Drama Recaps, Taiwanese Dramas

Recap: Fall in Love with Me (Ep. 3)

Tian Xing continues to juggle his two identities, trying to keep them separate and secret. But with Huan Huan in the picture, the big identity reveal seems like it’s just around the corner. Meanwhile, as Xiao Lu, Tian Xing continues to ingratiate himself with the OZ crew, and they make some big strides in getting Auntie Jing on-board with their Jia He Realty advertisement.

Recap

We left off with Mama Tao insisting on giving Tian Xing a massage, and Tian Xing desperately trying to find a way to escape. Luckily, Tian Xing gets saved by the (dinner) bell, but Mama Tao doesn’t let him off easily and insists on giving him a good squeeze next time.

Mama Tao has made scrambled eggs and spring onions for dinner, precisely because Tao Zi doesn’t like spring onions. Tao Zi pokes at her food in disgust, and Tian Xing eats her portion for her without saying anything. Tao Zi wonders how he knows that she doesn’t eat spring onions. Even Miao Miao and Leo didn’t know that she doesn’t like spring onions, which makes things more suspect.

Mama Tao wonders out loud again about what is causing Tao Zi so much stress. Miao Miao immediately outs Lu Tian Xing as the culprit. This gets Mama and Papa Tao fired up, and they start bashing on Lu Tian Xing while Tian Xing chokes on his food. Mama Tao gets up and seems ready to charge out to hunt down Lu Tian Xing, but Leo and Tao Zi pull her back.

Ever the troublemaker, Miao Miao grabs Tian Xing’s face, musing at how he looks more and more like Lu Tian Xing the more she looks at him. This makes Mama Tao zero in on him as well, and she takes off his glasses to inspect his face further. He quickly tries to ruffle out his hair and look as un-Lu Tian Xing-like as possible.

Tao Zi gets her parents to stop bullying Tian Xing, and they all sit back down and eat their dinners. Tian Xing comments on how it’s nice to eat with everyone since his family isn’t at home much, which makes Tao Zi look pityingly at him. Mama Tao mentions that even though Tao Zi is her only daughter, she treats Miao Miao like a second daughter, and Leo like a son-in-law, which makes everyone feel a bit awkward. Tao Zi quickly tells her mom to stop, saying that she sees Leo as an older brother, which makes Miao Miao smile happily, Tian Xing smirk, and Leo look a bit crestfallen.

Mama Tao tries to ease the awkwardness by saying, “What I mean is, we’re like one big family, so come over for dinner often!” Tian Xing and Tao Zi share a cute moment in which each puts some vegetables in the other’s bowls.

Later that night, Miao Miao asks Tao Zi about Leo, wanting to make sure that Tao Zi really viewed him as a brother and not a future son-in-law for her mother. Tao Zi says of course, and Miao Miao is elated. “Then… if Leo and I got married, then you’d have to call me sao-sao (older sister-in-law). You won’t mind, will you?” Tao Zi responds, “Of course not!” then jokingly calls her sao-sao.

The next day, everyone watches worriedly as Tao Zi stares at her computer screen, willing a response from Auntie Jing’s daughter-in-law. She waits until late in the night, then starts making a wish the way Tian Xing taught her the other day. Tian Xing smiles when he sees her close her eyes and start to count to seven. And it works — before Tao Zi can even count to seven, she gets a notification on her computer and finds a response from Jessica Lee. Tao Zi wants to immediately go find Auntie Jing, but Tian Xing talks some sense into her and convinces her to go with him the next morning.

Right as Tian Xing is about to leave the next morning, he gets a call from Lance on his work phone. It turns out to be Huan Huan, who is waiting outside and ready to go out on a picnic. She starts ringing the doorbell, which makes Tian Xing and Butler Fu dive to the ground. One of the downsides of having an all-glass apartment is that there’s nowhere to hide.

Tian Xing escapes out the back while Butler Fu goes to the front to try to distract Huan Huan. Huan Huan isn’t easily dissuaded–when no one answers the door, she pulls out her secret weapon: a spare key that her brother Lance gave her. Butler Fu opens the door right before Huan Huan can use her key, and bars the way, insisting that Tian Xing isn’t there. She doesn’t believe him and starts (literally) sniffing around, saying that she can smell her Tian Xing-gege in the air. Before Huan Huan leaves, Butler Fu manages to take back two spare keys from her, but little does he know that she has a third one that she wears as a necklace around her neck.

Tian Xing and Tao Zi make it to Auntie Jing’s apartment, where they call her daughter-in-law for her. Her son just left for a business trip and isn’t there, which makes Auntie Jing’s face fall, but then her daughter-in-law puts her grandson on the phone, which makes her smile a little. But the absence of her son still makes her sad, and Tao Zi and Tian Xing get ready to leave.

Tao Zi mentions in passing that she wanted to ask Auntie Jing to act for them because of her brother. Auntie Jing makes the connection, asking her if she’s Tao Le Yuan’s sister. She remembers Le Yuan very fondly, having once called him the best director she’d ever worked with. She asks Tao Zi how Le Yuan is doing, which makes tears come to Tao Zi’s eyes.  Seeing her sorrow, Auntie Jing tells Tao Zi to not feel sad — she’ll act in the commercial for them.

Outside, Tao Zi is still a bit sad because she was unable to reunite Auntie Jing with her son. She’s determined to keep trying and reunite the two, and convinces Tian Xing to make a wish with her. He smiles as he watches her make her wish, and silently promises to keep trying with her.

They go to a convenience store to buy some drinks, and Tian Xing insists on paying. But when he takes out his wallet, he realizes he grabbed the wrong one — his Lu Tian Xing wallet, which is full of credit cards — and quickly puts it away awkwardly. Seeing this, Tao Zi says that she’ll pay for them to celebrate their success in getting Auntie Jing on-board, thinking to herself, “Xiao Lu doesn’t even have a bill in his wallet. I never thought he’d be poorer than me.” If only she knew!

Later that night, the OZ crew start heading home after a day of work. Leo makes the move to leave first, but Miao Miao jumps up and shyly asks him to give her a ride to pick up Mi Bao from the groomer’s if it’s on the way for him. He thinks about it, then says, “I don’t think it’s on the way.” Gai Xian immediately jumps up and says that it’d be on the way for him, to which Miao Miao responds, “Who asked you?” Leo watches them, then turns to leave. Miao Miao runs after him, and Gai Xian quickly chases after her.

After they’re gone, Tao Zi triumphantly declares that she can finally prove herself to “him.” Tian Xing asks who “him” is, and Tao Zi walks over to the poster of Lu Tian Xing’s face, which she has turned into a punching bag. “Him” is Lu Tian Xing, of course, she says, as she whacks at the poster. In the background, Tian Xing flinches a little every time she makes a hit.

Tao Zi thinks a little bit, then admits, “Actually, the person I should thank is Lu Tian Xing.” Even though he looks down on her and is always rude to her, the more insulting he is the more she feels motivated to prove him wrong. That’s why she refuses to give up and insists on trying harder in order to prove him wrong.

At home, Tian Xing smiles to himself as he looks at Tao Zi’s IOU note and the watch he coerced from her. “The more of a jerk I am the more inspired you get? Just wait and see what I’ll do next,” he thinks to himself. Butler Fu comes over and shocks Tian Xing out of his reverie by exclaiming, “Young master!” He pours Tian Xing some tea, commenting on how Tian Xing has been smiling more since he met “Miss Tao.” Tian Xing asks him what he means, but he just smiles, shrugs, and walks away.

Screenshot 2017-11-01 21.41.53.png

The next morning, Butler Fu gives Tian Xing a full breakfast, saying he needs to keep up his strength now that he’s working so hard. Problem is, Tao Zi now thinks he’s poor, so he has more breakfast waiting for him at the office. He smiles happily after she insists on giving him food, then immediately drops his smile when he sees Leo watching them.

Tao Zi is an absent-minded wreck that morning. At first she thinks she forgot to bring the power adapter for their greenhouse machine, then realizes she had it but trips over herself as she tries to plug it in. Seeing that Tao Zi is being such a hot mess, Tian Xing decides to take matters into his own hands. He ducks into the kitchen and calls her as Lu Tian Xing, then demands she meet him in ten minutes at “the usual place.”

Tao Zi finds Tian Xing at the wine bar, where she notices that he isn’t wearing her watch. She asks where it is, and he says that it wasn’t quite his style, and he didn’t believe she could pay him back, so he sold it to a friend. This gets her a bit worked up, but she stays surprisingly calm given how extreme her reactions have been before. Tian Xing tries to provoke her, asking, “What, you’re not crying? Don’t you cry easily?”

She stays relatively calm, so Tian Xing asks her how OZ is doing. She says it’s none of his business, so he takes it further, saying how she isn’t capable of finishing her projects, so she has no way of making money, returning his money, or getting her watch back. As her debtor, she’s obligated to tell him whether OZ will finish its project on time. She rises to the challenge, saying that they’ll definitely make their deadline and make their client happy on top of that. He calls her direction-less, a cry-baby, and incompetent, which makes him doubt her. This gets her riled up, and she repeats what she said earlier. “I’ll be waiting,” Tian Xing responds, and Tao Zi storms off again. After she leaves, Tian Xing makes a call to an American number.

Tao Zi returns to the set with new determination and bustles around setting up. Everyone is astounded by her new fire. Lu Tian Xing ducks out into the hallway where he finds 35 missed calls from Huan Huan on his phone.

Screenshot 2017-11-01 22.01.10

The next day, they start moving equipment to get ready for filming when Tao Zi stumbles and Tian Xing catches her in his arms. They share a slightly tender, slightly awkward moment. Tao Zi laughs it off and says that it’s probably because she hasn’t eaten in a while, then insists that Tian Xing come over to her house for breakfast.

Tian Xing calls Butler Fu and asks him to pick him up from the Tao house. Butler Fu describes exactly where he’ll pick Tian Xing up as he walks out the door. Distracted by thoughts of Mama Tao, he doesn’t notice Huan Huan, who was about to use her secret spare key and has heard everything.

Huan Huan follows him in a ridiculously ostentatious white car with huge eyelashes on the headlights. Butler Fu sees her coming in the rearview mirror and quickly hides underneath the steering wheel (how does he even fit?!) Huan Huan peers at the car but doesn’t seem him, and instead spots Tian Xing from afar. She hurries after him, with Butler Fu now following her.

Huan Huan immediately launches herself onto Tian Xing, who tries to extricate himself and tell Huan Huan that she has the wrong person. Tao Zi and Leo back him up, and Butler Fu rushes in to help as well, but Huan Huan won’t be dissuaded. She sniffs Tian Xing and says that he smells exactly like her Tian Xing-gege. Butler Fu tries to convince Huan Huan that Tian Xing is right around the corner at a bakery, and eventually convinces her to leave in search of him.

Tian Xing tries to laugh off the incident, then suddenly exclaims that he’s going to buy them all some tea and runs off. Leo and Tao Zi are surprised and wait around for him, while he jumps back into his car to make the wardrobe change into Lu Tian Xing. He makes an obligatory Lu Tian Xing appearance, then hops back into his car and leaves Huan Huan behind.

Screenshot 2017-11-01 22.30.07

Huan Huan discovering Xiao Lu’s existence complicates things, but Butler Fu reassures Tian Xing that Huan Huan isn’t very perceptive, and there’s no way she’d figure it out.

Abandoned by Tian Xing, Huan Huan goes back to find Tao Zi and Leo. Leo clearly has no idea who she is, but she recognizes Leo, saying that both her brother and Steven (her manager) say he’s very talented. Leo doesn’t respond much, and Huan Huan hints that she doesn’t give out compliments easily, but Leo ignores her and tells Tao Zi that Xiao Lu should be back by now. Huan Huan thinks they’re talking about a pet deer, and gets over-excited. Tao Zi and Leo exchange a look and laugh awkwardly.

Screenshot 2017-11-01 22.41.15

They make it back to the Tao house, sans Tian Xing. Mama and Papa Tao are clearly Team Leo, because they hold him back and start talking about how Tao Zi seems to treat Tian Xing especially well. Leo says that she’s just nice to everyone, but Papa Tao puts a hand on his shoulder and tells him that “when a romantic rival appears, you can’t just sit back and continue to be Tao Zi’s brother!” Leo just smiles awkwardly.

The OZ crew start filming the Jia He Realty commercial, but Auntie Jing seems depressed and removed and is unable to follow the script. They try to give her some time to collect herself, but on the next take she suddenly collapses. They rush her to the hospital, where Tao Zi stays by her side promises to spend more time with her in the future. She tears up thinking about how lonely Auntie Jing must have been all these years, and blames herself for pushing her too hard.

Auntie Jing wakes up and is touched to find that Tao Zi has been with her the whole time. She starts talking about how much she neglected her son when he was growing up, and wrongly thought money would provide more stability for her son than a present mother. Tao Zi and Tian Xing start tearing up and promise to spend more time with Auntie Jing in the future so that she won’t be alone anymore. Auntie Jing insists on finishing filming. They make it back to the set, and are in the middle of starting another take when someone rings the doorbell.

Tian Xing opens the door to reveal Auntie Jing’s estranged son, Ah Wei, and his family, which is especially fitting given that this exact scene is in the script for the commercial they are filming. The sight of the reunion brings tears to everyone’s eyes.

Leo asks Auntie Jing’s son if he’d be willing to participate in the commercial, given that this reunion fits the theme perfectly. Ah Wei says that Xiao Lu had actually sent him the script beforehand, so that was part of the plan already. Everyone looks at Tian Xing, who admits that he thought they could use the reunion as part of their commercial.

Even the staged reunion brings tears to the crew’s eyes as they film the commercial. Tian Xing turns the camera to Tao Zi and starts filming her as she smiles through her tears at the scene.

The OZ crew gather at the office to watch the airing of their commercial. Miao Miao squeezes herself next to Leo, shoving a protesting Gai Xian aside, and Tao Zi and Tian Xing smile at her antics. Everyone tears up at the commercial again, and when its finished, Tian Xing commends Leo for a job well done, saying that it reminded him of the feeling he had when he first watched an OZ commercial all those years ago. Leo says that the commercial would not have been possible without each and every one of the OZ crew members. They all commend Tao Zi’s persistence, which she waves off with embarrassment.

All of a sudden, all the phones in the office and Leo and Tao Zi’s phones start ringing. Tian Xing is the only one without a call to answer, left oblivious as together, everyone’s faces fall and they lower their phones.

Thoughts

It looks like the real drama is going to get started! At first, it seems like all those ringing phones at the end was a good thing: a lot of business calls right after a successful commercial? But the way everyone’s faces freeze at the end seems to suggest otherwise.

I still don’t feel very strongly about this drama. This episode was fine, but I don’t particularly care for the characters yet, nor do I really care for the plot. The OZ crew shed so many tears over Auntie Jing’s reunion, but I didn’t feel quite as touched. The whole Auntie Jing arc feels too cliché and artificial for me to appreciate it.

Surprisingly, I’m liking Huan Huan’s character way more than I thought I would. Her type of the character is the typical cutesy, shrill, and usually annoying romantic rival that is so easy to hate, but she’s so harmless (so far) that you have to kind of like her and admire her benign persistence.

Aaron Yan and Tia Li are individually beautiful people, and they make for some very pretty screenshots, but I feel like the stills are prettier and more convincing so far than the actual on-screen chemistry. I guess part of the reason they have not yet convinced me is the whole Lu Tian Xing insulting Tao Zi thing. There’s a weird power dynamic there that I’m not sure I like, and it kind of feels like Tao Zi can’t do anything without his secret assistance. At least in this episode, Tian Xing is very exaggerated with his provocation and we know that he’s just doing it to get a rise out of Tao Zi, which only makes it slightly better than when he actually got frustrated with her and started telling her everything that was wrong with her.

There were a couple of moments when I laughed out loud during this episode. Butler Fu brings some great comic relief (did you see that spin move?) and I really liked the pairing of Huan Huan’s over-exuberance with Leo’s straight-faced responses. But it’s going to take more than a few laughs and some pretty faces for me to fall in love with Fall in Love with Me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s