Drama Recaps, Taiwanese Dramas

Recap: Lost Romance (Ep. 13)

Xiao En and Ao Ran spend some quality time together enjoying each other’s company. Xiao En tries to figure out what the connection between Ao Ran and Tian Xing is as it becomes more and more obvious that the two are linked.

Recap

Xiao En frowns as she makes breakfast for Ao Ran, still troubled by Ao Ran’s dream and his connection to Tian Xing. She brings it up when he comes over to check out what she’s cooking, but he ignores her questions and instead hugs her from behind, saying that he’s hungry. When she persists, he says that today is too good of a day to waste on talking about Tian Xing. When she starts to say Tian Xing’s name, he silences her with a kiss.

Xiao En’s breakfast for Ao Ran consists of two dishes that spell out cheesy love messages to him, and one plate that says… nothing. Ao Ran seems dissatisfied, but Xiao En says that now that she’s gotten the arrogant CEO, she can pack up her bags and leave. Ao Ran grabs her wrist and pulls her into his lap, saying that she has no bags to pack. She responds that maybe she’ll walk out bare-handed, but it could also be interpreted as bare-naked, so Ao Ran looks her up and down and comments that it looks like she’s still wearing her clothes.

Xiao En bolts up and sits down in her own chair, then tries to hide her face, embarrassed. Ao Ran continues watching her and asks why she’s so persistent about his dream. She makes him promise not to get mad about mentioning Tian Xing’s name again, then says that she thinks they’re connected. Isn’t it weird for him to dream about the same person multiple times? The dream might be a sign or a premonition. Doesn’t he want to know?

Ao Ran elaborates on his dreams for Xiao En. He’s usually just lying in a bed, but often times people will chatter around him. In his dreams, Su Shan Na and Ming Li’s faces and voices blur together.

Ao Ran suddenly gets a phone call and steps away to take it. When he comes back, he tells Xiao En that he needs to leave and go take care of something. In the meantime, she can just stay home and rest?

She smiles and nods, but continues to look troubled after he leaves.

Ao Ran visits his father’s grave, where he apologizes and says that he can’t let Mo Ran go this time, because this time his actions affected other people as well. Qing Feng finds him there and reports that “it” has been taken care of. Mo Ran is in custody. Chu Chu is allowed out on bail, but there’s no one to post bail for her.

Ao Ran tells Qing Feng that they can pay for her bail. Once she’s out, she can resign on her own.

He starts to leave, but Qing Feng stops him, saying, “Also…” And then he punches Ao Ran in the face, furious that Ao Ran didn’t take Xiao En’s warnings about Mo Ran seriously, and Xiao En almost got hurt because of it. In order to protect Chu Chu, he had security keep an eye on Xiao En. So why didn’t he do the same with Mo Ran?

Ao Ran accepts responsibility, saying he was careless, but that’s not enough for Qing Feng. Ao Ran wasn’t just careless — he wasted Qing Feng’s goodwill. Qing Feng didn’t back out from pursuing Xiao En because Ao Ran was his friend; he did it because Xiao En liked Ao Ran. If Ao Ran can’t protect Xiao En, then he — Qing Feng is so angry he can’t even finish his sentence.

He turns to leave, but now Ao Ran is to the one to stop him with a hand on his arm. Ao Ran promises to take responsibility for Xiao En from now on and thanks Qing Feng for all he’s done to take care of Xiao En until now. He asks if there’s anything else he can do for Qing Feng — anything other than Xiao En. Qing Feng scoffs and shakes Ao Ran’s hand off.

Ao Ran starts talking about how Qing Feng has always been his best friend. Growing up, they did everything together — including getting in trouble — and Qing Feng always tried to find an excuse to visit whenever Ao Ran’s father locked him up. Ao Ran wants to make Qing Feng’s wishes come true, but why does it have to be Xiao En?

“Do you know what my life’s biggest regret is?” Qing Feng asks Ao Ran. It’s recommending Xiao En go to Ao Ran’s house to fix his toilet that very first day. It’s a shame that they can’t turn back time. A page that has been turned can’t be flipped back.

Ao Ran turns to Qing Feng, holding out a hand and saying, “Friends forever.” Qing Feng doesn’t respond, and Ao Ran is about to let his hand fall when Qing Feng turns and grasps it, responding, “Friends forever.” They hold eye contact for a long moment, but when Ao Ran leaves, Qing Feng frowns after him.

Xiao En tries to piece together a timeline of the people and events involved in Tian Xing’s attempted murder, based on Ao Ran’s dreams. But she can’t figure out who or why someone would want Tian Xing dead, and suddenly gets worried that if Tian Xing wakes up, something will happen to Ao Ran, or vice versa. Thinking about the possibilities makes her head hurt and she tells herself to stop worrying about it. Maybe it is all just a dream?

Qiao Zhi finds Ming Li drinking by herself in her darkened office at the end of the work day. He reports that they were unable to prevent news outlets from picking up the video of her attacking Tian Jian. Ming Li just laughs cynically to herself and waves him off. But he refuses to leave and points out that it’s time to leave work — maybe she should go home and rest? She agrees. Ming Li sways and stumbles through the hallways, but refuses help from Qiao Zhi, who tries to steady her.

Ming Li suddenly hallucinates the version of herself dressed in red. The hallucination version of her starts laughing at her and telling her that she’s not the real Ming Li. Ming Li starts muttering to herself, “I am He Ming Li. I’m the real He Ming Li. I know I’m He Ming Li.” Qiao Zhi looks concerned and follows her.

The hallucination keeps taunting Ming Li, until she can’t take it anymore and yells at it in the lobby — in front of several employees. Tian Jian and Uncle Hu show up with two men who try to apprehend Ming Li. Qiao Zhi steps in to interfere, but then Tian Jian speaks directly to Ming Li, telling her that she’s sick and he’s going to bring her to the hospital to help her get the treatment she needs.

Ming Li tries to resist, but then her hallucination starts laughing. She starts walking toward the hallucination — which is just an empty space — and tells it and everyone else to leave. The employees scatter, and Tian Jian and Uncle Hu have all the ammunition they need to have Ming Li taken away.

Tian Jian picks up Ming Li’s phone, which she had dropped on the ground, and remembers how he had faked her calls to him and Uncle Hu by sneaking into her room at night and using her own fingerprint to unlock the phone when she was knocked out by the sleeping medication. Now, he slips it into his pocket before hopping into the ambulance beside a screaming Ming Li.

Ming Li is put into a straitjacket and thrown into a padded room. Tian Jian and Uncle Hu observe her through the window in her door and smile, saying she deserves this break. Tian Jian asks Uncle Hu about Tian Xing. Uncle Hu suspects Su Shan Na and Jie Sen of having a role in his disappearance and is having them followed. He warns Tian Jian that he can’t be weak — Tian Xing must not be allowed to live.

Su Shan Na and Jie Sen overhear a news report of Ming Li being institutionalized. Jie Sen thinks it’s karma, but Su Shan Na understands that it also means the company is tanking. They visit Tian Xing, where Su Shan Na puts some cedar-scented incense sticks near his bedside — cedar holds a special meaning for him. Tian Xing’s doctor tells them that even though his willpower to live is strong, his body is weakening. She seems concerned.

Su Shan Na tells Tian Xing that Ming Li has been deposed and she’s worried he won’t be spared. She begs him to wake up and save himself and Tian Liang. They don’t notice Tian Xing’s eyes moving underneath his eyelids.

Ao Ran stops by a flower shop on his way home, smiling to himself as he thinks about how delighted Xiao En will be to receive a bouquet. Some pink hydrangeas catch his eye. When the florist tells him that they represent a young woman’s dream, he smirks to himself, thinking that he is indeed every young woman’s dream. He tells the florist to bundle up the hydrangeas along with some cedar.

After pulling into his garage, Ao Ran practices a few different versions of giving the bouquet to Xiao En. But when he actually tries to find her in his house, she’s nowhere in sight. He finally calls her and finds out that she’s gone home. He tells her to wait for him.

Xiao En looks around her apartment and realizes that it’s a mess. She scrambles around to tidy up before Ao Ran shows up. Ao Ran shows up with his bouquet and a casually smooth line. Xiao En accepts it with a demure smile.

Ao Ran surveys the apartment skeptically and comments his surprise that a person can live in such a small space. It’s a line straight out of Meteor Garden, which Xiao En notices. The author must be a fan.

On the surface, Xiao En’s apartment looks clean, but when Ao Ran looks closer and starts sitting on furniture and opening cabinets, the clutter pours out. Xiao En notices the injury on his face and treats it gently. Afterward, he asks her to move in with him, not liking that she has to live in her “tiny” apartment.

But Xiao En says no. She finds living in such a large house exhausting and would rather live in her own small place. She makes Ao Ran lounge on her sectional and lays her head down in his lap with a smile. He notices a bag full of snacks tucked by the couch and looks uncomfortable. She tells him to hand her some snacks, then explains that the placement of the snack bag is highly calculated — her snacks should never be more than an arm’s length away.

Noticing that Ao Ran still looks stiff and uncomfortable, she makes him take off his jacket, unbutton his collar and sleeves, and relax. She shows off more of her living room hacks. Everything is designed with comfort and ease in mind. Ao Ran is drawn to how she is able to throw anything into the trash can by bouncing it off of the corner of her TV screen. He smiles as he watches her toss in a tissue he failed to throw away, then says her name and kisses her.

Xiao En turns away to hide her smile, busying herself by opening another bag of chips. Inside is a prize for another free bag. She’s so excited that Ao Ran calls her weird — she claims to love money, yet she has yet to cash the check he gave her or open any of the gifts he gave her. Instead, she gets super excited over a free bag of chips? Her way of loving money is weird.

Xiao En says it’s not weird at all. She’s just an ordinary person. But Ao Ran says that she’s not an ordinary woman at all; how could she be when he likes her? He shifts closer and says that to him, she’s the most special person in the world.

Now, Xiao En is the one to say his name and then kiss him. They smile at each other, then Ao Ran gets up to make a call, telling her to wait for him. As he walks away on his phone, he flickers in and out of existence. Xiao En frowns and rubs her eyes, thinking that her vision is blurry, and seems to find the whole thing strange, but doesn’t seem concerned.

When Ao Ran returns, he holds out his hand to her, saying he’ll show her an upgraded version of her experience.

They go back to his house, where they lie down on the floor of his living room, a projection of a starry galaxy above them and sweets and other necessities all within an arm’s reach. The two enjoy each other’s company and act cute together. Xiao En teases Ao Ran about his set-up missing a commoner’s touch. He teases her about carrying her to the bathroom and eating as many lobsters as she wants — she just has to pay the price of kissing him.

Qing Feng bails Chu Chu out of jail. He tells her that Ao Ran wants her to voluntarily resign from the company. She cries and says that she just tried to fight for what she wanted — is that so wrong? If Xiao En can, why can’t she? Qing Feng points out that in all of Xiao En’s scheming, she’s never tried to hurt Chu Chu.

Chu Chu says that she might not have a chance with Ao Ran anymore, but Qing Feng still has a chance with Xiao En. He’s the one who’s known her for longer. Doesn’t he want to know how she feels? Qing Feng tells Chu Chu that’s enough. He initially planned on taking Chu Chu home, but now says it’s probably better if he just calls a cab for her. On his own drive home, Chu Chu’s words echo in his mind.

Ao Ran and Xiao En are sleeping when he has another nightmare, waking her up. She wakes him up, asking if he’s okay. He tells her to go back to sleep, but instead she asks if she can talk to him about Tian Xing. She can’t tell him how or where to find him, because she doesn’t know how to explain it.

Xiao En tells Ao Ran about who Tian Xing is in her world — his position, his family, how she only knows him from magazines she’s seen, and how everything Ao Ran dreamed about actually happened to Tian Xing.

Ao Ran suggests that maybe Tian Xing hasn’t woken up because he doesn’t want to wake up. He can empathize with Tian Xing’s position in his family: his only value comes from constantly pushing upward. Isn’t that tragic? Maybe being in this coma is his only chance to be himself.

Xiao En asks Ao Ran about himself: is he happy? Ao Ran hugs her and says that he’s the happiest right now. Experiencing today with her taught him that he doesn’t want to live like He Tian Xing. If all of his goals are for the sake of other people, then what meaning does his life have?

Xiao En frowns and asks if he really feels that way. Ao Ran says yes. He wishes time could freeze in this moment forever. Xiao En wonders if Tian Xing really doesn’t want to wake up. Can she treat Ao Ran’s words as Tian Xing’s thoughts and stay here with Ao Ran forever?

The next day, Qing Feng shows up at the office alone. Qiu Tian and Su Shan sigh, feeling like there’s a hole in their hearts seeing Qing Feng arrive without Ao Ran. Ao Ran drags a reluctant Xiao En into the lobby with him. She tries to hide her face, but he threatens to kiss her if she keeps doing that, and then he does, drawing even more stares. Xiao En grimaces, knowing that she’ll be hated to death by her coworkers.

Ao Ran greets Qing Feng with a, “Morning.” Qing Feng glances at Ao Ran and Xiao En’s clasped hands, then gives a similarly short response. Xiao En awkwardly greets Qing Feng as well, who responds to her. The three of them shuffle into an elevator while everyone else continues to gape and stare.

Qiu Tian and Su Shan ambush Xiao En during a coffee break. Instead of hating her, many of her coworkers are fans of her after rumors spread about how she saved Ao Ran. Qiu Tian and Su Shan regale her with all the different versions of events that have spread around, most of them borrowing heavily from Korean drama scenes.

Then they tell her that Chu Chu resigned earlier. Xiao En frowns, looking troubled. Her friends never liked Chu Chu, but also feel a bit bad for her. Still, they reassure Xiao En that Chu Chu was the one who was in the wrong.

Later, Su Shan gets a call. She silently calls Qiu Tian over and they scurry to a meeting room where Ao Ran is waiting. He wants to propose. His only requirement is that she feel moved. But his initial ideas are… questionable, at best. In one version, he imagines handing Xiao En a credit card and saying, “Marry me.” In another, he wants to go bungee jumping, and ask her to marry him right as they reach the bottom of the fall. Xiao En is afraid of heights, but he thinks that means the bungee jump will elicit her true feelings for him.

Qiu Tian and Su Shan grimace and ask him how he picks out gifts for women. When he says that his rule is “the more expensive, the better,” they grimace even more and whisper to each other that this is going to be harder than they thought. They turn to Ao Ran with forced smiles and suggest they start with the basics: what does Xiao En like?

Xiao En catches Qing Feng passing by the copy room and asks him what’s wrong. He seems downhearted and she asks if it’s because of Chu Chu. She tells him that he shouldn’t keep his sorrow to himself. He asks if she’ll keep him company. She says of course, but when he asks if she’s free later tonight, she remembers she agreed to dinner with Ao Ran. Qing Feng says to forget about it, but Xiao En stops him, deciding to forego dinner with Ao Ran in favor of keeping Qing Feng company.

After Qing Feng leaves, she says to herself that she won’t let herself be the only one who finds happiness.

Ao Ran is picking out a ring when he gets a text from Xiao En. He’s not happy that she wants to reschedule dinner to comfort Qing Feng, and refuses to let her reschedule. She can go keep Qing Feng company if she wants, but he also expects her to show up at the restaurant. It doesn’t matter if she’s late, he’ll be waiting.

At night, Ao Ran waits for Xiao En. It gets late and dark and he paces, wondering if she really has that much to talk about with Qing Feng. But in the end, he decides that he will trust her and trust that she will show up, and he hopes that she won’t let him down.

Commentary

This episode felt like 90% fan-service, 5% content, and 5% miscellaneous scenes, but I won’t complain about the cute couple moments. While the origins of Ao Ran and Xiao En’s relationship remain questionable, I do think this episode did a better job of showing how and why Ao Ran has fallen in love with Xiao En. I also like that Xiao En has very much remained true to herself with all of her life hack quirks, despite taking on the lead role.

Content-wise, this episode felt unremarkable. We get some more teasing hints about the connection between Tian Xing and Ao Ran, but we don’t really get anywhere with that part of the plot. It seems like Tian Xing and Ao Ran could be the same person, if Ao Ran’s take on Tian Xing’s psyche is to be believed. Is the life Ao Ran is living now a way for Tian Xing to finally be himself?

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