Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: Love and Redemption (Ep. 37)

Si Feng learns the truth about his parents. Lize Palace executes their plan against the other sects, setting Xuan Ji and Si Feng up for tough choices and tests of their loyalty that they can’t avoid.


Recap

The Lize Palace leader reveals that he is Hao Feng, Xuan Ji’s opponent. Everyone springs into motion. Yuan Lang flies toward the stage to join the Palace leader. The Palace leader who was sitting in the chair disappears, the mask and robes falling to the ground with no one inside. The other sect elders spring up from their seats and all the gathered disciples draw their weapons.

Teng She and Xuan Ji find themselves in a stormy hellscape. Teng She tells Xuan Ji that they’re trapped in a magical Zhuofu Fog that Tao Hui had been hiding in its stomach. There’s no way out. Suddenly, Tao Hui springs at them. Xuan Ji manages to shove Teng She so they both dodge out of the way. They’re unharmed, but Teng She has bad news. Tao Hui is born out of fog like this. This is basically its natural habitat.

Tao Hui attacks Teng She, who fights back with fire. But Tao Hui swallows his fire and spits it back at him. Xuan Ji attacks, but Tao Hui swallows Dingkun, too. She asks Teng She what they should do, but he’s out of ideas.

The Palace leader tells his disciples to attack. The sect elders reciprocate by casting their demon-catching spell using Dianjing’s treasured artifact, but the Palace leader manages to shield his disciples and they’re stuck at an impasse. Yuan Lang has another trick up his sleeve. He releases a demon core, which spins around Dianjing’s magical weapon, suppressing it. Min Yan recognizes the core as Zi Hu’s. The Palace leader takes advantage of the situation and knocks everyone down with a strong burst of energy.

Zi Hu falls to the ground in front of the Lize Palace disciples, then makes herself disappear. The Palace leader laughs and tells the sect leaders to bring it on. The two sides charge at each other. The Palace leader surveys it all from up on his stage. Yuan Lang gives him a sideways glance, then slips away.

Xuan Ji and Teng She continue to be pursued by Tao Hui while trying to figure out how to get out of the fog. Teng She sighs — it’s a shame that Xuan Ji is currently a mortal. If she were the God of War, she would be able to use her special ability, Jiutian Xuanhuo (“nine heavens arcane fire”). But as a mortal, her spirit energy is not nearly strong enough. Teng She can only think of one solution: for Xuan Ji to run. But Xuan Ji refuses to leave Teng She behind. Tao Hui attacks again and they join forces to try and fend him off.

Si Feng tries to break free of his bonds but is unsuccessful until Xiao Yin Hua slithers over, takes human form, and draws some of her own blood. The ropes bind her instead. She tells Si Feng to leave her and go, but he manages to break her free of the spell and reclaim her.

Yuan Lang finds the final spirit key and takes possession of it. He flies back out to where a group of Lize Palace disciples wait for him and says that they’re to return to the Palace immediately. One disciple points out that the Palace leader is still waiting for the chalcedony. Yuan Lang responds that the survival of their clan is most important. He tells the disciple to go tell the Palace leader that Lize Palace’s primary mission is accomplished. As for the Palace leader’s personal matters, that’s for him to deal with. He flies away, and most of the disciples follow.

Two disciples relay the message to the Palace leader. He looks angry, but tells them to come with him as he goes to retrieve the chalcedony. Dongfang, Chu Lei, and Hao Chen notice him flying away and follow.

Si Feng spots the Palace leader flying through the grounds and also follows.

At the center stage, there’s an orange burst as Xuan Ji, Teng She, and Tao Hui all return to the mortal realm. Tao Hui attacks again. Xuan Ji tells it to die and cleaves it in two. Then she looks around, finally realizing the chaotic, bloody scene she’s returned to. Teng She collapses to the ground, exhausted.

Min Yan and Ling Long rush up to Xuan Ji and tell her about Lize Palace’s betrayal. Xuan Ji tells them to take care of Teng She for her, then rushes off.

Si Feng manages to catch up to the Palace leader in a cave. He asks the Palace leader to recall the disciples and leave. But the Palace leader says it’s too late. Yuan Lang has already left with the final spirit key. There’s no way to turn back now. Si Feng asks what the relationship between Lize Palace and Tianxu Hall is, but the Palace leader says he doesn’t care about Tianxu Hall. All he cares about is his Hao Feng.

Si Feng tries to tell the Palace leader that he’s been used by Tianxu Hall. They never intended on helping him revive Hao Feng. It’s not too late for them to leave now. But the Palace leader say it is too late. He won’t turn back. This time, he’ll get revenge for Si Feng’s mother.

“My mother?” Si Feng repeats.

The Palace leader shows Si Feng Hao Feng’s memorial shrine in the Dianjing Valley caves. Her image matches the portrait Si Feng has. Si Feng stares at the Palace leader, stunned. If Hao Feng is his mother, then… “I am your father,” the Palace leader says, with a sad but hopeful smile.

Si Feng stumbles back. His father approaches him and tries to touch his face, but Si Feng flinches away. His father smiles sadly and says that he’s grown up now — it’s time for him to learn the truth. But the truth will come later, after they go back to Lize Palace and resurrect his mother. Si Feng starts crying as he realizes that his mother has been at Lize Palace this whole time.

The Palace leader asks if Si Feng hates him for lying to him for so long. Si Feng just cries and calls himself a fool. Anyone else would have guessed already that the Palace leader is his father. Si Feng’s father takes his hands, but then a Lize Palace disciple rushes in with bad news. The other sects have already fought their way to the entrance of the crypt.

Si Feng and his father rush outside, where the Lize Palace disciples are being overwhelmed. The Palace leader joins the fray. Si Feng stares at the chaos around him. He asks his father to stop fighting and tries to talk to Chu Lei, saying there must be some misunderstanding. But Hao Chen attacks. They’ve made it clear where their allegiances lie.

Si Feng defends himself, then tries to ask his father again to stop fighting. His father asks if he’s really going to align himself with the humans. They’re attacked. And so Si Feng is forced to join the fight, but he tries to avoid outright killing anyone.

The Palace leader decides it’s time to throw caution to the wind. Si Feng says no, but it’s too late. The Palace leader reveals his garuda form. The other Lize Palace disciples fly up and join him, then attack.

The Palace leader attacks Chu Lei, but Si Feng jumps in to shield Xuan Ji’s father. The Palace leader turns away, displeased, and aims for someone else. Si Feng warns Chu Lei that he shouldn’t try to attack anymore — mortals are no match for a twelve-feathered garuda. And it’s true — even one of the younger garuda is able to internally injure Master Rong.

Master Rong has his disciples man the mounted crossbows and fire on the garuda. They manage to take out a few, but then the Palace leader manages to freeze all the crossbow bolts in their tracks, turn them around, and fling them back at the righteous sect members.

Hao Chen assembles the remaining sect members to join forces and attack the garuda, but the Palace leader breaks through their attack. He starts to gather all the crossbow bolts around him to fling at the now-defenseless sect members, but before he can, a single arrow shoots at him. He dodges, but is distracted and the crossbow bolts fall to the ground. Si Feng appears in front of his father and shields the sect members against his attack. He asks his father to leave them alone — they’re just innocent mortals. His father calls him unfilial and strikes him. Si Feng coughs up blood, wounded, but maintains his shield. His father gets distracted momentarily by his injury.

Xuan Ji arrives and sees the Palace leader attacking Si Feng. She yells that he’s not allowed to hurt Si Feng, then flies in and cuts through their magic. Xuan Ji rushes to Si Feng, who is bleeding and injured. The Palace leader gathers his power, seizing most of the rest of the sect members with his magic.

Chu Lei, Hao Chen, and Ying Hong approach Xuan Ji and Si Feng and hold Si Feng at swordpoint. Chu Lei demands to know how Xuan Ji hasn’t realized the truth yet. All of Lize Palace are demons, including Si Feng.

Xuan Ji stands in front of Si Feng as a shield, saying that it’s impossible that Si Feng is a demon, even if the rest of Lize Palace are. She’s never smelled demon energy on him. And they already tried striking him with the demon whip.

Hao Chen summons one of the dragon crystals and shows it to Xuan Ji, explaining that this is how Lize Palace disciples are able to hide their demon forms. If Xuan Ji hadn’t prevented them from using the demon whip for the third strike, then they would’ve found out long ago that Si Feng is a demon.

Xuan Ji recognizes the dragon crystal, but remembers how Si Feng said it was something Ting Nu used to heal him. Now, she tells Hao Chen that he’s misunderstood. But Si Feng sheds a tear behind her.

Xuan Ji says that she’s willing to guarantee with her life that Si Feng isn’t a demon. Si Feng gently says her name and tells her to say no more. She takes his hand and asks why. She needs to explain clearly to them that he’s not a demon.

Hao Chen calls Si Feng out for not daring to tell Xuan Ji the truth, even now.

Xuan Ji cries and reminds him of how he told her he wasn’t a demon on Fuyu Island. He wouldn’t lie to her, right? All he has to do is tell her. She’ll believe him. But Si Feng just looks at her, shedding tears, and says that he’s sorry. There’s nothing else he can say.

Xuan Ji drops his hand, thinking back to every moment they ever shared. “No,” she whispers, “It’s impossible.” She slowly backs away from Si Feng as he smiles sadly at her.

Si Feng’s father flies in to stand beside him. They’re the only ones left of Lize Palace. He reminds Xuan Ji that she said she would love Si Feng for a lifetime. What, now that he’s a demon, it’s not true anymore?

Xuan Ji still seems to be in denial. Hao Chen tells her that it’s time for her to wake up to the truth. Chu Lei is determined to capture Si Feng and the Palace leader and calls for the sects to attack. They do. The Palace leader forms a protective bubble, but Si Feng crackles with lightning, succumbing to the attack.

Xuan Ji cries for Si Feng to tell the truth. That he has nothing to do with the things Lize Palace has done. That he’s never hurt anyone. But Si Feng continues to silently suffer.

Hao Chen and Chu Lei again tell Xuan Ji to wake up. Not only is Si Feng a demon, he’s the garuda who killed her mother. Doesn’t she remember? At the time, her mother had taken Xuan Ji to go seek medical advice when they ran into Hao Feng outside Dianjing Valley. Then they were attacked by the garuda.

Si Feng tells Xuan Ji that there must be some misunderstanding here. He promises he’ll find out the truth for her.

The Palace leader is upset that Si Feng is still trying to give Xuan Ji an explanation. He might as well let Xuan Ji come kill him. He says that if he’d known she was the girl from back then, he would have killed her long ago.

Si Feng turns to his father, unable to believe what he’s hearing. Xuan Ji also reels, recognizing the demon mark on the Palace leader’s forehead. He was the one who killed her mother? She asks Si Feng if he knew. He shakes his head, crying, saying he didn’t hide this from her. But it’s too late, because he lied to her about everything else.

Si Feng still firmly holds onto his belief that there must be some misunderstanding here. His father tells him he should have known that this was the only possible outcome.

Si Feng stares brokenhearted at Xuan Ji, whose sorrow steels into resolve. She glares at the Palace leader and says that she’ll avenge her mother today. The Palace leader smiles, telling her to come at him. He summons his magic and starts absorbing everyone’s energy.

Si Feng stares from Xuan Ji to his father and shakes his head, saying no. He throws himself in front of Xuan Ji to shield her. But she’s determined to kill his father. Her eyes spark blue for a moment. She stands to attack, but Si Feng turns to her and grabs her shoulders, telling her that she won’t survive if she tries to fight his father. Her abilities aren’t strong enough. He asks her to trust him.

Xuan Ji looks around at her family dying around her and throws Si Feng off. He lands roughly, coughing blood. She can’t help but worry for him. But then she flies up to try and attack his father. He stops her with his own sword. They both fall back.

Si Feng promises Xuan Ji that he won’t let his father kill anyone else. He sheds his human form and stares sadly at Xuan Ji, who cries as she’s forced to acknowledge that he’s really a demon. “You were lying to me,” she says.

“I’m sorry,” he says, then he turns away and attacks his father. The Palace leader loses his hold on the sect members. Si Feng asks his father to stay his hand.

Hao Chen recognizes that Si Feng is also a twelve-feathered garuda. He thinks they should take this opportunity to kill both of them. Xuan Ji joins in as Hao Chen, Chu Lei, and Ying Hong attack. Si Feng throws himself in front of his father and takes the full brunt of the attack. His wings disappear and his father catches him.

Xuan Ji looks stunned and lowers her sword as she realizes what she’s done. She whispers Si Feng’s name and staggers. He stares at her sadly. The lovers’ curse takes hold and he clutches his chest. His father fends off the magic attack and flies them away.

Xuan Ji asks herself how things became like this. She needs to know the truth. She takes off after the garuda.

Si Feng’s father tries to relieve the symptoms of the curse. Si Feng weakly asks if he’s almost dead. His father responds that he’s here — nothing will happen to him.

They land in a forest, where the Palace leader continues to try to ease the effects of the curse. Si Feng tells him to leave — he needs to go back. His father is incredulous that he still wants to go back to Xuan Ji. She wants him to die. But Si Feng just shakes his head. Xuan Ji isn’t like that. He’s the one who owes her. He needs to go back.

His father tells him to forget about Xuan Ji. She hates him. She wants to kill him. The reminder of how Xuan Ji attacked him seems to trigger the curse again.

But then Xuan Ji lands and cries out Si Feng’s name. She tells the Palace leader to let Si Feng go. He’s not allowed to take him away. The Palace leader scoffs that leaving Si Feng behind would basically be letting her kill him.

Xuan Ji says she would never kill Si Feng. The only person she wants to kill is him, the Palace leader. The Palace leader says that Xuan Ji has already killed Si Feng with her heart. Xuan Ji accuses him of speaking nonsense and points her sword at him. This is all because of him. She’ll kill him.

She charges and the Palace leader prepares to retaliate, but then Si Feng throws himself in front of Xuan Ji and shields his father. Xuan Ji is surprised. Si Feng suddenly falls back, wounded. Xuan Ji rushes to him in concern and asks why he’s doing this.

Si Feng looks up at Xuan Ji, then behind her at his father, who is gathering his power for an attack. Si Feng grabs Xuan Ji and flings her away so that he stands between her and his father. “Leave!” he yells at Xuan Ji. “I don’t want to see you.”

Si Feng faints. His father catches him and flies him away.

Xuan Ji sobs as she recalls how he promised he would never leave her. He said he would never lie to her. So why did he?

The Tianxu demons have somehow shown up at Dianjing Valley and the disciples who weren’t fighting Lize Palace are fighting them, including Min Yan and Ling Long. Wu Tong flies in and attacks Ling Long. He’s acquired an arm replacement.

Wu Tong tires to force a kiss on Ling Long, but Min Yan sees them and charges, managing to free her. Wu Tong taunts them. They band together and attack him. But Wu Tong is much more powerful than they are. He knocks Min Yan to the ground, then pulls Ling Long to him.


Commentary

Why do they have to cut off the episode so abruptly like that?

Again, I have no words. But Si Feng and Xuan Ji are so tragic and there’s no shortage of heartbreak but I LOVE IT. My heart hurts in the best way. I’m crying but I’m happy.

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