Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: Go Ahead (Ep. 7)

Zi Qiu continues to try to keep his biological father’s appearance a secret, but as Zhao Hua Guang gets bolder and more persistent, it becomes more difficult for him to avoid the problem.

Recap

Ming Yue’s mother invites Jian Jian and her brothers out to a meal. She manages to find something nice to say about everyone, even complimenting Jian Jian on her wood carving competition win, though she seems taken aback when Jian Jian says that she taught herself using online videos and that she never even planned on entering the competition. Jian Jian tells her that the three siblings all plan on going to college in Beijing, though she’s not sure if she can test high enough to get into a university in Beijing. Ming Yue’s mother reassures her that art schools require very low test scores so she should be fine.

Then she asks Zi Qiu what universities he plans on going to. He casually rattles off a couple of top university names. Ming Yue’s mother says that Ming Yue wants to be a lawyer, so she’ll probably go to law school, and that the four of them should look out for one another later when they’re all at university.

A waiter comes to take their order. Ming Yue’s mother criticizes Ming Yue’s choices then leaves to speak more with the waiter. Ming Yue takes advantage of her mother’s absence to admit that wanting to be a lawyer is news to her.

After they finish eating, Ming Yue’s mother asks her why she was looking at Zi Qiu the whole time. Ming Yue immediately gets defensive, which her mother points out. Her mother reminds her not to care too much about appearances. She should be more like Ling Xiao and focus on school. But she lets Ming Yue go hang out with the trio for the rest of the day.

Jian Jian gets a fever — her bad tooth has gotten infected again and is bothering her. Her father wants to get it pulled ASAP. Jian Jian asks if she can skip school the next day.

A classmate hands Zi Qiu a bag in class, saying his father dropped it off. Zi Qiu looks inside and realizes which father dropped off the gift, and immediately storms out of the room, completely ignoring Ming Yue, who tries to stop him in the hallway to ask him a question.

Zi Qiu finds his basketball friends eating snacks by the court. His biological father had treated them to the food. They make comments about how they never knew until now that his father wasn’t his real father, and that his real father looks like he’s pretty rich — Zi Qiu has to treat them from now on.

Zhuang Bei is the only one who understands Zi Qiu’s situation, and tells him that his biological father just left. Zi Qiu grabs the half-eaten food and runs off. Zhuang Bei follows. Ming Yue, having followed Zi Qiu earlier, watches the whole incident, confused. She asks one of Zi Qiu’s teammates what happened and frowns when she hears that Zi Qiu’s real father has appeared.

Zi Qiu catches up to Zhao Hua Guang and throws the food at him. Zhuang Bei has to physically hold him back as Zi Qiu spits that he will never recognize Zhao as his father, they have no relationship, and he never wants to see him again. Zhuang Bei hauls him away.

Zhuang Bei asks Zi Qiu if he told his father about Zhao showing up. Zi Qiu lashes out at him. Zhuang Bei points out that Zhao might go looking for Hai Chao, but Zi Qiu seems to prefer to ignore the problem and tells Zhuang Bei to never mention it again.

Ling Xiao accompanies Jian Jian to the hospital to get her tooth pulled. She starts freaking out when she sees a young girl being carried out, crying. Ling Xiao tries to calm her down, putting his arm around her as he talks her through a breathing exercise, then holding her hands and promising that he’ll be by her side the entire time.

When Jian Jian sits down in the dentist’s chair and stares into the bright light, she freezes and starts hyperventilating again. She only calms back down when Ling Xiao takes her clenched fist into his hands and gently tells her that it’ll be okay.

Afterward, he holds her hand as they head home, telling her that she can eat all the ice cream she wants now and her tooth won’t get infected anymore. She keeps her eyes closed, still traumatized, and says that it would be great if he became a dentist. But she doesn’t want to talk about dentists anymore, not wanting to relive the scary memories of the dentist office.

Ming Yue drops off notes and homework at Jian Jian’s place. When she confesses that she skipped her extra prep class to come by, both Ling Xiao and Jian Jian give her an impressed thumbs-up, knowing how furious her mother would be. Ming Yue asks if Zi Qiu is okay. Jian Jian and Ling Xiao were unaware that anything was wrong. Ming Yue hesitantly tells them what she saw the day before with Zi Qiu’s biological father.

Zi Qiu returns from helping out at the noodle shop and Jian Jian asks him if Zhao Hua Guang has been bothering him. He’s worried that Zhao came by the house, but when he finds out that Ming Yue was the one who told them, he gets angry at her and says some hurtful things.

Ming Yue looks crestfallen. She quietly says an apology and rushes out. Jian Jian tries to follow, but Ling Xiao tells her to rest and goes after Ming Yue instead. Jian Jian turns to Zi Qiu with a glare, but he ignores her.

Ming Yue blames herself for making Zi Qiu angry, but Ling Xiao tells her she did nothing wrong. He seems to sense that her lack of self-confidence often comes from her mother and gives her some advice: whenever she thinks she’s done something wrong, or mother thinks she has, ask herself whether it would still be wrong if someone else had done it. He tells her that she’s smart, pretty, and has a nice personality — her only flaw is her lack of self-confidence. She zones out as she stares at him and her heart starts pounding harder. She turns away, flustered.

Jian Jian and Zi Qiu are in a glaring contest when Ling Xiao returns. Ling Xiao asks Zi Qiu why he never mentioned this issue with Zhao. Zi Qiu snaps back that there’s nothing to talk about. Their father has enough to worry about without troubling him with something like this. Jian Jian asks Ling Xiao if they should tell their father. Ling Xiao says it’s up to Zi Qiu.

The siblings are uncharacteristically silent at dinner. Hai Chao asks them what’s going on. Both Jian Jian and Ling Xiao say nothing. Zi Qiu avoids answering by mentioning how delicious a dish is. He tries to give some to Jian Jian, then Ling Xiao, but they both pull their bowls away. Jian Jian pointedly asks Ling Xiao to get her some of that dish. They make a big show of him feeding her and ignoring Zi Qiu.

Jian Jian and Ling Xiao continue their cold war against Zi Qiu. He Ping tells Hai Chao not to worry too much. Once Zi Qiu and Ling Xiao leave for university, things will quiet down. But they both joke that Jian Jian is the real troublemaker.

Hai Chao gets a call from an unknown number. He Ping picks up for him and at first doesn’t recognize the name, Zhao Hua Guang? But then they realize who it is.

Zhao Hua Guang visits Hai Chao’s apartment and makes comments about how small it is. He tries to enter Zi Qiu’s room, but Hai Chao firmly holds him back and tells him to sit on the couch. He Ping returns home early (for once) and plays up his police officer persona. They purposely try to make Zhao feel uncomfortable. Zhao tries to get He Ping to leave, claiming it wouldn’t be appropriate for a neighbor to be here, but Hai Chao insists that He Ping is Zi Qiu’s godfather. They are one family.

Zhao tries to give a long-winded explanation about how he and his wife don’t have children and his wife became interested in Zi Qiu. Then he tries to make the claim that Hai Chao technically has no relation to Zi Qiu — he never married He Mei and Zi Qiu’s hukou is still registered with his grandmother. Then he tries to put things in monetary terms, saying that he’ll offer Hai Chao 1 million yuan if Hai Chao will give Zi Qiu to him.

Hai Chao and He Ping fake chat about how they’ve never even seen a million yuan before. They can’t even fathom it. Then they kick Zhao out and slam the door in his face.

Zhao angrily goes downstairs, almost hitting himself in the face with the front gate on his way out. He gets to the courtyard at the same exact time that the trio are arriving home from school.

Zi Qiu doesn’t even wait for Zhao to speak before throwing his backpack at him and telling him that he will never recognize him. Ling Xiao and Jian Jian have to hold him back, and then rush him past Zhao and up the stairs.

At dinner, Hai Chao lectures his children for trying to handle the situation themselves and not letting him know. They might be growing up, but they’re not adults yet. He Ping says that if Zhao bothers Zi Qiu again, they should call the police. He’ll come and deal with Zhao. Hai Chao adds that they’ll sue him if they have to. There’s a high-end lawyer who frequently eats at the noodle shop they can hire him.

Jian Jian smiles, saying that the problem is solved. Ling Xiao seems to be the only one who notices that Zi Qiu is far from okay. He silently switches soup bowls with Zi Qiu after noticing that Zi Qiu has served everyone else but himself.

At night, Zi Qiu stares at his secret portrait of his mother. Hai Chao knocks on the door to deliver him a glass of milk, then lingers. After a long moment of silence, he tells Zi Qiu that he knows he felt like he owed this family something all these years. Hai Chao has seen the extra work that Zi Qiu has put in helping out around the house and shop, and has seen how much Zi Qiu gives to his siblings. But Hai Chao tells Zi Qiu that when he first came to live with them, he thought he was heaven-sent. Jian Jian had always wanted an older brother, and when Zi Qiu showed up, Hai Chao thought it was a sign. Jian Jian finally got her older brother, and he finally had another chance to be a father.

He puts a hand on Zi Qiu’s arm, saying that no matter what he may face in the future, his father is here. Zi Qiu reassures him in response that when he gets old, he will be there for him as well, as his son.

Tang Can’s friends call her “Teacher Tang” and ask her to teach them about acting. They’re interrupted by a loud laugh from Jian Jian, who walks by with Ming Yue. Jian Jian claims she’s not laughing at them, but then jokes with Ming Yue about how maybe she should start her own classes, since the worst student in the class can be a teacher. Tang Can’s friends defend her and insult Jian Jian, saying she’ll amount to nothing more than a dishwasher at her father’s noodle shop. But Jian Jian has Ming Yue to defend her. Ming Yue brags about how Ling Xiao and Zi Qiu are Jian Jian’s brothers and will make sure she’s well-cared for when she’s older.

They skip off with drinks in hand to deliver to Jian Jian’s brothers. Tang Can frowns, wondering why Jian Jian’s family can have three kids when the rest of them are only allowed one.

Ming Yue tells Jian Jian to deliver the drinks herself, claiming that she has to do homework. Jian Jian thinks she’s still mad at Zi Qiu.

Zi Qiu has just finished playing ball with Zhuang Bei and asks for his opinion on whether he could win a lawsuit against his father. Zhuang Bei says that there’s no need for a lawsuit. Zi Qiu is almost an adult; he won’t need a guardian anymore.

Jian Jian finds them and delivers a drink to Zi Qiu, then skips off to find Ling Xiao. Zhuang Bei is jealous, wanting a drink of his own. Zi Qiu teases him, saying it’s pretty nice to have a sister. Zhuang Bei steals his drink and takes several long gulps.

Commentary

They’re setting up this big rivalry between Jian Jian and Tang Can, but if you pay attention to the opening sequence, it looks like they end up being good friends, so I’m interested to see how this relationship develops. Right now it’s just a lot of petty fun.

Hai Chao had several scene-stealing moments this episode. He and He Ping’s tough guy act with Zhao Hua Guang was heartwarming and hilarious. But his touching conversation with Zi Qiu was the highlight of the episode. He wants to shield his children, but I respect how much he respects their autonomy, and I love how he isn’t afraid to be honest and vulnerable and sentimental with them.

Zi Qiu’s biological father is infuriating because he just seems so selfish. It’s a little ironic that he used to be very poor, but now that he has money, he thinks he can throw money at any problem in order to solve it. And maybe that has worked for him so far. But the hypocrisy in how he’s claiming to look out for Zi Qiu’s best interests while not listening to Zi Qiu at all kills me.

Jian Jian is so close with her brothers and touchy in a way that is acceptable from a sibling perspective, but would be a no-go if they weren’t. It’s adorable but I also wonder how that relationship will evolve, because we all know that there’s a love triangle lined up.

I really don’t miss my relatives’ and family friends’ abilities to deliver a backhanded compliment like Ming Yue’s mother… telling Jian Jian that art schools have low test score requirements so she should be fine? It’s a nice thing to say, but also… not.

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