We finally get to some plot as our heroes are returned to their respective timelines. This episode actually flies by quite quickly compared to some of the previous ones thanks to some extreme plot developments, and Zhi Gang finds out just how much havoc Qi Long has wreaked on his life.
Instead of accepting Wang Lin’s wedding wine, Zhi Gang cooks a ton of meals (YUM the food looks so good…) for Wang Lin, packs them into Tupperware, and puts them in the fridge for her. He then makes some of his signature tofu soup and watches as she drinks it. She drinks slowly, thinking how he’ll leave as soon as she’s done. She asks him if he would still do whatever she asks, and he says yes, but her voice over calls him a liar, knowing that he wouldn’t do what she asks if she asked him to stay. Instead, she asks how much wine he needs and gives him a cup of wine as well as a little container of wine in case he ever wants or needs to come back. She also tells him to use his Cuisine des Familles book to communicate with her by writing on it.
Zhi Gang drinks the wine, and at the last moment, Wang Lin grabs him and kisses him. Zhi Gang disappears and is replaced by Qi Long: and they’re still kissing. Qi Long is appalled to be kissing Wang Lin, shames her for initiating a kiss with Zhi Gang, finds out she’s sick, and runs away.
Qi Long is angry to have time traveled at a crucial moment. We flash back to 1936 to see what that moment is…
Qi Long is back at the movie set serving toast and wonders how Zi Yi is doing. Zi Yi has just been pulled out of a scene that she was an extra in because she hasn’t been walking right. Chen Xun tells her that she was walking like a model and that she should try to be more natural. Done for the day, Zi Yi leaves and finds Qi Long waiting for her. She admits that she was asked to leave again, but he brings a smile to her face after proclaiming his staunch support of her. He insists that they go out, and they’re joined by Chen Xun, who says that this night will be on him.
Out at the night markets, Chen Xun and Qi Long are bromancing it up as usual while Zi Yi trails behind them, the third wheel. They stumble upon a performance of Farewell My Concubine (the Peking opera, not the movie) and go in to watch. While watching, at the key moment of the play, Qi Long and Zhi Gang switch places. Zhi Gang is suspicious to see Chen Xun sitting on the other side of Zi Yi, and then is angry when he sees Chen Xun giving Zi Yi a handkerchief and then whispering in her ear. He grabs her wrist and drags her away, telling her that she must not become an actress, and then shoves Chen Xun against a wall telling him to never see Zi Yi again.
Meanwhile, in 2016, Qi Long is busy trying to convince Wang Lin that Zhi Gang is a bad person. Which is funny, because here Qi Long is the bad guy, and Zhi Gang is probably looking like the bad guy back in 1936. Qi Long is convinced that Zhi Gang is after his wealth. Which is wrong.
Upon seeing the Cuisine des Familles book in Wang Lin’s hands, Qi Long has a second epiphany about time travel: it’s the book! He’s wrong again, of course, and Wang Lin explains to him how it works. She explains all of it, including that Grandma is Fei Fei. Qi Long is shocked to hear this and calls her a liar, then rushes to the hospital.
Qi Long tenderly talks to his sleeping grandmother and acknowledges his own wrongs in hurting Grandma/Fei Fei. He looks at the album from Grandma’s childhood and recognizes Fei Fei now, then wonders how Fei Fei became Zhou Li Jun, his grandmother. Then he realizes that this must be why his grandmother told him to find the wine and time travel: it was only by attempting to find his grandmother back in 1936 that Fei Fei was able to become linked to Grandmother Zhou. This whole family empire was only possible because of him and his time traveling. He determines that he will get the wine from Wang Lin for his grandmother and then will never travel again… but Zi Yi! He asks himself, “If I forget you, can I still live?”
In 1936, Zhi Gang tries to talk to Zi Yi, who refuses to open her door. He goes and sits in the darkness of his restaurant, thinking about how the past is already following its intended course: is there no way to change it? But then he decides that no, there must be a way, because there’s no other reason why he would be time traveling.
The next morning, Zhi Gang tries to prevent Zi Yi from going to work, but she tells him that he’s no longer the Zhi Gang ge she knows. She spits all of Qi Long’s praise and support back in his face. She gets mad at him for “forgetting” that he read her father’s letter and leaves. Zhi Gang finds the letter and reads it, then notices some shady people watching him and following him. He discovers that Xiao Dong is one of the people following him, then asks Fei Fei to tell him everything that has happened recently.
He goes out and is greeted by all these people who tell him about the things that have happened since he last saw them. He’s talking to one of the suppliers when suddenly a bomb goes off. He looks around, appalled at the destruction and death that surrounds him.
What what? Now that everyone is back in their proper timelines, we get some real nice action and plot movement going on (yay!) This is the reason why I am watching this show, and if I have to deal with some bad romance, then so be it. Ultimately, this show is one that I think I will remember more for its plot than its relationships.
As much as I dislike how Wang Lin’s life now seems to revolve around moping over Zhi Gang, you have to admire how she goes for what she wants and initiated that kiss with Zhi Gang. In that way she’s different from your usual passive drama heroine who waits for the man to make every move.
Zhi Gang is a morally upstanding guy with very strong convictions. It’s admirable, but also quite frustrating because he’s so rooted in his belief that there is a “right way” or a “meant to be” or a “purpose” in everything. And he gets so stuck in these beliefs that he becomes blind to the people around him. It’s always these very righteous, moral guys who get in trouble because they don’t know when to be subtle. It looks like this will land Zhi Gang in some hot water in the coming episodes. Let’s see how he gets out of this one.