Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: Love and Redemption (Ep. 24)

Recap

Si Feng is chained at the center of a courtyard under broad daylight, to be whipped in front of everyone to verify whether or not he is a demon. Master Rong tosses Hao Chen the demon whip, but before Hao Chen can strike, Xuan Ji runs up and stands in front of him. She won’t let him wrong Si Feng.

Ruo Yu moves, as if to stand with her, but is given a warning look by Yuan Lang and steps back.

Xuan Ji tells Hao Chen the truth — that Si Feng sent Xiao Yin Hua to Tianxu Hall for her, to look for the mirror. But Hao Chen doesn’t listen and says that the demon whip will reveal the truth. Ying Hong drags Xuan Ji away.

Hao Chen strikes Si Feng once. Xuan Ji tries to go to him, but Ying Hong immobilizes her. Si Feng falls to the ground, coughing blood. Ruo Yu begs Yuan Lang to help spare Si Feng.

Si Feng climbs to his feet, knowing that no matter what he says, it’s of no use, because it’s not what they want to hear. He tells Hao Chen to just go ahead and hit him with the last two shots.

Hao Chen obliges, striking Si Feng again. Xuan Ji looks devastated and cries that if Si Feng were really a demon, he should’ve already started changing forms. Is a third strike really necessary? Ying Hong agrees with her. Chu Lei asks the other elders what they think. Master Rong and Dongfang both think there should be no debate, since they already decided on three strikes. Yuan Lang claims that Lize Palace is always unbiased so they can do whatever they want.

Hao Chen moves to strike Si Feng a third time. Xuan Ji glows blue and calls to Dingkun. Her sword shoots out and shields Si Feng, so that the whip wraps around it instead. Si Feng sees Xuan Ji’s power building and says, “Don’t.”

But Xuan Ji has made up her mind. She calls her sword again. It destroys the magical whip. She breaks free of her immobilizing bubble and flies up to stand in front of Si Feng. Her sword returns to her and she collapses, coughing up a bit of blood.

Yuan Lang’s eyes widen. Is it really her?

Master Rong is upset that his magical weapon was destroyed.

Chu Lei tells Xuan Ji to get down, but she just reaches out to hold Si Feng’s hand and mutters that without Si Feng, it doesn’t matter whether she lives or dies. She collapses, her hand slipping out of Si Feng’s grasp. Si Feng reaches out for her, still on the ground. Ying Hong and Min Yan rush up and carry her away.

Master Rong approaches Si Feng, not ready to let him off just because his weapon broke. He’s ready to torture Si Feng for a day, a year, however long it takes to get an answer. Before he can attack Si Feng with his needles, the Lize Palace leader flies in, demanding to know who dares to lay a hand on his disciple. He knocks Master Rong away, destroys Si Feng’s chains, and topples the towers he was shackled to.

The Palace leader orders Ruo Yu to take Si Feng away while he confronts the other sect leaders for almost killing his disciple. He presents a demon he caught on the island. Ying Hong verifies that the demon has traces of the same poison that killed the earlier captive demon. Yuan Lang looks surprised.

The Palace leader then presents the disciple who supposedly died by Xiao Yin Hua’s hand. Min Yan identifies him as the person Xiao Yin Hua attacked. The Palace leader explains that Si Feng must have taught his spirit beast a special Lize Palace technique that imitates a killing blow without actually killing the victim. She actually saved the man’s life.

The Palace leader angrily accuses the other sect leaders of wrongfully incriminating his disciple. Master Rong is quick to try to distribute the blame, saying he’s not the only one at fault. Chu Lei readily apologizes to the Palace leader, ready to offer remittance, but the Palace leader doesn’t want it. He wants to know who was the one to accuse Si Feng of being a demon. No one speaks up.

The Palace leader threatens to use Master Rong’s needles on all of them. Master Rong outs Dongfang, asking for how long he’s going to stay silent. Chu Lei also pressures Dongfang to bring out Qing Rong. Dongfang succumbs to the pressure and has his disciples fetch Qing Rong.

Qing Rong acts delusional and starts saying that everyone is a demon. The Lize leader guesses that no one was willing to interrogate her because of Dongfang, but he has no such qualms. He’ll show Qing Rong the same amount of mercy they showed Si Feng.

Dongfang tries to defend Qing Rong and attacks the Lize leader, who easily knocks him away and then strikes Qing Rong with Master Rong’s painful needles. The Palace leader demands to know where Tianxu Hall is. Qing Rong chokes out Buzhou Mountain. That’s all she knows.

The Palace leader glares at the other sects contemptuously. That’s the answer they were looking for. Then he turns and leaves.

Dongfang rushes to Qing Rong, but the only person on her mind is Ouyang. She begs Dongfang to find him and ask him why he betrayed her. Dongfang asks why Qing Rong had to be so foolish. She pats his cheek and laughs, saying he’s foolish, too. They both are. Then she grabs a needle and plunges it into her own heart.

At night, the Lize Palace leader goes into Yuan Lang’s room to confront him, telling him to stop feigning innocence. Yuan Lang knows better than anyone Si Feng’s true identity. Yuan Lang claims that he couldn’t show Si Feng any bias — the sects were already suspicious of Lize Palace. Besides, it’s not like the demon whip would’ve created a demon where none exists, right?

The Palace leader gets in Yuan Lang’s face and warns him that if he destroys Si Feng, the Palace leader will destroy him. Yuan Lang just smirks as the Palace leader walks away. Then he frowns as he remembers all of Xuan Ji’s displays of power with Dingkun. Is she that person?

Min Yan visits Si Feng’s bedside, feeling guilty that he ever doubted him. But Si Feng is understanding of how Min Yan could have misunderstood what he saw, and points out that in the end, Min Yan still tried to save him.

Min Yan tells Si Feng that, as someone who grew up with Xuan Ji, he can tell that Si Feng is special to her. He’s irreplaceable in her heart, and Min Yan felt that he should know. After Min Yan leaves, Si Feng realizes how foolish he had been, creating imaginary troubles for himself.

Hao Chen gently lectures Xuan Ji for acting so recklessly. What if he had accidentally hurt her? He gives her a bead to wear that is supposed to help her heal.

Afterward, he walks out to the water, where Si Ming chases after him with bad news. The Heavenly Emperor has invited him to attend Xiwangmu’s banquet. Si Ming had to come up with all sorts of excuses to get him out of it, but implores Hao Chen to return to the heavenly realm ASAP.

Hao Chen says that he can’t leave yet. Xuan Ji has been led so far astray she won’t even listen to him anymore. If she continues down this path, he’s worried she’ll turn evil. He must end this ill-fated relationship she’s in.

Si Ming tries to reason with Hao Chen. He knows how stubborn she is once her mind is set, especially when it comes to love. If Hao Chen pushes her too hard, who knows what kind of trouble she’ll cause? Doesn’t he remember what happened 900 years ago?

Hao Chen remembers all too well. The reason the God of War’s life column is cracked and in pieces is because she destroyed it herself. Ever since then, evil energy has been growing stronger.

Hao Chen decides that if Xuan Ji wants love, then she can have it. He remembers the Youqing technique that Heng Yang mentioned. If she can’t train the emotionless technique, then he’ll train her in the one with emotion.

Si Ming smiles. So that’s why he gave her the Liangyuan (“harmonious union”) flower? Si Ming didn’t know he was the type to give love tokens. Hao Chen gives him a look and Si Ming quickly drops his smile. He asks if Hao Chen is really doing this only to break up her doomed relationship.

Hao Chen reminds him that he’s only ever had one goal for coming down to the mortal world: to bring her back.

Hao Chen goes to Chu Lei and proposes his desire to study the Youqing technique with Xuan Ji at Xuyang Peak. It’s essentially a marriage proposal, because two people studying the technique at the same time often inevitably fall in love. Chu Lei approves.

Si Feng wakes up to find Xuan Ji fussing over him at his bedside. He tries to sit up. She makes him lie back down. He teases her about something Min Yan told him, that Xuan Ji compared losing him to breaking her mother’s favorite flower vase. She asks him to teach her how to talk better.

Si Feng says that there is something he wants to teach her: he wants to teach her how to fall in love with him. Does she want to learn? It doesn’t matter if she doesn’t have all of her senses. She might be a little slower, but Si Feng will patiently teach her. All that matters is that she wants it.

His first lesson is that he doesn’t want his name to be in her book. He doesn’t want to to share her with anyone. He wants his name to be imprinted on her heart, forever.

Chu Lei visits Ling Long’s bedside, wishing he could tell her abut how Hao Chen has promised to take care of her sister forever. He knows she would be so happy to hear it.

Elder Xing Xiu visits Wu Tong with an order from the Tianxu leader. He wants Wu Tong to find the person with the heavenly eye, Liu Yi Huan.

Demon Ling Long treats Shi Feng like a pet dog, but not in a nice way. He keeps trying to talk to her about the past, which annoys her. She orders for him to personally punished by Wu Tong. He begs at her feet to be spared. She calls him pathetic, but he says that she’s pathetic too because she has no memory of who she is. Then he kills himself on one of his guard’s swords.

Wu Tong visits Demon Ling Long, who finds the name Liu Yi Huan familiar when he mentions who he’s looking for. She remembers Yu Er mentioning it, and Wu Tong smiles when he realizes that Liu Yi Huan’s daughter is in his possession.

Hao Chen visits Heng Yang, sharing his intent to carry on the Xuyang Peak’s legacy of protecting Shaoyang’s secret by studying the Youqing technique with Xuan Ji. Heng Yang has learned that the Wuqing technique and Youqing technique are actually the same technique: the difference lies in the person who is practicing the technique. For Heng Yang, it’s too late to find someone to study the Youqing technique with, but it’s not too late for Hao Chen. Hao Chen asks Heng Yang to come to Fuyu Island so that Hao Chen can marry Xuan Ji.

Xuan Ji and Si Feng look up at the moon as he teaches her another lesson in love: how to respond if other people are nice to her. What should she do if another man calls her pretty and asks to hang out with her? Xuan Ji thinks she should agree, but Si Feng says no. She should drive him away. She should do the same if a man offers her good food, a gift, or asks to hug her when he’s freezing. Si Feng is the only one who’s allowed to hug her.

Si Feng asks what Xuan Ji should do if her father tells her to never see him again one day. Xuan Ji instinctively responds, “Drive him away!” Then realizes that she can’t do that to her father. Si Feng gently says that there isn’t only one answer for everything. If her father gives her such an order one day, he’ll have his reason, but Xuan Ji can try to convince him and still secretly meet up with Si Feng. Si Feng promises he will never let her down.

Si Feng catches Xiao Yin Hua hiding around a corner in her human form as Yan Ran. Yan Ran thanks Si Feng for trying to protect her, then frowns when she sees Xuan Ji and tells her to stop bothering Si Feng. Si Feng reminds Yan Ran that Xuan Ji spent a lot of effort trying to save them and that she should be grateful instead. Yan Ran grudgingly says thank you. Xuan Ji stands up and approaches Yan Ran, who responds defensively, but to her surprise, Xuan Ji hands her a bag of her favorite rice crackers. Yan Ran pouts, but accepts the gift and leaves.

Xuan Ji returns to sit down next to Si Feng and puts her hand over his.


Commentary

Unfortunately, I think it’s impossible for me to dislike Hao Chen no matter what he does. He may be a bit misguided and rigid and is not in touch with his own feelings at all, but he’s also so single-mindedly focused on Xuan Ji and what he wants for her isn’t necessarily bad for her, that I can’t fault him. His only fault is not giving her autonomy, which… I suppose is pretty bad in the grand scheme of a relationship. But he’s just misguided!

Hao Chen fears Xuan Ji upending the world order, but it seems like the world order needs to be upended, and that’s what Xuan Ji and Si Feng are here to do. They’re not here to make demons rule the world, but instead make the current world question what good and evil really mean. Because it’s pretty clear that the “good” people of the benevolent sects are not very benevolent at all.

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