Drama Recaps, Taiwanese Dramas

Recap: Falling Into You (Ep. 9)

Falling Into You is back this weekend and as usual provides me with my weekly dose of good feels! Plenty of heartwarming moments this episode as Zi Tong learns to accept friendship and help from other people. She and Zhi Sheng both open up and learn to be a bit vulnerable and accept help from each other.


Recap

Zhi Sheng asks Zi Tong if she’ll come back to him after she’s done competing. Then he quickly looks away and clarifies: will she come back and keep working at the company? He tries to act casual and starts fanning himself with a folder, then smacks himself in the face. Zi Tong asks if it hurts. He says it does and tries to get her to blow on it, saying it’ll make the pain go away. She refuses — she knows from experience that blowing on it will do nothing.

Zhi Sheng holds a meeting and announces that Zi Tong will be leaving soon. He starts to explain why, but she says that she can explain herself. She tells everyone how she used to be an athlete and now has the opportunity to return. She didn’t mention it before because she never thought she’d make friends with her coworkers. But now she thanks them.

The employees who were at the celebration dinner reveal that they had known all along — she drunkenly told them then. But Zhi Sheng made them promise to act like they didn’t know until she personally told them, knowing that she’d feel embarrassed otherwise.

Ren Guang proposes that that they throw a party for Zi Tong. Zi Tong protests, but everyone else is on board and Zhi Sheng says he’ll pay for everything.

Zi Tong smiles at Zhi Sheng and quietly thanks him while everyone else starts to discuss the party. He smiles back.

At Zi Tong’s send-off dinner, Zhi Sheng announces that Ming Huan will be his new assistant and should start working with Zi Tong to handoff tasks. Ming Huan looks intimidated, worried that he isn’t up to the task, but Zi Tong holds out her drink to toast him and says that she believes in him. Ming Huan immediately perks up. Zhi Sheng looks jealous that Zi Tong didn’t toast him.

A server brings over some drunken shrimp. Zhi Sheng makes sure that the shrimp is as far away as possible from Zi Tong. He tells her that seafood is bad for her recovery. She should eat protein instead. He puts some meat on her plate.

Everyone else watches them slyly. Ren Guang comments to Jia Qi that it looks like Zhi Sheng really does like Zi Tong. Jia Qi sighs enviously. Ren Guang declares that he can peel shrimp for her, but then gets roped into peeling shrimp for everyone. Zi Tong smiles to herself as everyone starts heckling Ren Guang for not working fast enough.

At the end of the night, Zhi Sheng drops Zi Tong off at her place. He suggests that she should move into his place after her surgery. She stares at him, and he quickly clarifies that he lives with his aunt. He thinks it’ll be more convenient for Zi Tong than to have to climb the steep flight of stairs up to her own place every day, and adds that his aunt’s cooking is even better than his own.

But all Zi Tong says is a thank you for the ride home. Then she heads up to her apartment. Zhi Sheng wonders if he should press Zi Tong to consider his offer some more, but then decides that she’ll be annoyed with him if he follows her home again, and drives off.

Right as Zhi Sheng leaves, Zi Tong’s father shows up at her place with soup and food he made for her in preparation for her surgery. Zi Tong apologizes for not telling him about her surgery earlier — she just didn’t want him to worry.

Da Quan says that it’s impossible for parents to not worry about their children. He starts talking about how he used to think she disliked taekwondo, like Tian Lin, and that’s why she was always ditching practice to sneak off and date Ke Ting Wei. Zi Tong cuts him off — that’s all in the past.

She admits to her father that when she was younger, she used to think she was just trying to fulfill her mother’s dream. It wasn’t until she got injured that she realized how much she actually liked taekwondo. This time, she’s doing it for herself. She tells her father that if he has the same opinion on her surgery as her mother, then she doesn’t want to hear it.

Da Quan gently calls her a silly child. If he was opposed to her surgery, would he have brought all this food for her? But that doesn’t mean he’s not worried for her. No parent wants to see their child suffer.

Zi Tong thanks her father, but he says that caring about a child is his duty as a parent. He tells her to let him know what she wants to eat — he’ll make it for her. And she’s not allowed to say there’s nothing she wants.

Zi Tong says she doesn’t want to bother other people, but he reminds her that he’s not “other people.” Being depended on by their child is a parent’s greatest happiness. He welcomes her to bother him any time.

Zi Tong relents and says she wants sweet and sour ribs. Da Quan beams. He’ll make it for her after her surgery. He makes her sit down to eat the food he brought and grabs her some chopsticks, remembering she likes the red ones.

Yu Qian is wearing a dragon onesie and not happy when Zhi Sheng shows up at his place and ruins his plans for a date night with his girlfriend. He tells Zhi Sheng that this better be important and Zhi Sheng says that it is. Zhi Sheng shows Yu Qian the scanned copy of his father’s article on Mingtong and asks him to investigate where it came from.

Tian Lin is also doing his own investigation on the origins of Fang Xiang Tai’s Mingtong article. A former coworker of Fang Xiang Tai’s tells Tian Lin how they thought the article would spark a large response, but after it was released, nothing happened. Tian Lin asks if the news was suppressed. The man isn’t sure, but afterward, the newspaper shut down and they all lost contact with one another. He regrets Fang Xiang Tai’s unexpected death — he was a good journalist.

After the journalist leaves, Tian Lin spots Fang Qing at a nearby batting range and goes over to ask if she’s in a bad mood. When her boyfriend dumped her before, he remembers how she would go to the batting range and cry while hitting balls. Fang Qing quickly turns away when she spots Tian Lin, remembering her steamy dream featuring him, then shares her woes about being investigated by the school.

Tian Lin proposes a game — they each bat ten balls and the loser has to buy dinner. Fang Qing says she’s in no mood for a game. Tian Lin asks where the Fang Qing he knew went. She used to drag him into arguments with guests. She knows she didn’t do anything wrong; is she really going to let herself feel bad because of one or two people? “Don’t make me lose my respect for you,” he says.

His words get through to Fang Qing, who turns to him and accepts his challenge. “Don’t cry when you lose,” she says.

But for the first few balls, Fang Qing misses, lost in thought about her school woes. She doesn’t think she did anything wrong, but she’s just worried that she won’t be able to continue teaching. If she compromised, everything would have been fine, but she couldn’t bring herself to do it.

Tian Lin watches Fang Qing and tries to give her some encouragement. He knows that given a second chance, Fang Qing would still refuse to apologize, because she’s someone who always does the right thing.

Fang Qing asks Tian Lin if she’s just making life difficult for herself. He responds that she’s just sticking to her principles, which is who she is. That makes her smile. He points out that this is her last hit and gives her some encouragement. She hits a home run. Tian Lin smiles then purposely misses his last shot.

He strolls over to Fang Qing and tells her that she’s a good teacher — everyone knows that. He trusts that in the end, the result will be like this ball: a home run. He tells her not to worry about something that hasn’t happened yet. With him by her side, she will definitely be able to continue teaching.

Tian Lin tells Fang Qing that he lost and she can pick what she wants to eat. “Curry,” she says. Tian Lin makes a face and Fang Qing teases him. After all these years, he’s still afraid of curry?

Tian Lin steps closer and looks her in the eye. Some things, once decided, are hard to change. Fang Qing looks away, suddenly shy. Tian Lin smiles.

Zi Tong shares with Ming Huan some of Zhi Sheng’s very particular daily habits. Zhi Sheng is nearby and goes over, right as Zi Tong’s phone chimes. It’s a notification for a courier task. Zhi Sheng smacks the phone out of Zi Tong’s hand and it goes flying. She catches it before he can, then puts her phone away. He hastily tells her that he won’t let her do more deliveries. She responds that she was planning on stopping anyway.

Tian Lin picks Xin Yan up from school. Xue Yong, the kid whose mother has been causing all the trouble, follows Xin Yan and tries to talk to her, but she refuses to acknowledge him. Tian Lin crouches down and talks to Xue Yong about the matter with Fang Qing. Xue Yong says that he doesn’t want Fang Qing to leave.

“Then shouldn’t you tell everyone the truth?” Tian Lin asks. Xue Yong looks chastised, but then his mother shows up, demanding that Tian Lin stay away from her son, and takes him away.

When Tian Lin and Xin Yan return home, they find Da Quan bustling around packing things for Zi Tong. Xin Yan shows off her new smartwatch, then demands that her grandfather help her add his Line number and everyone else’s.

Tian Lin tells Da Quan that he’ll go with him to see Zi Tong tomorrow. Xin Yan wants to go, too, but Tian Lin says no. Xin Yan grabs her grandfather’s phone so she can text her aunt instead.

Da Quan suggests that they should head out early and drop by the dojang to try and get Cai Feng to come with them, but Tian Lin already knows that she won’t. They both know that once his mother has decided something, nothing can change her mind.

Zhi Sheng, Yu Qian, and Zi Tong are still in contract negotiations with Mingtong. They prepare for another long night of work, though Zhi Sheng tells Zi Tong she should head home and rest for her surgery tomorrow. Zi Tong doesn’t mind staying since her surgery is in the afternoon. They’re interrupted by the mention of Wu Qian Ni’s name on the news being broadcasted on a large screen nearby.

Cai Feng and Qian Ni are interviewed by a reporter about her prospects for the upcoming Olympics. The reporter surprises them both by also asking about Zi Tong and whether she has any chance of returning. Cai Feng pauses before responding that she won’t allow someone who has no hopes of winning to compete.

Zhi Sheng looks at Zi Tong with concern and Yu Qian comments on how harsh Zi Tong’s mother was, but all Zi Tong says is that they should head back.

Cai Feng sighs angrily after rewatching the segment of the interview where she commented on Zi Tong. Qian Ni heads out, but Cai Feng stops her. She had explicitly asked the reporter to cut out the section where she talked about Zi Tong. So why was it still broadcast?

Qian Ni claims she doesn’t know, but Cai Feng doesn’t seem to believe her. She tells Qian Ni that her job is to focus on training right now. No more interviews. Qian Ni responds that athletes are people, too. She’s not someone who can win a championship and believe she has won the whole world. Her family is poor. She needs to create options for herself.

Cai Feng says that a coach and athlete need to have complete trust between them. How can Qian Ni compete with all these outside distractions going on? Qian Ni retorts that she trusts her coach when it comes to taekwondo, but as a person? Not so much. Cai Feng is someone who abandoned her own daughter because of taekwondo. How can Qian Ni trust her?

Cai Feng warns Qian Ni to watch her attitude, but Qian Ni doesn’t seem to care. She tells Cai Feng that she might be a good coach, but she’s a failure of a mother. Her own mother might not be able to help her much, but at least she’s always provided a warm dinner and a warm home. She tells Cai Feng that Zi Tong once told her that she envied her, because Zi Tong has never tasted her own mother’s cooking.

Cai Feng crosses her arms and points out that her mother will never help her get to the Olympics. Qian Ni says she’s just trying to be honest so that they can have some mutual understanding and trust. They may disagree, but their goals are the same, so she asks that Cai Feng respect her plans for the future. With that, she leaves.

Cai Feng frowns as Qian Ni’s accusations of her being a failure of a mother mix with Tian Lin’s asking whether taekwondo is really so important to her that she would treat her children like this. She clenches her fist and takes some deep breaths to calm herself, then shakes her head.

Outside, Qian Ni makes a call to the reporter who put together the interview footage and thanks him for leaving in the section on Zi Tong.

Zhi Sheng gets a call from Tian Lin while he and some other employees work late on the Mingtong contract. Tian Lin reassures Zhi Sheng that he’ll take care of Fang Qing’s meeting at the school next week. Zhi Sheng asks for Tian Lin’s help finding a dojang that Zi Tong can train at after her surgery, though they both know that Zi Tong’s real wish is to return to Chongyun, her mother’s dojang.

Tian Lin has called to talk about Zhi Sheng’s father’s article. Zhi Sheng has already discovered where the article came from, but wants to know why Tian Lin is so interested in something that happened over 20 years ago. Tian Lin tells Zhi Sheng that he’s investigating a political scandal involving Mingtong Group and discovered that his father had investigated something similar earlier.

Zhi Sheng asks Tian Lin what he wants him to do. He’s collaborating with Mingtong right now. Does he want him to expose this scandal? Zhi Sheng says he’s a businessman, not a hero.

“What if your father’s death wasn’t an accident?” Tian Lin asks.

Zhi Sheng asks if Tian Lin is suggesting his father was a hero who sacrificed his life in pursuit of a story. He tells Tian Lin that his father wasn’t any kind of hero. He was a man who died from binge drinking and left his son to nearly starve to death. Zhi Sheng hangs up and turns — and sees Zi Tong, who seems to have heard everything but doesn’t say anything.

Zhi Sheng drives Zi Tong home at night. Zi Tong asks if he wants to come over to her place. He looks away awkwardly and says that she shouldn’t invite men over so casually — it’s easy to misunderstand.

Zi Tong gives him a weird look then tells him she has a lot of food in her fridge. It would be a shame to let that go to waste when she’s in the hospital.

While they eat, Zhi Sheng says that just because Zi Tong knows taekwondo doesn’t mean she should be inviting men over to her house for dinner. Zi Tong says that other than her dad, he’s the first. Then she asks him about his father — was he not good to him?

Zhi Sheng freezes, then eventually says that if she looks up “Fang Xiang Tai” on the internet, she’ll find articles about his accidental death 23 years ago and how a 7-year-old boy was with the corpse for 4 days.

When he woke up, he didn’t remember anything that happened those few days. All he remembers is all the blood. It’s impossible to imagine how much blood the human body can hold. He trembles as he describes how the floor was covered in it, how it was all around his feet, how his father died like that in front of him.

Zi Tong goes around to Zhi Sheng’s side of the table and gently pats him on the shoulder, asking if he’s okay. He leans his head into her and says that his father only ever cared about his new stories. He didn’t care at all about him.

When he died, Zhi Sheng felt more relieved than sad. During his funeral, Zhi Sheng didn’t even shed a tear. “Isn’t that terrible?” he asks. “I’m just this terrible of a person.” Zi Tong continues to comfort him and doesn’t say anything.

Fang Qing waits up for Zhi Sheng to come home and finally decides to call him when she sees it’s 3 AM. Zhi Sheng has fallen asleep on Zi Tong’s couch and Zi Tong picks up his phone when Fang Qing calls. Fang Qing immediately makes her own assumptions about what Zhi Sheng was doing over at Zi Tong’s place and smiles to herself after she hangs up.

Zi Tong watches Zhi Sheng sleep and remembers how Jia Qi accidentally let slip that he had confessed to her when she was drunk. “How could you like me?” she asks.

She thinks about her last painful experience with dating, how Ke Ting Wei had cheated on her and how afterward, her mother had essentially said “I told you so” about how a relationship would distract her.

When Zhi Sheng wakes up in the morning, he finds Zi Tong asleep next to him, still sitting on the ground with her head on the couch. He gets up, doing his best to not wake her, then sits down next to her and watches her sleep.

Zhi Sheng reaches out a hand to touch Zi Tong’s face, but then her eyes flash open and she immediately grabs his wrist and twists his arm behind his back, pinning him to the couch. Zhi Sheng shouts that it’s just him. It takes Zi Tong a moment to fully wake up and realize who he is. She releases him, looking embarrassed. Zhi Sheng compliments her fast reflexes.

Later, Zhi Sheng apologizes for not being able to accompany Zi Tong to the hospital like he planned; he really needs to get this partnership with Mingtong figured out. Before he leaves, Zi Tong suddenly blurts out his name and stops him.

She tells him that she doesn’t hate her mother. Or… well, it’s complicated. She used to hate her mother, or at least thought she did, but now she realizes that she actually just cared a lot about her mother. She’s idolized her mother ever since she was little, but her mother never needed her idolatry. Zi Tong is telling Zhi Sheng this because she thinks that maybe his relationship with his father is a little bit like that.

Zi Tong’s words echo in Zhi Sheng’s mind as he leaves her apartment. He remembers a happier memory with his father, when his mother was still alive. He had told his father that when he grew up, he wanted to be a hero like him.

At the hospital, Tian Lin glances at his watch and asks where Zhi Sheng is. Zi Tong makes an excuse for him, saying that he’s held up by work at the company and will probably come later. Da Quan blames himself for their lack of friends, saying that he should’ve paid more attention when they were younger. Tian Lin claims that what happened then didn’t really matter — he never liked making friends anyway. Da Quan then blames him for setting a bad example for Zi Tong.

“I have friends,” Zi Tong says, though both Tian Lin and Da Quan look a little skeptical.

Zi Tong’s phone buzzes and she picks up a video call from Ren Guang, who is with a bunch of the other GoGoVan employees. They all encourage Zi Tong. He also finds Zhi Sheng and puts him on. Zi Tong and Zhi Sheng smile at each other. He tells her that he’ll drop by after he’s done with work. She says that she’ll wait for him.

Both Zhi Sheng and Cai Feng watch the clock nervously all afternoon. When Da Quan calls Cai Feng, she immediately picks up and excuses herself from the middle of her lesson. She breathes a sigh of relief when Da Quan says that Zi Tong’s surgery was successful, then hangs up when Da Quan starts talking about a physical therapy plan that Zi Tong’s surgeon left for her.

Zi Tong wakes up when a nurse comes to check on her IV. She asks where her father and brother are. The nurse tells her that they left in the evening and since then, Zhi Sheng has been by her side. Zi Tong glances at Zhi Sheng, who has fallen asleep in his chair.

She tries not to wake him up as she sits up and flips through two pamphlets on the table next to him. They’re detailed training plans for her return to competition. Zi Tong looks moved as she remembers what Jia Qi told her about Zhi Sheng’s confession.

Zhi Sheng wakes up and smiles when he sees that Zi Tong is looking through the training plan. “Don’t they look professional?” he beams. He tells her that he started working on them after she accepted his sponsorship. Like he always says, there’s nothing he can’t do.

Zi Tong grabs the front of Zhi Sheng’s shirt and pulls him in for a kiss. His eyes widen. He’s been trying to slowly earn this love, but she charged in on the offensive and stole his heart.

“Why are you competing with me?” he asks. She’s confused. He tells her that he’s been holding himself back, waiting for the day when she would accept him. Why did she have to be one step ahead of him?

Zhi Sheng swoops in and kisses her. Now they’re even.

“Wait for me,” Zi Tong says. She tells Zhi Sheng that right now, her primary focus is getting back to competition, she doesn’t have the time to think about dating.

But Zhi Sheng says he doesn’t want to wait. He wants to be by her side. It doesn’t matter if she doesn’t have time — he’ll accommodate her. If she has any problems, he’ll take care of them for her. She can focus on taekwondo. For everything else, he’ll be here.

Zhi Sheng goes straight to work from the hospital in the morning, but still calls Zi Tong on his way in to check up on her and remind her to reach out to a doctor or nurse if she needs anything. Before he goes into the office, he asks her if she misses him — he misses her. She points out that he just left, and glances at her father, who has just come in, but tosses him a bone saying she does miss him in and then quickly hangs up.

Da Quan teases Zi Tong, asking who she was talking to. When she casually says “boyfriend,” he gapes and then immediately bombards her with questions about who and how and when.

Zi Tong smiles as she remembers how Zhi Sheng asked her to not say anything to her father about him. He wants to introduce himself, because he knows that if Zi Tong were to introduce him, all she would say is, “This is Fang Zhi Sheng.” Full stop.

Da Quan wants to know when Zi Tong will be discharged. He’s excited for her to return home so he can care for her properly. He balks when Zi Tong says that she’s going to stay with her boyfriend. She reassures her father that Zhi Sheng lives with his aunt. When Da Quan still hesitates, she tells him that he has enough people to care for without having to worry about her.

Da Quan is still hesitant about her dating after her last relationship. Zi Tong tells him that she’s not the same person she was two years ago. She won’t make the same mistake twice. Besides, Zhi Sheng fully supports her, just like how her father supports her mother.

At GoGoVan, the employees all notice that Zhi Sheng is in an especially good mood and is wearing the same clothes as yesterday. They speculate that he and Zi Tong have finally gotten together.

Tian Lin accompanies Fang Qing to her school meeting, where Xue Yong’s mother looks smug. Tian Lin texts Xin Yan, who brings Xue Yong over to the main office. Xue Yong rushes to his mother and tells her that Fang Qing did nothing wrong. He was the one who misbehaved. He likes his teacher and begs his mother not to chase her away. Xue Yong’s mother looks embarrassed, but can’t say anything against Fang Qing, especially after her son wraps his arms around her and starts begging.

Afterward, Fang Qing asks Tian Lin if he did the right thing. Xin Yan convinced Xue Yong to tell the truth by saying she would be friends with him if he did and bribing him with a candy bar. Fang Qing points out that Tian Lin has essentially taught Xin Yan to seduce and bribe. Tian Lin responds that she’s overthinking it. This was just a psychological attack.

Xue Yong’s mother still clings to her pride and acts like she’s the one doing Fang Qing a favor by letting this go, but walks into a pole on her way out, so… karma.

Zhi Sheng goes digging through his father’s old things. He finds his father’s old laptop and plugs it in.


Commentary

Da Quan is so sweet and such a selfless and caring father! I love it and I love his relationship with Zi Tong. She tries to hold him at a distance, but he refuses to be dissuaded. He probably has plenty of experience with her mother, so he knows how to handle her.

I think it’s one thing to criticize Cai Feng for being a bad mother, as in not being there for her children when they need her, but it’s unfair to criticize her for not fulfilling the expected gender role of a mother. Like cooking. How often are fathers criticized for not cooking for the family?

Qian Ni is ruthless, but I have to respect her backbone of steel.

Honestly, I love everything about Zi Tong and Zhi Sheng’s relationship. I love that she is the one who initiates their first “real” kiss. I love that he’s the one who is wide-eyed and surprised at first. I love that he even though he’s the arrogant CEO, he’s also entirely willing to be her cheerleader and support because he recognizes that she’s the star.

I really like how this time, we get to see Zi Tong do something for Zhi Sheng. It’s really meaningful that Zhi Sheng is able to open up and be vulnerable with her when it comes to his father, when normally he’d act defensive and closed-off about it.

I’ve mentioned this before, but I also really like the dichotomy between Zhi Sheng’s father’s personal and professional life. It’s entirely possible for him to be a “good” journalist and expose the truth for public good, but also be a bad father to his children. Tian Lin may have very likely gone down a similar road if not for Fang Qing’s intervention.

1 thought on “Recap: Falling Into You (Ep. 9)”

  1. Been waiting the whole day for your recap..This episode just made me love this drama even more..As always, the preview for the next episode is making me want to skip the whole week so I can watch it already..Looks like we’re about to find out how Da Quan is related to Xiangtai and his untimely death.. There’s a part of me that’s a bit anxious about the revelations up ahead. Most of the dramas I’ve watched would normally have the leads fighting, right after they finally get together. Although I have high hopes because this drama normally doesn’t follow the usual drama cliche’s and norms. I guess we’ll see when the next episode airs..

    Liked by 1 person

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