Awww. Poor Kai Qi. Looks like her days of peace and solitude are over with the new additions of tiny Xiao Yi and ball of positive energy Zhi Jie. Girl can’t catch a break in her life.
Pleasantly Surprised Episode 2 Summary:
The day after the sous chef competition and everyone chimes in on deciding Zhi Jie’s role in the restaurant. Le Xuan thinks he could work in the kitchen since he’s been working at various French restaurants in the past 10 years, while Kai Qi strongly opposes the idea, insisting that he begins working as a server, not trusting his fancy, educational background. To end the argument, the two allow him to show off his skills by cooking up one dish.
The first hour, our Zhi Jie works flawlessly, gracing the kitchen floor and handling the ingredients with a pair of meticulous hands. When the hour nears the end, he observes the people around him and change the flavor of his dish by adding excessive lemon juice. Victoriously, he ends the scene by not causing too much attention on his skills and is designated as a server…for now.
Everyone seems to believe his faulty showcase, but Kai Qi raises her eyebrows in doubts. Later, he asks her what she thinks about his dish. She puts it plainly, “You should have stopped when you were squeezing the lemons. A dish was made beautifully and it was just missing the last step. And you messed it up. Isn’t that a pity?”
He nods, explaining that might be his worst trait – making mistakes at critical moments.
She snickers at his laid back attitude and when she yells at the others to go back to work, he wonders out loud, “Were you like this in the past? Even if you are like this now, you used to be happy before. Do you remember when you were little, you had happy days?”
Looking down for a moment, she recalls the warm dinner she had with Zhi Jie, his father, and her mother. But that happiness was transient. She cries out, “Happiness is only just a fantasy in TV dramas and fairy tales. They are only tricking us. I don’t remember those kinds of useless things. So what if I remember them? We can’t go back in time.”
I kinda feel bad for Le Xuan. She has probably been told all her life how beautiful she is and that she does not need to put in effort to gain something. Here, she overhears Bao Zhu’s and Da Zhi’s conversation that the executive chef might have tampered with Kai Qi’s food, causing her the title of sous chef. Le Xuan staggers back a bit and then confronts Yong Qian about the matter. Amused by her surprise, he laughs that she should know of own mediocre ability, because if he hadn’t intervened, she would never win against Kai Qi. BURNNNNN. He explicitly continues, “Your real strength lies in your outer appearance. An attractive female chef in the kitchen will attract many customers. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t matter much to me who becomes the sous chef.”
Offended, Le Xuan smiles and firmly replies, “I’m not just a pretty face,” and encourages him to drink his coffee quickly (Little does he know extra sugar cubes have been added by Bao Zhu and Da Zhi. Pretty mild revenge.)
Kai Qi and Zhi Jie go home together for the first time and he informs her about being her new neighbor. And of course, the mere idea of his being in the adjoining apartment displeases her and she warns him to keep a distance. Immediately, a bell goes off in his head. To get a reaction out of her otherwise stern face, he only needs to push her buttons. I’m not even kidding, but Zhi Jie’s face literally perks up and he smiles impishly at her, even calling her cute. Taken back at the sudden compliment, she tells him to stop and shuts her door. Darn it, Jasper is wicked cute.
To her dismay, little Xiao Yi is sitting neatly on her couch, completely still at her arrival. Mama Du insists keeping the little boy, and Kai Qi once again explains that he’s not their responsibility. If they give in now, he’ll be their responsibility forever. Since Mama Du won’t send him back, Kai Qi pulls him away from her grasp and takes him to his father’s home, in which she’s faced with a heartless father, already planning to marry another woman. He says he doesn’t have the time to raise his own kid because he wants kids with the new woman.
Kai Qi can’t believe her ears and looks at him, confounded. When she finally pulls her gaze away from the bastard, Xiao Yi grips onto her purse and stares up at her with his pure, pleading eyes. Okay, that just breaks my heart! Make no mistake, folks, kids have a keen sense of belonging. They know when you want and don’t want them.
After gathering her thought and deciding to shoulder on the responsibility, she turns to the jerk and says, “Remember. It’s you who have abandoned to be Xiao Yi’s father. Starting today, Xiao Yi doesn’t have anything to do with you. Good thing my sister never got married to you.”
I thought she was being too nice. If I were her, I would add, “You abandoned this wonderful child. Remember it when he’s successful and loved by many.”
Reaching down to grab Xiao Yi’s hand, she notices that he’s long gone. Aww. Block after block, Kai Qi screams for her nephew and he’s standing behind the board at a bus stop across the street from where she’s standing. I think he’s mentally preparing himself to have a new life cause when he’s ready, he steps out into the light and calls for Kai Qi. She rushes over and grabs him into a long hug.
Such a beautiful scene. The promise a lifetime right there.
Nothing interesting happens at work, other than Le Xuan’s childish rivalry with Kai Qi because she takes notice of customers’ needs and wants and changes the ingredients accordingly. I don’t think Le Xuan is a decorative vase but her weakness is valuing others’ opinions over believing in her own competency. As for Kai Qi, the girl has major insecurities as well, mostly stemmed from her not-so-impressive background. Notice that she tends to react negatively to rich people and their fancy extravagance?
Having an additional family member isn’t easy. Providing shelter, food, and love for a child is a level of hard work on its own, let me tell you. Rather than deciding everything for him, Kai Qi learns to ask him what he likes. So when she’s prepared to read her manga book, he looks at her, waiting for her attention. Turns out the kid wants to watch television.
Next thing we know, he wants a shower and confesses that he doesn’t know how to take off his clothes. OKAY, writer. Seriously, the kids I know can’t wait for my slow hands to remove their clothes. But I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, seeing that his clothes have buttons on them. He happily jumps into the tub and splashes water all over the bathroom, including on Kai Qi’s face and shirt.
Before she can scold him more, the bell rings.
And this is how episode 2 ends, with Kai Qi’s dramatic wet hair and white shirt greeting a rather shy Zhi Jie.
Kap: A pretty uneventful episode because it’s still putting the key players in their right places. But I love that our heroine has a lot of emotional growth to do in the upcoming episodes. She’s perfectly fine as she is, don’t get me wrong, but growing and changing is part of life. And I’m so glad that she has two perfect contenders to teach her about the importance of happiness in the now. Xiao Yi in his sincere and raw ways of a child, and Zhi Jie in his positive and optimistic self.
The hug scene got me a little choked up. The best and worst way to bond. I like that Kai Qi got to experience abandonment as a third person (her direct involvement with her own irresponsible dad) because it forces her to dig deep in that wound and find the heart to accept little Xiao Yi in the way that she didn’t have.
Zhi Jie also needs to learn a thing or two. I really wish he didn’t know about Kai Qi’s identity until later in the story, because that makes his desire to become closer to her more natural. Right now he’s operating on the notion that she isn’t the same girl he knew as a child and I face-palm every time he’s reminded of her baby self because for god’s sake, people change Zhi Jie! Why are you so insistent that her change is bad and that her being alone means she’s a lonely person and needs your constant intrusive meddling?
For the record, I still wub you. But I’ll be impressed if the writer addresses this common misconception about loneliness.