Drama Recaps, Taiwanese Dramas

Recap: Fall in Love with Me (Ep. 2)

Not many surprises in this episode. We’re introduced to a new character, learn more backstory about ones we know, and watch Lu Tian Xing try to dance around his double life.

Recap

Tao Zi wrestles Tian Xing to the wall, crying over the injustice of Tian Ji stealing the Galaxy Realty contract from OZ. Miao Miao, Gai Xian, and Leo are close behind her and urge her to let Tian Xing tell his side first before taking action. She finally lets Tian Xing go, and he says that he only just found out about the contract, but then proceeds to lecture her, saying that crying won’t do anything and as the leader of the company, she’s the only one who isn’t allowed to cry. Tao Zi runs off, and Leo confronts Tian Xing, saying that it doesn’t matter how talented he is if he loses sight of the truth and what’s right.

Later, Tian Xing watches from a distance while Tao Zi cries and talks to herself, telling her brother how much she wants to keep his dream and OZ alive. He studies his OZ baseball then leaves. Leo comes over to comfort Tao Zi, telling her, “No matter what, I’ll be by your side, and we’ll work together to continue Le Yuan’s dream.”

The next morning, Tian Xing and Tao Zi awkwardly bump into each other in the hallway. After Tian Xing leaves, Tao Zi notices his wallet on the ground — it had been knocked away the previous night when she confronted him about the Galaxy Realty contract.

Tian Xing cuts his vacation short to make a visit back to the office, where he confronts Lance about the Galaxy Realty contract. Lance gets offended when Tian Xing tells him to drop the contract, saying that Tian Xing can’t just not care about the business when it suits him and then come in demanding things.

Tao Zi drives along a road looking for a parking spot and finds one — only to be cut off by a van carrying the diva-like Li Huan Huan (Beatrice Fang), a fashion celebrity. She struts into the Tian Ji building and sends her manager to look for her missing lipstick (she can’t go see her Tian Xing-ge-ge without touching up her make-up!) Tao Zi snags a parking spot, then rushes into the building. Huan Huan assumes that Tao Zi is rushing in behind her for an autograph. She signs in silver sharpie all over Tao Zi’s black backpack, and then her manager stops Tao Zi from getting in the elevator with them, telling Huan Huan that she needs to keep up an “air of mystery” about her and can’t just go riding in elevators with the plebs.

Huan Huan glides right in past the secretary, who greets her by name, to go find her Tian Xing ge-ge. She approaches Lance’s office right as he’s telling Tian Xing to “relax and let me be the bad guy” with regards to the Galaxy Realty contract. Huan Huan bursts in and immediately launches herself onto Tian Xing, who grimaces, while Lance edges around them, suggesting that the two should go on vacation together now that Tian Xing is off from work.

Meanwhile, Tao Zi has been told by the secretary to wait indefinitely for an opportunity to meet with Tian Xing. When Lance drops by to talk to the secretary, she makes a run for it and escapes upstairs, where she walks in on Huan Huan trying to jump into Tian Xing’s arms. Tian Xing immediately brushes her off and asks Tao Zi what she wants. Tao Zi shows him his wallet, trying to use it to barter for the Galaxy Realty contract, but Tian Xing tells her it’s futile. He lectures her again, asking, “Are you going to cry again?” and then telling her what he would do if he were in charge of OZ. Tao Zi storms off again, but not before ripping a picture of Tian Xing’s face out of Huan Huan’s manager’s magazine.

Outside, Tao Zi sits on a bench and has an imaginary conversation with her brother, who reminds her of the purpose of advertising: commercials are a city’s language and through them a city can tell its story. Commercials need to convey emotion, and as a commercial content creator, the most important thing is to be sincere in one’s emotions. Tao Zi needs to be happy before she can be successful in her work and bring happiness to other people. “But what do I do now that we lost the contract?” she asks her brother. But he has no answers and fades away.

Tian Xing, dressed as Xiao Lu, pops in and asks Tao Zi why she seems down (like he doesn’t know!) She apologizes for losing the Galaxy Realty contract, then inspects him closely, saying that whenever she sees his face it reminds her of Tian Xing, which makes her want to hit someone. He offers himself up as a punching bag, but she turns down his offer, saying, “It’s not like you’re him.”

Tao Zi invites Tian Xing to dinner, but he tries to beg off, remembering his last encounter with her parents, in which they chased him away with ancient weapons. But Tao Zi insists, and he reluctantly agrees to go with her. As they walk, Tao Zi tells him about how her skilled chiropractor mother can identify people by the feel of their bones. This doesn’t make Tian Xing any more comfortable, seeing as how Mama Tao had grabbed his shoulder last time.

When they arrive at the Tao house, Mama Tao sees them coming and immediately recognizes Tian Xing. She grabs her weapon and attacks him, refusing to listen to both Tian Xing and Tao Zi’s protests that this is Xiao Lu, not Lu Tian Xing, when Butler Fu suddenly rushes in and narrowly saves Tian Xing from being hit. His appearance nearly blows Tian Xing’s cover, but after a silent conversation, they salvage the situation by having Butler Fu punch Tian Xing in the face for “daring to pretend to be the young master Lu Tian Xing.”

Butler Fu gets invited to dinner as well, which becomes an awkward affair once he and Mama Tao start flirting. This makes Papa Tao grumpy, but also distracts from Tian Xing’s presence. After dinner, once they have parted ways, Mama Tao and Butler Fu each tell their side of the story to Tao Zi and Tian Xing. Apparently, Butler Fu and Papa Tao had agreed to compete fairly with each other for Mama Tao’s affections, but when Butler Fu went off to join the army, Papa Tao made the moves, so that by the time Butler Fu came back, Papa and Mama Tao were already wed.

At home, Tian Xing tries to think of a way to help OZ. Butler Fu suggests that he help OZ get another contract using the proposal they had used for Galaxy Realty. Meanwhile, at the OZ office, Miao Miao and Gai Xian show their support for Tao Zi, saying that they’ll get part-time jobs so that she won’t have to worry about paying them, and that they’ll get through this rough patch together.

Tao Zi tries finding a part-time job on her own as well, and Tian Xing runs into her on the street, dressed up in a chicken costume and handing out flyers for a fried chicken restaurant. He insists on helping her hand out flyers, and before they split ways, he helps her tie a loose shoelace in a classic drama scene.

After handing out all the flyers, they eat some fried chicken. Tian Xing tries to reassure Tao Zi that losing the Galaxy Realty contract isn’t the end of the world. Maybe it means that there’s another opportunity just waiting around the corner. He convinces her to close her eyes, count to her lucky number (seven), and make a wish. And right on cue, she gets a phone call from Jia He Realty with a new contract offer.

They head to the OZ office where Tian Xing inspects a bulls-eye target of his face, and where Tao Zi announces their new Jia He Realty contract. Everyone at OZ is excited to have a new project, and they immediately get to work. Tao Zi insists on having Aunt Jing act in their commercial for Jia He, but everyone else seems apprehensive. Leo warns Tao Zi that Aunt Jing has retired and refused to act for years, and she might not be the same person that they once knew.

Tian Xing tries to find out on his own why Aunt Jing no longer acts. Butler Fu tells him that it might have something to do with her son: in her son’s younger years, she spent all her time acting and never had a relationship with him, and probably regrets it now.

In order to give Tao Zi a hint about Aunt Jing, Tian Xing sends Butler Fu to bring her to a wine bar, where he insists on buying her dinner. He tries to find a way to tell her why Aunt Jing retired, but Tao Zi starts picking the shallots off of her dish, which distracts him. He comments, “You know shallots are good for your brain, right? How can you not eat them.” Big mistake. Tao Zi immediately gets offended and walks out. Tian Xing runs after her and grabs her wrist, then lectures her on how she’s too weak to do push OZ to its full potential, and that’s why the company is failing. She tries to shake off his hold, but his watch ends up getting caught in her hair. He tries to free his watch, almost kissing her in the process. She flails, sending his watch flying.

Tian Xing’s limited edition watch is broken, but not irreparable. Tao Zi says that she’ll pay him back for the reparation price, before she knows how much it’ll cost — over NT$200,000 (over $6,600 USD). She’s shocked, but Tian Xing holds her to her word and has her write him an IOU note, then takes her watch as collateral, despite her protests — it clearly holds a lot of emotional value for her.

The next day, Tao Zi and Xiao Lu pay Aunt Jing a visit. She immediately refuses to act and tells them to leave her alone. Tian Xing finds an elderly neighbor and asks her about Aunt Jing. The neighbor tells them that Aunt Jing has lived alone for the past few years and has a poor relationship with her son and his family. She shows them a photograph and letter from Aunt Jing’s daughter-in-law that she refuses to look at. Tao Zi takes a photo of both, believing that they can use it to track down Aunt Jing’s family.

The OZ crew spend hours trying to find Aunt Jing’s family online (“America’s so big. Why are there so many Jessica Lee’s?” Miao Miao laments) until Tian Xing finally finds the right person online. Tao Zi immediately begins composing an email.

Tian Xing and Leo end up at the Tao household, where Mama Tao cleans up the remnants of a feather duster, saying that since she was little, Tao Zi would always tear things apart when she was stressed. Papa Tao asks Leo if he knows why Tao Zi is so stressed. He tells them not to worry, saying, “I’ll help her get through it.”

Mama Tao zeroes in on Tian Xing–or more accurately, his face. “It’s not your look-alike Lu Tian Xing is it?” She asks. Papa Tao pulls her off of Tian Xing to give him breathing room, and Leo distracts them by giving them some snacks he brought. Mama Tao pats him fondly, then starts massaging his shoulder. This reminds Tian Xing of her special ability to recognize people by their bones, and he starts backing away. Mama Tao then insists on giving him a massage, which he valiantly tries to refuse, but she reaches out for him anyway.

Thoughts

No surprises so far with this episode, which continues to be rather formulaic. We get a couple of classic rom-com scenes in this episode, with the hair getting caught on clothing and the tender tying of a loose shoelace. We are introduced to Tao Zi’s love rival Huan Huan, an obvious second lead. There are also some hints at Leo being a rival for Tian Xing. He comforts Tao Zi at the beginning of the episode, keeps talking about how they’re “in this together”, and put on some prime future son-in-law action at the end, bringing Mama and Papa Tao their favorite food. Unfortunately Leo is rather stony-faced, so it’s hard to tell what he’s actually feeling.

I’m not particularly impressed by this episode (and by extension, this show so far), but I’m not disappointed either. I just find it all very predictable in an uninteresting way.

One thing I’m not liking at the moment is the dichotomy between Tian Xing’s Lu Tian Xing and Xiao Lu personas. I get that he has to avert suspicion that he is Lu Tian Xing when he’s being Xiao Lu and vice versa, but he’s just so unnecessarily arrogant and insulting as Lu Tian Xing, and doesn’t show an ounce of regret. In fact sometimes he looks pleased with himself for instigating some sort of defiant action in Tao Zi. It’s great if he’s trying to spur her to act, but his lack of remorse just seems too at odds with who he is as Xiao Lu and does not put him in a favorable light.

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