Drama Recaps, Taiwanese Dramas

Recap: Someday or One Day (Ep. 3)

Prologue

Yu Xuan lives through all the scenes from Yun Ru’s life that we’ve seen so far as her 27-year-old professional self.

A car accelerates toward her and she shields her eyes as the headlights get brighter… Yun Ru finds herself in a strange bedroom surrounded by glowing blue walls. She pushes at the walls and they’re stretchy, like a mesh or a screen. She hears Zi Wei’s voice, asking if she can hear, but she can’t see him. “Li Zi Wei, I’m here,” she says, but she’s still trapped in that glowing blue box in darkness.

Present

Li Zi Wei visits Yun Ru in the hospital. He talks to her and asks what happened to her that night that she ended up in a hospital bed like this, but she’s in a coma and doesn’t respond.

He takes out a cassette player and puts the earbuds in her ears, then plays “Last Dance” for her while continuing to talk to her like she can hear him. He heard that people in a coma can still hear even though they can’t respond. He doesn’t know if that’s true, but he might as well try.

Yun Ru wakes up and embraces Zi Wei, calling him Wang Quan Sheng. Zi Wei is confused, then quickly pushes her away when he sees Jun Jie’s reflection in the window. Jun Jie rushes to Yun Ru’s side, asking if she’s okay.

Memories of Yun Ru’s life collide with Yu Xuan’s life in her head. She struggles to reconcile the disjoint memories in her head. She can’t figure out whether Jun Jie and Zi Wei just celebrated her birthday with her, or if it was her coworkers. She remembers a memorial, but also remembers her mother and brother disappearing, and a car accident. A little voice in the back of her head wonders where her family is. It sounds like someone else’s voice, but also her own.

Si Yuan plays video games at home while his mother yells at him for not being more concerned about his sister, who is lying in the hospital. Yun Ru’s uncle shows up and asks Yun Ru’s mother why she’s home and not at Yun Ru’s bedside. Is Yun Ru all alone in the hospital?

Yun Ru’s uncle gets a phone call from the hospital, reporting that Yun Ru has suddenly gone missing. Even Si Yuan freezes at this news, though he keeps playing his video games and acting like nothing is wrong. Yun Ru’s mother and uncle hurry to go try and find her, but she opens the door right as they’re about to leave, Jun Jie and Zi Wei in tow.

Yun Ru immediately confronts her mother about where she and Si Yuan went the night of her accident. Did they abandon her because her mother was afraid her father would take Si Yuan? Her mother quickly tries to reassure her that she’s got it all wrong: Si Yuan had run away that night, and her mother had gone looking for him. The mess in the house was because Si Yuan had ransacked the place looking for money.

Yun Ru immediately shuts off Si Yuan’s video game and grabs him by the ear, yelling at him for trying to run away. It’s completely uncharacteristic of her. Her mother looks at her like she’s gone crazy and even Jun Jie and Zi Wei, who are still hanging out in the doorway, are taken aback.

Yun Ru continues to yell at her mother, saying it was natural for her to think that she had abandoned her after hearing her and her father arguing that night. Her head suddenly starts hurting, and she stumbles out the door, telling “Wang Quan Sheng” to take her to the hospital. Zi Wei reminds her that his name is Zi Wei, but everyone follows.

At the hospital, Yun Ru’s doctor asks if she remembers how she got injured. She says that she remembers a car accident. Everyone present hesitates and they all exchange uneasy looks, but go along with it. Her doctor asks her some more questions to check her memory. Yun Ru has two answers to every question in her mind and can’t figure out which one is the right one. Does she live in Tainan or Taipei? The doctor tells her worried family that she seems physically fine, but they’ll need to do some follow-up checkups. He adds that if the police have any additional questions for her, they should wait for her to remember on her own.

Yun Ru’s uncle notices that Jun Jie and Zi Wei are still hanging around. He asks them why they’re still there, a knowing look in his eye. Zi Wei quickly makes an excuse about wanting to make sure Yun Ru is okay, then drags Jun Jie away. Yun Ru’s mother asks who they are, and she says that they’re just classmates.

Yun Ru asks why the police would have questions for her. Her uncle reluctantly tells her that she wasn’t injured because of a car accident. He and her mother had searched all night for her when she went missing. Eventually, near dawn, they got a call from the police, saying she had been found on the side of a road, unconscious. Her injury suggested that someone had attacked her from behind with a blunt object. She has a sudden recollection of lying on the ground, bleeding from the back of her head.

Outside the hospital, Jun Jie continues to treat Zi Wei with a cold shoulder. Zi Wei asks if he’ll stop being mad. Yun Ru is fine now, and now they know that she had left home that night because of her parents fighting, not because of him. It’s not his fault that Yun Ru got hurt.

Jun Jie responds that if it’s anyone’s fault, it’s his own. He blames himself for letting Zi Wei send Yun Ru home and for not being good enough for Yun Ru that she would like him instead of Zi Wei. Zi Wei tries to say that Yun Ru doesn’t like him, but Jun Jie reveals that he heard everything. He had followed Zi Wei and Yun Ru home and heard Zi Wei ask Yun Ru to stop liking him. Jun Jie wishes he had the confidence to confess to Yun Ru earlier on instead of asking for Zi Wei’s help. Maybe things would have turned out differently. He also blames Zi Wei a little for rejecting Yun Ru so coldly. If he’d been a little nicer, maybe she would have asked one of them for help instead of running off on her own.

Yun Ru returns home with her mother and uncle. Si Yuan tries to act nonchalant and pretend he wasn’t pacing the living room worried about her. Though Yun Ru uses her own name, her personality is all Yu Xuan. She makes eye contact and speaks with her family with an easy confidence and fierceness that Yun Ru never had.

Yun Ru pokes around her own room, eyeing her clothes with a look of disgust. She finds a journal and scoffs at the poetic, yet deeply depressing words. But her words about a blinding ray of sunshine that she can’t help but look at, originally written about Zi Wei, feel familiar, because they remind her of Quan Sheng as well.

She finds the Walkman that Zi Wei and Jun Jie gifted her, and also has a recollection of opening the package with the Walkman on the bus. She’s about to start listening to “Last Dance” on the cassette player when she’s distracted by Zi Wei throwing rocks at her window.

Jun Jie’s words bother Zi Wei, and he invites Yun Ru out for a late night snack. Yun Ru can tell that he’s trying to avoid talking about something and confronts him about it. He tells her to not take his response to her confession to heart, but she acts like it’s not a big deal. He notices that her demeanor has changed completely from before her accident.

Yun Ru admits to Zi Wei that she’s been feeling strange lately. She remembers her past, yet her actions feel so out of character. For example, it’s not her style to confess to someone that she likes them. Instead, she’s the type of person who would try to find a way to make her crush like her and confess to her instead. Zi Wei says that the words she’s saying don’t seem like her at all. She calls him Wang Quan Sheng again and tells him that he’s right — she doesn’t feel like herself at all.

Being called Wang Quan Sheng again gets on Zi Wei’s nerves and he asks her who this Wang Quan Sheng is. Has she not noticed that she’s been calling him that all day? She acts like she hasn’t.

She tells Zi Wei that she feels like she woke up from a very long, realistic dream where she was a person named Huang Yu Xuan and Zi Wei was Wang Quan Sheng. Yu Xuan is the opposite of who she is, and in her dream, she didn’t meet Quan Sheng until college, yet she also had the feeling when she first met him that he already knew who she was.

Meanwhile, Yun Ru watches these beautiful memories of Yu Xuan and Quan Sheng’s life on the glowing walls of her bedroom around her.

Zi Wei is captivated by Yun Ru’s retelling of this dream, but she thinks he doesn’t believe her and thinks she’s just making it up. She starts to leave, but he quickly blocks her way. He doesn’t think she’s making it up, but he says that he never realized she liked him so much that she would dream of him so vividly. It looks like she really has fallen in love with him.

Yun Ru immediately scoffs at the idea that she’s in love with him. He might have a pretty face, but otherwise he is not her type at all. She even criticizes the digital watch he wears, asking if he’s still a child. She asks him to forget that her confession ever happened. She would be so embarrassed to have other people think she would like someone like him.

Now it’s Zi Wei’s turn to be offended, and he pouts a little. Yun Ru notices and teases him, saying that he must be reacting this way because he likes her a little too. He quickly retorts that he would never like her, even if they were the last two people left on Earth. But she just punches him in the shoulder, calling him “Wang Quan Sheng” again and warning him not to talk to her that way.

Zi Wei says that she must have made up Wang Quan Sheng because she was embarrassed about her failed confession and wanted an excuse. Yun Ru kicks him in the shin in response. She’s still angry when she gets home and punches a pillow, pretending it’s Zi Wei.

Yun Ru listens to “Last Dance” and browses her journal before she goes to bed. The words and feelings inside are both strange and familiar at the same time. Why does she feel like she doesn’t know herself? She replays a memory of Yu Xuan and Quan Sheng and asks herself, “Huang Yu Xuan, who are you?”

Meanwhile, Zi Wei also listens to “Last Dance” while in bed, still annoyed by Yun Ru, her odd behavior, and her calling him Wang Quan Sheng. Still hung up on the Quan Sheng thing, he asks himself, “Wang Quan Sheng, who are you?”

In her glowing blue box, the real Yun Ru watches one of Yu Xuan’s memories of Quan Sheng. She gently strokes his face while he sleeps and he kisses her hand. She tells him that she had a dream; she doesn’t remember what it was, but it seemed like a bad dream. Quan Sheng tells her to go back to sleep. He’ll hug her so that even if she has a bad dream again, she won’t be afraid.

Tears fall down Yun Ru’s face as she watches the memory. Yu Xuan as Yun Ru also wakes up with tears in her eyes, though she’s not sure why. She dreamed the same memory and reminds herself that the man in her dream was Wang Quan Sheng, not Li Zi Wei. But the memories of Yu Xuan and Quan Sheng feel too real to just be dreams.

Yu Xuan as Yun Ru isn’t the pushover that the real Yun Ru was. She rules with an iron fist, telling her brother that she’s not going to wake him up and buy him breakfast anymore. If he doesn’t get up on his own, she’ll toss ice water on him. She makes her mother hangover tea and lectures her on getting drunk every day, then gives her advice on how to fake drinking. Her mother finds it hilarious, because Yun Ru doesn’t socialize, much less drink. But Yun Ru’s attitudes toward her brother and mother mystify them both.

Zi Wei can’t stop himself from wondering about Wang Quan Sheng and finds himself writing out different ways that “Wang Quan Sheng” can be spelled in class.

After class, he catches Jun Jie sneaking off campus. Jun Jie continues to ignore him. Zi Wei tells him that he accepts some responsibility for Yun Ru getting hurt, and admits that he was wrong. He shares his concern that Yun Ru’s attacker may try to find her again. Jun Jie says he was thinking the same thing, which is why he’s sneaking out: to make sure she’s not alone. Zi Wei insists on going with him, not because he wants to compete with Jun Jie to protect Yun Ru, but because Jun Jie needs protection too.

They show up at Yun Ru’s door, where she has already switched up her hairstyle, clipping her overgrown bangs to the side. She quickly drags them outside so her mother doesn’t notice. They’re surprised when she guesses that they’re cutting class and find it odd that she doesn’t care. They continue to give her strange looks when she laughs and calls them cute in response to their admitting that they’re there to protect her.

She tells them that she doesn’t need protection. Instead, she wants to try and remember what happened that night. They go with her to the intersection where she thought she had a car accident, then take her to the street where she was found unconscious.

Zi Wei comments that there’s quite a distance between the intersection and where she was found. Is it possible that her assailant took her there? Jun Jie asks if she can remember seeing anyone that she would trust enough to go with them somewhere.

Yun Ru calls Zi Wei “Wang Quan Sheng” again. Zi Wei tells her not to get him confused with her dream boyfriend. Jun Jie asks who Wang Quan Sheng is and what dream he’s from. He figures out that Zi Wei and Yun Ru secretly met up, making things slightly awkward. Zi Wei tries to explain that he was just trying to apologize to Yun Ru after what Jun Jie told him. Jun Jie switches the subject and says that it’s getting late. He offers to give Yun Ru a ride home, saying she can tell him all about her dream on the way back. Maybe it’ll contain some clue about her missing memory. Zi Wei watches them go with a disgruntled look.

Jun Jie drops Yun Ru off and notices that she’s different. She makes eye contact instead of constantly looking away. She asks if he also thinks her dreams about Yu Xuan and Quan Sheng are made up. He responds that he believes her. He believes that in her dreams, there really are two people named Yu Xuan and Quan Sheng. Besides, he’d rather believe that she’s in love with a dream boyfriend named Quan Sheng and not Li Zi Wei. He confesses that he likes her.

Jun Jie tells Yun Ru that he noticed her long before she first met him at the record store. He felt a kinship with her from the start and felt like they were the same kind of people: people who were afraid of others figuring out that they were different. Whenever he saw her by herself, he felt like he knew her, because he knew what it was like to feel alone, like no one understood him. He wanted to be that person who could tell her that he understood her and heard her, but he didn’t know how.

When he found out that she was hurt, what he felt the most was regret. He regretted that he was too afraid to confront and acknowledge her confession to Zi Wei, so he ran away. He was afraid of rejection, but now he’s more afraid of regret. So he tells her that he likes her.

Yun Ru listens awkwardly and thanks him for being honest with her, but… he interrupts her and says that she doesn’t need to give him an answer. He just wants her to know that she’s important to him. As for everything else… that can wait until later. She smiles and nods.

Yun Ru writes about Jun Jie’s confession in her journal. Her handwriting is noticeably messier than her earlier poetic ramblings. She admits to feeling like Jun Jie’s story about her was a story about someone else. She doesn’t know why she feels such a disconnect, but she feels like she isn’t the girl that Jun Jie fell in love with.

But time passes. Yun Ru returns to work and returns to school. Jun Jie and Zi Wei frequently drop by the store to hang out, Zi Wei making a mess of things while Jun Jie tries to clean up after him. Zi Wei constantly teases her. Jun Jie never mentions liking her again. With two good friends like them, Yun Ru is happy. She’s no longer invisible, and she starts to forget about her dreams and feeling like she wasn’t Chen Yun Ru. But sometimes, she’ll accidentally conflate Li Zi Wei and Wang Quan Sheng, but she doesn’t know why.

Yun Ru studies the photo of her, Zi Wei, and Jun Jie that her uncle took in front of the record shop. She suddenly remembers seeing the photo before, as Yu Xuan, when she didn’t recognize Jun Jie.

Zi Wei looks at the same photo, a copy of which Yun Ru gave to him. He looks at a note from her on the back of the photo and comments on how ugly her handwriting is.

Some time later, Yun Ru’s uncle catches her dozing off at the record shop while listening to “Last Dance.” He reminds her that she shouldn’t play pop music in the store; their record store specializes in classical and jazz music and it’s not a good look to play pop music.

Two police officers show up at the store and ask to talk to Yun Ru. They tell her that they found some new evidence and aren’t sure if it’s related to her attack, but wanted to show her in case it triggered her memory. They hand her some photos of a hearing aid.

Yun Ru thinks of Jun Jie showing her his hearing aid, then remembers a male student pulling her out of the path of the oncoming car. She remembers the person being on top of her while she protested that he let go. She remembers shoving him off and starting to run away in the rain, but getting hit from behind, and seeing only a hazy figure of a boy in a student uniform.

As her memory fades to blackness, she hears someone telling her to wake up.

Yu Xuan opens her eyes to see a bus driver telling her that she needs to get off: it’s the last stop. She’s confused by where she is. Wasn’t she just at the record shop? She sees her reflection in the window and, not recognizing herself, asks herself “who are you?”

She starts to walk home while contemplating the photo of Jun Jie, Zi Wei, and Yun Ru on her phone. She wonders if it was all just a dream. A man stands behind her, watching her. She suddenly turns, perhaps sensing him, and he turns to hide his face. It’s Quan Sheng. But she doesn’t quite see him and instead looks around, then back at her phone. Quan Sheng hobbles away.

What!! What is going on. So much is happening.

First, the hearing aid and the attack. The set-up of the hearing aid is clearly trying to suggest that perhaps Mo Jun Jie is evil and the culprit. But that also seems so far-fetched and completely out of character for who we know Jun Jie to be. He’s such a sweetheart! I don’t believe he has a single evil bone in his body.

The attacker is clearly a student… perhaps that other male student from Jun Jie and Zi Wei’s class who was watching Yun Ru with the eerie music playing? We don’t really know of any other people who exist in this world yet.

Seeing Yu Xuan as Yun Ru is also just super refreshing and fun, as jarring as it is for everyone else in her life. I like the way that she and Zi Wei butt heads because they’re a little too similar in some ways, but I’ve always preferred the fiery female leads to the loner types.

The execution of this time travel/identity swap is excellent so far. Usually this drama trope involves a jarring change of one person being thrown into another’s body or time. But Yun Ru and Yu Xuan’s identities are almost merged, like there’s two consciousnesses in one, not quite seamless but with edges that blur together. It’s so intriguing and full of mystery, and Yu Xuan’s confusion about which life is real and which is not also made me wonder if one of the lives is actually a dream.

So many mysteries to unravel!

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