Drama Recaps, Taiwanese Dramas

Recap: The Haunted Heart (Ep. 6)

Xiao Ling continues to struggle with self-acceptance, no thanks to Qing Feng. Shi Yi Shao does some of his own snooping around.


Recap

Shi Yi Shao gets woken up by an alarm in the morning. He tries to sleep in, but Da Yong tells him to get up. He usually works on the weekends, and even if he doesn’t, he needs to work out. Shi Yi Shao’s definition of work out is horseback riding, which Da Yong does not approve of. Shi Yi Shao rushes out to look for Xiao Ling and get her support.

But Da Yong tells Shi Yi Shao there’s no point in looking — Xiao Ling has gone out. She left a note saying she’s gone to take care of a personal matter, but what personal matters could she have?

Xiao Ling goes to the aquarium, one of the places where Shan Shan and Qing Feng went on a date. She thinks she sees Qing Feng and tries to follow him, but then he disappears. That’s because he noticed her and hid around a corner.

At night, Xiao Ling drinks by herself at a bar while scrolling through Shan Shan’s blog. Rong Zhi Hao happens to be at the seat next to her. They ask for another shot at the same time.

Xiao Ling starts drunkenly talking about “The Little Mermaid” and wondering if the prince is dumb. The mermaid drank the potion for him and couldn’t tell him she loved him, but does love have to be said out loud? Zhi Hao acknowledges that it doesn’t have to be.

“Then why couldn’t they get married?” Xiao Ling demands. The mermaid already became human, became normal. She downs her shot and asks for another.

She asks Zhi Hao another question. What if the mermaid became human but didn’t lose her voice and told the prince everything? Would they still be together? Zhi Hao says that they probably would, but what about their kid? Xiao Ling says she never said anything about a kid.

Zhi Hao smiles and tells Xiao Ling a version of the story where the mermaid tells the prince she loves him and they live happily ever after. Does that make her happy? Xiao Ling smiles, but then frowns and wonders why the mermaid wouldn’t tell the prince the truth. Zhi Hao suggests that maybe interspecies love is too dangerous.

Xiao Ling frowns. Zhi Hao says that sometimes the truth should be kept in the dark and a lie is what can heal. He heads out, but not before telling Xiao Ling that she has an interesting way of talking about things.

Xiao Ling continues to look troubled. Does that mean she and Qing Feng are different species?

Xiao Ling stumbles back to Da Yong’s house and struggles to unlock the door with her keycard. Da Yong frowns as he watches her. She continues to mumble about the darkness of truth and the healing in lies. Eventually the door opens for her and she stumbles inside. Da Yong watches her disapprovingly and criticizes her choices. She asked for time off just to go drinking alone? Does she realize how many bad guys are out at the bars? A girl like her.

Xiao Ling throws herself down on the couch and mutters that she’s not a girl — she’s a mermaid. Da Yong tells her to brew herself some hangover tea. She doesn’t respond so he crouches down and blows on her face. She sneezes a couple of times, then rolls onto the ground and fumbles with the teabag and teacup, asking Da Yong why the teacup keeps moving around.

Xiao Ling sits back and Da Yong sits down next to her, asking what’s wrong. She says that she’s sad. Normally, there should be a boy making the girl tea during a time like this. But he’s not a boy. He’s just a fragment.

Da Yong asks if she’s like this because of Qing Feng again. Xiao Ling shakes her head. She didn’t see Qing Feng today. She asks Da Yong if everyone has a secret that can’t be revealed: him, her, Shi Yi Shao, Qing Feng, Ding Yu. Then she shakes her head. Ding Yu is the exception. She’s a person with no secrets. She teases Da Yong again about Ding Yu and how he never won her over.

Da Yong points out that she’s also too scared to confess to Qing Feng. But Xiao Ling says that’s different. She’s not too scared, she just can’t. If she does, he’ll be sad. She says it’s a secret why, but then ends up revealing that it’s because of Shan Shan and that Shan Shan is his ex-girlfriend.

Da Yong tells her that no one loses IQ points while drunk — being drunk just reveals the truth, and her IQ must be no more than 20. But Xiao Ling falls asleep on the table, not listening. Da Yong sighs that everyone’s asleep, leaving him alone again during the most boring time of the night. He lays his own head down on the table and watches Xiao Ling sleep.

Shi Yi Shao isn’t actually sleeping. He sneaks out to the stables to try and go for a midnight ride. The horse in the barn suddenly gives him a flashback to his own death again — there was a horse there. He tries to hop over a pole to mount the horse, but then gets kicked by the horse and knocked out. His father finds him passed out in the barn and looks very confused.

Xiao Ling rushes to the hospital to find him the next morning, where Da Yong’s father tells him that the first thing he did after waking up was ask for her, saying there was work to be done. Da Yong’s father thinks that this incident was his own fault. The horse was new to the farm and didn’t know Da Yong yet, but he also didn’t think that Da Yong would try to ride the horse.

Da Yong appears, furious with Shi Yi Shao for sneaking off in the middle of the night to try and ride the horse. Shi Yi Shao tells his father and Ding Yu that they should go home and rest. He’ll be fine with Xiao Ling here to keep him company. Ding Yu frowns, but leaves with Da Yong’s father.

Once Shi Yi Shao thinks that everyone is gone, he complains to Xiao Ling how he can’t trust anyone at this hospital. Xiao Ling reminds him that this is Western medicine, not Chinese medicine. They banter and bicker, not realizing that Ding Yu has come back and is eavesdropping on them.

Shi Yi Shao drags Xiao Ling out of the hospital, wanting to get fried chicken. On their way out, Xiao Ling spots Qing Feng arriving. She turns too quickly to try and avoid him and ends up twisting her ankle and falling to the ground with a yell. Both Qing Feng and Shi Yi Shao rush to her.

Shi Yi Shao helps Xiao Ling up, but his mind is still on fried chicken. He starts to try and drag her off again, but Qing Feng points out that she seems hurt. Shi Yi Shao passes Xiao Ling off to Qing Feng, saying that he’ll go ahead and buy the chicken by himself.

Two elderly men suddenly grab Shi Yi Shao and ask him where the DNR form is. It must be signed within a week. They also ask where he was at the last board meeting. What happened to his promise? Shi Yi Shao has no idea what they’re talking about, but assumes they’re salesmen and takes a cue from a TV commercial, as usual. He claims that he doesn’t want to buy what they’re selling and has no money, then scurries off.

But on his way back to his hospital room, he sees a poster about DNR and suddenly remembers seeing a DNR form for Da Yong’s grandfather in Da Yong’s office desk. He stumbles in shock, then catches himself.

Qing Feng puts some ointment on a scrape on Xiao Ling’s knee, commenting that he’s returning the favor she did for him. He asks what’s on her mind. She admits that she’s thinking about Shan Shan, and that she found her blog and went to the aquarium. She says that she understands why Qing Feng didn’t tell her the truth.

Qing Feng asks her to explain what she thinks his reasoning is. She repeats what Zhi Hao told her about truth and lies and darkness and healing. Qing Feng says that he wanted to talk to her about this — not Shan Shan, but how her illness is getting worse. Xiao Ling looks upset. So he thinks that Shan Shan is just a hallucination to her?

Qing Feng wants to talk about her, not Shan Shan. She asks why he’s saying her illness is getting worse. He points to Da Yong’s second hospitalization and all his eccentric behavior as evidence. She needs to acknowledge reality. He thinks she should keep her distance from Da Yong and the Shi family and leave this all behind. He’ll help her find a new job.

Xiao Ling retorts that he’s the one who won’t acknowledge reality. He was the one who refused to tell her the truth about Shan Shan and is using that as an excuse to accuse her of being ill. Qing Feng is absolutely certain that Shan Shan is just a hallucination. She tells him to think about why she can see her.

Qing Feng looks away from her, then says that he hopes she’ll take his advice into consideration. Xiao Ling gets up and walks away without a word.

Later, Da Yong keeps her company in her room and copies her when she sighs. He asks what’s on her mind, but she starts copying him back. They both end up laughing.

Then Ding Yu shows up with some of Shi Yi Shao’s medication and notes on what he should be doing to recover. She also hands Xiao Ling some of the colorful bandages that are Da Yong’s lucky charm. Xiao Ling tries to hand it back, saying that she should just give it to him herself, but Ding Yu refuses.

Before she leaves, Xiao Ling blurts out a question, asking why she didn’t meet up with Da Yong under the tree that night. Da Yong gets annoyed with her — he never asked her to ask. Ding Yu looks surprised that Da Yong would tell her about their meeting. Xiao Ling tries to explain that there’s nothing going on between them, but Ding Yu says it’s none of her business anyway. The person she likes is Qing Feng. Then she leaves and Da Yong floats off behind her.

Da Yong follows Ding Yu as she returns home, remembering some fond memories of their days growing up together. This time, he follows her into her room. He notices a pencil drawing of the two of them under the flower tree and other tokens of his friendship with her around the room. He teleports next to Ding Yu, who cries, and starts to put his arm around her to comfort her, then pauses when he sees Xiao Ling’s origami stars in the trash. He remembers how Xiao Ling had been so happy about these tokens of her friendship with Ding Yu, and withdraws his arm.

Ding Yu gets a phone call. She picks up and then rushes off without saying anything. She finds her father, who watches disapprovingly as Shi Guang Yi smacks the ground angrily, demanding that his plants sprout. He’s tried everything, but nothing works. Two employees rush to him, but Ding An Wei tells them to leave him be. Then he mutters that Shi Guang Yi is useless. Da Yong watches it all with tears in his eyes.

Shi Yi Shao sneaks into Da Yong’s office at night to grab the DNR form. When he returns to Da Yong’s house, he notices an envelope on the table with a rose on the front. He links the rose to the two men at the hospital. He looks at what’s inside the envelope, then says that this must be Da Yong’s last wish. He knows that if he tells Da Yong now, Da Yong will be immediately resurrected. So naturally, he grabs a lighter and lights the papers on fire.

Shi Yi Shao brushes his teeth, does some pushups, then sneaks into Xiao Ling’s room and tries to sneak up on her with a kiss while she’s sleeping.

She wakes up in time to see him incoming and shoves him away. He tries to grab her again, but Xiao Ling manages to fend him off with the help of Da Yong yelling at him.

Shi Yi Shao, with a red slap mark across his cheek, tells them about his own life and death. He and his beloved were in a star-crossed romance that her parents disapproved of. They decided to elope, but were chased to the edge of a cliff. There, they exchanged Tongxin knots, prepared to die together, but the men chasing them shot him with a poisoned arrow and dragged her away.

He cries as he tells this story and Xiao Ling sympathetically pats him on the shoulder. Shi Yi Shao claims he was sleepwalking and that’s why he tried to kiss her. Da Yong calls Xiao Ling naive. When has Shi Yi Shao ever sleepwalked? He demands Shi Yi Shao tell the truth.

Shi Yi Shao admits that the truth is Xiao Ling looks a lot like the woman he was in love with. As he says that, he leans in toward her again. She quickly jumps away and puts distance between them, asking if he wants to get slapped again.

Shi Yi Shao spots a scrap of paper on the rug and jumps up to stand on it. Da Yong warns him that he’s to keep a 10 meter distance between him and Xiao Ling from now on. Once everyone is gone, Shi Yi Shao picks up the scrap of paper and pockets it.

Xiao Ling and Da Yong both find it unlikely that she actually looks like Shi Yi Shao’s former lover. Da Yong suggests that he’s just lonely and wants to make use of his new body. Xiao Ling shields herself, concerned that Shi Yi Shao might try something again at night, but Da Yong looks her up and down and comments that even if Shi Yi Shao wants to, the body is still Da Yong’s, and Da Yong has to agree before he does anything.

Xiao Ling spots Ting Ting coming toward her in the hallway and quickly pretends she’s not talking to herself. Ting Ting begs Xiao Ling to give Qing Feng an envelope for her, then runs off before Xiao Ling can say no.

Outside, Xiao Ling hands Qing Feng the envelope, looking awkward. She mentions that she did give Qing Feng’s advice some thought, but what if she doesn’t become a normal person even after leaving Da Yong?

Qing Feng asks what “normal” really means. The definition of “normal” is always changing — what’s important is that Xiao Ling find a way in which she can accept and interact with the world around her. He accepts that she sees hallucinations, but says that she can just choose to ignore them and live her life.

But Xiao Ling just echoes what Da Yong once said to her. If she denies something that she’s seen with her own eyes, then is she even really living?

Qing Feng claims that no one is trying to make her deny anything. He’s telling her to leave for her own good. She can start by quitting her job, but continuing to stay at Da Yong’s house. That’s fine, too.

Xiao Ling responds that Qing Feng still views her as a problem. Qing Feng tries to respond, but Ah De honks her horn and taps on her watch. Xiao Ling tells him that he should go. She needs to get back to work and she doesn’t want to resign. She runs back into the office building.

Xiao Ling is distracted as she tests Da Yong’s brainwave game while he watches. Shan Shan’s words echo in her head and she loses focus. Suddenly, Da Yong starts hearing a high-pitched beeping. He runs through some test suites. The first few pass, but then the program starts glitching and the room echoes with an endless loop of Shan Shan’s distorted voice repeating, “You’re just my replacement. You’re just another Shan Shan.”

Da Yong tries to exit the game, but can’t. He grows frustrated. The screen switches back to the game, where Xiao Ling flies backward and gets knocked unconscious. Eventually, she wakes up back in the real world.

Da Yong tells her that this version of the game has too many bugs so he’s sending it back, but he also asks why she’s so out of it today. Did Qing Feng say something to her? Xiao Ling shakes her head and says that Qing Feng didn’t say anything, but she continues to look troubled.

Shi Yi Shao is offended that Da Yong and Xiao Ling left him behind, but gets up to adventures all on his own. He pulls out the scrap of paper he hid and tries calling a phone number on it. He hangs up when he reaches a hospital. Then he goes out to the supermarket, where he starts kissing all the different fruit available.

Shi Yi Shao goes to the hospital where Shi Tian Yu, Da Yong’s grandfather, is staying. The nurse on the intercom won’t let him in, saying that Da Yong’s name isn’t on the list, but a different nurse lets him in after recognizing him from a photo clutched in Tian Yu’s hand. She tells Shi Yi Shao that his grandfather’s condition isn’t great.

An angel (with Da Yong’s face) and a devil (with Shi Yi Shao’s face) hover over Shi Yi Shao’s shoulder, arguing about what to do. The angel thinks Shi Yi Shao should kiss Xiao Ling — apparently one of his obsessions is getting his first kiss — and then tell Da Yong about his last wish as soon as possible. The devil is worried that Da Yong won’t actually help him after he’s resurrected.

Shi Yi Shao tells Shi Tian Yu that he can’t blame him — he’s wandered for 200 years and Tian Yu is still young. He has time. If he does have some obsessions, he has plenty of opportunities later. Shi Yi Shao takes a photo of Da Yong’s grandfather with his phone, then leaves.

Xiao Ling still looks out of it as she walks her bike back up the mountain to the Shi family estate. Da Yong asks again what’s gotten into her. She asks him if he’s ever thought about whether he’s actually just a hallucination of hers. He responds that if he’s a hallucination, then the whole world is a waste of time (what he literally says is that the world “is a fart”). Xiao Ling farts, then says that farting in front of a hallucination is like nothing at all.

Da Yong tells Xiao Ling that she should keep her distance from Qing Feng, noticing that he’s the common denominator in all her moods, but Xiao Ling mutters that this time, it’s not about Qing Feng — it’s about Shan Shan.

Da Yong asks Xiao Ling what she knows about Shan Shan. Xiao Ling refuses to tell him, but he reveals that he knows about Shan Shan. At least, he knows that Shan Shan is the reason Qing Feng rejected Ding Yu. Xiao Ling asks if he knows that Shan Shan is dead. He responds that he just found out, then warns Xiao Ling again to keep her distance from Qing Feng. It’s one thing if a person makes a mistake once, but the second or third time? It’s not just chance anymore.

While Xiao Ling showers, Da Yong notices Shan Shan’s ghost flitting through the house. He tries to follow her and ends up outside the shower while Xiao Ling is in it. She senses someone nearby. He quickly teleports away.

He continues to try to catch Shan Shan, then finds a screen glitching as Shan Shan’s voice distorted voice repeats her usual phrase.

Qing Feng flips through Shan Shan’s medical file and looks a photo of the two of them, thinking about Xiao Ling’s earlier accusation at the hospital.

Da Yong floats down a hallway and is drawn to a door that has been left ajar. Inside sits a woman in a wheelchair, facing away from him. He asks who she is. A voice in his head responds that she’s Xiao Ling, but Da Yong guesses that she’s actually Shan Shan. She recognizes him as Da Yong. He asks how she knows. She responds, “There’s a part of me in you, and a part of you in me.”

Da Yong asks why Shan Shan keeps bothering Xiao Ling. She says that if he comes closer, she’ll tell him. He approaches her side. She turns toward him, then jumps at him, screaming, “Tell her to go die!”

Xiao Ling wakes up in the morning to a phone call from Qing Feng, who says that he’s outside. When she opens the front door, he tells her that if it’s the truth she wants to know, he’ll tell her everything.

Qing Feng takes Xiao Ling to a long-term care facility and into a room — the same room that Da Yong floated into. Inside, Shan Shan sits in a wheelchair. Her mouth curves into a tight smile when Qing Feng crouches down in front of her.

Qing Feng turns to Xiao Ling and tells her that this is Shan Shan. Xiao Ling is stunned. Shan Shan is still alive?


Wen Sheng takes a young Xiao Ling to go look for his mother at the temple. Ah Xiang tells him that Bi Zhi went to a different temple. Xiao Ling wanders off on her own to play with the ghost girl. Ah Xiang watches thoughtfully as Wen Sheng points out how Xiao Ling appears to be playing with an invisible friend.

Later, Xiao Ling feeds her turtle, Ah Ji, and runs out of food. She pesters Wen Sheng that Ah Ji’s food has run out, but the boy ignores her. She puts her turtle on his chest. He opens his eyes and throws the turtle to the ground. Xiao Ling cries that he’s killed Ah Ji. Wen Sheng picks up the turtle and claims that he didn’t kill it. He puts the turtle shell high on a door ledge that Xiao Ling can’t reach and tells her that the turtle needs to rest. Xiao Ling keeps crying that Wen Sheng killed her turtle. Wen Sheng roughly presses her down into a seat and tells her to behave and be quiet. He’ll go get some ice cream for her.

At night, Xiao Ling talks to her turtle, who now seems alive and well and is crawling on her bed. She tells her turtle that she misses her mother. The ghost girl appears and picks up the turtle, calling it Ah Xiang. Her mother told her that now that she was 8, she needed to learn how to sleep alone.

Xiao Ling tells the girl that the turtle’s name is Ah Ji, not Ah Xiang. He’s her turtle. She asks the girl why she’s always wearing those clothes. The girl responds that the clothes are her favorite and her mom bought them for her. Xiao Ling doesn’t want the girl to mention her own mother again.

The girl offers to play tic-tac-toe with Xiao Ling and draws on the wardrobe. With the ghost’s company, Xiao Ling doesn’t seem so lonely anymore.


Commentary

So the turtle is dead! That’s how it was able to scramble home! Or maybe the turtle she was playing with by the river was the ghost turtle and the turtle she woke up to at home is the live turtle? Or has the turtle just been an empty shell this whole time?

Qing Feng is really not doing himself any favors in my book. All he does is contradict himself and pretend that he’s doing things for Xiao Ling’s good when really, he’s just trying to make himself feel more comfortable. He tells Xiao Ling to ignore her hallucinations, then claims that he’s not trying to make her deny them. Is he even listening to himself?

Xiao Ling’s childhood memories with a ghost who seems to be a deceased sister she never knew makes Qing Feng’s insistence that she has hallucinations all the more painful. Her so-called hallucinations are the people who helped her get through her childhood and actually live life a little. To deny them is to deny her own life and her own existence.

It definitely seems like there’s some sort of internal conflict in the Shi family and Ding Yu’s father has made his allegiances clear: Shi Guang Yi and his side of the family are not to be the winners.

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