Yu Xuan puts her earphones in on the bus. Behind her, a man looks up. It’s Quan Sheng. He watches her, then seeing her text him, turns on his phone. All her messages show read receipts.
Yu Xuan gets home and continues to wonder about her strange dream. She now recognizes the Walkman as the same one in her dream. Who sent it to her? She gets a text from Kun Bu, then notices that there’s a read receipt on her text with Quan Sheng. In fact, there’s a read receipt on all the messages she sent.
Quan Sheng scrolls through the messages on his phone and listens to Yu Xuan’s voice messages, tears falling down his face as she talks about how she goes to sleep wishing she would dream of him, but instead she just dreams about being alone. She wonders if her dreams that do have him in them would count as good or bad dreams, because she’s happy in the dreams, but her heart only aches even more when she wakes up. He puts the phone aside and is about to walk away when it suddenly starts ringing. It’s a call from Yu Xuan. He stares at the phone for a long while and finally moves to answer… but it’s too late. Yu Xuan’s call goes to voice mail.
Yun Ru’s uncle suddenly enters the room, noticing that he’s still awake and asking if he’s okay. Quan Sheng admits that he saw Huang Yu Xuan today. He tells Uncle Wu that he didn’t let her see him, but he couldn’t help but look and listen to all her messages to Wang Quan Sheng and almost picked up a call from her. He berates himself for doing something so stupid at a critical time like this when he had managed to resist for so many years already.
Uncle Wu empathizes with his pain and puts a supportive hand on his shoulder. Another call from Yu Xuan comes in and Uncle asks, “Are you not going to pick up?” He responds that he’s not the one she’s looking for; she’s looking for Wang Quan Sheng. So he’s not Quan Sheng. He’s Li Zi Wei.
Yu Xuan continues to stare at her texts to Quan Sheng the next day at work. Kun Bu finds her, upset that she was unreachable last night, and asks if she’s okay. Yu Xuan admits to texting Quan Sheng occasionally and tells her that last night, she saw read receipts on the messages. Kun Bu’s first thought is that it’s Wang Quan Sheng’s ghost. Yu Xuan responds that if it were his ghost, he should’ve shown up two years ago when he died, not now.
Yu Xuan’s thought process was more practical. She thought it probable that someone else had gotten Quan Sheng’s number and just activated their phone. She tried calling back, but no one picked up. She asked the phone company about the number’s owner. They wouldn’t release client data to her, but told her that Quan Sheng’s number had never been cancelled. It’s possible that he had autopay set up which is why the account never closed, but then why did his phone suddenly turn on? Who has his phone now? Yu Xuan tried calling all night and no one ever picked up, but the phone always rang, meaning it hadn’t been turned off.
Kun Bu figures out a way to find out who the phone owner is. She connects Yu Xuan with a hacker at the company, Lin Yue, whom Yu Xuan never knew existed and Kun Bu admits that she only found out about her a few days ago. (Is this something we should be suspicious about?) Ah Tuo reassures them that Lin Yue can hack anything. And sure enough, she finds out that a person named Li Zi Wei has been paying Quan Sheng’s phone bill, via a Vancouver, BC bank account. She also finds the phone’s last known location: 32 Cafe.
Kun Bu goes with her to visit 32 Cafe again. On the bus there, Yu Xuan connects the dots between Li Zi Wei and Wang Quan Sheng’s doppelganger in her dream, but it was just a dream, right? Kun Bu comments that Sunny the psychic was pretty accurate in her fortune-telling as well. The number 32 has come up a lot for Yu Xuan with regards to Quan Sheng.
Yu Xuan suddenly sees a man who she thinks is Quan Sheng (but we know now to be Zi Wei) hobbling on the sidewalk. She rushes off the bus in such a hurry that Kun Bu doesn’t even notice until she’s already gone. She follows the man all the way to the door of 32 Cafe, where she calls out “Wang Quan Sheng!” He freezes. But then Kun Bu finally catches up to her, making her turn around. By the time she looks back at the cafe, the man is gone.
They go into the coffee shop. Yu Xuan starts asking a staff member about the man who just came in, but all of a sudden a barista shows up. He’s wearing the same clothes as the man Yu Xuan just saw, but it’s not Quan Sheng. His name is Ah Nan.
Yu Xuan asks to meet the coffee shop owner instead, but he’s not around. She and Kun Bu decide to wait for him to show up. She sees a guitar on display in the cafe, next to an old 32 Records sign, and it seems familiar. She asks if someone named Li Zi Wei works at the coffee shop, but Ah Nan says that he doesn’t know anyone by that name.
Yu Xuan waits all day until closing for the coffee shop owner, but he doesn’t show. She leaves her contact info at the coffee shop before leaving. When she goes outside, she sees that it’s pouring but she doesn’t have an umbrella. She’s about to brave it out in the rain when Ah Nan opens the door of the cafe and hands her an umbrella, saying she can borrow it and just bring it back later.
Once she’s gone, he goes back inside, where Li Zi Wei comes out from the back and thanks him for his help. Ah Nan asks why Zi Wei is so concerned about Yu Xuan yet also wanted to avoid her; is she an ex-girlfriend? Zi Wei doesn’t say anything and just smiles a little sadly.
Yu Xuan goes to meet with her psychiatrist, Dr. Xie, who happens to look exactly like the student who gave Yun Ru the weird look back in episode two! She’s concerned that her dreams might be a result of switching up her sleeping medication. Dr. Xie doesn’t find any research suggesting that her medication could be the cause, but asks her more about her dreams. She’s reluctant to tell him about her dream because she’s worried that she’ll sound crazy. He notices her absentmindedly touch a rock on his desk.
Dr. Xie convinces Yu Xuan to tell him about her dreams. She starts telling him about dreaming that she was a high school student named Chen Yun Ru. In her dream, there was a boy named Li Zi Wei who looked exactly like her deceased boyfriend. Dr. Xie immediately tenses at the mention of Yun Ru and Zi Wei. Despite holding a pen and clipboard, he doesn’t take any notes, and instead seems to anxiously play with the pen.
Yu Xuan asks Dr. Xie if he finds her dreams strange, but he says that it’s not abnormal at all. It’s pretty normal for people to have very vivid dreams that feel real. In his professional opinion, it’s likely a product of her lingering guilt and complex feelings toward her boyfriend’s death. He recommends she work on finding closure in order to sleep better at night.
Once Yu Xuan is gone, Dr. Xie studies her medical chart, pensive. He moves the curtains in his office, revealing a hidden closet. He takes out an old, yellowed notebook and flips through to look at some newspaper clippings from February 15, 1999 about the murder of a high school student. Then he flips through some old film photos of Chen Yun Ru that look like they’re taken from a distance, and murmurs Huang Yu Xuan’s name.
Yu Xuan tells herself that she’s probably overthinking her dream. It was just a dream. But then she gets a call from the owner of 32 Cafe.
She meets with Uncle Wu and tells him about dreaming that she was Chen Yun Ru. He doesn’t think she’s crazy. Instead, he asks what happened in her dream when she was Yun Ru. She tells him about Yun Ru’s parents’ divorce and names Mo Jun Jie and Li Zi Wei as Yun Ru’s friends. Then she tells him about finding out that Li Zi Wei was paying for Quan Sheng’s phone bill, and that she had traced Quan Sheng’s phone to 32 Cafe. She doesn’t think this is just a coincidence.
Uncle Wu tells her that she’s right: it’s not just a coincidence. When Yun Ru was alive, he remembers her telling him that she wasn’t the Chen Yun Ru he knew; she was someone named Huang Yu Xuan. At the time, he didn’t think much of it, but when he met Yu Xuan the other day, it finally became apparent that there was something going on. He doesn’t have an answer for her, but he does have Yun Ru’s journal, which he gives to Yu Xuan.
Yu Xuan flips through Yun Ru’s journal at home and recognizes her own handwriting as well as the words that she wrote during her dream. Does that mean that it wasn’t just a dream? It was real?
She tries to force herself back into Yun Ru’s time, at first by sleeping and making herself dream. But she can’t fall asleep, so she tries adding another common factor: the Walkman and “Last Dance.” That doesn’t work either. She tries sleeping while sitting on the couch, because she had been sitting up on the bus, but the Walkman runs out of battery. She replaces the battery and is about to try again when she catches herself. Has she gone crazy? Does she really think she can travel through time by dreaming while listening to a Walkman?
Yu Xuan continues to be distracted the next day at work. She zones out the whole morning and finally gets called into a meeting with her manager, Na-jie. Na-jie asks her if she feels ready to get back to work after Quan Sheng’s funeral. She tells Yu Xuan it’s okay to take some extra time off if she needs it. Yu Xuan thinks that Na-jie is criticizing her performance, but Na-jie switches to sit next to her. She tells her that she’s worried about Yu Xuan. She noticed that Yu Xuan seems to have lost her ambition since Quan Sheng’s death and suspects that it’s because she feels guilty that her previous ambition took her to Shanghai and subsequently led to Quan Sheng’s death. If Yu Xuan had stayed in Shanghai, she would probably be high up on the corporate ladder by now. Instead, she stayed in Taiwan and seems complacent.
Na-jie tells Yu Xuan that she needs to find closure and let go of Quan Sheng and her guilt for her own sake. She suggests that if staying in Taiwan makes it difficult to let go of Quan Sheng, then maybe she should consider leaving. The Shanghai opportunity has opened up again, and Na-jie wants Yu Xuan to go.
Yu Xuan goes home and finally packs up all of Quan Sheng’s belongings that she had never put away. His shoes, his toothbrush and cup, his clothes. She cries and reflects on their memories together as she tells him goodbye.
She’s moving some boxes into the living room when she accidentally knocks Yun Ru’s journal onto the ground. She picks it up, then notices the page that it’s flipped to. Her eyes widen in shock as she wonders, “How can this be…?”
Yu Xuan listens to the Walkman again, scrolls through her texts with Quan Sheng, and goes to sleep on the couch. This time it works.
Yu Xuan wakes up as Yun Ru in the record shop, having just been caught dozing off by her uncle. She feels a strong sense of deja vu. She knows exactly what her uncle is going to say, and knows that some police officers are about to come in and show her new evidence in the form of a hearing aid. She asks her uncle what the date is: it’s October 14, 1998.
Realizing that she is really in Yun Ru’s timeline and that everything in the notebook actually happened, Yu Xuan suddenly takes off running, mystifying her uncle and the detectives. As she runs, we see a memory of her and Quan Sheng. She had asked Quan Sheng what he would do if a time machine actually existed. Would he travel to the past or the future?
Quan Sheng says he would travel to the past. He doesn’t need to go the future, because he already knows that she will be in his future. Instead, he would travel to the time before he met her, and tell his past self that one day he would meet a girl he really, really, really likes and that he should never let her go. Yu Xuan says that she would also go to the past, but not to talk to herself. Instead, she would go find his past self as well, and tell him that she is the person who will love him in the future.
Yu Xuan runs to the school campus, where she sees Zi Wei standing on the rooftop, and smiles. She runs up to go approach him, smiling but with tears in her eyes, and we see why: on the page in the notebook, she had written, “He is Wang Quan Sheng.”
Thinking that Zi Wei is Quan Sheng, she runs up to him excitedly, but her hopes are quickly squashed as she overhears Zi Wei comment on the size of a girl’s chest while cupping some imaginary breasts. He quickly tries to act innocent when he notices her and asks her why she’s here and crying. Suddenly furious, she crosses her arms and asks what he’s doing. He claims he’s enjoying the weather, but she knows that he was just checking out some girls who were running on the lawns. She kicks him in the shins, then stalks off with a vulgar arm gesture at him.
Zi Wei rushes to catch up with Yu Xuan, asking her why she was crying. Is something wrong? She tells him that it’s none of his business and that he should just leave her alone. He stares after her, confused.
Back in the record shop, Yu Xuan ponders the situation. Her uncle watches her go through an internal monologue, mirroring her actions with his own. Yu Xuan flips through Yun Ru’s notebook, not finding the page she had written. Does that mean Yun Ru hasn’t met Quan Sheng yet? In 1998, Quan Sheng would be a child. Which would make her… a pedophile? Realizing how foolish she had been, Yu Xuan wonders why she’s even here in Yun Ru’s life.
Zi Wei hangs out at Jun Jie’s grandmother’s ice shop at night while Jun Jie closes up. Zi Wei tries to casually suggest dropping by the record shop to check on Yun Ru. He mentions that she came to him crying earlier, and he just wants to see if she’s okay. Jun Jie tells Zi Wei that he doesn’t need to go; Jun Jie will go check on Yun Ru himself. He tells Zi Wei that he likes Yun Ru and wants to pursue her.
Jun Jie wants Zi Wei to stay away from Yun Ru. He wants to be the one that Yun Ru goes to when she’s upset. He knows that Yun Ru still likes Zi Wei, and tells Zi Wei that if he’s being honest about not liking her and still thinks of Jun Jie as a friend, then he’ll stay away from Yun Ru so that she won’t be reminded of her feelings for him. Zi Wei looks away, seemingly a bit uncomfortable, but later at home is most disgruntled that Jun Jie would treat him like that because of a girl.
Yu Xuan is surprised to find Jun Jie outside the record shop when she closes up. He hands her a helmet and offers her a ride. A few dissonant notes cut through the background theme song, but Yu Xuan makes it home just fine. At home, she wonders how Zi Wei and Quan Sheng are connected, and laments that she didn’t do more preparation before diving into Yun Ru’s life. She doesn’t even know how to get back to her own life.
The next morning, Zi Wei runs into Jun Jie at their motorcycle hiding spot. Zi Wei is hesitant, remembering Jun Jie’s words from the previous night and not sure if things are now awkward between them, but Jun Jie treats him like normal.
As they walk toward class, Zi Wei lingers in the window of Yun Ru’s classroom and looks for her at her desk. She’s not there, but Jun Jie notices that Zi Wei was looking.
Later, when they’re playing a game of basketball, Jun Jie cold shoulders Zi Wei and refuses to pass him the ball. Zi Wei edges him out to get a rebound, knocking him to the ground. Angry, Jun Jie tries to start a fight with Zi Wei, who is all too happy to oblige. They start shoving each other, but their classmates hold them back before they actually exchange punches.
Zi Wei is still pissed off and abruptly stands up and leaves in the middle of class. Jun Jie catches up with him right as he’s about to hop the school wall and asks where he’s going. Zi Wei responds, “You know where I’m going.” He calls Jun Jie out for picking a girl over their friendship, saying that he would never do the same to him, but also says that it’s none of Jun Jie’s business who he wants to care about. Jun Jie tries to follow, but gets caught by the school officer.
Yu Xuan isn’t in school because she spends all night trying different ways of going back to the present. Her mom finds her listening to the Walkman, and Yu Xuan reacts with impatience. Yun Ru’s mom is more confused that Yun Ru is speaking to her in such an uncharacteristic way than anything. Yu Xuan quickly catches herself and tries to soften her tone. She pushes Yun Ru’s mother out the door, saying something about returning her quiet, docile daughter back to her soon, then returns to her time travel attempts.
She eventually gives up and tries to just get some sleep, but is interrupted by Zi Wei throwing rocks at her window. He takes her to a park, and she asks why he invited her so far out. He says that he just wants to hear what’s on her mind, like why she was crying that day she came to find him. She’s surprised, and asks why he couldn’t just talk to her outside her house. Why did he have to drag her all the way out here? She mutters some stuff about how she must be getting old and doesn’t understand young people anymore.
Yu Xuan doesn’t want to talk and asks Zi Wei to take her home. She’s busy trying to figure out how to get herself out of Yun Ru’s life. But Zi Wei says that if she doesn’t want to talk about what’s on her mind, that’s fine, but he wants to talk about what’s on his mind. If he doesn’t tell someone, he might explode.
Yu Xuan is annoyed, but reluctantly agrees to listen. They sit under a tree, and Zi Wei starts saying that he only started hanging around her because Jun Jie liked her and needed help. He didn’t expect to become so close to her after her accident. But now, he needs to start treating her like Jun Jie’s best friend and she needs to start treating him like Jun Jie’s best friend. That’s the best end result, that they’re both Jun Jie’s best friends. He turns to look at her, only to realize that she’s put her headphones in and has fallen asleep.
He’s initially annoyed, but then lies down next to her, saying that it’ll be easier to talk to her this way. He stares at her sleeping face and admits that he couldn’t stop thinking about her that day after she came to him crying. He kept wondering why she was crying and why she had looked at him with such sorrow.
Yu Xuan is dreaming about her time machine conversation with Quan Sheng. After she told him that she would choose to talk to his past self, he had told her that she wouldn’t even need to say anything to him. He’s sure that if his past self ever saw her, he would immediately know that she would be the only woman he would ever love.
Zi Wei also drifts off to sleep. When Yu Xuan opens her eyes, she stares at his sleeping face and asks herself how he could be so similar to Quan Sheng when they’re clearly not the same person. He opens his eyes and sees her looking at him. They hold eye contact.
So. Many. Questions!
Sooo that was never Quan Sheng in Yu Xuan’s present; it was always Li Zi Wei. But why has he suddenly shown up now?
We know that Yu Xuan really did live as Yun Ru back in 1998 and told her uncle at some point. That means that the person Zi Wei falls in love with is actually Yu Xuan and not Yun Ru, so we end up with this weird love triangle. I assume 2019’s Li Zi Wei lived out his life since 1998, so he’s… what, at least 10 years Yu Xuan’s senior?
And let’s talk about Dr. Xie, who shares the same face as the student I believe to be Yun Ru’s attacker. We get more evidence that suggests he might be the one this episode. The rock on his desk. The hidden files on Chen Yun Ru’s murder in his closet. Is he another doppelganger, or is he the actual student grown up to be a doctor? Did he intentionally enter Yu Xuan’s life because of her resemblance to Yun Ru, or did it just happen to be a coincidence? Of course, there are no real coincidences in this show. The hand of fate is just way too heavy in these characters’ lives.
Mo Jun Jie continues to be such a sweetheart. Sure, he’s dumb for putting a girl before his friendship with Zi Wei, but sometimes boys do that. There’s no way he was Yun Ru’s assailant. He’s so earnest, there’s not a bad bone in his body.
And of course, the question on everyone’s mind, including Yu Xuan’s, is: who is Wang Quan Sheng? Why did she write that? How does that relate to Li Zi Wei in the present? Did they also do a body/soul switch?
I’m also super curious about the parameters of the time travel/identity swap. How fixed is the past? Is it immutable? Can Yu Xuan change her present by living the past differently? We will find out…
A couple of other random thoughts I had this episode:
- Anyone else think Patrick Shih (Mo Jun Jie) looks like Yoo Seung Ho? I got some major vibes this episode, especially when Jun Jie was warning Zi Wei to stay away from Yun Ru when they were in his grandmother’s restaurant.
- Those dissonant notes when Jun Jie picks up Yun Ru… are they try to sow suspicion that he’s the culprit? Was I listening too much into it?