Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: The Journey from Tonight is White (Ep. 11)

More drama! It’s no longer smooth sailing for our heroes in episode 11 of The Journey from Tonight is White/The Endless Love (路从今夜白), not when there are much more powerful adults involved in their lives. They win some, they lose some, and in the end we just have to believe it will all turn out for the better.

Recap

Shan Shan asks You Yan about her relationship with Ye Bai, but You Yan doesn’t know what to do about them. Shan Shan asks her how she feels when she’s with him, and You Yan thinks of all the happy, fun times they’ve had together, but doesn’t say anything. She doesn’t need to — Shan Shan jokes that she can hear how loudly You Yan’s heart is beating.

You Yan switches the topic away from herself and asks Shan Shan what she talked to Huai An about. Shan Shan says that Huai An doesn’t actually seem like that bad of a person, and she probably wasn’t picking on them at the alumni event before.

Huai An and Ye Bai meet over coffee. She asks him if he’s thought about the contract, but also doesn’t want to pressure him, saying that she’s already taken Chi Zheng’s painting off the auction list and that he can take all the time he needs to take care of his own matters. But Ye Bai has already thought about it and agrees to sign the contract.

Huai An also wanted to talk to Ye Bai about something else, and he’s already guessed it: now that his award-winning painting has been called into question, it might lower the value of his other works. He says that he’ll do his best to make up for it, but Huai An tells him there’s no need for him to be so formal: they’re all in the same boat, and she’s come up with a plan. They will hold a solo exhibition for him, and in addition to displaying all his works, they’ll also have him paint something, live. That way, no one can deny that he personally produced his works. But Ye Bai is nervous at the prospect of having to paint something live and under pressure. He asks for some time to think about it.

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Zi Jian paints at home, an unhappy look on his face, when his sister comes in with good news. She met the manager of Ai Si Gallery over dinner and he is very interested in working with Zi Jian. Zi Jian doesn’t find this to be good news: he doesn’t want his sister to get involved with his work and his style doesn’t fit Ai Si at all. They start arguing, and Zi Jian angrily leaves the room with the final words that he wants to beat Ye Bai using his own ability. His frustrated sister downs her wine in one gulp.

The next day, Xiao Cong is in tears as returns to the dorm room she shares with You Yan and Shan Shan. At first, she’s so upset she can’t speak, but finally tells them that her mother got in an accident. Her injuries aren’t life-threatening, but she’ll be in the hospital for a while, plus her family is short a few thousand dollars on the surgery costs. You Yan and Shan Shan offer up some of their own savings, but Xiao Cong refuses to accept it. She’s decided to try and pick up another part-time job, and asks them to sign-in for her in class.

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Ye Bai meets with his psychologist again. His color-blindness has returned completely. Dr. Liu is concerned that this time his relapse is even worse than before. She prescribes him some anti-anxiety medication, but warns him that he needs to stay away from anything that could trigger him.

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Wei Jia goes to Yi Xin Gallery and meets with Huai An. She said she’s heard that Huai An is planning on doing a solo exhibition with Gu Ye Bai: isn’t that a bit risky? Wei Jia suggests that Huai An go with a more reliable candidate?

Huai An immediately guesses that Wei Jia is talking about Zi Jian. Wei Jia smiles, saying that Huai An is also a businesswoman, so they can speak frankly to each other about profit, and ignore the particulars of art. But Huai An responds that though she is a businesswoman, she also has an appreciation for art.

Wei Jia tells her that rather than tunnel vision on someone who will only cost her money, she should be focusing on developing someone like Zi Jian. Wei Jia will cover the costs.

Huai An says that their gallery curates based on ability and quality of work. She starts telling Wei Jia about a cousin who was really good at studying, but whose parents were always dissatisfied with him. They pressured him so much that he flunked the gaokao (college entrance exam), didn’t get into any colleges, and now has to go to weekly therapy sessions. Now his parents are full of regret that they ruined their child’s future. Isn’t that tragic? she asks Wei Jia.

Wei Jia stands up angrily and accuses Huai An of mocking her. Huai An denies it, saying that she’s just making small talk and sharing a family story. Wei Jia abruptly says goodbye and starts to leave, but Huai An makes sure to have the last word, saying she won’t see her out, but that she’ll tell her uncle that President Wei visited.

Shan Shan and You Yan chat after class and try to figure out a way to help Xiao Cong get the money she needs. They run into Zi Jian, who mentions that he needs their help with something: he has some French documents with a lot of technical terms that need translating. He says he can pay them for their work, though they say they could just treat it as practice.

The documents are full of technical terms, which makes it challenging. You Yan says that if she were Xiao Cong, it’d be easy… and then inspiration strikes.

Xiao Cong is busy at her part-time job when Zi Jian walks in. He says that You Yan and Shan Shan told him about her French skills, and wants her help in translating some documents. He’ll pay. Xiao Cong tries to refuse, since she has a crush on him, but he says that he can write it off as a business expense for his family’s company, and she needs the money, so she accepts.

Shan Shan and You Yan watch them through a window, smiling at their successful idea. Afterward, they treat Zi Jian to a meal at a coffee shop to show their gratitude. Zi Jian asks them why they asked him to pay Xiao Cong the full fee for translating all the documents when he only gave her the smallest bit to translate (You Yan and Shan Shan are translating the rest.) You Yan first tries to make something up, but Zi Jian sniffs out the lie, so she confesses that Xiao Cong has some stuff going on at home that she needs the money for.

Huai An is upset to hear that her uncle has signed a contract granting Zi Jian a solo exhibition at Yi Xin, dropping Ye Bai in the process. She thinks that he’s risking the future of the gallery, but he says that there’s zero risk involved because the person backing Zi Jian has already volunteered to pay all expenses. Huai An realizes that Wei Jia must have struck the deal directly with her uncle. Huai An tries to tell her uncle that he’s missing out on an immensely talented artist by dropping Ye Bai, but her uncle remains convinced that Zi Jian is a safer option and tells Huai An that she’s now in charge of Zi Jian’s exhibition.

Depressed, Ye Bai has been sitting alone in his apartment in the dark. Zi Yan drops by with some food and tries to comfort him by saying that even with his color-blindness, Ye Bai is way more talented than he is. He drags Ye Bai up and out of his apartment to get some fresh air. Once they’re out on the street, Zi Yan convinces Ye Bai to call You Yan in order to talk to her in person.

Zi Jian asks You Yan how Ye Bai is doing, but she says that he hasn’t contacted her since he left the hospital. He then asks her if it’s true what she said that day, about not being Ye Bai’s girlfriend, but at that moment her phone starts ringing with a call from Ye Bai.

At the same time, Ye Bai and Zi Yan walk into the coffee shop that the other three are in. Cue the dramatic eye contact and spinning camera.

Wei Jia receives a call from Huai An’s uncle telling her that everything has been arranged on their end according to their prior agreement. Wei Jia smiles and says that she’ll transfer the money over to his account. She tells him that she hopes Huai An didn’t make things difficult for him. He responds that they’re family and that he handled the situation, and hopes that he and Wei Jia can work together more in the future, once Zi Jian becomes more successful.

Zi Yan and Ye Bai end up sitting at the same table as Zi Jian, You Yan, and Shan Shan, but the atmosphere is silent and awkward. Shan Shan kicks Zi Yan, trying to get him to come up with a plan to leave You Yan and Ye Bai alone, but he doesn’t get it and eventually she’s forced to make up a story about how she and Zi Yan need to rush back to campus. They drag a confused Zi Jian out of his seat, asking him to drive them in his car, and finally leave Ye Bai and You Yan alone.

But even when alone, they sit for a long time without speaking, and when they finally do, they both start talking at once. It’s like a repeat of their scene together in the hospital room.

Outside, Zi Jian gets a call from someone and runs off. Shan Shan drags Zi Yan off for a shopping trip.

Zi Jian meets Huai An for coffee, and immediately figures out that his sister had a hand in arranging this solo exhibition for him behind his back. Huai An doesn’t seem to care much about it, and instead seems defeated and depressed. She says that in the two years since she graduated, she thought that she had grown and could do things on her own now, yet something like this happened.

Zi Jian tries to comfort her, saying that she has always been his role model, and still is. She smiles at him and switches to talk about his exhibition, saying that she’s in charge of it so he can feel free to discuss any ideas with her. Zi Jian laughs ironically at their situation and at how society works. He tried so hard before to get Huai An to work with him, and now they’re here. He promises her that even though Ye Bai might be better than him right now, he will do his best and will show improvement. He asks Huai An to trust him this time.

Ye Bai and You Yan have finally reached some sort of truce, and they walk together along the river. You Yan asks Ye Bai how his drink is, and he hands it to her, saying she can try for herself. She offers him her drink as well, but then they stare awkwardly at each other’s straws. They then awkwardly exchange straws and try each other’s drinks, not making eye contact.

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They turn back toward each other and You Yan notices some whipped cream left on Ye Bai’s lip. She rummages through her bag for something to wipe it off with, but a group of roller skaters come rolling through, knocking her off-balance. A book from her bag goes flying to the ground, and a bookmark painted by Chi Zheng falls out of it.

Ye Bai helps her pick her things up, but his eyes immediately go to the bookmark. He flips it over to find a note on the back, addressed to You Yan from Chi Zheng. His eyes widen as he reads it while You Yan scratches her head awkwardly in the background. He turns to stare at her, the dots connecting in his mind.

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You Yan explains that this bookmark is the gift she treasures the most from her mother. Ye Bai looks at her, then suddenly clutches his head in pain. Worried that it’s his blood sugar levels acting up again, You Yan tells him that she’ll go get him some chocolate, and turns to leave, but he grabs her wrist, telling her to not turn back around.

He lists off every time he saw color because of her. He had thought that she had some magic in her, or that whenever they interacted she triggered some sort of positive reaction in him. He had always felt a sense of familiarity in her, and wondered what it was about her that attracted him to her. But now that he’s seen her bookmark, he’s finally realized what it is: fate. When he was little, he saved a girl who loved playing on a slide so much that if he hadn’t saved her, she would’ve slid straight out into outer space.

He recognizes her, and she recognizes him. They turn toward each other and kiss. Cue the spinning camera.

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Thoughts

Ye Bai and You Yan are hilariously awkward as a couple, but I find this whole childhood reunion angle of their relationship to be incredibly boring. I guess it makes the most sense in the grand scheme of Ye Bai’s condition: it would be weird for a random girl to trigger his color vision, but if this random girl had a connection to his happy childhood, and if he subconsciously recognized this girl from his past, then that would make a lot more sense. It makes sense, but these childhood romances are so overrated!

I actually found this episode as a whole to be a bit boring.

I have to say, the most exciting part of this episode was probably seeing the Huai An-Wei Jia meeting. It seemed like Huai An won that showdown, having gotten the last word, but unfortunately money and power speak louder than words in society, and we actually get to see Huai An fail at something.

In fact, our characters do a lot of losing this episode. Huai An lost her whole Ye Bai exhibition scheme to Wei Jia and her uncle. Ye Bai lost his contract that he finally decided to sign, and perhaps his color vision for good (though that kiss and revelation at the end suggest otherwise…) Zi Jian lost to his sister, again.

But for all the losing that’s happening, our characters also had some important wins that perhaps outweigh the losses. Zi Jian finally gets that exhibition he wanted, even if it’s not the way he wanted to get it, and Ye Bai and You Yan have finally found each other, which, in an idol drama focused on their romance like this one, is arguably the most important win of the drama.

We’re only at episode 11 though, so let’s see how long this happiness can last.

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