Tip 22: You’ve only fallen in love with your imagination
The girls out out on a shopping spree to pick out some clothes for An Zhen’s next television broadcast. She chooses a plain pink shirt to wear, but Ai Lin decides that a rosy red dress would be much more fitting for the camera. She sighs and shakes her little head, wondering aloud what An Zhen would do without her.
After shopping, Ai Lin breaks the news of her engagement and that she’ll be moving to the U.S soon. Therefore, she can no longer be her manager. Even though she’s leaving her life and everything behind in Taiwan to be with her soon-to-be-husband, she longs for a simple life. She’s tired of the life she has now, and wants to live comfortably.
Ai Lin also admits to being the one to goad Rui Fan into chasing after Wei En when she had wanted to leave. If Ai Lin hadn’t done that, then An Zhen would still be happily married as Mrs. Wen. With tears in her eyes, An Zhen thanks her instead. She doesn’t miss her old life but rather loves her independence that she has now. It’s ironic how these women seem to have swapped lives since becoming close. An Zhen was originally the homemaker and Ai Lin the career woman. Now, An Zhen’s the career woman and Ai Lin is about to become a housewife.
Ai Lin reassures her that even without her, she can continue to follow her dreams. Aw, cute. But this sudden send-off seems too fabricated and random for me to love it. When one character starts admitting their past wrongdoings, it tells me that they’re about to disappear from the rest of the show. Bummer, I kind of liked Ai Lin.
Next on her list of to-do’s before she vanishes to the drama underworld, she meets up with Rui Fan, who, I might add, is sick with worry over the whereabouts of Wei En. She breaks the news of her upcoming marriage, and from her description of her fiance, Rui Fan remarks that this guy doesn’t seem to be her type. But for Ai Lin, she doesn’t care if he’s her type or not; she’s going to gamble on this opportunity.
Speaking of gambling on life, both reflect on their choices in the past few months. Rui Fan, quick to defend himself, says that his outcome isn’t certain. He couldn’t help having an affair — it was due to his rebellious nature. Pfft. Rebellious nature? Ai Lin doesn’t believe he has one either, and in her opinion, he’s more of a wannabe rebel than an actual one.
Take for example, their relationship ten years ago. Not once did Rui Fan dare take Ai Lin to meet his parents. Though they were constantly living in the moment, Rui Fan wasn’t a true rebel. He may think that the man he was ten years ago reflected his real self, but perhaps the husband side of him reflected his inner self. After all, staying happily in a marriage for ten years is no small feat. He only lost sight of that when Wei En entered his life, and rekindled his past memories.
Rui Fan is no dummy, even if he might be ignorant, and doesn’t want to here anymore advice that Ai Lin may have for him. He wishes her the best and hopes that she and her husband will be just as happy as he and Wei En are. After he leaves, Ai Lin says to herself, “That’s more of a curse than a blessing.” (Goodbye, Ai Lin. You have played your part well.)
Rui Fan turns the corner to find Tian Wei surprising An Zhen with Mi Bao, the car that he had sold off. An Zhen is blissfully happy at receiving her beloved car back. Now that she has two cars, Tian Wei asks which one she thinks is more suitable for her. Is it the older car that she has more history with, or is it the newer, more comfortable one?
Obviously, this is a loaded question, but An Zhen doesn’t notice Tian Wei’s perusing eyes, so she answers that she doesn’t know about that yet. All she cares about is that her old car is back. Rui Fan continues to hide behind the corner during this whole conversation.
Tian Wei invites his mom over to discuss about his developing romantic feelings.However, he doesn’t know how to approach the subject at first. His mom guesses his thoughts anyway.
“Tell your mom. ‘I’ve fallen in love with a woman.’ Come on.”
“But I didn’t fall in love with a woman.”
“Whoa, you’re too cool! You’ve fallen in love with a man?”
“If you didn’t fall in love with a man or a woman, then what did you fall in love with?”
“No, it’s…it’s… Xie An Zhen…”
Tian Wei admits his crush in a voice that’s akin to stealing an expensive Ferrari or something. He can’t believe that he’s fallen in love with her since she’s dumb and SO not his type. But Mommy the Psychologist helps him confirm his feelings for her and reignite the desire to pursue her. So what if she might not be able to forget about her ex-husband? He should be the man to make her forget her past relationship. What’s important now is that he listens to his heart and follows what his heart tells him to do, not his head.
Rui Fan seeks out his buddy Kang De again, the only person who currently still bothers to listen to him talk about his pathetic life. He hopes Kang De can help him find a job.
He himself is tired of all the scolding, and is also exasperated at how he and Wei En can’t find peace. Can’t they just be in love? Another great dialogue lead-in.
Kang De replies, “Love is like molding clay. For this clay to become a vase, it must go through the raging and burning flames, and only after a long period of time will it be refined and strengthened. When that time comes, only then can it be considered as love.” (I like how, throughout the series, Kang De always starts off by rebukiking his friend in jest, like he’s making fun of Rui Fan. It’s such a guy thing to do, actually. To lecture and belittle a friend first, before offering encouraging support. Instead of saying, hey bro, I’m really worried about’cha, Kang De goes on a raving tirade to get his point across.)
So in short, does Rui Fan truly love Wei En, or was it only lust? Hm, a good question to ponder.
Tian Wei helps An Zhen pick out a wedding gift for Ai Lin, and eat lunch afterwards. An Zhen chose to grab fast food and eat it outside rather than staying at the restaurant, for fear that Tian Wei would explode in anger if too many fans interrupted them. He can’t believe that she thinks that he’s that callous and apologizes. She playfully has his repeat his apology, until he realizes that she’s pulling a joke on him, remembering the last time that he had to dance for her in order to get his apology accepted.
Seeing her happy face, he pauses, then asks hesitantly if it would be alright if he started dating her. She’s completely floored, and thinks that this is some sort of prank. (Ouch, but I think that says a lot about where this relationship is gonna go…) She’s completely oblivious that he’s serious, and instead talks about coming back to the company. She doesn’t like living a life in the spotlight and begs to come back to the company. He agrees, adding that it will be harder for them to date if she comes back, though. She still thinks that this is a prank, and says that she won’t fall for it because she’s no longer the old, stupid An Zhen that he first met months ago.
A few days later, Tian Wei pays a visit after An Zhen and Rui Xuan finish up their yoga class. He’s come to tell her that he’s found Rui Fan a job, after she had pleaded for his help the last time they met. (Of course, he’s doing this to demonstrate his love for her.) A new cosmetics company has come into town, and they’re currently looking for an experienced manager with outstanding business and marketing skills. This sounds like a perfect job for Rui Fan, one that very much suits him.
Rui Xuan can’t believe he’s doing this for her brother, and An Zhen is even surprised that he looked into it, since he had originally flatly rejected her little request. He removes any thought that he did this good deed because he felt pity for Rui Fan, looking at An Zhen directly and asking her who she thought he did this for.
An Zhen enlists the help of Kang De and Rui Xuan to convince Rui Fan to accept the job, knowing that if he knew that she found this job for him, he wouldn’t even consider it. They meet him for lunch and it’s kind of sad to see how ecstatic Rui Fan is at this job offer…until he wants to personally thank the person who gave him this opportunity and finds out that An Zhen’s the Good Samaritan. He doesn’t stay long after that, and actually goes back to another company to beg for the director position, an offer he had rejected at first.
Sigh. Oh men and their pride. I just don’t understand it.
He calls Wei En and asks to meet up. Before they do, she takes a pregnancy test at a portable restroom. She runs out of the bathroom and sobs. We see that the results of the test are positive–she’s pregnant. To be honest, I’m not surprised. I was even expecting this.
Rui Fan happily breaks the news of his new directorial position, which Wei En knows isn’t the one he wants. He notes her displeasure–and discomfort. She tells him that during the time she was away, she thought a lot about the future. She realized that her psychologist was right and that she’s only chasing after men that she can’t have, as a way to cope with her past childhood trauma. She wants them to temporarily separate for a while so that she can decide if she truly loves him for him, or if she only loves the idea of him. Rui Fan erupts into fury. He left An Zhen to be with her, forsaking every comfort to be with her, only to be repaid with nothing?
She interprets this as him blaming her for everything, and also can’t believe that he’s using her as an excuse. She reminds him that he’s responsible for all the choices that he’s made thus far. They don’t actually love each other; the only love their imagination of the other person. Having made her case, Wei En turns to leave. Rui Fan stops her. She makes herself even clearer: they’re breaking up. And she never wants to see him again.
If he was pissed five seconds ago, Rui Fan is even angrier now. His actions border on violence and he grabs her shoulder, demanding to know who gave her the right to break up with him. She screams for him to let go, and wriggles out of his hold.
Slapping him, she tearfully says, “I don’t love you. I don’t even know what love is. What is love? How can I love you? I have only just realized that it wasn’t other people who were hurting me, it was myself. I will never fall in love with a man that doesn’t belong to me.This is the last time I’ll be telling you this. Goodbye, Brother-in-law.”
Leaving Rui Fan, Wei En walks by herself around the neighborhood. She passes by a pet shop and notices a cat that looks exactly like Oliver. This must be a sign of hope for Wei En, because the next thing she does is call her mother in the United States. Wei En asks her mother whether she would still love her even if she did something completely horrible. Her mother reassures her that no matter what, she’s still love her because she’s her daughter. This is what Wei En needed to hear.
How appropriate is it that she leaves behind her red high heels on the ground and walks barefoot back to An Zhen’s house. Packing all of her stuff into her suitcase, she sets off, now wearing comfortable tennis shoes before setting off.
She decides to stop by to thank Tian Wei for all his help, especially for asking his mother to talk with her. She breaks the news that she’s broken up with Rui Fan and is heading back to the States. She also apologizes for her behavior during the time they were dating. Tian Wei is shocked at the news, and asks about what Rui Fan will do now. Wei En knows that he likes An Zhen, but hopes that he discontinues liking her. She doesn’t want to see Rui Fan lose everything, and sincerely wishes that he’ll reunite with An Zhen. She’s even willing to bet that they’ll get back together.
Though these past few months have turned into a nightmare for her, perhaps instead of a nightmare, they were all a beautiful dream for An Zhen. She then leaves, leaving Tian Wei to ponders her words. He bolts out of his chair and runs to meet An Zhen, just as she’s getting off work.
She barely greets him when he announces that Rui Fan and Wei En have broken up. Before she can ask what happened, he warns her that she’s not allowed to comfort him or reunite with him. Can she guess why he ran all the way to tell her this? No, it’s not because he has a good heart. No no no, it’s because he’s fallen in love with her and is afraid that she’ll waver and want to return to be with Rui Fan.
This comes as a complete surprise for An Zhen, and she again tries to play it off as a joke. He tells her that this is not a joke, and that he does love her. He tried to tell her last time as well. By now, An Zhen can see his earnest sincerity, but chooses to not respond to his confession. She mumbles that he should stop with his pranks, and leaves to pick up Meng Meng.
She comes home to find Wei En waiting outside the house. (I thought she left? And where’s Meng Meng?) Wei En says that the last time they fought, she never expected An Zhen to defend her. It helped her realize that she only remembered how others treated her, and now how she treated them. She asks for An Zhen’s forgiveness and also hopes that she’ll accept her apology.
An Zhen accepts, but drops the subject when forgiveness is mentioned. With subdued emotions, she says that as long as Wei En is happy, that’s all that matters. She wishes her the best in her future. Thanking her, Wei En says that she has one thing that she must give back to her. A curious An Zhen looks as Wei En presents something…
Another unexciting ending, but that doesn’t dampen my spirits at all, now that we’re approaching the finale. As usual, there were a few unnecessary plotlines, but I guess the thing about Fierce Wife is that it likes to drag out the plot to demonstrate further developments among the characters, even when I honestly think the relationships in this drama are palpable enough without the slow storytelling. This drama could have easily ended at 20, instead of 23. With An Zhen returning to the car sales industry, I wonder if it was really necessary, then, for her to have gained public acceptance in the first place. Oh well, what’s done is done.
So let’s talk about Tian Wei and An Zhen’s relationship for a moment. In the beginning, I had hoped that he would be a better guy for An Zhen, but now that I think about it, he’s not very compatible for An Zhen, either. Sure, he’s helped her discover her inner strength and all, but is he someone that she needs right now? Oh hell no. I honestly don’t even see his appeal. Just because he’s the second lead man in FW, and a much less douchey guy than Rui Fan, doesn’t mean he’s automatically THE man for An Zhen.
I think I’m much more open to the idea right now that An Zhen doesn’t need a man in her life. She’s no longer a woman whose life revolves around fulfilling her duties and satisfying the whims of her husband, but a woman that finally wants to pursue her independence. Therefore it’s so satisfying to see this change, but also to see how she’s remained sincere and kind even after gaining popularity.
It was inevitable that Rui Fan’s relationship with Wei En wouldn’t come to complete fruition, right? I mean, I’m sure I’m not the only one who was counting down the episodes until their break-up. Their relationship wasn’t right to begin with, so it comes to no one’s surprise that they slowly realize this for themselves. I’m glad Wei En came to find a way out of her own problems. Now that she’s no longer under an illusion that everyone else around her is cruel, and that she is unloved, she’s a much more likable character. This isn’t to say that her past deeds can be completely erased from memory, but at least she’s no longer the insane beyotch that she was. And now we can hate her less….kinda.
I’m honestly not sure that I’m content with how their relationship ended. Like a commentator said last week, it seemed way too easy for Tian Wei’s mom to come in and aid all of Wei En’s problems. It feels like another deus ex machina at work, and I despise those kind of resolutions. Still, I look forward to the finale, in which I hope to see how our female protagonist decides what she’ll do with her life, now that she has a chance to either rekindle her relationship with Rui Fan, or start anew with Tian Wei, or decide that she likes being single for now.
I don’t want a perfect, neatly bow-tied ending, because that’s not how life is. Life is unpredictable and full of conflicts, and how people must overcome these problems of life. This drama was never really about who gets with who, but more about how must one approach a situation when all they hold to be true turns out to be a lie.