Drama Recaps, Taiwanese Dramas

Recap: Amensalism (Ep. 9)

Everyone gets on their inner spy this episode as a lot of truths are revealed surrounding the car accident and its cover-up.

Recap

You Kuan goes to the local police station in his mother’s neighborhood and checks the security tapes for clues on who might have attacked her. One of the tapes shows Chairman Xu with his secretary on a street near his mother’s house.

Ke Wei accidentally knocks Papa Cheng’s old wallet to the ground. She picks it up and looks fondly at the old photo of child You Kuan with his parents. She asks Chun Xiong if he could digitally touch up the photo, and slides it out of wallet to give it to him. But when she does, she realizes that the photo is folded. On the other half is the car with the license plate AX-8217.

Li Yao Qing has a connection to a car dealership and helps You Kuan research the origin of his father’s car fob. He gets a call from his connection, who tells him that the car fob belongs to a car with the license plate AX-8217, owned by Xu Zhao De.

Li Yao Qing and You Kuan arrive at SG headquarters at the same time. Ke Wei immediately asks You Kuan if he remembers when the wallet photo was taken, but Yao Qing says it doesn’t matter. He already traced Papa Cheng’s car fob to the car. He notices that You Kuan is strangely quiet. You Kuan admits that he thinks this all may have something to do with his mother.

As if on cue, he gets a phone call from his mother, who has something she wants to say to Ke Wei.

The three of them meet Mama Cheng on the side of the road where Ke Wei’s family crashed nearly twenty years ago. Mama Cheng lays down a bouquet of flowers, something she should’ve done years ago, then tells Ke Wei the truth.

Mama Cheng first met Ke Wei nineteen years ago, at this very spot. It had been shortly after the accident. Ke Wei was looking for the car that she knew she saw. Mama Cheng wanted to verify if her husband had really caused the fatal car accident.

The morning after the car accident, Mama Cheng had been furious at her husband’s absence when their son nearly died. She argued with him, barely listened to his words about his own strange night, and had left to go to the hospital. On her way out, she noticed the AX-8217 car parked outside the house, under a tarp. The only thing that stood out about it to her was that she recognized it as Chairman Xu’s car, and took it as a sign that her husband had prioritized work over his family, again.

After he disappeared, Mama Cheng noticed that $300,000 NTD was missing from their bank account. She found it suspicious because he had never withdrawn so much money without running it by her first. She had looked through his clothes for clues, then noticed a bloodstain on his shirt.

She went to the only person she thought might have more answers: Chairman Xu. Chairman Xu had some answers, but they only invited more questions. He told her that the car of his she’d seen had been stolen months ago. After Cheng Da Qi’s disappearance, Chairman Xu claimed he had looked into company records to see if he could find any clues. Instead, he found that Da Qi had been embezzling money. Chairman Xu had recently received a phone call from someone at a scrapyard asking about the car. It had clearly been in an accident.

Mama Cheng had begged Chairman Xu for help. They both knew what kind of person Cheng Da Qi was. If he did commit all these crimes, he must be in some sort of trouble. Chairman Xu agreed to not report anything to the police. Later, Mama Cheng found out that he had paid the scrapyard to destroy the car in order to eliminate all traces of Papa Cheng’s crimes. She also read about Ke Wei’s car accident in the news, and realized that her husband must have been involved. That’s when she went to the location of the accident, and ran into young Ke Wei.

In the present day, Mama Cheng tries to tell Ke Wei that she didn’t want to lie about the car, but she was scared. She was just trying to protect her husband.

That’s no excuse for Ke Wei, who blames Mama Cheng’s cowardice for all of her suffering the past nineteen years.

Yao Qing asks why Chairman Xu had Secretary Zheng follow You Kuan and Ke Wei, and trespass the SG headquarters. You Kuan guesses that Chairman Xu had met with Mama Cheng the day that her house was burglarized.

Mama Cheng admits that she made up the story about a stranger trespassing at SG. It all began that day she returned home to find her front gate open. She was surprised to find Secretary Zheng inside her front door. Chairman Xu was waiting.

Mama Cheng apologized to him for inconveniencing him, thinking that her desire to hide her husband’s crime had eventually let to Ming Fei getting kidnapped by the scrapyard owner. But Chairman Xu was more interested in the news that Cheng Da Qi had reappeared. Xu suggested that maybe Da Qi had disappeared all those years ago because he had gone into hiding and was afraid. Is he reappearing now because he thinks it’s safe? Chairman Xu pointed out that You Kuan and Ke Wei were still doggedly investigating the car. If Da Qi thinks they might be onto something, he might go back into hiding.

Mama Cheng, desperate to see her husband again, decided to stage a burglary to hinder You Kuan and Ke Wei’s investigation, at least until she was able to see Da Qi again. Her wrist injury was self-inflicted.

The night of the supposed trespass at SG headquarters, Chairman Xu had texted Mama Cheng about You Kuan getting some documents from his old driver. Mama Cheng had gone back to the headquarters to try and find the documents, but Ke Wei returned home early. Mama Cheng sprayed her in the face in order to get away, and then ran into her own room and staged the intruder’s escape out the balcony door, completing the deception with a ragged scream of her own.

Now, You Kuan admits that he thought it odd she had scratch marks on her hand that night, but he didn’t want to think too much into it.

Mama Cheng cries as she admits to them that she has made mistake upon mistake the past nineteen years. Now that she knows her husband is dead, she doesn’t need to hide anything anymore.

Does that mean she would’ve kept hiding the truth if she thought her husband were still alive? Ke Wei asks. Mama Cheng tries to defend herself, saying she was just trying to protect her loved one. But Ke Wei is unforgiving. What about her parents? They were the ones who died. She grew up without parents because of her husband. “Return my parents to me!” she demands.

Mama Cheng falls to her knees, begging for forgiveness. She says that she and her husband will get what they deserve, but she wants Ke Wei to forgive her. Ke Wei shakes her head as she cries, saying she won’t accept it. Mama Cheng will get what she deserves. Her parents’ obscure deaths are her fault. She’s an accomplice. Ke Wei is going to sue her.

You Kuan slowly moves to stand in front of Ke Wei. He takes her hand and tells her that she can do whatever she wants, but that photo she has crumpled in her hand is the last moment of happiness his family had. He gently extricates it from her grasp. She lets her hand fall out of his.

You Kuan backs away from Ke Wei and goes to his mother’s side, lifting her to her feet. Yao Qing gently takes Ke Wei by the shoulders and guides her away.

You Kuan continues to watch Ke Wei as she walks away with Yao Qing, silently telling her that he can’t stay by her side because he knows it will only bring her more pain.

Ke Wei is silent during the cab ride back to Taipei. She’s surprised when the cab stops, not at SG headquarters, but in front of a restaurant where her aunt is waiting. Yao Qing had phoned ahead and told her everything. Ke Wei wants to be alone so she can move out of SG and prepare to sue Mama Cheng, but Yao Qing and her aunt won’t let her be alone.

Yao Qing reminds her how important this restaurant is to him. When he was at the lowest point of his life, Ke Wei was the one who dragged him here and refused to let him be alone. Now it’s his turn to do the same for her.

Mama Cheng is withdrawn at home with You Kuan. He tries to coax her to eat, but she’s unresponsive. Finally, she laments that the situation has become like this. From the moment she met Ke Wei, she knew that Ke Wei was a good girl and she was happy that You Kuan had someone like Ke Wei in his life.

If Ke Wei insists on suing her, Mama Cheng won’t blame her. She knows she needs to be held accountable for her actions. You Kuan asks his mother if she really believes that his father would do such a thing. Mama Cheng doesn’t know. All the evidence points to Cheng Da Qi. If she doesn’t believe it, then what should she believe?

You Kuan meets with Chairman Xu, who presents him with a box full of evidence of Cheng Da Qi’s embezzlement, and a laptop with surveillance footage. He claims that he sealed the evidence after meeting with Mama Cheng all those years ago. Now, he’s giving You Kuan the power to decide what to do with all of this evidence.

You Kuan doesn’t understand why Xu would help hide the matter instead of going to the police. Chairman Xu says that he was going to report it to the police, but he saw how distraught You Kuan and his mother were over his father’s disappearance and decided to spare them the additional heartache and bear the burden of hiding the crime.

Ke Wei is about to leave the SG headquarters when You Kuan screeches into the driveway.

She keeps him company for a short while. When she’s about to leave, he offers to drive her, then thinks better of it and calls her a cab instead. While they wait, she warns him that she plans on preparing a lawsuit against his mother tomorrow morning. To her surprise, he congratulates her. She’s finally solved the mystery of her parents’ death. Once she succeeds in bringing justice to the culprit’s accomplice, she can start a whole new life.

“Do you think I’m happy right now?” Ke Wei asks. She found out that her boyfriend’s father is responsible for killing her parents, and now she’s suing his mother. Is this something she should be congratulated on?

The cab arrives and Ke Wei leaves. You Kuan lets her go and silently apologizes in his head, saying he won’t give up.

Ming Fei looks through her things, searching for a camera that she can’t find. She frowns. After remembering taking photos as a teenager, Ming Fei had asked her mother if she’d ever gifted her a camera or taught her how to take photos. Her mother said no. But Ming Fei knows what she remembered. How can she prove that her parents are lying to her?

She goes to find You Kuan and ask him if he remembers her taking a photo of his family, which he does. She shares her concerns that her parents are lying to her. She doesn’t remember hitting her head. All she remembers is leaving school, and then the next thing she knew she was waking up in a hospital bed in England. If she does have a gap in her memories, wouldn’t it be easy for her parents to replace them with lies?

Ke Wei hands in her resignation letter to Ming Fei, who understands why she’s resigning. Ming Fei has only one question for her: was it worth it? She searched for answers for nearly twenty years and this is what she found. Was it worth it? Ke Wei responds that at least she’s no longer confused by why her heart aches. Ming Fei murmurs that she would also rather know a truth that hurts instead of living in confusion.

Ke Wei asks if Ming Fei is also looking for something, but Ming Fei collects herself and says no. Instead, she just finds that she and Ke Wei seem to have a similar way of thinking and it’s a shame that they didn’t get to know each other better. She thinks they could have been friends.

Ke Wei responds that this must be their fate. “What about You Kuan?” Ming Fei asks. He must be sad about their breakup. Ke Wei says she’s sure he’s trying to live his life somewhere in the world.

You Kuan is on a hike in the woods with a group of uncles and aunties. He thinks back to a part of his last conversation with Ke Wei that we never saw. She told him that she was suing his mother not to end this saga, but to continue it. If she wanted to end it, she would have let his father take the fall for everything. But there are too many unanswered questions. Who killed his father? Was his death related to the accident? Only by prolonging the case will they have the opportunity to find the truth. You Kuan thanked her for not giving up on the truth. She said she was looking for a better reason for why they had to break up. She doesn’t accept that this should be the reason they break up.

But what if, at the end of all this, they find that You Kuan’s father is actually the one responsible? Ke Wei says that at least she won’t have any regrets about their parting.

Now, You Kuan treats the uncles and aunties to some wintermelon tea. They ask him why he’s come hiking with them. Another flashback: You Kuan verified with Fang Yan Hua that his father was the one who drove the car to the scrapyard. You Kuan had also interrogated the person who stole his father’s identity. The man had said that he goes hiking in the mountains every week with a group, but the day he found the ID card, he got lost. He hadn’t seen any human remains nearby, otherwise he wouldn’t have dared take the card.

You Kuan is interested in finding out if the hiking group has noticed anything strange on the mountains. He passes out his business card, telling them to reach out if they hear or see anything.

Ke Wei prepares to visit her parents’ grave and update them with the recent developments in their case. She finds out from her aunt that shortly after the accident, a mysterious benefactor donated $300,000 NTD toward their funeral costs.

You Kuan returns to SG to find Yao Qing making food for himself in the kitchen. Yao Qing is there to inform him that Ke Wei’s DNA was found in the bloodstain on the shirt his father was wearing before he disappeared, proof that his father was at the scene of the accident. Moreover, the fact that Mama Cheng had held onto the shirt for so long could implicate her for hiding evidence. She could get jail time.

You Kuan says that this is what his mother wants. This is the last thing she can do for his father. But what about him? Yao Qing asks. What is he going to do for his father? You Kuan doesn’t seem like the kind of person who would leave this all up to fate.

You Kuan doesn’t know if what he’s doing right now will have any purpose, but all he can do is try.

Yao Qing spots the box of evidence against You Kuan’s father on the kitchen counter. He’s suspicious and skeptical that the evidence was sealed nineteen years ago.

He does some research and tells You Kuan that Dong Di Group didn’t put their logo or watermarks on company boxes or documents until after he started working there. So there’s no way the supposed evidence You Kuan was given had been sealed for nineteen years.

You Kuan asks Yao Qing if he can access the company archives. Yao Qing knows it won’t be easy, since Yan, the employee who helped him last time, had warned him that the chairman was on the alert.

He barges into the archives department, where the Yan, the employee, tries to stop him and then goes off to inform Secretary Zheng. While he’s gone, Yao Qing downloads some files onto a USB drive. He’s done by the time Secretary Zheng arrives, but Zheng has the security guards pat Yao Qing down. They find his USB drive. Yao Qing claims that he was just procuring documents needed by the legal department.

Zheng inserts the USB drive into the department laptop to check what Yao Qing downloaded, while Yao Qing watches nervously. But the drive only contains the company’s construction records, nothing more. Zheng is forced to release Yao Qing. The two exchange some icy words, then Yao Qing grabs his bag and the flash drive and leaves.

On his way out, he exchanges a look with Yan, the department employee.

It turns out everything had gone according to plan. Yao Qing had never intended to download any files directly. Instead, his intrusion into the archives department was a ruse, designed to lure out Secretary Zheng so they could get his computer password. A hidden camera in Yao Qing’s bag recorded the keyboard.

Ming Fei enlists Xiao Mi and Ace’s help in trailing her mother. They follow her to an underground parking garage, where she meets with Ming Fei’s father to report that Ming Fei had recently asked about a camera and then suddenly called her, demanding to know why they were lying. Ming Fei’s mother asks Chairman Xu if they should tell her the truth.

Ming Fei opens the door to her father’s car and gets in the backseat, saying she didn’t know her parents were still on such close terms. She knows how easy it is for them to lie to her about her missing memories, and reveals that she had called her mother in order to lure her out and see what she would do. Now she knows that they are lying to her. What is so important about the camera that they would continue lying to her?

Ming Fei’s mother starts to respond, but Chairman Xu interrupts her, yelling, “Enough!”

His voice triggers another memory for Ming Fei: she and her father are in a car, arguing. He yells “enough!” and the car swerves into the oncoming lane. Ming Fei sees a flash of headlights and screams.

Yao Qing and You Kuan race back to SG headquarters, where Chun Xiong hacks into the Dong Di corporate network. They use Secretary Zheng’s password to login.

You Kuan sees something on the screen and sighs. It is as he thought. “Xu Zhao De, why did you do this?” he says.

While Ming Fei and You Kuan each come to their own realizations, Ke Wei sits outside on a bench, head in her hands.

I’m not a Wang Zi fangirl and I really can’t take the lead acting in this show anymore. Honestly the only reason I keep watching is for the drama. 🙈 Which is a shame because Yen Yi Wen, who portrays You Kuan’s mother, is such a powerhouse actress!

But the drama is compelling. Reservations about the acting aside, I really liked how this episode was all about the post-reveal. So many questions were answered, and basically all of our characters got their inner spy on to try and find answers.

Ming Fei wasn’t driving — but she was definitely involved in the accident and the only living witness that Chairman Xu can’t make disappear. I’m sure it was very convenient for him when she happened to come out of the accident with amnesia… (I don’t think it’s possible to induce amnesia, right?) But now that she knows the truth, what is she going to do with it? We know that despite her frosty relationship with her father, she very much cares for him. Will she choose to hide the truth and protect him? And what is Chairman Xu going to do? How far is he willing to go to cover up the truth?

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