Right when you start to think that I have put this drama out of my mind, I come back with a vengeance. 😀
Opening Theme Song:
“Stop!” Guo Jing chases after the little burglar and falls face first onto the dirt. The beggar runs back and squats down before Guo Jing, “Are you alright?” (s)he asks. “Um.” Guo Jing gets up. “Ok!” says the burglar before running away again. Guo Jing takes a few steps after her and stops all together, “Hey, little one, no need to run. I’m giving them (the personal belongings) to you!” Having said that, Guo Jing finds a place and squads down. The beggar runs back and drops the belongings on the floor, one on top of the other. She puts one hand on her hips and another points at Guo Jing’s nose, “What’s with you?! I stole your belonging, you should chase after me! Once you catch me, you should beat me up! Let’s start over!” She stretches her arms to drag him up.
He pulls her down, “Little one, I’m giving them all to you. Take ’em.” The burglar looks at the belongings scattered on the floor and back at Guo Jing. Oblivious of the beggar’s incredulity, Guo Jing continues, “I know you wouldn’t be stealing if you weren’t desperate. They are all yours.” He turns back to mind his own business. “Then hit me.” the beggar begs. “Why should I?” “I don’t want to owe anyone anything. I steal your possessions and you hit me, we are equal.” Sighing, Guo Jing emphasizes again, “Didn’t I tell you? You didn’t steal my things, I gave them to you.” He returns to his bag of food, leaving a frustrated burglar deflating besides him. 😀
Finally noticing his neighbor’s foul mood, Guo Jing hands over the bag of food and offers her a piece. She grabs it and looks inside, there’s only a few residual crumbs inside. She flips the bag over and yells at Guo Jing for having tricked her, “Look, it’s empty!” “Hey hey! That’s still food!” trying to catch the remaining crumbs, Guo Jing snatches the bag back from the beggar. The beggar turns her face away from Guo Jing, more frustrated than ever. Guo Jing ponders for a bit and drags the beggar to a nearby tavern for a nice, big meal. (Speaking of meals, I’m getting hungry.)
Free lunches are hard to come by, when there is one, why refuse? The beggar brings Guo Jing to the biggest, most expensive tavern and orders the the most elaborate dishes. Her extensive knowledge about food awes both the waiter and Guo Jing, who, would never have thought that inside the dirty exterior of a beggar, hides a connoisseur of finest taste.
In the course of the meal, the beggar reveals her name to be Huang Rong and tells Guo Jing that she is an orphan who survived by chewing roots everyday. Upon hearing the tragic revelation, a chivalrous Guo Jing takes off the scarf his beloved mother knitted for him and wraps it around this new friend’s neck. That’s not all, he stuffs all his gold into Huang Rong’s hands to ensure she’ll have money to eat properly. Huang Rong is touched by Guo Jing’s kindness.
Perhaps the gentle kindness comes all too rapidly and too surreal for Huang Rong that when Guo Jing chases Huang Rong down the stairs to offer her an umbrella for the upcoming storm, she throws the umbrella on the ground in spite and antagonistically stumps on it to evoke a more, in her sense, realistic reaction. Then without turning, she runs into the rain.
Holding a broken umbrella, Guo Jing walks into the rain to look for his new friend. Huang Rong watches him from the top of the roof. Feeling guilty but not willing to let Guo Jing find her so easily, she jumps off the roof and onto a tent, breaking the tent in two and bringing about the destruction of the dumpling business below.
An angry mod of dumpling eaters charges after Huang Rong, sending her back to Guo Jing’s protection. He grabs her and takes her up the roof top. (2008’s top places to bring your romantic partner on a date: the roof top.)
Guo Jing returns to his masters after a thrilling adventure with Huang Rong. In a stroke of luck, he spots Duan TianDe and follows Duan to his lodge. Taken by fury, Guo Jing storms into the room swearing to take Duan’s life. Duan TianDe is scared but manages to concoct a white lie, claiming himself as a mere Duan TianDe lookalike used to fool the real Duan TianDe’s enemies. Guo Jing believes him and lets him go. He returns to his masters and regurgitated the story. His masters aren’t tricked, but when they return to the same place, Duan TianDe has fled with his family. Guo Jing is utterly frustrated. (For your information, the above mentioned scene is added by the drama’s producer. None of it happened in the book.)
Huang Rong is roaming the streets again. This time a man dressed in white, herded by a group of young girls, also dressed in white caught Huang Rong’s attention. She staggers across the open market and makes way to the man on horse, leaving a dirty hand print on the man’s immaculate pant leg. That man is OuYang Ke, coming down to become the Jin’s commander in chief, so to speak.
Guo Jing sees Huang Rong entangled in yet another mesh of trouble. Believing OuYang Ke is at fault, Guo Jing stands up for Huang Rong and demands an apology. To avoid the hassle, OuYang Ke apologizes and takes note of Huang Rong’s existence.
Guo Jing is wonded in the process, leading to a private time with Huang Rong where they exchange mutual likeness of each other. They agree to meet again the next day where Huang Rong plans to surprise Guo Jing.
Meanwhile, an onslaught of power struggle is happening in the Jin palace.
Having recapped the first three background episodes from memory, I accidentally wrote about Yang Kang’s suspicion over his heritage in the last recap, hence the big hole in this one. Oopsie. Just in case you are a stick-to-the-source person, you can access the previous recap here. Be weary of large blocks of text. 🙂
Now onto the characterization-specific rambling:
I still believe Guo Jing’s kindness results from a strong sense of right and wrong rather than what most people dismiss as stupidity. He follows his internal scale of what should be and should not be very strictly so when he meets a beggar who grew up “chewing roots”, his instinct tells him that the beggar should not be subjected to poverty when he has the ability to help. Because starving is bad and philanthropy is good. As to the additional scene of Guo Jing’s narrow capture of Duan TianDe, that’s where my interpretation of Guo Jing base on the original novel(s) deviates from that of the script writer’s.
Huang Rong is depicted as a rebellious prankster as of now. While she is well taught and highly knowledgeable by way of ordering food, she choses to dress up as a beggar. When Guo Jing offers her an umbrella to shield against the rain, she destroys it in spite rather than accepting the kindness.
But when Mr. Straight Arrow meets Miss Rebellious, something between them reacts. And as it proves, nothing can tame Huang Rong better than Guo Jing’s laugh-provoking straight-fowardness. Although in real life, a Huang-Rongnian temperment may be too mercurial for a Guo-Jingian consistency. However, the tolerance and mutal understanding result from the vast differences reflects a deeper level of affection.