Invincinble Shan Bao Mei 9: Transition State

This is too much, Sun Wu Di finally snaps and punches Zhao Wei Qing in the face.

"I assure you", Wei Qing declares, "This is just the beginning."

Sam Lee’s 痴心绝对

Matter is only exacerbated when the staff at the TV station join in and cheer Wei Qing on for confronting Wu Di. Facing Karma, Wu Di can only bow down and admit defeat. But before he leaves, he vows to come back. When that day comes, it’ll be because they want him and need him back.

So now, Sun Wu Di’s show looks like this:

as opposed to this:

Exasperated and with nowhere to go, Sun Wu Di calls his business partners, Stephen Chou and Feng Bank’s director for help — all he needs now is money. But being successful businessmen, they would rather donate money to charity than to Wu Di because with donation, the fund would at least be tax deductible, but “lending” it to Sun Wu Di means there is nothing to gain. Dismayed by the individualism “friends” are exhibiting, Sun Wu Di comforts himself that it’s okay, he’s always been alone. He only needs himself and the alarm clock his father gave him. The alarm clock…

The alarm clock is still at Tian Xiang Lou, because Ah Qiang, his assistant forgot to pack it. Now misfortune is like a row of dominoes, when one’s down, it catalyzes a chain reaction, more and more of them come gushing at Wu Di, each time increasing the brutality of its predecessor by ten folds. Wu Di only has 50 TWD on him. With his car towed away, he has no means of transportation to go to Tian Xiang Lou and retrieve the keepsake. But for the only thing his father left him, Sun Wu Di decides to walk to Tian Xiang Lou and face another onslaught of humiliation. Dang it Ah Qiang, why doesn’t he just pack the darn thing?

Meanwhile in Guang Ji, things aren’t any better for Shan Bao, who is deeply troubled for Wu Di. Her family tries to lessen her worries by hiding the newspapers away from her, but she doesn’t need the paper to know how aghast Wu Di must be feeling right now. Shan Bao is so out of character that she didn’t even take heed with the roasted duck meat she’s been cutting. Look, five or six pieces are still attached together, when Chief Guang picks up a piece with his chopstick, an entire chunk goes with it. The father freaks out, yelling and demanding an explanation — after all, Guang Ji abides by the rule of trying to make everything they sell as perfect as possible. Not fully separating each slice of meat is far from being perfect. Shan Bao’s brother speaks up to spare Shan Bao her father’s wrath in his usual monotone, “Dad, look how nicely Shan Bao has it laid out! She doesn’t cut each piece cleanly off so that when dad you tries to eat duck meat, you can eat more than just one piece. What a sign of total devotion.” (I’m loving how the script tries to make as much references as they can. The song alluded to in this dialogue is at the beginning of this recap.) The father lets it go and changes the subject. All Sun Wu Di did was sleeping in his car for one night and yet Shan Bao is already worrying herself to death, is there a need to react so strongly? (Well, no point reasoning with someone who’s in love. :D)

In any case, the family suggests they tune in to Sun Wu Di’s TV program so Shan Bao can see for herself that he is safe and sound. But turning on TV is a mistake for Shan Bao is now informed of the massive changes happening to Sun Wu Di over night. She rushes to Tian Xiang Lou to find out the truth for herself.

Wei Qing admits framing Sun Wu Di and reveals, in the process, that Wu Di has paid him to make Shan Bao happy:

I’ve never liked you. Not a single second of my life. … Ironically, this is perhaps the only time I’m completely honest with you.

To stab the wound even deeper, Wei Qing grabs the back of Shao Bao’s head and kissed her forcibly, “This, too, is what Sun Wu Di spent money and bought for you.” (Which, if you think about it, draws parallel between Zhao Wei Qing and a gigolo, for they both can be easily bought with money.)

Wu Di, who sneaked up for the souvenir, overhears the conversation and witnesses Wei Qing pressing his fingers on Shan Bao’s throat. Fearing Shan Bao might get hurt, Wu Di drops the alarm clock and bursts into the room to intervene. Shan Bao presses Wu Di for the truth and forgives him. Although the act itself is misguided, the intention behind it is of the utmost kindness. She thanks Wu Di for teaching her a lesson about human nature and spits in Wei Qing’s face, “You are now fired.” She walks away from the cold blooded man to join Wu Di, then remembering something, she returns and gives Wei Qing’s knee a hard kick before reuniting with Wu Di and walking out of Tian Xiang Lou hand in hand.

Before they can leave Tian Xiang Lou, Wei Qing follows out with the alarm clock Wu Di forgot to take with him. Knowing the meaning behind the clock, Wei Qing waves it in Wu Di’s face triumphantly and threatens to destroy it unless Wu Di admits he’s shamed Tian Xiang Lou and his father. Wu Di refuses, charging at Wei Qing and knocking him down in a fury. Now angry too, Wei Qing smashes the clock into pieces and watches as Wu Di melts down before the broken clock with scorching hatred shimmering in his eyes.

Just like the alarm clock, Wu Di is broken inside
Just like the alarm clock, Wu Di is broken inside

Immobilized by anguish, Wu Di bends down to pick up the scattered pieces one by one. Not saying a word, not making eye contact with anyone, Wu Di lets the memory of the past flood past him, infiltrating him with a deep sadness. Shan Bao is distressed at Wu Di’s suffering and screams at Wei Qing for stepping over the line. Ignoring her, Wei Qing watches Wu Di with the intensity of a leopard, waiting to attack his prey. Finally overtaken by rage, he walks to the old banner that was recently taken down and holds it over his head, “Sun Wu Di, I am serious. I’ll give you a second chance. This time you have to kneel down and admit that you are a failure.” Wu Di looks up with empty eyes and remembers the day his father opened Tian Xiang Lou. Wu Di, the banner represents Tian Xiang Lou. Protecting the banner is equivalent to protecting Tian Xiang Lou. Slowly, grudgingly, Sun Wu Di kneels down…

his pride, obliterated.
and his pride, obliterated at the same time.

Trembling with victory, Wei Qing lowers the banner. Shan Bao watches helplessly.

And then,

Wei Qing smashes the banner as well.

Disbelief, despair, and satisfaction collide into each other, marking a spectacular end to this unpleasant confrontation.
Shan Bao follows a dispirited Wu Di as he walks aimlessly on the streets. It started raining. She follows him nonetheless. Finally, he stops and tells her to go home. She refuses, “I can’t leave you. You need a friend. And I’m here.” “I don’t need a friend.” he snapped back. “You do. You need comfort.” “Comfort huh? Can you provide it?” She nods firmly. “Comfort. Let me show you how to comfort a wounded man.” he presses his lips on hers and started kissing her so fervently that she felt like she’s being devoured alive. Shan Bao pushes him away, it’s too much. “See, you can’t. Just leave.” “I’m not leaving.” she insists feebly. “What about this?” he says as he tears a large fabric off her shirt. “I’m not leaving.” comes the rely. “Fine. This time, I won’t stop.”

she shuts her eyes tight and waited

but nothing came. When she opened her eyes again, Sun Wu Di is gone. Torn by guilt and love, Shan Bao runs away looking for Sun Wu Di like a mad woman. She is almost hit by a car when her brother finds her and takes her home.

Realizing he has lost the alarm clock again, Sun Wu Di returns to the places he’s been the previous night and looks through the trashcan searching for it, not knowing Shan Bao has found it and took the time to reassembled it back for him…

Sun Wu Di started a new life loitering the streets (God knows how he solves the problem of starvation.) One day, as he sleeps on a littered bench, covering himself with newspapers to avoid the sun, the two sidekicks that kidnapped him earlier in the days come strolling to the bleachers. They repent their sins and swear to the Ginger God on Jiang Mu Island that if they were to find Sun Wu Di, they would do everything to help him. So a gush of wind comes and blows the newspaper covering Sun Wu Di’s face away. He gets up to grab it and lies back down to sleep. The two kidnappers look at each other then at Sun Wu Di, is it God’s way of answering their prayers? As we speak, the sensation of starvation kicks in. A random passerby sees the three vagabonds and drops 50 TWD.

One of the kidnappers collects the money with joy and happily explains to Sun Wu Di that 50 TWD may be very little money (It’s a little less than $1.5 US dollar), but that’s enough to fill the tummy at 7/11. “How?” “Well, you can buy yourself a rice cake, then buy a package of ramen. Then you can add a delicious egg to your noodles, finally, with the spare change, you can buy yourself a little tin of nutritious yakult.” “Wow. Should’ve collected that 50 TWD then.” Wu Di murmurs to himself. True to their promise, they bring Wu Di to their “house”. They take him to the “VIP” area of the “house” and shows him the wall paper of women with big boobs. Wu Di takes a look at them and says indifferently,

“What’s the use of big boobs? The important thing is a good heart.”

I’m starting to warm up to the drama. Not because it’s less silly but because I love the allusions they’re inserting into the analogues. May of the uses aren’t really appropriate but they somehow work and that’s the beauty of having double meanings. If you’ve been reading enough of my recaps, you know I make tons of references myself, so it’s exciting to see a drama that does the same thing.

On the other hand, a man with nothing ends up a self-made man is always an inspiring and interesting premise, so I’m feeling slightly hopeful about the drama. (I hope I’m not jinxing myself.)

8 thoughts on “Invincinble Shan Bao Mei 9: Transition State”

  1. I actually haven’t cried one in Hot Shot. Maybe because i’ve been oogling all the boys. LOL

    and where do you get your songs? They’re always really good.

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