Drama Recaps, Taiwanese Dramas

Recap: Lost Romance (Ep. 16)

Xiao En tries to look for Qing Feng with Chun Tian’s help, determined that someone should get a happy ending even if it’s not her. Meanwhile, Tian Xing finds himself getting more intrigued by Xiao En.

Recap

Xiao En tells Chun Tian that the Xiao En in the book is her. She experienced all those things when she entered the story world during her coma. Chun Tian still seems skeptical, but quizzes Xiao En on some details from the book, such as what Chu Chu and Ao Ran ate for breakfast at the hot spring resort, and how much a single night at the resort cost. Xiao En knows all the correct answers.

When Chun Tian asks Xiao En who put the comforter on her when she was sleeping at Ao Ran’s the night the power went out, she’s stumped. Chun Tian calls her a dummy — who else could it be? Xiao En scrambles for the book, starting to cry as she realizes that it was Ao Ran.

Xiao En takes Chun Tian’s hands and begs her to believe her. She really needs someone to believe her right now, otherwise she’ll feel like she’s gone crazy. Chun Tian says she believes Xiao En and hugs her. Xiao En continues to cry out of relief that it was all real. When she first woke up, she thought that maybe she had just woken up from a very long dream and no one in that world would remember her. But this book is proof that in some parallel universe, what she experienced was real.

Chun Tian re-reads the novel, paying attention to the details now that she knows Xiao En actually experienced everything. She connects the dots between the times that Xiao En got injured for Chu Chu and when Xiao En started mysteriously bleeding in real life. She teases Xiao En, asking if Ao Ran was the male lead, or if Xiao En was. She also remembers the time when she thought she saw Xiao En in the bathroom — Xiao En actually had been trapped. Xiao En is surprised to discover that Chu Chu was the one who trapped her, not the other female side characters.

Chun Tian asks Xiao En what she plans on doing now. Is she just going to give up on Tian Xing? Xiao En responds with a sad nod. What else can she do? Her Ao Ran is forever frozen in that wedding at the end of the novel.

They turn off the lights to go to bed. Chun Tian blames the author for always ending her stories at the wedding. Weddings are the least satisfying ending. There are so many other types of endings — she and Xiao En bounce ideas back and forth. Suddenly, Chun Tian bolts upright and pulls Xiao En as well. She has an idea: they should go ask the author to write a sequel. Xiao En isn’t sure what use a sequel will be, since she’s already out of the story world, but Chun Tian thinks it’ll be better than nothing.

But the author is not interested in a sequel, nor is she interested in working with Chun Tian and Xiao En’s publishing company again. She kicks them out of her house.

Chun Tian tells Xiao En that they can try again after the author is less angry about her most recent novel. At least Xiao En got her happy ending in the novel. The mention of a happy ending suddenly reminds Xiao En of Qing Feng. She describes the plot of Qing Feng’s original story to Chun Tian, asking if it sounds familiar, but Chun Tian hasn’t heard of such a book.

Su Shan Na tells Tian Xing that Xiao En has disappeared. She thinks Xiao En is being ungrateful, but Tian Xing seems to understand that Xiao En probably didn’t think of it that way. She has no obligation to stay. He tells Shan Na to have Jie Sen keep an eye on her.

Tian Jian reassures Uncle Hu that there’s no way he can be convicted of the crime. The police only have Xiao En’s statement — the rest of the evidence, Ming Li destroyed. But Uncle Hu asks if he’s certain that Ming Li had all the evidence destroyed.

Tian Xing visits Ming Li in her padded room. She starts laughing deliriously when she sees him. He looks at her dispassionately and tells her other things she’s sure to find equally as absurd: Tian Jian is chairman; their father has died.

Ming Li asks why no one told her about their father’s death, then starts talking about how unfairly she’s been treated. Tian Xing points out how hypocritical it is for her to talk about unfairness. She has never treated him fairly. She even killed his mother, by stealing his backpack, throwing it into the river, and telling his mother that he fell in. His mother had jumped in, trying to save him, but drowned.

Ming Li says she’ll never forget the look on Tian Xing’s face when his mother died. She knows that he’s just been waiting for an opportunity to get revenge since then, but maintains that it was an accident. Tian Xing says that it doesn’t matter how Ming Li tries to explain it, the truth is that she killed his mother. Isn’t there anything she wants to say? Does she not feel guilty at all? Does she sleep well at night?

Ming Li says that Tian Xing hasn’t changed at all. He’s still only thinks about himself and the ways in which he has suffered. But has he ever thought about what his mother did to her and her family? When Ming Li was young, her parents promised to show up at a school performance she was in, but neither showed. Her mother found out that her father had an affair with an assistant, who was now pregnant, and tried to kill herself. Her father never came home that night. After that, Ming Li never had a happy family again. She blames Tian Xing’s mother for destroying her family and suggests that perhaps her death was just karma.

She knows that Tian Xing will never forgive her, but she won’t forgive him, either. She’ll never forgive him or his mother. She feels bad that her father has passed away, but not in the same way that Tian Xing does. To Tian Xing, their father was a loving father and supporter. Ming Li’s only regret is that their father died like this. He didn’t even say a word of apology to her.

Tian Xing tells Ming Li to not be so mean. Their father didn’t love her any less. But Ming Li just laughs cynically. Love? He loved her so much he forgot she existed? He loved her so much he didn’t even bother to put her name in his will?

Tian Xing says that Ming Li is exactly what their father said she was. Their father always said that her life was ruined by her personality. No matter what, her bad temper would ruin everything. Ming Li stands up, upset, and glares at Tian Xing, but then all she says is that they probably won’t see each other again.

Tian Jian storms into Ming Li’s padded room, shouting her name, only to find that her room is empty. He flags down a doctor, who tells him that a family member checked her out of the hospital. But Tian Jian says that he’s her only family — who else would check her out? Could it be Tian Xing? But the nurse tells him that Xu Qiong Mei was the person who checked Ming Li out. Their mother.

After Ming Li stood up to leave, she had come face to face with her mother at the door. Tian Xing had pulled an envelope out of his jacket, saying that it was a memorandum to their father’s will and that Ming Li should read it carefully.

Now, Ming Li’s mother hides her away at a friend’s property outside the city. Her mother explains that Tian Xing told her about the memorandum, which left a trust fund for Ming Li with Tian Xing assigned as the trustee. Tian Xing also told her that Ming Li’s father frequently spoke about her with him and that out of the three kids, she was the one he was most worried about.

But Ming Li is sick of hearing Tian Xing’s name. Has her mother forgotten whose son he is? Ming Li’s mother says that all of that happened in the past. Her husband is dead now. What use is there in holding onto those old grudges?

Ming Li never thought that she would be the only to care about her family. Who was she fighting for? She never thought that the first person to visit her at the hospital would be her greatest enemy and that the people to lock her up in there would be the ones closest to her.

She starts crying as she admits to her mother how scared she was in the hospital. She was scared that she really was crazy and that she’d never be able to get out. She waited every day for her mother to come and visit, but she never showed. Ming Li’s mother tries to make excuses, but Ming Li keeps repeating how her mother never came to see her, not even once.

Ming Li asks if her mother would have come if Tian Xing hadn’t shown the will to her. Ming Li’s mother is offended she would even ask such a thing. Now that Tian Jian is the chairman, she has no need for the relatively small sum of money Ming Li is getting. She says that Ming Li’s personality can really be hateful sometimes; it makes her feel like it’s not worth it to try and be nice to her.

Xiao En and Chun Tian scour the internet for leads on Qing Feng’s novel but are unsuccessful. Chun Tian wonders why Xiao En is so invested in someone who is just a book character. Xiao En explains how Qing Feng was like the Chun Tian of the story world for her. She can’t feel at ease knowing that he’s drifting aimlessly through the worlds. Chun Tian points out that he liked her, then flips to a page in the book where Qing Feng confesses his love for Xiao En while brooding by himself.

Xiao En didn’t know, but when Chun Tian asks if knowing would have changed her decision, she admits that it wouldn’t have. But they can still find an ending for Qing Feng. Even if Xiao En won’t get her happy ending, Qing Feng should.

Editor Yao interrupts them with an order for fresh ideas. CEO, You Nasty performed so poorly that the publishing company ended up losing money on it. Now, it’s Chun Tian and Xiao En’s responsibility to come up with some fresh ideas and a new direction for the company. Xiao En suggests entering the men’s market, but Yao immediately shoots her down.

After work, Chun Tian complains about Yao, but Xiao En is still thinking about Qing Feng. She’s convinced she must have met Qing Feng somewhere in real life and wants to go find him. She decides to try a bookstore to find other worlds he may have drifted through.

Tian Xing does physical therapy to try to learn how to walk again. At the end of one session, Shan Na reports to him that things at Tian Liang Group seem to be going the way he feared. It looks like Uncle Hu is funneling Tian Liang’s money to companies he has financial interest in. But everything he’s doing right now is legal, so they can’t stop him.

Tian Xing says that there are ways to stop him, but they can’t do it alone. Shan Na doesn’t think Ming Li will help. Tian Xing asks her for an update on Xiao En. Shan Na doesn’t know why he cares about her, but tells him that Xiao En was in a coma at the same time he was.

Xiao En and Chun Tian flip through novels at the bookstore, looking for any secondary male characters named “Qing.” Xiao En doesn’t like any of the storylines that she finds, including one in which the character kills himself. She doesn’t want to believe that any of that would happen to Qing Feng, and hopes that he’s doing okay.

They go shopping at a supermarket, where Xiao En spots a reed diffuser that is the exact same scent as the one in Ao Ran’s room. It reminds her of him, and she starts to fill her shopping cart with it.

Xiao En and Chun Tian are walking back to her apartment when Chun Tian spots an expensive-looking car parked nearby. Xiao En tries to casually walk in the opposite direction with Chun Tian and starts to break into a run when Tian Xing calls out her name and steps out of the car. They freeze and turn around.

Xiao En and Tian Xing stare at each other silently across a table at a coffee shop, while Jie Sen and Chun Tian spy on them from behind their menus from a separate table. Jie Sen loudly clears his throat, forcing both Xiao En and Tian Xing to look at him instead, and comments that there isn’t much time left.

Tian Xing and Xiao En return to looking at each other. Tian Xing looks around with an awkward smile and asks if Xiao En can stop staring at him. She awkwardly looks away, then summons her courage and apologizes to him, for staring at him now and for staring at him before.

“You mean peeping on him?” Jie Sen interjects. Chun Tian glares at him.

Xiao En looks down, then repeats her apology to Tian Xing. Tian Xing acknowledges that it is a bit uncomfortable to know that someone was watching him without his knowing, but he’s more curious about why Xiao En was watching him.

She looks him in the eye and says that it was because he had encouraged her before. She and Chun Tian team up to explain how they got a little bit of comfort from seeing his handsome face whenever their boss would get mad at them. They compare his good looks to the romance novels they publish: both serve as a comfort to women everywhere.

Tian Xing laughs and calls her a weirdo. Xiao En stares at him, because the word he uses and the expression he’s wearing are exactly the same as Ao Ran.

They stare at each other for a moment. Chun Tian rushes over to Jie Sen and hisses at him to leave, then drags him out of the coffee shop. Xiao En also tries to leave, but Tian Xing stops her, asking if he did something to offend her the other day.

Tian Xing noticed that she didn’t seem to like the answers he gave her the night he saved her from the thugs who were after her. He’s also noticed the expression with which she looks at him, like she’s having a hard time letting go, and like he’s let her down somehow. He asks if there’s some special meaning to her question about being afraid of the dark. She responds that there is no special meaning. For him, at least.

Tian Xing wants to know why Xiao En went to the police now instead of reporting it earlier. She explains that she really is just a corporate drone. She’s a nobody — who would believe her if she went to the police? But recently, she’s experienced some things that have shown her that even if she is nobody, as long as she puts in the effort to achieve her goals, miracles can happen.

Tian Xing looks confused. Wasn’t she in a coma for three months? Xiao En nods, but says that even just being able to wake up after three months in a coma is a miracle in itself.

Tian Xing leans forward, looking slightly intrigued, but Xiao En chooses to quickly make an excuse about needing to finish up some things for work. She says goodbye, saying that if they’re fated, they may meet again. She pauses before leaving and turns around to wish Tian Xing well in his recovery. She believes that he will be okay.

Jie Sen returns to the coffee shop after Xiao En leaves. Tian Xing tells him to buy all the books that Xiao En has ever worked on.

Chun Tian asks Xiao En if she told Tian Xing everything, but Xiao En didn’t. What would she have said? That he might not know it, but he was madly in love with her and asked her to marry him? She sighs, saying that in this world, Ao Ran doesn’t exist.

Chun Tian suggests that Xiao En could try to catch him again. She did it once, why not twice?

Xiao En says that in the novel, there were things she was unafraid to say. In reality, she would be dragged away by security before even getting close to him. The most she can do now is give herself a dignified way out.

Shan Na is appalled when Tian Xing pulls several novels published by Xiao En’s publishing company out of a paper bag. Tian Xing looks through the covers and titles while Shan Na has to explain to Jie Sen what the genre is. Shan Na asks Tian Xing why he has all these books. He starts to open CEO, You Nasty and says that he’s just trying to understand Xiao En a bit better. Shan Na snaps the book closed and says that he never used to do things like this.

Tian Xing looks pensive and says that his brush with death seems to have given him a new perspective. In life, he doesn’t have to march forward down a single path — he can also look around and find other things he’s interested in. Right now, Xiao En is what he’s interested in.

Xiao En is unable to sleep at night. She ends up slipping out of bed and setting up one of the reed diffusers she bought, missing Ao Ran as she cries quietly at her desk.

Tian Xing also can’t sleep. He stays up for a bit, playing with the lights in his room and wondering if the dark is scary, then gets up out of bed and starts flipping through the novels that Xiao En has edited. He finds himself dissecting the language and learning new things about kissing. He fixates on how kissing someone in the morning is a sweet thing to do — do they not brush their teeth first?

In the morning, Tian Jian asks his mother why she checked Ming Li out of the hospital. Didn’t he say that Ming Li would come back when she got better? His mother is frustrated that no matter what she does, someone is unhappy with her. Keeping Ming Li in the hospital is wrong, but checking her out is also wrong. Tian Jian claims that he’s just concerned that Ming Li isn’t completely well yet, but frowns. His mother smiles, saying it’s good to have a man in the house who puts Ming Li first. Ming Li thinks that they don’t care about her.

The police show up to bring Tian Jian in for questioning. On his way out of the station with his lawyer, he runs into Ming Li and Qiao Zhi. The police are questioning everyone who was on the rooftop that day.

Tian Jian asks Ming Li what she plans on telling the police. Ming Li responds that she’ll cooperate with the investigation and tell the truth. She brushes past him to enter the station. He watches her go with a frustrated frown.

Commentary

I don’t like Ming Li, but I think the show has managed to convince me to feel bad for her, especially this episode. The whole “I hate you because your mother ruined by family” backstory is so overdone, but her whole family seems so dismissive of her and so quick to write her off because of her personality. To be fair, she is pretty difficult and we’ve seen how poorly she’s treated her mother and brother, but it feels like she’s always been viewed as a problem that needs to be removed rather than a problem to be solved. The only person in her life who actually seems to care about her is Qiao Zhi.

It’s not that fun to see Xiao En act all downtrodden and sad, but I enjoyed the bits of this episode where parts of her bubbly personality showed through for a few moments in front of Tian Xing. While her moping isn’t necessarily enjoyable to watch, I do appreciate her realistic approach to dealing with Tian Xing. Aside from her initial hope that Tian Xing and Ao Ran are the same person, she seems to have adjusted her expectations to fit reality and recognizes that Tian Xing is not Ao Ran.

I’m curious how the writers will try to reconcile the book world and the real world, as well as Xiao En and Ao Ran/Tian Xing. Will Tian Xing fall in love with Xiao En on his own? Will he somehow acquire Ao Ran’s memories? I’m not sure that either option would feel satisfactory. There was so much of a distinction made that Xiao En fell in love with Ao Ran, not a Tian Xing lookalike, that if she does fall in love with Tian Xing — merged with Ao Ran’s identity or not — it just feels… disingenuous. But maybe this show can convince me otherwise.

I also hope some of the crossovers with the worlds colliding will be better explained at the end. Chun Tian seemed to accept too easily that she somehow momentarily saw Xiao En from the book world in the bathroom.

4 thoughts on “Recap: Lost Romance (Ep. 16)”

  1. Hi,
    I really appreciate you writing a very extensive weekly synopsis. I thoroughly enjoy and appreciate it as well. Your writing is so convincing that I have stopped watching this drama 5 episodes ago.

    If you have any interest in writing a novel then I would urge you to try it as your narrating style is quite refreshing and it takes me to the real drama land.

    ** If you already have then please do share as to where can I read it!!

    My best wishes
    Suha

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    1. Haha thanks for this comment, I appreciate it! It’s been a decade since I tried my hand at novel-writing (ideas are in short supply 😅) — I’ll just settle for drama recaps for now.

      Like

  2. I have enjoyed watching this drama from the USA. I hope there is many more episodes to come. I will say the two main characters in the book world had outstanding chemistry in the love making scenes. The best in a drama that I have watched . I hope to see more.

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  3. For me, I don’t want Tian Xing to read the book, I would want that he gets to know about Ao Ran in a dream just as how Ao Ran found out about Tian Xing. I think Tian Xing will start to dream when he gets closer to Xiao En. I think that Ao Ran started off as a one dimensional character, but as he began to act out of character in the book, it was actually Tian Xing guiding his actions while he was in a coma. So in a sense, the evolved Ao Ran is actually Tian Xing. For now, Xiao En is still in love with Ao Ran and she doesn’t really know Tian Xing yet but as they spend more time with each other, I think she will see the same characteristic in Tian Xing and fall in love with him as well.

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