Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: The Journey from Tonight is White (Ep. 10)

Wow wow wow, the drama really escalates in this episode as Zi Jian’s sister’s plotting actually has some real impact on our characters. But there’s some good that comes out of it as well, as Ye Bai and You Yan are forced to confront their feelings for each other. Kind of.

Recap

Ye Bai’s father asks him why he agreed to meet with him in a coffee shop if they’re strangers to each other. Ye Bai responds that before she passed away, his mother told him to not hate his father. He wanted to give it a try, but he just can’t do it. His father blinks back tears as Ye Bai leaves.

Outside, Ye Bai sees some brothers playing and running by and smiles as he remembers playing with his own brother while their mother watched.

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You Yan’s father asks her to come home for dinner again, and asks her about her relationship with Gu Ye Bai. He heard her whole conversation with Chi Pu the other day. He emphasizes to her that she can’t date an art major. An artist isn’t suitable for her. This gets on You Yan’s nerves and she demands to know why — after all, didn’t he fall in love with and marry her mom, an artist?

Her father explains that loving an artist is difficult, because their art will always come first. To love an artist is to acknowledge that you will come second to their art, and he doesn’t want her married life to be the same as his. He doesn’t want to see his darling daughter be second in anyone’s heart. She deserves to be first.

You Yan looks torn, but says that she understands.

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The art professors gather to talk about Ye Bai and his most recent award-winning work. Professor Xia actually has an opinion about Ye Bai, which Professor Lin finds surprising, because Ye Bai hasn’t made an impression on him at all. For Professor Lin, the art department’s best artist is Wei Zi Jian. Suddenly, a staff member enters the office and whispers something to Professor Xia.

Zi Jian is painting at home when his sister comes over to show him some documents. These are Ye Bai’s middle school health records proving that he has color-blindness, and she’s already sent them off to the International Young Artists award committee along with Ye Bai’s most recent (and dismal) university grades as proof that Ye Bai is a fraud.

Professor Xia announces to the other professors that someone has come forth to accuse Ye Bai of fraud, with claims that he didn’t paint his award-winning piece. The art department at the university has been tasked with investigating this claim.

Zi Jian is furious with her sister, saying that she had promised him to keep this a secret. His sister seems to think she did nothing wrong: after all, alerting the award committee that their top prize winner might be a fraud is hardly a moral failing. Zi Jian asks her how she expects him to face Ye Bai now. She says that Ye Bai should be worrying about how to face society.

Ye Bai meets with his psychologist again to report that his condition has gotten worse again. She asks if anything major has happened in his life recently to affect his mood. He thinks about You Yan avoiding him, but says, “Nothing.” Then she asks him to talk about the girl. He admits that it seems like she’s been avoiding him. Dr. Liu asks if he’s talked to her about it, and he said he hasn’t, because he doesn’t want to hear the answer he’s most afraid of: that she doesn’t like him. Dr. Liu laughs at this, then says, “If you don’t ask, then how will you know?”

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Word about Ye Bai’s potentially fraudulent painting has spread quickly. Huai An gets a call about it from her friend in France. Her uncle believes these accusations and is understandably upset and wants to cut ties, but Huai An says that they should support Ye Bai during these difficult times, not turn against him. She has plenty of evidence proving that Ye Bai is not a fraud — including all his past contributions to Primary Colors as Lin — and has personally seen him paint before.

Ye Bai gets a phone call from Professor Xia asking him to meet immediately. The professor tells him about the fraud accusations and shows him the evidence. Ye Bai is quick to admit that the evidence is real. He confesses that he does have color-blindness — but his color-blindness is psychological, not physiological. For the most part, he was able to cure his color-blindness prior to entering college, which is how he got in, but recently his symptoms have been returning.

Professor Xia asks him to be honest and say whether he actually painted his submission for the art contest. Ye Bai says that he did. The professor believes him, but tells him that he’ll also have to convince the rest of the panel who will be judging him. In order to do so, he’ll have to find someone who can prove that he personally painted the painting.

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Ye Bai goes to find You Yan in order to ask for her help. At first, she tries to run away from him, but he forces her to talk to him. They dance around the topic of her avoiding him and the conversation is tense and awkward, but Ye Bai finally gets to the point and explains his situation. He asks You Yan for her help, and she readily agrees.

The day of Ye Bai’s trial dawns, and he arrives outside the meeting room flanked by You Yan, Zi Yan, and co. Huai An and Zi Jian are already there, and there’s a slightly tense face-off between the two parties, broken only by a staff member asking all members of the art department to enter the meeting room.

The trial is a difficult one, with most people present not believing that his color-blindness is psychological. In fact, the evidence against him is strong, and Professor Lin is the strongest voice against him. He brings up that his grades aren’t good, and his schoolwork unimpressive. It seems bizarre that he would suddenly win an international art prize given that he has shown no past talent.

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Huai An has been listening at the door, and at this moment bursts into the room, saying that she has proof of Ye Bai’s past work. For years, he has been submitting to Primary Colors under a pen name, and the style and quality of those works is consistent with his prize-winning submission.

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But Professor Lin is still skeptical. It’s possible that these works were all made by someone Ye Bai hired. In fact, he has evidence that Ye Bai has gotten someone else to do his work for him in the past. He asks Zi Jian to speak.

Zi Jian prefaces his story with an apology to Ye Bai and a disclaimer that he means no ill will, but is just telling what he saw. He speaks of the time when he found Zi Yan whispering instructions to Ye Bai (why Zi Jian, why?!) and saw Ye Bai receiving instructions from a phone on how to apply color.

Ye Bai acknowledges that the incident happened, then starts talking about how important painting is to him and how his inability to deal with his color-blindness led him to hiding from his friends and avoiding the truth. Painting gave his life meaning, and he was afraid of what would happen if he wouldn’t be able to paint anymore. But now, perhaps it’s time for him to leave the art world.

Professor Lin says that he’s glad Ye Bai was able to come to this realization, but wants to return to the task at hand. Even if a doctor can prove that his color-blindness comes and goes in flashes, that still doesn’t prove he was the one to make this painting.

Now You Yan bursts into the meeting room, saying that she can prove that Ye Bai personally painted the painting because she’s the model for the painting. Professor Lin asks her if she knows about Ye Bai’s color-blindness. She says that she does, and that Ye Bai asked her to be his model because she helps alleviate his symptoms. The whole room finds this unbelievable, as does Professor Lin, who asks her whether she and Ye Bai are dating.

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Ye Bai protests at this, saying that personal matters shouldn’t have any relevance to the matter of the painting’s true author. But Professor Lin says that if the two are dating, that would place suspicion on You Yan’s testimony. He asks You Yan again whether the two are dating, and whether she has feelings for Ye Bai.

You Yan looks nervously at Ye Bai, who stares back at her with a pained expression. Everyone else is staring at them too. Then she says that she’s not Ye Bai’s girlfriend, nor does she have any feelings for him. In fact, if it would make her words more convincing, she can promise that she’ll never see Ye Bai again after today.

Cue the dramatic music.

Ye Bai walks around campus looking lonely and lost as You Yan’s words repeat in his head. He buys some ice cream from the vendor on campus, but the ice cream reminds him too much of You Yan, and he suddenly passes out.

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Meanwhile, Zi Yan and You Yan are desperately looking for Ye Bai after he stormed out of the meeting room. She runs into her cousin, who says that he knows all about the Ye Bai drama and asks her if she’s okay. She first nods, then shakes her head.

Chi Pu takes her by the shoulder and they go sit by the river, where You Yan asks him about a former girlfriend. They were really good together, but still broke up. You Yan asks if he ever thought about trying to get her back, but he shakes his head and says that sometimes once you lose someone, you can never get them back. Sometimes, just having feelings for each other isn’t enough, and there are different ways of expressing love, so that’s why he chose to let her go.

She asks him if he asked his girlfriend before making the decision to break up. He says that he made the decision by himself, but since then, she’s been doing very well. Seeing You Yan frown at this, he tells her that she doesn’t have to follow the same path as him, even if her father might disagree. If she likes someone, she should follow her heart. “Can I really?” she asks quietly.

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When You Yan gets back to her room, Shan Shan tells her that Ye Bai’s in the hospital. She immediately rushes off. But Huai An is already in Ye Bai’s hospital room, which makes You Yan think about leaving without saying anything. Shan Shan tells her that they can’t just leave without saying anything, and soon Zi Yan appears as well. They both stall You Yan for so long outside the hospital room that Huai An opens the door and finds them there. She smiles and invites them in.

The atmosphere in the hospital room with all five of them present is extremely awkward. You Yan and Ye Bai refuse to look at each other, and no one speaks. Shan Shan and Zi Yan silently argue and finally join together to get Huai An out of the room, leaving You Yan and Ye Bai alone.

They start speaking at the same time, then Ye Bai tells You Yan to speak first. She tells him not to care too much about people calling his award into question. This gets him worked up. He doesn’t care about that, since he knows he was the one who painted the painting and the fact that he won proves he has the skill. What he cares about is her attitude toward him.

They both look away from each other awkwardly. “You said you weren’t my girlfriend, that there were no feelings between us,” Ye Bai says, “Were you helping me or…?”

You Yan looks around awkwardly, then says that she was never his girlfriend. He never asked. He looks at her intently, and says, “Then I’ll ask you now–” but gets interrupted by a nurse coming in to switch his IV and the moment is lost.

Huai An seems to know that Shan Shan and Zi Yan were trying to get her out of the room, but humbles them and answers all the questions them come up with to stall her. When they’re all out of questions, she goes into the room to say goodbye to Ye Bai. Ye Bai thanks her for her help, and You Yan says goodbye to her. Huai An acknowledges her for once with a nod.

Alone again, You Yan and Ye Bai look everywhere but each other in an awkward silence.

After they leave the hospital, Shan Shan asks You Yan about how things went with Ye Bai. You Yan says that the focus right now is on clearing Ye Bai’s name. She doesn’t want to think about her and Ye Bai, nor does she know what to do about them. Shan Shan asks her to think about how she feels when she’s with Ye Bai. Ye Bai stops and thinks… and the episode ends.

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Thoughts

Wow. That middle section with You Yan being forced to confront her feelings for Ye Bai in front of a room full of professors, and then Ye Bai storming out, passing out, and winding up in the hospital was just way too over-dramatic for me and I couldn’t take it seriously. Thankfully, the real drama lasted all of about five minutes, and all that was left was for them to (very awkwardly) deal with the aftermath. But even that one segment made me want to zone out for the rest of the episode.

Admittedly, the awkwardness between Ye Bai and You Yan afterward was kind of adorable and kind of fun. For once, they have to acknowledge whatever spark it is that exists between them. It was also kind of nice to see Huai An being more on the protagonists’ side for once and acknowledging You Yan. I really do believe that she has Ye Bai’s best interests at heart, so now that she knows You Yan is actually there to help Ye Bai and not be a distraction for him, hopefully that means we’ll see more Huai An’s nice side.

I do appreciate how this drama tends to thwart a lot of almost-clichés (although again, that overdramatic sequence in the middle really threw a damper on things.) For example, You Yan hesitating outside Ye Bai’s hospital room in any other drama would probably turn into her leaving and creating an episodes-long misunderstanding. But here, her friends force her to stay and Huai An herself invites her in.

I really liked getting to see some more of Chi Pu in this episode. I wish he got more screen time! He is such a sweetie and such a great older brother figure in this drama. When he talked about the difficulties of his past relationship, and then encouraged Huai An to follow her heart, even if her father wouldn’t approve, I swooned a little.

The one thing I don’t really get is why Zi Jian spoke up against Ye Bai. Sure, he apologized to Ye Bai in the beginning and said that he was speaking up in order to present a whole truth, but I thought he was on Ye Bai’s side! Does the secret being out just mean he’ll let it all out? He could’ve easily just kept that incident a secret as well. Is there some coercion going on behind the scenes? Or is that just my wishful thinking?

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