The prologues of this show are so beautifully done, underscoring the theme explored in that episode.
Ep 12 starts with a young Hao Meng confiding to an adult Huanzhen. There’s this girl he likes, but the people around him have a poor opinion of her, and thus he’s wary about getting to know her. With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, she shares that she used to pretend not to care what others thought, until she met that person who would trust her, and protect her no matter what. This is in counterpoint to last week’s, when a teenage Huanzhen talks to an adult Hao Meng, and he tells her that one day there would be a man who might say hurtful things, but in actual fact, loved her a lot. When she asks if they would be together, he smiles enigmatically.
In this episode, Huanzhen gets accused of seducing the CEO of Global Travel in order to secure the contract. Even Shengnan, who was witness to her shaken self outside the hotel room after almost being sexually assaulted by the CEO, has doubts about what actually happened when the manipulative Jiang Qianyao twists the story to paint Huanzhen in a worse light. Only Hao Meng is on her side, trusting her innocence despite her silence, knowing that Jiang Qianyao is up to some nefarious scheme. Naturally, the
dragon dowager vehemently demands their breakup. In the face of rabid reporters, he steps up, and declares himself her boyfriend as he whisks her off to Busan to complete her Bridal Tour project. In an obviously sponsored segment, they have fun exploring the touristy places of Busan together. Huanzhen then receives a call from wannabe-interloper that Hao Meng’s future might be on the line from being associated with her, and seems to decide to break up with him at some point (in the next episode). Noooooooo!
It’s the gazillionth time I’ve mentioned loving the show, and it’s probably gonna be a few jafrillion times more before I stop. The show excels in teasing out nuances in a relationship, and make no bones about how sometimes couples play mind games. But this is done in such a cute tongue-in-cheek manner because both Huanzhen and Hao Meng are evenly matched in the wits department, and know exactly what the other is trying to do. This gives it an extra dimension when both recognise the other’s sincerity in the small everyday matters, or the efforts to protect them.
I’m just hoping that there isn’t too much angst before they get their happily-ever-after. And can Shengnan wake up to the fact that her crush is in fact a Machiavellian monster, sob story past or not? It’s scary – because it’s so real how many times we are blinded by love to make rational decisions.
Onward to the last 3 episodes!
Some Much sweetness and light please! May the psycho bitch dowager come to her senses and recognise that her miserable life was of her own choosing, and stop interfering with her son’s happiness.
(Aside: Procrastination strikes in weird ways. WHY won’t I do ACTA, but do something so irrelevant instead?)