Drama Recaps, Taiwanese Dramas

Recap: The Perfect Match (Ep. 14)

Turns out Ting En finds Qing’s reaction to another woman making breakfast for her fiance quite unbelievable. It takes a little bit of hinting, but Qing finally gets it and scurries off to make breakfast for him as well. They proceed to overact and pretend to be a normal couple, which is uncomfortable to watch but must be believable enough because Hai Wei keeps trying to find ways to make them stop. Grandma Huo loves it though, but everyone else just looks uncomfortable.

Ting En and Qing head out to La Mure together with a cute, coordinated bowing routine to the Huo matriarchs. Once they’re gone, Hai Wei laments how Ting En is now acting so foolishly now that he’s in “love.” Grandma Huo lectures her two daughters-in-law about how being smart and foolish separately is easy, but knowing how to be both at once is hard. Then she adds a somewhat loaded statement about how they shouldn’t be too petty (with each other). If they’re not careful, they’ll end up pushing the debts they owe onto the next generation.

Tian Zhi and Ru Xi end up play-fighting while arranging flowers. He jokes that if he didn’t live with her, he wouldn’t have known she was so violent. It’s a good reason to live with a woman before getting married. Ru Xi jokes that she’ll tattle on all his flaws to Yu Qing, but he says that’ll be good because then he’ll have an excuse to Yu Qing. Ru Xi teases him about not having spent the night with Yu Qing before.

Hai Wei comes over to vent about Qing. She’s come up with an idea for how to give Ru Xi a better chance: make Grandma Huo dissatisfied with Qing. But Ru Xi can tell that Grandma Huo seems to be on #TeamQing, otherwise why would she let Qing move in? Hai Wei admits she doesn’t know what Grandma’s motives are, but she’s also concerned about Qing’s motives, especially since the two of them have only known each other for a few days. Grandma Huo overhears her. Hai Wei adds that she knows that an arranged marriage with Ru Xi is the best choice for Ting En. She doesn’t care if he hates her; she’s willing to bear it because she’s his mother. Ru Xi looks conflicted.

Later, Tian Zhi frowns at some documents, silently thinking to himself, “Mom, are you really going to be stubborn to the end?” Hmmm. Grandma Huo watches him brood and says to herself, “You poor child.”

Ah Wei has flowers delivered to La Mure for Qing and personally shows up with some tiramisu for her. He coaches her on how to smile and act happy about in front of Ting En to make him jealous. Sure enough, Ting En does seem a bit angry about the flowers and the tiramisu, especially because there’s a romantic origin story to tiramisu, but he hides it behind gritted teeth and a forced smile.

While Ah Wei waits outside for an update from Qing, Jack walks by on the phone, saying, “I will definitely bring down La Mure and Huo Ting En. Tomorrow.” Ah Wei hides as he eavesdrops.

Inside La Mure, we get a parody of palace intrigue. Ru Xi and Qing are quite chummy as they discuss an upcoming television special to be filmed at La Mure and completely ignore Ting En. Meanwhile, Xiao Bin pretends that Ting En is the emperor who has to deal with empress dowagers in the form of his mother and stepmother. Mei Li suggests that Ting En and Qing should spend a night together outside of the Huo household so they can bond more. Xiao Bin hurries to secure them a hotel reservation. Hai Wei shows up and warns Ting En that Mei Li has ulterior motives. Then she says that for Grandma Huo’s 80th birthday celebration tomorrow, Grandma wants Qing to personally cook her lobster curry dish in place of a gift. Mei Li tries to say that to spring this on her a day in advance is too short notice (ha, the irony is not lost here…)

But it looks like Hai Wei wins, because Qing preps a meal at the La Mure kitchen while the rest of the family arrives for the celebration. Jack and Brian bring over the Taiwanese lobsters she specifically requested (suspicious!) and Jack continues to act suspiciously, watching her the whole time. Ah Wei shows up with more Taiwanese lobsters, perhaps because Qing hadn’t trusted that Ting En would follow through. Ting En insists that she use his lobsters and tells Xiao Bin to get rid of Ah Wei’s. Xiao Bin doesn’t know which box it is, and Jack sends Brian over to make sure the correct box of lobsters is saved. They end up shuffling boxes so it’s unclear which ones were the correct ones…

But it seems like whatever Jack did to try to sabotage the lobsters failed, because Grandma Huo loves Qing’s lobster curry dish. Mei Li and Yu Qing are also quick to praise Qing, and even Ru Xi compliments the taste of the dish.

Hai Wei decides to make things awkward by shaming Qing for not bringing a gift. Sure, she might’ve been the one to tell Qing that she didn’t need to bring a gift because she was making the food, but now she’s all too happy to say that Qing should’ve brought something, even if it was small, because it’s the intention that matters most and this is Grandma’s 80th birthday. Everyone looks around awkwardly, but Qing won’t be shamed. She responds by saying that restaurant work isn’t easy: she and the other kitchen staff sacrifice their own family time and special events in order to make other people’s special events truly special. The amount of care and effort that goes into crafting special dishes should be enough intention. She basically shames everyone else at the table back for taking restaurant workers for granted.

Qing and Ting En excuse themselves to head back to the kitchen, but Grandma Huo stops them. She agrees that the lobster curry dish itself shouldn’t count as a gift. But the speech that Qing gave was better than any gift she could have given. Grandma feels comfortable knowing that her future granddaughter-in-law is someone like Qing who understands so well what it really means to be in the restaurant business. She adds that the best gift she could receive would be for her two grandsons to get married and produce some great-grandchildren for her.

Yu Qing urges Tian Zhi to take action soon. Who knows what Ting En will do once he gets married and has his own family to protect? She reminds Tian Zhi that he’s the real member of the Huo family, and reminds him about how he was snubbed at the cocktail party earlier. He doesn’t want that to happen for the rest of his life, does he?

Ting En finds Qing outside and compliments her on her pretty speech. She seemed very mature today. They chat for a bit and he shares his drink with her, but she refuses to give it back. She ends up playing keep-away (ah, classic flirt move) and they end up veeeery close to each other.

Neither of them shift away, and Ting En thanks her for the hard work she’s put in for his family. And, he adds, she was pretty cute today. They both stare at each other for a bit, but then Ah Wei rolls up. He invites Qing out on a date. She quickly hops away from Ting En and rides away with Ah Wei, leaving Ting En very confused.

Ah Wei and Qing go hang out in a park. He still acts like they’re really dating even though Ting En isn’t around anymore, so she tags along and pretends to be a cutesy girlfriend. It makes Ah Wei happy, though he also seems kind of sad because he knows this is all just an act.

He tenderly puts a hand to her cheek and asks her not to look at him like that, otherwise he really will fall in love. His words are serious, but Qing thinks he’s still acting and teases him for loving to act so much.

Ting En can’t stop thinking about Ah Wei and Qing going on a date. He receives a video from Qing where she and Ah Wei are acting all cutesy and playing with some video filters. Ting En has to work hard to calm himself down, and decides to distract himself by cleaning and rearranging the apartment. He manages to rope Tian Zhi and Ru Xi into helping him.

But finally, there’s nothing left to clean and he goes outside to clear his head. A confirmation letter for the hotel reservation Xiao Bin made him in his pocket, and he looks at it, considering actually spending a night elsewhere with Qing. Grandma Huo shows up and can tell he’s thinking about Qing. She tells him that she knows his engagement with Qing is fake. But she can also tell that he wants his relationship with Qing to be real. So she ends up giving him some relationship advice, saying that he can’t be so arrogant when it comes to love. Sometimes it pays to be a little more vulnerable. He just has to tell her that he loves her.

Before Ting En heads out, Grandma calls him back. She tells him that no matter what happens in the future with Wei Fen Qing, she hopes that he’ll be able to think of Qing and forgive Qing. The words are a bit ominous and a bit out of place, but she insists that he commit them to heart. He agrees and leaves. Once he’s gone, Grandma Huo struggles to hold in her tears.

Ah, their relationship is so cute! It’s easy to tell that Grandma Huo really does love both her grandsons equally. Why do the moms have to go around making everything into a power struggle? Her final words also make it seem like she’s thinking about doing something drastic when it comes to Wei Fen Qing and what she feels like she owes the Wei family…

Ting En ends up at the complex gate, where Qing and Ah Wei are joking around about her smile. When they notice him, they quickly put their acting faces back on. Ah Wei leans in for a hug. Ting En watches them, very calm. He’s also very civil and calm as he thanks Ah Wei for taking care of Qing and says goodbye.

But once they’ve left Ah Wei behind, he ignores Qing all the way into the lobby. She asks him why he’s ignoring her and he responds, “Because otherwise I’ll be jealous.” But, the more he thinks about it, the more he realizes he doesn’t have a reason to be jealous. Their relationship is fake, and even though he already confessed to her, she has no obligation to like him back. If she picks Ah Wei, he’ll respect her choice.

Wow, so mature!

He starts to walk away, but Qing grabs the back of his hoodie to stop him. “Let’s go upstairs together,” she says. She doesn’t want to be too far away from him. It’s not quite the answer he’s looking for but it’s as close as she’s going to get for now. He walks forward and she hangs onto the back of his shirt. Oh jeez, why can’t they just hold hands like normal adults and not act like children? We were doing so well.

Before they go to sleep, Ting En shows off the night light that he bought for Qing. She loves it, though she jokes that it’d be nice if it could be a warmer white light instead of the cool white that it is. They go to their respective places to sleep — her on the floor, him on the bed. He starts asking if she found the bed comfortable. He actually found that he slept quite well with her the other night. Smoooth. And… a lie? Because didn’t he have to tie her down? It’s just a way for him to lead into his real question: will you come and sleep with me?

This episode was full of so many good feels! I love that the show is really leaning into the rom-com side of things this episode with minimal drama. Both Qing and Ting En are forced to be much more honest and vulnerable with their emotions, which is always great. Sounds like Ah Wei’s plan isn’t so dumb after all.

I’m most curious to see what direction Tian Zhi takes. The classic drama move would be for him to listen to Yu Qing and his mother and start to feel bitter and threatened by Ting En. Yet that also seems to go against his very nature, so I hope he won’t. It would be quite nice to see all of Yu Qing’s nagging actually push him away from her and toward Ru Xi, who doesn’t seem to care much about power struggle or business schemes.

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