Open Thread: Autumn’s Concerto Episodes 28, 29 & 30

Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! This is the second to last one!

I’ve got this shot of Xiao Le and Guang Xi headlining our post today, coz not only is it so precious and cute, it’s Xiao Le literally asking Guang Xi the most important, relevant question of all, which will carry us through to the finale next week.

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 28

This episode, you can just tell that we’re closing in on the home stretch.

People are suddenly softening towards each other a lot more easily, and relationships are getting mended a lot faster too.

Do I think it makes sense?

Well, I have to admit, it does feel rather orchestrated and somewhat unnatural, but I’ll take it, because I’m eager for us to get that happy ending that Show’s been promising us, for forever. 😅

For a start, we’ve got President Mom softening up towards Xiao Le, which makes perfect sense, in that Xiao Le’s the most precious little angel there is, and anyone who’s got half a heart ought to soften towards Xiao Le.

However, because President Mom’s been really rather cold and mean to Xiao Le previously, I do find that her change in attitude towards him lands on the slightly unnatural side of things.

Nothing too hard to rationalize though, because, like I said, anyone should be able to soften towards Xiao Le, yes? 😇

Also, the way President Mom gives Mu Cheng a talking to about how she’s not being a good enough mother, also lands on the slightly gentler side of things, all things considered.

Her gentler tone indicates that she’s actually interested in a better environment for Xiao Le, rather than just chewing out Mu Cheng because Mu Cheng rubs her the wrong way.

The next step, then, is Guang Xi softening towards Mu Cheng.

Again, it feels like Guang Xi’s suddenly a little (just a little!) less brusque and rough, in the way that he responds to Mu Cheng.

Essentially, Mu Cheng’s way of talking to him hasn’t changed, and neither has she changed the things that she says to him. And so, I rationalize that perhaps it’s her consistency that’s getting to him, and eroding his prickly facade.

Plus, there’s the thing where I do believe that Guang Xi wants to believe Mu Cheng, even though he doesn’t admit it.

And of course, Mu Cheng getting hurt on his account, not once, but twice, has got to count for something.

First, there’s how her arm got scalded by hot water because she’d gone to visit Ms. Wu on Guang Xi’s behalf.

And then, there’s how she gets stabbed because she throws herself between Guang Xi and the oncoming knife attack by Ms. Wu.

It’s kind of a cliché, yes, but honestly, is there anything that says sincerity as loudly or as clearly as getting hurt on someone else’s behalf?

That said, Guang Xi pulling off his jacket to put around Mu Cheng’s shoulders, instead of clamping down on the wound to stop the flow of blood, is completely unrealistic.

But I suppose that looks more poetic, and gives Mu Cheng the space to continue to encourage and empathize with Ms. Wu.

Guang Xi choosing to reveal the evidence against Mr. Lee also feels rather sudden and drastic, considering that it will likely destroy his career as a lawyer, but it’s true that Show’s been dropping hints that this case is heavy on Guang Xi’s conscience.

What I find most shocking of all, really, is the fact that President Mom doesn’t throw a fit when she hears from Lawyer Lin, that Guang Xi’s basically throwing everything away, in order to bring Mr. Lee to justice.

That is the most unnatural turnaround of all, and I find it really hard to believe that instead of screaming and hyperventilating, President Mom is actually smiling, and feeling a bit proud of Guang Xi.

I.. this does not compute, sorry.

Otherwise, the rest of the reconciliatory arc around Guang Xi and Mu Cheng’s unfolds very much according to Show’s DNA.

Every past event that can be mirrored, is mirrored, from the way Mu Cheng asks for Guang Xi to take a walk with her as a reward, to how she finds an injured baby bird, and rescues it together with Guang Xi.

On a random side note, I was so nervous at the idea of Guang Xi climbing that tree with the baby bird in his fist. The likelihood of him accidentally crushing it in his grasp is pretty high, no? 😅

The important thing is, this works out to be some good bonding time between Guang Xi and Mu Cheng, and it feels like while they’re not quite fully reconciled just yet, they’re most definitely on the way there.

In other news, Tuo Ye’s mission to save Chi Xin takes an ultra dramatic turn, and I’m not sure what to make of it.

I thought I was hearing things, when Brother Fang demands that Tuo Ye exchange one of his hands for Chi Xin’s freedom, along with interest of $1 million, AND TUO YE AGREES.

Woah. What?!? 😱

And, just when I’m thinking that surely Show’s going to find a way to save Tuo Ye’s hand, Brother Fang goes ahead to stab Tuo Ye’s hand, thus (presumably) destroying it. Yikes. 🫣

That’s way more dramatic and violent than I’d imagined Show would get!

Episode 29

I’m remembering all over again, that with this show, I mostly take about an episode to get back into the retro groove.

I found that this episode went down a lot better for me, and that’s most likely because I’ve had an episode to practice having my retro goggles on at all times. 😁

Going back to an earlier point that J3ffc made, I do that J3ffc’s right; Show may not be the best written thing out there, but it’s well plotted.

Meaning, Show’s writers have clearly mapped out from the very beginning, how things are going to unfold, and what’s going to be echoed and mirrored, and how things are going to be interconnected.

It actually didn’t occur to me that Tuo Ye’s mission to save Chi Xin would have any impact on Guang Xi’s reconciliation with Mu Cheng, but this episode, we see that Show interweaves the two, and in a way that feels logical too. Nicely done.

Because, it makes perfect sense to me that Auntie Hua would call Mu Cheng for help, because she’s desperate to raise the money for Tuo Ye and his run-in with Brother Fang.

And of course, that triggers all of Guang Xi’s jealousy glands, which flare up in a big way. 😁

At the same time, Show is careful to show us that both Guang Xi and Mu Cheng are stifling smiles around each other, so that we know that they’re both harboring positive feelings for each other, despite the still-awkward state of their relationship.

It’s a little whiplashy to have both these elements at play in the episode, but that’s exactly where Guang Xi and Mu Cheng are, right now.

One minute, he’s stifling a smile while helping her get her shirt off over her head so that she doesn’t aggravate her knife wound, and the next, he’s stewing in jealousy, from overhearing her tell Auntie Hua that Tuo Ye’s very important to her, and she would never abandon him.

In turn, Guang Xi’s behavior towards Mu Cheng blows hot and cold, and so, it’s whiplashy for her too.

It’s basically whiplashy for everrryone, isn’t it? 😅

Through it all, it feels like Xiao Le’s the stabilizing rock and voice of reason that helps to keep things anchored.

That scene of Xiao Le badgering Guang Xi over the fact that Guang Xi must like Mu Cheng, otherwise, how could they have ended up having him, is cute, and precious for how innocent and focused Xiao Le is, as he tries to talk his alien dad around. 😍

On an unrelated but similar note, I’m also finding myself oddly fond of Gary, Guang Xi’s assistant, who is kinda dorky, but also, very earnest in how he tries to counsel Guang Xi to trust Mu Cheng more.

And it’s really Gary’s words that give Guang Xi cause for pause, where he chooses to trust Mu Cheng and give her the benefit of the doubt, when his instinct is actually to jump to conclusions.

Aw. Gary’s a good dude, isn’t he?

If not for Gary’s words, Guang Xi probably would’ve accused Mu Cheng of pawning her wedding ring, when it turns out that she hadn’t pawned the ring, after all. (What did she pawn, then? I’m curious to know!)

I’m also quite amused that Guang Xi’s latest client is none other than Zhang Ai Li, from our early episodes! Hahaha.

I am inordinately amused that she’s turned multiple marriages into some sort of sport, with her now wanting Guang Xi to represent her for her fourth divorce.

The whole jealousy play involving her, Guang Xi and Mu Cheng is pretty childish, petty stuff, but nothing too out of the ordinary for a classic drama such as this one.

Mostly, even though I kinda wish Guang Xi would speak up for Mu Cheng more, it’s still rather nice to see how much gratification he gets from seeing Mu Cheng get riled up over him.

To him, this is validation, that Mu Cheng still cares about him, and the thought that Mu Cheng still cares for him, makes him happy. So I can see why he would allow it to go on for a bit; he feels the need to top up his Mu Cheng Validation Tank, right?

Meanwhile, it’s nice to see that President Mom’s bonding nicely with Xiao Le, and is even softening towards Mu Cheng, as she realizes that Mu Cheng’s suffered as much as she’d herself suffered, back in the day, as a single mom.

Last but not least, it looks like Tuo Ye’s got the money he needs, to save Chi Xin out of Brother Fang’s clutches. Here’s hoping that that goes well, because I think we’ve had enough drama from that arc already, thank you very much. 😅

Episode 30

Welp. I should’ve guessed that the road to reconciliation and happiness wouldn’t be quite a smooth one, considering that we still have four more episodes to go. 😅

Happily, it’s not all doom and gloom.

For example, I did get a bit of a kick from seeing Zhang Ai Li’s attempt to get Mu Cheng out of the way, so that she can seduce Guang Xi, crash and burn so bad.

Mu Cheng’s right; Ai Li hasn’t changed her ways or her strategies, since their university days.

The difference between then and now, is that Guang Xi isn’t in a place at the moment, where he trusts Mu Cheng implicitly.

If this had been Past Guang Xi, he would’ve never believed that Mu Cheng had ditched him with a text, and left the resort on her own.

But because Present Guang Xi just isn’t sure about Mu Cheng anymore, he takes the text at face value, and gets all kinds of upset – until Mu Cheng shows up and brings Ai Li’s antics to light.

I do buy the idea that seeing Mu Cheng show up and speak with conviction about their marriage, would make Guang Xi question his judgment of Mu Cheng, and help him start to open his heart to her again.

And I also buy the idea that on the inside, Mu Cheng’s all kinds of frustrated, and in the privacy of their room, blurts out her true feelings to Guang Xi – which in turns nudges Guang Xi into admitting his true feelings too.

Ahhh! This feels like progress, doesn’t it?!?

The dinner date that Guang Xi proposes, where they can start over, to find the version of them that they’d been, six years ago, feels so promising.

Back home, it’s nice to see Xiao Le bonding with President Mom with that visit to the beach, for his homework. Excellent assignment there by the school, heh.

Their easy conversation and happy smiles are great to see, and it even seems like Xiao Le’s given President Mom food for thought on her relationship with Guang Xi, which is great.

As a bonus, President Mom even gets some validation from one of the students from Shende University, after that random theft accusation which came out of nowhere.

(Seriously, though, that girl has a problem, accusing a 5 year old kid of theft, and being so belligerent about it! Tsk. 🙄)

The scenes around Tuo Ye going back to rescue Chi Xin are hard to watch; I feel like they ought to come with a trigger warning or something. 😬

I’m glad that they manage to get away in the end, but.. has Tuo Ye really killed Brother Fang? Coz if he has, that would definitely be a problem, and I really don’t want Tuo Ye to have to contend with even more trouble. 😨

In the end, Guang Xi’s dinner date with Mu Cheng doesn’t end up going the way I’d hoped.

First of all, what’s that mysterious text that Guang Xi receives on his phone, that causes his defenses to go up again?

And second of all, why does he keep cutting Mu Cheng off, when she starts to say that she’d like to tell him why she’d left him, six years ago?

And then, as we end the episode, Guang Xi asks Mu Cheng to tell him everything that she might be hiding from him.

Just, what exactly did that text say??

As we close the episode, Mu Cheng kisses him and assures him that everything she says is real and true, but.. will Guang Xi believe her..?

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eda harris
eda harris
1 month ago

finally some life on this thread!!! 6 comments – that’s an explosion for these troubled time on this blog.

ok. so here are my thoughts.
mmmm… those episodes somehow feel to me like 3 dramas were sloppily sewn together into one: 1. our main story with ML and FL. 2. tuo ye and ci xin (it was very much on the periphery up till now. i would probably want to see a bit more of this ark sprinkled around throughout and developed, otherwise it seems too sudden, out of context, not organic with the drama. 3. the arc with the young woman suffering from rape and injustice from the judicial system (guan xi and the verdict). i think i could have lived without these scenes. but of course i understand the intention here, to bring back the original court case with mu cheng, to give MC a chance to bring out the “old guang xi” and bring him into the arms of mu cheng through this. but somehow it did not work for me, or may be it’s just me. may be it’s also that i could not really reconcile with the idea that the wife of the attorney that caused her so much grief is coming to help her and save her and they fall into each other’s arms.

looks like both of our characters want to move on with their lives TOGETHER. whether consciously of subconsciously, mu cheng tries to bring guang xi to the shared past of warmth and fuzziness between them, like taking a walk, saving a bird, fixing his tie – and it’s all her initiative, but he responds and seems to even enjoy. and so do we.
but then comes in the story of tuo ye. she needs the money for him, so seems like she’s trying to pawn her wedding ring. ouuu, i can see guang xi “loving” it!. but then she’s back to her old antics – lies, and sorry, but it annoys even me, and i am not guang xi. when guang xi sees her without the ring and asks her about it she lies. why? no matter how scared she is to tell the truth, if she would have explained, guang xi might have had a chance to understand, if he knows the whole story. may be not happy about it, but at least he wants to trust her. can he trust her if she continues with lies?. and i think she did pawn it, because she did not have the ring on her finger and invented a whole stupid story that she took it off while cleaning. how did she end up next day with the ring on her finger, that is not clear meantime.
then the drama plays on the issue of jealousy, guang xi is jealous about tuo ye, and mu cheng is jealous about the old enemy that is suddenly back on the scene and back on her husband (husband? really? they seem to sleep together in their own house, we do not see her living in another room there, so why is it now two bedrooms with two beds?) but i guess this is to show that they still love each other, since they do not tolerate competition.

and then the last scene by the swimming pool. she wants to tell him (i guess the reason she left 6 years ago), but he brushes her off, that is not important now, just tell me that you still love me and do not lie to me. he would not forgive YQ that she lied, how can he so easily forgive MC? without even knowing the reason. and not willing to know the reason. weird, to say the least. he wants to know the past, but now he does not?
and she just stairs at him with her big black eyes, without blinking, like a dear looking into the blinding lights of a coming car. why doesn’t she insist that he must hear her out, it’s for both of them.
o, well…

Jiyuu
Jiyuu
1 month ago

This is my second time watching the show and it feels much easier than the first one. First time had me rolling my eyes and shouting WTHs all the time just like you all are now doing. Heh. Now, I’ve grown lax and have learned to roll with the show and fast forward myself through the parts that are too much.

j3ffc
j3ffc
1 month ago
Reply to  Jiyuu

Fair enough. But Jeff’s Group Watch Rule 2.34 states that “Thee shall not fast forward through anything on a GW” 😬

eda harris
eda harris
1 month ago
Reply to  j3ffc

right on, j3ffc.
but what is GW?

j3ffc
j3ffc
1 month ago
Reply to  eda harris

“Group Watch” 😉

eda harris
eda harris
1 month ago
Reply to  j3ffc

how stupid can one be????? that’s me.

j3ffc
j3ffc
1 month ago
Reply to  eda harris

There are just too many acronyms to keep track of, Eda!

eda harris
eda harris
1 month ago
Reply to  j3ffc

you are too kind, j3rffc. but i do have occasional “misunderstandings” with abbreviations in general, somehow my brain does not always make the connection. it’s like cutting corners and i am not used to it. but… slowly getting there, as all of you force me to pay attention, so i should be grateful.

Jiyuu
Jiyuu
1 month ago
Reply to  j3ffc

Haha. I wonder what the rules are for 1.01 til 2.33 😆 I’m guilty of a bigger crime, binge-watching ahead (especially if it’s my first time) for GWs!

Ele Nash
1 month ago

This show is totally wiggy on the whole Tuo Ye and Ci Xin storyline 😰 Like, what on earth…???!!! Well plotted, OK fine. But well conceived??!! I say it once more, for the record, what is this show about??!! What is its genre??!!! Whiplash? I’m like a tangle of spaghetti in a washing machine on high spin 😵
Agree with that Tuo Ye’s hand wrapped in a bandage threw me off – maybe the subtitles mistranslated? But mine definitely said “cut off his hand” 😧
And then Ci Xin freaking out was causing me no end of stress. Is she drugged? Definitely traumatised. I kind of thought it’s her who stabbed eye-patch guy but the filming was so bizarre, I couldn’t really tell what was going on, other than: Erm, how is this ever going to end well?
I don’t really care about Mu Cheng’s fate – the show has made it blatantly clear she’ll end up with Guang Xi in a happy family unit with Xiao Le just by the end credits alone. All their shenanigans are kind of pointless really. I get no happy comfort vibes from their tentative reconciliation because I really don’t like Mu Cheng – sorry. Even grandma and Xiao Le feels off because she is so stiff and we’ve been set up all this time to actively dislike her.
But Tuo Ye and Ci Xin are something else. I like their plucky, scrappy spirit and was quite invested in Tuo Ye somehow finding a way to truly love, and be loved, by her. But show’s see-sawing story-telling leaves me with zero idea of how it will resolve or how Ci Xin is going to ever be OK 😭
Side note: My bets are on that Guang Xi is going to redeem himself by defending Tuo Ye in court, right? Betchya.

j3ffc
j3ffc
1 month ago
Reply to  Ele Nash

I think you may be right, @Ele Nash about Guang Xi defending TY in court…. Meanwhile, your comment about not liking Mu Cheng reminds me of something that’s been going on but I especially noticed in these episodes. Whenever GX is going off on one of his long-winded speeches, Ady An’s acting choice is to furrow her brow while staring at GX talking, which makes her look confused more than anything else. I think that contributes to the sense that MC may not be the sharpest tack in the drawer. On a more positive note, though, I did like how MC finally got annoyed and spoke up for herself in these episodes.

Ele Nash
1 month ago
Reply to  j3ffc

😆 Yes, not the sharpest, agreed. I’m not keen on the character overall – I won’t comment on the actress as some parts just don’t gel and she may be wonderful in something else. A bit like our Lee Da-Hae whose character in Chuno was similarly a bit annoying but I thought she was excellent in Robber.

eda harris
eda harris
1 month ago
Reply to  j3ffc

j3ffc,
I think that contributes to the sense that MC may not be the sharpest tack in the drawer.
as an actress i find that her range of expression is very limited. she’s simply boring. don’t know how she’s in other productions.

eda harris
eda harris
1 month ago
Reply to  Ele Nash

ele, What is its genre??!!! Whiplash? 
is it important to label the genre? to me it’s important if the show is intellectually stimulating, emotionally involving, a lesson of some sort, or simply entertaining…

I kind of thought it’s her who stabbed eye-patch guy but the filming was so bizarre, I couldn’t really tell what was going on,
you are right, bizarre is the right description, but it was done intentionally… 

and i share with you your dislike of MC’s character. even her acting is nothing exiting… also, i guess the directing in her case is not too good, although the director succeeded to pull it off with vanness wu and the kid. the kid definitely needed direction, he does not have enough emotional understanding at this age, although he did it brilliantly, i guess again with a lot of help.

Ele Nash
1 month ago
Reply to  eda harris

Oh, but @Eda you said it yourself in your comment, these episodes were like three disparate storylines stitched together – the difference in subject matter and tone is stark. That’s what makes my head spin. Am I watching a fluffy romance, a hard-hitting gangster show, a social injustice courtroom drama, or… What?! For me, the main plot and its subplots work best when they complement each other. Yes, I am conditioned by Western story telling, I concede, but I think this show is an example of how conflating genres into one mash-up can be jarring, puzzling, disconcerting, off-putting. Sure, not knowing what genre a story is doesn’t matter if the story is compelling and interesting and unpredictable (in a good way). Sorry, Eda, my opinion is this show is none of those things. Which is a shame as I like Guang Xi’s character overall and as I said, I think Ci Xin and Tuo Ye are gritty and likable and I am rooting for them.

eda harris
eda harris
1 month ago
Reply to  Ele Nash

ele,
For me, the main plot and its subplots work best when they complement each other.
and compliment they must, or completely clashing but by design.
this one… is kinda “confused”, or the writer/director and may be a few others were drunk or something along this line. this drama was never on the top of my list, but i do enjoy it due to certain elements. for some unexplainable reason it is more enjoyable the second time, just like jiyuu said here. the interaction between guang xi and the little boy is priceless, just this is worth watching this drama, at least for me.

in regards to following one genre, i must disagree with you on that, or better yet i have a different opinion on that. any artist and any art work must have a completely free hand, expression, imagination… but it must work together as a finished product. so they can mix up a gazillion different styles, genres, ideas as long as it works and connects. and it can work, it can even be interesting and fresh. unfortunately, this drama is not such a case, i must agree with you on that.

tuo ye – yes, i am also rooting for him, and he’s a pretty good actor, even that he overplays sometimes, like in the scene with the gangsters.

j3ffc
j3ffc
1 month ago

I figured that the text was news that Guang Xi was gonna be kicked out of the lawyer business, but apparently we will have to wait to find out.

Pretty shocked to see Tuo Le make it into episode 30 with hand intact at all. I’ve been watching episodes out in the sort-of-public and people walking by and seeing those gangster scenes have been giving me the stink-eye. It does seem to be a lot of gratuitous violence and abuse just to get TL and CX together – if that’s where they’re going with the story.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have these scenes showing President Mom with flashes of humanity and growth – just in time, I suspect, for GX and MC to realize that she was behind the abandonment six years ago…