If nothing else, FTLY has reached another level of senselessness for us in this episode. I don’t mean a deprivation of sensory perception, but a kind of preposterous imbecility that makes you wonder whether you should laugh at its lunacy or reproach its idiocy. You be the judge.
Anson took Cun Xi to a night club so the indecisive boss entangled in a messy love rectangle can get off his poor secretary’s back. The manager that came to welcome the two is an overexcited version of Xin Yi’s mother with the sole distinction of a enormous mole next to the nose (apart from the overblown demeanor). Her name is Gui Fei. (Of course the use of The Four Beauties as the names of the characters played by the same actress, Gui Fei and Xi Shi, is intended for irony. Yet, whether the audience actually appreciate the irony is a different story.) Gui Fei has none of the propriety, elegance, or beauty indicated by her name or the historical figure, which means a rich and graceful dame; she is loud and pops lame jokes like pills.
Gui Fei introduces Cun Xi to the different categories of women in the night club, Cun Xi finally settles for the category called “Post-it Girl, Peal as You Wish”. He and Anson sit down in a spacious cubical, surrounded by women and red wine. After a bit of wait, Gui Fei brings in two post-it girls. The two girls are dressed in … post-its. How does that work? Well you see, if you are completely naked with the exception of three post-its covering the intimate parts, you would be the “post-it girl” waiting to be “pealed” at the customer’s wish. Ingenious, isn’t it? While Anson stares with straight eyes, Cun Xi gets angry and yells for all the girls to leave and put some decent clothes on.
Anson tries to appease Cun Xi and instructs Gui Fei to dress the girls differently. When the post-it girls reentered, they are dressed in the stereotypical office attire: a fitted blouse, a knee length check skirt, an oversized pair of glasses, a pair of flats, and a name tag for authenticity. Cun Xi’s eyes glimmer with excitement. He circles around the three girls in close inspection. (Sir, if you are looking for employees, I believe you are in the wrong place.) Pleased, he tells them he wants to play a game. In the game, he is himself and the girls play the role of post-it girls. He instructs Anson to hand each of the girls a pack of post-its and a pen. If Anson is not yet the omnipotent super secretary Andy Sachs was when she obtained two copies of Harry Potter manuscript for her boss Miranda Priestly before the official publication date, he is close to becoming one. Remember how Anson bought a boat so Cun Xi can take Xin Yi to Jiang Mu Island for her birthday in the middle of the night? He has improved since because conjuring up post-its and pens out of thin air is now a piece of cake.
After each pseudo-post-it girl has a pack of post-it and a pen in hand, Cun Xi orders them to write down everything he says:
Give me a cup of cappuccino, two biscuits, 10 copies of documents in the office. Then call CEOs Chen,-Chang,-Lee,-and-Chao-for-a-meeting. Give-them-each-a-cup-of-coffee-each-but-no-desserts. CancelAllTheMeetingsAfter2pm. JustSendOverSomeBaskets. Alright. Now repeat what I just said.
This guy needs some serious help. The girls look at him like he’s crazy, one of them asked, “If we’re done copying down what you said, can we undress now?” Anson laughs in the background, Cun Xi hisses in dismay. While the other girls retreat to the bathroom for a break from this ridiculous customer, Cun Xi has donned the glasses and name tag from one of the girls. Now a post-it boy himself and half drunk, he yells out some unintelligible sentences now and again. Then he turns to the only girl left in the cubicle and praises her for resembling a post-it girl the most. She introduces herself as Coco and tells him that she used to work in a law firm. Perked up by the similarity between Coco and Xin Yi, Cun Xi asks, “Xin Yi, why have you let yourself go in a place like this?” (Eh, shouldn’t someone ask him that question?) She replies after pushing up her glasses, “I didn’t want to either, but my mom is sick, my dad is in jail, my brother got into a car accident, and my sister is cognitively impaired. I, I have no choice.” Wow, that’s a handful. Cun Xi gets up to spit out his own feelings to Coco, mistaken her for Xin Yi. Finally he stands up, yelling at “Xin Yi” that she needs to be happy before falling headfirst onto Anson’s couch, hitting the poor guy’s “bulging front”. OUCH.
On Jiang Mu Island, Xi Shi has planned her daughter’s schedule for her. Xin Yi is to go on a blind date before staying home the rest of the day, avoiding Cun Xi, who is set to come for the celebration of the bridge’s completion. After the mother and sister’s hard work, Xin Yi arrives at the restaurant for the blind date with a retro hair do and an unflattering floral dress. The guy turns out to be a mix of a benign creep and an incessant talker. Xin Yi rejects him up front, telling him she’s still in love with someone else. He cuts her off and starts to praise Ji Cun Xi at the nonstop speed of 70 MPH. “I know, it’s Ji Cun Xi. He’s the kindest man of all, a model for all the guys. He is said to never drink, never do anything improper. I’m proud of him. …”
Juxtaposed is Ji Cun Xi, naked in a bed shaped like a bird cage, with Anson, naked too, from a night’s heavy drinking. Ironic, isn’t it?
Xin Yi and her date start to talk. She tells him that she can’t forget Cun Xi. The guy asks her why doesn’t she tell Cun Xi she still has feelings for him? Xin Yi shakes her head, “because Cun Xi is going to be married soon”. The date brings up the news that Cun Xi is scheduled to come to Jiang Mu Island at noon for the bridge’s completion. Xin Yi runs away in a haste. The clueless guy chases out, asking Xin Yi if she wants him to tell Cun Xi that she can’t forget him. lol. No thanks. Xin Yi refuses the guy’s kindness and flees home at top speed to avoid meeting Ji Cun Xi.
Cun Xi returns home, fakes an illness to avoid going to Jiang Mu Island. Sighing, Grandma is forced to go in place of Cun Xi.
Xin Yi changes into her usual attire and plans to visit grandma while Cun Xi is on the island for business. Nice plan, she doesn’t have to be shut up in the house all day, she gets to see grandma whom she hasn’t seen for two years, and she gets to avoid Ji Cun Xi. One stone that hits not just two birds, but three. Too bad, grandma is on the island while Cun Xi is sleeping off the hangover in the house.
The Ji family Mercedes is welcomed by the islanders with a poem that starts and ends with “Proprietor Ji, you came./ Proprietor Ji, you really came./ Proprietor Ji, you really, truly came.” and a couple borrowed lines here and there. While the crowd is devoted to welcoming who they thought to be Cun Xi, Xin Yi covers her face with a farming hat and slips away.
When grandma steps down from the Mercedes, Feng Jiao (Xin Yi’s second sister, you know, the one with the “crocodile tears“), who is also one of the representatives set to welcome Cun Xi, lets her surprise slip but quickly covers it up with loud, ceaseless appraisal and invites grandma over to her house after the event. (Is it because I’m allergic to boisterous supporting casts or is the caffeine from my doubtshot on ice wearing off? Why am I having a headache right now?) When grandma ardently accepts the invitation, Feng Jiao’s face turns to a stoic disbelief and asks grandma back, “Are you serious about coming over to my house afterwards?” The grandma nods with the same enthusiasm. Oh the blissful ignorance.
After the event, Anson accompanies grandma to her daughter-in-law’s little cottage. Xin Yi’s oldest sister happens to return home. The moment she and Anson cast eyes on each other, a pulse of electricity serges through both of their bodies, strong enough to kill a dozen mice. Their gaze meet, for 30 seconds, they stand motionless, flirting silently… Until Xi Shi drags her daughter over to the other side. Never thought Anson would be paired up with her. Xi Shi chastises her daughter for flirting in public, the daughter quickly explains that Anson asked her out to a café in 101. She asked him back if he’s paying. He said no, she’ll be paying for herself. She rejected him. He told her he’s sad. Anson turns to grandma and explains to her that Xin Yi’s sister just asked him out. She wanted to go fishing with him at 8. He rejected her because the sun is too big and hot at 8, he wanted to go in the afternoon instead. She is sad that he rejected her.
Xi Shi isn’t too thrilled to see grandma Zheng Zhu and reminds her of the poster at the house door: anyone with the surname of Ji shall die. Zheng Zhu argues that her surname isn’t Ji. She married into the Ji family, so technically, her surname is Wang, her maiden name. Once the issue of the name is clarified, the two women sit down on the bench to bond while Anson and the oldest daughter stand in the middle of the room, continuing to stare at each other and letting the electric pulse travel from one end of the room to the other.
Xin Yi comes to the Ji family door. She rings the door bell and waits. No one answers the door. Not even a maid. Not even Cun Xi’s opportunistic step-mom. (Not that I wanted to see her, but where has that woman been lately?) Xin Yi rings the door bell again. Still no one. She starts to ring the door bell at the rate of once per second. Cun Xi starts to toss and turn in bed, he ignores it at first, but Xin Yi continues to press the door bell. Finally, fed up from the vigorous bell ringing, he gets up to answer the door. He swings the door open and bawls at the other end, “HOW MANY TIMES DO YOU HAVE TO RING THAT BLOODY BELL?” (Seriously, whoever rings a door bell like that in real life is, for the most part, either rude or asking to be yelled at.) But when Cun Xi sees Xin Yi outside the door, he quickly shuts the door and turns to arrange his shirt and hair. Xin Yi, on the other side, realizes it’s Cun Xi at the house, nimbly fixing her hair and straighten her glasses. When the door is opened again, the two face each other with a staged smile. This quick appearance check has a comical effect.
When they are face to face again, Xin Yi blurs out, “Weren’t you at Jiang Mu Island?” “Oh, I had a headache.” “I see. Here’s a present from Master ZhangShan to grandma.” Xin Yi leans over to hand Cun Xi the bag for a long time. He doesn’t take it. Awkwardness. Then it hits him, “Did you purposely come at this time because you knew I was supposed to be at Jiang Mu Island?” Anyone in their right mind would deny, so does Xin Yi. She asks back, “Did you know I returned to Jiang Mu Island, is that why you decided not to attend the event?” Cun Xi denies back, “I have a really bad headache.” Xin Yi takes a step closer, “You have a headache? Is it because you’re still sick from the cold?”
Memories of the (half) passionate kisses at the hotel come to mind at the mention of the cold. Cun Xi inquires, “You still remember I had a cold?” Realizing that she is exhibiting perhaps too much care for him, Xin Yi takes a step back and laughs nervously, “Oh no. I don’t remember. I TOTALLY forgot.” To also appear nonchalantly, Cun Xi slips, “I forgot you kissed me that night too.” (Trust me, he wasn’t sarcastic, I just don’t know how to not make it come off as being sarcastic.) Now he adds embarrassment on top of the awkwardness. She lamely explains that kissing is also a form of salutation. Cun Xi thinks to himself, “I don’t know anyone who salutes another with a French kiss.” Xin Yi hands Cun Xi the bag of present from ZhongShan Long, he finally takes it. Once Xin Yi has delivered the present, she makes an exaggerated gesture to point at her watch, trying to convey that she really wants to stay but unfortunately, her friend is waiting for her, so she has to go. Right then the maid yells, “Oh no! Ji Bao Bei is going to give birth!” OH so HERE is the maid. Where was she when Xin Yi was ringing the 8237493825th bell?
Cun Xi drags Xin Yi in the house to help with the dog’s labor. Cun Xi considerately sets up a camcorder to record the process of the dog giving birth, thinking grandma would sulk if she knows she misses the dog’s birth. (Bet you anything, that camcorder is going to cause trouble.) Then together with Xin Yi, Cun Xi helps Ji Bao Bei give birth. PS: the puppies are cute!
Anna comes running in the room and sees Xin Yi with Cun Xi. Embarrassment just went up two degrees. The maid (oh NOW she’s everywhere?) enters the room to tell Cun Xi the vet is waiting downstairs for someone to take the dogs down. Fight and flight tells Cun Xi instinctively that he should flee the scene ASAP. So he takes the dogs downstairs to the vet and tries to rush back up to break any quarrel between the two women. The vet is, let’s say slightly awkward. (Well it’s Jam Hsiao’s first acting experience, and he shines in the music industry, not the acting domain. So, I’ll give this shy rising star a break.) Before Cun Xi can walk back upstairs, the vet stops him to discuss the post-labor treatment. Cun Xi brushes the inquires aside and tells the vet to decide for him and heads back upstairs. But the clueless vet stops Cun Xi again to promote a few programs. Cun Xi impatiently tells the vet to decide himself and heads back upstairs. The vet stops a worried Cun Xi a third time…
Upstairs, Anna tries to make conversation. “You turned pretty” she starts. Xin Yi politely thanks Anna. Anna continues, “I’m sorry about your abortion two years ago. Believe me, it was one of my saddest, darkest days too.” Xin Yi avoids the discussion of Ji Nian Ping and asks about Anna’s impending marriage instead.
Downstairs, the vet is still promoting the post-labor treatments. Cun Xi covers his eyes in despair.
Xin Yi tells Anna that the moment she took the abortion documents from Anna two years ago, she had lost all hopes for Cun Xi to accept her. She used to think Cun Xi cared about her and the baby, but she was wrong. Having said all that, Xin Yi puts down the box of tissue to leave. Anna apologizes one last time and begs for forgiveness. Cun Xi finally rids himself of the vet. But when he walks up, Xin Yi has decided to leave. He watches as Xin Yi walks down the stairs. Anna on the other hand, cheers up and suggests to Cun Xi to visit the dog at the vet, as if nothing happened.
Once Xin Yi left Cun Xi’s house, she promises herself once again to stay away from Cun Xi. Then she takes the last boat to go back to Jiang Mu Island. She sets her foot on the island, sensing someone behind her, she turns happily, calling out Ji Cun Xi’s name. It’s Dylan, all the way from Shanghai. What a heartbreaking moment. Dylan is now fully convinced that Elaine has reverted back to Xin Yi.
Back at Xin Yi’s house, Xi Shi treats Dylan coldly, and calls him “Retard”. (Retard and Dylan sort of sound alike. In butchered English that is.) She thought Dylan dumped Xin Yi and is now coming back for her. He listens to the bombardment patiently and waits until the mother and sister are finished before telling them that he is the one being dumped. Once that’s clear, the mother and sister turned 180 degrees and warm up to Mr. Retard immediately. They hint at Dylan serveral times that Xin Yi is still young, and hope the two can get back together. The thing is, they’ve never really started.
After dinner, the mother and sister lock Xin Yi up with Dylan. (Why is this scene so oddly familiar?) Once alone, Xin Yi asks Dylan if he’s angry at her. “Disappointed.” he answers curtly. Two years of companionship, he’s still incompatible to Ji Cun Xi’s two day appearance in Shanghai. How sad. Xin Yi admits it’s not easy for her to forget Cun Xi, arguing the wound he had caused was too deep to be erased so quickly. Dylan turns around, “You know what hurts me the most? You don’t even have the courage to tell me the truth. Am I someone you are desperately trying to avoid confronting? I’ve never forced you to be with me. Even to a friend, you shouldn’t have to be like this.” Xin Yi apologizes, Dylan calms down. He asks her what she wants him to do. She admits that no matter how hard she tries, she’s still the good old Chen Xin Yi inside. Dylan assures her that whether she is Elaine or Chen Xin Yi, he likes her nonetheless. He is leaving the following morning for Paris and has brought her ticket with him. If she wants, she can leave with him tomorrow. (Poor guy, why do you have to push yourself to the brink of heart break?)
When grandma returns home at night and hears of the doggie’s labor, she sits down in front of the TV with Anson and Cun Xi to watch the delivery process on tape. Unfortunately, Xin Yi’s confession with Anna is also caught on tap. When Cun Xi hears the part where Xin Yi says she has lost all hope when she received the abortion papers, he rewinds it four times in disbelief. Then it hits him. If he never gave Xin Yi the abortion papers, who did?
Longest recap to date. It doesn’t help when I don’t even have any pictures to break the texts apart. Not that I’m intentionally setting the record, but trying to make the recap sound less “biased” means I tend to walk a mile to get my point across (or I’m just unnecessarily wordy). The final word regarding sounding “biased” is: criticism is welcome, but pinpoint exactly what’s inappropriate so I can improve and you (readers) can be happy.