I enjoyed this episode since I had a recent meet-up with a few friends and while many things have changed, we settled into our old jokes and niches in no time. I’m sure many of us can relate to the emotional highs and lows of our group of friends as they reunite after a long separation, for better or for worse.
Episode 6 Recap:
Actor Jerry Yan notes: “The melody of reminiscing. The memories between you and I. Longing in my heart. How can I meet you again?” I wonder who he’s speaking of?
Summer of 2008. Their 11th summer.
Jia Ni calls Jun Jie to tell him about her new phone, he’s curious why she needs a new phone when the old one works fine. Before they can continue, he’s interrupted by a co-worker, and she naturally says goodbye. “We can talk later.”
Shanghai. A pretty girl, Ge Qing (Queenie Tai), snaps photos of Wei De, complaining that she has no choice because he’s always on long business trips and the these photos keep her company. He softens and turns sideways to fit into her frame. Their friend, Ah Zheng, the owner of the bar, views the new cellphone and comments how phone technology has changed with time. Who knew a phone could be used for more than calling?
In a cafe, Wei De sits down with his boss, known as Jin Ge. Turns out the bigger boss wants him to relocate to Taipei and take charge of a new phone development. At first, he can’t believe it, his latest model was just released a few days ago. The boss urges him to find an assistant, as long as he/she is capable of hard work, the decision is Wei De’s.
He has lunch with Ge Qing, noting her reluctance to move to Taipei with him. She doesn’t deny it, saying that she’s afraid of the oncoming flaming gossips – about her using her relationship with Wei De to climb the company ladder. He thinks she shouldn’t be concerned with that same news again and pretends to resign about searching for a new candidate. She gripes about his teasing and agrees, “Fine! I’ll go. I won’t care what anybody says.” He feeds her a piece of meat and says that they will leave in a few days.
Our lovable Guo Qing now has a store? It’s night time and he closes up, flipping the open sign just a second before grumbling at a youngster’s tardiness. She’s Xiao Mei, Linda Jeh’s daughter. The high-school teenager greets Jia Ni, who’s flipping through some magazine pages in the back corner. She gives us a brief history of what happened through the years: Guo Qing opened a floral shop with Linda Jeh being the other co-owner.
A few moments later, Jun Jie joins them and eagerly asks about the important announcement she was going to tell him early this morning. She takes a deep breath and tells them about her promotion to General Manager. Guo Qing and Xiao Mei are ecstatic that her hard work finally pays off, but in the corner of Jun Jie’s eye, disappointment lurks. To put more sourness into Jun Jie’s brain, Guo Qing goes on about the good old days where Jun Jie and Wei De were crushing on Jia Ni, and she corrects him, explaining that she was only good friends with Wei De and they were never a thing. He continues to moan about Wei De meeting with him only once a year and not the others. Jun Jie says it’s hard to meet frequently when everybody is abroad, hence he and Jia Ni only email with Rui Rui throughout the years.
To sum it up, Jia Ni sees it as the problem of growing up – you slowly lose things and people that were once so close to you. She tells little Xiao Mei to cherish her moments with her friends. Guo Qing suggests another option: “Things that you’ve lost, you still have a chance to find them, right?” He happily tells them that his little store will stand as a place for them (all five) to reunite one day.
Jun Jie and Jia Ni take the taxi back. During the ride, Jun Jie laments that he refused to learn how to drive when his mom insisted. If he could drive, they would have more fun together. He’s good but he wants to be better. Jia Ni puts her head on his shoulder, “You’re good already. It’s true.” At home, she sends an email to Rui Rui about her promotion and wonders why the latter hasn’t replied to her email, it’s been a month.
She sends Jun Jie to bed first and takes a look at the map function on her new phone. Jia Ni smiles ruefully, reminded of a movie date with Wei De and her terrible sense of direction, leading to the following conversation: He said, “Do I need to give you a map of directions and a compass?!” She yelled back, “Yes! The best thing would be if you can put the bus routes and compass all in my phone! A multitasking device.” Aww. This is so sweet.
Trouble is brewing in a timely manner as Jun Jie lunches with his parents, and his mother notices his grim and thin face. She mumbles that Jia Ni must not be taking good care of her beloved son. Jun Jie decides to defend her the worst way possible, explaining that she’s piled up with work at the market and at home. Incredulous that she’s working at all, mother scorns, “What work? She should be a housewife.” Coming to Jia Ni’s rescue is none other than her father-in-law, who blatantly states that times have changed, women are no longer chained at home and men are no longer the sole bread winner. Props to dad!
He gives his home keys to his parents and returns to work.
Guo Qing receives a call from Jia Ni and greets her with his booming voice, “Tang Manager! Did you receive my congratulatory flowers at the office?” He teases her about Jun Jie’s bouquet as well and assures her that Jun Jie ordered it yesterday. When he turns around, he sees a beautiful girl standing right outside the glass window of his shop, ducking away from the rain and smoking a cigarette. He tells Jia Ni that the woman looks exactly like Rui Rui but she says it couldn’t be their friend because she’s currently in America right now. And she doesn’t smoke!
Knowing that she’s heading to Shanghai soon, he asks her to meet with Wei De and sends his greetings. The idea doesn’t excite her though, and she says she might not see him, considering how she doesn’t even have his contact number. That’s an easy problem. Guo Qing texts it to her. Sigh. These two. Did she just delete his phone number? Looks like it’s not the first time.
Returning to Wei De in Shanghai, he’s currently playing chess with Ge Qing. She holds up her hand and asks whether it’s missing something and he responds coolly, telling her not to get ahead of herself. She can’t help it, how is she going to explain their relationship to her mother if she visits? Lying is not good, so he suggests honesty. Am I the only one confused? Are they NOT girlfriend and boyfriend? Or is her mom a prude that won’t allow living together before marriage?
The friendly co-worker with a stutter, Xiao Yao, offers to give Jia Ni a ride home, knowing that she bought a lot of groceries for her hubby before she goes to Shanghai. Hence, it’s awkward the in-laws find him in their kitchen with her, made worst by him stuttering out a greeting. MIL automatically thinks sexy times. No sir (jk!)
During dinner, Jia Ni tries her best to appease MIL, giving her a piece of meat and seeing it flung to Father-in-law’s bowl instead. Mother adds crudely, while looking at her son, “He’s already in the kitchen without you here, would he be in the room when you’re away? O_O OMG. Did she really just say that out LOUD? This woman really has no class at all. To think that Jia Ni can still sit at the same table without choking on anger…
The topic steers to an equally sensitive subject – kids. Plastering on a smile, Jia Ni affirms that they went to the doctor and everything is fine. They will try harder but that doesn’t stop MIL from taking another stab – women with work are stressed out and often can’t get pregnant, she hopes that isn’t true.
The couple return to their room and have a small quarrel. She doesn’t understand why Mom treated her good friend like a criminal and Jun Jie tells her to be careful about being close with other men, his mom is not the type to take it kindly. Disagreeing on the topic of decency, she thinks being careful is reserved for people with secrets to hide. The conversation comes to halt when she’s finished arranging the in-laws’ pillows and leaves the room to do the dishes.
Joined by her father-in-law, he invites her to have some fruits with him. She can’t say no since he personally cut them. As she sits down, he expresses his gratitude to her for taking care of the family and Jun Jie throughout the years. He advises her not to be overly concerned with his wife’s words. And if she needed a listener, his pair of ears always welcome her. Aww. He’s so sweet. Looks like he’s also playing peace person and promptly removes himself to leave Jun Jie alone with Jia Ni.
Jun Jie quickly softens Jia Ni and promises to clean the house well when she’s away. She points to the dishes and he pushes the tray of fruits closer to her side, urging her to finish them.
SHANGHAI! Finally. I thought we are never going to see you, beautiful city.
After the long hours of lectures, Jia Ni follows her colleagues to dinner. Fate has it that Wei De is also in the same building, helping a friend plan their wedding dinner. Relieving himself in the bathroom, he overhears two men talking about a beautiful Taiwanese woman named Tang Jia Ni and immediately follows them to the room where he catches sight of Jia Ni sipping her cup. He is rattled.
Gently refusing the calls for drinks, Wei De returns to the same room to find it empty. Still deep in thought, he walks closer to the table and picks up someone’s keys. The sounds of heels echo inside the room, and he turns around, coming face to face with the woman he avoided for years.
Well, they stare for a good minute before he breaks the spell with, “Haven’t seen you in a while,” and she returns the kind regards. They relocate to a proper setting for a conversation because god forbids if mother-in-law discovers them here, she would rip Jia Ni’s hair out. 😀
Oh Wei De. Stop staring at her! Unsettled by his gaze, Jia Ni looks down and fiddles with her friendship key chain. He wonders why she’s keeping something so old and she says it’s her lucky charm. He makes out the sentence for her: “It’s like having a friend to protect you.” She looks up at him, surprised and slightly impressed. That seems to break the wall of awkwardness and the two friends chat casually for a bit. She concludes that he hasn’t changed one bit, and he says that she has become more feminine and gentle. Then they remember the fortune they told of each other – Jia Ni would be a fierce leader with no one to share her birthday cake with, and Wei De would still be popular with the girls and yet have no close friends.
But there’s one thing that Wei De guessed right in the past! She takes out her new phone to brag about the map function. He raises his hand to interrupt and tell her that he created that phone. They smile at the coincidence and cling their glasses of red wine. That’s when he sees the wedding ring and casually asks about Jun Jie. Life’s good, you can’t say otherwise. She excuses herself to visit the ladies’ room and he takes her there.
In the bathroom stall, Jia Ni takes a moment to process her emotions and thinks back to their carefree days together as flatmates. Her memories bring forward the secret code confession she handed to him. Outside the ladies’ room, Wei De crosses his arms and smiles wryly at the turn of events.
They bid goodbye at the elevator and Wei De gathers his nerves to ask for one last meal together before she goes back to Taiwan. She agrees readily and asks him to bring his girlfriend next time. He says he only has one and she teases, “That’s perfect for me. I don’t have time to eat with Miss #2-8.”
The elevator door closes and we hear Wei De narrate his thoughts as he sorts through the old photographs of his friends:
“Tang Jia Ni, I never actually hoped that we will meet again. I heard about your successful career. I heard that you are living happily. I heard of your love story. I heard that you got married. That’s enough. Seeing you, is unnecessary. Sometimes, I wonder if you had blamed me for leaving without a proper goodbye. At that time, our world changed overnight. You could not belong to me, and I didn’t know how to go on. I can only run away. Why did I spend so many years to forget? The moment I saw you again, everything came back to me. Why did you appear now?”
His girlfriend, Ge Qing, steps down the stairs, into his reverie. She speculates his whereabouts and he frankly says he was out drinking with an old college friend. A girl at that. She raises her brows and he lays out the fact that she’s married and would love to have dinner with them. Elated by the invitation, Ge Qing’s eye twinkles with mischief. “I can ask her how many hearts you broke!”
Next day, after Jia Ni wraps up her presentation, she calls Jun Jie, meaning to tell him about the meeting Wei De, but he’s occupied with work and the talk ends shortly. Turns out Rui Rui has indeed return from America and was hired by her aunt, Joyce, who’s coincidentally the manager of the company that Jun Jie is working with. She taps him on the shoulder and tells him that much and invites him to her house to try out her cooking.
Over dinner that night, we learn that Rui Rui didn’t even attend Jia Ni and Jun Jie’s wedding, citing that she was busy at the time. Poor girl. This guy is as blind as a bat. Confused about why the lucky clover key chain is now hanging around her neck, she divulges how poor she was in New York and even the key chain broke in half during a robbery. (Gasp! Is this a foreshadowing of their broken friendship?)
He observes her house. Thinking that it needs some colors, he brings her to a flower shop. Of course, Guo Qing freaks out like a happy puppy when he sees her. Immediately, he asks when she learned to smoke and together with Jun Jie, requests that she stops immediately. To welcome her back into their circle, she is allowed to pick any flower pot she wants for free.
Meanwhile, in Shanghai, another three-person date is taking place with Jia Ni, Wei De, and Ge Qing. Excited to finally meet an old friend of Wei De’s, she asks Jia Ni a lot of questions, even ones about getting married and living under the same roof. Does anything change in the relationship? Jia Ni answers pleasantly but Wei De stops his girlfriend’s investigation and in a moment, she’s called away to help a friend overcome a couple’s argument, leaving Jia Ni with Wei De.
We return to the Taiwan’s gang and Guo Qing has finished so many beer bottles that he’s now slurring his words. He even reveals his secret crush on Rui Rui, which Jun Jie laughs about it being an open secret. Embarrassed, Rui Rui urges the boys to stop bringing up such old news. When she leaves to pay the bill, Guo Qing comes out with another secret: “She didn’t even know how jealous I was of you in the past! She liked you!” Jun Jie waves away the joke but appears deep in thought on the ride home.
Elsewhere, Wei De drops Jia Ni off at her hotel, reminding her of the good old times, except now he has a real car. Her eyeballs almost fall out of their sockets when his phone rings and the song “Don’t be friends anymore” chimes as his ringtone. It was their favorite song in the past. She inquires about his song choice, and he stammers for a good explanation. Lucky for him, the awkwardness is shared when Jia Ni’s cellphone rings the same tune. OMG. She quickly shuts it off.
They gather their thoughts and separate, both having been genuinely surprised and shaken.
I betcha neither of them had a good sleep that night. Next morning, Jia Ni contemplates in her bathrobe the next course of action. Resolutely, she texts Wei De and informs him of her decision to leave Shanghai earlier than expected.
Fortunately, he rushes to the airport in time to hand her his wedding gift. She accepts it and casually mentions that it’s the first present he ever gave her. Shaking his head, he does the fist-snapping he did in the past that triggered the power outage. On a solemn note, he says, “It was great seeing you again.” Though his hand waves goodbye, his emotion-packed face tells a different story.
Even though she’s already outside the glass window, he screams, “Tang Jia Ni!! I’ve already solved the code!” Of course, she can’t hear you dummy!
In flashback, we see how he arrived at the solution. The secret code that Jia Ni wrote to him? “I like you.”
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Kappy: I love how the invention and future developments of a cellphone is the unbroken connection between Wei De and Jia Ni and how their meeting with each other indirectly shaped their future career prospects as well. While Wei De may not have the precious friendship key chain like Rui Rui and Jun Jie, he’s always there beside her, like the lighthouse (map) in Jia Ni’s life. “Like a friend always there to protect you.” – Wei De. Very smart of the writers.
Though each has a lover in their current life, I can’t help but feel that they settled for their partners because they thought it was the right time? As we saw in this episode, both relationships are rather mundane, lacking both excitement and passion. Wei De and Jia Ni are career-minded individuals, but when they are with their partners, they seem to be bound to a certain structure. Jun Jie definitely wants a baby but Jia Ni is reluctant and who could blame her? She’s at the peak of her career. Giving that up to settle down for society’s approval of what a woman should be doing? Nonsense.
Ge Qing, Wei De’s girlfriend, is cute and sociable, but one can’t help but think she’s his niece. She eats messily and talks freely of her desires…. Don’t those traits remind you of a certain someone when she was younger? And how on earth did everyone become much more attractive in the present but Wei De, who was the most fashionable one of the five in the past?