Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: Love and Redemption (Ep. 22)

Recap

Si Feng goes to the Fuyu prisons and allows Yin Hua to take human form just long enough to take the ring she obtained marking her as a Tianxu member. He enters the captured demon’s cell, pretending to be a Southern Division member here to rescue him, but says he has three questions he needs to ask to verify his identity. His first two questions are about Wu Tong. His third question is about where the Tianxu base is. The demon isn’t quite sure, but has heard it’s not anywhere in the mortal realm. Before he can say more, he’s struck in the throat by a needle from a mysterious assassin.

Xuan Ji is confined to her rooms by a magical barrier. She tries to break through and eventually summons Dingkun, using its power to break down the barrier. Hao Chen catches her trying to make her escape and reminds her of her primary purpose, which she swore her life on: to protect Shaoyang’s secret. But Xuan Ji insists on going to save Ling Long, since it’s clear that no one else will. There are other people who can protect Shaoyang’s secret, but no one else will go rescue Ling Long. She thinks she’s doing nothing wrong. Her words are an echo of something the God of War said when she was apprehended.

Hao Chen tells Xuan Ji that the only way she’ll be allowed off of Fuyu Island is if she goes back to Shaoyang with him. He casts a spell to restrict her.

Si Feng shows up and asks Hao Chen to let Xuan Ji go. Xuan Ji won’t go willingly back to Shaoyang as long as Ling Long’s soul is lost and Min Yan is unconscious. He thinks Hao Chen lacks understanding of human emotion. Hao Chen decides to challenge Si Feng to a fight before he’ll let Xuan Ji go.

While they fight, Min Yan wakes up saying Ling Long’s name. He gets out of bed when he hears the sound of fighting.

Si Feng and Hao Chen lock swords. Si Feng is internally wounded and weaker, but his will to prevent Hao Chen from taking Xuan Ji away is strong. Hao Chen seems ready to finish Si Feng off, but then Yan Ran appears and shoots a spell at Hao Chen. Hao Chen reacts in time to deflect the attack, which sizzles as the energy lands on the ground instead. Yan Ran’s distraction works to break up the fight. Hao Chen views her with suspicion. She looks like a Dianjing disciple, so why did she use poison?

Ying Hong interrupts and tells Xuan Ji that Min Yan has woken up. She convinces Hao Chen to let Xuan Ji go so she can go see Min Yan. Xuan Ji calls for Si Feng to join her.

Yan Ran tries to follow, but Hao Chen freezes her in place with a spell and a frown, saying that she’s staying.

Xuan Ji and Si Feng find Min Yan at Ling Long’s bedside, distraught that she’s unresponsive. Xuan Ji tells him that Ling Long’s soul has been captured. She and Si Feng are both moved to tears as Min Yan continues to try to get a response out of Ling Long with all kinds of promises.

Min Yan gets up, ready to hunt down demons and retrieve Ling Long’s soul no matter what it takes. Xuan Ji and Si Feng say they’ll go with him.

But they run in Chu Lei and Ying Hong as they’re about to exit the Shaoyang sect’s courtyard. Chu Lei is not about to let them run around chasing after demons. Min Yan drops to his knees, apologizing and taking responsibility for not taking good enough care of Ling Long and allowing her to be captured.

Chu Lei tells him to get up, saying it’s not his fault. Ying Hong says that they plan on rescuing Ling Long, but they can’t be reckless about it. A captured Tianxu demon is being interrogated as they speak.

A commotion draws their attention: Hao Chen shows up with a couple of Shaoyang disciples who are restraining Yan Ran. Ruo Yu follows, trying to talk reason with Hao Chen, who is unwilling to listen and wants to verify Yan Ran’s identity with Master Rong of Dianjing. Xuan Ji speaks in Yan Ran’s defense, but Min Yan remembers watching her stab a disciple in the Tianxu lair. He draws his weapon and points it at Yan Ran, identifying her as a Tianxu spy.

Si Feng tries to explain that it’s not what Min Yan thinks, but Min Yan is convinced and shares what he saw. Chu Lei suggests that maybe Master Rong purposely had Yan Ran infiltrate Tianxu, but at this point the other sect leaders have shown up and Master Rong says that he doesn’t know who Yan Ran is. There is a Yan Ran at Dianjing, but she’s back at the sect headquarters and looks nothing like this current Yan Ran.

Yan Ran struggles to free herself, unwilling to cooperate. Si Feng finally reclaims her, surprising everyone, including Yuan Lang. Xuan Ji immediately knows what it means: Yan Ran is Xiao Yin Hua.

Si Feng explains that Xiao Yin Hua is his spirit beast, but that doesn’t do much to assuage the sect leaders’ concern. Master Rong points out that the demon handbook says the only way for a spirit beast to take on a human form is for it to consume human blood, and they’re frequently evil and violent. He turns to Yuan Lang, concerned that he would let one of his disciples take on such a spirit beast.

Yuan Lang says that he really didn’t know about this, and publicly shows his disapproval toward Si Feng.

Si Feng says that the demon handbook is true to some extent, but in this case, Yin Hua isn’t a demon. She only took on a human form after accidentally consuming some sky fruit. He suggests that there’s some misunderstanding with what Min Yan saw. Si Feng would know if Yin Hua killed someone. The sect leaders suggest that Si Feng release Yin Hua into human form again to clear things up, but Si Feng refuses to comply. Master Rong and Min Yan accuse Si Feng of allying himself with demons.

Xuan Ji steps forward to shield Si Feng. She believes Si Feng and never smelled demon energy around Yin Hua. The tension grows between Min Yan and Si Feng as Si Feng insists that Yin Hua has never killed and Min Yan insists on what he saw.

A Fuyu disciples interrupts to report that the captured demon has melted.

Ying Hong retrieves the needles that the demon had been struck with. They contain a poison that turned the demon into water. Hao Chen grabs Si Feng’s arm, noticing a trace of the same poison on his sleeve. Dongfang orders Si Feng detained. The Fuyu disciples draw their swords.

Xuan Ji defends Si Feng, saying there must be a misunderstanding. She implores Si Feng to explain himself.

Si Feng explains what happened, but he was unable to catch the assassin and thus there’s no way to corroborate his story. It does nothing to lift the sect leaders’ suspicion of Si Feng. Si Feng asks for a chance to catch the demon and clear his name. Xuan Ji says she’ll help him.

Hao Chen still finds Si Feng’s story suspicious and pushes a narrative where Si Feng never planned on telling anyone about the demon lair’s location. Min Yan is still convinced that Yin Hua is actually a Tianxu demon and thinks Si Feng is foolishly trying to protect her. He grabs Si Feng’s arm. The Tianxu ring falls out of Si Feng’s sleeve.

To Master Rong, this is indisputable evidence that Si Feng is aligned with Tianxu Hall. He tries to grab Si Feng, but Si Feng defends himself, explaining that Yin Hua acquired it in order to infiltrate the demon sect. Si Feng’s audacity in laying a hand on an elder triggers the other sect leaders. Master Rong tries to attack again. Si Feng defends himself again. Yuan Lang jumps in and knocks Si Feng back with a blow. Two disciples cross their swords at his neck to keep him in place.

Xuan Ji tries to jump in to help, but Hao Chen immobilizes her.

Yuan Lang says that he won’t protect Si Feng and hands him over to the other three elders for questioning.

Xuan Ji begs Hao Chen for help clearing Si Feng’s name after her father and Dongfang both ignore her. He lectures her for coming to Si Feng’s defense, warning that she’s dragging their sect’s name through the mud. If Si Feng really is innocent, then it’ll be clear when the three sect leaders make their decision.

Xuan Ji asks Hao Chen to release his lock on her magic, but he refuses. He won’t do it until they return to Shaoyang. Xuan Ji glares and says that she’ll find the demon on Fuyu Island herself and prove Si Feng’s innocence.

Yuan Lang is extremely disappointed by Ruo Yu and how he spoke up for Si Feng and smacks him around a little. He reminds Ruo Yu why he had him accompany Si Feng out into the world in the first place, and it wasn’t to be his friend. Didn’t he want to be able to leave with his sister? He should think long and hard about what he’s supposed to do and what he’s not supposed to do.

Min Yan spirals in his own circle of sorrow and grief, not understanding why Si Feng believes the “snake demon” over him. If Si Feng would just let his snake out, then Min Yan could find out where Wu Tong is and save Ling Long. Why won’t Si Feng help? The snake must have something on him.

Wu Tong smiles as he watches Ling Long’s soul flit around its bottle. Even in soul-form, she’s feisty and knocks over the bottle with the force of her movement. A minion reports to him that she’s found a flower spirit on the cusp of entering human form.

Wu Tong saves the flower spirit, who agrees to turn into a human form of his choosing as repayment for saving her life. He has her turn into Ling Long, then pulls out his spirit bell, using it to push out half of the flower spirit’s soul. All he wants is for her to keep the body and her memory of being a flower spirit. A red mark appears on Ling Long’s forehead. He pulls out the bottle containing Ling Long’s soul and tries to push it in. Only half goes in, so Wu Tong settles for half Ling Long, half flower spirit.

Wu Tong releases his hold on the flower spirit-version of Ling Long and she wakes up, immediately leaping away from Wu Tong. She has no memory of him, but has all of Ling Long’s personality. He reminds her that she’s a flower spirit he saved and says he has a name all picked out for her: Ling Long. She takes a liking to it.

Xuan Ji sniffs around all of Fuyu Island, looking for the demon assassin. Min Yan catches her watching the Fuyu disciples train, which is a big taboo. He thinks the answer of where the demon is is obvious: it’s Si Feng’s snake. But Xuan Ji remains staunch in her belief in Si Feng and seems disappointed that Min Yan could doubt him. Min Yan admits he doesn’t know what to think, but Xiao Yin Hua is their only lead right now. He heard that the sect leaders have already started torturing Si Feng, but he still won’t give anything up.

Xuan Ji frowns at the mention of torture and immediately runs off.

Dongfang tortures Si Feng, who maintains his innocence. Si Feng tries to reason with Dongfang — if he really was a demon, there were plenty of times when he could have run off with the spirit keys but he didn’t. Instead, he only helped the sects. But Dongfang is still bitter from being betrayed by Ouyang and Qing Rong and isn’t so willing to give Si Feng the benefit of the doubt.

Si Feng points out that he’s just wasting time questioning him. Dongfang decides that he’s right and might as well finish him off, but is interrupted by Chu Lei and Master Rong. Chu Lei looks concerned that Si Feng is being tortured so much when he could be innocent. Master Rong has no such qualms. There’s no time to feel mercy right now and he’s convinced that Si Feng is guilty and just holding out.

Master Rong tries his own painful torture method. Si Feng says that if they won’t believe him, then he has nothing to say.

Xuan Ji goes to the dungeons, Min Yan still following her, but Fuyu disciples bar her way. She tries to make up an excuse to go in. Min Yan warns her to not try and force her way in; she’ll only cause more trouble for her father. He drags her away.

Si Feng endures the torture and doesn’t respond to Master Rong’s questioning. Chu Lei looks uncomfortable with the extent of the torture and looks away. He implores Si Feng to produce his spirit beast. But Si Feng just laughs cynically. The sects didn’t treat Tianxu Hall as a threat when they first learned about the demons and now they just want a scapegoat to explain how they lost two spirit keys. He refuses to be their scapegoat and will bear the torture instead.


Commentary

Si Feng really has it rough. Honestly, it’s kind of a surprise he hasn’t had a complete evil turnaround like Wu Tong, but perhaps that’s because he, like Xuan Ji, has his principles. It’s interesting that they’re being set up as two sides of this heavenly battle between good and evil that neither of them seem to want to be a part of, even when they were their original selves. Their current mortal lives give a hint of why that is. The heavenly realm and mortal sects’ view of the world is very binary with preconceived notions of what good and evil are, but it’s pretty clear that the sects are not all that “good” and that demons are not all “evil.” Xuan Ji and Si Feng mark themselves as rebels and troublemakers because they don’t prescribe to that view of the world and they bring out the hypocrisy in the system that currently exists.

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