I don’t think our main man has ever looked happier and this is probably one of my favorite shots of Xia Tian. He’s really starting to grow on me now. When Xia Tian smiles, I smile. When he’s pissed off at the world or depressed, I feel like I wanna go grab a bottle of his favorite lemon-flavored beer to cheer him up. It has nothing to do with the hotness of Joe Cheng. Really. I just love our tortured hero who has to decide if he’s going to continue on a road to unspeakable wealth with the woman he has loved for the past seven years OR if he’s going to reject it in return for true happiness. I’m happy with the way this series is progressing, since it makes me feel warm and fluffly on the inside.
Episodes 5-6 Recap:
Xia Tian opens the door in surprise to see Ye Zi at his doorsteps. Personally, I think he’s wondering just what the heck is going on that she should be waking him up in the middle of the night. Ye Zi hesitantly speaks but can’t seem to get the words out of her mouth. Xia Tian semi-impatiently tells her to just spit it out. Which she does. “I like…I like…I like photography. Can you teach me?”
*bonk* That would be the sound of fans, especially me, headdesking all across the world.
Xia Tian shakes his head and is a little exasperated. It’s past his bedtime and he needs to sleep! He shuts the door without saying anything else other than that he needs some shut-eye, leaving a much bewildered Ye Zi outside. On the contrary, he’s not actually angry or annoyed. In fact, Xia turns a corner in the house and glances over his shoulder. He smiles to himself in disbelief, as if he can’t believe she ran here just to say that. Outside, Ye Zi is disappointed in Xia Tian’s seemingly cold, apathetic response to her “I love photography” confession. She even lingers a little longer outside the door, looking back to the dark house as if she’s expecting Xia Tian to reappear in front of her. She comments to herself that it took a lot of courage for her to say those three words.
Honey, I think all of us — Xia Tian included — were expecting you to say a little something else. If you only came to tell him that you liked photography, couldn’t you have called?
When Ye Zi walks away from the house, Xia Tian turns on the lights outside. Too late, because Ye Zi has already left. Nonetheless, he peers outside the door and notices the tonic drink for hangovers perching next to the doorsteps. An internal light bulb lights up as he realizes why she stopped by his house earlier this morning.
It’s a slow day for business at Ministop. Yuan Yuan and Ye Zi don’t really have much to do except to wonder why customers aren’t coming today. Thank God for the internet! Ye Zi checks a blog and looks at the photos a particular blogger took. The blogger wrote that while taking these photos of nature, she was happy. Ye Zi also wants to know how to capture happiness through photography. As she types a comment to the anonymous blogger, Yuan Yuan interrupts Ye Zi. She is curious to know if Ye Zi solved the recent problem with Bao Qiang yet. She advises Ye Zi to speak out her true feelings.
Ye Zi admits that she gets nervous when she’s around Xia Tian. She doesn’t know if this is the beginning of love. Yuan Yuan happily exclaims that this totally sounds like love Ye Zi is in love! She wishes Ye Zi all the best, and tells her to enjoy this new feeling. Since when was the description of nervousness a guarantee of being in love? Beats me.
During this short time frame, the unknown blogger has already responded to Ye Zi’s question. Only happy people are able to produce happy photos. Since Yuan Yuan has nothing else to do but to monitor Ye Zi’s every move, she asks how Ye Zi will be able to take photos without a camera. How to they solve this difficult conundrum? Since they’re such good friends and all, Yuan Yuan will lend her camera to Ye Zi. Ye Zi is so excited that she embraces Yuan Yuan in a big ol’ bear hug.
Meanwhile, Grandpa Zhang (not literally anybody’s grandpa, but addressed as one because of his elderly age.) stops without his wife, Grandma Zhang. This is unusual because the two often come together to the convenience store. Grandpa Zhang is here to pick up the daily newspaper, since Grandma Zhang is feeling sick at home. He sees Ye Zi holding the digital camera and makes a comment about how convenient printing photos are in the current society. It wasn’t long ago that taking photos was an expensive ordeal. One of his greatest regrets in life is not being able to take wedding photos with his new bride.This shocks our good-natured Ye Zi, and she volunteers to take their wedding photos once Grandma Zhang is feeling better.
Since she promises to photograph the old couple, Ye Zi decides to practice taking pictures with Yuan Yuan’s digital camera in a park. She takes Xiao Lu along and stumbles upon a younger couple, who are delighted to see such a cute dog. Seeing the couple linking hands, Ye Zi politely asks if they will model for her. Though the couple complies, Ye Zi is still an amateur photographer, so the pictures aren’t what she wanted. Her next model is Xiao Lu, who can barely sit still for even a moment. To her dismay, he runs away from Ye Zi so she chases him around the park.
Coincidentally, Xia Tian is also taking photos within the park. He hears and sees Ye Zi chasing Xiao Lu. Grinning, he starts to take pictures of the hilarious duo, but halts when Ye Zi’s face changes to that of Flora’s. Meanwhile, Xiao Lu dashes across a street while Ye Zi pursues him, just as an incoming van starts honking its horn. Hearing the sound, Ye Zi stops midway and faces the car in alarm. Thankfully, Xia Tian runs across the street and pulls her to safety, bringing both of them crashing to the ground.
Ye Zi’s arm is scratched up after the tumble. Ever the gentleman, Xia Tian gets down on his knees (SQUEEE!) and cleans the wound with water and a handkerchief. I like how it’s not a napkin but a handkerchief. He’s symbolically giving her a hand here to help her clean up herself. While Xia Tian checks the digital camera for any signs of abnormality, he thanks her for the tonic yesterday. He explains that he hadn’t slept for 24 hours the day before, so she came over right when he was about to fall asleep. To make up for his less than congenial attitude yesterday — and to thank her for the tonic — he decides to accept Ye Zi as an apprentice.
Giddy with excitement, Ye Zi asks how she should take photos if she doesn’t have any skills. Xia Tian patiently explains that photography doesn’t rely on skill but feelings.
After some lessons in picture-taking, our almost-couple stop by an ice cream stand. Ye Zi can’t make up her mind about what ice cream flavor she wants to eat. Chocolate is yummy but cherry is delicious as well. Hm, strawberry is good too. Which should she choose? She turns to ask what Xia Tian wants to eat, who has been smirking to the side all this time. In a confident manner, he tells the owner to give them both strawberry-flavored ice cream. Surprised of his fast decision, Ye Zi asks, “When did you make up your mind?” Xia Tian replies, “When you were deciding.” Heh. I love them!
It’s like our two leads are on an unofficial date because they continue to walk throughout the neighborhood, eating ice cream together. Xia Tian is curious to know of her sudden interest behind photography. Ye Zi admits that her interest was piqued when she promised to photograph an old couple who often shop at Ministop. But if she’s so bad at photography, what can she do? Xia Tian volunteers to help her out this time — he’ll shoot the wedding scene for free.
A couple days later, Grandma and Grandpa Zhang show up for the photoshoot, complete in wedding attire. Xia Tian has kept his promise and brings his entire professional crew to shoot the wedding photos. Ye Zi has tagged along, of course, to watch the entire ordeal. Grandma Zhang feels self-conscious in a wedding dress since there are onlookers at the scene. Yet once Grandpa Zhang leads her in this photo shoot, there’s an undeniable look of joyful bliss on both of their faces. The expression on the elderly couple’s faces make Ye Zi and Xia Tian a bit envious. But knowing that they’re bringing happiness to an old couple makes our OTP satisfied and happy too.
After the shoot, the Grandparents are dropped off at their place while everyone else leaves. The only two people left are Xia Tian and Ye Zi. The two decide to take a walk under the shadows of large trees. In the midst of their walk, Xia Tian gets a call from the office so he must go back to the office. They slowly part to their separate ways, when Ye Zi calls out Xia Tian’s name, telling him that he should stop drinking so much. Xia Tian reciprocates the concern and tells her to not cry over giving the wrong amount of change next time. Both turn back and continue walking when Ye Zi calls out Xia Tian’s name again. She asks if he has time to buy bread for Xiao Lu, which he obviously doesn’t. The way these two say goodbye is so cute!
Back at home, Ye Zi is lying in bed and reminisces the day’s events. She’s giddy with pleasure and she actually does the whole kicking-while-rolling-in-bed action. It’s forgivable and absolutely adorables! I’m sure that if I was hanging out with Xia Tian, I would be like that too. Unexpectedly, the doorbell rings. It’s Xia Tian holding a bag of bread that he’s bought for Xiao Lu. Apparently he found out Ye Zi’s address through Yuan Yuan, who was more than willing to divulge the information. Excited, Ye Zi clumsily trips over her feet but Xia Tian instinctively catches her. There’s that quick flicker of awareness from both of them again. However, the door is wide open and Bao Qiang happens to only see Xia Tian catching Ye Zi in his arms.
Bao Qiang assumes the worst even though nothing has really happened and quickly pushes Xia Tian away from Ye Zi. Bao Qiang defends Ye Zi, as if Xia Tian was attempting to do something to her. (Sorry Bao Qiang, you’re not her boyfriend!) Ye Zi is about to explain when Xia Tian stops her and tells her it’s okay. With no further explanation, he says his goodbyes and leaves.
Ye Zi turns to Bao Qiang and apologizes for running out on him last time. Still, even though she’s sorry she ran out like that, she stands by what she had said. Ye Zi will continue to run after her own happiness, and she wishes Bao Qiang to do the same. Interestingly enough, Bao Qiang understands her but tells her that he will continue trying to earn her love. He wistfully wishes her to eat the fruits he’s brought and leaves.
On his way home, Xia Tian deeply reflects back to his encounters with Ye Zi. At the same time, Ye Zi is wondering to herself about whether if Xia Tian really came over tonight just to see her. Oh, you two! Stop it with the reflections and just get together already!
While brushing her teeth early in the morning, Ye Zi is on her laptop checking up the usual blog. On this day, the blogger writes: “If I don’t have the courage to try my best in everything, then I can no longer live in this beautiful world.” This piques Ye Zi’s interest and she recalls the question she asked her mother days ago, of whether her mom would make different choices if she had known what the future may bring.
Xia Tian’s morning starts off with a surprise — Flora’s come to visit. She picks up his hesitation to invite her in, so she walks right in and gives herself a tour. Flora views every corner of the house and when she notices that Xia Tian’s bed has only one pillow, she smiles smugly. That’s probably why she came to visit in the first place: she wanted to see if he was sleeping with anybody else besides her. This would be the first moment that I was peeved at Flora. I’m sure I’m not the only one who wants to erase that smirky smile on her face with a dry easer. Then while I’m at it, I’ll draw another pillow with my imaginary magic marker JUST so Flora’s smile could turn into a big, ugly frown. Not keeping up with me? That’s okay. Half of my brain isn’t keeping up with me either when Flora comes on screen.
She makes her way into his study room, and notices the picture frame holding a photo of their younger selves, laughing together. Flora interprets this as a sign that Xia Tian still has feelings for her. She takes this opportunity to wrap her arms around him (sneaky lil’….) and talks about their past as if they HAVEN’T broken up yet. At first, Xia Tian is taken aback and he initially tenses up. But as Flora continues talking, he relaxes a little. I don’t think it’s a good sign for Ye Zi that Xia Tian softens a little at hearing her speak about the past.
Meanwhile, Ye Zi is earnestly running towards Xia Tian’s abode. Just as Flora’s embracing Xia Tian in a major back hug (Grrr…), Ye Zi arrives in front of his doorsteps. She’s about to ring the doorbell and disrupt them when….
The camera pans back to the convenience store, where Ye Zi arrives before her designated shift. Both Store Manager and Yuan Yuan are surprised to see her there but before they can ask anymore, Ye Zi gleefully asks them for assistance on something. Store Manager assumes that Ye Zi wants to take another day off and says that if she came here to ask for that, she can just forget about it. Yuan Yuan surmises Ye Zi needs more money, but that’s not it either. So what is it? Ye Zi exclaims, “I want to confess to Xia Tian!” Ah, so that’s why she didn’t ring the doorbell just yet — she wanted a more romantic confession.
Yuan Yuan and Store Manager are more than happy to help! In fact, they start making preparations for The Big Confession, such as cutting out and making huge letters for signs. Once everything is finished, all three joyfully temporarily leave the store for awhile. Well, Store Manager is hesitant to close the shop for a few minutes for the first time in his career, but he reassures himself that it’s for a good cause. If Ye Zi and Xia Tian start dating, then this will be good for expanding his business in the near future!
It’s a good thing Flora leaves just as the trio arrive, on her way back to the company. Okay, just how CUTE is it that our trio brought Xiao Lu with them? It’s absolutely adorables! The Ministop gang wait outside Xia Tian’s window, holding balloons and signs that speak volumes about Ye Zi’s feelings for him. However, Xia Tian’s window blinds are closed while he’s brooding over what had just occurred between him and Flora. With the blinds closed, the atmosphere is even more gloomy than usual. Thankfully he does eventually open the blinds and is quite taken aback at what he sees out the window.
Happy music plays in the background while Xia Tian looks at Ye Zi. Then the music halts immediately when Xia Tian remembers what had happened only minutes ago. At this, he drops this blinds, leaving everybody else speechless and confused. Yuan Yuan tries to alleviate Ye Zi’s disappointment by telling her that she will personally introduce Ye Zi to better guys. After all, there are more fishes in the sea. Store Manager also attempts to cheer Ye Zi up in his eccentric ways. He says, “Even if you don’t have love, you’ll have bread.” Oh Ministop team! How you guys do crack me up! With that said, the other two leave Ye Zi alone.
Ye Zi lingers outside Xia Tian’s house with Xiao Lu, wondering what must be going on in his mind. It’s not like Xia Tian was completely oblivious to Ye Zi’s feelings for him; he’s just got a lot on his mind and he’s weighing busy weighing his future options. Literally. He uses a sort of Egyptian weighing scale and puts photos of him and Flora on one scale against another scale holding the photos of Grandparents Zhang. As he thoughtlessly sorts the photos onto the right scale, he snaps back to reality. It’s evident that the scale with Grandparents Zhang outweighs the scale of Flora and him. But was that an unexpected outcome? I guess that’s what Show is going for.
Our poor Ye Zi still hasn’t fully recovered from the shock of the rejection. She’s not in tears or bitter; just anxious to know WHY it happened. It probably hurts more that Xia Tian didn’t even bother to officially acknowledge her but instead had cut her off from his world in that moment. While Yuan Yuan and Store Manager attempt to console her, Xia Tian runs into the store. He slowly walks right up to Ye Zi, ignoring the dirty look from Yuan Yuan, while keeping his eyes on Ye Zi’s face. He’s definitely here to tell her something. But what?
You’ll have to find out next time…
One of my favorite scenes in these two episodes was the wedding photoshoot scene. It’s such a sharp contrast with the Vogue magazine photoshoot back in episode 1. Remember that scene? Both used the same crew and technological machinery, but the outcomes and processes were entirely different. The model at the Vogue photoshoot was attempting to act with a sense of elegance when she didn’t have any; the Zhang Grandparents didn’t have to act lovingly since they were just acting like themselves. It’s also telling that Xia Tian seemed to enjoy himself when he was photographing what he actually wanted to shoot. I know some people get grossed out when old couples show deep affection for one another. I found the older Zhang couple to be so sweet and loving. Amidst all the break-ups and romantic drama, it’s nice to see a couple who still love each other even after facing so many trials and struggles.
I disagree with other viewers who may find the story to be maudlin or poorly acted; I find the story a refreshing, sweet perspective on love. This is coming from someone who can’t stand cheesy love stories, which is why I abhor the Hallmark Channel with a fiery passion! Oh, if only my mother didn’t love it so much!
Again, the cinematography is absolutely stunning! I don’t think I could ever get tired of it even if I tried. Hopefully, I don’t eat my words later. Speaking of photography, I have a hunch that the other anonymous blogger may be Xia Tian. Just maybe. I could be wrong but this is dramaland, where anything’s possible.
I loved how Ye Zi took initiative and confessed her feelings first. I mean, it’s usually the guys who do that, right? I think Xia Tian is just as aware of his ever-growing attachment to her, but he’s at that crossroad where he needs to decide whether to cling to Ye Zi or throw her away. Because if he’s not gonna seriously think about a possible relationship with her, he shouldn’t lead her on. That would be cruel. I also enjoyed the conversation between Bao Qiang and Ye Zi. She lays down the facts flatly but not in a way that would hurt his male ego. Bao Qiang really isn’t much of a rival though. So far, we never see things from his perspective, which is why I can’t even pity the poor guy.
Xia Tian’s got no competition at this point. I’m interested to see how threatening Flora can be. She’s kind of boring, and I’m starting to dislike her. I hated, hated, HATED that smirky expression when she invited herself over for a housewarming party. I don’t think she will be able to separate the couple, since I believe they’re both falling for each other already, but she will be a nice plot device to add some angst into this drama. For now, I’ll take what Show can give me and run with it!