Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: A Love So Beautiful (Ep. 14)

When Lin Jing Xiao gets that look in her eye, you know she’s going to get what she wants. While Xiao Xi and Jiang Chen do make some progress in their relationship, this episode is all about Jing Xiao.

Xiao Xi is back on speaking terms with Jiang Chen. He asks her how her scrapes and bruises are healing, and she responds that she’s fine. Li Wei asks to talk to Jiang Chen outside of class. Xiao Xi, on the pretense of filling her water bottle, spies on them and watches Li Wei hand Jiang Chen a document.

Li Wei goes in for another session with Dr. Li and asks him for a higher dosage of meds to help her insomnia, but he refuses to give her a stronger prescription.

Lin Jing Xiao goes to find Dr. Li who asks if she has another stomachache. She shakes her said and says that her throat is sore this time and fakes some coughs. He smiles and shakes his head at her but gives her some pills anyway. They’re just Vitamin C tablets, and Lu Yang begs for some after she gets back.

Jiang Chen offers to fill Xiao Xi’s water bottle, but she says she doesn’t need anyway. Lu Yang decides it’s time for an intervention. He sets her up with Jiang Chen at the library during lunch.

Xiao Xi tries to leave but Jiang Chen blocks her way so she’s forced to sit with him and he helps her study. He stares intently at her while she focuses, then gently puts her hair behind her ear when it falls in her face. They stare at each other awkwardly for a moment, then turn back to their books.

Xiao Xi tells Jiang Chen she won’t ask about Li Wei anymore, but asks him not to hang out with her anymore. He doesn’t respond.

Wu Bo Song drags Xiao Xi out to the store during study period to help cheer her up. Jiang Chen notices.

Lin Jing Xiao goes to find Dr. Li again so she can give him some “love seed” (seeds that grow into a plant) that has been popular with all the students as a way of confessing. She spots Li Wei sneaking out of his office, then herself sneaks in to leave the gift behind. Lu Yang also spots the seeds in the campus store and buys them to give Jing Xiao. He spots her leaving Dr. Li’s office and goes inside. He realizes that Dr. Li is the one she likes.

He stumbles back into the classroom like a zombie and dumps all of Jing Xiao’s precious Dr. Li-gifted Vitamin C tablets into her water. She catches him and asks if he’s sick (in the head). He responds sullenly that he is sick then walks out of class. Xiao Xi sends Jiang Chen after him. Lu Yang is upset that everyone except him knew that Jing Xiao liked Dr. Li.

Jiang Chen walks a few steps behind Xiao Xi on the way home. And it’s nice, until Wu Bo Song swoops in yet again and whisks Xiao Xi off on his bike to have fun.

The next day, Li Wei goes onto the school rooftop and everyone freaks out. Jiang Chen rushes up to meet her and Dr. Li follows. She says that she’s not trying to kill herself, but that she never knew how pretty the view was from up here. She turns toward the railing and Jiang Chen and Dr. Li take the opportunity to tackle her and pull her away from the edge.

Li Wei’s mother shows up at school and starts yelling at the teachers and Li Wei. She found the drugs that Li Wei stole from Dr. Li and yells at the school for drugging her child. She yells at Li Wei for never getting the number one spot in the class rankings in high school. And yells at the teachers again, blaming the school for her daughter’s depression. Li Wei confesses that Dr. Li prescribed her the medication. Principal Zhang goes to yell at Dr. Li. Jing Xiao and Xiao Xi eavesdrop on the whole thing.

Jing Xiao knows that Li Wei stole the drugs and confronts her about it, saying that she’ll go reveal the truth if Li Wei doesn’t. But Dr. Li gets the boot anyway. Jing Xiao asks Dr. Li why he didn’t tell the truth about Li Wei stealing the drugs. He tells her that Li Wei is under a lot of pressure and that he didn’t want to add to her stress. He tells Jing Xiao she should look out for her and encourage her to see a therapist.

Jing Xiao continues to be bothered by the situation and abruptly leaves class to tell Principal Zhang that she stole the drugs for Li Wei and that it’s not Dr. Li’s fault. Everyone believes her and she gets ostracized by the class. Lu Yang as furious at her as well, not because he believes she did it, but because he knows she lied for Dr. Li. Jing Xiao stays strong through the abuse from her classmates, but starts crying to Xiao Xi as she thinks about how she’ll break the news to her mother. After school, she goes to find her mother at work, but can’t bring herself to say the truth.

Jiang Chen takes the bus with Xiao Xi after school. He slips a can of the love seeds into her bag when she isn’t looking.

The next day, Dr. Li returns to school. Lu Yang rushes off to confront him. Lin Jing Xiao runs after him to try to stop him. Bo Song, Jiang Chen, and Xiao Xi all follow because… well, they’re all friends.

But Lu Yang suddenly collapses after his hard sprint. He’s unresponsive and the friends rush him to Dr. Li, who does CPR to try to revive him. Dr. Li, intent on saving Lu Yang, decides that he needs to inject him with epinephrine even though it might be risky. Principal Zhang tries to stop him, worried about the liability (even though inaction is more of a certain death…) But it works, to everyone’s relief.

Jing Xiao goes to find Dr. Li again, asking him if he’s leaving for real. He says that he is and also that he cleared her name with Principal Zhang. He tells her that her self-sacrifice is admirable, but that sometimes she needs to think about herself. His next stop is a Doctors Without Borders trip to Africa, something that he’s always thought about but never committed to doing until now. Bo Song, Jiang Chen, and Xiao Xi all show up to send him off.

Principal Zhang is still angry at Lin Jing Xiao for causing trouble and forces her to self-reflect in front of the whole school. Before she goes up on stage, Qiao Lu relays a message from Li Wei, who dropped out of school: Li Wei says she’s sorry.

Jing Xiao is about to start giving her speech when the students are distracted by something. Lu Yang shows up with an earring and colorful hair. He runs up on stage next to Jing Xiao, then says that he wants to self-reflect, and starts giving a speech… that’s actually a confession for how he’s been in love with a girl. Principal Zhang is furious, but some students hold him back so that Lu Yang can finish his confession.

Lu Yang turns to Jing Xiao and says, “Lin Jing Xiao, I really really like you.”

Jing Xiao goes home and is surprised to see Lu Yang eating dinner with her mother. They don’t really speak to each other until later, when she sends him off. He tells her that this is probably the last time they’ll see each other, because he’ll be studying at home from now on and won’t be returning to school.

He says goodbye and walks away. She starts crying and calls out his name, but he just waves and keeps walking.

Epilogue: Before Lu Yang was happily eating dinner with Jing Xiao’s mother, she actually didn’t believe that a guy with hair like him could Jing Xiao’s classmate. She tries to push Lu Yang out of her shop, then starts spanking him, but they soon both get tired and she lets him stay.

Cute! But again, I continue to feel a disconnect with the story and characters. Dr. Li is nice and all, and I get how Jing Xiao would feel sad about his parting, but we barely saw him interact with the other students so it’s weird to see them sending him off and being so sad that he’s leaving. His departure is meaningful in the sense that he was truly a great teacher in the way he put his students first, but also lacked meaning in how his departure didn’t really strike an emotional chord even though it should have. Same with Lu Yang.

I don’t know what is missing from this show for me. The episodes are quite short compared to the dramas I’ve been watching recently, all of which have had 60-90 minute episodes, so perhaps those extra minutes in other shows are providing some crucial development time that is missing here. But I’ve watched successful shows do a lot more with a lot less.

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