Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: Go Ahead (Ep. 39)

Tang Can and Ming Yue start to be more honest with their parents. Meanwhile, Jian Jian convinces Zi Qiu to spy on their parents, who go on a date together. Zi Qiu reconnects with Zhao Hua Guang in order to help Jian Jian.


Recap

When Ming Yue gets back to the apartment, Tang Can teases her about trying to give Zhuang Bei another chance. Ming Yue glances nervously at her room, where her mother is, before whispering that all she wanted to do was apologize. She congratulates Tang Can on finally being an actress again. Tang Can tells her that she already quit her job and plans on coming clean with her parents tomorrow. She feels revitalized, like she can oppose her parents for another century.

Ming Yue’s mother goes to the bathroom to wash up. Tang Can whispers, asking Ming Yue why her mother is staying here tonight. Ming Yue tells her that her parents are getting divorced. Her father is moving out tonight and her mother didn’t want to be there. Tang Can frowns and gives Ming Yue a sympathetic hug.

At night, Ming Yue’s mother cries quietly in bed. Ming Yue gently pats her back. Her mother asks if she also loathes her. Ming Yue truthfully responds, “Sometimes,” then asks if her mother also loathes her. All Ming Yue’s mother says is, “You’re my life.”

Ming Yue hugs her mother and reminds her that she’ll have her in the future. “You’re also my life,” Ming Yue says. Her mother continues to cry, but nods.

The next morning, Ming Yue answers the door to find Mei Yang with a gift basket from Chen Ting. Ming Yue tells her that they were planning on visiting her mother later that night and asks if it’s okay. Mei Yang smiles and says she’ll tell her mother.

Jian Jian leaves Ling Xiao’s apartment, yawning and in her pajamas, then realizes that both Ming Yue and Mei Yang are there and freezes. Mei Yang frowns while Ming Yue looks nervously into the apartment to make sure her mother isn’t there to see this.

Jian Jian quickly tries to reassure them that even though she slept over last night, she didn’t sleep over. All they did was talk, until Ling Xiao fell asleep. Mei Yang and Ming Yue look unconvinced. Jian Jian tries to explain herself more, but then Zi Qiu opens the door, having heard everything, and drags Jian Jian into the apartment, saying that they need to have a good talk.

Hai Chao puts a lot of effort into his appearance for his date with He Mei. He gets to the mall early and waits outside, despite it being a hot day, then seems to fall in love all over again when he spots He Mei walking toward him with a smile.

At the bookstore, Hai Chao picks up Anna Karenina while He Mei browses a table of fiction. She quotes the first sentence to him, saying that when she read the book as a younger woman, it left a deep impression on her. She always thought she was one of the unhappy ones. Now that she’s old, she finds her younger self extremely hypocritical and comments on her poor taste in men. Hai Chao reassures her that she’s not old. She sighs about her gray hairs. Hai Chao says that she still looks good even with gray hair. She gives him a look and he quickly turns away awkwardly. She smiles.

He Mei teases Hai Chao, saying that now that he’s dated a teacher, he’s started reading classic novels. Hai Chao tries to explain himself, saying that he and Hong Ying were just friends and that he only picked up the book because he knew she liked classics, but he can barely understand what it’s saying… He Mei teases him again, saying he doesn’t need to explain. They move off to a separate section of the store.

Zi Qiu and Jian Jian poke their heads over a table behind which they were hiding, but then duck back down when Hai Chao rushes back to grab the copy of Anna Karenina.

Jian Jian tries to follow them, but Zi Qiu holds her back. He’s worried about how awkward it’ll be if they run into one another and thinks that the way He Mei and Hai Chao are acting around each other is disgusting. Jian Jian thinks that their relationship is beautiful.

She tries to follow again, but Zi Qiu drags her back. Shouldn’t she go to work? Jian Jian doesn’t want to go; the atmosphere at the studio is too stifling. Zi Qiu reassures her that he’ll figure out her photo problem — he’s going to see Zhao Hua Guang’s father later today. They continue to tug back and forth and then stumble into some other customers, who happen to be their parents.

Zi Qiu tries to act like it’s surprise to see Hai Chao and He Mei together. Jian Jian smiles too hard and says, “What a coincidence!”

The four of them end up at lunch together, where Jian Jian and He Mei smile while Hai Chao and Zi Qiu stare awkwardly at their food. Hai Chao starts trying to explain why he and He Mei are at the bookstore together. Jian Jian tells them that she wasn’t trying to imply that they were on a date, but He Mei freely admits that they are on a date. What do they think?

Hai Chao chokes on his soup and starts coughing. Jian Jian beams and starts clapping.

Jian Jian calls Ling Xiao to report the news. Zi Qiu thinks she’s overreacting and there’s nothing to be excited about, but Jian Jian reminds him that if their parents get married, they’ll have a status with each other. She flags down a cab to head into her studio: now she feels like she can take on anything.

Zhou Miao tries to pressure Du Juan into making a decision about breaking with Jian Jian. Du Juan wants to wait until Jian Jian gets to the studio so they can talk about it.

When Jian Jian gets to the studio, Du Juan lets Zhou Miao talk first. He tells Jian Jian that it’s fine if she copied someone once, but she shouldn’t do it again. When it comes to breaking the contract with the manufacturer though, she’s all on her own. Jian Jian asks if that’s all. Du Juan says she has more to say.

Du Juan shifts to sit next to Jian Jian and faces Zhou Miao. She looks him in the eye and says that this is his official notice of termination. He’s fired, and she’s breaking up with him, too. She doesn’t want any of her things back, but she wants him to vacate the premises immediately and to never say a bad word about Jian Jian again.

Zhou Miao tries to claim that he was doing all of this for her, but Du Juan is done with his lies. She calls him out on all the ways he deceived her and points out that when things get tough, he’s the first to run. She knows that Jian Jian has been trying to tolerate him for her. Du Juan is fine with Zhou Miao treating her poorly, but won’t let him treat Jian Jian poorly. Zhou Miao tries to backtrack and to get Du Juan back, but she won’t be swayed this time.

Du Juan weeps after Zhou Miao is gone. Jian Jian pats her gently. Du Juan is always the one to break up with her boyfriends, but she’s also always the one who cries first. She cries that she liked him so much — why did he have to be such trash? Jian Jian tries to comfort her, saying that he’s gone back to where he belongs. Why is she crying? This is a good thing. Jian Jian tells Du Juan that the next time she dates someone, she’ll find him in a garden, not the trash. Du Juan cries that she won’t date again. Jian Jian points out that she said that after her last break-up, too.

Zi Qiu visits Zhao Hua Guang’s father in the hospital. The hall outside his biological grandfather’s room overflows with relatives who whisper and stare at Zi Qiu, wondering who he is.

Zi Qiu and Zhao Hua Guang go to a coffee shop to chat. Zi Qiu returns the money that Zhao gave him. Zhao doesn’t want it back, but Zi Qiu says his father taught him to never take other people’s things. Zhao asks if Zi Qiu really thinks he’s so heartless and if that’s why he’s acting like this. He thinks that he, as Zi Qiu’s birth father, deserves some respect, and points out that Zi Qiu has it good: Zhao never hit him, which is better than what his own father did to him. Zi Qiu responds that Zhao is his biological father — he never raised him and he wasn’t there at his birth. He also points out how Zhao approaches everything with a transactional mindset. But Zi Qiu also manages to say some nice things about Zhao: how it’s clear he’s very filial and that it shows in how many people showed up at his father’s deathbed. Because of that, he’s willing to recognize Zhao as his biological father and acknowledge that maybe he isn’t so bad.

As for the photo… Zi Qiu lets out a wry laugh and says that as soon as possible is good enough, but he doesn’t make any other demands or make a fuss about it. He looks his biological father in the eye and tells him to take care of himself, then leaves.

Zhao sighs after Zi Qiu is gone. Zi Qiu is only a few steps away from the coffee shop when he gets a notification. Zhao has sent him the photo he requested and also sent a voice memo, saying that they don’t have to meet again. The air is clear between them.

Zi Qiu forwards the photo to Ran, saying the rest is up to him.

Tang Can tells her parents about her lead role in the play. Her father looks happy for her, but her mother seems disappointed. Tang Can maintains a wide smile, trying to be positive and optimistic, but her mother is not convinced. She found a fortune teller who determined that it’s not in Tang Can’s fate to be famous, but if she gets married before she turns 28, she’ll have a great marriage. Tang Can’s mother uses that old example of Tang Can being passed over for a lesser actress in high school as proof that it’s not in Tang Can’s fate to be an actress. But Tang Can has the maturity to recognize that she and the other girl were no better nor no worse than each other; the director just thought the other girl was a better fit.

She points out that there was a management company who wanted to sign her, but her mother was the one who said no. Now look at how successful that company is — all of their actors are household names. Tang Can’s mother looks flustered and tries to make excuses. Tang Can points out another example of her mother’s mismanagement: Tang Can wanted to audition for a drama school in Beijing, but her mother made her take a role in a TV drama she said was sure to be a hit. In the end, Tang Can missed the audition and had to go to a third-rate school and the drama never aired. Tang Can’s mother says that’s just proof it’s not in her fate.

Tang Can explains to her parents that she wants to be an actress. She wants to act. Her father decides to support her. Her mother says she doesn’t approve. But Papa Tang doesn’t care. He wants to see his daughter be happy and if acting is what makes her happy, then she should do it. He tells Tang Can to try to understand her mother as well — she’s affected by her relatives gossiping about Tang Can behind her back.

Du Juan chills on the couch at the studio, icing her eyes, while Jian Jian sculpts at the workbench. They both ignore their phones, which are blowing up with notifications. Ran suddenly shows up with a cheerful smile, predicting that beautiful women will invite him out to dinner tonight. Du Juan and Jian Jian are in no mood for his cheer. But Ran tells them to hurry and check their phones, otherwise his all-nighter digging up dirt was all for nothing.

They check their phones. A new article about Yu Fei has gone viral, this time outing him as someone who plagiarized a foreign artist’s work. Ran was the one who found the evidence, having guessed that if Yu Fei had copied Jian Jian’s work, then he probably copied others as well. Further down in the article is Jian Jian’s photo, the original inspiration for her sculpture and proof that she didn’t copy Yu Fei. Du Juan starts crying again, overwhelmed with emotion.

Ling Xiao chats with Jian Jian on the phone during a break at work. She tells him that she’s taking Ran out to dinner. Ling Xiao also has dinner plans with his mother, and reassures Jian Jian that he won’t argue with his mother this time. But then, when Xi Xi drops by to chat, he finds out that his mother invited her to dinner without letting him know.

Mei Yang asks her mother why she invited Ling Xiao’s female coworker to their housewarming dinner, but not Jian Jian or her friends. What is she trying to do? Chen Ting feigns innocence, saying she meant nothing by it. Mei Yang says that she doesn’t find Jian Jian that dislikable anymore and recognizes that she’s also very good to Ling Xiao. Chen Ting acts like she didn’t even say anything.

Mei Yang says that Chen Ting is going to make Ling Xiao unhappy and they’re just going to fight again. Why can’t she just let him live his life? Chen Ting continues to ignore what she says, but when Mei Yang presses further, she snaps at her.

Ming Yue runs into Xi Xi and Ling Xiao getting out of cab in their apartment complex. Ling Xiao tells Ming Yue that his mother invited Xi Xi over for a housewarming dinner. Once they part ways, Ming Yue turns to look back at them with a frown.

Chen Ting fawns over Xi Xi when they arrive, while Ling Xiao frowns and is sullenly silent. Mei Yang notices and watches her brother with her own worried frown. They sit down to start eating and Xi Xi notices that no one else is there. She asks where Jian Jian is. There’s an awkward moment of silence, then Ling Xiao quietly says that Jian Jian went out with a friend. Xi Xi seems to sense the tension and excuses herself to go to the bathroom.

Once she’s gone, Chen Ting drops her smile and turns to Ling Xiao with a frown. Mei Yang massages her temples, looking ready for an argument to break out.

Chen Ting asks Ling Xiao what he’s trying to do and why he’s been making a face since he got him. She tries to make excuses for why she invited Xi Xi — is there anything so wrong with inviting someone she feels comfortable with? Ling Xiao responds that she can do what she wants, but it has nothing to do with him. Chen Ting responds that she can’t make him happy anyway, because his heart is with a different family. Ling Xiao remains calm and says she can think what she wants, but he’s not going to play her games; he has a girlfriend.

“But I don’t like her!” Chen Ting says. Ling Xiao responds that he’s never forced Chen Ting to like her. Chen Ting claims that she’s tried, but she just can’t. She can accept anyone except her. Ling Xiao says that she doesn’t have to accept her.

“I hate her!” Chen Ting exclaims. That’s the final straw for Ling Xiao, who slams his hand against the table and abruptly stands up.

Ling Xiao wordlessly leaves the apartment, slamming the door, as Xi Xi pokes her head out of the bathroom. Xi Xi asks what happened with Ling Xiao. Chen Ting forces a smile and lies, saying something came up.


Commentary

Nope, still don’t like Chen Ting. I respect Xi Xi for asking the obvious and awkward questions though, like constantly reminding Chen Ting about Jian Jian’s existence.

Ran has always been a (sometimes annoyingly bright) beam of sunshine, but I’m glad that he firmly established himself as a Good Guy this episode. And I’m glad that Du Juan finally got rid of the Bad Guy in her life. I am so happy to see Zhou Miao go. Perhaps Ran is that flower from the garden that Du Juan will find after finally crawling out of the garbage pile that is her past boyfriends? They did seem to connect pretty well when Ran dropped by the studio before.

For the most part, this episode seems to be about coming clean and clearing out the air between parents and children, for better or for worse.

Ming Yue and her mother had their incredibly touching, vulnerable moment at the beginning of the episode. I think part of growing up is seeing your parents cry and recognizing that they are flawed, vulnerable human beings, too.

Tang Can deciding to be upfront with her parents about her acting dreams ended up working out in her favor. Her mother seems too proud to change her mind about Tang Can’s acting, but at least her father recognizes that his daughter’s happiness is most important, and it’s obvious what makes her happy.

Zi Qiu’s moment of reckoning with Zhao Hua Guang has the most ambiguous outcome. He comes to terms with the fact that Zhao is his biological father and with that comes a relationship he can’t avoid. But the end result of being mature and acknowledging Zhao is that Zhao agrees they don’t have to have anything to do with each other anymore. That seems like the best outcome for everyone involved, even if from a high-level it seems kind of sad. The only way they can have nothing to do with each other anymore is to acknowledge the relationship they have.

Perhaps that should be a lesson for Chen Ting. Zi Qiu, Ming Yue, and Tang Can have all tried to avoid conflict and avoid their problems with their family, but in the end they all find that only by confronting the problem and talking it out can they reach any sort of resolution. Chen Ting is a master of avoidance and diversion, though, so what are the chances that she will willingly initiate a resolution with Ling Xiao?

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