Drama Recaps, Taiwanese Dramas

Recap: Lost Romance (Ep. 19)

Tian Xing and Ming Li continue their unlikely partnership in a joint attempt to find evidence against Uncle Hu and save Tian Liang. Tian Xing makes no secret of his feelings for Xiao En, but she continues to shy away from any real connection with him.


Recap

Uncle Hu excuses himself to go to the restroom. Tian Xing asks Ming Li if this is how Uncle Hu convinced her the first time to move against him at the board of directors meeting. Ming Li admits that she was too careless before. Hu knew them all too well and exploited their weaknesses to turn them against one another. First he got rid of the person who would be most difficult to remove — Tian Xing — and then he pitted Ming Li and Tian Jian against each other. Hu may have deceived her once because he’s a bad person, but if she lets herself be deceived again, then it’s her fault for being stupid.

Hu gets a call while in the restroom. Tian Xing and Ming Li wait for him to return, but he doesn’t.

Shan Na and Jie Sen are still searching Hu’s office but unable to find what they’re looking for. Qiao Zhi breathes a sigh of relief after managing to distract one employee from entering Hu’s office, but turns around and comes face to face with Hu himself. He loudly greets Hu and does his best to delay him from entering his office while Shan Na and Jie Sen try to hide. Jie Sen accidentally knocks over Hu’s trash bin.

Hu gives Qiao Zhi a suspicious frown as Qiao Zhi finally stands to one side to let him pass. Qiao Zhi surreptitiously follows him to check on whether Jie Sen and Shan Na are still there, but they’re already gone.

Jie Sen and Shan Na report to Tian Xing that they were unable to find any sort of secret ledger recording Hu’s transactions. Jie Sen’s phone rings and he digs through his pockets to get to it. He had stuffed the trash from Hu’s bin into his pockets and the crumpled papers start falling out everywhere. Shan Na chides Jie Sen, telling him to pick up his trash.

Tian Xing’s eyes sharpen when Jie Sen mentions that the trash is from Hu’s office. Jie Sen explains how he accidentally knocked the bin over and stuffed some of the trash in his pockets to save time. Now, Shan Na smooths out one of the paper balls to reveal an invoice from a florist for five flower deliveries to an art gallery. Tian Xing frowns. He never knew Hu was interested in art. They should go to the art gallery to investigate. Shan Na volunteers to go, but Tian Xing says they can’t let any company employees go. Jie Sen asks, who else could there be?

Xiao En rushes to the Tian Liang Group headquarters, worried she’ll be late, but is relieved when she checks her watch and realizes she has a few minutes to spare. Tian Xing waits in his office, impatiently checking his watch. There’s a knock at his door and he straightens himself before telling his guest to enter. He’s surprised to see Yao Gu Ping walk in and almost doesn’t recognize him at first. He asks where Zheng Xiao En is. What excuse does she have today?

Chun Tian asks Xiao En if she’s okay as they walk out of a hospital building at night. Xiao En says she’s fine — the orphanage director was ill for so long, she’s just glad that she’s finally stopped suffering. Xiao En believes that she’s already turned into an angel and is watching over her. She looks up at the sky and calls out to the orphanage director, saying that no matter where she is, she’ll always be the brightest star. Chun Tian is certain that the orphanage director will take good care of Xiao En, given how often Xiao En would visit her.

Chun Tian gets a call from the printing company and frowns that something must have gone wrong. Xiao En tells her to go check on it, reassuring her that she’ll be okay by herself. “Zheng Xiao En, I love you!” Chun Tian says with a wave before she heads out.

Tian Xing goes to Xiao En’s apartment to look for her. Earlier, Yao had told him how Xiao En planned on taking some time off next week to celebrate her orphanage director’s birthday, but that the director suddenly passed away today. Xiao En doesn’t respond when Tian Xing buzzes her apartment and doesn’t pick up her phone. He calls Chun Tian instead, who suggests that maybe she’s still at the hospital.

Tian Xing goes to the hospital, but Xiao En isn’t there, either. He remembers Xiao En telling him which orphanage she grew up in and finds her there.

They sit in silence on the playground before Tian Xing finally asks if she’s okay. Xiao En responds that she doesn’t know why, but after the orphanage director passed away, she feels like her past has been erased. After the orphanage closed, their paperwork disappeared with it. The only person who remembers where she came from and how she grew up has left. It feels like her childhood was deleted with the press of a button today.

Tian Xing says that he knows the feeling. When his mother died, he felt like his childhood had ended.

“Do you remember your childhood?” he asks. “I want to hear about it.”

Xiao En looks surprised, then smiles, saying her childhood was very boring. He won’t want to hear about it. Tian Xing responds that as long as it has to do with her, he wants to know about it. The more the better. As long as someone in this world remembers her childhood, then it will never be erased.

Xiao En tells Tian Xing about how when she was younger, a classmate picked the same song as her for a singing competition and then won first place. The orphanage director told Xiao En that she sang better, but Xiao En recognizes that the other girl was the class president, was prettier, was a better dancer, and had parents who loved her. Tian Xing pulls out his phone and pretends to use it as a microphone. He declares that Xiao En is the winner of the singing competition today. Xiao En is reminded of how she did something similar for Ao Ran.

Tian Xing says that it’s not only this competition that Xiao En has won. No matter what competition, Xiao En must be the winner. They smile at each other, tears in Xiao En’s eyes. Tian Xing tells her that she’s the best, number one in the world. No, number one in the universe. They’re the exact same words she said to Ao Ran in his old elementary school.

Xiao En suddenly pushes herself down the slide, crying. Tian Xing follows her. She tells him to stop treating her so well and tells him to stay away. He’s confused and stops her, asking why. Xiao En asks him to stop doing this to her, to stop confusing her.

“Don’t make me fall in love with you,” she says.

Tian Xing says that she’s the one who confused him first. Who was the one who secretly watched him? Who tried to get close to him? Who lit the lamp for him at the temple and cried for him when something happened? She did so much for him, yet now she’s saying that she doesn’t want to fall in love with him?

Tian Xing says fine, she doesn’t have to love him. “Let me love you.”

Tian Xing admits that he used to think of himself as stone-hearted and untouchable. Until he met her. The way she looks at him made him realize that what he thought were his strengths were actually just him putting on an act. He wanted someone to see that he was faking it. She’s the only one who saw through his mask and made him feel emotions he never felt before.

“Zheng Xiao En, you have to take responsibility,” he says. Then he pulls her to him and kisses her.

Xiao En and Tian Xing sit in silence and each look out their windows while Jie Sen drives them home. Xiao En gets a phone call from Chun Tian, who tells her that everyone, including Tian Xing, is looking for her.

Tian Xing and Xiao En sneak glances at each other. Finally, Tian Xing puts his hand over Xiao En’s, surprising her. Jie Sen is so distracted he swerves into the oncoming lane for a moment.

Tian Xing gets out of the car behind Xiao En when they arrive at her apartment building. He tells her to call him if she ever gets into a bad mood again. She shouldn’t disappear on her own again. He reaches out to touch her head, but she dodges away and gently puts his hand down.

Jie Sen’s phone rings, ruining the moment. Xiao En forces a smile and thanks Tian Xing for today, then claims that she’s tired and says that Tian Xing should probably head home as well. He starts to turn away, then turns back and tells her to call him if anything comes up. She smiles back at him but otherwise doesn’t say yes or no.

On the car ride home, Tian Xing reaches his hand out toward Xiao En’s seat, but she’s not there. When he gets back, Jie Sen notices Tian Xing’s cuff links on the table by the front door. Xiao En had left them there when she left the day that Tian Xing got drunk. Tian Xing wordlessly picks them up.

Shan Na demands to know why Tian Xing didn’t pick up his phone. Jie Sen motions for her to lower her voice. She adopts a quieter tone and tells Tian Xing that she had someone visit the florist and inquire about Hu’s recent flower-sending activity. Tian Xing ignores her and returns to his room.

Shan Na turns to Jie Sen with a glare. He backs away and attempts to use Tian Xing’s reed diffuser as a distraction (smooth product placement). She makes him go outside to talk.

Shan Na is furious when she finds out that Jie Sen helped Tian Xing go look for Xiao En. Why? She threatens to end their friendship if he doesn’t tell her. He finally tells her that Tian Xing likes Xiao En. Shan Na is in denial about it, but finally acts like she doesn’t care as long as Tian Xing is happy.

Jie Sen asks if she’s okay. She says she’s not, but she will be. Three months ago, she probably would have flipped a table. She’s liked Tian Xing ever since their college days and has done so much for him. Jie Sen points out that love isn’t first come first served and can’t be earned just by putting in more effort. She knows, but she hoped that one day Tian Xing would be moved by her. But after his accident, she realized that all that mattered was that he woke up. Jie Sen points out that her heart still hurts. She responds that it wouldn’t be love if it didn’t hurt. As long as he’s well, then she’ll be okay. At least Xiao En has the courage to go for what she wants. Shan Na didn’t even have the courage to admit how she felt.

Jie Sen suddenly finds his own courage and kisses Shan Na on the cheek. Shan Na screams, asking what he’s trying to do. He points out that he’s just doing what she said — finding courage. Shan Na starts hitting him, saying that she was talking about finding the courage to speak, not kiss. He better not touch her again without her permission. Jie Sen is unshakable and comes up with a couple of other cheesy retorts.

At night, Xiao En reads her and Ao Ran’s book, reliving every moment of their romance. Tian Xing contemplates his rejected cuff links.

The next day, Shan Na shows Tian Xing what she discovered about Hu’s flower-sending habits. There were three times that he sent flowers using the company’s name, and four times that he sent flowers using his own name. Those four times were all to the same place, the art gallery.

Xiao En discusses the kiss and her complicated feelings toward Tian Xing and Ao Ran with Chun Tian. They both thought she would be happy to have Tian Xing fall in love with her, but Xiao En isn’t in the mood for love. Ao Ran might not be a real person, but to Xiao En he was real and the pain of their separation is real. Tian Xing has turned into the person who seems fake. She still thinks that she only feels attracted to Tian Xing because he’s a replacement for Ao Ran. Besides, Tian Xing and Ao Ran are like a never-ending cycle that she’s caught up in. She needs to let go and move forward.

Xiao En takes a deep breath outside Tian Xing’s office and raises her hand to knock, but he opens the door before she can. He smiles to see her and immediately invites her in. Today is their last session.

Tian Xing asks if Xiao En wants anything to eat or drink, but Xiao En tries to get right down to business with the interview. After the interview, she remains strictly professional and formal with her speech. He stops her before she leaves, asking if she’s free. She claims she’s busy and asks to postpone lunch, but he reveals that he actually needs her help with something.

Jie Sen and Shan Na stare as Tian Xing sets Xiao En up with an earpiece. He gets very close to her and murmurs that she should listen to his instructions later.

Xiao En goes into the art gallery with a camera in her purse. She follows Tian Xing’s instructions and tells the man who greets her that she’s here to buy a painting. Hu Chao Qin told her to come. But the man doesn’t seem to know who Hu is.

Xiao En goes back outside, where Tian Xing thanks her for her help. He moves to remove her earpiece, but she dodges away and says she can do it herself. After she hands it back to him, he asks if there’s something of hers she left behind at his place. Some cuff links, maybe?

Xiao En looks down and doesn’t respond. So she left them there intentionally? Xiao En says that she has no use for them anyway. Tian Xing tries to offer her a ride home, but she politely refuses. He stops her as she turns to leave, asking her to keep in touch.

“Goodbye, Mr. He,” she says, before walking away. Tian Xing frowns after her. Jie Sen and Shan Na quickly pretend that they weren’t hanging onto their every word as he returns to the car.

Ming Li waits at her mother’s apartment for her to return home. Her mother tries to ignore her when she returns home, but Ming Li asks if she’s heard from Tian Jian. Her mother uses that opportunity to complain again about how Ming Li should’ve helped her brother with the police. Ming Li’s mother’s phone rings and she hides the screen and heads back to her room without answering it.

Ming Li’s mother goes to a park a night, where Tian Jian is hiding out with the homeless folk. Ming Li finds them there. Ming Li tells Tian Jian to turn himself in. He needs to take responsibility for what he’s done. But Tian Jian doesn’t want to go to prison and pushes past Ming Li, trying to run away. Qiao Zhi stops him and wrestles him into submission.

Ming Li’s mother continues to try and protect Tian Jian and shame Ming Li for leading her brother astray. Tian Jian also blames Ming Li for dragging him into her feud with Tian Xing, claiming that if not for her, he wouldn’t have pushed Tian Xing off the roof. Now he’s the one who has to take the fall for everything?

Ming Li calls him out for always blaming everyone else and never taking responsibility for himself. Has he never thought for himself, either? When will he learn to take responsibility for his own actions? Tian Jian responds that he just doesn’t want to go to prison.

Ming Li asks why he’s crying. It’s not like he’s going to be alone. No matter what happens, she’ll be with him. Her mother asks if that means she’ll take the fall for Tian Jian. Ming Li rolls her eyes, exasperated. When will her mother stop being so naive?

She calls out her mother for not having the strength to face the fact that her husband didn’t love her. She tells Tian Jian he needs to grow up. She also acknowledges her own faults, for thinking she could do everything and that it was on her to make up for her mother and brother’s weaknesses. She thought she would be able to give them everything they ever wanted, but in the end, she just ended up taking them down with her.

She wants to have a chance to figure out who she really is. She wants another chance to be a good role model for her brother. They were both in the wrong — she won’t make Tian Jian bear it alone.

Tian Xing keeps calling Xiao En, but she keeps ignoring his calls. He calls the office instead. Yao yells for Xiao En to pick up Tian Xing’s call. Tian Xing asks why she’s been ignoring him. She claims she’s been busy. Busy eating snacks? Chun Tian tells Xiao En to turn around. A drone hovers outside their office window.

Tian Xing smirks and tells Xiao En not to move. He’ll be there momentarily. Xiao En tries to leave work, but Yao won’t let her.

Later, Xiao En ends up walking on a bridge with Tian Xing, who asks why she’s avoiding him. He knows she must have feelings for her. Xiao En admits that she liked him once, but that’s all her feelings for him can ever be. She tells him to call her. He does. She shows him her phone screen, which reads, “Sorry, I’m married.”

Tian Xing asks where her husband is. Why, whenever something happens, is only Chun Tian by her side? Xiao En responds that he’s not here anymore. He’s somewhere far, far away.

If they’re separated, then Tian Xing doesn’t see a problem. He’s single, she’s single.

Xiao En says that she’s not ready to love someone else yet. Tian Xing asks when she’ll be ready. She looks at him with surprise. Did she think that he would accept her reason and leave? Xiao En asks what he wants from her. Tian Xing wants her to face her feelings and stop trying to run away.

Xiao En says that’s impossible, but Tian Xing is confident in himself. “I will make you forget him,” he says.


Commentary

It’s good to know that Tian Xing spouts just as many cheesy lines as Ao Ran.

But my heart! These Xiao En and Tian Xing moments continue to feel so much more meaningful than anything that happened in the story world, as it should be. I love love love how Tian Xing helped Xiao En rewrite her childhood the same way Xiao En helped Ao Ran rewrite his. I think it’s unfortunate and really unfair that Ao Ran didn’t even have to try to make Xiao En love him when he didn’t do a single thing to really deserve it, while Xiao En is making Tian Xing work so hard for her love.

This show might try to poke fun at the genre, but in the end it’s very much a product of the rom-com, CEO Cinderella story genre, and it’s pointless to expect it to be anything else. Do we really need three different angles of Tian Xing pulling Xiao En in and kissing her? Probably not. Am I still entertained? Yes.

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