Drama Recaps, Taiwanese Dramas

Recap: Amensalism (Ep. 13)

In the final episode of Amensalism, You Kuan must figure out how to implicate Xu, while Xu must tie up all loose ends, which means killing You Kuan and Ke Wei.

Recap

Cheng Da Qi explains to his wife and son what happened to him. He stayed away after he saw Xu speaking with Mama Cheng shortly after his “death,” for their protection. He hoped that if Xu thought he was dead, they would be safe, and planned to return after twenty years, when the statute of limitations had expired and Xu had no reason to want him dead anymore. But then when he saw that Xu was still threatening Mama Cheng, nineteen years later, he couldn’t stay away and was determined to stop him.

Da Qi gets up, saying it’s too dangerous for him to stay, but Mama Cheng stops him. He already abandoned her for nineteen years, and now he wants to leave again? Mama Cheng pulls out the ripped-up remains of their divorce papers, saying that they’re still married. He can’t leave. She blames herself for pushing him away and demanding a divorce.

Da Qi tries to tell her it’s not her fault. Mama Cheng tells him that she won’t let him be alone again. No matter what happens, they will face it together. They both cry, then Da Qi starts laughing as he cries. He missed having someone be angry at him. He missed Mama Cheng being angry at him. They embrace.

You Kuan watches his parents reconcile, smiling sadly. Maybe this is what love is: the little moments that add up; being there for each other no matter what. He silently asks Ke Wei if she is also like this.

Yao Qing goes to meet with Chairman Xu, only to arrive in the middle of his interview with the media. Yao Qing’s eyes widen as he hears that Cheng Da Qi is alive. He’s angry that Chairman Xu is still going with the false narrative of Cheng embezzling money from the company, but Secretary Zheng holds him back.

At the same time, police arrive at Mama Cheng’s house. They have a search warrant for Cheng Da Qi and barge in past her. She maintains that her husband is dead while they search her house, ignoring her. She pulls out her phone to record them. When they leave without finding anything, she breathes a sigh of relief.

Huang Jian receives the report that Cheng Da Qi was not found at his house. But Mama Cheng didn’t seem shocked by the news of his discovery, and Huang suspects that she’s already met with him. Xu vows to find Cheng Da Qi. Huang warns Xu that the fact that Cheng is alive is Xu’s fault and his existence won’t harm only Xu, but also everyone who has ever helped him. They won’t let Xu take them dowm with him. Huang says he’ll have his people help Xu. They can’t fail this time.

You Kuan and Ke Wei find Yao Qing outside the Dong Di office building. You Kuan and Ke Wei share what they’ve discovered about his father has been for the past nineteen years. For a long while, he had been working under a false identity at Aunt Mei Qi’s company. When he found out that Xu was still threatening his son and wife and had put them in danger, he decided to take him out by causing the car accident.

You Kuan reveals that he will soon have a key piece of evidence that will incriminate Xu.

When Ke Wei and You Kuan leave the meeting, they notice that a couple of men are following them. You Kuan seems unconcerned. Ke Wei asks if the evidence he has really is so strong that he can be so secure in himself. You Kuan smiles and takes her hand, saying, “We won’t lose this time.”

“We?” Ke Wei asks. Has You Kuan forgiven himself? He kisses their clasped hands and smiles in response.

Ke Wei frowns that they have people following them at a key moment like this, but You Kuan kisses her hand some more and tells her to ignore them. They go out on a date.

They go clothes shopping together, but You Kuan has nothing nice to say about the outfits she tries on. She frowns, saying he’s the rudest man she’s ever gone shopping with. He gets jealous, demanding to know how many men she’s gone shopping with. She teases him, then admits that there’s only been one: her father.

Ke Wei tries on one more outfit before they leave, and You Kuan’s eyes widen when he sees her. It’s the same exact outfit she wore in his dream.

Ke Wei calls him out for his weird sense of style. Most men like to see their women wearing skin-tight dresses, yet the outfit he likes best is her everyday style? You Kuan smiles and says that her usual look is her most beautiful.

Ke Wei and You Kuan get their salesladies to help them out by chatting up the men following them and trying to guide them into the store.

Having lost their tails, they’re finally able to enjoy their date and time together, alone.

You Kuan tells Ke Wei that she must love him to death. She’s always making excuses for him when he does wrong and forgiving him. It’s foolish. He’ll love her more if she loves him less. They lie down together on the grass in a park.

You Kuan gently brushes her hair out of her face as she drifts off. He silently asks her not to love him so much, otherwise he won’t be able to leave this world.

At night, he walks her home. She asks if she can do anything for him before he gets his evidence. He says that all she has to do is live well. He kisses her on the cheek again. She suddenly frowns. He’s kissed her 99 times today. The 100th one will be hers. She kisses him on the cheek, then laughs and skips away toward her aunt’s house.

They wave at each other, smiling. Internally, You Kuan says that he already knows what his dreams are telling him. Someone always has to die. He’s realized what his dreams are telling him. He is the one who has to die. Only if he dies will he stop stealing her life. Everything started when You Kuan’s life was saved, so everything can only end when his life ends. If he must die, he’ll make sure that his death is the strongest, most undeniable evidence against Xu.

Xu receives a call saying that You Kuan and Ke Wei plan on holding a press conference at SG. They’re most likely going to try and present Cheng Da Qi as a victim. Xu promises to take care of him before the press conference.

You Kuan is lost in thought as he makes breakfast at his mother’s house. His mother is worried about her husband and wants to check on him, but You Kuan tries to reassure her. She suddenly gets sentimental and hugs him, apologizing for how she had treated him the past nineteen years and asking him not to blame her. He responds that he’s never blamed her. He trusts that soon their family will return to normal, and when they happens, they should take another family photograph together. Tears slip down his face as he says this lie.

The next day, Xu and one of Huang Jian’s investigators lie in wait for You Kuan. They follow his car, which he notices. You Kuan tries to lose them by parking and slipping through an alleyway to a waiting cab, but Xu guesses his ruse and continues to follow.

Meanwhile, the SG team is setting up for the press conference. They’re surprised when Ming Fei shows up. Is she the one who is holding the press conference?

Earlier, Ke Wei had visited Ming Fei in the hospital and asked her to come clean with the truth about the car accident all those years ago. Ming Fei had been reluctant, saying that the fact that her memories had been repressed for so long showed that she was heartless, but Ke Wei disagreed. Ming Fei had tried to save her with the scarf. That is proof that she isn’t heartless. Cheng Da Qi is still alive. This is Ming Fei’s chance to redeem herself.

Xu follows You Kuan to a newly-constructed high-rise building. Xu commends his choice. A new high-rise won’t have many residents, so it’s the perfect place to hide a fugitive. But it also makes it the perfect place to get rid of a fugitive.

The press conference is all set up when Yao Qing gets an alarming call. Apparently, You Kuan has made a separate announcement that Cheng Da Qi is going to come forth with a public statement. The date and time is the same as Ming Fei’s press conference, but no location was specified. Concerned, Ke Wei tries calling You Kuan. She hasn’t been able to reach him all morning.

Thankfully, Chun Xiong had installed some tracking software on You Kuan’s phone and knows where he is. Chun Xiong tells Ke Wei that You Kuan had also asked for some live-streaming software and a voice changing device. Ke Wei thinks back on what he told her in the previous days and races off, realizing he might do something that is irreversible.

Huang Jian’s man sets up as a sniper on a nearby building while Xu follows You Kuan, dressed as his father, up to the rooftop.

Ming Fei starts her press conference at SG, but before she can say much, the screen next to her suddenly turns on and shows the scene from the rooftop. Her father holds a gun and points it around.

You Kuan puts on the voice changing device and taunts Xu with the truth of the past. The device changes his voice so that it sounds like his father’s. Not realizing he’s on camera, Xu tells “Da Qi” that he’s willing to do anything to protect his daughter, including kill him. He gloats that You Kuan will never be able to defeat him, because the police and prosecutors are all on his side.

You Kuan looks down and sees a red laser beam on his chest. He looks up and realizes that there’s a sniper on another rooftop in front of him. With Xu behind him and a gun on his back, he’s now trapped.

Ke Wei suddenly appears, yelling You Kuan’s name. Xu spins toward her and trains his gun on her. She asks him not to shoot. It’s the same exact scene from You Kuan’s dream.

You Kuan grabs Xu’s gun and points it toward him, telling Xu to shoot him if he wants to shoot someone.

Xu says that he will kill You Kuan and his father one day, but right now there’s someone else he needs to kill. He turns toward Ke Wei. You Kuan runs toward her. Xu pulls the trigger and You Kuan throws himself in the bullet’s path.

You Kuan falls on top of Ke Wei and weakly tells her to run, but she refuses, especially after she sees blood on her hand from his back. Xu walks up to them, gun in still hand, saying they both know too much. He pulls the trigger. Ke Wei pushes You Kuan so she’s the one on top and gets shot too.

Xu realizes that the red laser beam is now pointed at him. The sniper pulls the trigger, and Xu also gets shot.

Ming Fei shakes as she watches her father get shot on screen.

You Kuan and Ke Wei stare into each other’s eyes, both bleeding out. You Kuan reassures Ke Wei that someone will come to save her soon. When they do, they have to save her, not him. She says they both have to live, but You Kuan shakes his head, saying this is what he owes her. He dreamed that today is the day he dies.

They both fall unconscious.

When You Kuan opens his eyes again, he’s back in the tunnel with the red spider lily. On the far end of the tunnel, Ke Wei is walking toward the light. He rushes after her and hugs her, making her come back to herself.

“Where are we?” she asks, confused.
“You shouldn’t be here,” he responds, “Come with me.”

You Kuan takes her by the hand and leads her back the way they came from. As they walk toward the other end of the tunnel, the red spider lilies start to recede.

At the end of the tunnel, he asks whether she’s afraid. She says that she could never be afraid when she’s with him. He thanks her, then apologizes to her. Then he kisses her.

When he pulls away, he pushes her out of the tunnel. The air ripples. When Ke Wei turns toward back him, she finds that there’s an invisible barrier between them that she can’t break through.

“What did you do?” She demands.

He smiles sadly and says, “I’m finally returning your life to you.”

He backs away with a tearful smile, while she yells for him not to leave her alone. But she can’t stop him and he walks away.

Yao Qing holds a press conference announcing that Xu Zhao De admitted to his guilt before his death, and that the sniper who killed him is now in custody. A reporter asks if the rumors about Xu Ming Fei are true, but he says that he can’t comment on the ongoing investigation.

Yao Qing brings flowers to a grave and reports that Ke Wei is here and doing well; she’s finally out of the hospital. Ke Wei cries as she watches him. Someone hands her a handkerchief: it’s You Kuan. The person who passed away is Yao Qing’s mother.

Ke Wei and You Kuan go for a walk to give Yao Qing some time alone. They hold hands and smile at each other as You Kuan updates us on what happened. He did die for a brief moment. He thought that the light he was walking toward was death, but it wasn’t. Instead, he came to a realization.

For the past nineteen years, he treated what happened to him as a curse. He pushed everyone away, thinking he was undeserving of love. But these people — Ke Wei — had held out their hands to him despite how much he hurt them. If they were willing to give him a chance, then what excuse did he have for not giving himself another chance? He understood the awfulness of his curse, but that didn’t mean he had to live in fear of it his whole life.

He still has his nightmares, but now Ke Wei is there by his side whenever he startles awake.

They’re playing video games together when You Kuan suddenly grows serious, struck by a thought. If they were still sharing the same life, does that mean that one day she would have disappeared? Ke Wei responds that would probably be the case. But they also confirmed that if she died, he would also die. Just like in this video game: they fight together and they die together. Isn’t that romantic? He doesn’t think so, but they go back to playing their games.

In life and in video games, You Kuan and Ke Wei are always protecting each other. They’re walking along, hand-in-hand, one day when You Kuan suddenly freezes, recognizing a man sitting on the side of the road. He dreamed of him, and this man got hit by a car.

You Kuan and Ke Wei exchange a look, then hold hands and head resolutely toward this would-be victim.

The end!

It’s over! What a journey.

I don’t know if the video quality on Viki was especially good today, but I was struck by how pretty and crisp this final episode was. As a whole, this drama has been very pretty.

One thing I just can’t get over in drama land is how protagonists always do the least obvious things in a shooting situation! Why did You Kuan run toward Ke Wei instead of just tackling Xu, who was much closer? Why throw yourself in front of the gun when it would be faster to just incapacitate the assailant? I had the same exact reaction in Crash Landing on You too. I get that it’s for dramatic effect and is just the way drama land is. But why!

I’m glad that Amensalism is rather short and that the plot, at least, was engaging. I don’t think it was enough for me to get over the bad lead acting, but at least it was bearable enough for me to stick through with it.

The ending was satisfying and I liked most of the characters, but in the end I’m just kind of glad it’s over. It was never quite that dark, but also never quite that good. Now I have more time to watch more enjoyable shows!

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