Tian Xing enlists Ming Li’s help in dealing with Uncle Hu and other company matters. Meanwhile, he refuses to let Xiao En skip out on their interviews and they end up connecting in surprising ways.
Uncle Hu receives word that the police want to bring Tian Jian in for questioning. But Tian Jian hasn’t been at work for days. Tian Jian’s mother has been under the impression that he’s been at work for the past few days, but when she goes to his room to investigate, she realizes that he’s taken his passport and left the country.
The rocky situation at Tian Liang Group has hit the news. Tian Xing watches the reports with a frown. It looks like he’ll have to meet with Ming Li now, whether he likes it or not.
Tian Jian goes to find Ming Li, but approaches just as Tian Xing is arriving. He ducks out of sight.
Tian Xing tells Ming Li that she needs to use the money their father left her in order to save Tian Liang. He tells her that someone is stealing money from the company, but it can’t be traced through legal means so they have to figure out a way on their own. She asks why she should help. He points out that he can survive on his own anywhere, but can she, her brother, and her mother?
Ming Li asks what will happen to Tian Jian. He says that it’s up to her. The fact that Tian Jian was able to leave the police station without being apprehended means that she lied. Ming Li looks away. She didn’t want to protect him, but he’s important to her mother.
“At least you still have family to protect,” Tian Xing responds.
It’s getting late, so Shan Na suggests cancelling Tian Xing’s interview with Xiao En. He refuses to and tells Jie Sen to make sure they get back as quickly as possible.
When Tian Xing gets back, he’s surprised to find Chun Tian instead of Xiao En. He demands to know where Xiao En is.
Xiao En finds herself thinking about Tian Xing while at work, but tries to get herself to focus and forget about him. Suddenly, she hears his voice saying her name. She freezes. Is she hearing things? He repeats her name and she turns to find him staring at her. Is she seeing things now too?
She slowly stands up and approaches him with a raised hand to check if he’s real. He grabs her hand before she can touch him. He asks her why she stood him up.
Xiao En doesn’t have a reason to give to Tian Xing. Yao mediates a meeting between them and stares at Tian Xing with a smile, but Tian Xing ignores him. Xiao En thinks it shouldn’t make a difference whether it’s her or Chun Tian interviewing Tian Xing, but to Tian Xing, it matters. He agreed to publish his book with her company because of her, because he trusts her.
Some things, he says, can’t be replaced. Like trust, promises, and the understanding between interviewer and interviewee. He asks if she knows what the most valuable thing in the world is.
“Money?” she responds hesitantly. He says she’s right, because time is money. Does he think that her time is worth the same as his time? He trusted her with his time, but she sent someone else instead.
Xiao En starts to apologize again, but he tells her that she shouldn’t apologize if she doesn’t mean it.
Outside, Shan Na disdainfully browses a bookshelf of romance novels that the company has published. She doesn’t understand why Tian Xing would agree to publish his book with them. Chun Tian bristles at her insult to the genre and the two start bickering.
Tian Xing, Xiao En, and Yao sit in awkward silence for a long moment. Tian Xing stares intently at Xiao En, while she does her best to avoid eye contact. Tian Xing finally says that it looks like she can’t come up with a reasonable excuse, so all of their future interviews should be conducted by her.
Chun Tian sends Shan Na off with a stack of books she should use to learn how to snag an arrogant CEO who is not Tian Xing.
Ming Li asks Qiao Zhi what he thinks she should do. He says that Tian Xing is the only one who can save the company. Ming Li laughs cynically at how ironic it is that her greatest enemy has become her ally, and how now only Tian Xing stands on her side.
There’s a knock at the door — it’s Ming Li’s mother, distraught that there’s an arrest warrant out for Tian Jian. She wants Ming Li to do something about it and can’t stand to see Tian Jian be wrongfully accused. But Ming Li tells her that Tian Jian isn’t innocent. She didn’t take anyone’s side with the police, she just spoke the truth.
Ming Li’s mother starts blaming her for leading Tian Jian astray. Ever since they were little, Tian Jian always listened to Ming Li. How could she tell her brother to do such a thing? Ming Li, exasperated, says that Tian Jian needs to grow up. Ever since he was little, whenever he had a problem, he would hide behind her instead of handling it himself. He’s not a kid anymore. He can’t keep relying on other people to solve his problems.
Ming Li’s mother refuses to listen to reason and accuses Ming Li and Qiao Zhi of leading Tian Jian astray and being a bad influence on him.
At night, Xiao En and Chun Tian do face masks and eat snacks. Chun Tian asks Xiao En if she’ll be okay interviewing Tian Xing again tomorrow. Xiao En admits that sometimes she wonders if she feels the way she feels just because he looks like Ao Ran. Chun Tian calls her out on the irony of doing the same thing twice: initially when she met Ao Ran, she was only attracted to him because he looked like Tian Xing.
The next day, Uncle Hu is surprised when he goes into the chairman’s office to find Ming Li sitting in Tian Jian’s seat. He tries to cover up his nervousness, but she doesn’t bother trying to make him comfortable. Qiao Zhi comes in to report that Tian Xing has returned. Uncle Hu frowns.
Xiao En is waiting outside the Tian Liang office building when a group of employees rushes outside to stand by the entrance. She shifts to get out of the way as Tian Xing’s car pulls up.
The employees clap and welcome Tian Xing back. He smiles and starts walking into the building, then turns to glance back at Xiao En. “Aren’t you coming with?” he asks.
Xiao En trails the entourage as they enter the lobby, where more employees wait to greet him. Chu Chu personally welcomes him back with a smile. Xiao En looks away.
Ming Li and Uncle Hu receive Tian Xing in the lobby. Ming Li sounds like her old self, sarcastically saying that there must really be miracles in this world if he could fall so far and not die. Tian Xing shoots back, saying that there must be miracles if she could become the chairman. Ming Li looks angry. Uncle Hu steps between them to try and keep the peace.
Uncle Hu asks Tian Xing if there’s a reason for him to rush back to the company so soon after leaving the hospital. Tian Xing says that he’s here in his capacity as a board member to conduct an internal investigation into the company’s investments. He hopes he can rely on Uncle Hu’s assistance. Uncle Hu laughs loudly and says of course.
Ming Li and Tian Xing exchange a look before he heads toward the elevators. Xiao En tries to follow, but Ming Li stops her, finding her familiar. Xiao En tries to hide her face as much as possible and says that Ming Li must have the wrong person, but Ming Li recognizes her as the person Tian Xing grabbed at the hospital. Have they known each other all along?
Tian Xing frowns and walks over, asking what Ming Li means. Ming Li tells him that he was clearly unconscious, yet grabbed someone’s wrist while he was being transferred. The person he grabbed was her. Tian Xing shifts his gaze to Xiao En. She holds eye contact for a moment before looking away.
Xiao En notices a reed diffuser on Tian Xing’s desk that’s the same scent as the one Ao Ran used and says, “You also use this?” When Tian Xing asks who else uses the reed diffuser, Xiao En says it’s hard to explain. Tian Xing finds that there are a lot of things in Xiao En’s life that seem hard to explain. Like the hospital. Why did he grab her wrist? Xiao En says she should be asking him that question.
Tian Xing asks Xiao En what happened after he grabbed her wrist. She tells him how she went home and then fell ill. Tian Xing guesses that that’s when she fell into a coma for three months, like him. Doesn’t she find it strange? Is this all just a coincidence?
Xiao En shakes her head. She doesn’t think it’s just a coincidence. She thinks it’s predestined. Tian Xing thinks she’s read too many novels, but humors her.
They’re about to start their second interview when they’re interrupted by Chu Chu, who comes in to invite Tian Xing to a welcome back dinner. Xiao En sits there awkwardly and Chu Chu looks curiously at her again. This time, Tian Xing introduces her. Chu Chu invites Xiao En to dinner as well, but Xiao En quickly rejects the invite.
Tian Xing has Jie Sen and Shan Na trace every company Tian Liang has invested in. Meanwhile, Uncle Hu scrambles to reassure the people involved in his embezzlement scheme that they won’t be implicated.
Ming Li gets a call from Uncle Hu, just as Tian Xing expected she would.
Chun Tian thinks that Xiao En should have accepted the dinner invitation and insists she go now, even though she already rejected the invite. Xiao En doesn’t know where it is, but as fate would have it, a cluster of Tian Liang employees enter the very restaurant they’re sitting in. Xiao En tries to hide her face and forces Chun Tian to leave. She waits outside while Chun Tian grabs their takeout, but when they turn to leave, they run into Tian Xing arriving at the restaurant, accompanied by Shan Na and Jie Sen.
Xiao En and Chun Tian end up at the far end of the dinner table from Tian Xing. Tian Xing had invited them to dinner yet again, and this time Chun Tian accepted for the both of them. Xiao En isn’t happy that she got dragged into this dinner, but forces a smile when she catches Tian Xing looking at them.
Chu Chu has the whole dinner table toast and applaud Tian Xing. Shan Na, Xiao En, and Chun Tian simultaneously roll their eyes. Xiao En sighs from her end of the table, looking detached, while Shan Na tries to compete with Chu Chu for Tian Xing’s attention at the other end.
Xiao En tells Chun Tian that she suddenly feels like a spectator, an outsider. Tian Xing notices that she hasn’t been eating and asks her about it in front of the whole table. She quickly stuffs a fry in her mouth, acting like nothing is wrong.
Half the lights in the restaurant suddenly turn off for the restaurant’s happy hour. Jie Sen says that tonight’s happy hour involves a drinking competition. Whoever wins can get 20% off their bill. Chu Chu asks Tian Xing if she can have a pair of his often-used cuff links if she wins. Shan Na and Chun Tian glare, but Tian Xing just says okay, even though it seems like an odd request. Chun Tian grabs Xiao En’s arm and raises it, saying that they’ll participate.
The competition is to chug five beers as fast as possible. Most of the participants are struggling after the first glass. Shan Na decides to up the ante by switching the contest to involve chugging sake bombs, so the volume is less, but the alcohol content is more. Chu Chu is the only one to volunteer to participate in this new challenge. Chun Tian grabs Xiao En’s arm and volunteers the two of them as well.
The competition is about to start, but then Tian Xing tells everyone to wait. He goes to Xiao En’s end of the table and drinks all four of her glasses for her. Then he goes to Chun Tian and does the same, and goes down the line until all sixteen glasses are empty.
Chun Tian suddenly vomits. Chu Chu faints and collapses into Jie Sen. Shan Na stumbles. Xiao En and Tian Xing are the only ones left standing. He walks over to her, takes his cuff links out, and presses them into her hands. “You win,” he says.
At the end of the night, Tian Xing tells Jie Sen to take the drunk Shan Na and Chu Chu home. Tian Xing seems to be perfectly okay despite how much he drank, and waits for Chun Tian and Xiao En. He asks to speak with Xiao En. Chun Tian, who is still queasy, leaves first.
Xiao En asks Tian Xing if he’s okay. He steps close to her and leans in, murmuring in her ear that even though he may not look like it, he’s actually not. Then he leans his forehead on her shoulder.
Xiao En takes Tian Xing home in a cab. He dozes with a furrowed brow while she watches him. She extends a hand to smooth out his brow, but he startles awake and grabs her hand before she can touch him, then quickly apologizes, asking if her he hurt her hand. She responds that her hand doesn’t hurt, but her heart does. How did he grow up, to be so on guard even when he’s so drunk? He doesn’t respond.
Xiao En helps Tian Xing back into his home. He beelines for the bathroom to vomit. Once he’s done, he tries to say he’ll call a car to take her home, but she says that she’s not a kid — she can find her way home by herself. Besides, that’s not important. She makes him take a shower and get ready for bed. He’s so drunk she’s not comfortable leaving him alone.
After Tian Xing starts showering, Xiao En asks herself what she’s doing. She shouldn’t be here. She keeps trying to keep her distance, but can’t help but worry. She’s left, but keeps thinking about him.
Tian Xing finishes his shower and finds his living room empty. Did Xiao En leave? The doorbell rings. It’s Xiao En, with instant noodles in hand. Xiao En assumes that Tian Xing hasn’t eaten instant noodles before, but he expertly prepares his own, revealing that there was a point in time when he only ate instant noodles.
Xiao En is surprised. She thought that rich heirs like him wouldn’t eat things like instant noodles. Tian Xing tells Xiao En a little bit about his past. His parents were always very busy, so he became self-sufficient and learned at an early age that the only person who would take care of him was himself.
Xiao En says that at least he had parents. She doesn’t even know what her parents look like. Tian Xing guesses that she is like him and had to learn to take care of herself from an early age. She starts talking about all the different jobs she’s held over the years. They bond over both having worked as mascots before.
Tian Xing had to work because he lost a scholarship and was too afraid to tell his mother. Thankfully, he had good friends who helped him work shifts so he could make enough money for school. But ever since his mother passed away and he joined the He family, he never ate instant noodles again and lost contact with all his old friends.
Xiao En looks at Tian Xing thoughtfully. She used to think they were from two different worlds, but the more she gets to know him, the more she finds that he’s not that out of reach. She holds out a finger toward him. He touches it with his own, E.T.-style.
Tian Xing finishes his food first and stands up to throw his bowl out. Xiao En grabs his wrist, saying she can clean up, but then realizes that he’s running a fever. She asks when it started. He says a couple of days ago. Xiao En frowns — he said he could take care of himself?
Xiao En forces Tian Xing to go to bed, where she pats down his face to try and reduce his fever. She turns to leave, but he grabs her wrist and sleepily murmurs, “Didn’t I tell you to always stay within an arm’s reach?”
Xiao En turns and urgently asks him what he said. He slowly opens his eyes and doesn’t seem to remember what he said.
Xiao En lets him go back to sleep, but is troubled by why he said the same exact thing as Ao Ran. She accidentally bumps into a stack of books, knocking the to the ground. It’s a stack of romance novels published by her company, and Ao Ran’s book is among them. She puts the books back on the table, Ao Ran’s book on top, and decides that maybe he’s just read too many romance novels.
When Tian Xing wakes up, his home is empty again. Did Xiao En leave without saying anything again? The doorbell rings and he opens it with a smile, thinking it’s Xiao En, but it’s just Jie Sen.
Ming Li meets with Uncle Hu at a restaurant while Tian Xing eavesdrop via an earpiece she’s wearing from a neighboring room. While they meet, Shan Na and Jie Sen search Hu’s office and Qiao Zhi keeps watch.
Tian Xing feeds Ming Li lines to say to Uncle Hu, which infuriates her because they’re mostly belittling herself. Tian Xing gets Ming Li to ask Uncle Hu for investment advice. He has a venture he’s willing to include her on. In fact, he’s willing to make the initial investment and she can be the one to profit off it, but he has a favor he wants to ask for in return: kick Tian Xing off of the board of directors.
I wasn’t sure how the writers would spin the Tian Xing-Xiao En romance, but I actually really love that they’re connecting on a deeper level than Ao Ran and Xiao En ever did, and in an entirely natural way. They share more common ground than Ao Ran and Xiao En did, and if they fall in love with each other, I will be more convinced than I ever was with Ao Ran and Xiao En’s insta-love. Based on the previews for next week, it seems like Tian Xing, at least, has fallen in love with Xiao En and it’s easy to see why.
It’s still not clear exactly how Ao Ran and Tian Xing are connected. Are they parts of each other’s subconscious and thus actually the same person? Or some other explanation that eventually will be summed up to parallel universes and/or magic? If anything, this episode makes things more confusing. But I like that our characters are at least acknowledging that it’s pretty weird that Tian Xing would grab Xiao En before they even knew each other. I also respect that Xiao En is trying to stay faithful to the Ao Ran she loved and that she recognizes that Tian Xing isn’t him — at least, not that we know of.
I’m enjoying these moments between Tian Xing and Xiao En more than I thought I would. Everything else is just noise. The real-world corporate drama is pretty uninspiring. I still don’t really care much about it, and I expect I still won’t when this is all over. I get that Tian Xing needs a reason to fall of his roof and into his coma, but unless they manage to tie the corporate drama to the parallel universes (I’m not even sure how they would do that…) it feels largely unnecessary.