The Way We Were: Episode 5 “Frustrating.”

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College days are over kiddos! Our group of friends enter a phase of their lives…There’s also a time jump. Very farrrrrrrr into the future. But before they jump that hurdle, we meet our favorite trope in dramaland! Noble Idiocy!

Episode 5 Recap:

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Actress Vivian Hsu narrates:

“If one doesn’t speak out their thoughts, no one will know it. Love was planted yesterday. Not afraid of a long distance. The heart has no goodbyes. If we meet again.” – Vivian Hsu

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Aftermath of the terrible Earthquake: Jia Ni, Rui Rui, and Guo Qing wait anxiously outside the hall of the hospital.

On his way to hospital, Wei De narrates about the changes that suddenly happen and take control over one’s life. You cannot stop it, you can only accept.

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Surgery ends and the gang approaches Jun Jie’s ward slowly, pausing at the door to listen to the wailing of Jun Jie’s mother on her son’s misfortune. Rui Rui suggests they go home for today and Jia Ni shakes her head, it’s her fault that Jun Jie is injured, the least she could do is apologize.

She bows her head to Jun Jie’s parents, but he assures her it’s not her fault. “My foot is injured because of the sudden earthquake, not you.” The father is more understanding and tells Jia Ni not to feel guilty, as it is a natural disaster after all.

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On the way home, Wei De parks briefly, “Are you gonna be like this the whole time? It’s not your fault.” She nods and changes the subject, “What did you want to tell me yesterday?” Remembering his planned confession and the ill-timed accident, Wei De cites that it’s not the best time right now. They ride home in silence and Wei De thinks back, “If the person with you that day was me, our relationship would turn out so different. That day I felt like I lost you.”

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Still feeling guilty about the whole accident, Jia Ni visits Jun Jie every day at the hospital, making sure to borrow class notes and CDs for him. Touched, Jun Jie finds it comfortable to be staying there. They joke around that he’d become a fattie soon.

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Leaving the room, Jia Ni’s slightly startled to see Jun Jie’s mother standing at the doorway. The two relocate to a hallway bench to continue their conversation. Wang Mama wonders whether she’s Jun Jie’s girlfriend, and when Jia Ni confirms that they are merely good friends, she sneers, “If you’re not his girlfriend, why did he look for you on the day of the earthquake? Why did he save you without considering himself first?”

Fumbling to answer, Jia Ni can only apologize again, to which Wang Mama cuts to the chase, “The doctor said that he’ll never be able to walk normally again. In the future, don’t come again.”

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At home, she seeks privacy in the rooftop. Her peace is interrupted with the intrusion of Wei De. He climbs up the ladder and crouches by her side. Seeing her long face and misty eyes, he encourages her to cry it out, even scooting closer and lending his shoulder, in case she needed it. “After you cry, you’ll find that the world is the same tomorrow.”

Except the world will not be the same for Jun Jie. She tells Wei De about Jun Jie’s possiblity of not ever recovering from his injury. He sighs and speaks candidly, “Since no one wanted this incident to happen, as Jun Jie’s friends, we can only replace out tears with smiles and help him move forward.”

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She thinks otherwise. Jun Jie has dreams of studying abroad and she isn’t sure he still has the courage to chase his dreams with a crippled leg. Ill at ease, Jia Ni feels horrible for rejecting his feeling and subsequently indirectly causing his life-long injury. Frustrated of her mashing the two emotions together, Wei De explains that the two feelings are different, she shouldn’t put them together. She doesn’t see his point and states coldly, “That’s because you don’t know what liking a person means.” AND YOU DO MISSY?

In his room, Wei De pulls out a pen and a piece of paper to write down his unspoken thoughts. But his phone goes off and he heads out after greeting the person on the other line with “Dad?”

Wei De’s father sits at the table when Wei De walks inside the apartment. He motions to the bedroom, “Your mom’s condition isn’t good. She knew so she came back…”

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Entering the room quietly, Wei De takes a seat by his pale mother. As she speaks about the crimes of infidelity, tears fall from her eyes. “The person I loved most isn’t your father. And yet because of him, I have forsaken everything.” She reaches out to touch Wei De’s shoulder but his face is transfixed in the other direction, refusing to look at her face. She continues, “I’m sorry for giving you grief during your childhood, being made fun by your classmates for having an immoral mother.” A solo tear escapes Wei De’s eye. When she coughs violently, he helps straighten her out on the bed and hugs her.

The next day, Jia Ni comes to the hospital to find Jun Jie’s empty. She tries calling him but we see his depressed expression in a car as he turns off the phone. She seeks out Rui Rui and the latter verifies that he’s left for Tainan.

Wei De returns home and slowly approaches Jia Ni’s door. He knocks a few times; when no one answers, he slides down the wall and leans against it. His mom’s words ringing in his ears, “While living, we don’t have to be with the one we love most. The one we love, we only need to look from afar. Keeping it inside my heart…” What kind of stupid advice is that MOM? I swear.

Sick-mom-continued-advice: “If I didn’t start this, I wouldn’t have lost everything. Forcing…is the beginning of suffering. Making ourselves suffer. Making the ones you love suffer.”

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Coming back home to Tainan, Jia Ni finally locates Jun Jie’s physical therapy session. He doesn’t look too pleased to see her at the door. And I find it ironic that she continuously friend-zoned him at every turn, “No matter what happens to your leg in the future, our friendship will never change.” Of course he doesn’t read between the lines and simply smiles when she promises to come visit him every month.

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The pouring rain in Taipei does nothing to lift Wei De’s mood as he’s surrounded in his castle of turbulent emotions. He seeks Jia Ni’s company. Her phone rings just as she leaves to buy some drinks for Jun Jie. He hesitates for a few seconds before picking up the phone and Wei De hangs up upon hearing the other man’s voice. It takes Jun Jie a few seconds to correctly guesses the caller’s identity. He wonders to himself, “Maybe my injury isn’t a bad thing after all.” Yea, go down that road Jun Jie. It’s very healthy and highly recommended for a destructive road ahead. 😀

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Guo Qing takes Wei De out to drown his sorrows. The lonesome man fesses up after a few beers, “My mom told me that forcing something only makes it harder for yourself!” Sigh, he thinks he’s forcing himself to be with Jia Ni and may end up hurting her. Moreover, he doesn’t believe that he could bring happiness to a family like Jun Jie. “If there is no beginning, there is no loss.” Hmm, we heard this before…

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At the end of the day, his ex-girlfriend shows up per his request. They kiss their way into the apartment and onto his bed. Before he swoops down for more, she blocks his mouth and asks seriously, “Do you love me?” He has no answer and plummets his lips down to hers. They kiss for a few seconds before he becomes wracked up in emotional turmoil and cries on her shoulder.

You are changed man, Wei De. Or I could say meeting Jia Ni ruined you! 😉

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Next morning, Wei De broods on his bed next to the girl when Jia Ni returns home and knocks on his door to deliver breakfast. She grumbles when he opens the door, shirtless and smiling greasily, but nothing can be compared to the stunned silence on her face when she eyes the naked girl on his bed. He puts on his best playboy act and tells her about his almost-dead mother, she expresses her concerns for him and he smiles derisively, responding, “I was this way before we met too. I don’t like to be bound. So please don’t mind other people’s business.” Perplexed by his behavior, she says she was never that type of person and clarifies that they are good friends.

He agrees about being good friends and accuses of her crossing the barrier and developing feelings for him. He forces a kiss on her and ends up getting slapped across the face. It’s a real slap! He coolly tells her it’s a parting gift as he’ll be moving out soon.

And life goes on soundlessly without Wei De’s booming voice in the apartment.

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We revisit him and his dad after they carry out his mother’s funeral. He informs Dad that he’s quitting school and work to enlist in the army.

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The gang, without Wei De, visit Jun Jie’s place for dinner and at Jun Jie’s mention of his disqualification in enlisting, Guo Qing casually drops that he would have to help Wei De fill out the drop-out forms by himself then. At that, everyone mentally freezes. The others do not know what happened between Jia Ni and Wei De, so they are free to criticize him for not contacting them in so long.

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Wei De might have moved away, but his belongings are lounging around messily in his room. The boss lady pays Jia Ni money to help her organize his stuff. As Jia Ni searches around, she smiles at the items that come with attached memories – the adult video that the boys watched and their numerous photos throughout their short-lived friendship. She stumbles upon the letter that he wrote that night. In it he pours out his true feelings to her – how he loves sneaking looks at her whether she’s doing laundry or wolfing down big meals. It surprised him that the things he loved most about her is so ordinary and yet so beautiful.

As she scans line after line of his honest confession, tears well up and fall from her eyes. The letter warps into Wei De sitting on the bed, saying these lines to her in person.

“Loving someone is a responsibility, but am I certain that I will like you for a long time? If by me liking, it will end up hurting others, then I’d rather not start. If it doesn’t start, then no one will get hurt. Right?”

How could she read this whole letter and do nothing?

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Our gang of four attend a concert and one of the guests is Wang Lee Hom and he sings, “Revolution.” Wei De also makes an appearance behind their backs, however briefly, to stare at his friends from afar, noticing the chummy behavior between Jia Ni and Jun Jie. He turns around and walks away, just as Jia Ni senses his presence and tiptoes to take a closer look. She misses him.

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Whatever the misfortune, time keeps spinning, and our bumbling crew of college kids move to the new millennium, and yet it seems like they are stuck in the past. Jun Jie accompanies Jia Ni back home and the former notes that if hurting his leg could bring them closer, he thinks it’s worth it. This is sad. Really sad. What’s wrong with this kid?!!

He takes another jab, “But I don’t know if you’re wiling to accept the current me.” Not very bright in picking up hints, Jia Ni replies eagerly, “Of course, I will. No matter what, you’re always my best friend.” Lol. Friend-zoned.

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(Love this screenshot. The pole dividing their stance couldn’t be better placed.)

Intent on pushing the matter further, Jun Jie asks, “Will you start anew with me? Not just as friends?” Sticking to her answer before, she starts to form a few words before Jun Jie cuts her off, “-at least, don’t reject me.”

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At Jia Ni’s house, they find out belatedly that her parents, brother, and sister-in-law are having a small vacation at her uncle’s place, so they won’t be home to keep her company. Jun Jie speaks up about the ridiculousness of this but she shushes him.

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Events in history unfold throughout the years and Jia Ni narrates:

“Fang De Wei. What kind of adults will we be at 30? We always fought when we were together. Only when you left did I realize how much I cherished those times with you. Those conversations, those smiles…I still remember them. But I don’t know if I have the chance to see the 30 year old you. What will you be like at 30? What will our future be? Our future keeps coming. I suddenly remember what you’ve told me before. Birth, old age, sickness, and death. No one can escape it. But I think that even if we never meet again in this lifetime, I will never forget the summer we went through together. I will take these memories and meet our future.”

In a distant future, we meet Jia Ni making breakfast for….her husband, Jun Jie. WHATTTTTT?! What time is it?

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The married couple casually talk about vacationing back home and Jun Jie seems slightly upset that she couldn’t change shift and stay at his parents’ place longer. As a matter of fact, she tells him it’s already fortunate enough that she can have vacation days, let alone be picky. She reminds him about the reunion with Guo Qing and the others.

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Jia Ni goes to work and she’s still an employee at the same market since college days! Except, now she’s the new Customer Service Manager and is required to attend a new manager’s conference next month in Shanghai. Well-loved by all the employees, they even pitched in to buy her a new smartphone.

This girl is skating through life with cellphones bought by her friends, huh?

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And the head of the Taiwan Team that designed the smartphone called, Dream, the same one that Jia Ni’s holding is none other than Fang Wei De.

Jia Ni’s last quote: “The things you can’t obtain will become a regret. Hidden in your memory. Over time, you will slowly forget. You will even question whether it had happened or not. Unless you have the chance to meet again.”

—————- End —————–

Themesong: Romance Attacks – Elva Hsiao // Download

Kappy: This is a frustrating hour for me because I can’t understand the steps that led to their ultimate separation. It was not fate here but their own stupidity and hard-to-get games until the very end. Jia Ni continues to make me angry with her thought processes, saying “Cause you don’t understand how to like someone,” to Wei De. You mean to tell me you wrote a confession code for him to decipher because you like him, but turned around telling HIM in the face that he doesn’t know what love is? GIRL. *rolls eyes*

The mental role reversal was a surprise. In the beginning of the hour, Jia Ni was the confused one, not knowing what to do with her two kinds of guilt – the one rejecting Jun Jie’s confession and the one causing his permanent injury. And it was Wei De who told to her to snap out of it; neither of the incidents were her faults.

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Suddenly, he became the befuddled one at the end of the hour, not thanks to his dying mother’s stupid advice before she died. REALLY? You’d think that someone approaching their deathbed would enlighten her only kid to dream high and far, to love deep and love truly, instead she told him to watch his true love from afar. If it was painful for her, maybe she has loved the wrong way (eloping with another man when she was married?) I dislike the fact that she was used as a convenient plot device with no prior connection to the audience to speed-walk Wei De into his noble idiocy.

And the time jump! Oh my gosh, I didn’t know they were gonna jump this far? Into marriage? On the upside, I didn’t have to see Jun Jie crawl and beg for love. I didn’t hate him initially but when he began to milk his crippled leg, my compassion for him went *poof* Now that they are married, I wonder where the story will take us. This is tricky, writers.

I hope it’s not only me but the quotes are becoming a drag. One in beginning is effective enough, I don’t need to be spoon-fed about the themes throughout the episode.

Lastly, anyone notices the symbolism of Jia Ni’s cellphones? Her past is with Jun Jie (he bought her the first cellphone) and her future points to Wei De (he created the phone Dream that she’s using NOW??) Clever.

  1. 15 thoughts on “The Way We Were: Episode 5 “Frustrating.”

    I’m equally surprised that they are married in the present. That’s a bold move by the writers. Where are we gonna go from here? Cheating? That’s not Ruby’s style, she’s the representative of saintly Mary Sues. Lol. Even as a producer!

    I was annoyed with Jia Ni too when she didnt have much belief in Wei De when she already indirectly confessed to him and was waiting for his reply after he decode the “CODE.” So, whatever happened to that CODE?

    And Wei de!!! omg. His mother pissed me off!!

    I love the phone symbolism you brought up!!! Didn’t think of it before!! Great observation!!

    Thanks for the recap again. 😀 Hope you continue to do so.

    • 15 thoughts on “The Way We Were: Episode 5 “Frustrating.”

      Haha “saintly mary sue” she is. I read the synopsis and it’s totally a lie! She didn’t sleep with Wei De. But looks like they will be meeting in 2008 and again in 2013. Which means nothing will come out of 2008’s meeting?

      Not sure if I’ll continue with recaps. It’s only fun when there are people willing to discuss. Lol. Plus the story might get boring…now that they are married. XD

  2. 15 thoughts on “The Way We Were: Episode 5 “Frustrating.”

    Ooops I got spoiled from the preview so I was expecting Jia Ni and Jun Jie to be married. (which couldn’t be the ending because other stuff happens afterwards…) I’ve really enjoyed TWWW so far even though the tone become rather depressing in ep 5.

    Yeah I agree the dying mother was too convenient of an excuse for Wei De to disappear. But ultimately, the timing was all wrong for Jia Ni and Wei De. Despite their love and care for each other, with the earthquake and family stuff it’s kinda weird for them to get together at that point. And once they’ve missed it, I can see why they drifted away eventually.

    Nice observation about the cellphones!! 🙂

    • 15 thoughts on “The Way We Were: Episode 5 “Frustrating.”

      Whenever I think about the mother, I want to personally strangle her!

      They didn’t have to get together but Wei De could have stayed with the group and experience the ups and downs together but no, he had to disappear, leaving Jia Ni to the attacks of Jun Jie’s pity-party looks throughout the years. I would have gone crazy at some point. Everything is just too convenient for me to feel it “naturally” happened. Episode 6 might be the determining episode for me!

      Aren’t you busy my lady? I thought you’re swooning over Ray in Virtuous of Queen! 😀

      • 15 thoughts on “The Way We Were: Episode 5 “Frustrating.”

        Did the group stay together though? Jun Jie would’ve been in Tainan recovering, Jia Ni surely would’ve spent a lot of time with him while Wei De might’ve been in Taipei… then Rui Rui was planning to go overseas and Ah Qing to the army -> that’s just my guess, But that scene at the new year countdown was sad… even with a Leehom song playing!!!

        I watched a little bit of Virtuous Queen and couldn’t get past that horrible dubbing. Going to watch Line Walker instead when it starts next week. 😛

        • 15 thoughts on “The Way We Were: Episode 5 “Frustrating.”

          Physically not together, but they are in contact frequently, enough for Jia Ni to call “Ah Qing” and her “friends” about reunions and stuff. Wei De just completely disappeared from their circle, which is my complaint about the story feeling unnatural and convenient in transition and execution. He might still talk to Guo Qing in secret but that’s… just sad.

          I’m excited for Line Walker too! For Queen, would they be dubbed in Cantonese when it aired in HK?

  3. 15 thoughts on “The Way We Were: Episode 5 “Frustrating.”

    hehe here i thought that she WAS the stupid one but it ended up being him……kinda unexpected!

    the mother was so convenient it’s not even funny!! so she came back after eloping and hoping that she gets a free burial ceremony? this selfish woman!! the nerves!!

    i can’t believe they married……….!! im not sure if its a good decision for them not to show what happened in the years….. how did jun jie convinced her she LOVES HIM?

    interesting cellphone analysis!!

    • 15 thoughts on “The Way We Were: Episode 5 “Frustrating.”

      “free burial ceremony” Omg. Too funny. =P

      I think we will have plenty of flashbacks…

  4. 15 thoughts on “The Way We Were: Episode 5 “Frustrating.”

    Thx for ur recap. I am Korean fan of ruby lin. I watching this series with english subtitles though my english is not good. Its not easy to underst

  5. 15 thoughts on “The Way We Were: Episode 5 “Frustrating.”

    oh…sorry . it seems my keyboard has problem, ente button clicked autimatically.
    Anyway, since i cant read chinese nor english well, its not easy to undestand whole detailed story perfectly.
    ur recap so helpful for me. thanks a lot.
    Cant wait next episode . 🙂

    • 15 thoughts on “The Way We Were: Episode 5 “Frustrating.”

      It’s okay Tina. I just deleted the two comments that didn’t come out quite right.

      Glad you enjoyed reading it. =)

  6. 15 thoughts on “The Way We Were: Episode 5 “Frustrating.”

    I see what you mean about Wei De disappearing – maybe I’m just sucked in for the dramatic effect loool.

    Re Queen – I thought the plan was to have it broadcasted on TVB HD channel, so it’ll be in Canto. Niki looks like she’s speaking Canto in the drama anyway~ haha.

  7. 15 thoughts on “The Way We Were: Episode 5 “Frustrating.”

    Personally, I can relate to the story with the mother and how that brought up all the insecurities, the feeling that he didn’t deserve to be loved and that it was better to leave before the other party leaves you – mistakingly thinking that this won’t hurt anyone in the process or that you can move on. And even after 15 years (in my case) you do not plunge up the courage to ask your once mutual friends how the other person is doing and vice versa.

    When I was of Wei De and Jia Ni’s age, I was also plagued by insecurities like those and there are times when my own similar story still haunts me. People find it easy to say why somebody would get back to their old ways because of someone else telling them it’s not worth it or spend years avoiding the topic of the other person even if you’ve remained friends with the rest of the gang and everyone knows what the deal is…personally, I found the mother plot not convenient but realistic and I cannot wait to see more of the story behind Wei De’s parents because I feel that this is where the key to him letting Jia Ni go lies. And I know how feelings of guilt can get you to do things you wouldn’t normally do.

    Thankfully, I have managed to overcome such things and am happy in my relationship and life in general, but everyone can have that one sore spot in their lives that can take you several steps back in no time, even if you’ve worked hard to get past it. Some things can run so deep that you cannot simply turn them on and off like a TV set or computer.

    Perhaps this also has to do with age that helps you understand and see life differently and not see people not speaking to one another or not getting it right at a point in time as something unrealistic but something that you know from your or other people’s experience. Years ago, I would’ve also easily dismissed such scenes in a show as “unrealistic” or “contrived” but now I no longer do. I found those where everything just falls into place and everyone is suddenly happy and friendly even after they have hurt each other deeply and viciously even much more far-fetched. Obviously, there is a line and sometimes shows tend to over-extend angst but I believe that this one has been walking the fine line well so far 🙂

    I do love the observation about the phones, personally I have enjoyed how that song has always accompanied them, like a way for them to keep each other in their lives.

    • 15 thoughts on “The Way We Were: Episode 5 “Frustrating.”

      The mother plot would’ve been fine with me had she been introduced a number of times (don’t have to be a lot) in the first 4 episodes to set up that targeted storyline. Because she was brought in so suddenly, I didn’t feel invested with the characters. I want to feel what they’re feeling, is all. So hopefully, it’s smooth-sailing from now on! 😀

      And thanks for sharing your difficulties here, Dora. Heavens know each of us are plagued in one (or more) way with insecurities and regrets. I’m glad you have stepped past one hurdle. ‘Cause more are awaiting us down the line! 😉

  8. 15 thoughts on “The Way We Were: Episode 5 “Frustrating.”

    I loved the way they showed time passing. I remember that SARS outbreak! And Google and smartphones are such an ingrained part of my life now, it’s funny to think it came out not *so* long ago.

    As for the plot, I had to roll my eyes at Jun Jie’s injury. My husband had an an accident decades ago and now uses a wheelchair. Jin Jie has a limp? pfft! However, I do understand that it still is a traumatic event.

    Even so, I want to see how Jia Ni eventually falls for Jun Jie. I hope it is truly love, because it’s not like Wei De and Jun Jie were the only single men in Taiwan. For a while, I thought her co-worker with the stutter was going to be a love interest.

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