Now just what did I get myself into? My love for 犀利人妻 The Fierce Wife crept up on me when I least expected it, when I was merely looking for a distraction from my studies. But somehow along the way, I fell in love with the characters. They feel so real to me and that’s what makes this show so addicting and fun. Fierce Wife makes me go through a roller coaster of emotions, but I love it. My God, this drama is awesome. I think I’ve finally found the drama that makes me ramble like no other. And for a moment there, I thought I had run out of things to say about dramas in general. To my readers: This is going to be a long one so brace yourselves!
Basic summary of Episodes 1-17:
Xi An Zhen and Wen Rui Fan have been married for ten years, having met in college through Wen Rui Xuan, Rui Fan’s younger sister and An Zhen’s best friend. An Zhen is her husband’s biggest supporter and since getting married, she spends all her time and energy as a full-time housewife. Rui Fan is currently very successful in his company and works alongside his brother-in-law, Hao Kang De. To provide for his family, he invests his time into his work. He’s so successful that he’s in competition with He Ai Lin for the vice president position at their company. Ironically, He Ai Lin also used to be his girlfriend before he married An Zhen.
By chance or fate or whatever you want to call it, An Zhen meets Lan Tian Wei, who she initially thinks is a poor insurance agent. Little does she know that he’s actually in charge of an automobile industry, the same company where her sister-in-law Rui Xuan works at. Through a series of many events, their fate becomes intertwined.
One day, An Zhen’s mom asks her to take in her younger cousin Wei En, who has returned to Taiwan after living in the States for a while. What happens over the course of a few weeks is that her husband and younger cousin fall in love with each other unexpectedly. They promise to hide their love so that they won’t hurt others around them, especially An Zhen. However, as their relationship progresses, Rui Fan changes–as does Wei En. He treats both women differently, pushing An Zhen aside while pulling Wei En closer. Puzzled at her husband’s personality transformation, An Zhen tries to be more affectionate and seeks her husband’s approval. She manages to pass the job interview at the automobile company where Rui Xuan works, forcing her to run into Tian Wei all the time.
Oh, and before I forget, Tian Wei was also Wei En’s ex-boyfriend. He dumped her, though, because he wasn’t ready for a serious relationship but the main reason was because she got a bit too possessive of him. Complicated web of character relationships? Heck yes.
Eventually, An Zhen finds out about her husband’s affair and it’s a huge blow for her. She refuses to get a divorce at first and attempts to save her marriage. Unfortunately, forced into signing divorce papers at the hospital after getting into a car accident, An Zhen enters a state of extreme depression. That is, until she seeks to get her husband back away from that vixen.
This is where Tian Wei becomes her teacher. For one month, while her now ex-husband and girlfriend thinks she is away at the countryside caring for her mother’s health, she’s taking princess lessons at Tian Wei’s home, postponing work until she passes all lessons Tian Wei has taught her. Through the difficult training process, An Zhen becomes more confident and graceful; more knowledgeable and sophisticated. After the month-long boot camp training session, An Zhen decides to reveal her new self to Rui Fan and Wei En at a restaurant, where she will “coincidentally run into” them. Rui Xuan is given the responsibility of calling her husband, brother, and new girlfriend together. And with that, Make Your Husband Jealous begins!
Episode 18 Recap: “Don’t Cry Because You’ve Missed The Sun”
Still reeling in shock from An Zhen’s physical transformation, everyone gathers around one table at Rui Xuan’s insistence. Now we know that An Zhen, Tian Wei, and Rui Xuan have this all planned out in Operation Lure Husband Back OR ELSE, but the other three remain completely oblivious. In fact, Wei En even tries to take this opportunity to bow out of this gathering.
However, Rui Xuan loves the moment of seeing her squirming uncomfortably and won’t let her leave, claiming that she wants to save face since she’s the one treating everyone to this luncheon. As to assure her, Rui Fan gives her hand a squeeze under the table. Excuse me while I puke.
During this time, An Zhen remains nonchalant to the perusing eyes around her, carefully swishing the wine in her hand to release its flavors, demonstrating that she has mastered what she has learned from Tian Wei for the past month. She declares to the waitress that the wine is perfect.
This garners interest with the clueless bunch: Based on his facial expression, Brother-in-law Kang De looks as if he’s definitely rating An Zhen a ten out of ten in hotness, Rui Fan seems to be in complete disbelief at his ex-wife’s 180-degree transformation, and Wei En looks like a mouse trying to hide discreetly from the big bad cats. So far, so good. The plan’s successful.
During the middle of lunch, Tian Wei steps outside to make a call. Wei En approaches him when he finishes, asking him if he’s truly serious about pursuing a relationship with An Zhen. Sticking to the plan but also with sincerity, he lists off An Zhen’s personal attributes that make her attractive–feminine grace, beauty, and cultured manners–and goes off to add that with her personality, who wouldn’t want to date her? Wei En pointedly reminds him that she’s a divorcée with a child and also much older than him. So? He remarks that she’s currently dating a man like that too.
Tian Wei finds it odd that she’s butting her nose into his business. Wei En immediately defends herself, saying that she cares about An Zhen getting hurt. “If you really cared about her, you would return her husband to her.” With that, Tian Wei leaves.
At the men’s restroom, Rui Fan asks Kang De to find out his ex-wife’s relationship with Tian Wei. Kang De can’t help but comment on this concern for An Zhen, which he interprets as jealously. Though he denies this, it’s evident that Rui Fan is jealous, having never been anything but the most important person in An Zhen’s life.
Lunch is finished and Rui Xuan gets the bill, which is obviously out of her budget. Tian Wei saves her face and offers to pay for the meal. To everyone’s surprise, An Zhen steps in to pay, even though this is her first “date” with Tian Wei.
On the ride home, Kang De still can’t get over An Zhen’s makeover, feeling like she’s suddenly become a top model and is no longer the sister-in-law he knows. Rui Xuan corrects him, saying that she really isn’t his sister-in-law and that he’s supposed to be happy that she’s finally moving in a positive direction in her life. If An Zhen happens to snatch Mr. Rich Guy in the process, then she’ll be rich and live well. She tells her hubby to go and tell her brother this, knowing full well that this is all a part of the plan. Oh how the tables have turned.
Despite her flawless acting as a completely changed, confidant woman earlier that day, An Zhen is still unsure of how to act around her husband and cousin when she reaches home. Tian Wei’s last advice to her is to continue pretending as if he’s not there, that without him, she’s better off. As for Wei En, she should treat her the way she likes, even to the point of driving the other girl crazy.
At a stoplight, they run into Rui Xuan’s car in the lane next to them. While they wait for the light to turn green, An Zhen and Rui Fan look at each other, which Wei En notices. Even when the light turns green and Tian Wei drives off first, Rui Fan’s gaze lingers after their car for a brief moment before following. All this time, Wei En has this huge death glare on her face. Girl, you can feel jealous for all I care. Now you know what it feels like to be the third wheel.
At home, Rui Fan knocks politely on An Zhen’s door, even though the door is wide open. An Zhen makes an effort to ignore him first, following Tian Wei’s advice to treat him as a stranger. Rui Fan awkwardly stands there next to her as she’s taking off her earrings, telling her that he’ll have to trouble her with his presence until he finds a job. Until then, he’ll have to stay here. I love her reply: “Okay… but be sure to hurry. I don’t want Meng Meng to be affected because of you two.” One point for An Zhen.
He doesn’t leave it at that, but brings up that she’s certainly changed a lot during this past month. He goes on, wondering if all her makeover was really necessary, since he likes how she was before. Staring straight at him, An Zhen asks, “Does anyone care for your opinion? Or am I supposed to care about your opinion?” Ouch. But that was a good one. Another point for An Zhen.
I don’t know if it’s because he’s so unused to her disinterest in him, but Rui Fan continues with another point, which is probably his biggest reason for seeking her out. He starts to say that he doesn’t think that she should suddenly be in a new relationship when she cuts him off, telling him that she read a book that brought up an interesting quote. “If you cry because you missed the sun, then you’ll also miss the stars.” As if that wasn’t enough for him to get the point, she asks him if he wants her to miss the stars this time around.
Rui Fan: No. I just want to caution you to be careful.
An Zhen: You don’t have to worry. I’ll be sure to find a man that’s not like you.
At this, I love how Rui Fan holds a hand to his jaw, as if he’s been punched or something. Guess that last one really did hurt a bit. The winner of this battle of wits? An Zhen. Hands down.
Rui Fan returns to his study where Wei En awaits. It doesn’t sit so well with her that he just talked to her. She takes this opportunity to ask if he thought An Zhen was really pretty today, since his eyes never left hers during the meal. He admits that she really was beautiful tonight, but that he was also concerned for her. He speculates that her transformation may stem from shock, while Wei En is quick to point out that even if she’s changed, it’s none of his concern anymore. While this is true, Rui Fan can’t completely disregard her since An Zhen is his ex-wife and the mother of his child.
Wei En scoffs at this, wondering why they even got divorced in the first place since he’s probably regretting it now that his ex has become so gorgeous. She’s fishing for confirmation of his love, and Rui Fan is quick to give it. Reassured that he will always think that she’s prettier and that he’ll love her more, Wei En leaves him alone to prepare for his job interview the next morning. God, it’s easy to satisfy her, though I don’t mean that in a bad way.
The next morning, Tian Wei wakes up and walks into the living room to find An Zhen’s heels on the floor. Annoyed, he yells for her to pick it up and hears her response in his head, remembering that she’s no longer living with him. He reminisces back to a night when he found her still practicing with her heels on while trying to balance a book on top of her head.
Unaware of his presence behind her (and therefore unable to see his hot chocolate abs!!!), An Zhen was practicing her walk in high heels from one side of the room to another. Seeing her put in so much effort into her training, he smiles and goes back to sleep. Back to reality, he remarks to himself that for the first time ever, his house is too quiet. Aw, it’s only been a day and you already miss her. So cute.
Because the professional world knows of his divorce and affair, Rui Fan is unable to meet with the president of the company, though one of his friends tried to get him this interview. He tries to seem unaffected, but it’s definitely another blow to add to his wounds.
An Zhen and Tian Wei are practicing ballroom dancing, tripping and stepping all over each other. Both of their feet hurt, and it’s ironic that Tian Wei was the one who messed up more in the waltz than she. Teehee. The reason he’s brought her here is to expose her to more “feminine activities” and to make sure that she actually continues her study. An Zhen can’t believe that he doubts that she can’t learn on her own, and reminds him that because she practiced so diligently, their first plan was successful.
Unimpressed, he tells her that she’s still far off from her goal and shouldn’t be feeling prideful. But at her unhappy reaction, he slowly compliments her performance that day. It’s a big deal since this is the first time he’s ever complimented her. Hahaha. These two make me smile so much that my cheeks hurt.
Though he has nothing more to teach her at this point, he says that there’s still one little test that she has yet to pass. Er, what?
Carrying a box of empty bottles, he takes her to a stranded place.
Taking a beer bottle, he hurls it at the wall, yelling “Xie An Zhen, you’re such an idiot!” He hands her a bottle to throw herself. Her first attempt is weak and doesn’t even reach the walls, but when she follows his advice of cursing while throwing, she’s able to shatter the glass perfectly. The two have fun and it’s evident that this game of throwing the bottles at the wall is such a cathartic release for the both of them. It’s interesting that the first person she curses isn’t Rui Fan, but him. Oh, you two.
Since they’ve been eating junk food for several days now, Rui Fan and Wei En shop for food. Wei En doesn’t know how to cook, so she suggests French bread with cheese and wine, despite the fact that they have been eating bread for days now. Rui Fan slips and says that it’s okay if she can’t cook, since An Zhen has returned home now. Peeved that a part of him still wants to eat his ex-wife’s cooking, Wei En storms off while Rui Fan scolds himself. Ah, the comparisons between ex-wife and new girlfriend begin!
Indeed, the two come home to find that An Zhen has the table all set with food. Seeing it, Wei En tells her that they will also be eating yummy food today, but An Zhen ignores her. She tells Rui Fan that his sister will be bringing the kids over and he understands that the food she has prepared to doesn’t include them.
Not willing to budge an inch, Wei En declares that they’ll be eating at the dining table too. Smiling, An Zhen offers to grab her glasses for her red wine. She hands the glass to her, but as Wei En reaches for it, promptly drops it to floor, the glass shattering everywhere. Wei En is startled and pissed, practically dragging Rui Fan away. The dude’s obviously reluctant to leave ‘cause to be honest, who wants French bread with cheese over a full course meal? No one but Wei En.
An Zhen stands triumphant. Is it just me, or does her smile look like a wolf playing around with a prey? Once they leave, she returns back to her old self, grinning sheepishly, but happily at what she’s just done.
Rui Fan sits on the stairs, listening to the joyous sounds of children below. Kang De brings up a tray of food that An Zhen purposefully left for him. Although Rui Fan lies and says he’s not hungry, his eyes betray him, especially when he hears that An Zhen was worried that he wasn’t eating properly. But when he picks up his chopsticks, Kang De sort of rubs it his face by saying, “Look at you. Before, your wife would make whatever you want, whenever you wanted it. Now, it’s hard to even get one bite of her cooking.” Remembering his pride, Rui Fan pushes the tray back into Kang De’s hands and goes back up the stairs.
Kang De tells the ladies downstairs what just happened, suggesting to An Zhen that next time, she should cook something oily so that the aroma will carry itself up the stairs to the point that it will completely aggravate him. It’s here that his wife accidentally spills the beans that they not only want Rui Fan to eat his ex’s food, but that they want him to crawl back to her.
Relieved, Kang De jokes that he was worried that he wouldn’t be able to eat his sister-in-law’s cooking ever again, and at this, An Zhen cautions him solemnly that if he accidentally leeks her plan to Rui Fan, she’ll never forgive him. Shocked but impressed, Rui Xuan and Kang De applaud her for her newfound confidence and guts.
At the urging of the other two, An Zhen stops by her in laws to tell them that she’s divorced and that Rui Fan had an affair. She tells them not to blame him, since the past is the past. In fact, she reveals to them that she plans to get him back.
Rui Fan successfully manages to get interviewed for a job position, though it’s not the one he wants. He’s offered to be a director at a new company, which seems like light years away from the vice presidential position he would have possibly been given if he had stayed with his own company. The manager tries to persuade him to accept the position given his current situation even though it’s not what he wanted, since having a job is better than none. However, Rui Fan doesn’t want it and goes off to Brooding Land by himself.
An Zhen is preparing to meet with Tian Wei when she hears Rui Fan come home. She leaves her door open as he’s coming up the stairs, unable to ignore that she’s trying to zip up a dress. She sees him and feigns embarrassment, but asks him to zip it up for her.
Just when he’s finished, An Zhen hears Wei En coming down the office. She seizes this opportunity to trip and fall right into Rui Fan’s arms so that an angry Wei En sees and yanks him away from her arms.
An Zhen’s angry too, especially when Wei En tells her that what she’s wearing doesn’t suit her and makes her seem like she’s trying to lure her ex-husband back. She retorts that Wei En has no right to use this word, saying that jealousy only makes her uglier. Oooooh.
Rui Fan has to practically drag Wei En away back upstairs, and An Zhen can’t help but eavesdrop on their bickering. While Wei En packs her stuff into a suitcase, a horn beeping outside draws Rui Fan away to see Tian Wei lead his ex to her car. An Zhen tells Tian Wei that there’s no need for them to continue acting, only to be told that Rui Fan is looking above on the balcony. They continue the act and drive away, leaving him to watch over them.
Rui Fan returns to find that Wei En is finished packing and the two engage in a huge shrill fest that grates on my poor ears. She manages to drag her luggage downstairs and runs into Rui Fan’s parents who have come to help An Zhen anyway. Bewildered and quite unprepared, the two don’t really know what to do.
Grandma leads Wei En upstairs and is surprisingly kind to her, going as far to say that she’s never liked An Zhen and is happy to have a new daughter-in-law. This obviously makes Wei En happy, and she agrees to Grandma’s request to cook dinner for them that night. Downstairs is a much different scene. Grandpa berates his son for getting a divorce and for hiding it.
Now alone together, An Zhen shares with Tian Wei a conversation she had with He Ai Lin, when the latter asked her what she wanted. She had responded that she only wanted her husband and child, but now she doesn’t know if that’s her number one goal now. She asks him if she’s changed into a different person, in which he replies that he didn’t change her into someone new, but only taught her to have more confidence in her own abilities. When she started this fight, she felt gloriously triumphant; now, she finds it hard to be happy.
Then did you forget what they did to you?
They were cruel to me, but does this mean that I have to become a bad person? Who I want to be should not be influenced by the way others treat me.
Instead of asking herself why her husband left her and whether or not he still loved her, she started asking herself if she still loved him. I love the look Tian Wei gives her—a bit stunned, as if he never thought she would stop loving her ex, but also thoughtful, as if he also expected this outcome.
For several hours, Wei En has been busy preparing for dinner when Grandma stops by to check on her. Immediately, she starts nitpicking the dishes, such as pointing out that some dishes lack green onions and ginger, essential ingredients the novice cook has forgotten to buy. But of course, Grandma checks the fridge and finds that her ex-daughter-in-law has the necessary ingredients, rubbing it in Wei En’s face that cooking is only the first basic duty any daughter-in-law must do. With that, she stomps away.
Wei En gives Grandma the death glare behind her back, slamming the knife on the cutting board. I’m getting chills here. Ooomph.
The dinner obviously doesn’t go very well, with Rui Fan’s parents critiquing and laughing at Wei En’s cooking every step of the way. Pissed, Wei En defends herself, saying that although she sucks at cooking, she’s the woman Rui Fan loves right now. She incites their anger further, telling them to leave the house. After her outburst of anger, she runs upstairs. The older adults are only too happy to oblige to her little request, but not before berating Rui Fan for acting so stupid. They demand that he asks for An Zhen’s forgiveness immediately.
Rui Fan comforts Wei En, holding her close. For all her earlier efforts, today was quite a blow. She tearfully asks him why they can’t love peacefully without being bothered by others.
Even Rui Fan finds this relationship difficult, venting his frustrations to Kang De, who is also fatigued from giving him advice. Rui Fan is restless, experiencing for the first time what it feels to be jobless. He was always given what he wanted in life, so to have it all taken away from him puts him in a position he’s not familiar with. With a twinkle in his eye, Kang De reveals to him that Tian Wei has been pursuing An Zhen relentless, and that although she has yet to accept his love, it will probably happen sooner or later.
An Zhen hesitantly leaves the house the next day for more training with Tian Wei. She isn’t too keen about leaving her daughter in the hands of her ex-husband and his girlfriend, but I’d say that she was more worried about Wei En taking care of her daughter than anything else. I understand her concern here, but I find it odd because she did leave her daughter with them for a month, not to mention the time the countless hours Wei En has spent taking care of Meng Meng during the earlier days. Maybe it’s just a mother’s intuition? Hmm.
A happy Wei En spots Meng Meng outside in the yard trying to hula hoop. She gleefully seizes this opportunity to ask Meng Meng to call her “Mom” in return for some hula hoop lessons. The precocious little girl responds that she only has one mother and she’ll never call someone else her mom, even when, as Wei En points out, her dad may remarry.
She pushes Wei En to the ground and refuses to apologize. Consequently, Meng Meng is locked outside, barred from coming in no matter how loud she cries and screams. This scene almost kills me. It’s too tragic. Poor child.
Rui Fan finally emerges from searching for some new work online, noticing that the house is strangely quiet and that his daughter is nowhere to be seen. He finds a very relaxed Wei En reading a magazine, not worried about the fact that after all that shrill crying earlier, the house is eerily quiet now. He’s told that his daughter was disciplined for having poor manners. The poor guy’s shocked that she would discipline his daughter, but even more appalled that her response is, “Well my dad used to lock me outside of the house whenever I did something wrong.”
He runs to the backyard only to find his daughter limp and lifeless, running a high fever. Wei En comes down, sees what has happened, and her face falls. Girl knows she’s to blame.
A very worried An Zhen rushes home that night to find her daughter sleeping and Rui Fan. Rui Fan takes responsibility and apologizes for not looking after his daughter properly. He promises to love Meng Meng and take care of them both for the rest of his life. He takes her hand and covers it with his own.
From the corner, Wei En looks on sadly. She walks away and asks herself if this is what she really wants.
Was that a good episode or what? I loved it, especially all the glass shattering motif in this episode. It worked all the right notes for me, both emotionally and objectively. Before I jump in on my comments about this particular episode, I want to take the time to talk about the drama as a whole. I give you permission to take a break and get some coffee because what I’m about to say next is going to take up a bit of your time. You also have permission to run away and come back later. Or not. Man, if only I had started writing about this drama earlier so that I could pace my thoughts instead of trying to squeeze it all into one lousy recap. Darn you, procrastination!
What I like about The Fierce Wife (which will be abbreviated to FW from now on) is that it really gets underneath your skin with its characters, but definitely in a good way. When I first read the synopsis, I wasn’t that interested. However, having watched quite a few Kdramas that have dealt with the issue of cheating and affairs over the years, I wanted to see another drama’s take on this issue. But the real reason why I watched this was because all of my close Taiwanese buddies were recommending it to me, chatting about the drama whenever they could. With all this talk about FW this and FW that, I wanted to join in on the conversation, which is why I ultimately decided to gives this drama a chance. Oh the power of enablers is effective indeed. I would know, since I’m an enabler myself, and quite a persuasive one if I do say so myself. 😛 Just kidding.
So when I first tuned into FW, I was completely surprised at how much character detail was given. The drama takes the time to introduce the characters to us, which made them tangible and alive. These aren’t just characters from a script, but living, breathing people who I can relate to. Because I myself have been cheated on before in a relationship, I can tell you that some of these episodes really hit home for me. I can also tell you that there have been moments where I would pause or stop my watch because I couldn’t take it anymore. Not because it wasn’t good but because it felt too real, as if I was experiencing the pain all over again through the character of An Zhen.
I love An Zhen, I really do. She’s such a naive and sweet soul–it’s hard not to like her. It’s easy for a character like this to become aggravatingly annoying because she’s so darn perfect in her wifely duties. But while she may be one of the best housewives out there, I think she’s still flawed and I believe the drama portrays her as such. (Major kudos to Sonia Sui). Her relationship with Rui Fan is so wonderfully layered. Their relationship is built on years of trust and respect. Their love for each other is subtle in the way they treat each other so although they may not be passionate lovers anymore, they’re very comfortable around each other. He trusts his wife to take care of all his home and daughter while she trusts that he will provide for their family aka bring home the bacon. While she may be the giver in this family, I’d say that their love is stable. So if their love was stable, how could a story like this come to fruition?
Before I watched this drama, I’ve always wondered why affairs arise. Why, after several years, a marriage may dissolve. As an outsider, it always boggled my mind to hear about husbands and wives discovering their spouse’s affair last after everyone else. Were they ignorant or were they simply too trusting of the other person? In FW, I realized that an issue such as this can never be answered with a black and white perspective of the world. According to this drama, the world is a myriad of colors. Therefore, every action by an individual can almost always be explained, if not by them, then by someone else.
In fact, that’s why I love Fierce Wife– it never tries to force-feed us to believe in one side, but actually presents the story from various perspectives. All the time. I appreciate this, especially since the drama doesn’t force us to hate or love one OTP [one true pairing] over another. (Though recently it’s hard not to root for a certain OTP. *coughcough**ahem* Tian Wei & AnZhen *ahem**coughcough*). It lets the story take its own course and gives us the right as viewers to think liberally. In fact, whenever I form an opinion about a character, I always find myself doubting my stance and re-analyzing it. Let’s take Wei En for example. I didn’t like her from the get-go and I still don’t like her. Do I hate her? Yes. But is she the evil biatch that I want to kill and that I want to send into poopooland? Um no.
Wei En has many sides to her that makes her both a villain and a victim. She’s a victim because she’s suffered from physical, mental, and emotional abuse over the years. As a child caught up in the divorce between her own parents and as someone who has seen how destructive love can be, I can empathize with her. The world has treated her like crap and has conditioned her in a way that she has become absolutely obsessed about a love that she’s never received before. Because she lacks this kind of love, it makes her do all sorts of crazy things.
So that’s why I find her so very human. She reminds me so much of Esther Greenwood, the female protagonist in the book The Bell Jar, and the story behind the name of my blog. To me, Wei En is one individual that’s comprised of many personalities, even more so than the average human being. She has contradicting characteristics that makes her so unique and memorable. I find her vulnerable in one scene and crafty in another; sensitive to those around her, yet has a twisted understanding of love. Totally harmless and caring but also violent and hurtful to herself and others. The list goes on.
Before you gasp at the horror of me empathizing with a girl who has stole another woman’s husband, let me make it clear that though I do not agree with her actions, I can see why she acts a certain way. No way do I encourage the fact that she fell in love with her cousin’s husband, nor do I support her tactics to getting what she wants. Maybe it’s the psychologist in me, but I want to understand her. I don’t want to label her off as a psycho, manipulative vixen even if she might be one. She’s complicated because she has so much depth. Her motives stem from contradicting desires. Hence, I could probably write a freaking research paper on her alone if I had the time and energy to do it.
Now let’s return back to this episode, shall we? Personally, I don’t approve of Operation Lure Husband Back OR ELSE because let’s face it, I think An Zhen deserves better. But for the sake of the story, I accept this. I was afraid that Tian Wei’s training would only make An Zhen physically more appealing, especially since the lessons were given to change her 180-degrees into a new individual. I see my concern was quite unfounded. I’m glad that Tian Wei broadened her little world and brought out her full potential. He didn’t create an An Zhen Bot 2.0, he just enlightened her. She’s still very much her, but is now much more confident in her own abilities.
After all, this is a coming of age story. This isn’t a drama that’s supposed to scare you from ever getting married or to make you believe that love isn’t out there. No, this is more of a story of a woman realizing that even when she has hit rock bottom, she can overcome adversity; that she has talent in something else other than cooking and cleaning–not that being an expert in housekeeping is anything to scoff at, but for someone like An Zhen who has been a full-time housewife for many years, it was high time she stepped out of that comfort zone. It was important for her to experience living for herself instead of going through the motions of daily activities. Loving her husband and child is perfectly fine; forgetting to love herself isn’t. It’s one thing to be selfless, another to disregard the self.
Like this drama’s title, An Zhen is fierce and tough. We’ve seen glimpses of this characteristic from episode one and particularly in her first encounter with Tian Wei, where she was adamant about purchasing that vase. Maybe that’s why I never pitied An Zhen–I cried with her, yes, but I also knew that she was capable of being someone greater. We don’t need to worry about her. She’s got this drama covered.
I’m not sure how I’m supposed to feel about Rui Fan. Some days I hate him and want to smack him senseless, other times I almost feel like bringing him into the light. I know many fans out there hate him and find him easy to hate, but as for me, I get conflicted emotions whenever I see him. Is it because of the awesome acting of James Wen? Maybe. On the other hand, I am looking forward to the moment when he has this huge epiphany of “Oh, I do love my wife after all…. oh sssshhhiiiieeeeeettttt.” Now that will be deliciously fun to see.
I don’t even think Rui Fan knows what the heck he’s doing. He divorced his wife without thinking about the consequences of dating an immature girlfriend that isn’t all that experienced in the typical housewife activities. I guess he didn’t think so far ahead. I’m sure that he does love Wei En, yet is this is hardly a love that will last, as hinted in this episode. I think that when they first “fell in love,” these two were both seeking a type of love that’s exhilarating and electrifying, the type that one sees in a stereotypical Hollywood movie. But love in the real world, as we all know, isn’t like that. Which makes this episode so so SO awesome.
One doesn’t simply divorce his wife and live happily ever after with his new love. No, Rui Fan still has to see his parents, friends, and colleagues all the time. He’s been judged (deservedly so) and now must face reality–that what you want may not be what you need; that perhaps it is better to lead a quiet, comfortable life rather than a life that’s full of headaches and thrills.
I remember in a conversation between Kang De and Rui Fan in an earlier episode that was absolutely wonderful to listen to. Being the “master of relationships,” Kang De tells Rui Fan that the love he has now is like eating 麻辣 ma la, a spicy Chinese sauce that causes a numbing feeling after it’s consumed, every day. It may taste good to him for a while, but it won’t be long before he’ll clamor for a bowl of white rice. In this analogy, Wei En is the ma la and An Zhen is the white rice, and it’s SUCH a perfect analogy for this particular scenario. Rui Fan, of course, argues that one can still survive on ma la. He’s quickly enlightened by Kang De that yes, one can survive on ma la, but eating will no longer be pleasant, since he will end up suffering from indigestion and constipation all the time. As we can see, Rui Fan has been looking mightily constipated lately. It won’t be long before I think he really starts to regret his decision in divorcing An Zhen. Heh.
As for our other male lead, Tian Wei, he’s such a typical Mr. Darcy, though the ice caps are melting. Despite liking his bluntness and aloofness, I’m not sure if he’s really the man for An Zhen. But it doesn’t matter because he’s falling in love with her whether he likes it or not. There were many cute scenes between him and An Zhen in this episode that it was hard for me not to smile. Seriously, can we get more of The Cute? I love it. Keep it coming, Show!
So am I going to recap episodes 19-25? You betcha! With something this good, I can’t not talk about it. Just don’t expect these recaps to be timely, okay? ^^