Cruel Romance: Episode 2 Recap

MORE! Here we go!

Episode 2 Recap:

Just to clarify, some refer to Ying Dong respectfully as Ying Shao = Master Shao. Zuo Zhen is referred to as Er Ye = Second Master.

We left off with Jin Xiu falling into the arms of Zuo Zhen after being tripped by a petty stranger. Zuo Zhen pushes her away criticizing her for not being able to stand upright properly. Jin Xiu snaps back, calling him a watch thief. Not knowing that his underling has stolen her watch, he dismisses her.

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Just then, the music starts and in enters a graceful and glamorous woman singing, captivating everyone at the banquet. Jin Xiu’s eyes are fixated on her as she recognizes that the woman up on the stage is her lost sister, Ming Zhu (Lu Jia Rong), who she has been looking for. Unconsciously she calls out her name, and Ying Dong just so happens to hear it, reminding him of his heartbroken past. Ming Zhu is pulling her hand away from Ying Dong’s grasp, apologizing but making it clear that she is not marrying him – not because she doesn’t love him, but because she loves another person’s power and influence more.

Back in the present, Ying Dong seems glum. Obviously, he has not gotten over her yet. The crowd is saying they are in luck to be able to see Ming Zhu sing since she hasn’t performed in a very long time. Upon hearing his guests’ chatter, Mr Xiang is reminded of the old days where Ming Zhu had asked Mr. Xiang to dance and their love started to blossom then. This explains Ying Dong’s rebellious attitude toward his brother. Both brothers had fallen in love with Ming Zhu but Ming Zhu chose the older brother because of his status and power.

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The song ends and Mr. Xiang escorts Ming Zhu off the stage. We see that the girl who tripped Jin Xiu is Ming Zhu’s attendant, Jing Ling. Mr Xiang and Ming Zhu is about to have a glass of wine but before she can take a sip, Ying Dong snatches the glass of wine from her hand and downs it in a single breath. Mr. Xiang questions why Ying Dong has arrived late to the banquet when he is the star of the night and he bitterly replies that people came to see his brother and not him. Before they could continue the conversation, the guests are asking for Mr. Xiang and he excuses himself. Ying Dong remarks that he is always being treated like a child. Seeing that Ying Dong isn’t in a good mood, Ming Zhu tells him that his brother cares a lot about him but Ying Dong replies that since he is his brother, it’s normal for the older brother to worry for the young brother.

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Ming Zhu tries to tell him that there are a lot of other people who worry about him but Ying Dong snaps back asking her to name the person. Before she can reply, a man gets rowdy and causes a ruckus, claiming that he hasn’t gotten any nice wine yet. Ying Dong in the mood for a fight, says that only dogs can’t taste good wine, causing the man to get belligerent. Zuo Zhen steps into the game, thoroughly suppressing the man with just one arm. Ying Dong complains that Zuo Zhen stepped in too soon and he hasn’t had enough fun yet. Mr. Xiang finally steps in to end the ruckus and tells the waiters to kick the customer out. The said customer signals his men to attack and men jump out of nowhere and it turns into a chaos. Ying Dong’s first reaction is to protect Ming Zhu, quickly escorting her away from the fight.

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Seeing Ming Zhu leave, Jin Xiu runs after her but is knocked out unconscious by those who are fighting. Zuo Zhen saves her from being cut in the throat and even takes a blow for her when someone tries to attack her. He tells Shi Hao to look after her while he continues to control those men. A gun appears out of nowhere and is pointed straight at Zuo Zhen. Zuo Zhen, not even slightly scared, looks at the gun holder straight in the eyes, and says “I bet you won’t dare to shoot.” While the man is shaking with the gun in his hands, Zuo Zhen grabs the gun and sends the man crashing into the tables. Completely defeated, all the men scrambles away.

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Long Si walks in applauding and says that that he was impressed with Zuo Zhen’s swift moves but then asks if they needed men to protect the club. (Gangs go around to businesses demanding owners to pay them “protection fee” and if they don’t pay, the gangs then create problems making it very hard for them to continue with their business. Long Si is basically asking Mr. Xiang to pay him protection fee and he will have people “protecting” their business.) The hot-tempered Tang Hai starts to insult Long Si and Long Si says that since Zuo Zhen hasn’t taught his underlings properly, he would need to teach Tang Hai a lesson. Zuo Zhen replies that if Long Si is willing to start a fight, then he is willing to reciprocate.

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Tang Hai then tosses Long Si blades that are on the ground and Zuo Zhen tells him to choose one. Knowing that he is not a match for Zuo Zhen, Long Si claims that this is a trap for him, which Zuo Zhen responds that he would fight him bare handed. Not wanting to be a coward, Long Si attacks but he is miles away from being Zuo Zhen’s match. Zuo Zhen easily obtains the knife from Long Si’s hand and has him in a bind with the knife to his neck. Long Si surrenders asking Zuo Zhen to let him go but Zuo Zhen replies that he shouldn’t live after working for the Japanese.

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When he is about to cut his throat, Mr. Xiang stops him, saying that the Paramount (the name of the club) doesn’t see any blood and he doesn’t want to break that rule. Zuo Zhen lets go of Long Si and Mr. Xiang tells him that he welcomes all guest to his banquet, but if people come to create problem, he won’t let them go easily. Long Si politely replies that he is here to celebrate the return of Ying Shao and quickly leaves.

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Upstairs, Ying Dong has brought Ming Zhu into a safe area and is about to leave. Ming Zhu seems very worried for Ying Dong and holds onto him, telling him not to leave stating that it’s dangerous downstairs. Ying Dong feels awkward for being in a room with her. He makes the excuse that his brother is downstairs and proceeds to leave but Ming Zhu calls after him, “Your brother has a lot of people protecting him. He is safe. But you who is impulsive should not go.” Upon hearing this, Ying Dong get aggravated and reminds her that she is his sister-in-law and that she should only keep his brother in her heart. Before he can leave, she quickly tells him that since he has returned, she and his brother does not want him to leave. With a bitter smile on his face, he replies that he can tell the difference between those who are pretending and those who speak from their heart. She retorts that he knows she is being true to him but he tells her she was the one who made him realize that everything was fake.

His eyes gets teary but he still puts on a strong front, saying that he would like to thank her for teaching him that he can survive very well without another person and that both of them are surviving pretty well without each other. He leaves after advising her not to tell others she is being sincere.

Zuo Zhen walks out of Paramount carrying the unconscious Jin Xiu in his arms as Tang Hai tells him he should have taken the chance to kill Long Si. Shi Hao, on the other hand, notices that Mr. Xiang doesn’t want to interfere in their matters and probably won’t easily extend a helping hand to deal with Long Si.

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As Zuo Zhen takes Jin Xiu to the hotel, we see a cute scene where Jin Xiu’s head falls on Zuo Zhen’s shoulder. Irritated, he pushes her head away but because it isn’t strong enough, and she falls right back on his shoulder. This time he shoves her harder in the opposite direction and just before her head hits the other side of the car, he gently catches her and brings her back to rest on him.

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Zuo Zhen and Ying Dong are great pals and they are happily drinking wine together. Ying Dong complains that the wine is too bitter but Zuo Zhen tells him to forget about events in the past. He is referring to Ying Dong and Ming Zhu’s past. He continues to says that no matter how bitter a cup of wine something is, it’s just liquid. After gulping it down, just let it go. Don’t think too much about it. Changing the topic, Ying Dong asks why such a busy person is personally looking out for him.

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Zuo Zhen says he has always treated his friends properly and it’s Ying Dong who has forgotten about him when he was in France. Ying Dong jokes saying he had to take care of his French girls because a girl’s heart changes quickly but a brother’s heart stays the same. While Ying Dong expresses his thought about continuing to play while he’s still young, Zuo Zhen reveals that he is giving him Lion’s Jungle Hotel, to celebrate his return to Shanghai. Apparently, Lion’s Jungle Hotel is Shanghai’s largest hotel and Mr. Xiang gave it to Zuo Zhen. Zuo Zhen then adds that he has sent a friend to the hotel and that he will pay for all her expenses but Ying Dong tells him not to worry about it. He tells Ying Dong not to let her know it is him who sent her there.

In the middle of the night, Ying Dong and Ming Zhu, each separately in their own room, are looking at a black pearl earring. It seems like both of them have not forgotten about each other.

Jin Xiu wakes up in the morning in a luxurious hotel room dressed in a frilly western styled dress. Xiao Lan, the maid, greets her and tells her that it’s Ying Shao who told them to look after her. On the other hand, Ying Shao finds it interesting that Zuo Zhen who he has never heard of having any female friend, has sent a girl to his hotel. He decides to check her out. Back at the room, Xiao Lan comments that Jin Xiu looks pretty and finds that she resembles Ming Zhu. Jin Xiu asks her to tell her more about Ming Zhu and finds out that she used to be a lounge dancer who accompanied men for a living. Ying Dong, later on, hired her to perform at Paramount and she later married Mr. Xiang and now lives in a luxurious house at 9 Fok Ying street. Jin Xiu repeats the street name to herself to commit it to memory.

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Seeing the door to Jin Xiu’s room ajar, Ying Dong directly walks in. They are both surprised upon seeing each other and Jin Xiu proceeds to ask if it was him who brought her to this hotel. Ying Dong cleverly evades the questions, citing it doesn’t matter who brought her to the hotel and proudly tells her to mention his name if she were to encounter any problems. He then stares at Jin Xiu and without taking his eyes off of her, he moves closer, only to find a bruise on her forehead, which he tells her he will send over the medication to treat it. She asks Ying Dong about Ming Zhu, after seeing him protect her yesterday and is shocked to find out that she is his sister-in-law. She tells him she is Ming Zhu’s sister, but upon hearing that she has been telling others that all of her relatives have passed away, Jin Xiu doesn’t believe it and heads out to look for her sister.

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Zuo Zhen has just taken care of some business matters and escaped a trap set up by Long Si. He asks Shi Hao to find out exactly who is supporting Long Si. To Shao Hui, another one of his trusted helpers, he orders to have their exports checked carefully. As he leaves, Tang Hai gives him the pocket watch. Realizing why Jin Xiu had called him a watch thief, he gets angry with him.

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In the following scene, Long Si is angry at Wu Teng, the leader of the Japanese group that he is working with, for not taking actions to get rid of Zuo Zhen. Zuo Zhen has found out that he is working with the Japanese people and he doesn’t want that news to get to Mr. Feng for fear of losing a chance to be the next director. Wu Teng tells him to eat first and brings out a dead fish, which he cuts up in front of Long Si, grossing him out.

Wu Teng tells Long Si that the hardest part in making sashimi is to figure out each fish’s bone structure. You need to select a suitable knife and cut the fish at its softest part to ensure that after you’re finished cutting up all the sashimi, your fish is still alive. He connects this point to Zuo Zhen, saying getting rid of Zuo Zhen is exactly the same. You need to find his weak spot, and kill him with one blow.

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Long Si laughs at him, telling him that Zuo Zhen has no weak points. He has no women, no family, and nothing he is particularly fond of. However, he has already sent some professional assassins to kill Zuo Zhen and if they succeed, when Zuo Zhen’s people come to mess with him, he expects Wu Teng to provide him with artillery to fight back. He reminds Wu Teng that if he becomes the next Director of the Trading Association, it would also be easy for Wu Teng to do what he wants in Shanghai.

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Jin Xiu arrives at the entrance to Ming Zhu’s estate but the housekeeper doesn’t let her in thinking that she’s lying about being Ming Zhu’s sister. Jin Xiu causes a ruckus, making another attendant, Ying Di, to come out. Ying Di lets her in after believing that she isn’t a swindler and takes her into the house. The girl who tripped her at the banquet, Jing Ling, comes out. Outraged that a stranger is let in house, she tries to force her out and but Ming Zhu comes out before Jin Xiu is taken away.

Ming Zhu pretends that she doesn’t know who Jin Xiu is and purposely shows off her wealth by asking her attendants to cook her an expensive meal. She kindly tells her to stay for dinner but emphasizes that she doesn’t have time for her. Jin Xiu tells her she isn’t here for a meal and Ming Zhu thinks that she wants money so she instructs her attendant, Jing Ling, to bring out money and preoccupies herself with the newspaper.

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As Jin Xiu talks about their childhood times and how she has been searching for her, Ming Zhu gets pissed off and tells her to stop talking. This makes Jin Xiu realize that Ming Zhu had recognized her all along but pretended not to know her. Jin Xiu continues telling her about how the whole family was killed causing Jing Ling to slap her for disobeying Ming Zhu’s words.

Ming Zhu tells her that she won’t feel sad about Jin Xiu’s family dying, which shocks Jin Xiu. Jin Xiu pleads with her and tells her they are the only relatives left in this world. Becoming more agitated, Ming Zhu discloses about her hard and tragic life after she was kicked out of the Rong residence and grabs Jin Xiu by the shoulders, informing her that after her mother died, Rong Ming Zhu doesn’t exist anymore.

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She throws money at her, demanding her to scram out of sight. Jin Xiu picks up the money and gives it back to her, muttering that she will stay in Shanghai and wait for her to accept her. Jin Xiu leaves wondering what to do next now that her only relative has rejected her. Jin Xiu has made another enemy, as Jing Ling vows to give her a bad time whenever she sees her.

———————– The End ———————–

DramaDreamLand: I find the beginning pretty choppy and confusing. Zuo Zhen appeared in the first 15 seconds of the episode and then disappeared. Then Ying Dong who wasn’t around Jin Xiu is suddenly right next to her when she says Ming Zhu’s name. Note to the producers: please add some stage directions so that we know how the characters leave the scenes or meet up with each other again.

Another thing I want to point out is that when the guests were wondering who had the honor to invite Ming Zhu to perform on stage, most people would think it is Mr. Xiang. However I think, Ming Zhu loves Ying Dong in her heart and is performing for Ying Dong.

So far we are seeing how the misunderstandings between Jin Xiu and Ying Dong are starting to take place. Jin Xiu is pretty fortunate that she has met Xuo Zhen, who is secretly looking out for her while she is in Shanghai. I just love guys who secretly help out the girl.

My favorite moment in this episode is the car scene. Zuo Zhen is a rough man that does not care about women, however, he is slowly changing because of her and we already see him showing affection for her.

In this next episode, we will see how these two become furthermore entangled with each other.

  1. 8 thoughts on “Cruel Romance: Episode 2 Recap

    lol!! that cover screen capture!! its true though and im getting annoyed with the writer writing our female lead off as a ….hassle. she’s becoming like bella…accident-prone and always needing help.

    that car scene is soooooooooo cute!! omg. XD i really like hxm here. he’s cold and cocky, and deservedly so. hahaha!!

    thanks for the recap miss vanilla!

  2. 8 thoughts on “Cruel Romance: Episode 2 Recap

    I’m hooked on this show! This is great since I’ve been in a drama drought for the past few months.

    Everyone is really enjoyable to watch so far, and where did they get all the good looking guys from? One of Zuo Zhen’s right hand man is such eye-candy…haha.

    I really dislike the editing…too many scenes are being cut, so I’m kinda at a lost at some parts. They all just seem to jump around and have no flow. It definitely detracts from the show and makes things seem a bit more silly rather than emotionally packed like they should be.

    • 8 thoughts on “Cruel Romance: Episode 2 Recap

      glad you guys are liking this show. I felt the same way about too many scenes being cut out as I was totally lost in the beginning. I think the goodlooking right handed man you’re talking about is Yang Le (the one that is more calm). He plays a photographer in the cdrama My Sunshine with Wallace Chung and Tang Yang.

  3. 8 thoughts on “Cruel Romance: Episode 2 Recap

    I’ve finished watching ep.02 and I nearly want to pull out my hair. I don’t like how Joe’s character is developing, but then I start to recall how amazing Joe’s knack is making her leading men look so cool and star-studded in all of her projects somehow while her stardom is underplayed, so I get it. One of her great assets too, that’s why Kappy and I agree she has great powers wielding her co-stars to wait on her every move. *still green with envy* That of which, I can’t deny how good Xiao Ming looks in this show. I’m still shocked admitting this. He’s not really one of my favorite Chinese actors; still ain’t. Its gotta be the Joe Effect.

    Anyways, is it me or that all these 21st century actors are not as suave and dashing as their predecessors playing roles in the 30’s era? Gawd, I wish these actors did more research in their character development before filming this show. I don’t like most of the supporting cast and/or extras in the Paramount Club — no stage presence at all including Ming Zhu. I was shaking my head how the sound room can allow lip-syncing be so horrible in this series. Watching this show makes me frustrated as it is, now, I’m confused watching this thing.

    And don’t get me started about coming episode(s), LMAO, is Zuo Zhen a jedi? He’s even faster than a ninja in the previews. LOL! What is this show doing to me!?! My logic is becoming non-existent. I did want to voice my agreement on the cute car scene between the annoyed Zuo Zhen and head swaying Jin Xiu. I love that part where ZZ catches JX’s head so she won’t re-injury her already bruised forehead. That would’ve been a double whammy if he didn’t save her there. That was totally cute and unexpected, after I cussed at him for being a jackass in the first place. Haha~

    You’re doing grrrrrrreat vanilladreamcream!

  4. 8 thoughts on “Cruel Romance: Episode 2 Recap

    Ditto Keane. Jin Xiu is challenging my patience with her. I’m hoping that they are making her weak now so that she could morph into a stronger person because my precious hair is falling at rapid rate. Joe Chen could do this role in her sleep. But it’s hard to buy the exaggerated naivety and expressions now that she’s in her mid thirties, you know.

    Ming Zhu’s logic is so flawed to me. I don’t understand her. Judging by Mr. Xiang’s white hair, how long could his power and influence hold? Moreover, Ying Dong IS his brother, who is likely to take over the business soon in the long run, giving him more power and status. I would rather they explain that Ying Dong is too immature and Ming Zhu prefers more mature man. Moreover, Mr. Xiang is so observant, how could he not see his brother’s lover eyes to MZ? (That lip syn scene was so horrible, BTW.)

    Zuo Zhen. Ahhhh. Huang Xiao Ming’s action scenes make me swoon more than anything. His moves are so smooth and precise. That car scene is adorable. I’m gonna gif it later. hehe!!

    HunanTV is beginning to cut the episodes shorter now. They are monopolizing, no other sites have the full uncut version available. BALLSSSSSSSS!!! 😡

  5. 8 thoughts on “Cruel Romance: Episode 2 Recap

    Cmon Jin Xiu be strong!!! I agree with Keane, mightbe they purposedly did that so HXM can play the hero parts, and looks so damn cool. He is the investor so he can showcase whatever he wants. Well this is from a novel, I just read a lil bit here and there, not sure how Jin Xiu character writing anyone?
    But don’t worry judging from the trailer and stills, she will become stronger, just don’t know when.. haha. And, Qiao En doesn’t usually play a girl that needs constant protection all that often and can hold her own, so hopefully she won’t be the damsel in eternal distress.

    Chen Qiao En is famous for bring good luck to her “male lead”. So yeah @Keane what you feel must be Joe Effect. I really like QE & HXM amazing chemistry <3 Once again this is Joe great talent too, she never fail to have chemistry with everyone!

    I don't like the editing too -__- Cdramas always have parts confusing and don't make sense, I blame it on bad editing. Hey Kappy, I think I get the uncut version.

  6. 8 thoughts on “Cruel Romance: Episode 2 Recap

    The directing and pace of the drama is making me very disappointed. : ( But I shall continue taking my merry time (only finished ep2 xD) and hope it gets better. I’m biased against damsel in distress characters, but at least it seems more comically played here. But like the ep2 focusing on fainted Joe intermittently was like “what? is she going to wake up or is the director asking us to start shipping the sidekick with Joe too?” The director knows how to fan-service but sure needs practice on story-telling lol.

    • 8 thoughts on “Cruel Romance: Episode 2 Recap

      I think Shi Hao likes her somewhat, which is dangerous. His head might be the first to roll near the end!

      Oh Cruel Romance… how thou disappoint me but still I watch thee because I set myself up for this. Lol.

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