As Ai Sha recovers in the hospital, she realizes that maybe Fei Yang isn’t so bad after all. Maybe she even likes having him around. But once she’s released, she has to figure out what she, a workaholic, will do without a job. Meanwhile, Xiao An tries to maintain her authority in the office and in her personal life.
Steven is still in the office, working, when Jing Jing leaves at night. She asks if he’s going to keep working overtime, and he nods without looking up. She heads out, and he looks up for a moment, then returns to his work. A short while later, she returns with dinner in hand.
While they eat, Steven points out a bit of ketchup stuck on the corner of Jing Jing’s mouth. She doesn’t get it the first time, so he gently wipes it for her.
They smile at each other, and Jing Jing asks if he frequently works this late, to make conversation. Does he not have anyone waiting for him at home?
He responds that they’ve all been scared off by his workaholic ways. What about her? Does she have too many people to choose from?
Jing Jing tells him a secret. Men love to party with her, but she knows they all actually fear her. He laughs and she thinks he agrees with them, but instead he says that being feared is just one of the prices of success.
(I always wonder how many of these side stories and side scenes are influenced by product placement. If the product placement wasn’t necessary, would this conversation still be happening? Probably. But maybe they just wouldn’t be eating.)
Jing Jing asks if he sometimes feels like he’s missing something because he works so hard but doesn’t have anyone to share with. Steven tells her a secret of his own: all men secretly want someone to share with, but even if they feel lonely, they won’t admit it, because that would mean losing.
Jing Jing smiles sadly and says that women have too much at stake and can’t afford to lose. But if she met the right person who could make her forget about winning or losing, maybe she’d be closer to finding happiness.
As she speaks, the scene fades to Ai Sha in the hospital, sleeping. She wakes up to see Fei Yang’s head on the pillow next to her. He’s fallen asleep in an awkward-looking position, sitting in a chair, but leaned back against her bed.
“He’s really not going home?” she murmurs to herself, then gently draws one of her blankets around him. She remembers how sincere he seemed about her when she caught him talking to himself. Then she falls back asleep.
The next morning, Fei Yang gives Ai Sha’s doctor a very detailed report of her bowel movements. She’s annoyed, but her doctor compliments her boyfriend’s attention to detail. Ai Sha grumbles that he’s not her boyfriend.
Ye Xuan enters as the doctor leaves. Ai Sha quickly gets him to take her out for a walk. Fei Yang wants to tag along, but she tells him to go home.
While they walk, Ye Xuan says that at least she was forced to rest as a result of her hospital stay. If she were at home, she probably wouldn’t have rested so much. She agrees, and she wouldn’t have known that she could tolerate being in such close proximity with Fei Yang for so long. Ye Xuan says she could ask him to leave. She says that she has, but he wouldn’t. He asks if she actually likes having him around. She scoffs and says of course not, but her surgical wound pains her again so they head back to her hospital room.
Ye Xuan helps her get settled, then notices the proposal Ai Sha was helping Fei Yang with. She asks him what’s on his mind. He seems to want to say something about Fei Yang, but then decides against it. Instead he suggests that they should go on vacation together after she gets out of the hospital. She asks why he suddenly wants to go on vacation.
“Because I… also want to be by your side,” he says in a small voice. Ai Sha smiles awkwardly. “Ai Sha, let’s be together,” Ye Xuan says. She stares at him and doesn’t respond. Fei Yang watches from the doorway.
Ye Xuan starts trying to explain himself more, but is interrupted by a nurse coming in to change Ai Sha’s dressing. Since Ye Xuan is only a friend and not family, he’s asked to vacate the room.
Fei Yang stops him in the hallway and declares that they are now rivals. He won’t let Ye Xuan have Ai Sha. Ye Xuan says that love isn’t a competition and Ai Sha isn’t a prize. Fei Yang doesn’t understand Ai Sha. Ye Xuan has bene by her side for twenty years and knows that she’s not the shark Fei Yang sees. He tells Fei Yang not to drag her into his game. He won’t forgive him if she gets hurt.
Fei Yang says that liking someone means accepting their changes. Ye Xuan may understand her past, but Fei Yang is the one who can accompany her into the future. Fei Yang won’t lose.
Ye Xuan angrily says that winning or losing isn’t up to Fei Yang. And repeats that Ai Sha isn’t a prize. He shoves Fei Yang aside and walks away, and broods about Fei Yang and Ai Sha as he wanders the streets at night.
During the next workday, Yuki accidentally bumps into Sui Lin in the hallway. Ah Ben catches her before she falls, but she’s lost her glasses. He looks around and accidentally steps onto them. She tells him it’s okay, but he watches worriedly as she stumbles around the office, unable to see clearly.
Xi Jun asks her for some coffee, and she accidentally spills it all over him. Xi Jun splutters at her, but can’t even remember her name. Ah Ben jumps in, saying that her name is Sui Lin. He’s offended on her behalf that she does everything around the office yet no one can remember her name. He offers to help her with her miscellaneous duties.
Vicky and Yuki gossip that Ah Ben looks especially handsome today. Xiao An sees them gossiping and snaps at them to get back to work. Yuki asks her where the CEO has been the past few days. Xiao An coldly responds that Ai Sha has been hospitalized and he’s been with her.
Vicky and Yuki are immediately concerned for Ai Sha and ask if Xiao An has gone to see her. Xiao An seems rattled, but forcefully says that whether she’s seen Ai Sha is none of their business and tells them to get back to work.
Yuki whispers to Vicky that Xiao An has seemed strange lately. She finds it weird that Xiao An doesn’t seem concerned at all that Ai Sha is in the hospital. Shouldn’t they have been close, since Xiao An was Ai Sha’s assistant for three years? Vicky takes that as proof that Xiao An is fake, but Yuki continues to seem bothered by Xiao An’s change.
Sui Lin watches as Ah Ben helps her remake Xi Jun’s coffee. She reminds him to add an extra packet of sugar, then rattles off every employee’s drink order. He’s amazed by her attention to detail. She asks him how he remembered her name when no one else can. He claims that he frequently memorizes the employee directory — he knows everyone’s names. But he knew her name before they merged with Golden Man. How did he know who she was? He looks away awkwardly and doesn’t respond, and is saved from answering when he’s asked to help with a computer problem.
Ai Sha reads over the project document that Fei Yang asked her to look at. She offers him some suggestions, then looks over to find that he’s fallen asleep. She brainstorms some more, thinking that maybe they could partner with a dating app, like Ocean’s Heart.
Thinking about the app reminds her of Killer Whale, and she pulls out her phone to send him a message. After she hits send, she hears a notification from Fei Yang’s phone. She tries sending another message, followed by another notification. Suspicious, she tries to pull Fei Yang’s phone out of his inner jacket pocket.
Fei Yang opens his eyes and wonders if he’s dreaming. Ai Sha stares at him, caught, and tries to pull back but gets hit with a spasm of pain instead. Worried that she may have injured herself, he hurries out to find a nurse, and she loses her chance to peek at his phone.
Ai Sha’s mother is still in pain and feeling uncomfortable the morning that Ai Sha is supposed to be discharged. Nan Cheng returns home and doesn’t notice. Instead, he complains that his mother gave Ai Sha’s things to Ye Xuan instead of waiting to go to the hospital together. He decides to make his own trip to the hospital, wanting to use this opportunity to chat with Fei Yang about a product he’s trying to push. His mother asks why the rush. He responds that Ai Sha has resigned and now Fei Yang is in charge of both companies. If he doesn’t lean on Fei Yang, who else can he lean on?
Dong Xue overhears that his sister resigned and Fei Yang is now in charge of Chic and drops his cup in distress. He dashes upstairs and finds that he’s been blocked from the Chic platform. (Hm, what’s going on there?)
Ai Sha’s mother and Nan Cheng show up at the hospital as Ai Sha is about to be discharged. Her mother gives Nan Cheng and Fei Yang an opportunity to talk in the hallway, where Nan Cheng asks Fei Yang about the favor he mentioned the other day. Fei Yang just stares at him blankly.
Nan Cheng tries to draw his sympathy, saying that now that Ai Sha is recovering from surgery, the family’s financial responsibility will fall upon him now. He sighs and asks Fei Yang to help him — for Ai Sha’s sake.
Fei Yang knows it’s a load of bull, but tells Nan Cheng that maybe he can drop by with some documents next week and maybe Fei Yang can find some time to meet with his boss.
Ai Sha’s mother packs her things while saying that it’s a good thing she’s getting discharged today. It’s not like she has a job to pay for an extended hospital stay. Ai Sha tries to help, but her mother tells her to sit down and rest — it’s not like she has great packing and organizational skills. When Ai Sha’s mother spots the proposal document from Fei Yang, she thinks it’s a sign that Ai Sha is returning to Chic, but her face falls when Ai Sha says she was just helping Fei Yang. She admonishes Ai Sha for doing work for free and not even charging a consulting fee.
Ai Sha’s mother suddenly clutches her chest. Worried, Ai Sha asks if she’s okay, but her mother waves her off.
When they get home, her mom starts lecturing her about quitting Chic without a plan. She tells Ai Sha she should ask Fei Yang for her job back. No one would want to hire her, and why would she give up her high-ranking position at a top company like Chic? Ai Sha calls out her on her hypocrisy — just a few days ago, she was berating Ai Sha for sacrificing too much for her job, now she wants Ai Sha to go back to Chic?
Ai Sha gives her mother access to her bank account. There’s enough money for a half year’s worth of living expenses. Her mother asks what she plans on doing after the money is used up. It’s only a half year. What about after?
She suddenly clutches her chest and breathes hard. Ai Sha asks if she’s okay and suggests she get a check-up, but her mother says it’s not necessary. She says that this is all because of Ai Sha, making her worried. She says that talking to Ai Sha is hopeless right now, and leaves.
Shortly afterward, the doorbell rings. Ai Sha opens her door to find Fei Yang outside with a bag full of products to help her during her recovery. It’s really just a way to stuff a ton of product placements in one, but hey, it’s the thought that counts right?
Ye Xuan participates in a promotional photo shoot at Chic. Xiao An pauses the shoot to gently adjust his collar and straighten him out a bit. Ni Mo, Vicky, and Yuki watch them and gossip that there seems to be some sort of tension between the two.
Afterward, Xiao An tries to chat with Ye Xuan in her office. She can tell something is off, but he brushes off her concern, saying he’s been feeling a bit unwell lately. She moves to check if he has a fever, but he dodges her hand and then excuses himself to go to the restroom.
Fei Yang attempts to cook for Ai Sha, but clearly has no idea how to handle himself in the kitchen. He makes chicken soup, but forgets the chicken. When Ai Sha points it out, he tosses in the chicken from several feet away., making a mess She ends up shaking her head and taking over, but can’t help smiling as he watches.
She catches him staring at her. He says that this is the first time he’s seen her smile so happily at him. They’re interrupted when Fei Yang gets a call from Ni Mo, asking when he’ll be in the office. Ai Sha hands him her edits of the proposal, saying this is the last time she’s going to do something for Chic.
He asks what her plan is now. Does she want to come back to Chic? There will always be a place for her. She reminds him that she plans on being her own boss from now on. He reminds her that one day, she’ll come back to him. She watches him go with a smile.
Ye Xuan leaves without telling Xiao An and she rushes to catch up with him at the elevators, asking if he’s avoiding her. He says that this is an important time for her job-wise. She should focus on her work and not waste time on him.
The elevator arrives and Ye Xuan starts toward it, but Xiao An grabs his arm to stop him. Another elevator arrives and Fei Yang steps out. Xiao An immediately drops Ye Xuan’s arm. Fei Yang neutrally acknowledges the promo photo shoot that Ye Xuan was doing at Chic, then heads into the office. Once he’s walked past them, he looks puzzled, having seen Xiao An and Ye Xuan and wondering what’s going on.
Ye Xuan calls another elevator and leaves without looking at Xiao An and without saying more than a goodbye.
Qi Zhen Kai gets off a conference call with some stockholders who are concerned about EC’s declining fashion sales. Zhen Kai reassures them he has it under control. Qi Zhen Kai’s assistant shows him a video of the Chic-Golden Man press conference where Ai Sha announced her resignation. He’s amused by the situation, that there’s a woman Fei Yang can’t handle. He tells his assistant to reach out to Ai Sha. He wants to meet her.
Xiao An is unhappy to see that her proposal has been edited by Ai Sha. She asks Fei Yang to let her know the next time she chooses to work with someone outside the company. He notices that she doesn’t seem to care about Ai Sha’s hospitalization. She claims that the best way of showing Ai Sha concern is to leave her alone.
Ai Sha does her budget and sighs over how much money she has left. Killer Whale texts her back on Ocean’s Heart. Ai Sha remembers her suspicions that he is Fei Yang, and asks him his age and employer. He responds evasively, claiming to work at a subsidiary of EC, which is not entirely untrue.
They text back and forth, and Ai Sha admits that she recently lost her job. Fei Yang guesses that she feels lost without a job after being such a workaholic. She’s surprised by how he seems to know exactly how she’s feeling. He suggests she make a bucket list of all the things she’s wanted to do but wasn’t able to because she was working.
The first thing on her bucket list is to sleep until she wakes up naturally instead of to an alarm, but she still ends up waking up before 7 AM. The next is some self-care, so she puts on a facial mask, but she soon gets bored of sitting around. She thinks about eating breakfast, but there are no groceries in her fridge and Ye Xuan’s meal prep has long gone bad. She tries reading, but it’s barely past 9 AM and she’s already bored.
She starts to start fresh, tossing out her fashion magazines and deep cleaning her apartment. But that only gets her to 11 AM. Then she gets a phone call from an unknown number.
Ai Sha meets with Qi Zhen Kai, whom she recognizes and has heard of. He has a job offer for her: lead EC’s marketing team as a VP of marketing. Her salary will be three times as high as her Chic salary, plus she’ll have stock options. She’ll start tomorrow.
Ai Sha says this contract is too valuable. Is she afraid of a challenge? Zhen Kai asks. But Ai Sha says that she’s not young anymore. She’s not going to sign away her life to someone else. Zhen Kai tells her she’s too old to be dreaming and that she’s not going to get a better offer. She should be realistic and know that someone like her, with no background or resources, will never get anything better. She’s the first person he’s personally interviewed, so he’ll give her a day to consider the offer. He doesn’t like having his time wasted.
Ye Xuan meets up with Ai Sha in the park by her house with lunch in hand. He says that if she comes work at his restaurant, he’ll cook for her every day. She jokes that maybe she will if she can’t find a job, but warns him that her base salary is high. He responds that if he can see her every day and make her smile every day, he’ll pay her ten times what she wants. As long as she’s happy, he’s willing to do anything for her.
Ai Sha suddenly asks him if he remembers how, whenever she would argue with her mom as a child and go on a hunger strike, he would bring her food to eat from his house. He would tell her that she needed to eat in order to grow up, and only when she grew up would she be able to do whatever she wanted. Growing up, he was sometimes like a brother to her, sometimes like a father, and sometimes like her best friend. He was the most reliable person in her life. Whenever she got frustrated or had a setback, she thought of him. When she was younger, her last birthday wish was always that her family and Ye Xuan would be happy, or at least, happier than her.
“Ye Xuan,” she asks, “Can we be friends forever?”
Oh man, Ai Sha’s family was so frustrating this episode. Maybe deep down they’re well-meaning, but it’s so frustrating seeing Ai Sha have to deal with her mother and brother. Nan Cheng is harmless in that he’s ineffective at actually harming anyone, but he’s also way more of a man-child than Fei Yang. When he asked his mother who he could lean on if he can’t lean on Fei Yang… how about trying to do something yourself? And the way he talks to his mother is so condescending even though he’s incapable of doing anything himself.
Every word that Ai Sha’s mom says to her also makes me grit my teeth. I’m sure it comes from a place of caring, somewhere deep down, but why can’t she show she cares without tearing Ai Sha down? I empathize with Ai Sha and can totally understand why she tries to distance herself from her family as much as possible. I admire her sense of familial duty despite the way they take her for granted.
Xiao An had some pretty key developmental moments this episode. It seems like she’s winging it when it comes to establishing herself as an authority figure, almost like she’s emulating Ai Sha too much and trying to rule with fear while viewing emotion as a weakness. She clearly was concerned about Ai Sha, but now tries to act like she doesn’t care. Vicky has always called her fake, but she hasn’t been inauthentic until now. I have a feeling this is going to take a toll on her.
I love how Fei Yang is always dropping lines on Ai Sha and she just ignores him. It’s no doubt part of the reason he’s so attracted to her.