Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: The Journey from Tonight is White (Ep. 22)

The first round of evaluations for the interns’ projects approaches, but not without some mishaps. Ye Bai is finally forced to make a decision about what he wants to do, and Xiao Cong is also forced to decide who she wants to be — does she want to be jerked around by Zhe Jing more, or be her own person? Meanwhile, Zi Yan and Shan Shan continue their ambiguous not-quite-platonic, but not-quite-romantic relationship, and You Yan has figures out what her heart really wants.

Recap

You Yan takes a break from work and chats with Zi Jian. They make some small talk about the snacks he got her and how he knew what she liked because he’d seen her buy some at the supermarket before. (Seems slightly creepy, but also major product placement.) Then he gets to the point and tells You Yan that Xiao Cong asked for his help earlier that afternoon. He agreed because he thought she was working with You Yan, but if You Yan doesn’t want him to help the opposition, he’ll back out. You Yan tells him not to worry. She believes in her own team’s ability.

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Zi Jian wonders why he wasn’t able to do anything right at the company. You Yan tells him it’s because art is his dominion. She understands how much art can become a part of someone’s life, and starts thinking of Ye Bai.

While she talks about an artist’s life, we flash to images of Ye Bai in the present, working on his canvas from the last episode. The figure in the painting looks a lot like You Yan, except she lacks a face. Ye Bai gently touches the faceless painted face, a tender look on his own face.

Zi Jian starts talking about how he never felt that keenly about art until he left the office and picked up his paintbrush again, but it looks like You Yan is still lost in thought over Ye Bai and not paying attention. She starts listening when he says that he never thought You Yan would have such a deep understanding of an artist’s perspective, but that it seems like her words were meant for someone else.

She smiles a little awkwardly and says that there’s no one else around, and he drops the subject. He pulls out a ticket for an entrepreneurship event and invites her to it. She starts to protest, but he guilts her into accepting, saying that he’ll meet her there tomorrow afternoon.

Shan Shan and Zi Yan are still hard at work late at night, when she starts feeling ill. Zi Yan immediately rushes to get her some medicine and acts as a doting caretaker, fetching her a blanket and massaging a pressure point in her hand to make her feel better. They smile at each other, but the moment is broken by a phone call for Shan Shan from their printer saying that their prints will be ready the next day.

Ye Bai continues to work on his painting outside. It’s looking more complete now, but You Yan is still missing eyes. Mr. Mu Mian comes by to feel how Ye Bai is doing and comments on the lack of eyes. He mentions how Ye Bai said that he would only paint what’s most important to him from now on. This girl must be important to him.

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Ye Bai responds that she is, but that she no longer has anything to do with him, while You Yan’s voice says the same thing.

You Yan sits in Huai An’s office, looking sad, while Huai An asks if she is really giving up on Ye Bai. You Yan says that she just wants to give him peace. Does this mean that You Yan doesn’t plan on asking him to come back? Huai An asks. She never thought she’d get this kind of response from You Yan. You Yan responds that when she heard from her that Ye Bai was doing well, she interpreted that to mean Ye Bai had found some happiness and peace in his new situation. She doesn’t want to take that away from him.

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Zi Jian waits nervously for You Yan in front of the entrepreneurship event venue, a giant bouquet of red roses in hand. His face falls when he sees You Yan approaching with Zi Yan and Shan Shan in hand, so he immediately ditches the roses and greets them. He nods awkwardly when You Yan says that she brought Shan Shan and Zi Yan along because it was also relevant to them.

Shan Shan and You Yan head up first, while Zi Yan pulls Zi Jian back to talk. He warns Zi Jian that Ye Bai might not be here, but he is. Next time, he shouldn’t ask someone’s girlfriend out on a date. “Girlfriend? I thought she was his ex-girlfriend,” Zi Jian responds. “An ex-girlfriend is still a girlfriend,” Zi Yan replies before heading off to catch up with the girls.

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Zi Yan hands Shan Shan some medicine, which she appreciatively receives while You Yan teases them with a smile. Shan Shan smiles in response but her face falls when she catches sight of Zhe Jing’s team approaching.

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Zhe Jing makes a pointed comment about how wherever You Yan goes, Zi Jian follows, which makes Xiao Cong look down. Shan Shan exchanges a few heated words with Zhe Jing, but then gets a phone call from their printer. The prints are ready. You Yan wants to go with Shan Shan and Zi Yan, but he tells her to stay and see the exhibition.

She and Zi Jian head into the exhibition while Zhe Jing and Xiao Cong watch them go with unhappy expressions. Zhe Jing frowns at how Ye Bai hasn’t even been gone for long yet You Yan already has Zi Jian on a leash. She grabs Xiao Cong’s wrist and drags her off to follow them.

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Zi Jian asks You Yan where she wants to eat for lunch, but it’s really just so that he can suggest a place.

Ye Bai stands outside staring at his canvas, which is missing only You Yan’s eyes. Mrs. Mu Mian comes by and asks why he still hasn’t painted her eyes. “Maybe I just won’t paint them,” he responds, and they both look at Mr. Mu Mian. “I’m sorry,” he says. Who is he saying sorry to? Mr. Mu Mian asks. Ye Bai apologizes for not being able to paint well despite all of Mr. Mu Mian’s instruction.

Mr. Mu Mian tells him that picking up a paintbrush is easy, but painting one’s heart is hard. At this rate, it looks like he won’t even be able to paint his own heart. Ye Bai asks him what he should do. Mu Mian responds that he can teach him how to paint, but he can’t teach his heart. That’s something he’ll have to figure out on his own.

You Yan and Zi Jian go eat lunch, where the staff greet You Yan by name. She’s surprised they know her name, and they explain that Zi Jian reserved the whole restaurant. You Yan looks around, finally noticing that the rest of the restaurant is empty.

Zhe Jing and Xiao Cong hide out by a window, where Zhe Jing eagerly whips out her phone to snap pictures while Xiao Cong looks dismayed at what she’s seeing.

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Zi Jian has a waiter bring him a jewelry box and presents You Yan with a necklace. She immediately rejects it and launches into a speech, saying she’s sorry if she did anything to lead him on because she’s only ever seen him as a good friend.

They stand up, which makes Zhe Jing hurriedly drag Xiao Cong away and out of sight. She seems pretty satisfied to have gotten proof of You Yan’s disloyalty to Ye Bai. Xiao Cong doesn’t saying anything, but glances back at the restaurant with tears in her eyes.

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Zi Jian tells her that his feelings for her are real. He knows that she still likes Ye Bai, but it’s not enough to stop his feelings for her, and he’s willing to wait for her. You Yan tells him that he should stop waiting for her. There will only ever be room for Ye Bai in her heart and no one else. She apologizes, then leaves, while he sits alone, depressed, in the empty restaurant.

Zi Yan and Shan Shan are at the printer’s, flipping through a prototype book that he printed for them, when they notice that one of the pages was misprinted. They ask the printer to rush print another copy for the next morning. He thinks that it’s not enough time, but they beg him.

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They call You Yan to report the bad news, saying that they’ll wait all night at the printer’s and deliver the book first thing tomorrow morning. You Yan wants to go wait with them, but they tell her that they can’t have her staying up all night. Someone needs to be awake and ready to present tomorrow.

At the printer’s Zi Yan tells Shan Shan that she should go get some sleep. He can wait by himself. But she refuses to ditch him and they grin at each other before looking away shyly.

That night, Zi Yan and Shan Shan sleep uncomfortably in the printer’s office, with Shan Shan cutely leaning into Zi Yan. Meanwhile, You Yan practices her speech.

The next morning, You Yan paces worriedly outside the conference room, waiting for Shan Shan and Zi Yan to arrive, but they’re stuck in traffic. Zhe Jing and her team show up, and Zhe Jing makes a snide comment about how You Yan must be such a great team leader — none of her team members are on time. You Yan just gives her a hard stare.

Wei Jia and the rest of her team arrive and Zi Yan and Shan Shan are nowhere in sight. You Yan is forced to tell Wei Jia that her team hasn’t arrived yet. Wei Jia just sighs and has Zhe Jing’s team present first. Zhe Jing gets up eagerly with a pointed remark that her team is completely ready for the judges’ evaluation.

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Zi Yan and Shan Shan decide to run to the office instead of sitting in traffic. Shan Shan twists her ankle while running in her impractically high platform shoes, and Zi Yan worries over her, but she shakes it off and they keep running.

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Zhe Jing’s team finishes presenting. Wei Jia says that she likes the idea behind their proposal, which makes everyone smile.

You Yan has to present next, but Zi Yan and Shan Shan are still late. She gets up nervously and tries to stall, speaking slowly while keeping an eye on the door. Ever the troublemaker, Zhe Jing interrupts her to ask where the rest of her team is, saying that even President Wei could make time out of her busy schedule to be there. Xiao Cong looks uncomfortable to be sitting next Zhe Jing.

You Yan is saved from having to answer by the arrival of Zi Yan and Shan Shan. She smiles to see them, and Zi Jian helps her out by whispering to Wei Jia that he saw Zi Yan and Shan Shan earlier when he got to the office. Zhe Jing looks unhappy to be thwarted.

Now that everyone and everything is present, You Yan starts her presentation again with confidence. Zhe Jing pouts while Xiao Cong smiles for her friends’ success.

After they’re done, the judges confer and Wei Jia announces the scores. Zhe Jing’s team got a 7 while You Yan’s team got a 9. Zhe Jing’s not having any of this and gets up to accuse the score of being unfair because of Zi Jian. She claims that Zi Jian is biased toward You Yan because they have a relationship and shows everyone the photo she took of them at the restaurant. Wei Jia looks annoyed.

You Yan gets up to clarify the situation, admitting that she got lunch with Zi Jian, but emphasizing that they’re just friends. She looks at Wei Jia as she says this. You Yan adds that she’s sure everyone present is professional enough to be unbiased when judging their work.

Not to be dissuaded, Zhe Jing adds that Zi Jian reserved the whole restaurant. Xiao Cong breathes heavily and clenches her fist, then stands up, seemingly fed up with Zhe Jing’s antics. She reminds Zhe Jing that Zi Jian was the one who helped them with their project. In that case, wouldn’t there be bias toward them as well? Looking angry, Zhe Jing asks Xiao Cong what side she’s on. Xiao Cong responds that she isn’t on anyone’s side, but that she doesn’t want to be on Zhe Jing’s team anymore. She’s had enough of her.

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Always petty, Zhe Jing brings up the subject of You Yan’s deleted computer file. Has Xiao Cong forgotten who did that?

Wei Jia speaks up, saying, “Enough!” and telling everyone to sit down. But the damage has been done. Xiao Cong looks nervously at You Yan, who stares back at her with wide eyes.

Zi Jian gets up and says that Zhe Jing’s paparazzi skills are pretty good, but that her evidence is wasted here. In the interests of maintaining fairness, the judges are free to recalculate the scores without his included.

Zhe Jing continues to pout while You Yan worriedly glances back at Xiao Cong, who cries silently in her seat.

The judges give Wei Jia the new scores. She announces them: nothing has changed. Zhe Jing gets up and exclaims that it’s impossible. Wei Jia ignores her and stands up, announcing that the meeting is over. If anyone has a problem with the results, they’re free to come find her in her office. She leaves abruptly with Zhe Jing trailing her.

Once they’re gone, You Yan approaches Xiao Cong. She doesn’t say anything, but Xiao Cong admits that Zhe Jing was telling the truth. You Yan still doesn’t say anything, but Shan Shan aggressively asks why she would do such a thing. Xiao Cong doesn’t explain, just apologizes and says she’ll quit.

You Yan prevents her from leaving, tears forming in her own eyes as she tells Xiao Cong that she knows that action isn’t the real her. She wouldn’t abandon their long friendship just because of something like that. The Xiao Cong who stood up to support her against Zhe Jing is her real friend. She grips Xiao Cong’s wrists and asks her to stay. Xiao Cong thanks her.

Wei Jia sits with Zi Jian and complains angrily about Zhe Jing’s action. She never thought that she’d end up harming herself by throwing Zhe Jing in there. Zi Jian tells her to not be angry and asks her why she even let Zhe Jing participate in the first place.

His sister doesn’t respond and instead asks him what happened with the photo. How could he be so sloppy as to let her have that kind of evidence in hand? Zi Jian tells her that he confessed to You Yan the other day, but doesn’t have an answer when she asks if he succeeded. Wei Jia looks away in exasperation.

Ye Bai still hasn’t drawn the eyes into his painting of You Yan and stares at it morosely. Mr. Mu Mian pops into the window and asks if he’s still trying to figure out what to do. Mu Mian says that he’s taught Ye Bai all he can teach and Ye Bai has learned all he can learn from him. Isn’t it time he leave? Ye Bai asks if he’s chasing him away. Mu Mian sighs and says that as a teacher, he can only do this much. The rest of Ye Bai’s path is up to him.

Mu Mian walks off, leaving Ye Bai to ponder his words. But his thoughts are broken by a phone call. It’s Zi Yan, and perhaps because of Mu Mian’s words, Ye Bai decides to pick up. Zi Yan reports that You Yan and Zi Jian are together now. Ye Bai doesn’t respond.

You Yan sits in Ye Bai’s apartment and writes him a letter updating him on her life, including Zi Jian’s confession to her. But she also writes that she’s realized he’s the only one in her heart. Once she’s done, she waters his plants and locks up.

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Ye Bai is back. Suitcase in hand and old hairstyle in place, he strides through his apartment complex and heads for his building lobby. You Yan steps into an elevator going down just as his elevator heads up. Ye Bai goes into his apartment and notices that the leaves on his plant are still wet. He notices an open notebook on his coffee table and reads You Yan’s note. Realizing that she was just there, he rushes out.

Next thing we know, Ye Bai and You Yan are walking side by side. You Yan says that she thought he wasn’t coming back. They make small talk, each asking the other how they’ve been doing. There’s an awkwardness between them. You Yan tries to explain away why she was at Ye Bai’s apartment, then tries to return his keys, saying that they’re still friends, right?

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Ye Bai pulls her into a hug, saying that as long as he can see her, then being friends is okay. She awkwardly pats him on the back and then pulls away, then invites him to go meet up with Zi Yan and Shan Shan to try to change the subject. She quickly puts his keys into his hand and then leaves.

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Thoughts

They didn’t even show us the actual reunion meeting between You Yan and Ye Bai! I’m disappointed. But I’m glad that he’s back because hopefully the show will return to its strength. This new uncertainty between You Yan and Ye Bai seems like it will be fun. The space was good for them, because they no longer have all the previous ugliness and negativity between them, but they still have to figure out what they are.

For all my complaints about how the whole slice-of-life side story thing hasn’t been working well for this show, I think that the one side story that has been working really well is the romance between Shan Shan and Zi Yan. We’ve basically seen hints of it since day one, and the romance has budded in a slow, but steady and realistic way. I wish Xiao Cong had a similar development.

You Yan really is an extremely perfect character. It didn’t bother me too much the first time I watched the episode. Most of her actions, such as her response to Xiao Cong’s betrayal, just seem like very rational, reasonable actions. But as I rewatched this episode for recapping, I started thinking more about how You Yan has the perfect, reasonable response for everything. It’s refreshing to see in a drama, but can also get tiring when a character is so perfect.

Zhe Jing has already overstayed her welcome in the plot of this show, but I’m glad that we’re finally seeing her get what she deserves, just a little bit. And best of all, it’s from someone ruthless like Wei Jia. I’m pretty okay with her when she’s directing all her ruthlessness toward people I don’t like. It seems like she values her family first, and ability second, and now that You Yan has shown she’s capable, I think we’ll hopefully get to see more of Wei Jia’s good side.

All in all, I’m hopeful that this show will start to swing in a more positive direction, because I feel like it’s been slipping lately.

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