Zi Jian continues in his quest to figure out Lin’s true identity, Ye Bai and You Yan start to get to know each other a little bit better, and we learn a little more about Ye Bai’s past. The drama starts picking up a little, and I’m starting to get a little more invested in the drama!
You Yan literally runs into Ye Bai, the very person she’s trying to avoid, as she rushes down the library stairs. She quickly puts some space between them and asks him what he’s doing here. He says that he’s looking for her. In fact, he wants her to be his model for a very important painting. She looks surprised by this, and a little skeptical, because shouldn’t it be easy for him to find a model? And why does it have to be her? She refuses, saying she already has a part-time job. Desperate, Ye Bai says that he’ll pay her double what her part-time job pays, or she can set her own price.
She still refuses and starts to leave, but stops when she hears him make a sound of pain. She turns around and leaves him her number, saying that she’ll pay his medical bills if he needs to see a doctor for his injuries.
On her way back to her dorm, she receives a text from the teacher she works part-time for, telling her that because of a change in curriculum, they’re switching to using only full-time teachers, so she’s out of a job. You Yan checks her bank account and sadly wonders how long it’ll take her to save up enough money.
Ye Bai stares at his phone in his room while Zi Yan criticizes his way of asking out You Yan. A painting major using modeling as an excuse to ask someone out is pretty normal, but wasn’t Ye Bai a bit too direct? Ye Bai responds that he didn’t know how else to ask her. Zi Yan points out that she ran into him–he could’ve pretended to be injured and had her take care of him.
Ye Bai gets a text from You Yan, asking him if he’s still willing to pay her double her part-time salary. He immediately asks Zi Yan to reserve the art studio for him. “She responded?” Zi Yan asks, and Ye Bai nods, “I’m paying her double her salary.” Zi Yan stops him before he can leave. Why pay her when she was the one who hit him? According to Zi Yan, You Yan should have to earn her money–Ye Bai should pretend to be injured. They wrap up his ankle and hand, give him some crutches, then go to the art studio to wait.
When You Yan arrives, Zi Yan pretends to lament Ye Bai’s injuries. You Yan immediately promises to take responsibility and take good care of Ye Bai, and Zi Yan leaves them with a smile.
Ye Bai has You Yan sit for him and starts sketching her. But after a while, he still isn’t able to see color, so he has her start to paint a nearby canvas, which happens to be his final project. She asks him if it’s okay for her to be working with his final project, afraid she’ll mess it up. He silently thinks that she would do a better job than Lin Zi Yan, but verbally responds that he just needs her to put down a base. She asks what the theme of the painting is, but he doesn’t tell her. He watches her, then compliments her natural feel for color, and gives her free rein to add more color as she sees fit. She asks him why she’s painting for him when he wanted her to model, and he tells her that he’ll pay her by the hour, if that’s what she’s worried about. Then he tells her that the theme of the painting is huiju (convergence/to come together). He’s so focused on watching You Yan paint that he misses a call from “Editor-in-Chief Zhou of Primary Colors.”
The editor-in-chief in question sighs as he hangs up his phone. Huai An asks her uncle what’s wrong, and he says that he’s having trouble reaching Lin, one of his artists for Primary Colors. He’s the only one who hasn’t submitted a draft yet. He suddenly remembers that the International Young Artists finalist Huai An mentioned was also named Lin. Are they the same person? Now that he’s made the connection, and having seen Lin’s works before, Uncle Zhou is excited about Lin, and insists that Huai An must sign him.
Later, You Yan is still painting for Ye Bai and he’s working on his own landscape painting, when he grows frustrated that he still can’t see color. He tosses his painting away, which draws You Yan’s attention. She looks at the painting and compliments his work, saying that it’s really good for someone who is still a student. Ye Bai asks her if she sees anything wrong with color composition, and she comments that it is a bit dark, but still has a beauty to it, but… paintings often reflect the feelings of the painter. A painter who has more of a story to tell can produce more valuable paintings.
Ye Bai scoffs at that, saying that painting is a form of expression. Does she think that the point of art is to create value and make money? She thinks about it, then says, not quite, but value is one way of evaluating a painting’s quality, and how else would artists make a living?
Ye Bai doesn’t quite agree, and flashes back to a memory from his childhood, when he hid outside an art class and listened along, trying to make his own drawing. The teacher (the mysterious woman from the first episode!) notices him and comes over, complimenting his work and saying that he did quite well for having eavesdropped on only a week of class. She introduces herself as Chi Zheng and asks him why he doesn’t take art classes if he likes drawing so much. He admits that his family doesn’t have the money to pay for art classes. She says that believes money is the least important thing when it comes to art.
These words echo in his mind as he looks at You Yan and asks, “Do you really need money?” You Yan responds awkwardly, “A little bit.” Ye Bai sighs and leans back, telling You Yan that’s enough for today and they can meet again tomorrow. She turns to protest but he’s already closed his eyes.
You Yan rushes back into her dorm room with a bag full of groceries. Her roommates ask why she’s in such a rush at night, and she explains that she injured a classmate by accident and wants to make some pork rib soup for him to help him get better. They joke that he must be handsome if she’s taking such pains to take care of him, and Shan Shan sighs that she’s been having such good romantic luck lately.
The next morning, You Yan and Ye Bai meet in the art studio again and You Yan shows him all the food she’s made: a sandwich, soup, and congee. He says that he’s not used to eating breakfast, and that she should just eat by herself, but You Yan won’t hear of it. She hands the sandwich to him and says that food tastes better when there are two people to eat it. Her words make him remember eating dinner with his brother during his childhood. Their mother had to stay late at work, so it was just the two of them. Ye Bai tried to give his brother his drumstick, but his brother responded with same words as You Yan, that food tastes better with two people to eat it.
You Yan notices Ye Bai lost in thought and not eating, so she takes the sandwich and bumps it against his mouth. “Your mouth touched it, so now I can’t eat it. If you won’t eat it, then I’ll have to throw it away.” She moves to throw out the sandwich, but he stops her and slowly starts to eat.
“Wait! I just remembered that I already took a bite out of yours!” You Yan exclaims, then laughs when he gives her a look, saying that she was just joking. As he looks at her laughing and eating her sandwich, the world suddenly bursts into color again and he stares even harder.
Zi Jian and Huai An meet up for coffee. Huai An thinks that Zi Jian wants to talk about the Young Artists award again, but he’s actually here for a different purpose: he wants to be selected for an opportunity to study in Europe, and believes that if he can get a painting into Yi Xin’s fall exhibition, he would be guaranteed a spot. Huai An says that there are many galleries that can display Zi Jian’s work, but Zi Jian insists that it must be Yi Xin. She finally admits that they’ve already decided to display the Young Artists award winner’s work in the fall exhibition. This makes Zi Jian even more curious, not about the painting itself, but about which one of his classmates has made this strong of an impression on Huai An.
At the studio, You Yan has finished working on Ye Bai’s canvas. She asks him what he thinks, saying that she thinks the colors can still be improved. He responds lukewarmly, looking glum, as he’s still unable to see color. His mind starts flashing through an array of past memories again, and You Yan notices that something’s wrong. She asks him if he’s okay, and when he looks at her concerned face, he can suddenly see color again! He looks at her painting, which has a rainbow of colors in it, and is so astounded that he walks over to get a closer look.
You Yan stares at his leg. Isn’t he injured? How can he suddenly walk? He’s too distracted by newfound colors to pay attention, and You Yan leaves angrily.
Ye Bai chases after You Yan, who asks him if he and his friend had a good laugh over tricking her. She might have been in the wrong for running into him, but there was no need for them to trick her like this. She’s about to leave when Ye Bai says that he really needs her help–that part wasn’t a lie. He admits that he really, really liked the painting that she recolored, and that he hasn’t seen someone use color like that in a long time. She has a natural feel for how to use color, and he wants to learn from her. Her use of color stems from her view of the world, and he wants to learn what that is.
She thinks back to his words from their awkward encounter backstage, and finally understands what he meant then. But… he wants her, a French student, to teach him, an art major, how to use color? He says yes, and that’s why he didn’t know how to ask her (and had to go to such awkward and extreme lengths to get her to work with him.) Still, these are two different things, she responds, and he was still wrong to lie to her. She runs away. “Will you still be my model?” Ye Bai shouts after her, but she keeps running and doesn’t look back.
Back in her dorm room, You Yan sulks while Shan Shan tries to cheer her up. She gets a text from Ye Bai saying that his words were sincere and asking her to give him another chance, which she ignores. A commotion outside reminds them that today is the opening game of the basketball season, and Shan Shan convinces a reluctant You Yan to attend the game.
Everyone has come out for the basketball game, including Ye Bai and Zi Yan, and You Yan’s third roommate Xiao Cong, whose eyes don’t leave Zi Jian. Zi Jian is the star of the basketball team, but Zi Yan recalls to Ye Bai how during their pick-up basketball game the other day, Zi Jian couldn’t even keep the ball. It must be because he was too good. Ye Bai is skeptical: if he’s so good, then why isn’t he on the basketball team? It must be because he’s too good and Long Li didn’t want him to steal his thunder. Zi Yan agrees, calling Ye Bai a true friend.
You Yan and Shan Shan yell as they talk in order to hear each other over the roar of the crowd, but You Yan has the misfortune of yelling loudly after a whistle is blown and the court falls silent. Everyone stares at her and she ducks her head awkwardly. The crowd starts cheering again and soon everyone’s forgotten her, but Ye Bai sees her. He takes out his sketchbook and starts drawing. Zi Yan asks him who he’s drawing–it isn’t Wei Zi Jian, is it? Ye Bai shoots him a dirty look.
Ye Bai sends You Yan a text, saying that she looks pretty happy and he waits for her response. She starts to respond, then wonders how he knows that she looks happy. She starts looking around for him, but doesn’t see him, while he watches her with a smile.
You Yan and Shan Shan spot Xiao Cong alone in the crowd. They thought she was at the library, and wonder why she lied to them.
The game breaks for halftime, and Shan Shan drags You Yan into the crowd flowing for the center court. You Yan spots Xiao Cong and tries to follow her, but loses her in the crowd. Instead, she notices a letter on the ground and picks it up, then raises it over her head to try to find the owner.
It gets snatched out of her hand by Long Li, who sees that it’s addressed to Wei Zi Jian and assumes it’s a love letter. You Yan tries to get it back, saying that it’s private, but also insisting that it’s not hers, but Long Li stands on a chair and holds it out of reach. He doesn’t believe her, and says that if she’s so opposed to him seeing it, then he must read it out loud. Shan Shan comes over, and You Yan tries to convince her that she didn’t write the letter. But the writer of the letter is also a French student, which doesn’t help You Yan’s case. The writer of the letter turns out to be Xiao Cong, who is hiding behind a wall.
You Yan approaches Zi Jian directly to convince him that she didn’t write the letter. Ye Bai hands his bag off to Zi Yan and approaches Long Li, yanking him off his chair. He snatches the letter out of Long Li’s hands. Long Li demands the letter back, then grabs Ye Bai’s collar when he ignores him. Ye Bai throws Long Li to the ground, then stares down Zi Jian.
He turns and grabs You Yan’s wrist, leading her out of the gym. Long Li gets up to try to go after Ye Bai, but Zi Yan holds him back. The crowd oooh’s and claps as everyone watches Ye Bai and You Yan leave.
Ye Bai gives the letter back to You Yan, clearly not believing her when she says that she didn’t write it. Underneath the letter is a sketch of You Yan, which she also accidentally grabs. Ye Bai asks for it back, but You Yan asks if she can keep it. He looks at her for a long moment, then pretends that it’s not a big deal. He was just randomly sketching and she can have it if she likes it. You Yan says that they’re even now, and she’ll agree to help him with his colors.
They go to the art studio where You Yan mixes colors for Ye Bai. Ye Bai starts to ask her about the love letter at the basketball court, but then decides against it. He stares at his brush, willing himself to see color, but he still doesn’t. He throws the brush aside and says he’s done for the day. He’s not in the right mindset. You Yan tells him to give it some time; maybe he’ll find some inspiration. She doesn’t have anything to do, so she can stay at the studio with him. But he snaps that he’s busy.
You Yan is worried that she did something wrong, and asks him to tell her if she did. “It’s my problem,” he responds. Then perhaps realizing that his voice is too harsh, his face softens a little. “You should go home first. I’ll still pay you today’s money.” But You Yan refuses to take money she didn’t work for.
Professor Lin takes his art class outdoors, where Ye Bai doesn’t pay attention and sketches on his own. The professor asks for a volunteer to demonstrate technique in front of the class, and Zi Yan is quick to volunteer Ye Bai, but Long Li says it’s Zi Jian, obviously. Zi Yan acquiesces, and Zi Jian goes up in front of the class to sketch out the landscape. Zi Jian acts humble — it’s not like he’s some expert — but his classmates urge him up so he does so.
Ye Bai watches Zi Jian as he sketches, and thinks back to the basketball game and what he thinks is You Yan’s love letter to him.
Zi Jian finishes his sketch, and then the professor calls on Ye Bai to go up and draw something. Zi Yan urges Ye Bai on, telling him to go surprise the class. But Ye Bai is looking at Zi Jian, who gives a somewhat cocky look that reminds Ye Bai of the basketball game. Ye Bai takes the challenge and goes up to sketch the landscape. His technique is noticeably different from Zi Jian’s — Zi Jian was very precise with measuring the scene before him, while Ye Bai seems to draw more based on feel, even closing his eyes at one point.
Everyone in the class, including Professor Lin, is stunned by Ye Bai’s uncharacteristically good work.
A classmate asks Ye Bai to grab her yellow bag for her, but there are two lighter colored bags and he can’t tell which one is yellow. He asks which yellow bag, to try and clarify, but it doesn’t help. Zi Yan tells the girl to get it herself, but she asks why Ye Bai can’t just get it for her, since he’s closer. Zi Yan and Ye Bai look at each other for a moment, then Zi Yan gets up and gets the bag for their classmate. Zi Jian notices this whole exchange, and has a thinking face on.
Uh oh! It looks like Zi Jian is starting to notice Ye Bai a lot more, and perhaps even starting to suspect that he is color-blind, or that he is Lin. He doesn’t have the full pieces of the puzzle yet, but he’s noticing and he’s thinking, and Zi Jian is pretty smart, so I’m sure he’ll figure it out soon.
I still don’t feel convinced by Ye Bai, but I really liked the bantering breakfast scene with You Yan. You Yan definitely carried that scene, but it was nice getting to see more of the two of them actually interacting, rather than Ye Bai just trailing her like a shadow.
The two flashbacks we got into Ye Bai’s past open up a lot more mysteries. For example, we now know that the mysterious woman from the first episode is his former art teacher, and her name is Chi Zheng (this may have been in the article from the first episode and I may have missed it — I might go back and check!). Chi Zheng was mentioned in the previous episode, when Huai An asked Ye Bai if he wants to have his works displayed alongside great artists like Chi Zheng. You Yan’s cousin’s last name is also Chi. Coincidence? Not a coincidence? I don’t believe in coincidences in dramas.
The memory with Ye Bai’s older brother also brings up the question of where that brother is now. They seemed pretty close in childhood, but we haven’t seen or heard any mention of a brother, or even of any family, in the past few episodes. We do know of a traumatic event in his past. It seems highly unlikely the caring older brother suddenly abandoned his younger brother, so I’m inclined to think there was some sort of accident and premature death.
This socially constructed (literally) love triangle that has forcefully formed between Ye Bai, You Yan, and Zi Jian looks like it might be fun. I wonder if this will be the basis for a real love triangle? Will Zi Jian start to notice You Yan just because he thinks that this love letter was actually from her? But he also seems very much an admirer of Huai An.
I’m getting a lot of Love O2O/A Smile is Beautiful vibes from this drama, in terms of look (very light and pretty), the school setting, and the characters. But The Endless Love/The Journey from Tonight is White has a lot more plot and drama (in a good way), and I’m definitely starting to like it more than Love O2O. The characters in The Endless Love are, for the most part, a good balance between realistic and drama-like.