lights, “HELLOOO, you have a love connection here from your past!!!”

For the first time ever, I’m pleased with Shu Fang Guo as a character, heh.

Guang Xi STILL doesn’t connect the dots, which is a little perplexing, sure, but I’ll rationalize that it’s because he’s too preoccupied with the case at hand, and probably thinks that Shu Fang Guo is talking nonsense to distract him.

The whole thing about Mu Cheng and Guang Xi attending the symposium undercover, feels pretty simplistic, in that I find it hard to believe that they’d be able to get Zhang Zheng Ji to trust them so easily, when he could get into serious trouble for it, but I’ll accept it as drama logic.

How convenient, that Guang Xi suddenly needs to defend Mu Cheng from an inquisitive alumnus, and chooses the cover story that she’s his girlfriend – which requires him to hold Mu Cheng by the waist.

Pfft. Drama logiccc, I say.

And, since this is drama after all, I’m fully expecting Guang Xi’s plan to work out well next episode, so that Hua Tien Village can be saved – all while he and Mu Cheng enjoy some potentially memory-jogging hyper-proximity. 😁

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Jiyuu
Jiyuu
4 months ago

Okay, all these enthusiasm rubbed on me and I ended up picking up where I left off (episode 7) in the group watch.

I think I’m also enjoying it more this time around (it’s a rewatch for me) because I now know the sluggish parts and can just fast-forward through it.

eda harris
eda harris
4 months ago

“makes you feel good” phenomena that warms your heart and brings out all your endorphins are all due to dad-son growing connections and bond, – it is completely natural, swoony and o so adorable! they might not know the truth yet, but their hearts know.
and both of them acting it out as actors – WOW! impressive!

it will be a true sin and tragedy if these two will part their ways after guang xi leaves the village and gets married, never to see each other again. they both deserve to know and live the truth. i think it is time for mu cheng to reconsider her fears and selfishness (to keep her son only for herself), to put her son’s needs above her own, and come clean to the father of her son. they both, the father and son, deserve it. but she is determined to continue with her secrets, (omitting the truth is nothing less then lies), disregarding her son’s heart, aching for a father, especially
now after getting a taste of how it can be and how it can feel. it is truly sad. mu cheng joins the army of people hiding guan xi’s truth, holding his past hostage- she becomes a part of the big lie, and i do not think that i (and i am talking me) would be able to easily forgive mu cheng if she continues with her secrets and deceptions.

mu cheng putting xiao le to bed, and she tells him that his name means “music of early dawn”. somebody earlier in the comments said that his name is after the name of the bird mu cheng and guang xi found together (in the previous life). so which one is the real version of his name? does anybody know?

what is pretty amazing is that mu cheng still has this remarkable ability to bring out the “GOOD” in giang xi. this was the case 6years ago, when she, with no effort, just by being how she is, herself, transformed the jerk guang xi into a very caring, responsible, full of compassion young man. the same is happening right now, she causes guang xi to become again this responsible, caring, compassionate man, seeking to be a true lawyer, go against his future father-in-law, risking his marriage – to fight for justice. and so the contract for the villagers to give up their land ends up in the garbage bin. and this little kid, xiao le, puts him on the right track – he has to be honest with himself.
and just like in the past, they both have this impulse, urge to protect each other and stand up for each other , even that they are not consciously aware of it (like when the villagers gang up against guang xi, she stands up for him).

there is one short scene, but important one, when tuo ye comes to rescue his friend sheng bin, (he’s the grand son of the villager cauliflower) who is being held hostage by the gang of fang ge, so he would not testify that his land was actually stolen from him through a dishonest gambling game. the scene ends up with tuo he and the gang leader fang ge viciously fighting, where by the end, tuo he knocks down a bottle of something toxic and it spills on the face of fang ge. i think that would have some importance further in this drama.

and last, i want to bring up the dirty scam-bag, who in the past represented mu cheng’s uncle in mu cheng’s ordeal, where guang xi represented her. he’s also sort-ah a friend of director he’s family, was the recipient of their scholarship and then was hired by director he to work for his company. this dirt-bag comes with the police to evict the villagers, and then he finds in the crowd mu cheng and recognizes her. here is what he says to guang xi: “certain things never change even if you loose all your memories. your past and your life are pieced together by the people around you. (what can be more clearer than this???) would you feel hatred? would you be discontent if one day you find out that you were the only one who didn’t know something everyone else know?” – this is blunt, cruel and naked. he hits the nail on the head and this is precisely the core of this drama and guang xi’s dilemma for the future. it seems so clear, and yet guang xi does not pick up on it. how?

eda harris
eda harris
4 months ago
Reply to  kfangurl

thanks for the clarification. so complicated!

eda harris
eda harris
4 months ago
Reply to  kfangurl

i appreciate the clarification. so complicated!

CarpControl
CarpControl
4 months ago
Reply to  eda harris

Mu Cheng does name her son after the bird both her & Guang Xi rescued. If I’m not mistaken, even the bird was called Xiao Le…. 🙂
It’s not one way or the other. Both are called Xiao Le, irrespective of the meaning of the characters. I do agree with KFG, Xiao Le’s name characters would most likely have the meaning ‘little happiness’.

Ele Nash
4 months ago

First up, I am on the same superficial squee train, kfangurl. Guang Xi is all kinds of lovely 😍 I actually understood Mu Cheng for the first time, how rattling to be held by him again on the skates, and then him gently applying cream to her injured knee. Yes, I’d look at him all forlornly too. She must be longing for him to really hold her. How lonely.

I actually thought Guang Xi had heard Mu Cheng’s tale of How I Met Your Father and that’s why he looked kind of intense in the hallway. I wonder how much he really is joining the dots, but just not entirely consciously.

As for Tuo Ye and Chi Xin (ah, infatuated indeed) they seem like actually a solid match somehow – but that may be because I want him to have someone who adores him, and she clearly does. I get her feelings too; Tuo Ye is also rather handsome in a reckless-I-shouldn’t-find-you-this-appealing-but-I-do kind of way 😅

I agree that Yi Qian is sensing Guang Xi’s growing love for Hua and is troubled. His (Xiao Le’s) statement of ‘living an honest life’ I think is what really skewered her. As I’ve said before, her not telling Guang Xi about Mu Cheng isn’t exactly lying but I accept it is definitely not very honest so am guessing – despite how much she’s helped Guang Xi in his recovery for six years, loved him, supported him – it will be this omission that will hurt Guang Xi and break them up. I feel bad for her.

But mostly I feel bad for this poor child, Xiao Le. He’s six and shouldn’t carry such a heavy burden of not only not upsetting his mother by admitting he doesn’t believe the whole preposterous alien dad story, but now he also feels he needs to protect her with the horribly troublesome phrase ‘like a man’ 🙄 I mean, jeesh, let him be a boy who daydreams his own make-believe, who’s free to play and refuse to eat carrots! Mu Cheng’s heart-to-heart with Guang Xi was all about the father’s happiness and how she’d come to find happiness from that knowledge. I feel like she needs to consider more Xiao Le’s happiness. What is best for him? Is it just me? I feel so bad for the boy. And I think he does still believe Guang Xi is his dad, even if he doesn’t believe (thank goodness) he’s an alien.

eda harris
eda harris
4 months ago
Reply to  Ele Nash

ele,
 Is it just me?
no, it’s not just you. see my comments above. i also feel that it’s time for mu cheng to put her child’s needs above her own, and allow him to meet his father as his father, and not some uncle or alien dad or whatever… 

eda harris
eda harris
4 months ago
Reply to  Ele Nash

ele,
I feel bad for her.
i feel bad for him.
whatever is coming her way is all her own doing.
i agree she’s a nice girl, but she stole his love, his heart and his PAST. she gambled…