Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: Go Ahead (Ep. 19)

Zi Qiu continues to be suspicious of Ran, but nothing he says or does can convince Jian Jian. Ling Xiao leaves for Singapore as Ming Yue becomes more certain that she’s the one he likes and decides to do something about it.

Recap

Ran camps out at Zi Qiu’s coffee shop, using fellow female patrons as subjects for his sketches. Zi Qiu gets annoyed with his blatant objectification and asks him to leave, saying that he’ll be accused of sexual harassment if anyone sees him. But Ran seems unconcerned.

Zi Qiu grabs the sketchbook out of Ran’s hands and shows the drawings to the table of women that Ran was sketching. To Zi Qiu’s disbelief, instead of being creeped out, the women start admiring the sketches, thinking that it makes them look more attractive. When they find out that Ran is an artist, they openly gush and wonder if this makes them models.

Frustrated, Zi Qiu throws Ran’s sketchbook back at him and starts to leave, but then he turns back around with a resolute sigh. He’s startled to find Ran standing behind him with a sheepish wave.

Zi Qiu tells Ran that as long as he’s around, Ran will have no chance of entering the Li family. Ran accuses him of acting like a jealous husband rather than a brother. What will he do when Jian Jian gets married in the future? Zi Qiu responds that Jian Jian doesn’t need to get married — he’ll take care of her for the rest of her life. Men are no good, anyway.

Ran points out that Zi Qiu is also a no-good man. Hai Chao raised him, yet when his rich father appeared, he promptly left with him. Zi Qiu tells him that he doesn’t know anything.

When Jian Jian arrives at the coffee shop, Zi Qiu drags her upstairs, saying that Ran is a good-for-nothing man. He shows her how Ran is chatting up the table full of young women and reports that earlier, he kept staring at their butts. Jian Jian seems to find nothing wrong. The two of them start bickering and pulling on each other’s hair, attracting Ran’s attention.

Tang Can plays mahjong with Zhuang Bei’s mother. She chats up the aunties and feeds Zhuang Bei’s mother tiles. Zhuang Bei’s mother seems to like Tang Can and Tang Can seems to like her a lot, too. Zhuang Bei’s mother talks about how all she wants for her son is for him to be happy. Tang Can wishes her mother felt the same way about her. Mama Zhuang reassures her that all mothers are the same — they just want the best for their children. She’s certain that Tang Can’s mother also feels that way.

Jian Jian and Ran go out people-watching at a park. He sketches while she eats a lollipop and broods over Ling Xiao’s upcoming trip to Singapore, wondering if she should buy him something to bring back. Ran guesses that what she’s really worried about is that Ling Xiao won’t be allowed to come back. Jian Jian tries to laugh it off, but admits that she’s not sure where Ling Xiao’s sister stands with him. Ran says that his real sister doesn’t matter — it’s clear that he seems to circle around his godsister. Jian Jian responds that Ling Xiao doesn’t have a godsister.

Ran points out that even though they’re on a date together, Jian Jian only ever seems to talk about her brothers. Either that, or they vent to each other, talk about art, or go to exhibitions. He suggests that they should do some proper dating things. She agrees. Ran scoots closer to Jian Jian and starts leaning in to kiss her. She hops up and waves her arms at him, telling him to stop and saying that it was too sudden.

Ran seems to be of the mindset that lips have their own minds and do what they want. Jian Jian claims that her brain is too much in control to let that happen. Ran accepts that and says that she should kiss him instead, then.

Jian Jian steels herself and then awkwardly leans in while Ran waits with closed eyes.

Tang Can chugs mugs of water when she gets home at night. She didn’t dare drink anything while playing mahjong out of fear that she’d have to go to the bathroom. The other mahjong aunties play for three hours straight without moving.

Ming Yue asks her if she won any money. Tang Can responds that she lost a few hundred. Ming Yue guesses that she’s acting foolish for a boy again. Her ex-boyfriend still owes her 25,000 yuan and tried to borrow another 5000 last year to buy something for his current girlfriend. It’s a good thing Jian Jian found out and put a stop to that.

Tang Can teases Ming Yue for wrapping desserts into nice boxes for Ling Xiao to take back to his mother in Singapore. She also teases her for spraying perfume. But when Jian Jian gets home and sees the nicely-wrapped gift, she obliviously grabs it from Ming Yue’s hands and hops over to Ling Xiao’s apartment to give it to him, not realizing that Ming Yue wanted to do it herself.

Jian Jian watches Ling Xiao pack with an apprehensive look on her face. She gives him the box, telling him it’s from Ming Yue. Ling Xiao pulls out a large suitcase and Jian Jian looks alarmed — she thought he was only going to be gone for two days. She’s relieved when he pulls a backpack out of the suitcase, then asks if he has his return flight already booked. What if he can’t get one last minute? Ling Xiao shows her the flight notification to reassure her that everything is in order.

When Ling Xiao leaves the apartment building the next morning, he finds Ming Yue waiting downstairs in her car. She offers to give him a ride to the airport. The drive is mostly silent.

Right before Ling Xiao is about to get out at the airport, Ming Yue works up the nerve to say something to him. But her words are vague. She says that she was going to wait for him to say something first, but she doesn’t want to waste time anymore. She shyly kisses him on the cheek, surprising him, then says that she doesn’t want to have an ambiguous relationship anymore. This is her answer.

He starts to say her name, but she says that she gets it — they can talk about it when he gets back. She tells him to hurry and leave, gently pushing him out without looking at him. She giggles giddily to herself once he’s gone.

Du Juan rants to Jian Jian about a difficult customer who wants to commission thousands of wooden horse sculptures — which would take decades — but is only paying two months’ worth of fees. Jian Jian says they should just return the customer’s deposit and not take their business. She runs off to accept a delivery. Her male coworker, Zhou Miao, complains to Du Juan that Jian Jian has no business sense. If they’re always returning people’s deposits, they’ll never make money.

Jian Jian returns with a large box holding paper money that Jian Jian plans on giving to her mother as an offering. Zhou Miao comments that burning money is a stupid tradition. The dead are dead — what use could they have for money? Du Juan tells Zhou Miao to hush and sends him off on an errand.

Jian Jian notices that they’re wearing matching wood pendants and asks Du Juan about it. Du Juan shyly admits that they’re dating. Jian Jian says she could tell from the first day. Du Juan protests, saying she really didn’t intend to date the guy when they first met, but Jian Jian refuses to listen.

Zi Qiu’s aunt, He Lan, visits him at the coffee shop. She’s nearly moved to tears when she sees how successful he is and her eyes widen when he casually mentions that it cost tens of thousands of yuan to rent out and renovate the space. She starts crying to him as she apologizes for being uneducated and unable to support him when he was younger. Now, she truly understands that Hai Chao is a genuinely kind person, and she reminds Zi Qiu that he must be filial to him when he gets older.

Hai Chao invites He Lan over. When he asks her how her family is doing, she breaks down crying as she admits that her husband was recently diagnosed with stomach cancer. She didn’t tell Hai Chao earlier because she didn’t want to burden him further with her family. She admits that she came to visit Zi Qiu this time to see him, but also to borrow money from him. She doesn’t have much family she can borrow money from.

He Lan hasn’t found the courage to tell Zi Qiu yet, which Hai Chao thinks is a good thing. He knows that running a business is not cheap. He has some extra money he’s willing to lend He Lan.

Zi Qiu and Jian Jian stand just outside the front door in the stairwell. They hear everything.

He Lan tells Hai Chao that she needs 20,000 yuan. He seems stunned by the amount, but says they can make it work.

Zi Qiu chooses that moment to walk in, telling his father not to worry about it. He has money. He asks his aunt when his uncle will be in town for chemotherapy and offers to visit and care for him at the hospital. Jian Jian says she can help out, too.

Zi Qiu withdraws the money from the bank and sends his aunt off. She makes him take an invoice for it, then cries on the bus as she looks at the cash.

Zi Qiu holds a staff meeting. Afterward, his employees invite him to go out with them; they’re celebrating receiving their first paycheck. But he politely declines, then goes over to check on Jian Jian. Two of his employees gossip about him and his relationship with Jian Jian once he’s gone.

Jian Jian complains to Zi Qiu about how Zhou Miao is never on time or on schedule. Du Juan is constantly covering for him at work and willing to do it because they’re dating. On the subject of dating, Zi Qiu tells Jian Jian she should break up with Ran. She gets annoyed with his constant nagging.

Ling Xiao lingers in the hallway outside his mother’s apartment, not wanting to go in, but he finally knocks. His mother opens the door with a bright smile and welcomes him in. She tells his sister to come out, and they argue when she finds out that Mei Yang locked her door.

Chen Ting asks Ling Xiao where his luggage is. He says he didn’t bring any other luggage. She realizes what he means and asks him about it, but he wants to wait until after they eat. She persists. Mei Yang gets annoyed. Chen Ting yells at her. Mei Yang storms into her room and slams the door.

Chen Ting asks Ling Xiao why he’s staying there. Is his father sick? Is his father not letting him come back? Is it because of Jian Jian? She realizes that she guessed correctly and says that he can figure things out with Jian Jian later. This is his future. He had such a great job lined up at a competitive hospital.

Ling Xiao tells her that he already found a job at home. She fixates on “home.” Is this not his home? Is she not his home?

Ling Xiao gets a phone call from Jian Jian. He picks up his phone. Chen Ting sees who it is and refuses to let him answer. They struggle over the phone until it flies out of both their hands and lands on the ground, broken.

Jian Jian tries to call Ling Xiao again, but can’t get through. This time it goes straight to voicemail.

Hai Chao does some bookkeeping while He Ping picks vegetables for him. Hai Chao idly wonders what Ling Xiao said to his mother and what’s going on. He suggests that He Ping should call and see how it’s going. He Ping says he tried, but couldn’t get through.

He Ping suddenly asks Hai Chao about He Mei. Is he still hung up over her? He teases Hai Chao, saying they were pretty well-matched. Hai Chao isn’t sure if he’s being serious, but says that she was a better match for Zhao Hua Guang than him. But then he suddenly gets the idea to ask He Ping if he can find out where He Mei is now.

Ming Yue is working at the dining table with Tang Can and Jian Jian when she decides to announce that she confessed to Ling Xiao. Tang Can immediately asks her questions about what happened, and laughs when Ming Yue says that she thinks she scared him.

Ming Yue notices that Jian Jian is unhappy and asks why, worried that it’s because of what she just said. But Jian Jian pouts that she hasn’t been able to contact Ling Xiao. Ming Yue breathes a sigh of relief that it’s not because of her confession.

Tang Can is quick to call Ling Xiao trouble and quick to shame Ming Yue for liking a guy with such a sister complex. She warns Ming Yue that she’ll forever be jealous of her sister-in-law.

But Ming Yue just smiles giddily to herself while Jian Jian continues to pout.

Commentary

As expected, the moment Chen Ting enters the frame, the drama starts. It’s clear that she’s just a difficult person to get along with, probably because she’s so self-centered. Also, how petty does she have to be to fight with a child (Jian Jian) over her son? Mei Yang seems to butt heads with her plenty, too, though Mei Yang is probably equally as difficult to get along with and definitely in the midst of her angsty teenage phase. But it seems like this time Ling Xiao is finding the resolve to ditch his mother and sister once and for all. Is that the best choice for him? I don’t know. He definitely seems happier and less anxious without them in his life, but will he have regrets? Perhaps he just needs to cut these toxic people out of his life… but that’s the American way, I suppose.

I really appreciate how in-tune Ming Yue is to Jian Jian’s moods. She seems constantly worried that Jian Jian is unhappy about her liking Ling Xiao, but in a way that comes across as being worried about their friendship. If it comes to choosing between Jian Jian and Ling Xiao, Ming Yue would choose Jian Jian. At least, I hope.

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