Drama Recaps, Taiwanese Dramas

Recap: Lost Romance (Ep. 17)

Xiao En finds Qing Feng’s author and tries to convince him to give Qing Feng a happy ending. She decides to focus on her career, but when chance and fate bring her and Tian Xing together again, she realizes that she’s not as over him as she thought.

Recap

A rival publishing company accuses Xiao En and Chun Tian’s publishing company of plagiarism and Editor Yao wants Xiao En and Chun Tian to handle it. Xiao En and Chun Tian complain to themselves about how ridiculous the claim is. There are a limited set of places where a female lead can hide in a male lead’s house if she wants to avoid discovery. Having her hide in a closet and watch the male lead change is hardly plagiarism.

But the accusation suddenly gives Xiao En an idea. Instead of trying to find the author of Qing Feng’s original novel, she can make the author come to her by pretending to plagiarize his book!

At night, Xiao En observes her handiwork. Her fake novel has already started to receive some reviews, but she wonders if that’s enough to make the original author notice. Chun Tian says that Yao will probably kill them if he finds out. Xiao En says she’ll take the fall for it, but Chun Tian responds that if they go down, they go down together.

Tian Xing swims in the morning, wanting to do everything he can to recover faster. Shan Na is upset that he’s doing extra exercise on top of his physical therapy, worried that he’ll just injure himself more. He bristles at her attempt to tell him what to do.

When Xiao En and Chun Tian get into work, they overhear another angry author in a meeting with Yao, accusing the publisher of plagiarism. Xiao En perks up when she hears the name “Cheng Qing” being mentioned, and hurries into Yao’s office.

She stares at the author, intently asking what his name and the names of his lead characters are. She beams with shining eyes when he says Chen Qing and Liu Mu Shuang.

Cheng Qing shows Xiao En some letters and explains how his book is based on his own life. He used to work on a ship and would write letters to Xiao Shuang, his childhood sweetheart, describing the places he’d been. But he never sent the letters; he didn’t even have the courage to ask her to wait for him when he left. Writing his novel was his way of trying to give himself the courage to face Xiao Shuang. Initially, he planned on giving the finished novel to Xiao Shuang as a way of confessing to her, but then he found out that she got married to someone else, so he burned the unfinished manuscript.

Xiao En calls Cheng Qing irresponsible for not finishing the story. Just because he wouldn’t get the ending he wanted didn’t mean that Chen Qing deserved the same. Cheng Qing tries to defend himself. The novel was his love letter — without a recipient, what was the point in continuing to write?

Cheng Qing says that he doesn’t actually want to sue Xiao En’s publishing company, but that he found the story too similar and doesn’t want his own painful memories and story out in the world. He asks her to take it down.

Xiao En suggests that Cheng Qing should finish the novel, make a lot of money, then buy a boat to show off to Xiao Shuang. Cheng Qing responds that he just wants Xiao Shuang to be happy. Xiao En points out that he has still has a chance to write a happy ending. She encourages him, saying she’s certain he can do it. He needs to give Chen Qing a happy ending, and she promises that her publishing company will help.

Yao isn’t on board with the idea of publishing Cheng Qing’s novel. They can’t even handle themselves in the women’s market, how can they expect to enter the men’s market? Xiao En and Chun Tian try to convince him, saying that all good publishing companies have tried to forge their own path. Yao responds that he never said they were a good publishing company. They’re just a small one and he’s already made up his mind.

Xiao En and Chun Tian look at him with pleading eyes. He tells them that he was young once, too, with his own aspirations, but that was before he got dragged down by the real world. Their last book was already a loss for the company and he can’t afford for the company to have another loss and risk going under.

Chun Tian starts to pull Xiao En away, saying they can try to find a different solution. But Xiao En remembers an earlier conversation with Ao Ran where she admitted that she often would keep silent in front of her boss. Ao Ran responded that any reasonable boss would listen to her if she were to speak up. Now, Xiao En feels emboldened and turns back to Yao. She tells him that she’ll put in extra hours and figure out a way to make sure that the company can break even. If she can do that, will he agree to publish Cheng Qing’s novel? Chun Tian also offers to help.

Yao thinks it over, then agrees. He doesn’t care if the novel doesn’t make money as long as it doesn’t lose money.

The next day at work, Xiao En is ready to get to work marketing. She plans on trying to convince some convenience stores to stock their novel. It’ll be tough, but lucrative if she succeeds. Chun Tian says that she seems different than before, more courageous and proactive than she used to be. Was CEO, You Nasty a lesson in maturity?

Chun Tian notices Xiao En suddenly getting sad and nostalgic over Ao Ran again. She grabs her hands and forces her to look her in the eyes. The old Xiao En is out and the new one is in. They shouldn’t waste time brooding over CEOs who won’t be theirs. Xiao En nods and smiles. Before, she didn’t know what she was capable of, but now she does. She and Chun Tian both say goodbye to the CEOs they used to daydream about.

Tian Xing goes through another physical therapy session while Jie Sen reports to Su Shan Na that the police want to talk to Tian Xing to get his statement. They’ve already spoken with Tian Jian and Ming Li, but Jie Sen doesn’t know how it went, and Ming Li hasn’t responded to their requests to talk.

Yao shows up at the office and tells Xiao En and Chun Tian, “Don’t say I never helped you.” He tells them some hot gossip that he heard: all the top publishing companies want to work with Tian Xing. Ever since he woke up, Tian Xing has been so famous that a collaboration with him is sure to lead to success. Xiao En tries to avoid Yao’s gaze, then tries to explain that there’s just the tiniest bit of misunderstanding between her and Tian Xing, but he won’t take any excuses. He’s offering his support and she’s the one who wants to publish her book, so she better take every possible opportunity to make it happen.

Xiao En sends Tian Xing an email and see a read receipt, but wait for hours and he doesn’t respond. Shan Na is the one who opens the email, since it arrived during Tian Xing’s physical therapy appointment.

Xiao En and Chun Tian give up on waiting around for Tian Xing’s response. Instead, Chun Tian takes Xiao En to the temple. Since there are no other options, there’s only one thing left to do: pray to the gods. For both of them, it has worked before. Chun Tian came and prayed for Xiao En to wake up, and Xiao En remembers how she prayed that Tian Xing would be okay.

Xiao En prays for much longer than Chun Tian at the temple. Chun Tian thinks she sees Tian Xing, but isn’t sure. She asks Xiao En what she prayed for so long for. Xiao En admits that she prayed for Tian Xing’s leg to get better. Chun Tian feels betrayed that Xiao En didn’t wish for fortune for the two of them.

Xiao En tells Chun Tian that she came to pray the day after seeing Tian Xing fall, wanting advice on what to do. It seems like in return, she got her three month-long coma. Now, Xiao En tells Chun Tian to go ahead while she goes to the back of the temple.

Chun Tian browses through amulets for sale and reaches for an amulet at the same time as a man — Jie Sen. Su Shan Na walks up, asking Jie Sen if he’s ready. Chun Tian turns and immediately recognizes her from spying on Tian Xing, but can’t say that. Shan Na also finds her strangely familiar, though she doesn’t recognize her.

Outside, Chun Tian formally introduces herself to Shan Na as a representative of her publishing company and hands over her business card. The company name is familiar to Shan Na, who asks if Xiao En is also here. When she finds out that Xiao En is here, she tells Jie Sen to go find Tian Xing. It’s time for them to leave.

Chun Tian stops Jie Sen, not ready for the conversation to be over. She asks if they received Xiao En’s email. Shan Na accuses Chun Tian of stalking Tian Xing and the two start bickering.

Xiao En scans the columns at the back of the temple and finally finds the one with Tian Xing’s name on it. She smiles. A voice asks if she’s the one who lit the light. When she says yes, the voice asks, “So why is it my name?” Xiao En turns to find Tian Xing staring at her.

“Who are you?” Tian Xing asks as he approaches. Why is his name on the light? Why does she keep showing up? Xiao En stands up and forces a smile, saying that she’s Zheng Xiao En who works at a publishing company. Who else could she be? She pulls her business card out of her purse.

Jie Sen and Su Shan Na bicker in the car about whose fault it is for bringing Tian Xing to the temple and running into Xiao En again. Meanwhile, Tian Xing thinks back to earlier at the temple, when he overheard Xiao En telling Chun Tian that she came to pray after hearing about Tian Xing’s fall on the news. What is the significance of these past three months, and why does it keep coming up?

When they get back, Tian Xing tells Su Shan Na to rearrange his schedule for the next two weeks. He accepted Xiao En’s request for an interview. They can consider it as compensation for her coming forward as a witness. Shan Na is incredulous that Tian Xing is really planning on writing an autobiography with her. Isn’t she just a stranger? Why does he care so much about her?

Tian Xing responds that he finds Xiao En strange more than anything. He silently wonders why Xiao En looks at him with so much emotion in her eyes. Who does she see when she looks at him? Only after feeling her gaze has he realized that he’s never felt that kind of love from anyone before. But what he says out loud is that he finds it strange someone like Xiao En exists in this world. She’s so different from everyone else he’s met before.

He excuses himself, saying he’s tired, and heads to bed. Shan Na reminds him that his goal is to reclaim Tian Liang Group, but he just keeps walking back to his room.

Chun Tian is ready to leave work, but finds Xiao En working on a set of questions for an interview with Tian Xing. She asks how Xiao En managed to convince Tian Xing to agree.

It turns out that Xiao En didn’t have to do much. Tian Xing had let Xiao En ramble on nervously before agreeing. She had beamed and said he was the best CEO she knew.

When Xiao En arrives at Tian Xing’s house, Shan Na is the one to greet her, with a warning about how she might have gotten Tian Xing to agree to an autobiography, but whether or not it gets published is another matter. Xiao En is shown to Tian Xing’s study, where she notices all the romance novels on his shelves. Tian Xing explains that he’s trying to strategize against an opponent, using the exact same phrase that Xiao En remembers saying back when she first went to Ao Ran’s house.

She notices CEO, You Nasty on Tian Xing’s desk and seems a little relieved to find out that the books on his desk are the ones he hasn’t read yet. Tian Xing asks why a publisher that specializes in romance novels would be interested in publishing his autobiography. Xiao En gives a well-rehearsed answer about how her company caters to women and how Tian Xing’s autobiography would greatly appeal to the same demographic. Tian Xing doesn’t believe her.

Xiao En tells him the truth, that her company isn’t doing well and needs money and being able to use Tian Xing’s name will give them the money they need. Her dream is to get a specific book published, and her editor-in-chief would only agree if she managed to get Tian Xing’s autobiography. Tian Xing accepts this answer.

Tian Xing has read Xiao En’s prepared questions and noticed that they seem unconventional. Xiao En points out that what people are most interested in is seeing a more personal, private side of Tian Xing. Everything else has already been covered by magazines and tabloids.

Tian Xing has one condition for the interview. For every question that Xiao En asks him, she has to answer one of his. She’s surprised, but agrees and pulls out a notebook. Tian Xing decides to start with his own question, and asks Xiao En how old she is. She responds, then habitually asks, “What about you?”

She tries to ask another question, but Tian Xing points out that her question about his age counted as a question, so he asks her another one about how long she’s worked for her company. She catches herself before asking the same thing back, and asks one of her prepared questions: he’s been seen going out with mixed-race models — is that his type? He responds by asking if she trusts the tabloids. She says no. He moves onto his next question, but she’s left confused. Did he actually answer her question?

Tian Xing explains that he did, then asks: what is the most startling thing that’s happened to her? Xiao En looks at him for a moment, silently thinking that it’s being able to meet Ao Ran and then him, but then says out loud how she once saw a thief steal a necklace from around an old lady’s neck in broad daylight.

She asks him if he’s thought about what kind of woman he finds attractive. He responds with a single “no.” She looks up to find him smirking at her. She frowns. Are her questions too conservative?

Tian Xing asks her what her first thought was when she first saw him. “Handsome,” she responds. He tries to follow up, but she points out that it’s her question now. She asks him to describe his ideal woman.

Tian Xing responds simply again: he feels comfortable when he’s with her. She looks up at him with surprise, expecting more. That’s all?

Tian Xing continues with his follow-up to his previous question. What was the first thing she thought when she saw him after she woke up? Xiao En evasively responds, “Really handsome.” He doesn’t believe her; would being really handsome make her want to hug him and cry?

Instead of answering, Xiao En points out that he’s already had his question, then asks him about his upbringing. How has his complicated family situation affected him?

Tian Xing says that he can’t do anything about the circumstances of his birth or his parents. All he can do is try his best to succeed with what he has and prove himself. Xiao En frowns, remembering that Ao Ran had guessed something very similar about what Tian Xing was probably like. He had said that maybe being in a coma was Tian Xing’s only chance to really be himself.

Now, Xiao En asks Tian Xing if he would choose to wake up if he had a choice. He frowns, asking what she means. She points out that he was the one who said to act like an adult in a rainstorm and a child in good weather. If he’s always striving to prove himself, doesn’t that mean he’s always in a rainstorm? If he’s always doing things for the sake of other people, does his life mean anything anymore?

Instead of responding, Tian Xing points out that she’s already asked her question. He asks her about her family circumstances. She responds that it’s simple: her family is just one person. She has no parents or siblings. She was abandoned in a park and raised in an orphanage that doesn’t exist anymore.

Tian Xing says that he never would have known just looking at her. Xiao En smiles and says that it’s not something worth feeling bad about. Would he want everyone to treat him with sympathy all the time?

Xiao En gets confused by who should have the next question. Tian Xing tries to claim it’s him, but Xiao En says her last question didn’t count. They end up smiling at each other.

After the interview, Tian Xing walks Xiao En out. She turns to leave, but he calls her name and starts to say that he has a feeling about the two of them.

Before he can complete his sentence, someone calls out to him. It’s Chu Chu.

“Chu Chu?” Xiao En asks. Tian Xing glances at her, surprised. Chu Chu tells Tian Xing how relieved she is to finally see him, only then does she look questioningly at Xiao En. Xiao En doesn’t bother introducing herself and instead says a hasty farewell.

Tian Xing’s eyes linger on Xiao En as she walks away, even though Chu Chu has started talking to him about how Shan Na wouldn’t let her visit him at the hospital.

Chu Chu asks Tian Xing if their previous agreement is still on the table. He recalls the day they first met. He had been angry because the board of directors called a meeting and Shan Na insisted he had to be there, even though it was his mother’s birthday. When he went outside his office to calm down, he found Chu Chu crying on the staircase. He asked her what was wrong and she told him that her father had just passed away, but she was too scared to take time off. Tian Xing had called Shan Na and asked her to help get Chu Chu a week’s leave from work. Chu Chu started telling him about how her father had wanted her to see the sunrise with him, but she kept putting him off because of work. Now, she won’t even have a chance. Tian Xing knew the feeling of wanting to celebrate with someone only to realize there won’t be a next time. Chu Chu had boldly asked him if he wanted to go see the sunrise with her. She felt like he could use a sunrise. He had agreed.

Now, Chu Chu wants to know if their arrangement still holds true. She acknowledges that they don’t have to go see the sunrise right now — too many things have happened. She just wants to know if he’s still the person she thought he was — not the CEO, but He Tian Xing.

Xiao En and Chun Tian meet with Yao, who is reviewing the first part of Cheng Qing’s manuscript. Yao loves the manuscript, though he also seems slightly embarrassed to enjoy it so much. Xiao En and Chun Tian start giggling. Yao asks them what the plan is for Tian Xing’s autobiography. Chun Tian reports back with some of the ideas they’ve brainstormed. Xiao En starts laughing even more hysterically and can’t stop.

She manages to calm down a bit, but still looks overly chipper as she asks if someone else can interview Tian Xing instead. Is that okay? Yao is confused, because Xiao En was the one to secure the interview in the first place, but Xiao En persists and he agrees. She keeps laughing.

Chun Tian drags Xiao En out to the spot where they usually take their breaks and asks what’s going on. Xiao En admits that she thought she had gotten over her CEO dreams and was focused solely on her career now, but when she went to interview Tian Xing, she realized that she couldn’t help but look for a hint of Ao Ran in him. She was sad when he said he wasn’t afraid of the dark. If he had been, she would’ve seen that as proof he was Ao Ran and that he just didn’t know it. But during the interview, when he talked about his past, she couldn’t help but compare him to Ao Ran. When he asked her about herself, it made her think that maybe he was interested in her. When he walked her to the door, it gave her hope that they still had a chance. But then Chu Chu showed up and reminded her that this is real life.

Xiao En tells Chu Tian that Ao Ran had dreamed about Chu Chu before. At the time, she thought that they just had the same name. She didn’t realize they were the same person. Xiao En can’t go back and face Tian Xing anymore. Chun Tian pats her hand sympathetically.


Commentary

Sooo… book plot, round two, in the real world? It’s about time that the real Chu Chu showed up. I had been wondering at the beginning of this episode why we hadn’t seen her yet and whether her existence (or lack thereof) in the real world was just a plot hole that would never be filled.

I like that Tian Xing and Xiao En are able to develop their relationship as Tian Xing and Xiao En. Of course, Tian Xing’s interest in Xiao En probably wouldn’t exist if not for how deeply she feels for Ao Ran and how much she imposed all of that longing and sorrow onto Tian Xing at first. But at the same time, that initial interest is what sparks his curiosity to learn more. Everything after that is genuine interest in who Xiao En — the person — is, and not necessarily just because she likes him. This situation kind of reminds me of Someday or One Day, where one person brings all of their memories and history with the other into their relationship, and the other person has no clue who they are, but the depth of their emotion is enough to mean something.

All these little coincidences between the book world and real world seem like a set up for Ao Ran and Tian Xing being the same person, or at least a situation in which their two identities are very much connected and intertwined. At least, I want these coincidences to be actual signs and not just acknowledgements, such as Shan Na commenting on Chun Tian seemed familiar, even though they had never met before.

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