Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: The Journey from Tonight is White (Ep. 23)

This episode is one of transitions and facing the future. You Yan and her friends prepare for the final evaluation of their internship project which will determine their future careers. At the same time, she has to deal with Ye Bai being back and the not-quite-dating, yet not-quite-friends relationship between them.

Recap

You Yan and her team stay up late working on their project again. This time, they’re in Ye Bai’s apartment and he’s there with them, contributing ideas. He suggests that for their social media account, they should do what they want and not worry too much about how to appease everyone. Everyone else agrees.

Ye Bai smiles as he watches You Yan hard at work, and You Yan sneaks glances at him when he’s not looking.

Zhe Jing’s team is now down to just Long Li. Xiao Cong is still technically part of the team, but Zhe Jing has given Xiao Cong some unnamed task to do, so she’s out of the picture. Zhe Jing seems unconcerned with the actual content of their social media, saying that what matters is popularity and she’s sure that they’ll win.

Screenshot 2017-12-28 12.43.46.png

Back at You Yan’s camp, it’s 3 AM. Everyone’s almost falling asleep over their work. Shan Shan complains about how hungry she is. It’d be great to have some late night snacks. As if on cue, the doorbell rings. It’s Xiao Cong, bearing snacks. (Is she here to spy? Is that the task Zhe Jing assigned?)

Screenshot 2017-12-28 12.48.10.png

Zi Yan half-jokingly asks if she’s here to spy, which immediately makes Xiao Cong’s face fall. Is that a nervous look? Or is she just thinking of her earlier betrayal of You Yan? Xiao Cong says that she knows she can’t make things up to You Yan, so she’ll just drop her bags off and leave. But You Yan says that the past is the past and invites her to stay.

The next day, Ye Bai takes a stroll with Professor Xia on campus. He apologizes for disappearing during the semester and causing trouble, but explains that he was learning from a blind artist. He shows Professor Xia one of his recent paintings, which Professor Xia views with approval. But, Professor Xia says, technically he can’t just let slide Ye Bai’s absence during his final project presentation. Still, given Ye Bai’s special circumstances, he’ll let him pass.

Ye Bai thanks him. Professor Xia says he hopes that Ye Bai will take a lot of pictures with his classmates during graduation. One of his biggest regrets during graduation was not taking a photo with his now-wife.

Screenshot 2017-12-28 13.00.19.png

You Yan gets a phone call from the hospital. Alarmed, she rushes off.

Screenshot 2017-12-28 13.02.06.png

Turns out it’s Chi Pu who is in the hospital. He scans a paper in his hand. The numbers don’t look very good and it looks like he also has a heart condition similar to You Yan. (Family illness?) He hides the paper when You Yan comes back from getting medicine for him.

Chi Pu tells You Yan that he’s just here for a routine checkup, but she’s suspicious that he would forget his wallet when going to the hospital. You Yan tells him that if anything’s wrong, he’s not allowed to hide it from her. Chi Pu sighs and looks serious for a moment, saying that there is something else: he forgot his insurance card.

Chi Pu asks You Yan about her internship at Wei Shi and if there’s any news about Ye Bai. You Yan tells him that Ye Bai has returned, but looks conflicted. Chi Pu cryptically tells her that if she doesn’t hold onto the things that are important to her, they’ll disappear. She asks him why he’s telling her this, and he says that he once made a wrong decision and doesn’t want her to make the same mistake.

The day of the internship project’s final evaluation dawns. The judges will compare the popularity of the two projects and from that determine which team stays and which team goes.

Zhe Jing goes first and shows that her social media account has already reached over 50,000 hits. She snidely comments that from her knowledge, the opposing team hasn’t even broken 10,000 yet. You Yan smiles in response and says that they’ve broken 100,000. Zhe Jing smugly says that it’s not possible — she’s seen a screenshot of their numbers. Their click rate is only in the thousands. The camera cuts to Xiao Cong, who watches out of the corner of her eye. Wei Jia also watches with some interest.

You Yan smiles and pulls up the stats page for her team’s account, which indeed has over 100,000 hits. She explains that at first, they didn’t get that many views, but that it quickly gained momentum and went viral, easily breaking 100,000. Zhe Jing looks furious while Wei Jia nods in approval.

Screenshot 2017-12-28 13.37.51

Xiao Cong speaks up and tells Zhe Jing that the numbers she gave her were from the first day. She did that in order to prevent Zhe Jing from doing anything else to sabotage her friends. Zhe Jing starts to yell at Xiao Cong but You Yan interrupts, saying that they won fairly. Even though Zhe Jing’s team got a lot of views, that don’t have very many fans/followers, whereas You Yan’s team has far more. Moreover, Zhe Jing spent a lot of money trying to make her account more popular.

Zhe Jing insists that You Yan must have somehow cheated. You Yan just rolls her eyes while Zhe Jing complains to President Wei that the competition was unfair. But Wei Jia isn’t on her side. She says that the numbers are clear. Zhe Jing’s team simply wasn’t as good as You Yan’s, and tells her to stop whining. The company’s judging standards are simple and objective. She says they should stop wasting time and officially announces that You Yan’s team has won while Zhe Jing’s team has lost.

Xiao Cong smiles even though her tears start to fall. Wei Jia ends the meeting. Zhe Jing stands up with a glare at Xiao Cong, as if its all her fault, and stomps off. Xiao Cong gets up to leave but You Yan bars her way, saying that they can try to talk to HR and get her to stay. But Xiao Cong says that she’s very aware of the rules. She got eliminated this time because she was lacking in ability. She asks them to give her some space and leaves while You Yan looks sadly after her.

Screenshot 2017-12-28 13.55.30.png

Zhe Jing bursts angrily into Wei Jia’s office, demanding to know how she could lose to You Yan. Wei Jia sits back and smiles, saying that the company looks for talented and capable individuals. Zhe Jing tries to blackmail her, saying that she’ll reveal all the things that she’s done. Wei Jia smiles some more and asks, “What things?” Wei Jia feigns innocence, saying that she doesn’t remember instructing Zhe Jing to do anything. But if Ye Bai were to find out that Zhe Jing was responsible, wouldn’t he hate her? Zhe Jing says that she has evidence of Wei Jia calling her, but Wei Jia is bulletproof. As an intern at Wei Shi, it’s natural that Wei Jia would call her.

Wei Jia says that her head hurts now from all the noise Zhe Jing has been making. She tells her to get out now or she’ll call security. Zhe Jing angrily says that she’ll tell everyone about Wei Jia and then storms out. Wei Jia doesn’t seem concerned.

Screenshot 2017-12-28 14.03.47.png

Xiao Cong talks a walk by herself in the park, trying to absorb all that’s happened. She gets a call from her mom, who just sounds so motherly and concerned for Xiao Cong’s well-being. Xiao Cong has to excuse herself for a moment as she starts sobbing, and tries to cover the speaker on her phone. She picks the phone back up and tries to make her voice even, but can’t help herself and starts crying more when her mom tells her to be careful, take care of herself, and not work herself too hard. She covers the speaker again to muffle the sounds of her tears, then quickly says that she’s still busy and has to hang up.

Screenshot 2017-12-28 14.19.33.png

Zhe Jing waits for Ye Bai outside his apartment building. He immediately turns around when he sees her, but then turns back around and tries to walk past her. But she calls his name and asks why he didn’t tell her he was back. He says that he should’ve made himself very clear last time. He doesn’t want to see her again.

Zhe Jing says that she knows he’s angry because of she took that photo of You Yan and his dad, but blames it on Wei Jia, saying that she was the one who told her to do it. Ye Bai says, “Enough!” He’s already broken up with You Yan, so Zhe Jing should stop bothering her. “Then why are you still ignoring me?” she asks. (Wow, that girl really does not get the point.)

“Because I don’t like you. Not now, not ever,” Ye Bai responds, then sighs before walking away. Zhe Jing watches him go, then asks herself why everyone doesn’t like her and wants to oppose her.

Screenshot 2017-12-28 14.22.41

Wei Jia is frustrated with one of her workers (secretary? let’s go with secretary) for failing to find her a suitable assistant after days of interviewing. He mentions that there’s someone in the new hire class who fits her requirements pretty well: Lu You Yan. Wei Jia wonders aloud why You Yan seems to be everywhere. Her secretary says that if she doesn’t like You Yan, he’ll find someone else.

Wei Jia responds that she doesn’t dislike You Yan, but feels that You Yan would be underutilized in an assistant role. Her secretary then thinks of someone else, but this person was eliminated in the most recent internship round: Xiao Cong. Wei Jia agrees to give her a try.

Screenshot 2017-12-28 14.24.45.png

Xiao Cong is sitting sadly in her dorm room when she gets a call from Wei Shi about the opportunity, asking her to report to the office immediately.

Wei Jia’s secretary brings Xiao Cong to Wei Jia’s office, reporting that she completed the translation portion of the interview very well. Wei Jia remembers Xiao Cong as the member of Zhe Jing’s team who deleted You Yan’s document. Nervous, Xiao Cong immediately responds that she knows she was wrong. Wei Jia merely says that an assistant must interact with a lot of different people and that kind of underhandedness would be unacceptable. She sends Xiao Cong out of the room.

Screenshot 2017-12-30 18.11.46.png

Her secretary interprets this as Wei Jia rejecting Xiao Cong and apologizes for suggesting her. But Wei Jia has no better options and says that Xiao Cong will do for now. It can be good that she’s such a simple person. She tells her secretary to keep Xiao Cong’s salary low for now. They can raise it slowly in order to keep her loyal.

Xiao Cong happily returns to her dorm room and reports to Shan Shan and You Yan that she’s been hired by Wei Shi. Shan Shan and Xiao Cong celebrate their future corporate success, but You Yan stays quiet. She asks Shan Shan how she’d react if she became a “traitor” (quit working at Wei Shi.) Shan Shan says that would never happen and You Yan nods meekly while looking uncomfortable. Seems like she’s having second thoughts about working at Wei Shi.

Screenshot 2017-12-30 18.27.43

Zi Jian waits for You Yan outside her building, hiding something behind his back. They make small talk about You Yan working at Wei Shi, and Zi Jian makes sure that they’re still friends. You Yan nods and invites him to hang out with her, Shan Shan, Zi Yan, and Ye Bai. At this, Zi Jian’s face falls a bit and he says that he’ll pass. He watches her walk away without revealing whatever he was hiding and wonders how he can win against Ye Bai.

Screenshot 2017-12-30 18.29.34.png

Ye Bai and You Yan sit in awkward silence as they wait for Shan Shan and Zi Yan to show up, but it looks like the best friends have conspired to set the two up. They decide to order a lot of food and take pictures to make the other two jealous. While looking at the menu, their hands accidentally touch. Ye Bai awkwardly apologizes and You Yan awkwardly says that it’s okay while wondering how they’ve become like this. Ye Bai looks solemnly at You Yan while thinking to himself that he can’t be just friends with her.

Screenshot 2017-12-30 18.39.46.png

Zi Yan sits by himself at an outdoor table and practices some poses that he seems to want to try on Shan Shan. Shan Shan shows up and he stands to let her sit first. She reports that she’s successfully set You Yan and Ye Bai up for a dinner date and that she’s even asked the waiters to bring them their dishes slowly.

Shan Shan asks Zi Yan why he doesn’t have any food for them. He tells her he has good and bad news. The bad news is that he got to the cafeteria late and there was no food left. But the good news is that he got the last chicken wings and drumsticks. He’ll give them to her under one condition. He raises his eyebrows at her and smiles. They start bickering again, but Zi Yan stops her.

With a serious look on his face, he holds out the container of food and gets down on one knee, asking Shan Shan to be his girlfriend. She peers in the container — there is only one drumstick and one chicken wing — and pretends to not understand. His proposal speech is pretty terrible: he lists all her faults and says that he’ll help society by taking her in as his own.

The speech makes Shan Shan smile, but she strings him along, saying that if he doesn’t have a house or car he has nothing to offer. She tells him to close his eyes, then grabs the wing and drumstick and runs off, leaving him kneeling there with eyes closed. He opens them to find her gone.

Screenshot 2017-12-30 19.03.35

You Yan looks dejected and picks at her food at dinner. Ye Bai asks what’s wrong and she tells him that she’s thinking about work. She only interviewed at Wei Shi because she wanted to beat Zhe Jing. She feels bad that everyone else tried so hard to get into Wei Shi because they wanted to work there so badly, yet she just got in so nonchalantly. She’s afraid of telling her friends because Shan Shan is so happy about the three of them being together, and she doesn’t want to ruin that. She asks Ye Bai for advice.

Ye Bai says that if she doesn’t like what she’s doing, then it’s better to quit earlier. True friendships won’t be dictated by distance. He also says that he trusts her to make the best decision.

Screenshot 2017-12-30 19.05.05

You Yan visits her dad with a gift for him, and also mentions that she’s there to pick up a suitcase. He mentions he heard from Chi Pu that she was hired by Wei Shi and asks why she didn’t tell him. You Yan admits that she thinks she isn’t suited for that type of work and that she doesn’t like Wei Shi’s business philosophy.

Her father asks her what she is interested in doing and she doesn’t respond, looking away. Mr. Lu immediately guesses that she wants to do something related to art and warns her not to. He’ll feel much more at ease if she works a steady job at Wei Shi.

Screenshot 2017-12-30 19.13.48

Zi Jian paints in his studio at home when Wei Jia enters bearing a gift of a new car. He doesn’t want her gift and wants to be independent, but she doesn’t take no for an answer. She doesn’t want him to have to worry about anything so he can just focus on painting. She leaves, but her visit puts Zi Jian in a bad mood.

Ye Bai visits Yi Xin Gallery to show Huai An one of his blind paintings. Zi Jian also drops by to meet with Huai An, but sees Ye Bai in her office and pauses outside to eavesdrop.

Screenshot 2017-12-30 19.19.07.png

Huai An compliments Ye Bai’s painting, saying he’s reached a new level. She tells Ye Bai again that he’s sure to become a master artist and the leading artist of his generation, while Zi Jian sighs in frustration outside and walks away. Ye Bai responds that all he wants is to be like Mu Mian and be able to peacefully paint.

Huai An asks Ye Bai why he came to see her. She knows he wouldn’t come just to show her a painting. He asks her about the Chi Zheng painting.

Huai An guesses that Ye Bai wants the Chi Zheng painting in order to gift it to You Yan. He’s surprised she knows, but she remembers him mentioning it earlier. Ye Bai is worried that she won’t like the gift because they’ve broken up, but Huai An is quick to play matchmaker and reassure him that she’ll like it. She tells him that he is the person You Yan cares about the most and that their problem is they each think too much about the other. Now that he’s back, he should stop pushing You Yan away and tell her how he really feels.

Screenshot 2017-12-30 19.25.54.png

Ye Bai tells Huai An that she’s a good person, probably thinking about how the other person who liked him was so terrible. Huai An simply smiles and responds that if he really thinks she’s a good person, then he should sign the contract with her. Ye Bai is saved from having to answer when a gallery worker reports that his painting has been wrapped. He takes his leave. (So she gave him the painting after all?!)

Huai An sighs to herself. She never thought she’d receive a “good person card” (getting friend-zoned/called the “nice guy”).

Screenshot 2017-12-30 19.29.51.png

You Yan, Shan Shan, and Xiao Cong report to their first day of work. They wait in the hallway together, happy to be there, when Zi Yan shows up. Shan Shan immediately tries to hide behind Zi Yan, who senses that he’s unwelcome and stands off to the side by himself.

The three friends and Zi Yan sit through their new hire orientation, where they receive their handbooks and are told that the company has a “no dating” policy. Zi Yan and Shan Shan exchange a troubled glance at this news, which You Yan notices.

Zi Yan asks the HR manager what dating has to do with work. She explains that the company has had couples in the past, but that when they broke up they took their personal issues to work with them. She says that if anyone has an existing dating conflict, they’ll have to choose between their job or their relationship. Shan Shan glares at Zi Yan from behind her handbook.

You Yan is the first one chosen to speak with the HR manager, but she stands up and says that she wants to resign.

Shan Shan unhappily confronts You Yan while Xiao Cong watches with concern. But Shan Shan is more angry that You Yan was unhappy and didn’t tell them than she is that You Yan is leaving them. She hates it when friends lie to each other, and she’s also a little upset with herself that she didn’t notice You Yan was unhappy. Crying, she asks You Yan to promise that she won’t hide anything else from them. You Yan agrees and tries to wipe Shan Shan’s tears away.

The three friends embrace and promise to never leave each other.

Ye Bai is shooting some hoops by himself when Zi Jian shows up. It seems like he’s invited Zi Jian out to play with him. Zi Jian takes the ball and they get ready to face off, but he suddenly tosses it at Ye Bai and says he’s not in the mood to play. They take a walk instead.

Zi Jian tells Ye Bai that You Yan ended up not accepting the Wei Shi job offer, then comments that Ye Bai doesn’t seem surprised. Ye Bai explains that he knew about her discontentment and trusted that she would make the best decision. Zi Jian says that he must really understand You Yan.

Ye Bai tells Zi Jian that he heard he confessed to You Yan. Zi Jian responds that he confessed twice, but was rejected each time. He says that he once challenged Ye Bai in both their work and love lives, but has now realized he’s lost in both regards. There is no space for him in You Yan’s heart, and Ye Bai is the also the only artist in Huai An’s eyes.

Ye Bai responds that he won’t give an inch when it comes to You Yan, but that Zi Jian’s paintings aren’t as bad as he thinks they are and that his ball skills are also pretty good. He tells Zi Jian to stop pigeonholing himself and start viewing himself from a new perspective. Ye Bai walks off, leaving Zi Jian to ponder his words.

Screenshot 2017-12-30 19.50.47.png

Thoughts

Wei Jia’s takedown of Zhe Jing is what I have been waiting for. That woman is brutal, but it’s so satisfying to see that ruthlessness being used in a way that helps our protagonist. I don’t even feel that bad for Zhe Jing, because it’s time she got a taste of her own medicine. Also I died of irony (in a good way) when Wei Jia’s secretary proposed You Yan as a candidate to be her assistant and Wei Jia responded by saying that You Yan would be underutilized in such a role. It’s just such a reversal of Wei Jia’s previous view of You Yan, but also so nice to see.

I’m really glad that Xiao Cong finally got her own solo scene. The phone call with her mom is a really humanizing moment for her, where she finally seems like a person and not a plot device. Also, I just find that moment so relatable, trying to sound okay on the phone when in reality, you’re just sobbing your heart out.

For all that You Yan is a perfect, Mary Sue-type character, she is also very much a real person with doubts and fears. I really like the moments in which we get to see her insecurities, such as in her dinner scene with Ye Bai, where she asks him what to do about her Wei Shi job and all its attachments to her friends. Moments like these save her character from being that perfect girl who makes all the right decisions, because we get to see that she isn’t perfect all the time.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s