If you were to ask me, why oh why are you recapping the final episode of a non-commitment a month after it ended? I would blatantly lie to you: because the episode is fantastic! (According to drama production teams & casts, ALL final episodes are fantastic.) Therefore I needed the time to do it justice. When really, I just wanted to dot the period and move on. Cos I’m a perfectionist like that.
Without further ado:
Wu Shuang and Lucas part ways after promising each other of a romantic dinner-for-two. While walking away, Wu Shuang concedes that Lucas deserves more credit than she previously allowed him. So she, in turn, should give their relationship another go. Then, Lucas’ father appraises Lucas for his excellent performance at the interview and suggests, after eavesdropping on Lucas and Wu Shuang’s dinner date, that he should invite her over for dinner. (Just so the father can enjoy being the third wheel?) With Wu Shuang’s approval and the stern father’s green light, the drrrrrrrraggy turbulent relationship looks hopeful again.
A huge car accident involving a chemical carrier and multiple injuries sends a wave of patients to the hospital. Media flocks to ground zero to provide the latest coverage, Shan Wu Shuang the same. Due to the traffic congestion, cars are unable to pass through. Wu Shuang gets off the car and heads directly to the chemical carrier to snap a shot.
As she gets nearer and nearer, the truck explodes, sending her ID badge flying across the sky. It landed on a patch of dry ground, burnt and crumpled.
Wu Shuang, voice over: Lucas, at the instant the heat of the explosion came, I suddenly understood and regretted many things. I thought perhaps “regret” will be what describes us.
Following the news of a reporter getting hurt at the explosion site, Lucas quickly dials Wu Shuang’s number. When no one answers the phone, a fearful thought occurs to Lucas: could it be Wu Shuang?
Patients keep coming in to keep Lucas busy, but he is distracted. Finally, when he sees Romeo all bandaged and sitting in a wheel chair, his heart sinks. The jack pot is his to hit. Behind tears and snout, Romeo confirms Wu Shuang’s sure participation in the explosion and urges Lucas to check her name on the survival list. She isn’t on it.
Feverish and mortified, Lucas calls his father to use his car. When his father hears of the unfavorable outlook of Wu Shuang’s life, he volunteers to accompany his son to the explosion site. Lucas meets Wu Shuang’s mother in the midst of the commotion. Together, they demand to enter the blocked off area, hoping to find a fragment of Shan Wu Shuang’s charred body. They are deferred and redirected to identify retrieved belongings of possible victims. From the pile of burnt caps, wallets, and watches, Lucas spots Wu Shuang’s badge.
Lucas cries; Lucas wobbles his head; Lucas refuses to believe Shan Wu Shuang is dead. Lucas does everything but to recognize Wu Shuang might be dead. He run back home, pretend the date is still on, and cooks Wu Shuang the dinner she may never taste.
Wu Shuang, voice over continued: Maybe this is how life is, filled with unexpected changes. Some words left unspoken, some actions left unperformed. Lucas, there are words I haven’t had the chance to tell you yet.
Lucas’ father tries to explain to Lucas that if Wu Shuang’s still alive, she would’ve been home by now. But Lucas refuses to listen. He pushes his father out of the door and promises to call once Wu Shuang shows.
Alone again, Lucas turns on the radio to battle the dreadful silence. But everywhere on radio is the talk of the accident (and the incessant preach to appreciate those around you).
Finding the need to vent, Lucas calls in and magically gets connected on the first ring! Talk about luck. Once on air, Lucas finds the urge to gush irresistible. He briefly explains that Wu Shuang is missing from the accident this morning and asks the listeners of the radio station in question to help look for her. (Welcome to the Humane society of Dream Land, where obsolete radio-search plot is still in!)
The gush turns into one of the 101 confessions coupled with an image montage — after all, the drama’s ending and it’s understandable to want to use the last opportunity to make a lasting impression.
The show must go on and the heroine must be found.
So between something of the speed of light and commercial break, Shan Wu Shuang is found on a truck driver’s truck. The truck driver is said to have passed the explosion site this morning. How he managed to drive on a road that’s congested and sealed off and how Shan Wu Shuang managed to make her way to the truck unharmed, save for the specs of dirt on her face and body when Romeo, staying meters away, ended up in a wheelchair are mysteries beyond the scope of my meager intelligence.
But she is found and well on her way to Lucas’ warm embrace and teary kisses.
Oh by the way, can someone call Lucas, the poor thing, so he can stop crying on the phone and broadcasting his love life to the entire radio world? — Aha, here comes the “dontcha worry” call! If you can’t understand the truck driver’s excited jabbering, he’s saying that somehow, Shan Wu Shuang bounced from her explosion front seat to his truck’s back seat. Magic maybe?
To further ease Lucas’ worry, Wu Shuang is connected on the phone with Lucas (through the radio). Wu Shuang delivers the news of her safety personally and ventures on to say, “The most important thing is that we’re still alive. I can still continue to love you. Let’s get back together.” Crying and laughing at the same time, Lucas nods, “Let’s get back together.”
As Lucas endures the world’s longest elevator ride, the truck driver carrying Shan Wu Shuang is — again, travelling at the speed of light and running a few yellow lights — at Lucas’ apartment complex.
More voice over of the carpe diem message that tells people to appreciate those still alive/be grateful of everyday and so forth; more memory montage:
When Lucas and Wu Shuang finally see each other after a long, upsetting day, Wu Shuang crumbles in Lucas’ arms, crying feebly, “We’re not fighting anymore, are we?” “No, we’re not” Lucas nods and lets the tears wash down his face.
After Wu Shaung is discharged from the hospital, she goes to Lucas’ class to look for him. Finding the class session ended long ago, she turns to leave — just when the projector turns on. A slide show that chronicles Wu Shuang’s childhood is being put on screen, narrated by Lucas himself. During Wu Shuang’s healing time, he’s been all over the place: the hospital where Wu Shuang was delivered and the schools that she was educated. The slide show ends with a surprise placed for her in the third row — a basketball from the school she went to college. Next to the ball was a binder full of clippings of articles Wu Shuang has ever covered. (Boy has too much time on his hands.) On the last page of the binder is a business card with Lucas’ number on it. Reluctantly, Wu Shuang dials the number.
A phone rings and brings Wu Shuang to a chest in the last row. She opens the chest and reveals a boy — the boy whose bicycle she stole on Christmas eve. The boy grabs Wu Shuang by the arm and takes her to…
… a fountain outside. The boy tells her, “Ugly witch, did you know that you’re not ugly at all. You are pretty and you are kind. You are like a princess.” Wu Shuang considers it for a beat and corrects the boy, “I’m not a princess, I’m the queen.”
“Yes, you are my queen.” Enters Lucas with a wide smile.
They profess “I love you” to each other and officially become an item, again.
But very seriously, Wu Shuang tells Lucas, who presented her with a ring (for him), that if she were to marry him, it’ll be two years later, when he returns from studying aboard. Off his puzzled look, she explains that in the past, she let too many factors get in the way of their relationship. She won’t do that anymore. He has shown her that her insecurities are irrational and now, she knows neither the age gap nor the long distance will break them apart.
They kiss. The camera pulls back to reveal her family prying on the intimate moment through a laptop.
What happened next? Well, Wu Shuang went to ride the mechanical bull. (Sorta random/unnecessary) After that? Lucas went to the States and theywent through a two-year long distance relationship. Wu Shuang ended up giving her chief editor job to Romeo. With more free time on hand, Wu Shuang not only published her own book, she started taking classes to expand her interests. Her life became fuller and happier. She often eat dinner with Lucas’ aged father, filling him in on Lucas’ life aboard.
Two years zoomed by quickly. Today is the wedding. All the guests are here, but where is the bride?
No, she’s not the belated bride.
Nope, not any of them either.
The real bride is…
After the wedding, Lucas drags Wu Shuang on the side and proposes to her for the 12th time in two years:
“I want to grow old with you; I want to count the wrinkles on your forehead; I want to see your hair turn white and I want to dye them black for you again. As long as you are Shan Wu Shuang, I’ll continue to love you. Marry me.”
She takes the ring and answers lightly, “Alright, I will keep it for now. But before I can give you a definitive answer, I have to consult my schedule book to see if I have any availability this year.”
With that, she walks away.
“Who says being single makes you a “defeated dog”, to him, I am the queen.”
(But you still gotta have a “him” first!)
At episode 18, this drama ended for me. Yet, the production team still managed to cram in another three episodes (that’s 3 hours and 30 minutes!).
It’s a well intended drama with good messages. But there are too many here is the lesson kind of speeches, that the final product turned out somewhat forced and didactic.
I really liked the wedding photo-esque look of the last shot — for aesthetic reasons. However, I think the drama would have conveyed the message more powerfully if Shan Wu Shuang were to remain un-courted; if she and Lucas didn’t work out in the end. Because then the theme becomes the hopeful notion that it’s possible to be complacent, even happy, without having a man in a woman’s life. Afterall, what defines a person is never the lack of a relationship. This kind of ending is, by nature, more uplifting and resounding.
Since My Queen/Defeated Queen is a feel-good drama, its mainstream, boy woos girl ending works as well. But the message comes out weaker: women shouldn’t let their marital status undermine their self confidence. It’s a choice of life style rather than a hapless condition.