Everyone wants a piece of our hero (and who could blame them, Ma Ke’s so pretty), but he’s laying low for now. It’s hard to let go of his past, but he takes an important first step towards getting his revenge.
Episode 2 Recap
We open in the past with Xie Yi upset about the media reporting that he’s secretly married. The timing is terrible because the Golden Cypress Award is coming up and he’s afraid of losing out on the Best Actor nomination. He begs Du Fei to help him, and being such a loyal friend, he agrees. We get the sense that Xie Yi had done something to warrant those rumors, but we’re not told explicitly what that is.
Now we’re back to the end of the previous episode – an angry Du Fei driving his car straight towards Xie Yi. But at the last minute, Lin Xuan appears, forcing Du Fei to swerve and drive past them both. Phew.
Xie Yi offers to drive Lin Xuan home, but she once again rebuffs him. He asks, “Even now, you still can’t forget him?” She admits that she used to like Du Fei, but even more so, he’s like family to her. So now that he’s dead, she doesn’t feel obligated to continue her friendship with Xie Yi. This girl is cold and I love it.
On Lin Xuan’s way home, she suddenly clutches her stomach in pain. Uh oh. Unfortunately, she’s all out of medication, so she heads to the pharmacy and searches in the shelves. A helpful hand appears, holding the last box of the pills she needs. It’s Du Fei.
Her face falls when she sees him and asks if he’s been following her. She’s right, but he lies, saying he also gets stomach pains and just happens to live close by.
Outside, they walk together slowly and she thanks him for his help. But he thanks her instead, saying he’s grateful for getting to spend time with his idol. She stops to stare at his face and says he reminds her of a friend.
While they’re on the subject of friendship, he decides to ask her for advice. “What if someone had betrayed you and hurt you, but he used to be your best friend? What would you do if you meet him again?”
“I would go on living as normal,” she says. If she sees that person again, she would tell him that she’s doing just fine. By forgiving him, she would be living a better life than the betrayer. And she wouldn’t try to get revenge because it wouldn’t change anything in the past. Du Fei seems to take her advice to heart and they say goodbye sweetly.
Mystery Man pays a visit to Du Fei on his way home and they talk in a dimly lit car. He warns Du Fei not to get close to Xie Yi and Lin Xuan or he risks blowing his cover. His warning gets more ominous when he says, “If you don’t listen to me, then you can return to hell.”
Du Fei is surprised to get a meeting request from Feng Jing, considering he had failed the audition. Feng Jing offers him a way into ESE if he accepts 3 conditions and he agrees without question. And what are those conditions?
“Condition 1, obey me. Condition 3, obey me.”
“What about condition 2?”
“I haven’t decided yet,” Feng Jing replies. I lol’ed.
He leans in close and asks Du Fei, “Dare to play?” and he agrees again.
It’s the first day of training and all the trainees are gathered in matching outfits. One of them, let’s call him Bob, compliments Du Fei on his amazing Equus performance at the auditions. Apparently everyone’s heard about it.
Feng Jing enters the room dramatically and immediately fixes his piercing stare on Du Fei. He really enjoys staring at him. He gives an intimidating speech, telling all the trainees that they need to start as blank pieces of paper. If anyone feels like he is already a finished piece of art, then “I’m sorry, I will rip you in half.” This seems harsh, but I promise it doesn’t sound quite as violent in Chinese.
Then he drops a bomb – only one trainee will be recruited into ESE.
Next, we get a montage of the guys going through physical training, including swimming and ballet. One by one, trainees start getting disqualified. Feng Jing watches over everything closely and generally stares at Du Fei a lot.
When the trainees start tearfully hugging the ones who get sent home, I can’t help but think of the Bachelorette. (Would that make Feng Jing the bachelorette? XD)
With 6 trainees left, tensions are getting high and Bob comes over to poke a little at Du Fei. “You have Feng Jing,” he says, obviously envious and insecure. But Du Fei ignores him and refuses to play his game.
It’s at this point that we find out Du Fei actually did pass his audition, but Xie Yi’s shady manager had crossed his name off the list.
The trainees start getting confrontational when Du Fei is the first to wake up in the morning, making the rest of them look bad. So they attack him in the showers. Ugh.
Feng Jing, forever the fairy godmother, appears magically to save him. He even hands him a towel to ice his wounds. Aww. Feng Jing astutely guesses that Du Fei is not at ESE to seek fame, but to accomplish something else. Du Fei admits that he wants to succeed in order to defeat someone.
And finally, Feng Jing tells him the second condition for allowing him to become a trainee, “Follow your heart and never give up.”
At Du Fei’s insistence, Feng Jing agrees not to send the other trainees home for bullying him. Instead, he decides to punish all 6 of them, including Du Fei. Ha. The guys are grateful and promise to be bros from now on.
The punishment is pretty hilarious. They all get sent to the set of a period drama to act as extras. Dead people to be exact. So the guys proceed to get smeared in the face with fake blood and boot prints. “Die properly,” a staff member yells at them energetically.
Du Fei is asked to stand at the ready for the lead actress to kick him in the face. He nods obediently.
And who else? The lead actress is Liu Yi, who sweeps on set dramatically, complete with her entourage and… is that a pomelo? Just as she’s getting ready to attack Du Fei the extra, she recognizes him as Mu Zi Che. And instantly jumps to the conclusion that he became an actor in order to be closer to her. He, on the other hand, has no idea who she is.
When she catches him in between takes, she grabs his cheek and accuses him of escaping to Korea and avoiding her phone calls. He evades her questions, but doesn’t try to pretend to be Mu Zi Che.
The 3-month training period is finally over and the 6 trainees gather to receive
the final rose their fate. And the winner is… Bob and Du Fei. Apparently, ESE couldn’t choose between the two, so they decided to recruit them both. With Feng Jing standing mysteriously to the side, we’re led to believe it had something to do with him.
Liu Yi follows Du Fei home, despite him not paying her any attention. She even worms her way into his house for dinner, to the surprise of his (i.e. Mu Zi Che’s) mom. The two women actually bond a little while he cooks them a huge feast.
While they’re eating, Du Fei gets a call from Mystery Man, who tells him, “From what I’ve heard, someone is trying to pull Du Fei out of hell.”
I admit it. The biggest draw that’s keeping me interested in this drama are the scenes between Du Fei and Feng Jing. I wouldn’t call what they have sexual tension yet, but there is chemistry and it’s amazing to watch. Joe Xu is killing it.
Ma Ke was better in this episode. He balances his character’s anger and vulnerability well. I’m super interested in seeing how Du Fei will take over Mu Zi Che’s identity.
Bring on the next episode (and more Feng Jing).