Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: Go Ahead (Ep. 18)

Jian Jian, Ling Xiao, and Zi Qiu are finally back on good terms again and acting like the siblings they were as children. But Jian Jian and Zi Qiu soon learn that Ling Xiao has been lying to his mother and sister this whole time, and that time is running out for Ling Xiao to keep up the ruse.

Recap

Ming Yue and Jian Jian peruse a book shop together. Ming Yue speculates that Ling Xiao’s mother is the root of all his problems and sighs that she doesn’t know how she’ll deal with a mother-in-law like her. She realizes what she said and glances sideways at Jian Jian, who doesn’t seem to be paying attention, and changes the subject to talk about books.

Jian Jian picks a book, deciding that it’s definitely enough to lull Ling Xiao to sleep. She and Ming Yue spend the day redecorating Ling Xiao’s room.

At night, Ling Xiao and Jian Jian help Zi Qiu home from the hospital. Zi Qiu insists that Ling Xiao help him shower.

Afterward, they all go over to Jian Jian’s apartment to eat hotpot. Tang Can hides in her room the moment Jian Jian arrives, with Ling Xiao, Zi Qiu, and Zhuang Bei in tow. Jian Jian introduces Zhuang Bei to Ming Yue. Zhuang Bei’s eyes widen when he sees Ming Yue and he falls in love at first sight.

Jian Jian goes to check on Tang Can, but accidentally smacks her in the face with the door (she was hiding behind the door.) The two quickly make up, Tang Can promising to never joke about something so serious again. Ming Yue catches them being affectionate and joins in.

Ming Yue and Jian Jian tell Tang Can that her savior, Zhuang Bei, is here. Tang Can hurries to put on some makeup while Ming Yue and Jian Jian head back out to the dining room to eat.

Zhuang Bei nearly chokes when Tang Can appears from her room, wearing a large pink bow on her head. She sits down next to him, beaming, as she insists they drink together to a successful business partnership. Zhuang Bei seems slightly embarrassed but complies.

After dinner, Jian Jian, Ling Xiao, and Zi Qiu joke around at the dining table while Zhuang Bei and Ming Yue watch Tang Can sing badly at karaoke. Zhuang Bei asks Ming Yue if she has a boyfriend and what she thinks of Zi Qiu and Ling Xiao. Ming Yue says that she’s gotten used to them. Zhuang Bei warns her that she doesn’t want to date a guy who has a sister complex like them. Their sister will always be number one in their eyes. Zhuang Bei is convinced that Jian Jian will end up becoming a couple with one of the brothers.

Ming Yue skeptically wonders if Jian Jian and Zi Qiu would get together. Zhuang Bei says that it could also be Ling Xiao and Jian Jian. Ming Yue giggles and says that’s impossible — he already likes someone. When Zhuang Bei asks who, she giggles shyly and says she’s not sure.

Jian Jian is also pretty tipsy and sways along with the karaoke music. Ling Xiao asks if Tang Can is the one who taught her how to drink, but Jian Jian smiles and says that Ming Yue is actually the one who loves to drink and sing, even though she might not look like it. On cue, Ming Yue takes over the mic and starts singing (also badly.)

Jian Jian squishes herself onto Ling Xiao’s chair next to him and pulls in both her brothers with an arm around each neck. She smiles drunkenly and tells them that Zi Qiu’s accident got her thinking that she would’ve had so many regrets if something happened to him. She tells them that she genuinely welcomes them home and is glad they’re back. They all smile.

Then Zi Qiu ruins the moment by saying he needs to go to the bathroom, and he needs Ling Xiao’s help getting there.

While the two go off to the bathroom, Ling Xiao’s phone rings. Jian Jian picks up without thinking, only to hear a girl on the other end demand who she is. It’s Qin Mei Yang. Mei Yang guesses that she’s Jian Jian and then asks when her brother will be back. Jian Jian says that Ling Xiao is in the restroom and she’ll have him call her back when he’s done, but Mei Yang says that’s not what she means. When will Ling Xiao come back to Singapore? He said he would only be gone a month. She hangs up.

Jian Jian stays frozen with the phone held up to her face, stunned by this new discovery.

Jian Jian’s song comes on for karaoke. Her friends tell her to come over and sing, but instead she flops face-down on the couch and stops responding to them. When Ling Xiao comes out of the bathroom, Zhuang Bei and Ming Yue tell him that Jian Jian seems to have drank too much and has fallen asleep. Ling Xiao picks Jian Jian up and takes her to her room.

He settles her in bed and smiles as he watches her sleep and gently brushes her hair out of her face. Ming Yue follows and watches from the doorway with a smile as well. She joins Ling Xiao by Jian Jian’s bed and says that Jian Jian is a big girl now — she’s dating and Ling Xiao can’t order her around the way he used to. Ming Yue tells Ling Xiao to just let Jian Jian mess around and figure things out on her own. Ling Xiao responds that she can do that for other things, but not this.

Tang Can sees Zhuang Bei to the elevator. They arrange to have dinner with his mother soon. The elevator doors start to close when Ming Yue rushes out, telling him to wait. Zhuang Bei physically pushes the doors open with an eager smile. Ming Yue hands him his cell phone, which he had left behind. He smiles at her as he heads back into the elevator. As the doors close, he takes a photo of her and Tang Can standing next to each other.

Ming Yue frowns and asks Tang Can why Zhuang Bei took a photo of them. Tang Can smiles and says that he probably just wanted to have a photo of a beautiful woman on his phone. Little does she know that Zhuang Bei is actually cropping the photo down so that it’s just a picture of Ming Yue.

Ling Xiao returns to his bedroom to find it redecorated. The picture book that Jian Jian selected is on his bed with a small note from her, welcoming him home and wishing him a good night’s sleep. He looks up at the ceiling, which has been decorated with a patterned wallpaper around the ceiling light, and smiles.

The next morning, Ling Xiao makes breakfast for Zi Qiu and Jian Jian. When she goes into the kitchen to look for some jam, he tells her that he saw his sister called last night — did she say anything? Jian Jian forces a smile and says that his sister just asked him to return the call, nothing more. But when she sits back down next Zi Qiu, she whispers to him what she learned on the phone last night, that Ling Xiao has been lying to his mother and sister. But there’s nothing they can do. They both know that if Ling Xiao hadn’t lied, he would have never been allowed to come back.

Jian Jian checks to make sure that Zi Qiu didn’t also lie to Zhao Hua Guang in order to return home. Zi Qiu responds that Zhao Hua Guang hasn’t tried to control him for a long time.

Auntie Qian sets up a blind date for Hai Chao, but he flakes at the last minute. She rants about it to He Ping, then asks if he wants to go instead. She thinks they’d be a good match. He Ping politely declines. Auntie Qian asks him to try and convince Hai Chao to date again. It’s time he moved on from He Mei. She explains to He Ping that Hai Chao went on blind dates with several women, and seemed to like He Mei the best. But then He Mei disappeared — how could he not be hung up on her? That seems like news to He Ping.

Hai Chao visits Zi Qiu at his coffee shop with some fried dumplings. He asks Zi Qiu how business is going and warns him that starting a business is difficult — most fail. Zi Qiu reassures him that he knows all the ins and outs of coffee shops. He’s worked in every position from back of house to front of house. Hai Chao is surprised to hear that; he thought Zi Qiu interned at a hotel restaurant after graduation. Zi Qiu reassures him that he was working at coffee shops as research to open his own.

Hai Chao sighs that Zi Qiu and Ling Xiao always report only the good news and never the bad. He warns Zi Qiu that he better not have problems he’s trying to hide. Zi Qiu reassures Hai Chao that he’s not Ling Xiao. He doesn’t have a mother and sister who latched onto him like leeches — with family like that, who wouldn’t have anxiety? Hai Chao admonishes him, saying that everyone has it difficult in some way and he shouldn’t speak badly of others when he doesn’t understand their situation.

Then he hesitantly asks Zi Qiu if he ever thought about trying to look for his mother all these years. Zi Qiu forces out a laugh and asks why he would want to do that when she doesn’t want him. Hai Chao says that his mother isn’t a bad person, but Zi Qiu retorts that there are no bad people in Hai Chao’s eyes.

After work, Zi Qiu goes looking for his mother, using the pickup and dropoff location information that Zhuang Bei found for him.

Jian Jian takes Ling Xiao out for a run, saying it’ll help improve his mood and also make him tired enough for a good night’s sleep. He jokes that she’s the medicine he needs for his disease.

Jian Jian reminds him that the 21st anniversary of her mother’s death is coming up. She can’t believe that it’s been 21 years and regrets making such a big fuss about having a stepmother when she was younger. She feels bad that her father has had to be alone all these years, and also thinks that she had something to do with He Mei rejecting her father.

She sighs, saying that when she was younger she didn’t understand why people got married. Now she does. She puts an arm around Ling Xiao’s neck and says that it’s good that he’s back. The three of them can take good care of their fathers. She starts running again and he lingers behind, smiling after her, then catches up.

Zi Qiu is on the phone with his aunt, who plans to visit when she comes to the city next, when Ling Xiao returns home. Ling Xiao goes to take a shower, leaving his phone on the table. The phone rings with a call from Chen Ting, which catches Zi Qiu’s attention. He picks up the phone to bring it to Ling Xiao, but then the phone stops ringing and instead, an upcoming flight notification pops up on the screen.

“You’re going back to Singapore?” Zi Qiu asks Ling Xiao when he comes out of the bathroom. Ling Xiao nods.

Xi Xi brings Ling Xiao some coffee and tries to invite him out to an event the next day, but he tells her that he’s going back to Singapore. She assumes he’s going back to see the person he likes, and tells him that long distance is difficult. He agrees, which is why it’s fortunate that the person he likes is here.

Xi Xi curiously asks who it could be — a high school classmate? He tells her it’s someone two grades below him. At that moment, Jian Jian and Ming Yue show up for joint dentist appointments. Ming Yue’s appointment is scheduled with Xi Xi, and the two immediately size each other up, identifying each other as rivals.

Jian Jian tries to talk to Ling Xiao about her boyfriend while he preps for their appointment. She asks him to not be so mean to him and tries to explain that Ran’s attraction to women’s butts is similar to how she always used to cling to a candy jar. Ling Xiao responds that she shouldn’t need everyone to like who she likes. Jian Jian says she just doesn’t want there to be misunderstandings between him and Ran. But to Ling Xiao, there are no misunderstandings. He just doesn’t like him.

“Why?” Jian Jian asks.

Ling Xiao looks at her for a long moment, then says, “Forget about it.”

He starts inspecting her teeth, then says he’ll tell her when he gets back. When she finds out he’s going to Singapore, she shoots upright, alarmed. He’s going back? He firmly corrects her, saying that he’s just visiting. There are some things he needs to take care of, but he should be back before her mother’s death anniversary.

During Ming Yue’s appointment, she and Xi Xi exchange questions about Ling Xiao. Xi Xi is curious about what Ling Xiao was like in high school and whether he was particularly close to any girls from her grade. Ming Yue wonders how Xi Xi knows that Ling Xiao liked someone two years younger than him.

After their appointments, Ming Yue asks Jian Jian who she thinks Ling Xiao’s first love is. Jian Jian responds in a monotone that the only person Ling Xiao knew in their grade, other than herself, is Ming Yue. Who else could it be? Ming Yue smiles happily to herself, then notices that Jian Jian seems dejected. Is she upset that Ling Xiao likes her?

Instead, Jian Jian laments that Ling Xiao is about to return to Singapore. That’s why she’s dejected. But supposedly he’ll be back by Friday. Ming Yue smiles, relieved. Jian Jian notices and says she always thought that Ming Yue liked Zi Qiu. Ming Yue warns her to never speak about that dark moment in her history. Jian Jian then teases Ming Yue about Ling Xiao, calling her “older sister-in-law.

Ming Yue meets up with her mother and a family friend, Aunt Chen, for lunch. Her mother immediately criticizes her clothing, asking why she didn’t dress up a bit more. Ming Yue notices that the table has been set for a fourth person. She assumes it’s Aunt Chen’s husband, but then her mother explains that it’s actually a young coworker of Aunt Chen’s.

Ming Yue frowns, realizing that she’s been set up on a blind date. Her mother tries to deny that it’s a date and instead says that she’s just trying to introduce her to a new friend.

Part way through lunch, Ming Yue tries to catch her mother outside the restrooms. She wants to leave, but her mother won’t let her. Ming Yue protests being set up on blind dates — she’s only 25, she’s not that old — and she already likes someone. Her mother tells her that if she really does like someone, she should bring him home to meet her. She doubts that Ming Yue will be brave enough to ask. Ming Yue lifts her chin and says she will. But her mother also tells her to forget about moving to Beijing for the new position at her company — she should focus on studying for the civil service exam.

Ming Yue sighs and seems to deflate once her mother is gone.

Commentary

I feel like drama is right around the corner! Though every time I think there might be drama, it fails to appear, at least among our group of friends. Again this episode, there were so many opportunities for cliche moments of jealousy — for Ming Yue to be jealous of Ling Xiao’s attention toward Jian Jian and for Jian Jian to be jealous of Ling Xiao supposedly liking Ming Yue. But there weren’t. Which is nice! The only time we even got close was when Ming Yue and Xi Xi met each other, but Xi Xi is such a benign side character that it’s all in good fun.

Of course, with Ling Xiao set to return to Singapore, likely next episode, we’re sure to encounter the source of the drama in his life: his mother and sister. What will that bring?

In the meantime, I think some of these side romances and love triangles with Zhuang Bei, Tang Can, and Ming Yue will hopefully be fun.

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