Well, hopefully, I don’t have to write another one for Chusen. Lol.
Episode 16 – 18 Summary and Highlights:
After kidnapping Bi Yao’s body and obtaining her Broken-Hearted bracelet, Xiao Yi Cai wants to use her body in exchange for the incense-burner thingy (LOL, sorry I really have no care for his magical object), at least that’s the excuse he gives to the innocent believers: Jing Yu, Xue Qi, and Shu Shu’s cousin. Jing Yu finds his behavior strange and comes back for another look and catches Yi Cai in his human beast transformation, reminding him of the attack many, many episodes go. He fights with Yi Cai and successfully obtains Bi Yao’s bracelet and runs away. Injured, he stumbles his way into a cave and discovers Bi Yao’s lifeless body.
Lord Dog is so adorable in this scene, announcing himself as Bi Yao’s underling, whose primary job is to protect her and Gui Li. Aw. You loyal subject. (Shu Chang plays Bi Yao’s aunt and she looks flabbergasted being addressed as an aunt. Lol.)
I really appreciate this scene because up till now, it seems like Bi Yao was only a part of Xiao Fan’s life, since everyone on the “good” side seldom shows their sorrow for her sacrifice. “Long time no see, Bi Yao,” Jing Yu starts. He sits beside her body and envies her deep slumber, having no heartaches, no worries, and no pain. Unlike himself, he rarely has a good night sleep this past decade (but you don’t look a day older? Skin care recommendations? 😀 ). He misses his shifu, Xiao Fan, and the times they spent fighting side-by-side. “Bi Yao, you will definitely wake up.” Awww.
He thinks of a way to alert Xiao Fan to their location and sends some energy into her bells, which signals Gui Li’s staff to glow red. Gui Li heals Jing Yu and recalls their memory together as innocent teenagers. Jing Yu knows that Gui Li wants to gather the books to stop Ghost King from reviving the beast and he intends to help. Not wanting to owe anyone else, Gui Li rejects the offer, but Jing Yu reminds him that Bi Yao was also his friend. Gui Li asks him to leave, hoping they would never spar again. Serious man-crush Jing Yu has.
Xiao Fan meets with Xue Qi and tells her to expose Yi Cai to the other senior and junior disciples, and Xue Qi explains that she didn’t know Bi Yao was inside the bracelet when Yi Cai stole it. Again he reaffirms his goal in the whole matter is to revive Bi Yao, so “Don’t force me to fight.” Xue Qi looks away and recalls the competition they had for the first time, admitting that she knew he held back that time. She looks longingly at Gui Li and says she harbors all their memories together in her heart, never forgeting them. Gui Li wonders why she has to put herself through that misery, and Xue Qi honestly reveals her feeling, that in the past 10 years, she had always waited and hoped he would turn around, but now she realizes it’s too late.
Shaking his head, Gui Li remains quiet, until Xue Qi’s longing eyes turn sharp again, and she challenges him to a fight to see how much he’s improved in ten years. A smile creeps up in one corner of Gui Li’s lips and he deflects her moves easily, sending her sword plunged into a nearby tree. Xue Qi asks why he still uses good sect’s kung fu and Gui Li answers that kung fu doesn’t discriminate good and bad, it’s the person who uses it that determines its origins.
At the highest peak of Mount Ming, Ghost King and his subjects greet the Beast, who’s impatient for his return to the human world. He craves blood and thinks the sacrificial human (Yi Cai) isn’t as flawless as he wishes but he would have to do for now. In order for the spell to work, they need 12 hours of uninterruption, hence Ghost King tells everyone to safely guard the mountain from intruders. Ghost King also asks the beast to give power to Wu Yan since he’s shown his loyalty to their sect repeatedly.
Gui Li meets with his Qing Yun brothers and sisters and enjoy a peaceful night with them before their big fight tomorrow. All of them agree to fight side-by-side with Gui Li, like how they used to do it, following his words.
As the group charges up the steps, the fights are divided equally. The first one being Wu Yan, finally settling scores with Shu Shu. Wu Yan cracks me up, he’s lying on the steps, adopting Xiao Fan’s Hawaiian beach pose from Season 1 finale. XD
Xue Qi stops their march for a little bit to apologize to Gui Li, saying that she owes Gui Li and Bi Yao for saving her life back then and how she couldn’t stop Qing Yun Sword from harming them both that day. This kind of sincere feeling is what she owes them both. Gui Li says he will always remember that fateful day and will settle score with Sect Leader one day, but he also keeps Xue Qi’s repeated attempts to speak on his behalf in his mind, indirectly telling her he doesn’t blame her.
You Ji’s voice interrupts the conversation. Aww man, please don’t kill her. I like her motherhood with Bi Yao. She tells Gui Li to return to the cave and wait for Bi Yao’s revival. Xue Qi volunteers to hold You Ji back, allowing Jing Yu and Gui Li to continue their path.
At the next level of defense, Qing Long gege and Jin Ping Er stand stationed. Ah. Don’t hurt these two either! Damn my feelings for the supposedly bad people. Lol. Locking eyes with Ping Er, Jing Yu bids farewell to Gui Li and aims his sword at Qing Long. You are so hilariously obvious about your affection, Jing Yu. I saw that move! XD
Final stage, Ghost King greets Gui Li, and each launches into their own defense for doing what they are doing. Ghost King says reviving the Beast is the way to save Bi Yao; when all the energy gathers, she would be revived, but Gui Li counters that line of thinking as a direct attack to Bi Yao’s wishes. She wanted there to be no more hate between the two sides of good and evil. No more loss of lives. Ghost King doesn’t take those wishes as more important than his daughter’s own life and Gui Li admits that Ghost King would never understand her perspective. “This is her faith. And because of my beloved’s faith, I will not surrender.” That is one hell of a romantic declaration.
They fight and Ghost King has Gui Li locked under his power for a moment before his sister-in-law, Xiao Bai, enters and lures him away, well, with him having a chokehold on her. Lol. He locks her in a bubble at the peak.
Back to the level 1 fight with Wu Yan holding both Shu Shu and his cousin, Li Xun, in the air. But Shu Shu gathers strength in his other hand and breaks free and gives a deadly kick at Wu Yan, sending him down the vortex of nothingness. Even then, Wu Yan disappears with a mocking smile.
Goodbye Wu Yan. Mao Zi Jun shares his thought about the role, “I really like how the writer dissects the character of Qin Wu Yan. In life, no one is truly evil and truly good. The role of Qin Wu Yan is my favorite character to play since I started filming dramas.”
The fight between the ladies doesn’t go anywhere, and You Ji wonders why Xue Qi is not really attacking her and the latter becomes nostalgic as she remembers how Bi Yao saved her once and how kind Bi Yao was. You Ji: “Because of her kindness, she died under ya’ll hands!” Xue Qi shakes her head, if it weren’t for their insistent on starting the war, Bi Yao wouldn’t have died. You Ji calls it fate, the hatred between the good and bad sects runs deep and long, never a chance for resolve.
But Xue Qi believes otherwise; if Bi Yao were still alive, she would be their hope for that dream. OMG. That breaks my heart. That response stuns You Ji and Xue Qi continues, “You guys destroyed her dream, demolishing that beautiful belief.” Affected by those words, regret shows on You Ji’s expression and she disappears.
At the next level, Qing Long gege fights furiously with Jing Yu and questions Ping Er’s statue-like behavior on the sideline. Conflicted about her position, Ping Er finally chooses to stand against Qing Long, leaving him with little choice but to render a deadly blow in her direction. She falls the slowest fall ever, allowing Jing Yu plenty of time to catch her. Lol. When he moves to heal her, she stops his futile attempt, making it known that she was already poisoned by Mr. Ghost. She looks at him. “I didn’t want you to see my defeated look. Being liberated this way is a kind of happiness.” A tear strolls down her face and she turns limp in his arms. He cries out her name and then her good sister comes with some magic pills and promises that Ping Er’s shifu will save her. That was so anti-climatic.
Weakened by his earlier fight with Ghost King (where the heavenly books were removed from his body), Gui Li falters at the last staircase to hell peak. “Bi Yao, I don’t think I can stand it any longer. Bi Yao…” On cue, Ghost Bi Yao appears like an angel and holds his hand. “Silly, don’t worry, I will walk with you.” With that, Gui Li becomes empowered, walking up the stair with flashbacks of their times together.
He makes it to the top and vows to stop the revival. Ghost King sends him flying over the edge and as he hangs on for dear life, his friends (Xue Qi, Shu Shu, and Jing Yu) fly up to contend with Ghost King, joined shortly by Gui Li. They get pushed back and it becomes a battle between Ghost King and Gui Li until the broken-hearted flower hovers over them and releases Ghost Bi Yao, and she pleads for her dad to stop. He pauses, giving Gui Li the leeway to knock him and his precious Fire Emblem Dish towards Xiao Bai’s direction, dissolving her bubble. She quickly throws the dish towards Xiao Fan and tells him to enter the trap and disrupt the reviving process.
He does and we are serenaded by some epic music. I like this piece! With their plan once again disrupted, Ghost King escapes with Mr. Ghost. Xiao Bai tells Gui Li to hurry up and collects the energy from the skies and he uses his staff to store it.
He returns to the cave and releases the energy along with the bracelet and it returns safely around Bi Yao’s wrist. She’s slowly lifted to a standing position with Gui Li passing the energy into her body. After all is inserted into her body, he stands, arm outstretched, palm hovering near Bi Yao’s face, waiting for a reaction.
When no response is generated, he takes her hand and looks at it forlornly, then lowers it slowly. He looks away and closes his eyes, exhausted of the whole ordeal to come to this conclusion. As he nears his own hopeless fight, a tear escapes from Bi Yao and drops into the bracelet, making it and the bells glow. Gui Li jerks his eyes opened.
And we end on that note. A cliffhanger.
—– END —–
Kappy: Perhaps the most frustrating one to date. The production is thinking of a season 3 but the same returned cast? Let’s see… Yi Feng is focusing on his film career, Yang Zi has new and better projects going her way, and Li Ying aims to focus more on herself this year. A reunion of the main cast is nearly impossible at this point. If I have to say, Chusen is but a launching vehicle, allowing most of its cast members a solid rise in their careers.
Chusen has pretty cast, gorgeous costumes, elaborate filming sets, a popular novel at hand, and yet it fails at telling an effective storyline, meandering on story points that audience could care less about, sacrificing one character development in favors of another. Butchering characters is the worst offense in this case and Yang Zi’s Xue Qi tops the list. Is she Xiao Fan’s love interest or his Professor of Moral Literature? Most of the time, I really didn’t care much for her strict and unbending ways, same goes for Jing Yu’s straight-laced character. I enjoyed the last three episodes more because they were allowed to be sympathizing due to what their characters went through instead of being dictated by their “shifus” all series long. I like characters who show growth, and while they were late, better late than never.
The other disappointing aspect is Xiao Fan’s love story with Bi Yao. It could have been the talk of town, the most memorable, but alas, it didn’t give me those turbulent emotions because Xiao Fan is always a tree when delivering emotions. There were no high points or low points for his character, falling flat throughout the series. What I wanted from Xiao Fan, Mao Zi Jun’s Wu Yan delivered.
But I wasn’t angry with his Gui Li’s transformation as I was with Hua Qian Gu, Gui Li has a line of supporters who still believe in his goodness, which anchored his character from veering completely towards the dark side. Moreover, he believes in Bi Yao’s kindness and strives for that faith. While Qian Gu had none of that, and everyone she loved died, which makes her mediocre transformation all the more frustrating and very dissatisfying.