Drama Recaps, Taiwanese Dramas

Recap: The Perfect Match (Ep. 5)

Chairman Wang tastes Qing’s fried chicken dish paired with his wine and waves his hands with agitation… and excitement! He’s blown away by how the chicken and wine complement him in a way he could have never imagined himself and declares it a “perfect match” (the title of the show). He drags Qing away to pick her brain about what other types of food would go well with his wine. Ting En goes off to find them, leaving Tian Zhi and Yu Qing to enjoy themselves.

We finally get a better sense of the Tian Zhi-Yu Qing relationship dynamic. Tian Zhi is perfectly content to let Ting En be in charge of the company and restaurant so that he can take it easy, but Yu Qing tries to spark ambition into him. She doesn’t want to take down Ting En — she actually admires his ability and eye for people — but she reminds Tian Zhi that he is the only real member of the Huo family and he can’t expect Ting En to work for his family company forever.

Ting En and Qing end up chatting outside, and Ting En starts to realize that Qing is less like his sister than he thought (at least the flashback comparisons have stopped) and more like himself. As the eldest child, she takes personal responsibility for her family’s well-being and thinks that becoming a successful chef/restauranteur will mean a better life for them all. But Ting En is quick to point out that becoming a restauranteur also means that she will have less actual time for her family, because she’ll have more responsibilities overall with a company and employees to think about.

They pivot to bantering about whether Qing will go back to La Mure or not. She’s quick to put the blame on him — after all, she never said she wasn’t going back and he was the one who was making her choose. She jokes that she can’t let him cheat her a day out of their 7 day contract. He gets strangely sincere, saying that he’ll make sure she gets the best education and a full 7 days.

They return to the party, where people have gotten progressively more drunk. Xiao Bin has found his “true love”, an older woman who isn’t conventionally attractive. Ru Xi has finally shown up, and Ting En saves her from being harassed by some older men. She flirts with Ting En, and he’s gracious toward her, but even she can tell that his attention is elsewhere, and he excuses himself to dance with Qing.

Then we get to some truly bizarre series of events involving dancing. Perhaps this show secretly wants to be a musical? Ru Xi steals Ting En away from Qing and starts to dance with him. Or dance on him, I suppose, because Ting En is an unwilling participant and looks very uncomfortable but Ru Xi doesn’t seem to care.

Ting En gets saved when the song switches to a cha cha and Xiao Bin dances onto the floor, and then a version of the can can song comes on, which also happens to be the night market’s anthem, and Qing becomes the center of the party leading everyone in the night market’s line dance. Afterward, everyone wants to cheers her so she starts downing glasses of wine. Ting En jumps in to help her drink.

At the end of the night, both Ting En and Qing are trashed. Ting En has enough presence of mind to play the gentleman and ask Tian Zhi to send Ru Xi home. He and Qing stumble sloppily to his car, where a designated driver is waiting.

Next thing they know, they’re waking up in bed together, with Qing in Ting En’s shirt and Ting En in nothing but his underwear. They struggle to piece together the previous night. Qing narrowly escapes discovery by Ting En’s mother, who misreads the situation and assumes that Ru Xi is the one hiding in Ting En’s bedroom. Ting En and Qing finally remember that they had come back to his apartment to drink champagne and eat caviar. And that’s all… they think.

Qing returns home and decides that it’s time to turn over a new leaf. She doesn’t want to rely on her father’s notebook anymore, and instead bequeaths it to her brother, Wei Cheng Yang, who finally shows up. But Yang doesn’t seem to care too much about the notebook, and in fact leaves it behind when he gets a call from a friend and rushes out.

Qing follows her brother, passing by Ting En on the way, who in turn follows her to a gynecologist clinic. He immediately jumps to the worst-case conclusion: did he actually sleep with her last night and not remember? He follows her all the way into an examination room, and tells her that he will definitely take responsibility no matter what. This makes for an awkward four-way encounter: Qing is surprised to find Ting En following her, and her brother and his girlfriend are surprised to see the both of them.

Outside the clinic, Qing lectures her brother about not only not focusing on his studies, but getting himself into a situation where he could have very likely impregnated his girlfriend. (In this case, there was fortunately another explanation for his girlfriend’s late period.) The situation strikes a chord in Ting En, who heatedly also lectures Yang about dragging his girlfriend into this mess, no doubt thinking about his sister. Everyone is a bit taken aback by his outburst.

After Yang and his girlfriend leave, Ting En grabs Qing’s arm and intensely tells her that he meant everything he said before about taking responsibility for her.

Ru Xi publishes a glowing article about Qing’s cooking at the cocktail party the night before while at breakfast with Tian Zhi. Tian Zhi is trying to play wingman for Ting En, and convinces Ru Xi to make some hangover soup for Ting En.

At La Mure, Jack and Brian are disgruntled with Qing, thinking she’s about to usurp their positions in the kitchen. Ting En declares that he’s switching up the menu for the summer season and wants to make Thai-style curry instead of their signature white curry, and has them all practice mixing up his curry recipe. Ting En watches them but his eyes are mostly drawn to Qing and he muses why his heart is beating so fast… Qing goes rogue, trying to switch up the flavor, and gets lectured by Ting En about mastering the basics before trying to change things up, then gets relegated to front of house working table service.

Ru Xi shows up with hangover soup for Ting En, although it’s already midday. He accepts it graciously, but his attention is clearly distracted, and she can tell.

Qing steps out to make a phone call asking Ah Wei for help keeping an eye on her brother. Ting En follows her and eavesdrops, then later asks her why she never asks him for help. Jealous, much?

The restaurant opens for dinner and some loud, colorfully-dressed guests come in without a reservation. Qing gets assigned to serve them, and gets annoyed by their loud, brash manner that is atypical of most La Mure guests, as well as their disrespectful and objectifying behavior toward her. She asks them loudly to leave after they repeatedly ignore her, drawing the attention of several nearby diners, including a table with Tian Zhi, Ru Xi, and some other journalists. Ting En and Xiao Bin hurry over to smooth things over, and Ting En drags Qing outside to talk.

Qing insists that “people like that” don’t belong at La Mure, which is quite ironic considering she’s supposed to be a version of Huo Ting En for the common people. Ting En calls out her prejudice, saying that her sort of arrogance has no place in the restaurant business. No guest should be turned away from a restaurant just because they don’t behave in an expected way. Even earlier, she had been acting arrogantly when she tried to make her own curry recipe, as if believing that her way would be better than the recipe he clearly designated for their kitchen. The comment about arrogance is a bit ironic, coming from him, and expensive, fine dining restaurants are inherently exclusive, but the sentiment is valid.

Ting En asks Qing to think hard about what kind of chef she wants to be and what kind of restaurant she wants to run one day. And most importantly, no guest deserves to be kicked out: there are more subtle ways to handle these kinds of situations. Qing doesn’t have anything to say in response.

Ting En and Xiao Bin bring Qing back around to the table and apologize for her earlier actions, taking the responsibility upon themselves for not training her well. The guests still look disgruntled, but Ting En and Xiao Bin bow subserviently in apology. Qing watches them, then swallows her pride and follows suit.

Oh man, that dancing scene at the cocktail party earlier really had me cringing. I don’t really have much of an opinion on Ru Xi, other than that I find her character boring and unnecessary thus far. Her dance scene in particular was uncomfortable to watch, and Xiao Man’s line delivery always manages to sound so robotic, like she’s reciting the lines from memory, so I really could do without it all…

Other than that, this episode makes it seem like Tian Zhi and Yu Qing are simpler than I initially thought. They both seem rather benign.

It also becomes obvious that the few days Qing has spent with Ting En at La Mure has really started changing her. Perhaps some for the better, but also some for the worse.

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