Honestly, this episode is quite lousy to me. The preview at the end of last episode is basically all the exciting scenes of this one and that is basically five minutes. The whole hour circles around the same group of friends having tea party at different houses. Worst is that they reminisce about the same things over and over again. I geddit. Can we please move on?
Episode 7 Recap:
The guest of this week’s episodic quote, Huang Xiao Ming.
“A lot of people think of ‘goodbye’ as sadness and tears, that it means you’re separated forever. I think that ‘goodbye’ is like an awakening in the midst of ordinary life. It lets you appreciate the small things you have. It makes you thankful and also content.”
Gotta say I like his quote the most compared to others. It’s a complete thought with meaning, instead of trying to wax poem.
Working late into the night, Wei De leans back into a chair and thinks about the emotions that come without explanation. Some of them could stem from loneliness, and the yearning that exacerbates over many years.
The clock brings us back to the year 2005. Drunk and wobbly, Wei De departs a party with Ge Qing volunteering to take him home. At his apartment, she dabs a warm towel on his forehead and he gazes at her with curiosity, “You’re Ge Qing right? Why are you so nice to me?” C’mon Wei De. Where’s your game? She proves her intention by she leaning over and pecking him on the lips. He murmurs, “Don’t you know that doing this is very dangerous?” When she doesn’t refuse him, he climbs up and kisses her hungrily.
Next morning, Wei De wakes up naked, finding the other side of his bed and the house empty. Unsure of what to make of last night, he mumbles a quick Good Morning to her at work while they wait silently for the elevator. Once they enter the elevator, everything seamlessly works out – they smile and exchange phone numbers.
Moving forward to 2008. Jia Ni enters her apartment and catches Jun Jie red-handed in preparation for some instant noodle cups, and he smiles, “Yes. Now you know how pitiful I am by myself.” She returns a smile and takes over, as he sits down at the table and broaches a sensitive topic, “Did you meet with Wei De at Shanghai?” He continues to ramble on to make the topic less awkward but the effect is far from his wishes. In a stern tone, Jia Ni shuts down his curiosity with “Fang Wei De has nothing to do with our life right now.” He asks whether they have met again, and she firmly says no. Oh people, what’s the point of lying when it’s gonna come out anyway?
Sitting across from each with two bowls of pasta magically whipped up in two minutes by Jia Ni, Jun Jie excitedly tells her to end work on a timely manner tomorrow because he needs to take her somewhere. She doesn’t want to go, thinking it’s to attend some gathering with his clients. They are then interrupted by a call from Xiao Yao, the stuttering co-worker, reminding Jia Ni of the meeting tomorrow.
Problem at work – Jia Ni dealing with a loud customer (she’s so irritating and obnoxious) and Jun Jie’s company struggles with funds.
Later that night, Jun Jie, Guo Qing, and Jia Ni sit around a table while she rants about work. Jia Ni gasps at the appearance of her best friend, Rui Rui. The girls hug it out and since the secret is kept from her, Jia Ni makes Rui Rui drink 3 shots. The topic always goes back to the past with Guo Qing assuring Rui Rui that the five of them will reunite soon because Wei De is on his way to Taipei.
Jia Ni eyes Jun Jie hesitantly and he returns the solemn glance with his own. The mood between the married couple quickly goes down the drain when Guo Qing reveals that it’s good that they have met in Shanghai. You’re such a trouble maker, Ah Qing. Trying to ease the tension in Jun Jie’s face, Jia Ni adds that they accidentally bumped into each other, and his girlfriend was also there. Too late Jia Ni, nothing you say will appease your husband now that he caught you lying. He begins to drink shot after shot, while spouting bitter words at his wife, “Then you guys must have had fun in Shanghai?” Before he can down another glass, Rui Rui stops him, but Jia Ni stops her, allowing him to drink because she can always drive him home later.
During the drive back, while Jun Jie pretends to be drunk and asleep in the backseat, Rui Rui wonders whether they are okay, and Jia Ni ruefully says that they are, every couple has spats every now and then. Like a good friend to both, Rui Rui advises Jia Ni not to blame Jun Jie for she did like Wei De back then. She did but Jia Ni claims that she’s happy and content with her married life now.
After giving Jun Jie a cold, rolled-up towel for his forehead, Jia Ni apologizes for lying to him. He doesn’t understand why she would lie and she explains that his displayed temper right now is why she didn’t want to tell him because he would over think the situation. She looks him in the eye, “I consider Fang Wei De an outsider right now. The moment I walked into church with you, you are my life.”
Jia Ni visits Guo Qing’s flower shop to buy a a vase for her in-laws, and he suggests a solution to her problem – bear a child and your in-laws won’t have time to nitpick you anymore. Sitting next to Jia Ni, Linda Jeh disagrees with his silly thought, a child should be born because the parents want a child. “Having a kid does not fix a problem and it’s unfair to the child.” Brava, Linda Jeh! Preach it!
Like always, Jun Jie’s mother makes a fuss about the two being late to dinner, and instinctively blames Jia Ni cause she’s the driver. Jun Jie comes to her defense and says it’s his fault for writing an email when he should’ve left.
That night, Jun Jie mulls in front of his laptop, sighing that he has to go to work early tomorrow because of a delicate situation at work. Jia Ni climbs into bed and turns the other way, her action saying that she’s in no mood to talk while Jun Jie mumbles about that “serious” situation at work.
Next morning, Jia Ni walks along a beautiful garden with her father-in-law and ponders about the contrast in personality between him and his wife, “How did you two reach a common ground?” He doesn’t directly reply but leads her to the answer herself, “We are spouses. Accepting one another is a given.”
They reach Jun Jie and his mother at the other side where she’s complaining (what’s new?) about Jun Jie’s impending departure. She throws Jia Ni a dirty look before concluding, “Or is it an excuse to leave with your wife?” Giving up, Jun Jie says he won’t leave and she suggests to eat out of town. Jun Jie doesn’t think it’s a good idea because he wants to leave as early as possible and looks up to Jia Ni for a solution. She tries to chime in but the crude mother-in-law tells her to shut it immediately. The situation becomes unpleasant when father-in-law defends Jia Ni, telling his wife to stop creating trouble. She leaves in a huff with Jun Jie trailing behind her.
Needing a break from Jun Jie’s family, Jia Ni seeks comfort at Rui Rui’s home. She falls back into their habitual ranting, but it mostly Jia Ni grumbling about her issues. No matter what she does, her mother-in-law hates her guts inside out. Sometimes, she thinks a child might turn things around. Then she feels bad for ranting in Rui Rui’s new house, but Rui Rui pats her hair, “My house is your house!” They snuggle each other like the good, old times.
Guo Qing receives an email from Wei De, who informs him of their arrival date to Taipei. Back in Shanghai, Wei De and Ge Qing celebrates with their friends. They pack up and Wei De is surprised to find Eric Chou’s debut album still in his possession. Pouting, Ge Qing worries that Wei De would ignore her for his work when they get to Taipei. He clicks his forehead to hers and promises, “I won’t let you be alone.” Riiightttt.
As promised from last episode, Rui Rui invites the three friends over to her new house. Guo Qing arrives last with a vase of colorful flowers and even suggests a great idea at the dinner table. They should assign one day of the week where everybody has to eat dinner together, no matter what. Proving that he’s the bigger man, Jun Jie generously chooses Wei De’s arrival day as the start of this plan. To celebrate their long, overdue reunion, he would cook that day.
While the ladies are out of sight, Guo Qing approaches Jun Jie and asks whether he’s serious about holding a party for Wei De. They didn’t get along in the past and both liked Jia Ni. Jun Jie says the past is the past, plus Jia Ni is now his beloved wife, it would be ridiculous if he can’t open up his mind and heart. Satisfied with the answer, Guo Qing sits down, relaxed for a second before another topic comes to mind – Rui Rui’s crush on Jun Jie. Checking the scene quickly, Jun Jie tells Guo Qing to shut up, there’s no way Rui Rui liked him.
A quick text message puts gloom in Jun Jie’s face.
Next morning, he has a talk with his friend. Their company is financially unstable and the only way to turn things around is to merge with Sheng Yuan firm or risk losing all their investment.
Jia Ni arrives at Linda Jie’s place for dinner with Guo Qing and Xiao Mei. When asked about Jun Jie, she figures that he’s busy with work and casually mentions about feeling nauseated when she smells wine. Hmmm, it can’t be right? Rui Rui has a birthday celebration to attend so she will be late.
Turns out Jun Jie is not busy with work, he’s drowning his sorrows at a bar and bumps into Rui Rui. She offers her ears; tonight he can’t pretend nothing is wrong and smiles in front of Jia Ni. Rui Rui thinks they had a fight but he groans that they have nothing to fight about. Even if they do, he always feels like the one at fault.
She tells him to cut the chase and confess the problem, but he doesn’t. Since he won’t talk, she settles for the second best option, “If you don’t want to say, I don’t have a solution. I just want to accompany you as a friend.”
Touched, he glances at her sideways and whispers, “If I could like you, that would be nice.” Oh…the slight twitch on her face pains me. Not to be outed, she shares, “As a friend, I can stay by your side and help you heal, but my service doesn’t extend to listening to your silly jokes.”
Serious now, Jun Jie discloses his worries – he might lose his position as boss. His only options: 1) Close down 2) Merge with another company. He doesn’t like neither option. He wants Jia Ni to be proud of having a big shot husband. She’s always been so strong and resilient that he doesn’t want to be seen as weak and below her. Moreover, he doesn’t want her to work so hard in life. Rui Rui believes that Jia Ni likes her life right now but Jun Jie counters, “But it’s not the life I want. Providing a stable income and carefree lifestyle to their wife is a husband’s job right?”
At the end of the night, they agree that liking someone is hard. Liking someone outstanding is harder. “Those kinds of feelings, you can never escape them. No matter how far you run, you’ll never get rid of them.”
Rui Rui carries Jun Jie back to her house and onto her bed. In his drunken state, he keeps calling for Jia Ni and eventually throws himself over Rui Rui and kisses her. She pushes against him and he moves back for a second before going in for the kill and she doesn’t stop him any further.
Jia Ni waits endlessly at home. Her face full of concerns.
Morning arrives and Jun Jie jerks awake and reads Rui Rui’s note. She will pretend that nothing happened that night.
He comes home to a worried Jia Ni, citing that he was out late drinking with some clients. She tells him not to drink so much next time and leave for work. As he eats the breakfast Jia Ni prepared for him, he reads Rui Rui’s note in mortification. I’m not sure if he’s eating the food or the guilt is eating him.
Having been reminded by a conversation of two ladies at work, Jia Ni realizes that her period is also late, and she takes a urine test to confirm. Yes. The baby couldn’t pick a better time. She calls Jun Jie and decides that she’ll tell him in person tonight.
She calls Rui Rui next, but the latter has been muddled with her terrible decision last night. Facing a 3-way route in the train station, she walks down in a daze. “I already decided to go ahead with my life. Why am I looking back? Maybe I never should have come back. I should’ve kept on escaping far away. Pushing you far away. Then… nobody would get hurt.”
———————————– End ———————————–
Kappy: Things are dragging now and I find the execution of several plot points a little too heavy-handed. I understand that they feel the need to recall the past, the good old times, but it’s becoming unnaturally unhealthy and unrealistic to a certain degree. There has to be a limit at some point and I hope they lessen the amount of time these characters spend lamenting about past and start living in the present and for the future. We’re at the half-way mark and I would like the plot to move forward.
For instance, is Guo Qing that dense that he needs to repeat the same story every single episode and every time about the crushes each of them had on each other? I adore this kid but he keeps challenging my patience with him. It does not benefit anyone and adds nothing of value to the whole storyline. He’s like the little instigator that everyone would love to hit upside the head. Instead of fleshing out his characters and Rui Rui, the writers are putting them on the back burner; a weakness of The Way We Were. We really know nothing about these two other than their involvement with the main group.
Jun Jie’s insecurity waves its ugly head this episode and based on the preview, we will see the full-blown version in episode 8. I can understand his frustration but I don’t support his views – it’s what he wants, not bothering to discuss it with Jia Ni, his significant other. For a young married couple, they are surprisingly mellow and….boring. The lack of communication is the downfall of any relationship, correct? (Can I say how much I hate the mother-in-law? Whenever she’s onscreen, a rage grows within me.)
I quite like the layout of the above screenshot, it represents their current relationship nicely. He has crossed the line, into that muddy area by sleeping with her best friend. I still can’t believe Rui Rui let it happen. For most women, that’s the break-it moment of any friendship. I’m not sure they could recover from this betrayal. My friends didn’t, that’s for sure.
How do you guys feel, still enjoying the drama? Are you rooting for Wei De and Jia Ni to get back together? Or do you wish for Jia Ni and Jun Jie to work it out as a couple? The latter is more challenging to write and I doubt the writer is bold enough to write it.