Hellloooooo! Agent 1106 Kappy reporting to recapping duty. We go from one extreme to another with our double premiere episodes on Monday, from the depths of inhumanity to the glimpses and scattered pieces of hope and kindness. Strong performances all around, all the people I love playing all sorts of shady characters that I will come to love passionately and dislike with a raging pitchfork, praying for their deaths.
Wait, am I too early?
Episode 1 Recap:
We open the first episode seeing a girl dunked in deep waters and the camera pans closer to her ripped clothes, revealing an elaborate tattoo on her back. This is our lead girl, real name is Chu Qiao (Zhao Li Ying) and as she falls deeper down, she hits her head and bleeds. In voiceover, she says in this world, there are many people born knowing who they are, where to go, who to befriend, “But I don’t know, between the wind reeked of death and bloody rain, I don’t know where the road to survival is.” As she declares her amnesia, two men pick up her unconscious body and transport her along with other young girls.
Still in her dazed dream, a veiled lady calls her by the name Chu Qiao and tells her to be strong. The woman leaves on a horse and the little girl calls after her mother, then sees flashes of her childhood being trained rigorously in the rain and being called Xiao Liu by a man. Another flashback shows a hooded man identifying someone as the mom’s murderer and then an older Chu Qiao fights with a man at the edge of a cliff. All broken parts of her memory.
The constant screaming and whipping of men stirs Chu Qiao back to reality and a little girl calls her big sister. The girl identified herself as Mao Tou (actress Jiang Yi Yi) and Chu Qiao goes with her adopted given name, Xiao Liu. Mao Tou wonders what crime she committed to be imprisoned here and Chu Qiao replies she’s caused big trouble, then her stomach growls, and Mao Tou takes out a coveted bun and breaks it in half to share. Mao Tau doesn’t know where they’re headed and expresses her fear, but Chu Qiao tells her not to be scared, she’ll be here.
At their destination – in the middle of nowhere, the girls are ushered into little camps, each told to change into their new outfit: a plain white piece with a Last Name imprinted on their backs. White is a very stimulating color in the eyes of predators.
Then we cut to a parade of horses, introducing us at once to five male characters.
In the order of appearance, is
Prince of Northern Yan, Yan Xun (Shawn Dou).
Yuan Song (Niu Jun Feng) as 13th Prince of Western Wei, his dad is the current King.
Wei Shu Ye (Chen Si Han), eldest son of Wei household.
Zhao Xi Feng (Jin Han), second son of Zhao Household.
Yuwen Huai (Ian Wang Yan Lin), grandchild of Yuwen household.
The ladies on the streets squeal as the boys pass by and when an elder citizen pushes his way out with his work cart, only Yan Xun noticeably stops as to not run him over.
The four other boys stop right at the gate of town and Yuwen Huai teases Yan Xun about Princess Yuan Chun’s affection for him, how could she let him run free? Yan Xun blames him for involving him in the matter and causing him to break her glass.
Yuan Song sighs at the boys’ talk of girls when they should be worried about the chaotic world and chides the group for choosing such a crowded area to race, what if they hurt an innocent citizen? So far, two out of five are not rotten. Yuwen Huai promises to make the day more interesting with a game full of screaming cries he has in mind. Yan Xun asks about the prize afterward, and it’s a rare wine pot in the Princess’s possession, of course.
He takes the four boys to a hilltop overlooking the vast mountainside and on his command, the girls are herded into a fenced perimeter, their face scared and confused. The wolves will be released next. As Yuwen explains the game to the boys, Yan Xun and Yuan Song’s faces grow disgusted at the cruelty of their friend. Each boy has the same number of girls wearing their last name and the boys can either shoot the wolves or…shoot the girls. The person with the most surviving beauties at the end wins the game.
Refusing to use humans as moving targets, Yuan Song speaks up about his decision to not participate. Yuwen Huai can’t force the Prince so he moves his target audience to Yan Xun, bringing up his family’s power and wealth, which is garnered in battles on horses and using archery, surely, he wouldn’t let his family’s fame go to waste?
Yan Xun doesn’t fall for the smooth talk easily, explaining how his father used his sword to strike down traitors and invaders, but never soaked the blood of innocent women and kids. “Such fame, we might as well not have.” Tired of hearing the same moral talk, Zhao Xi Feng openly declares to just kill off Yan Xun’s slave girls and be done with it. He asks the wolves to be released and Yuan Song tells them to slow down, they still need to wait for Yuwen Yue (Lin Geng Xin), but Yuwen Huai snickers, stating that Yuwen Yue is busy for his “golden” night.
We meet Yuwen Yue immediately. A man dressed in all white (trouble trouble) enters his chamber and instantly takes in the sight of a nekkid woman on his bed. He doesn’t reveal a readable expression and merely walks over to his desk and begins reading something. Bored of waiting by herself, the V-faced beauty tells Yuwen Yue how she knew he doesn’t like the cold and has purposely warmed the bed for him. Like an eunuch? He continues reading and she asks him not to waste the beautiful night and at that he walks over to face her and her nekkidness. Yuwen Yue: “If the person who sent you here saw your performance, he would be disappointed.” She smiles and says she knows a lot, is he willing to see? She starts stripping off his first layer of elderly clothing and pulls him on top of her. Up close and personal now, she plays innocence, urging him to be a man and take the initiative. Though he thinks that if he does all the work, she has nothing left to show. Taking the reins, she flips over so she’s on top and slowly inches down to his throat and when she’s close enough, she reveals a spike in her teeth.
Yuwen Yue senses danger and he shoves her V-face out of his vicinity and she spins a few rounds, wrapping herself in his pretty bed curtains, ending with a sexy pose to close the deal. She cracks me up. If you’re gonna kill, then kill prettily?
They involve in quick fight with her throwing dozen of needles towards his direction and jumping out of the window to escape. Unlucky for her, he’s a trained fighter and wards off the needles in her back. Ouch. Miss Porcupine.
Lying prettily on the ground outside his window, she wonders when he noticed “it” about her. He replies it was the moment he entered the room. What did she do wrong? He says everything, from head to toe, nothing was right. Then why didn’t he expose her? “Attempted assassination, using poison, I have seen it all, but using a beauty trap, this was my first experience. Indeed, nothing interesting.” Lol. Why you gonna burn a girl like that? XD
She shouts back that she’s poisoned him through the incense burner, shouldn’t he be asking for the antidote? Yuwen Yue doesn’t bat an eyelash, “The one poisoned is you. I guess Yuwen Huai will be disappointed now.” He then asks for a horse and rides towards the boys’ destination. His personal bodyguard is Yue Qi (Xing Zhao Lin).
Back at the mountainside, Yuwen Huai releases the wolves and the girls run for their lives. When bodies start to fall over, Mao Tou realizes that they are being hunted like animals. She doesn’t know why they are treated like this….they are humans. Yuan Song sees Yuwen Huai and Xi Feng targeting the girls on purpose and gets the response of, “It’s easier to shoot humans than the wolves.” Lord. I don’t know what to say.
With the intention of saving the girls, Yuan Song wants to shoot and kill the wolves, but he’s ineffectual, thus the young prince seeks the help of Yan Xun and the latter is now fueled by a sense of doing the right thing to shoot the wolves with keen precision in every arrow. Not knowing they are being saved by two people, Chu Qiao glares up into the hilltop area, expecting the worst of human kinds overlooking their suffering.
When Chu Qiao again and again ducks out of Yuwen Huai’s arrows, the man is excited by the challenge and shoots another arrow, only Yan Xun comes to the rescue and knocks his arrow away from Chu Qiao with his own. YESH!!
Not used to be overtaken, Yuwen Huai doesn’t think it’s fun to do the game this way. What about the prize at the end? Yan Xun isn’t interested in the wine and says that the girl has caught his eyes, “Who dares touch her!”
Yuwen Yue arrives at the fenced perimeter and takes notice of the scene before him: Chu Qiao is trapped between two wolves. Now this is when I believe Chu Qiao has developed the body of steel because the wolves are tearing into her and yet she emerges with her limbs intact, only her clothes are torn. Just check out the screencaps below. XD
Spying a nearby arrow, Chu Qiao uses it as a weapon (Finally! Her brain is working!) and stabs one of the wolves under the belly and rips through him by sliding underneath his unnecessarily acrobatic jump. Wolf, you’re not the main character, stop trying to outshine her! Lol!
Oh, is it me, but the other wolf friend looks revengy? He grinds his teeth and chases after Chu Qiao as she runs up a tree, turns around, and strikes him through his head. Yan Xun looks mighty proud. Up on his horse, Yuwen Yue describes her as a natural born fighter.
When a wolf tries to sneak attack Mao Tou from behind, Chu Qiao flies ~25 feet into the air like Wonder Woman and pikes his head too. With the number of the girls growing smaller and smaller, they also run farther from the shooting sight, forcing the boys to give chase on their horses.
More wolves die, more girls also succumb. The time limit is over and the two survivors are Mao Tou and Chu Qiao, however, Yuwen Huai, being the trash that he is, shoots out an arrow and it pierces Mao Tou’s heart. Chu Qiao is stunned speechless as she stares at Mao Tou’s wound, the pool of blood growing distinctly bigger by the passing seconds. The innocent girl calls out to Chu Qiao, saying that she’s tired. She thanks Chu Qiao before her hand goes limp and she dies in Chu Qiao’s arms.
Reeling with anger, Yuwen Huai refuses to let the slave that escaped his demonic hand live so he pulls out another arrow to shoot at her. At the same time, Yan Xun also sends an arrow of his own, hoping to deflect, but his arrow misses by a few millimeters and it’s Yuwen Yue’s needle that blocks Yuwen Huai’s arrow from killing Chu Qiao. And I’m upset! Whyy?! WHY DID THEY CHANGE this part? You were doing so good in following the novel. I just dislike this ongoing conspiracy of shoving Yuwen Yue’s ship into my boat. That’s not cool. Plus, he didn’t even aim, he just raised his weapon blindly into the air like he’s targeting a kite or something. This makes you look silly, show. Stop it.
In the novel, Yan Xun is the only one left with an arrow and when he’s pressured to shoot Chu Qiao, he does shoot, but he aims to scrape her neck slightly, letting her live. Also, in the novel, these boys’ ages range from 8-14. Yep. Mad Insane.
Anyway, back with the drama. Seeing that she’s saved, Yuwen Yue says in voiceover that the winner has been decided, her future is up to her now.
Yuan Song and Yan Xun comment about Chu Qiao’s ability and Yan Xun notes that Yuwen Huai’s manor must have a lot of talented people like her to be able to use a spare one as a moving target. Xi Feng calls out Yuwen Huai’s disadvantaged situation, losing such a talented lady to Yuwen Yue in the end, what a day. He cackles out loud which ruffles Yuwen Huai the wrong way and the latter tells the former to shut up.
While the rules state that the survivors of the game get to live, Yuwen Huai thinks otherwise, she can live, but still must be punished for her prior crime.
The four men leave and as workers gather up dead corpses, they brutally tear and stomp on Chu Qiao to get a hold of Mao Tou’s body. The two men throw her down before Yan Xun and he plucks the needle out of her hair, to her extreme dismay. She screams at him not to touch her and he knowingly smiles at the evidence of Yuwen Yue’s interference.
He looks down at her and asks for her name. She glares right back at him. “Just wait for the day I don’t have to look up at you, then I’ll let you know.” Her temperament is the first he has seen in a slave girl and he admires her for that.
Before he walks away, he tells Zhu butler (Yuwen Huai’s people) to treat her with care. The man smiles on the surface, but deep down is upset that his master was totally disgraced today. He can’t wait to torture the slave girl to death. HA. So you’re THE butler? I can’t wait to see Chu Qiao have her ways with you, sir.
That night, Chu Qiao is delivered to Song Dai Niang (actress Rain Lau), head of the servants. Zhu Butler tells her to treat this girl with “care” and she automatically thinks of murder. The evil man thinks death is way too easy a punishment and wants Song Niang to torture her slowly… Hiding behind the load of cargo, a young man recognizes Xiao Liu (Chu Qiao’s alias) and looks on worriedly.
Chu Qiao lies awake that night in the mountain of hay. She is angry at the utter lack of morality displayed by the spoiled royalty today. They are scarier than the robbers, a human life to them is below that of weeds and grass. “Sooner or later, I will make them pay blood with blood.”
The boy from earlier enters her imprisoned room of the night and identified himself as her Wu Ge (5th Brother, actor Ding Nan). She looks at him in alarm but doesn’t push him away. He registers her wounds and berates himself for being powerless, not being able to protect her. While she still doesn’t recognize him, she senses his sincerity and says softly, “Don’t blame yourself, it has nothing to do with you.”
He takes out a bowl of food for her. She looks down at it and whispers she’s not hungry. He can’t take that as answer, she survived a terrifying experience, she needs to eat! At his insistence, she says she doesn’t eat fat so Wu Ge chews off the fat section, leaving her with the leanest part. GAH. I’m not crying, not crying. But I think she clocks in his hunger too, just at the way he eats and the amount of food he could gather in that bowl, some rice, one strand of veggie and one tiny piece of meat.
As she eats, big tears continue to fall. She keeps saying it tastes really good and he’s happy she’s eating. More happy than when he’s eating. She confesses the piece of the meat is the best thing she has had in her lifetime and he chides her gently for thinking only that far.
Silly boy, she’s tasting human kindness, is all. *wipes tears*
He promises to protect her until the day when she can get whatever she wants and the day where they won’t be bullied anymore. She nods softly in agreement.
He then tells her he’s currently working as a helper under Yuwen Yue, first son in Yuwen household. Their friends and family: Xiao Ba (Zhu Sheng Yi) and Zhi Xiang (Peng Dou Dou) will help her out in the days ahead. He’s also in the middle level of servant ranking, with copper bells to prove.
Wu Ge meets up with Zhi Xiang Jie Jie and she promises to find some medicine for Xiao Liu and tells him not to worry about her.
Next morning, Yan Xun finds Yuwen Yue practicing archery by himself and can’t help but say a few words of his mind to get some answers. The boys take turn complimenting each other’s archery skill and Yuwen Yue wonders why the sudden change, not carrying on with the ruse of a carefree playboy prince. Yan Xun honestly replies to his friend that portraying a facade is also a skill, much like archery, horse-riding, etc.
Anyway, Yan Xun’s here because he needs help from Yuwen Yue, he wants him to help plan his birthday party and not let the Princess carry out the party. This is when Yuwen Yue begins telling us Yan Xun’s background, his mother is a beloved adopted daughter of the Dowager Empress and his father is the King’s sworn brother, having a grand birthday party is the norm. Yan Xun doesn’t think it’s appropriate for Yuan Chun to be the person in charge because he’s always looked at her as a younger sister, innocent and bright. Then it is settled. Yuwen Yue will be in charge and the party will be held at Yuwen manor.
With that prickly business out of the way, Yan Xun presents Yuwen Yue with the needle he plucked out of Chu Qiao’s hair. “Speak it, why did you save that girl? It’s not like you at all.”
Discomfort flits across Yuwen Yue’s face. “Just say what you want.”
Yan Xun: “Yuwen Yue, you’re acting strange. Have…you fallen [in love]?”
Of course not! He’s the mighty Yuwen Yue, she’s only a servant… “Only a servant? Then can you give her to me?” He finds her interesting, like a small cat in the wild. Yuwen Yue complies, “If you like, you can take her away.” He then removes himself from the conversation and Yan Xun playfully mimics his words but adds at the end, “But be careful, I might really kidnap her!” Oh yes, yes, you will, baby boo!
Episode 2 RECAP:
While Xiao Ba and Zhi Xiang wipe down Chu Qiao’s body, we are given another detailed flashback about her fight with the mysterious man. The man identified himself as Yuwen Hao and asks her to work with him and together they can rule during the chaotic period. She doesn’t speak a work and he takes her silence as a no. Then that leaves him with no choice but to kill her. They combat and I love this action sequence, much better executed than the ones shown so far. Needless to say, Chu Qiao strikes him down but she also falls over the cliff, bringing us in full circle to the opening sequence of the drama in episode 1.
Chu Qiao wakes up in cold sweats and is given the medicinal pot to warm up, just in time to overhear Song Niang burst through the door and scold Xiao Ba and Zhi Xiang for being lazy at that hour of the day. She takes a peek at Chu Qiao and notices Butler Zhu’s pot, perking up at the implication of punishment. She pulls out her horse whip and starts whipping the defiant Xiao Ba but Zhi Xiang Jie Jie covers her younger sister’s body with her own, taking the brunt instead.
Hearing the cries from her friends, Chu Qiao takes out her handy slingshot and shoots at Song Niang’s knee, humbling her to ground, wincing in pain. Chu Qiao then feigns concern, advising Song Niang to visit the doctor because the swelling might be a sign of something worst. The bully hurries off to seek medical help and Zhi Xiang notices the slingshot in Chu Qiao’s hand, and she repeats her words of caution to Chu Qiao – to think before she uses these small tricks again. Yuwen household is full of martial arts experts and if she’s not careful, her head might roll next.
Xiao Ba then recalls the story of Yuwen Huai’s grandpa, Yuwen Xi (actor Chin Shih Chieh) killing more than 20 maids last month. This is a scary household and Zhi Xiang shares the good news that their sister Xiao Qi (Miao Miao) will be returning to them very soon. Err, in the same household?
Next scene shows the same royal masters sitting and enjoying another game of arrows into a pot and our 13th Prince Yuan Song demonstrates again how he’s not built for winning at all. It’s hilarious how he’s surprised by their surprise of his streak of losses. “I have never made it into the pot before!” When it’s Yan Xun’s turn, he misses on purpose and Yuwen Huai mumbles about his ongoing ruse.
Then the fallen arrow flies through the air and into the pot. It’s performed by Princess Yuan Chun (Li Qin) and she questions who Yuwen Huai is badmouthing, clearly taking Prince Yan Xun’s side. She runs to Yan Xun and pouts about his hunting game and using her wine as the prize. Her older brother, Yuan Song, takes issues with his darling sister not throwing a glance his way, and she openly declares he’s not worth looking at since she sees him every day in the palace. Ha. She adds, “Moreover, you are not as handsome as my Yan Xun gege.”
She has brought the coveted wine pot today and tries her darnest to explain to the worldly royal boys how rare it is, with only one pot left. Her brother tells her to cut it out and she calls out his possum friends as a bunch of tricky people, with the exception of Yan Xun, of course. She thinks her brother is the pig wallowing with the herd of horses and he chases her around in mock anger.
Yuan Chun then announces the wine to be served on Yan Xun’s birthday and he delivers the news of Yuwen Yue acting as the party host, much to her disappointment and confusion. Yuan Song: “Yuwen Yue?! What does a cold person like him know about interesting ideas and throwing a party?!” Yan Xun and Yuan Song smile awkwardly, awaiting an interesting show this year.
With no time to fully heal, Song Niang brings Chu Qiao to work. Zhu Butler arrives and warns the maids to be on their feet for Prince Yan Xun’s birthday party. He has a few words with Zhi Xiang and asks for “favors” for not bothering Chu Qiao. EWW. Luckily, Chu Qiao asks her sister to direct her to the right garden and Zhi Xiang escapes his advances.
Later that night, Zhi Xiang finds Chu Qiao making her own makeshift weapon with an arrowhead at the tip. When asked what she’s doing, Chu Qiao doesn’t blink at the plan of giving Zhu Butler a piece of her mind if he dares put a finger on Zhi Xiang. Elder sister takes the weapon away and admonishes Chu Qiao for thinking of hurting Zhu butler, a person with Yuwen Huai as his backup power. Hurting him will only bring hell towards their small family.
A hooded man rides through the night and shoots an arrow all the way into the secret delivery pipe, alerting Yuwen Yue of new information.
He heads down his lair where his grandfather, Yuwen Zhuo, reads the secret message about the poison V-faced beauty used on him. It’s from the Western Regions. Yuwen Yue fills in that Yuwen Huai did send someone to western regions and it looks like he’s beginning his plot to steal the Eyes of God from Qin Shan manor (their side of the residence). I really don’t know what that is but it seems a powerful weapon for a bad person to have in their possession. Yuwen Zhuo sighs at his current condition, allowing Yuwen Huai’s Hong Shan manor to shine in front of the emperor. It looks like Yuwen Yue is in charge of an organization of trained spies? Agents? soldiers?
Yan Xun’s birthday party is here and Song Niang picks Chu Qiao to be the princess’s stepping stool. Watching Chu Qiao grovel hurt me. In any case, Yuan Chun presents her elaborate food dish and Yan Xun takes notice of Chu Qiao in his line of sight. Chu Qiao catches Yuwen Huai’s quiet conversation on the side. Apparently, Yuwen Huai tasks Zhu butler with a poison pill to be put into Yuwen Yue’s wine bottle, served of course by Zhi Xiang! When Yuwen Yue finds Yuwen Huai’s persistence fishy and refuses to drink, Yuwen Huai thinks they should place the blame on the maid who’s serving the drink. How about they kill her instead?
The tension in the garden rises as everyone zeros in on Yuwen Yue’s choice. He doesn’t budge and Chu Qiao is forced to step in to save her sister, she once again uses the slingshot to knock the drink out of Zhi Xiang’s hand. Yuwen Yue narrows his eyes and thinks to himself, “Unnecessary move.” Yea, and what exactly WERE YOU GONNA DO?
Chu Qiao is dragged out and she pleads with the masters to drink wine instead of playing with her sister’s life. Yuwen Huai orders her to be killed but Yan Xun steps in and suggests killing on his birthday is not right but Yuwen Huai is determined on carrying out Yuwen death law so Yan Xun comes up with a game to decide Chu Qiao’s fate. Using his royal jade, Chu Qiao has to correctly guess which side will face upward when it lands after a toss. When Chu Qiao eyes the pendant, Yan Xun purposely rubs both sides of the jade, hoping she’s quick on feet to hear the sound difference. I’m like…. Okay. Okay, show.
She gets it right and avoids the death sentence but Yuwen Huai insists to punish her in some way, and Princess Yuan Chun agrees with him also. Girl, get your pretty self to the sideline. Lol.
As a result, Chu Qiao is hanged upside in the middle of the garden that night. Some time later Yuwen Yue interferes and Yue Qi cuts the rope. Yuwen Yue bestows his judgement on her, “Having the ability to cause trouble but having no ability to save yourself, silly.”
Song Niang wanders into the room later and struts around, fake lamenting the fact that Chu Qiao will soon be sent to Ji Le pavillion to serve old man Yuwen Xi.
Zhu Butler meets in secret with another maid called Jin Zhu (actress Cao Xi Yue) and she looks like a mole planted to observe Yuwen Yue’s movement. He gives her box game and tells her to give it to Yuwen Yue’s grandfather because this will guarantee his place in hell. He further infers her to use one of Chu Qiao’s friends as a scapegoat. So she approaches the unassuming Wu Ge and plays nice. GAH. My heart.
Chu Qiao wakes up from her long nap and sees Wu Ge passed out by her side. She wakes him up with a gentle touch and worries whether she has caused trouble for everyone. He assures her she didn’t and Chu Qiao tells him about Yuwen Huai’s plan on poisoning Yuwen Yue and explains that the poison only works on those with weak stance against the cold. She doesn’t know where she picked that up and wonders whether she has another name because in her dreams, a woman is always calling her Chu Qiao and there are people meaning to kill her.
She’s thankful and Wu Ge tells her not to think too much and just rest.
Jin Zhu has successfully obtained the badge to exit the manor for Chu Qiao but in return Wu Ge has to do a favor for Jin Zhu by delivering the box game to Yuwen Yue’s grandfather. Chu Qiao doesn’t want to leave her defenseless family behind but Zhi Xiang is right that Chu Qiao has already upset Yuwen Huai so staying in this residence only gives him more chances to hurt her and her loved ones. She promises to return and save them.
Going by Jin Zhu’s words, Wu Ge presents the box game to grandfather but in the box is a poisonous spider and he screams his last words. Chu Qiao almost reaches her exit before she overhears a conversation about the plan and how Wu Ge is the chosen scapegoat. She hurries back inside the mansion to find the place in flames and Yuwen Yue announcing Wu Ge as the culprit and piercing his heart with a sword.
— END —
Kappy: Shaky fighting scenes, synchronization problem with mouth movements and words spoken, wolves cgi is average at best but they weren’t terrible. Overall, I’m happy with the results.
What I like so far is the lack of females fighting each other over a boy. Here we have two distinct classes of people, you’re either part of the rich and royal, or you’re the lowly servants, rotating on a chopping board ready to be slaughtered. It is a survival game, survival of the strongest. We also have a mix of interesting characters. They made Chu Qiao amnesiac, which is a compelling road to take because for me that gives her character a mission of her own. Right now, she’s fighting for her makeshift family. What I like about Chu Qiao in the novel is that she’s very fair in returning favors and revenge. She has the capacity to be both kind and cruel, to the right people. I really hope they don’t soften her in here when it comes to seeking justice for her family and the people she cares about.
I think Yoyo pointed out in the comment section of the discussion post about the sharing of food between the poor people. Mao Tou didn’t just give up her whole bun to another stranger like an angel, she split it in half, then the scene is repeated when Wu Ge gave Chu Qiao the bowl of food and she insisted that he eats the fatty part. Another emphasis on sharing. They may be poor in wealth and luck, but they are not poor in humanity and kindness. The same thing cannot be said about the rich masters so far.
I also want to tap on the discussion of Yan Xun’s carefree facade because it is how he is supposed to be. He at least is disgusted with what his psycho friend is doing. Why didn’t he just stab the kid? Well, because he is a hostage Prince, residing in Western Wei since he was young to make sure his father doesn’t so much as think of raising a rebellion against the current King (they are sworn brothers but Kings are born with bleeding paranoia.) Many not know this because it is something unspoken but well-known in royalty politics. He can’t mess with Yuwen Huai who is favored by the King and has an army backing him. He plays it safe and overlooks many things (sadly), but he is also playing the game of survival of his own.
Now Yuwen Yue. I don’t have much feelings about this man yet except he’s much nicer and more prominent in the drama, which I think is attribute to the fact that Lin Geng Xin is the bigger star compared to Shawn Dou in dramaland. Both are leads to me in the novel, with Yan Xun being more prominent in the beginning and Yuwen Yue sneaking in at the end. But Lin Geng Xin has the harder job right now in convincing me to ship him with Chu Qiao.
Let the battle to burn the jack***** begin!