Drama Recaps, Taiwanese Dramas

Recap: The Haunted Heart (Ep. 5)

Xiao Ling struggles to figure out her place at the Shi household. Meanwhile, Ding Yu and Qing Feng continue to grapple with their own jealousy and memories of past relationships. Shi Yi Shao starts to remember some of his own past.


Recap

The case with the cane is empty. Ding An Wei asks whether he should call Xiao Ling a thief or a liar. He accuses her of trying to sleep her way into power, but says that it’s clear she isn’t quite capable enough.

Ding Yu stares at them from the doorway. Her father tells her to call the police.

Da Yong appears and tells Xiao Ling that he can’t find Shi Yi Shao. He urges her to ask Ding An Wei if he has his grandfather hidden somewhere and what he did with the cane. When Xiao Ling doesn’t immediately speak, he pushes her.

“Shut up!” Xiao Ling snaps at him. But of course, no one else can see Da Yong so Ding An Wei thinks she’s talking to him. Xiao Ling gets up and runs out the door.

Xiao Ling packs her bag while Da Yong tells her that he’s willing to let go of how she told him to shut up, but she’s not allowed to leave. Is she really going to run away after encountering such a small difficulty at work?

Xiao Ling glares at him. He wouldn’t understand, because he doesn’t need friends. But how is she supposed to make friends with them now that they think she’s a liar and a thief?

Da Yong asks who she’s trying to be friends with. Ding Yu? Her father? He reminds Xiao Ling that she came here to work, not to make friends, but Xiao Ling continues leaving. She doesn’t want to become the same type of person as Da Yong. Besides, she’s not needed here — he and Shi Yi Shao can already communicate with each other. Da Yong says it’s not up to her to decide whether she’s needed or not. Besides, she’s his personal assistant.

Xiao Ling says that she knows she’s his assistant — which is why she’ll be on-time for work tomorrow morning. But right now, she’s leaving. She starts walking away, ignoring Da Yong when he asks if she’s afraid of the dark.

But then Da Yong tells her to look at what Shi Yi Shao is doing. She turns back.

They watch as Shi Yi Shao holds out his arms and lets himself fall backward into the pool. It turns out that he’d been disappearing all day because of an obsession with water. When he falls backward into the pool, he’s reliving his own death, in which he had been shot by an arrow and then fallen into the sea. He remembers hearing a woman screaming his name.

Shi Yi Shao opens his eyes under the water in the pool and sees an image carved into the concrete pool wall of two stick figures and a heart.

Shi Yi Shao wakes up in the morning with a sheet of the talisman paper stuck to his head. Da Yong is watching a holographic avatar of himself get beat up — the game that Ya Zi and Ah Wu had made. He asks Shi Yi Shao what happened last night. Shi Yi Shao sheepishly claims that he just wanted to go for a swim, then escapes to the bathroom after he notices that Da Yong is so upset objects have started flying off his nightstand.

Xiao Ling bikes away from the Shi estate. Qing Feng passes her in his car, but doesn’t notice her, lost in thought about what Zhi Hao said about Shan Shan. Shan Shan is the one who taught him that the silent calls for help were the ones that needed to be heeded the most. So he ignores Zhi Hao’s advice and vows that as long as it’s within his power, he will find some way to understand Xiao Ling and cure her, even if it’s outside the clinic.

Qing Feng ends up at the Yisu office. Jerry greets him in the lobby, surprised to have received a call from him. He thought he was calling to say that he and Shan Shan were getting married. Jerry invites Qing Feng upstairs. Qing Feng looks curiously at the elevator, asking if it’s really controlled by brainwaves. Jerry confirms that it is.

Xiao Ling waits at a bus stop to take a bus for work. She gets distracted by her phone for a moment and her bus drives by. The lady standing next to her asks in a monotone if she’s really just going to let the bus go by — it only comes once an hour. Another bus soon arrives and Xiao Ling flags it down. She asks the lady if she’s going to get on. The lady says that life is like a bus — sometimes it’s on time and sometimes it’s not. She’s not getting on such an abnormal bus like that. Xiao Ling gets on the bus. At the bus stop, the lady vanishes.

On the bus, Xiao Ling listens to her music and imagines that this bus isn’t an ordinary bus, but is something special. She gets a call from Shi Yi Shao, but ignores it.

Shi Yi Shao goes into the kitchen in his bathrobe to find Ding Yu making breakfast. He smiles, then realizes that he’s wearing just a bathrobe and dashes back to his room, where he reports to Da Yong that Ding Yu is here and wants to eat breakfast with him. Da Yong tells him to go eat breakfast.

Ding Yu knocks on Da Yong’s bedroom door. He tells her to eat first with Xiao Ling. Ding Yu tells him that Xiao Ling left early in the morning. Shi Yi Shao looks surprised and looks questioningly at Da Yong, who isn’t surprised at all.

Ding Yu comments that Xiao Ling probably left because of what happened last night. If she were her, she wouldn’t want to stay either. Shi Yi Shao asks what happened. Ding Yu doesn’t know how to respond. Then Shi Yi Shao remembers that he’s not wearing much and abruptly shuts the door again.

Ding Yu takes that as a rejection and returns to the kitchen, where she angrily throws the heart-shaped breakfast she made into the trash. She tosses in several unopened cups of instant ramen for good measure. But then she seems to calm herself and pulls out one of the packs. She holds it and sighs. Da Yong watches her.

Qing Feng gives a talk about reducing stress in the workplace. Ya Zi finds him afterward to ask about his wife. Initially, they had gone together for marriage counseling sessions with Qing Feng, but eventually, his wife wanted to go alone. Now, he’s worried that his wife is planning on divorcing him and asks Qing Feng to share what she said.

Qing Feng tells him that if there’s a problem, then it needs to be resolved. Does he know what his problem is? Ya Zi thinks that it’s because he’s not good enough. He hasn’t followed through on any of the promises he made her when he proposed to her. He’s worried because his wife has been gone for two weeks and took their son with her.

Qing Feng gets called back inside for a group therapy session. He calls the test team to go first. Ah Wu asks for help picking up girls. Qing Feng tells him to try asking out Ting Ting and then advises him on how to ask the right questions and show interest in his conversation partner. Their coworkers start chanting for them to get together.

Da Yong tells Shi Yi Shao to go apologize to Ding Yu. He’s annoyed that Shi Yi Shao made his closest friend upset. Shi Yi Shao giggles and asks if they’re really just friends. He recreates the carving he saw in the pool and guesses that it’s supposed to represent Da Yong and Ding Yu.

Xiao Ling arrives to work late, then freezes when she enters the auditorium and sees Qing Feng. They make eye contact and he smiles at her before returning to his conversation. She tries to avoid him, waiting until he leaves before she leaves, but then Ting Ting calls her phone and her hiding place gets outed.

Jerry asks where Da Yong is. Xiao Ling says that he won’t make it, which alarms Jerry because they have a meeting coming up. Ting Ting suggests that Da Yong probably handed off the meeting matters to Xiao Ling, who nods with a weak smile.

Shi Yi Shao apologizes to Ding Yu for making her angry. She claims she wasn’t angry at all, then invites him inside for lunch.

Xiao Ling struggles to memorize a bunch of technical English terms before her meeting. She considers calling Shi Yi Shao, then decides against it.

Ding Yu and Shi Yi Shao eat lunch. She puts some xiaolongbao on his plate, thinking that’s his favorite food, but Shi Yi Shao says his favorite food is instant ramen. Ding Yu thinks he only eats it for Xiao Ling’s sake, but he claims it actually tastes really good. She smiles sadly, that he could say such nice things about Xiao Ling even after she tried to steal from him.

Da Yong tells Shi Yi Shao to tell Ding Yu that he’s the one who asked her to go into his grandfather’s room. Shi Yi Shao relays the message, but Ding Yu thinks he’s just trying to cover for Xiao Ling. She says that she actually liked Xiao Ling and even wanted to invite her out to archery with them. Shi Yi Shao counts the years since he last shot an arrow — about 300. He suggests that they should go shooting today, but Ding Yu claims she’s busy and they fall into awkward silence.

Shi Yi Shao waits for Da Yong to say something, but Da Yong is distracted by his phone screen. Shi Yi Shao asks why Da Yong isn’t saying anything, but Ding Yu thinks he’s talking to her, and Shi Yi Shao has to hastily try to cover for himself.

Da Yong stares at his phone, which is blowing up with notifications from a group message where some employees are complaining about how dumb and boring Xiao Ling’s presentation is. Xiao Ling is just reading off slides in a monotone while the developers the company is hoping to collaborate with yawn.

One interrupts her, asking why they’re here holding a meeting if the only problem is bugs. Xiao Ling doesn’t know how to respond, but then Da Yong appears to retort an answer. He gives Xiao Ling a nod. She steps forward and relays what he said, and with Da Yong feeding her the lines, the developers start to view Xiao Ling with respect. Jerry steps in to watch and nods approvingly.

Afterward, Xiao Ling thanks Da Yong for his help. He says he did what a boss should do and also tells her to delete the game he saw earlier. She points out that he owes her an apology, but he disappears before giving her one.

Shi Yi Shao naps after lunch, then blearily ends up calling Qing Feng and telling him that Ding Yu invited Xiao Ling to go shooting arrows at his place tonight. Da Yong appears and glares at Shi Yi Shao for this new havoc he’s wreaking, his anger making the TV turn off, but Shi Yi Shao can’t take back what he said. Qing Feng says he’ll pick up Xiao Ling at night.

Qing Feng nervously rehearses what he should say to Xiao Ling, but when he finally picks her up, they end up sitting in awkward silence for a long moment. Xiao Ling awkwardly breaks the silence, then struggles to put on her seatbelt, which gets jammed. Qing Feng leans over to help her, and they’re suddenly both very awkward again as they notice their proximity to each other.

Only Qing Feng ends up doing any sort of archery at night. Ding Yu sits under a tent on her phone while Xiao Ling chases Shi Yi Shao around the grill like they’re children. Da Yong notices Ding Yu walking away. She texts his phone, telling him to meet her under the flower tree.

Da Yong’s father starts messing around with the bow and arrow. He lets an arrow fly and it somehow goes straight for Shi Yi Shao. He stares as it bears down on him, remembering his own death — an arrow flew at him then, too. Qing Feng sees the arrow coming and tackles Shi Yi Shao. The arrow nicks him in the arm, leaving a large cut.

Xiao Ling rushes to them both while Da Yong’s father freaks out and runs off looking for a first-aid kit. Xiao Ling looks up and freezes when she sees a ghost woman who holds a hand over her eye. The ghost tells her, “You’re just a replacement for me. You’re just another Shan Shan.”

“Shan Shan?” Xiao Ling asks out loud. Qing Feng stares at her.

Xiao Ling puts some medication on Qing Feng’s cut and he asks her how she knows about Shan Shan. She asks if he really wants to know, then tells him that she was standing behind him. Qing Feng looks shaken, then stammers that she was his patient, but he can’t say more than that.

He stands up to leave. Xiao Ling grabs his wrist, asking where he’s going. He says that he needs to go back to the office for something, then forces a smile and asks if Da Yong is okay.

Da Yong waits under the flower tree for Ding Yu. Ding Yu is somewhere in her house, humming happily. She runs into her father, then sends Da Yong’s phone a text saying that something came up.

Xiao Ling returns outside to find no one around. Da Yong’s phone is still on the table and she sees Ding Yu’s text. She goes looking for the tree.

Xiao Ling eventually finds the flower tree and Da Yong waiting under it. She tells him about Ding Yu’s text message. Da Yong asks why she’s here. Shouldn’t she be keeping Qing Feng company since she’s secretly crushing on him? He saw that Qing Feng is her phone background.

Xiao Ling turns to look up at the full moon and sighs that the moon is bright tonight. She acknowledges that she likes Qing Feng, but it can never be anything more than a crush. If he were here instead of Da Yong, she wouldn’t dare talk about the moon, because she heard that’s essentially a confession.

Da Yong chuckles and calls her an idiot, but she points out that he’s the same. Then she reminds him that he has yet to formally apologize to her. He responds that he won’t apologize until she switches his image out for Qing Feng’s in her boss-hitting game. She says she would never. He teases her about Qing Feng and they both laugh.

Qing Feng hyperventilates as he drives back down the mountain, remembering Shan Shan.

The next morning, Xiao Ling looks up Qing Feng and Shan Shan’s names, hoping to learn more. She doesn’t find anything useful, but screams out loud, startling her coworkers, when she thinks she sees Shan Shan’s ghost again — it’s actually just Ting Ting.

Instead of joining the others for lunch, Xiao Ling spots an envelope labeled with Qing Feng’s name on it and steals it. Inside is a USB drive with a recording of the talk Qing Feng gave. Xiao Ling gets inspired and looks up “psychologist hallucination death Shan Shan.” She finds Shan Shan’s blog, which documents each of her meetings with Qing Feng and includes photos of the two of them. The last entry is from two years ago. Xiao Ling wonders why Qing Feng didn’t tell her that they dated.

Qing Feng tells Zhi Hao that he thinks Xiao Ling is getting worse. He shares how Xiao Ling saw Shan Shan when he was there. Her hallucinations are getting to the point where she has them even when he’s around, and he thinks that Xiao Ling must have looked him up and used elements of his life to color her hallucinations. He’s worried that she might put her own life in danger.

Xiao Ling goes to Qing Feng’s house to look for him, but is surprised to find Ding Yu and her father instead. Ding Yu reassures Xiao Ling that Da Yong clarified everything with his grandfather’s bedroom. Xiao Ling apologizes to Ding An Wei for causing trouble and asks for forgiveness. She tries to bow, but accidentally smacks her head on Ding Yu’s shoulder. Ding An Wei sighs. From the looks of her, she’s not capable of the power grab he feared.

Ding Yu tells Xiao Ling to not mind her father too much — that’s just the way he is. She apologizes to Xiao Ling on his behalf, then invites her over to her house to wait for Qing Feng.

Xiao Ling nervously folds origami while she waits for Ding Yu to bring tea. Ding Yu wants to learn Xiao Ling’s eight trigrams folding technique and offers to teach her how to fold a rose in exchange.

She goes to get some paper and Xiao Ling explores her a room a little. She suddenly hears voices outside and sees movement. She thinks it’s Shan Shan and rushes out to investigate, pushing past Ding Yu.

Outside, Xiao Ling thinks she sees a person in red and hears a voice, but when she looks, there’s no one there. Da Yong shows up behind her and asks what she’s doing. She teases him for hanging around Ding Yu’s house and suggests that he should go into her room himself if he’s so curious about her. Da Yong doesn’t want to, since he thinks it would be inappropriate for him to sneak into a girl’s room. Xiao Ling doesn’t count.

Ding Yu finds one of Xiao Ling’s folded stars on the ground in front of a framed photo of her, Da Yong, and Qing Feng. She remembers that day: she had said they should take a photo in front of this tree every year.

Then she thinks about last night, when her father had stopped her from going to meet up with Da Yong. He seemed to disapprove of her liking Da Yong — he said he couldn’t blame her if she did because they grew up together, but she should at least bring back some useful information for him.

Qing Feng rewatches a video of one of his appointments with Xiao Ling and thinks back to his meeting with Zhi Hao. He had grown defensive, thinking that Zhi Hao was judging him for what happened with Shan Shan, and had lashed out, saying that just because he failed once didn’t mean he would fail again. At least he felt responsibility toward his patients, unlike Zhi Hao and other psychologists who always had another patient lined up and were so willing to prescribe medication.

Zhi Hao had said that he wasn’t judging Qing Feng, then pointed out that Qing Feng had lost control. He asked Qing Feng to think about why he lost control, and reminded him that Xiao Ling isn’t Shan Shan. Qing Feng responded that he knew that and walked away.


Young Xiao Ling talks to her turtle and reminds him that they need to water the plant every day, or they won’t be able to go him, and that they can’t cry, even if they miss their mother. But then Xiao Ling sits down and cries. The ghost girl shows up to try to cheer Xiao Ling up. It turns out that she looks different than Xiao Ling, but is dressed in the same outfit that Xiao Ling wore when she went down to the river. Xiao Ling tells the girl to go away, blaming her for getting her in trouble at the river. When the girl doesn’t leave, Xiao Ling crawls into her wardrobe to hide.

Wei Bi Zhi looks for Xiao Ling and at first thinks she’s run away. Then she notices a bit of Xiao Ling’s shirt peeking out of the wardrobe. She finds Xiao Ling, pretending that the gods told her where she was. She tells Xiao Ling to get changed, water her plant, and come out in the next ten minutes, otherwise she’s taking her turtle away.

By the time Xiao Ling leaves her room, twelve minutes have passed. Bi Zhi’s son, Wen Sheng, tells Xiao Ling that it’s too late and her turtle is gone. But Xiao Ling glances at the ghost girl, who stands in a corner of the room and points at a cardboard box. Xiao Ling lifts up the box to reveal the turtle. When Wen Sheng asks how she knew, Xiao Ling says that someone told her, but the girl shakes her head and Xiao Ling adds that she can’t say who told her or where she is.


Commentary

Aha! So it seems like Xiao Ling’s mother may have had another daughter before and that’s why she was so sensitive about Xiao Ling playing by the river, but doesn’t explain why she would want to abandon her.

Here we have Another case of Qing Feng weirding me out. Having a group therapy session for coworkers, then encouraging one to ask out another? Even if it’s just pretend, still weird. He makes a lot of sketchy choices.

It’s nice to see Michael Huang play a bit of a goofy, eccentric character here after most recently seeing him in Amensalism, where he played more of a dangerous villain role.

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