Episode 4 of The Endless Love/The Journey from Tonight is White (路从今夜白) features our lead couple growing closer and a lot of cute moments between them, along with some heart-warming scenes of the strong friendships that our main characters have. But there are also some hints of future conflict and drama on the horizon.
You Yan can’t focus during her recitation, and in a classic college student move, props up her book to hide her cell phone. Ye Bai’s sudden moodiness last night has been distracting her, and she can’t help but think that it had to do with her. Shan Shan says that it’s probably because of the love letter to Zi Jian.
Ye Bai still doesn’t have any success with seeing color, so he flips through a book (the one that You Yan returned in episode 2?) and finds a sticky note in French in one of the pages: “If life is one long sleep, then only love can bring us to the edge of a dream.”
He receives a phone call from the International Young Artists contest asking him to confirm his participation in the finals. He confirms, then stares at his blank canvas, upon which there is a faint outline of a girl. He thinks back to the words, “The edge of a dream.” When will he be able to wake up from his slumber?
After her recitation, You Yan runs into Huai An, who is on campus looking for Ye Bai. She asks You Yan if she knows Ye Bai well. You Yan says she doesn’t. But then, Huai An asks, why did Ye Bai confess to her backstage the other day? And, Huai An has heard about the basketball court incident. Are they planning on getting together? You Yan is quick to deny rumors of a relationship, but Huai An is relentless. And, at that moment, Ye Bai arrives.
But Ye Bai speaks to Huai An first, saying that he had something to say to her. Huai An gives You Yan a little sideway glance and a smile, then says that she also was looking for him. You Yan looks away awkwardly, but right before they leave to talk, Ye Bai tells You Yan to wait for him.
Ye Bai tells Huai An that he won’t be able to hand in a draft for Primary Colors for the foreseeable future, because of personal reasons. This wasn’t what she expected him to say, and her face falls. He turns to leave, but she grabs him arm, which You Yan notices. Huai An asks Ye Bai for a reason, but he repeats that it’s a private matter, then grabs You Yan’s wrist and leaves.
Once they’ve left the building, You Yan shakes off Ye Bai’s hold on her wrist and asks him if he’s seen her text. Clearly, he hasn’t, because he pulls out his phone and checks. Her text reads, “If I liked someone, I wouldn’t write a love letter!” Then, Ye Bai asks, what would she do?
“I would tell him in person!” You Yan responds, as if it’s the most obvious thing in the world, then looks uncomfortable when Ye Bai stares at her. She starts to ask him about the day before, but he quickly responds that he was just in a bad mood, and asks her if she will still meet him at the art studio in the afternoon. She smiles brightly, saying that she thought she had lost her job.
Does she want to lose her job? he asks. Of course not! she responds, but… she thought he was going to ask Huai An to be his new assistant. He responds that no one can replace her, then realizing that it sounded a bit too forward, he hastily adds that what he means is that he needed some help with French. But… Huai An was a French major too, You Yan points out. Ye Bai looks awkward then says that he supposes he won’t give Huai An this opportunity. Their conversation continues to be a bit awkward, but also a bit adorable: You Yan mentions that she doesn’t have class so she’s free all afternoon. But Ye Bai does have class. They arrange to meet at six.
You Yan asks him about his shirt, which has streaks of paint on it. Did he do that on purpose? He didn’t, but then why doesn’t he change into a clean shirt? Ye Bai responds that he paints every day, so there’s no point in changing since his shirt will get dirty anyway. He leaves first, and she smiles after him, saying, “He’s just like her, not changing his shirt even when it’s dirty.”
Since she has no class, You Yan decides to go shirt shopping for Ye Bai. But on her way out, she starts to feel dizzy in a cramped elevator and suddenly faints.
She wakes up in the hospital with Chi Pu at her bedside. He’s the emergency contact in her phone. She checks to make sure that he didn’t tell her dad, then asks what time it is. It’s 5:30.
The doctor comes in with the test results and says that everything looks good, and reminds You Yan that she should take care of herself. She asks if she can be discharged from the hospital, saying that she has to go to class, but Chi Pu knows her schedule and catches her in her lie. The doctor says that it’s best if she rests and remains under observation at the hospital.
You Yan tries to convince Chi Pu to let her leave the hospital, saying that she has something important to do. Chi Pu suspects that her “important thing” is a date with a boy, especially given the men’s clothing that she bought, and tells her to tell the truth, or he’ll tell her father about her hospital stay. You Yan starts spinning up a tale that she actually is meeting one of Shan Shan’s secret admirers, who wants to confess to her, but has terrible fashion sense, so You Yan is helping him dress for the occasion. Chi Pu doesn’t buy it.
You Yan tries a different tactic, saying that she’s hungry. Chi Pu asks her what she wants to eat, and she says that she wants the xiaolongbao (soup dumplings) from the restaurant below her apartment. He leaves to go buy it for her, and she takes this opportunity to sneak out of the hospital.
Ye Bai gets called into Professor Xia’s office after his afternoon art class. His classmates notice, and they wonder if Ye Bai might be getting special treatment, and comment on how Ye Bai has seemed like a totally different person lately. The other day, his drawing was better than Zi Jian’s, something they would have never expected. Zi Yan is quick to boast about Ye Bai, saying that they better pick up the paintings that Ye Bai throws away, because they might be worth a lot in the future. Zi Jian tries to ignore them, but it’s clear that he’s listening. He no longer thinks that Zi Yan is Lin, but Ye Bai, on the other hand…
Professor Xia asks Ye Bai if he’s finished his final project yet. He hasn’t. The professor switches gears and demands that Ye Bai paint him a colored painting right then and there in his office. He’s noticed Ye Bai’s monochromatic work in class and finds it unacceptable: he knows Ye Bai is better than that. Professor Xia locks Ye Bai in his office, saying that he can’t leave until he produces a painting.
Ye Bai is worried about the time and he still can’t see color, so he enlists Zi Yan’s help by sending him pictures of his palette and painting. Zi Yan tells him the order of the colors on his palette, then tries to go to Professor Xia’s office to help. But Professor Xia is waiting outside and chatting with another professor, so he hides in the hallway and whispers voice messages to Ye Bai instead, telling him where to paint what color. He doesn’t notice Zi Jian behind him, but Zi Jian definitely takes note of what he’s saying. He goes outside and looks through the windows of Professor Xia’s office, and surely enough, sees Ye Bai painting with phone in hand.
You Yan makes it out of the hospital and to the art studio, but it’s locked and Ye Bai is nowhere in sight. She reaches for her phone to call him, but then realizes that she doesn’t have it on her.
Chi Pu returns to You Yan’s hospital room with xiaolongbao in hand, only to find an empty hospital bed and an apologetic note from You Yan. You Yan’s phone rings and he finds it on her hospital bed, an incoming call from Gu Ye Bai flashing on the screen.
It’s dark and thunderstorming by the time Ye Bai finishes painting. Professor Xia observes his work and comments that if he hadn’t locked Ye Bai in there, he really wouldn’t have believed that he produced this painting. Ye Bai asks what he means by that. Professor Xia says that the composition is Ye Bai’s style, but the colors… the colors are Lin Zi Yan’s style.
Zi Yan is waiting outside the office when Ye Bai is finally released. Ye Bai thanks him for saving him, then asks if he’s been by the studio and seen You Yan, but Zi Yan hasn’t. Ye Bai takes off running through the rain without an umbrella.
He arrives to find the hallway outside the art studio empty, but You Yan’s bag with the new shirts is hanging on the doorknob of the studio. Ye Bai looks around some more, then finally finds You Yan huddling in a room, trying to stay warm. She smiles brightly when she sees him.
They warm up in the art studio, where Ye Bai finds You Yan a blanket to wrap around herself. He asks if she’s been waiting this whole time and she says yes, because she knew he would show up. She tells him to change into dry clothes. Here? he asks. Where else? She hides her face under the blanket, promising him that she won’t peek.
Ye Bai likes the shirt that You Yan bought him and smiles as he thanks her. She comments that this is the first time she’s seen him smile, which makes him immediately stop smiling and awkwardly turn away. He declares that they’ll have to make do and stay for the night. You Yan immediately gets up: it’s against the rules to spend the night in a classroom. But Ye Bai asks her how she plans on getting home, since it’s pouring outside. They have no choice but to stay the night. He takes a step toward her and she backs away, wrapping her blanket more tightly around herself. He tells her that she’s misunderstood — as an art student, he’s used to pulling all-nighters in the studio. He didn’t mean anything more by it. He tells her that she can just start painting colors on his canvas and once she’s done, he’ll let her take the couch.
They work side by side, You Yan mixing colors on the palette while Ye Bai paints. They chat as they paint, You Yan mentioning that she took some art lessons when she was young, but she didn’t have the talent for it so she stopped. Ye Bai compliments her on her natural feel for color yet again. You Yan sighs that this kind of stormy weather is scary, then laughs, to which Ye Bai responds that it’s scary she would smile at this kind of weather. She gives him a look, and he smiles.
Ye Bai accidentally wipes some paint on his cheek, and You Yan teases him by smudging some more paint onto his other cheek. He retaliates by wiping some paint on her face, and then they begin chasing each other around the room.
The next morning, Ye Bai looks at a sketch of You Yan with happy tears shining in his eyes as he recalls memories of the night before. You Yan does the walk of shame, trying to hide her paint-streaked face with her hair, but runs into Chi Pu at the base of her dorm building.
They get breakfast together, where Chi Pu pulls out You Yan’s phone. All of her missed calls were from Gu Ye Bai. Chi Pu has done his research and found out that Ye Bai is a painting major at the university. Is he Shan Shan’s “secret admirer”? You Yan laughs nervously then nods, commending her cousin’s deductive skills. Chi Pu asks her if Ye Bai’s confession was successful. She starts trying to spin up another story, but Chi Pu reprimands her for trying to continue her lie at this point.
She quickly apologizes, then promises that she’s telling the truth when she says that she snuck off in order to help Ye Bai finish a painting. At that moment, Zi Yan walks by them in the cafeteria and shakes his head upon seeing You Yan getting breakfast with some other guy.
Chi Pu asks You Yan if she’s thought about what her father would say if he knew that she was hanging out with an art major. It looks like she hasn’t.
Zi Yan is quick to report to Ye Bai that he saw You Yan getting breakfast with a guy in the cafeteria. Ye Bai frowns as he registers this information.
After breakfast, You Yan ends up in the Yi Xin Art Gallery, where she smiles wistfully at a painting of a young woman twirling in a white top and floral skirt. The outfit in the painting looks a lot like You Yan’s outfit from the first episode.
Zi Jian happens to be in the gallery as well, and approaches You Yan, commenting on how Teacher Chi’s paintings are always very moving. You Yan recognizes him from the basketball game, and Zi Jian formally introduces himself to her. He says that he heard there were some new paintings on display at the gallery and came by to see them, then asks her if she’s also here for the same reason. She says that she just happened to be passing by.
He tells her that she’s lucky she just happened to be passing by, since this is the first time this particular painting has been publicly displayed. It’s Teacher Chi’s final work, and it’s a pity that she was unable to finish it.
You Yan says it seems like Zi Jian really likes Chi Zheng. He responds saying that Teacher Chi is his favorite artist, then goes onto analyze her style and explain what he likes about it. But he finds this painting of hers the most unique, because it uses so many bright colors. He seems to find it almost too radiant, and thinks that if she used some darker colors, as is her style in her other paintings, it would be even better. You Yan responds that he has a point, but that the girl in the painting is in the prime of her youth, so shouldn’t she be radiant and bright?
Zi Jian sees her point, and says that the way the girl is portrayed in the painting suggests that she’s someone extremely important to Chi Zheng, and that Chi Zheng probably wished a lot of happiness and radiance for the girl. You Yan starts to tear up through her smile as he says this. It seems personal for her.
And it is. You Yan flashes back to her childhood, where she looks at this very painting and says to Chi Zheng, “But this isn’t a painting of me.” Chi Zheng responds that it is a painting of her — it’s a painting of her when she’s grown up. Why would she paint a grown-up version of her? young You Yan asks. “Because,” Chi Zheng responds, “I’m afraid that I won’t be there to see it.”
You Yan tells Zi Jian how surprised she is that he understands Chi Zheng so well. He smiles modestly, saying that he’s just saying things. His favorite works by Chi Zheng are actually her earliest works. He takes You Yan over to see them, and talks about the themes in her paintings and how they make him feel. It’s clear that he’s very passionate about her work.
You Yan tells Zi Jian that if Chi Zheng were still living, they would probably get along very well. Zi Jian laments that he was born too late and still a child when Chi Zheng passed away, so he never had the chance to meet her. Hearing this, You Yan pulls out a bookmark painted by Chi Zheng and gifts it to Zi Jian, saying that when she was young, she had the fortune of taking art lessons from Chi Zheng. Having seen how much Zi Jian admires Chi Zheng, she wants him to have it.
She receives a phone call from Ye Bai asking her where she is. She lost track of time talking to Zi Jian is late for their studio session. Zi Jian asks her if it’s something urgent, and she responds saying that she agreed to model for a painting major and is late. He mentions that he’s also a painting major and asks who it is. When he finds out that it’s Ye Bai, he muses over how Ye Bai’s name has kept popping up recently. Then he asks You Yan if she would model for him. (?!?)
She’s reluctant to agree, worried that she wouldn’t be able to split her time well and would end up wasting everyone’s time. He reassures her that she can just model for him when she has the time. She agrees and he asks her for her number.
You Yan calls her father. He picks up and warmly asks her why she didn’t come home the weekend. He wanted to make soup for her, and will have Chi Pu send it over, but soup is best when it’s fresh off the stove, and he really wants to see her home. But You Yan is chilly to her father: she called about the paintings. He says that he sold the paintings according to her mother’s wishes. You Yan only cares about one painting: the unfinished one that she just saw at Yi Xin. That painting was supposed to be hers, so why did he sell it?
Her father says that he was just looking out for her. He knows that she’s always wanted to be a great painter like her mother, but he was worried that she would get too absorbed in art and exhaust herself. It would put a strain on her heart. He doesn’t want anything to happen to her, so selling all the paintings was his way of making sure she could have a happy and peaceful life.
You Yan doesn’t see it that way. She says that he probably did it for his own peace of mind, not for her own good, but regardless, she will find a way to buy back that painting. After she hangs up, she sighs and blinks back tears. Her father also sighs and hopes that one day You Yan will understand his painstaking efforts.
You Yan is thirteen minutes late to her studio session with Ye Bai. He tells her to sit for him on the couch — he wants to try mixing his own colors today. The couch reminds You Yan of the night before, and she awkwardly sits and tries to avoid making eye contact with Ye Bai. He comments on how she’s unusually quiet today: he’s used to her being noisy. She says that she’s probably quiet because she talked too much when she went to Yi Xin Gallery earlier. Yi Xin Gallery? Ye Bai asks; he didn’t know she was that close with Huai An. You Yan says that she didn’t see Huai An there, but she did run into his classmate, Wei Zi Jian.
This gets Ye Bai’s attention. You Yan says some good things about Zi Jian, while Ye Bai thinks back to Zi Yan’s report that You Yan was eating breakfast with some guy. Was that guy Zi Jian? You Yan mentions that she wanted to talk to Zi Jian more about the painting of the young girl, but Zi Jian started talking about other paintings. In fact, he was really familiar with Chi Zheng’s work. At the mention of Chi Zheng, Ye Bai tenses up and drops his palette.
You Yan senses something wrong and picks up his palette for him, but Ye Bai tosses his paintbrush aside and glares at You Yan, suddenly in a bad mood.
Ahh!! So many things happened in this episode, and this show definitely has my attention now. First off, can we talk about the big reveal that Chi Zheng is You Yan’s mother?! We definitely knew that Chi Zheng had some sort of familial relation to You Yan, but I definitely thought she would be an aunt, cousin, or older sister-type figure. I did not see the mom relation coming. It seems like You Yan is keen to hide the fact that Chi Zheng is her mother, but it’s sure to complicate her relationship with Ye Bai, not to mention You Yan’s father’s opposition to art majors.
Chi Zheng died young, and it seems like she knew she was going to die, based on You Yan’s childhood memory, which seems to suggest that perhaps she was also sick. Does You Yan have the same illness? Perhaps it’s hereditary?
I also wonder whether we will actually get a love triangle with Zi Jian, You Yan, and Ye Bai. We definitely have the set up for it right now, with Zi Jian asking You Yan to model for him. I’m convinced that Zi Jian’s motive for asking You Yan to model for him is purely because she’s currently working with Ye Bai, but I also feel pretty confident that Zi Jian would start falling for You Yan once he gets to know her better. I really want to like him, and he was so likeable when talking to You Yan at the gallery (so nice, so intelligent!), but the drama is working hard to set him up as slightly antagonistic, with him hot on Ye Bai’s tail.
I like that we got to see more of You Yan’s ge, Chi Pu, this episode and fingers crossed for seeing more of him in the future. He’s so handsome, so nice, and I feel like his presence will cause some fun drama, with You Yan dodging around him and Ye Bai probably feeling needlessly jealous of him.
Honestly, I pretty much only have good things to say about this episode. I felt the chemistry between Ye Bai and You Yan more this episode. They had so many slightly awkward but cute bantering moments this episode (like when Ye Bai tries to tell You Yan that he wouldn’t replace her with Huai An without coming on too strong.) The overnight studio scene with Ye Bai and You Yan chasing each other around was also fun and cute. Chen Ruo Xuan as Ye Bai is much more convincing when he’s smiling and being fun than when he’s trying to be all moody and suffering.