Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: The Journey from Tonight is White (Ep. 13)

This episode is a fun one as our lead couple continues in their honeymoon-phase bliss, facing down obstacles such as disapproving dads with relative ease. Zi Jian continues to resist his sister’s heavy-handed tactics, but finds that if Wei Jia wants something, she will do whatever it takes to get it.

Recap

You Yan heads back to her dorm room, leaving Ye Bai and Zi Jian alone in a showdown. Ye Bai asks Zi Jian what he was trying to do, and Zi Jian responds with a casual, you jealous? Ye Bai is quick to state that You Yan is now his girlfriend, but Zi Jian just points out that because of You Yan, this is the most he’s ever spoken to him. Ye Bai says that as long as Zi Jian stays away from You Yan, they don’t have to speak to each other at all. They exchange some more words about You Yan, Ye Bai’s art, and “waiting and seeing” before they part ways.

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You Yan and Shan Shan try to comfort and apologize to Xiao Cong, but she says that she’s not mad. She’s more upset because of Zi Jian. She likes him, but she now knows that he likes someone else. (Hmmm… I wonder who?) Shan Shan asks You Yan if she knows, since she knows Zi Jian best out of all of them. She thinks it might be Huai An, but we all know better.

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Wei Jia drinks alone at home, waiting for Zi Jian to return. He’s been ignoring all her calls. He finally comes home and sees her drinking. He tries to get her to stop and apologizes to her for making her worry, but also says that he doesn’t want to do the exhibition anymore.

The next morning, Ye Bai tries to paint but is frustrated by his continued inability to see color. You Yan tries to distract him by taking him out to buy paint, which at first he scoffs at because what’s the point of buying paint when he can’t even see color? But she says that this store is special.

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We don’t see them go to the store, but the next thing we know, Ye Bai’s father complains to Chi Pu about You Yan’s behavior. He cooked lunch and invited her home for lunch, but she rejected his invitation. Instead, he ran into her while she was shopping for paint with that boy, Gu Ye Bai! He can’t believe that she lied to him and didn’t tell him that she was shopping with some boy.

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Chi Pu tries to smooth things over, saying that You Yan and Ye Bai are just friends, and it’s pretty normal for them to go shopping for art supplies. He tells his uncle that this is all just a misunderstanding — You Yan wasn’t trying to lie to him.

You Yan and Ye Bai walk outside after running into her father at the art store. Ye Bai finds it strange that her father had such a strong reaction to seeing him. They had probably met when Ye Bai was a student of Chi Zheng’s, but that was years ago and Ye Bai thinks that he shouldn’t have made such a big impression.

You Yan confesses that it’s probably because Ye Bai is an art student. Ever since her mother died, her father has been especially opposed to her having anything to do with art. She thinks that he blames art for taking her mother away from them.

Ye Bai asks if he’s just another “thing that has to do with art” and You Yan responds that he’s not a thing. Oh, then what is he? he asks. She doesn’t want to say the word out loud, so instead she mumbles “boyfriend.”

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You Yan’s father asks Chi Pu if You Yan and Ye Bai are dating. Chi Pu immediately covers for her, saying that they’re just friends. He verified it while on campus. You Yan’s father comes up with an idea: he’ll invite You Yan and that boy over for dinner. He wants to crush his hopes early on.

You Yan gets her father’s invitation via text from Chi Pu and tells Ye Bai. Ye Bai jokes that he’ll have to meet his father-in-law sooner or later, but You Yan says this isn’t something they can joke about. Chi Pu has already warned her that she and Ye Bai have to act as normal classmates.

Things are tense and awkward when all four (Ye Bai, You Yan, her father, and Chi Pu) converge on You Yan’s father’s apartment. You Yan’s father seems intent on making Ye Bai feel as uncomfortable as possible while Chi Pu tries to make small talk to ease the tension.

Ye Bai mentions that he was Chi Zheng’s art student many years ago, which makes You Yan’s father warm up to him slight (very slightly), but he still interrogates him and straight up asks him if he’s dating You Yan. You Yan saves Ye Bai from answering by asking him if he’s going to make dinner, and he heads for the kitchen, but not before warning Ye Bai that he has to answer his questions.

Chi Pu tells Ye Bai to go help You Yan’s father in the kitchen, and he immediately gets up to go help, insisting on washing the vegetables even after You Yan’s father protests. Chi Pu and You Yan look worried, but Ye Bai is so handy in the kitchen that You Yan’s father eventually takes off his apron and goes to sit back down with Chi Pu and You Yan.

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Everyone is impressed with Ye Bai’s cooking skills, even Mr. Lu, who grudgingly admits that Ye Bai’s dishes are pretty good. He asks Ye Bai how he became so good at cooking, and Ye Bai says that he ended up cooking a lot for himself after his family passed away. He got used to cooking and eating alone. He thanks Mr. Lu for having him over for dinner. This seems to strike a chord with You Yan’s father, who has also had the same experience. He clears his throat and invites Ye Bai to come over and eat with them more often, which surprises everyone.

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After dinner, You Yan and Ye Bai go to her room, where she shows him pictures of her and her mother and talks a little bit about her childhood. One of the pictures is of Chi Zheng’s last painting, which now hangs in Yi Xin Gallery. You Yan explains how one of her greatest wishes is to save up enough money to buy it back. Ye Bai silently promises to her that he will do whatever he can to return the painting to her.

Meanwhile, Chi Pu and Mr. Lu whisper together in the living room. Chi Pu tries to gauge how You Yan’s father is feeling about Ye Bai, and says that Mr. Lu seems to like him quite a bit. You Yan’s father is quick to say that he’s being nice to Ye Bai because he was his wife’s student, but he’s still very adamant that You Yan not date an artist. The moment Chi Pu gets a whiff of a relationship stirring up, he’s to report back immediately. Mr. Lu tells You Yan to chaperone the two back to school: best not let them have anymore alone time together!

Before he leaves, Ye Bai asks for permission to light some incense for Chi Zheng. Mr. Lu lets him, and everyone watches as he performs the ritual. Perhaps this will further improve his standing in Mr. Lu’s eyes?

Chi Pu and Ye Bai drop You Yan off at her dorm. Once she’s gone, Chi Pu asks Ye Bai if he has some time to talk. He asks Ye Bai about his plans for the future: does he plan on pursuing art? Ye Bai says that art is something he plans on pursuing for the rest of his life. And what about You Yan? He responds that You Yan is also something he plans on pursuing for the rest of his life. Chi Pu says that he feels more at ease hearing Ye Bai say this, and hopes that You Yan’s father will acknowledge him soon.

Ye Bai is very clear-headed when it comes to You Yan’s father’s attitude toward him, and Chi Pu is glad that You Yan isn’t just blindly attracted to him. He tells Ye Bai about You Yan poring over psychology textbooks in order to help him. Ye Bai says that he’ll do his best to make Mr. Lu accept him, then calls Chi Pu ge (brother).

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Wei Jia makes an angry call to Huai An’s uncle, demanding to know why she has yet to see any plans for Zi Jian’s exhibition. Director Zhou explains that he talked to Zi Jian, who expressed that he didn’t want to do the exhibition anymore. Wei Jia says that Director Zhou should be trying to convince Zi Jian to continue with the exhibition. In fact, he should be doing his best to convince Zi Jian because he signed a contract with her, and this contract is not one he can afford to lose.

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Zi Yan and Ye Bai hand in their final project and Zi Yan breathes a sigh of relief that now he’s scot-free and can play video games to his heart’s desire. Long Li and Zi Jian are close behind them and Long Li comments that Zi Yan’s final project has to pass in order for him to do that. They start to argue over their respective project partners and their talents, but Zi Jian is quick to stop them before things can escalate too much. At some point, it was mentioned that Zi Jian won’t be doing an exhibition anymore, which catches Ye Bai’s attention. He asks Zi Jian about it, who confirms that he isn’t doing the exhibition anymore, but he refuses to elaborate.

Ye Bai is troubled by the news that Zi Jian’s exhibition has been canceled and is worried that it might have to do with his own exhibition.  He makes a call to Huai An, who says that she isn’t aware of Zi Jian’s exhibition being canceled. However, she’s been so busy that she hasn’t had time to work on it. She tells Ye Bai to just focus on himself. Zi Yan finds it uncharacteristic of Ye Bai to care about other people, and Ye Bai jokes that Zi Yan just isn’t worth caring about.

Huai An gets a call from her uncle to report what happened earlier with Wei Jia. He wants Huai An to convince Zi Jian to continue with the exhibition. Huai An basically says “I told you so” — signing a contract with Wei Jia was a risky maneuver to begin with. She’s swamped and doesn’t want to have to deal with Zi Jian on top of everything, but her uncle reminds her that the future of the gallery is at stake, so she agrees with a sigh.

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You Yan and Ye Bai go for a stroll through a small copse of trees and banter cutely. Ye Bai professes to You Yan how much she means to him and then kisses her on the cheek. Shan Shan and Zi Yan spot them from afar and gape at the display of romance, then start bickering with each other.

You Yan tags along with Ye Bai when he goes to Yi Xin to meet with Huai An. They arrive a bit early and head over to look at Chi Zheng’s painting. Huai An spots them from behind and, seeing their clasped hands, guesses that they’ve finally gotten together. She follows them into the gallery.

You Yan and Ye Bai each report to Chi Zheng about each other while Huai An eavesdrops from the other side of the wall. You Yan addresses Chi Zheng as “Mom” and Huai An realizes that she is Chi Zheng’s daughter. You Yan and Ye Bai then start looking at a picture of Botticelli’s Calumny of Apelles and You Yan impresses Ye Bai with her knowledge of art history as she starts pointing out a lot of the figures in the painting.

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Huai An chooses this moment to make her appearance. You Yan quietly drops Ye Bai’s arm and they greet Huai An. Huai An says that it’s good You Yan came, because she needs her help with something. “Me?” You Yan asks.

Thoughts

Aren’t we done with making Huai An the villain now? I don’t understand the need for the dramatic music at the end. The drama is clearly trying to create a false sense of dramatic suspense where there isn’t really much drama to be had. (Gotta keep the viewers coming back somehow!) Huai An can be very no-nonsense and blunt, but she’s very much Team Ye Bai (and even Team Zi Jian) and I don’t think she’s even anti-You Yan anymore because if Ye Bai’s happy, she’s happy.

This show does light, happy, and awkward pretty well. It also does familial conflict pretty well. But it fails in trying to create dramatic tension in situations that really don’t need to be dramatic at all, such as the first scene in which Zi Jian and Ye Bai face each other. There’s so much dramatic background music, but if you actually listen to the words they’re saying, it’s not really all that dramatic. It’s these kinds of scenes that just make laugh.

If there’s one thing that the show is succeeding at, it’s making Zi Jian into a very sympathetic figure. At first, it’s easy to dislike him as the perfect guy who has everything but wants more. He’s Ye Bai’s foil and his rival. But as we get to see more into his family life, it becomes really clear why Zi Jian is the way he is. He’s very much your classic privileged, misunderstood rich boy, but you can’t help but hope that something works out for him, whether it be in the girl territory or in the finally freeing himself from his sister’s influence territory.

Chi Pu continues to be a perfect, supportive older brother figure, and I loved seeing him try to be a buffer for Ye Bai and You Yan against her father. I think he’s the real heartthrob of this show. And that bro moment between him and Ye Bai? Great.

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