Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: The Journey from Tonight is White (Ep. 18)

Zhe Jing can’t do much to hurt our main couple now, but the consequences of her actions still reverberate in their lives. Ye Bai makes some drastic decisions while You Yan distracts herself by working on Zi Jian’s exhibition and trying to move on with her life.

Recap

Zi Jian and Ye Bai have their one-on-one basketball showdown. They look pretty evenly matched. Afterward, Zi Jian compliments Ye Bai on his ball skills. Ye Bai asks him how his exhibition is coming along and wishes him luck.

Zi Jian asks Ye Bai if it’s true that he and You Yan have broken up. He admits that he likes You Yan — Ye Bai says he knows — and says that ever since Ye Bai won the international art award, he’s viewed him as his rival in art, life, and love. Zi Jian knows feelings can’t be forced, but he just wanted to openly let Ye Bai know that he would be competing with him for You Yan’s affections. Ye Bai says that feelings aren’t something that can be won through hard work (he would know after this whole Zhe Jing ordeal) but he’ll accept this challenge from Zi Jian. They shake hands.

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Shan Shan asks Xiao Cong why she hasn’t left for her part-time job yet. Xiao Cong says that she quit her job. She’s planning on applying to an internship at Wei Shi Corporation. Their internship program accepts students from all majors, and there’s an opportunity to get a full-time job after the internship. Shan Shan convinces You Yan to apply to the program with her.

You Yan meets with Ye Bai’s father at a coffee shop. He tells her that he heard the exhibition was successful, but also that there was a girl claiming to be Ye Bai’s fiancée. He starts to ask about You Yan and Ye Bai, but You Yan quickly interrupts and says that they’ve broken up. Mr. Gu starts to respond but suddenly breaks out into a coughing fit, and You Yan hurries to his side to see if he’s okay.

Zhe Jing has been spying on them, and quickly snaps some photos.

You Yan decides to go home to visit her father, who gives her a pile of books he bought for her to help her prepare for her post-graduate life. They’re prep books for different kinds of standardized tests. He says that he just wants to give her options. No matter which path she takes, he’ll support her choice.

She starts to tell him that he doesn’t need to worry about her because she already has a job and experience managing art exhibitions, but then realizes that it’s probably best not to mention that she’s working in the art world.  She switches to say that she’s not very worried about these things yet, because graduation is still months away. Her father says that it’s better to make a decision earlier. He repeats that as long as she doesn’t do anything with art, he’ll support her.

Huai An and Ye Bai meet up by the river. He mentions that his mood hasn’t been great lately. She responds that she knows, but his art sales have been great, and she hopes that he can ride his current wave of popularity and produce more works. Even though his sales have been good, the total so far is not enough to buy Chi Zheng’s painting.

Ye Bai says that he can’t paint anymore. After losing You Yan, he lost all ability to see color. Huai An offers to talk to You Yan, but he says that You Yan has already suffered enough. Him being by her side would just make her life more difficult. He’d rather silently watch and protect her from behind. Huai An asks him if he’s considered that You Yan might be thinking the same thing as him and is keeping her distance.

She admits that she is attracted to Ye Bai, and that she envies You Yan — or more accurately, she envies the feelings that they have for each other. She’s quick to point out that she’s different from Zhe Jing: Zhe Jing chose to act rashly, whereas she chose rationality.

Ye Bai is quick to say that Huai An is such an exceptional person that she’s sure to find someone who suits her one day. She responds saying that she doesn’t care about those things yet, and that she’d rather he wish her good fortune with her career.

Huai An then gives him her phone to show him a gossip article with pictures of You Yan and his father. She says that she caught Zhe Jing taking sneaky pictures of You Yan at the gallery, but never thought that she’d do something like this.

Ye Bai looks troubled and says that it looks like it’s time for him to leave. This isn’t the answer Huai An expected. She asks him where he plans to go, but he doesn’t know yet. All he knows is that his being around will bring more difficulties for You Yan, and he’d rather leave.

Long Li shows Zi Yan the gossip article and asks if You Yan and Ye Bai are filming a drama. Why is You Yan with Ye Bai’s father now? Zi Yan tells Long Li to stop spreading rumors. Shan Shan walks up behind them and also tells Long Li to stop gossiping, but he shows her the article as well. They quickly stop talking when they see You Yan approaching. Shan Shan rushes over to ask about You Yan and Ye Bai’s father, but she says that she’ll explain later, and leaves.

Ye Bai goes to find Zhe Jing again. She greets him with a hug, but he pushes her off. He demands to know if she was the source of the gossip article, but she pretends to not know what he’s talking about. He tells her to cut it out, saying that he’s fine if she hurts him, but not if she hurts You Yan. She continues to feign innocence, saying that she didn’t do it on purpose, and that she doesn’t understand why he’s blaming her. He tells her that he was nice to her before because of her grandfather, but from now on they are strangers to each other. Tomorrow he’ll be leaving, and after that anything that she does has nothing to do with him.

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Ye Bai finds You Yan by the river and says that he’s been looking for her for a long time. He grabs her wrist and drags her off somewhere.

That night, they have dinner together. Ye Bai says that he’s been wanting to cook for her for a long time, but this time might also be the last time. He downs his glass of wine in one gulp, and she does the same.

“Let’s break up,” Ye Bai says.

He tells her to take care of herself when she’s on her own, and he thanks her for being by his side. Her vision starts to blur, and she suddenly passes out on the table while he’s still talking. He gently tucks her into bed and then talks to her while she’s asleep, saying that every moment of his time with her has been happy, and that he’s leaving now to complete her wish and buy Chi Zheng’s painting for her.

“I love you,” he says, then kisses her forehead goodbye, grabs his bags, and leaves.

You Yan wakes up the next morning to find the apartment empty. She notices a covered canvas on the wall and removes the cover to find a sand and seashell version of Ye Bai’s award-winning painting of her, along with a note tucked into a corner of the frame. It’s a good-bye letter from Ye Bai.

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Huai An and Zi Jian meet up at the gallery, where Huai An gives him the plans that You Yan drew up for his exhibition. She thinks they should run it by his sister, but Zi Jian says that he knows his sister won’t approve of anything. He doesn’t want to give his sister an opportunity to make trouble for You Yan. Huai An tells Zi Jian that Gu Ye Bai might have left.

Zi Yan tries to contact Ye Bai, but is unable to. They’re supposed to be working on a presentation for their final project, but now he can’t even find his partner. He runs into Shan Shan, who is also worried because she can’t contact You Yan, who left last night and never returned. She tries calling You Yan again and finally makes contact, but is confused to hear that You Yan is with Zi Jian, and that she wants them to go meet her.

Shan Shan and Zi Yan are shocked to hear that Ye Bai has left. Shan Shan mutters that they’re making it too easy for Zhe Jing. Zi Jian asks if they should go looking for Ye Bai, but You Yan says that he wouldn’t have been spontaneous with his decision, and that if he left, he’s probably not planning on returning anytime soon. She says they should head to the gallery to prep for his exhibition.

Zi Yan eyes Zi Jian as they leave, clearly suspicious of his motives when it comes to You Yan. Shan Shan asks him how his final project presentation is coming along, and he starts freaking out. She offers to help him.

Zi Jian is pleased with You Yan’s work on the exhibition and asks if she wants to take a break — she looks pretty tired. But they’re interrupted by Zhe Jing, who demands to know where Ye Bai is and makes a snide remark about You Yan getting close with Zi Jian the moment Ye Bai is gone. You Yan says that she’d never tell Zhe Jing where he is. Zhe Jing tries to cause more trouble but Zi Jian steps in, telling her that no one knows where Ye Bai is and that she should go away.

Zhe Jing smiles smugly upon realizing that You Yan has also been abandoned, then tells them to carry on with what they were doing and leaves.

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Zhe Jing hasn’t left long before Wei Jia walks in. She demands to see the exhibition plans, and is immediately dissatisfied with it, saying there aren’t enough VIPs or media invited. She questions You Yan’s abilities. Zi Jian immediately leaps to You Yan’s defense, saying that he was the one who withheld the plans from his sister, and that they worked on the plans together.

Huai An walks in and greets Wei Jia. She says that Wei Jia should’ve gone directly to her if she had questions about the exhibition. She tells Zi Jian and You Yan that they’ll just make Wei Jia more unhappy if they linger around and says that they should leave. They leave and Huai An brings Wei Jia to her office.

Shan Shan helps Zi Yan memorize his presentation, but he struggles. She tries to threaten him into focusing more, asking if he wants to graduate, because if he fails this, he definitely won’t be able to. Then she quietly asks herself why she cares so much about him doing well.

His presentation goes successfully, and he celebrates with her by spinning her around.

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Wei Jia expresses her dissatisfaction to Huai An. She’s primarily annoyed that You Yan, someone who isn’t even in this line of work, would be allowed to be exhibition manager, and she feels that the exhibition isn’t as grand as Ye Bai’s. Huai An is quick to point out all the things that went wrong with Ye Bai’s exhibition — no thanks to Wei Jia. She then warns Wei Jia again about pushing Zi Jian too hard in a direction not suited to him, lest she ruin his career. She’s already seen Wei Jia ruin Ye Bai, and she doesn’t want to see her ruin Zi Jian as well.

Wei Jia warns Huai An not to threaten her. After all, she’s the one with monetary power around here. And even if Huai An wants to stay true to her values for the gallery, will her uncle feel the same way? But Huai An isn’t easily bullied, and warns Wei Jia that she’s not a dog who will respond at her beck and call, and even if she were a dog, a dog that feels threatened will bite.

The opening day of Zi Jian’s exhibition goes smoothly. Wei Jia is quick to use her connections to get people interested in collecting Zi Jian’s works, and tries to give him a confidence boost. You Yan watches as Zi Jian speaks to the event attendees, but the sight brings back memories of Ye Bai and his own exhibition and celebratory event. Huai An notices that You Yan looks distracted and excuses herself to make sure You Yan is okay.

Huai An thanks You Yan for all her hard work, saying that the exhibition wouldn’t be possible without her. You Yan asks if they can meet for dinner, saying she has a few questions for Huai An.

At dinner, Huai An comments that You Yan will soon become one of the gallery’s best employees. You Yan takes this opportunity to mention that she doesn’t think she’ll be able to work at the gallery anymore. Her father doesn’t approve, and working at the gallery and being immersed in the art world reminds her of Ye Bai too much. She’s afraid she’ll never be able to let him go if she continues working there. Huai An says that she understands. She wouldn’t want working at the gallery to be painful for You Yan. You Yan thanks her for understanding, then is distracted by a reflection of Ye Bai walking by.

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Thoughts

Despite all my issues with this show so far, I have to admit that the pacing is excellent. We cover so much ground each episode without sacrificing character development (or perhaps that’s why we get to see our characters develop?)

I don’t get Ye Bai’s dramatic and drastic decision to leave, but I’m kind of glad he’s out of the picture for now. I’m very confused by the scene of his final dinner with You Yan, and a little concerned, because it seems a lot like he drugged her. She downs her wine and then starts feeling dizzy and passes out. Either she’s a super lightweight or she was drugged, and if she were not drugged, I would expect Ye Bai to act a lot more concerned that she suddenly passed out at the dinner table while he was speaking to her. So that makes it seem like he expected her to pass out? So that he could sneak out while she was out? It’s not exactly clear, but that was a super sketchy situation.

I really liked that we got to see Huai An become an older sister figure for You Yan. She covered for her when Wei Jia came looking for trouble (and Wei Jia’s role in that scene was very similar to Huai An’s in their initial encounter) and then was so understanding during their conversation at the end of the episode. I’m glad that she has this redeeming arc, because I wanted to like her from the start.

I’m kind of hoping that this drama time jumps forward a few years and then reunites Ye Bai and You Yan so we can see how much they’ve changed (those are always so fun!) but they haven’t finished college yet, so I don’t think that will happen just yet. Plus, You Yan thought she saw Ye Bai at the end of this episode, so if that was a real appearance and not just her wishful thinking, Ye Bai will make his reappearance a lot sooner than I want.

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