Dangit, the men in the Chen’s household have so much self-control to throw a punch! In this sense, I would’ve loved to see Ya Juan’s mom’s reaction to the whole situation since she inadvertently facilitated Zhong En’s candle of hope.
Back to 1989 Episode 15 RECAP:
The episode opens up with Zhen Zhen in bed, smiling and musing to herself about the fact that she and Chen Che are really dating. She then hops over to her desk and notes down the anniversary of their official date, then glances at the mirror, grumping about her morning face. Girl, I have never met anyone who woke up with perfectly styled hair and make-up like you! She proceeds to put on a face mask, forgetting about work and time until it’s too late, and tries to make a dash to the bathroom undetected to wash off her egg mask. However, she bumps right into Chen Che. Embarrassment rises to her face and like any other boy, our male lead has no idea she wants to look good in front of him. In the privacy of his own room, Chen Che stops to look at a scar along his arm. Has it always been there?
Once they’re downstairs, he wonders why she’s been grumpy all morning, and she explains that no girlfriends want to look ugly in front of their boyfriends. The meaning of their dating finally hit Chen Che and he smiles at her girl’s worries, then comments honestly that this is the Ye Zhen Zhen that he knows. The answer doesn’t please her one bit and he tries a second time, by leaning in close. “Your boyfriend, me, thinks that’s (her natural appearance) very cute.”
As if making the owner happy pleases the motorcycle too, the vehicle finally roars to life. HA.
At work, Xiao Long practices with another co-worker on how to apologize to Zhen Zhen. Dude, you’re killing me. You’re the ONE getting rejected, and you’re trying to apologize? What the heck? At least his accommodating colleagues see his effort and encourage him to continue the courtship (which I personally think is useless, their kiss last night solidified their relationship already).
Before he perfected his apology, he’s pushed to main stage. Zhen Zhen honestly admits she was surprised at his confession but she won’t take it seriously. He basically repeats his confession again, and she struggles to reject him again… She’s thankful and overwhelmed by his love, and when he asks for another chance, she shyly looks at Chen Che and says she’s together with him now. Following the words of Zhong En from a previous episode, Xiao Long claims stubbornly that he still has a chance as long as they are not married. Seeing no other way to talk him out of it, Chen Che steps forward, takes the flowers, and gives them to Zhen Zhen, telling her to accept the bouquet because Xiao Long won’t stand down. The two men then exchange a promise to fight fairly for Zhen Zhen.
After apologizing and informing her mom that she wants to leave for the States as soon as possible, Ya Juan lies in bed, replaying her vague memories of last night’s assault and coming up with Zhong En’s face as the culprit. I don’t believe her or you show! Like an annoying fly, Zhong En drops by to visit, much to Mom’s delight, since she has errands to run and needs someone to keep Ya Juan company. Lady, you just invited a wolf straight in! I know he’s innocent of the crime, but I never liked this guy. Lol.
Hesitating for a few moments at the bottom of the stairs, he finally climbs up and knocks on the door, bringing us back to the last moment of Episode 14: Hearing Zhong En’s voice, Ya Juan jolts upwards, her eyes grow wide with fear, and runs to the door just in time to stop him from entering. He says he’s worried and wants to see her. Taking in deep breaths, she musters up the courage to open the door and face him. “Last night…was it you?” Taken aback, he thinks to himself, Ya Juan thinks it’s me? But if she knows it’s someone else, how would she be able to take it? ARGGGG!
Zhong En: “Since it already happened, I will take full responsibility.”
Me: “To go to jail?” You silly fool! Tell her it’s not you!
His dismissal of her suffering drives her off the edge. Shaking, she asks how he could ruin her whole life and simply says he would take responsibility. He barks back that he will take care of her, love her, and make up for it for the rest of his life. They can move to the states and forget all these unhappy things. I want to slap you right now. How could she live by your side, staring into the face of the man who ruined her?
She pounds his chest, tears come flooding out in streams, demanding to know how he could do this to her. He lets her beat him repeatedly, voiceless. Before she slams the door shut, she tells him to make himself scarce because she never wants to see him again. Behind closed door, she slumps to the floor in sobs.
Lunchtime at work. Seriously show? You think I’m in the mood for some chippy romance between Chen Che and Zhen Zhen after the previous scene? You and your jarring editing need to be fired! Anyway, to avoid gossip at work, Zhen Zhen excitedly points to the seat next to her on a bench at a park and offers to peel the skin off of the shrimps for him, but he stops her hand gently and says he can do it himself. Aww. He does and offers her the shrimp, which ignites a sweet smile on her face. YOU ARE BOYFRIEND MATERIAL. I GEDDIT. Mr. Perfect. Lol. When she goes in to bite, he moves the shrimp away. HAHA. So typical. She pouts and he asks her to come closer, and when she comes close enough, he swoops in for a chaste kiss. She pulls back, surprised, and the boyfriend quirks up his lip in a wry smile. “I peeled the shrimp for you, shouldn’t I get a reward?” Oh so cute.
Kissy time is over and a somber expression replaces his playful one. He thinks Ya Juan and Zhong En aren’t telling the truth, and they decide to visit Ya Juan later to see what she has to say.
Aimlessly, Ya Juan trudges down the park, deep in thought. She recalls all her moments with Jin Qin and her heavy footsteps bring her to the library where they shared their first kiss, also where she has reassured him that no matter what others say about his poor family background, only she knows the real him in her heart. Standing still, she wonders ruefully whether he could accept the person she is now. That breaks my heart. She accepted him fully and wholly, but now she’s doubting whether he could do the same, now that she’s been ravaged by another man. Tell him the truth! Give Jin Qin a chance to show he has a spine!
A sob latches at her throat as she says, “Even if you could accept me, I don’t…think I could face you.” OMG. We are really the most critical of ourselves, ya’ll. Spotting Jin Qin at the end of the aisle, she hurries out of sight. Sigh.
But alas, running away is never the solution and Jin Qin locates her outside the library and gives chase. He knows she’s avoiding him on purpose and wonders if it’s because of Zhong En, and at the mention of the said name, she finally looks up at him. He says he saw it all that night, how Zhong En hugged her and how she leaned in his embrace. Jin Qin wants an explanation but she provides nothing and walks away, but he trails after her, professing his desire to fight against the world for them to be together, “Unless it’s only my wishful thinking?” She turns around and replies that yes, them staying together only brings pain to both parties.
“Let’s break up… We have tried but we still couldn’t get the elders’ approval. I guess we don’t suit each other and it’s better for us to acknowledge the truth.” Upset at her willingness to give up, he demands her to look at him in the eye and say those words. The images of last night lends her strength to stare at him and responds with a lie. “I don’t love you! Do you know how hard it is for me to be with you? I can finally stop trying to hold on.” Defeated, he deduces she must love Wang Zhong En. Deflecting matters of the heart, she wants them to break up on good terms, and walks away.
He shouts after her, no matter how others look down on him, he only ever cares about her opinion. Ultimately, he surmises that he can never be compared to the financial stability provided by Wang Zhong En. “You also believe I am not good enough for you, right?” She remains quiet at his accusation, letting him believe the worst of her as he declares he’s now letting go of her.
She stands there crying and watching him go. You two!! I want to be mad at Jin Qin but I could only imagine how oppressed he was in the past few years with Ya Juan’s mom stomping on his self-esteem. But still, I wanted him to fight longer! Dude!
When Ya Juan reaches her house, Chen Che and Zhen Zhen have also just parked their motorbike. Upon seeing Zhen Zhen, she breaks down and reveals her break-up with Jin Qin. When Chen Che asks if it has to do with Zhong En, Ya Juan bursts out and vehemently claims that she has nothing to do with him, not now, not ever. Her strong reaction prompts Chen Che to leave the ladies alone and head out to do his own investigation.
Heading straight to the source of trouble aka Zhong En, Chen Che demands to know what happened last night, and when Zhong En doesn’t budge about the incident, but instead confirms he did tell Jin Qin to give Ya Juan to him, Chen Che is ticked off at his despicable behavior. Zhong En out-rightly says that Jin Qin has no ability to provide for Ya Juan and he merely balanced the playing field by professing his love to Ya Juan. He further explains how fate works in his favor, how it just happened that he professed his love right about the time she was afraid and lonely (after the robbery), and she accepted him. Flipping the table around, he wonders why Chen Che takes so much interest in Ya Juan’s business, and the latter declares that it’s his boyfriend’s duty to take care of Zhen Zhen’s best friend. Man, now I want to be Zhen Zhen’s best friend. Lol.
That night, Chen Che mulls over the events of the last few days and wonders whether his mom’s strange behavior has to do with being pregnant. He wants to seek answers from Grandpa, but decides against it since grandpa doesn’t like his intervention. The last person to help him find out about mom’s pregnancy is naturally….mom’s best friend.
He reveals his suspicions to Zhen Zhen. Ya Juan’s strange reaction only means that she is not pregnant with Jin Qin’s child. “I suspect it’s with Zhong En.” The moment quickly becomes anticlimactic as Zhen Zhen is in disbelief because Ya Juan has always looked at Zhong En as an older brother and nothing else. He says the truth is very important to him and it’s the main reason why he time-traveled to the past.
Chen Che comes close to Zhen Zhen and holds her by the shoulders, telling her to remain calm at the next words coming out of his mouth. “Auntie Zhen Zhen, I’m Ya Juan’s son. You cradle robber!”
LOL!! HAHAH. Just kidding.
He says, “My birthday is August of next year and it’s December right now.”
Not the sharpest tool in the box, her eyebrows furrow in puzzlement. “So..??”
“In theory, inside my mom’s womb, I’m there. So Ya Juan must be pregnant.” Dude I love you, but you’re working this poor girl’s brain cells today. HAHA. When he repeats the same words… Zhen Zhen’s brain cells slowly eat up his words… She takes a step back… “You’re… You’re Ya Juan’s son??!” Her first reaction is denial, of course, but he tells her his sob story with no dad and Ya Juan gasps for breath… and stammers out the words, “Then don’t you have to call me…Auntie?”
LOL! That’s what I have been trying to tell you, silly girl.
Drained of all words and sensation, she asks for a break to absorb his story and walks out in a daze. In the comfort of her bed, Zhen Zhen tries to make sense of her ridiculous predicament, but in a moment of clarity, she actually thinks about something else! Her friends! I’m proud of you young lady. Not knowing the full story, Zhen Zhen figures it’s easier for her brain to process the whole picture if she has more information, which means she dashes out of bed and skips breakfast, leaving the family confused at the table. Little Brother: “Boyfriend, what’s wrong with your Girlfriend?” Lol. Her haste causes Chen Che to wolf down his breakfast and follow her out, and she explains her decision to seek out Ya Juan for some answers.
Worried sick about his mom, Chen Che tags along and waits outside the house, letting the ladies talk in privacy. In tears, Zhen Zhen gathers Ya Juan in a hug, making the latter wary of the odd behavior. Zhen Zhen asks if it’s true she broke up with Jin Qin to go to the States with Zhong En, and Ya Juan eyes the ground in shame. “It’s because… I’m not good enough for him.”
At that, Zhen Zhen prods for the details, using the friendship card to guide Ya Juan out of her own misery. The instrumental song takes over as Ya Juan tells the story, leaving Zhen Zhen shocked at the implication of the revelation. Zhong En is indeed Chen Che’s father..? How could this happen?How could Zhong En do this?
Zhen Zhen assures a frightened Ya Juan that if Jin Qin knows the truth, he would never turn his back and would love her more. She tries to convince Ya Juan into telling Jin Qin the truth, but Ya Juan cries that she doesn’t want him to know the ugly truth, and would rather he thinks she had a change of heart. “I don’t want him to stay by my side because of sympathy. And I especially don’t want to ruin the image of Chen Ya Juan in his heart.” GIRL! He loves you! You know that!
Zhen Zhen: “But this is NOT your fault!”
Yes! I’m liking you a lot right now, Zhen Zhen.
Both girls are now in tears and Ya Juan says she will bring this secret to the grave.
Once outside, Zhen Zhen delivers the unfortunate news to Chen Che, inducing a mental meltdown in him. He steps back in a mixture of shock and horror at his conception. “So this is it. No wonder why Mom is always so cold towards me…. My existence is not because of love. It was the one that ruined her love!”
He asks for a moment to be alone, and that night he arrives at Zhong En’s bar, alerting his supposed father of his presence by knocking creepily on the table. PUNCH THE PUNK! PUNCH HIM!
Talking? WHAT? In a low husky voice full of menace, he warns Zhong En to stay away from Ya Juan, “If you dare to touch her, I will not play nice!” He calls Zhong En the scum of the universe, and Zhong En returns the spit-talk with his lousy if-you-didnt-see-it-don’t-coming-accusing. That fake indignant attitude drives Chen Che into grappling his lapels, “Her problems are my problems!” Zhong En hisses, “If you don’t want her to be sad, let this incident go with time!” Exasperated by Zhong En’s logical reasoning, Chen Che barks that Ya Juan will never want to see his face again, but Zhong En is sure that time will calm her down. Not over Chen Che’s body, buddy.
Waiting at work with two tickets in hands, Xiao Long friend-trips Zhen Zhen into going to the movies with him. She can’t possibly forget about her good friend now that she has a boyfriend right? I’m tired of you Xiao Long. She has a boyfriend, let it go! In other more important news, the ladies’ mothers receive distressing news about their investment in Hong Yuan. The company, as Chen Che warned Zhen Zhen’s mother a while back, is a fraud and will go bankrupt soon. Both mothers cry in unison as they receive the news over the radio and phone, respectively. Yea, call me heartless, but I don’t feel sorry for either one. One was warned by Chen Che, while the other has always looked at money as a means to climb the social ladder. But the moving aspect is the display of support their families shower them despite their mistake.
Chen Che, the one man lacking affection and love and support growing up is always the one to ease the pain and suffering at a time like this. He pulls Zhen Zhen close and lets her lean on his shoulder. “Think optimistically, you and your dad still have jobs. Losing that money won’t affect the household as much.” Zhen Zhen cries, not understanding why people could be so evil.
At the Chen’s household Ya Juan’s mom breaks the news to her husband, his hard-earned stash and Ya Juan’s tuition money are all gone. Like grandfather, like grandson, he repeats the same optimistic speech Chen Che said earlier to his wife. Still stubborn about her quest to send Ya Juan abroad, she insists on selling her own mother’s house to gather the funds. Not long after, Chen Che and Zhen Zhen come by and learn of their investment. Chen Che’s grandfather takes Chen Che aside for a talk.
He has noticed Ya Juan’s strange behavior since the Christmas party and Chen Che agonizes over the truth before revealing everything to this grandfather. Both men drown in the misery of their loved one, and Chen Che blames himself for his cruel insistence throughout the years of a father he shouldn’t mention.
Grandfather tells him it’s not his fault and suggests the hand of Fate as the ultimate culprit. Even when they both helped Jin Qin and Ya Juan date secretly, the result remains unchanged. “History cannot be changed.” A tear of daunting realization strolls down Chen Che’s cheek.
Armed with the baggage of truth, Dad approaches Ya Juan and expresses his worry about her, carefully wording his sentence to ask about her breakup with Jin Qin. His sad eyes as he looks at his daughter gathering her wits and lying about the truth breaks my heart.
He respects her decision and gives one final advice: “In life, a person will encounter many things. For every good thing, there will be 99 bad things that come along, but don’t be afraid, those beautiful moments are enough to counter the rest.”
I wasn’t crying until his last sentence: “I hope that you understand you are the one good thing in my life.” She bites down those tears but they slip out anyway and Dad apologizes for his poor attempt at consoling her. WAHH. 🙁
—————- END —————-
Kappy: The unknown element right now is the butterfly effects of Chen Che’s time-travel. While grandpa might have declared that Fate has the upper hand in maneuvering things to happen the way it likes regardless of human interventions, we have no idea of that until we are back in the future. Honestly, my ideal story would be: Tragedy still changes Mom, but now that Chen Che knows about it firsthand, he will return and be a better son. I think this would be more meaningful because it gives the past a nod of acknowledgement but also provides dimension to both Chen Che and Ya Juan. In that, tragedy can happen to us, but it does not define who we become because we will prevail (however long the healing process takes) with the unconditional support of our loved ones. It’s a beautiful message at the end of the day, and a much preferable one.
Anyway, onto happier things. Marcus, Ivy, and Mini did a shoot for SPOP! Some pictures below. They cleaned up well!
I have finally figured it out! Marcus reminds me of Qiao Zhen Yu!!
Can’t wait for the full spread!