Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: Love and Redemption (Ep. 48)

Xuan Ji wakes up to find that a lot has changed and finally faces most of the uncomfortable truths that everyone has been trying to hide from her. It’s a lot of heartbreak for her, but also a bit of a relief for anyone wondering for how long all the misunderstandings will pile up.


Recap

Yi Huan guesses more of Si Feng’s self-sacrificing plan. He’s afraid that he won’t be able to hold in the power of Juntian Cehai and is worried that someone will use it to free Mosha Star’s heart soul, so that’s why he’s trying to stay as far away as from Xuan Ji as possible. In that case, it’s a good thing Yi Huan has held onto the forgetting pill. He hands it to Si Feng, saying he might as well forget everything and start over.

Xuan Ji wakes up shouting, “No!” Teng She and Ling Long rush to her side.

Xuan Ji is confused by where she is. The last thing she remembered, she was trying to destroy the heart soul. Ling Long tells her that she fainted and that their father re-sealed the lamp. Xuan Ji frowns. Why does she remember seeing Si Feng? Ling Long says that she probably is confusing reality with her dreams. She looks to Teng She for backup. Teng She looks around awkwardly, then tells Xuan Ji that she should know what she saw.

Xuan Ji clutches her head and says that maybe she did remember wrong. Ling Long tells Xuan Ji that if they knew destroying the lamp would cost Xuan Ji her life, they never would have let her do it. Teng She agrees, saying that Hao Chen must have gotten it wrong. Xuan Ji frowns — he was wrong?

With the Tianxu demons scattered and Si Feng and the Lize Palace disciples off to who knows where, Wu Zhi Qi and Zi Hu have Lize Palace all to themselves. Wu Zhi Qi drinks his way through the Lize Palace cellars and tells Zi Hu that he thinks Si Feng is quite strange. Why does he insist on putting all these difficult burdens on himself? Who cares about others’ feelings? Zi Hu frowns slightly and says that of course Wu Zhi Qi wouldn’t understand. To him, the most important thing about being a demon is freedom. But for other demons, there’s something more important than that. What’s wrong with making life difficult for yourself if you’re doing it willingly? She takes Wu Zhi Qi’s hand and they look at each other for a long moment, then Wu Zhi Qi gets uncomfortable and pulls his hand away. He runs off to go find some food to eat.

Teng She blocks Xuan Ji at the entrance to the secret place, hoping she’s not trying to destroy the heart soul again. Xuan Ji frowns, still troubled that she hasn’t accomplished Hao Chen’s dying request. For some reason, the thought of destroying the lamp makes her heart hurt. She also thinks she saw an image of Mosha Star’s heart soul being removed. It’s hazy, but she remembers feeling the pain he felt when his heart was removed.

Teng She frowns at that and looks away, then suggests that maybe she has some sort of connection with Mosha Star. Xuan Ji thinks it might be because she was the one to seal Mosha Star’s heart soul in the lamp, but she also thinks that she’s not determined enough and that’s why she failed to complete Hao Chen’s request. Maybe she should try again.

Teng She rushes to block her way, emphasizing that she will die if she tries. Xuan Ji tries to rationalize it — if she dies destroying the heart soul and protecting the world, that’s just her fate. Besides, she doesn’t want Si Feng to become the devil leader. Teng She reminds her that she never cared about fate before. Who said that Si Feng would necessarily become the devil’s leader? Who said that she has to die to protect the world?

Just because Hao Chen died doesn’t mean he’s right about everything. Even if Mosha Star’s heart soul is released, just because it’s reunited with its body doesn’t mean Mosha Star will destroy the worlds.

Xuan Ji is suddenly suspicious. Does he know something? Teng She says all he knows is that people were only guessing that Mosha Star would destroy the world. No one knows what he will do — not even the heavenly emperor himself. Mosha Star didn’t even do anything yet, so why was he deemed wicked beyond redemption? And why is she trying to sacrifice her own life for something that hasn’t even happened? Hao Chen is trying to make her take so many measures to prevent something that hasn’t happened yet, when in the end, maybe it will never happen at all.

Xuan Ji responds that Hao Chen always said Mosha Star would definitely bring about the end of the world if he comes back to life. Teng She hisses. Hao Chen was just taking advantage of her trust in him to make her do what he thought was right. Teng She exasperatedly tells her that the Liuli lamp has been sealed again and is in no danger anymore.

But Xuan Ji is skeptical that her father is powerful enough to seal the Liuli lamp. Teng She looks away. Xuan Ji decides that she needs to go see for herself so she can be at ease.

Teng She lets her go with a sigh. Why hide it from her? She deserves to know the truth.

Xuan Ji stares at the garuda feathers sealing the lamp. How could this be? Teng She tells her that she almost died with the lamp so Si Feng sealed it with his own feathers. He was severely injured and everyone thought it was better she didn’t know, including Si Feng himself.

Xuan Ji realizes that what she saw wasn’t just a dream. But why would he do this? Isn’t he Mosha Star? Doesn’t he want to open the lamp? Xuan Ji remembers what he said to her when she stabbed him. But he also killed Heng Yang and Hao Chen and wounded Ying Hong. Teng She points out that no one has ever actually seen him hurt anyone. He admits that Si Feng isn’t actually Mosha Star. Teng She explains that Si Feng only pretended to be in order to get rid of Yuan Lang, because the biggest danger to everyone wasn’t Mosha Star, but Yuan Lang. Nothing Si Feng has ever done has seemed like something Mosha Star would do. Teng She thinks that Xuan Ji needs to clear things up with Si Feng herself.

She turns to go to Lize Palace, but runs into her father. He tells her that there’s no point in going to Lize Palace — it’s nothing but an empty palace. All of its protections have been taken down and no one knows where the garuda have gone.

Min Xing shows up and reports to Chu Lei that they’ve found evidence of Wu Tong near Buzhou Mountain. Chu Lei tells him to investigate it thoroughly but to not let Ling Long know. But it’s too late — Ling Long has already left, saying that she’s going to personally kill Wu Tong.

Xuan Ji rushes off to go retrieve Ling Long.

Ling Long has already made it into Buzhou Mountain, thanks to a black-and-white ring that Wu Tong left with her. Wu Tong has been busy absorbing the cores of all the demons he can find. Ling Long attacks him, but he easily disarms her and takes her captive with a smirk. He’s been waiting for her. He purposely wandered around outside Buzhou Mountain, knowing that she would come. He gloats, saying that Min Yan must have died. Ling Long hisses that Min Yan will never die — only Wu Tong will die.

Wu Tong half-taunts her, half-deludes himself into thinking that he’s the only one in her heart. They lived so well together before, when she doted on him. He cackles that today he will put the red veil on her and complete their marriage ceremony.

Ling Long starts to laugh, saying that today is the day he dies. She reveals a lightning spell that she hid under her foot. He says that a little bit of lightning isn’t enough to hurt him, but she keeps smiling. A normal lightning spell isn’t enough to hurt him, but what if she sacrifices herself to draw heavenly lightning? Neither of them are powerful enough to withstand heavenly lightning. She starts cackling that he will die.

The rocks start crumbling around them. She breaks free and lassos him so that he can’t go anywhere. They hear thunder. But Wu Tong smirks. He’s fine with this, too. If he can’t live with her, then he’ll be content dying with her.

Shenshu and Yulu, the guardian gods, see the heavenly lightning and wonder what’s going on. They suddenly see someone enter Buzhou Mountain and leap down to investigate, but are pushed back by Teng She, whom they greet with respect. Teng She smirks at them and says it’s time that they played a game together.

Xuan Ji arrives at Tianxu Hall to find it crumbling. She finds Ling Long on the ground, seemingly stunned. Xuan Ji pulls Ling Long out then wraps her in a hug, asking why she did this. Was she really just going to abandon their father, her, and Min Yan? But Ling Long just sheds a single tear and emotionlessly says that Min Yan probably won’t ever wake up. They said that they would live and die together — this is just another way to meet the same end.

The mention of living and dying together suddenly reminds Xuan Ji of how adamant she had been about saving Si Feng the first time he nearly died, and how she said that she would die with him. “What am I doing?” she whispers to herself now.

Wu Tong, of course, does not die very easily, and he clambers up from wherever he had fallen. Xuan Ji immediately pushes Ling Long behind her and shields her with her body. Xuan Ji declares that they should settle their debts today. She demands to know where Tianxu Hall and Lize Palace’s demons are. Wu Tong responds that Tianxu Hall was disbanded by Si Feng after he ruined Yuan Lang’s plans of ruling the worlds. Shouldn’t she know all this? He says that Xuan Ji truly is powerful, getting Si Feng to pretend to be Mosha Star.

Xuan Ji realizes that what Wu Tong is saying is also what Teng She had guessed. Did Si Feng really do all of this just because of Yuan Lang? She asks Wu Tong where Si Feng is, but he doesn’t know. He’s surprised that she doesn’t know. Si Feng didn’t go looking for her? He suddenly looks hopeful. Did Si Feng die trying to end Yuan Lang? He smirks at the thought, then smiles as Xuan Ji takes a step back. Wu Tong says that maybe life isn’t worth living anymore if you lose the person you love.

Ling Long glares and charges Wu Tong, determined to kill him today. Xuan Ji is blocked from following by a bolt of lightning that strikes at her feet.

Ling Long and Wu Tong spar, but Ling Long isn’t even able to touch Wu Tong, until at one point she manages to stab him through his fake hand. But because his hand is fake, he uses it to disarm her instead. Before anything can happen, lightning strikes between them and they’re both knocked to the ground.

The commotion draws the attention of Teng She and the guardian gods. The gods try to go investigate, but Teng She pulls them back, then generously tells them that he’ll pretend he didn’t see anything today, since the guardian gods would be in so much trouble if anyone learned that they let two humans into Buzhou Mountain because they had let themselves be distracted.

Ling Long manages to stab Wu Tong as they both climb to their feet, her eyes full of hate. He only smiles, though. He’s realized that what he wants isn’t for the sects to be destroyed. All he wanted — all he’s ever wanted — was for Ling Long’s attention to be on him. He pulls in the sword in deeper so he can grab her and flies her out of Buzhou Mountain.

Shenshu and Yulu tell Teng She that the doors to Fenru City are about to open. If the humans stay any longer, they may be sucked into Fenru City and trapped there.

Ling Long tells Wu Tong to let her go as they both get sucked in toward Fenru City, but Wu Tong refuses to relinquish his hold on her. He manages to stop them right at the door to Fenru City and tells Ling Long that he realized that he lived a meaningless life wanting revenge. In the end, the only thing he wants is Ling Long. Ling Long continues to struggle.

Wu Tong smiles as he sees Xuan Ji flying toward them. Then he pushes Ling Long away from him, toward Xuan Ji, and lets himself get sucked into Fenru City. Xuan Ji catches Ling Long and pushes her up toward Teng She, then smiles as she gets pulled into Fenru City as well.

Xuan Ji falls into a body of water. It suddenly reminds her of being in Fenru City before. The spirits had been lined up, prepared to drink the Soup of Forgetfulness before entering the mortal realm. Most of them weeped. Someone asked why she wasn’t crying. Was there nothing she felt nostalgic for? She had responded saying that there’s nothing worth remembering. It’s nothing but a meaningless life. A familiar voice said that she should forget it. Maybe it’s better to forget. She turned — it was Si Feng.

Xuan Ji realizes that she’s in Wangchuan, the River of Forgetfulness. Suddenly, she sees all her past lives with Si Feng. She remembers all of his deaths and all of his parting words to her — that he would always give her his everything. She realizes that she was the one to hurt him in every one of their nine past lives. She had told him in this one that things would be different, yet she failed him once again. She refuses to let herself drown here. She must go find Si Feng.

But then she remembers one last memory of herself in the heavenly realm. She had been asked if she insisted on opposing the heavenly realm. She had responded that she needed to get revenge for what they had done to her. For that, the Heavenly Beasts united to strike her with lightning. But later, a garuda had flown in — Si Feng — and told her that he would take her to Fenru City, where she could enter the mortal realm and the heavenly realm wouldn’t be able to hurt her anymore. But Bai Lin had said no and struck Si Feng.

She remembers falling out of the sky in a storm and Si Feng following her. He said he would go with her and use his own life to neutralize her evil energy and make up for all the wrongs the heavenly realm has committed against her.

Teng She pulls Xuan Ji out of the water. She turns desperately back toward it, but he stops her from going back in.

Xuan Ji remembers more. When she was holding the Yingyuan flower, she had been talking to a garuda and asked him when he thought she would be able to stop fighting. It was the garuda who had transformed her warrior’s armor into a beautiful dress. When she returned to the heavenly realm, furious and wanting to destroy it, it was Si Feng who stayed her hand.

Xuan Ji realizes that he was always there. Even in the heavenly realm, he had been secretly by her side. She starts crying as she realizes that she was the one who dragged him into also being punished for ten lifetimes. And not only did she do that, she also forgot everything and hurt him over and over again.

Xuan Ji tells Teng She that she saw everything — how Bai Lin erased her memories so that she wouldn’t even be able to find them in the mirror. Why did he do that? Teng She tries to tell her that the heavenly realm has its reasons, but she shakes him off. She’s nothing but an object that they’re playing with.

Teng She asks if she remembered anything else. Xuan Ji collapses to the ground. She saw Si Feng and how even when the rest of the world betrayed her, he stayed by her side, helping her and protecting her. Someone like him would never betray her. She was wrong. Has she been wrong this whole time?

Teng She has never been good with tears, so he decides to change the subject and mention how he ran into Ting Nu at Shaoyang. Si Feng sent him to help save Min Yan’s life.

Xuan Ji leaps to her feet. So that means Ting Nu knows where Si Feng is, right? Why didn’t he say anything earlier? She runs off.

Ling Long frets while Ting Nu heals Min Yan. Min Yan wakes up and Ling Long rushes to him, weeping. She knew he wouldn’t leave her. Even if he didn’t want her anymore, she would search the world to find him. He weakly responds that he can’t go anywhere when he hasn’t even completed his wedding yet. She hugs him.

Ling Long tells Min Yan that she went to Buzhou Mountain to make Wu Tong pay, and that he’s now dead. Their nightmares are over. She tells him that she won’t be foolish anymore. The past is in the past.

Xuan Ji returns and is relieved to see that Min Yan is well. Chu Lei gently chides his children for always making him worry. From now on, they better not go anywhere.

He turns to Ting Nu and thanks him for helping yet again. Ting Nu says that there’s no need to thank him. He came on behalf of a friend. Xuan Ji asks if he’s talking about Si Feng. He nods and says that in addition to saving Min Yan, Si Feng asked two other things of him. He turns to Chu Lei and informs him that Tianxu Hall has been disbanded. Si Feng has no control over the other demons, but he promises that the garuda will not get involved in any conflicts with humans.

The second thing was a pill that Ting Nu now gives to Ying Hong. It will help repair her meridians so that she can practice magic again. With that, Ting Nu takes his leave and disappears.

Xuan Ji asks Ying Hong if she remembers who attacked her. Ying Hong says that she doesn’t remember who it was, only that it was someone from Lize Palace and that Si Feng was the only person from Lize Palace who was there. But Min Yan says that Ruo Yu was also there. He tells him that Si Feng was telling the truth when he claimed to be at the secret place because he was following Ruo Yu, then mentions how Ruo Yu admitted everything the night of the wedding.

Ling Long says that Wu Tong was right then, when he said that Si Feng was only pretending to be Mosha Star in order to ruin Yuan Lang’s plans. Xuan Ji cries that she should’ve trusted Si Feng and listened to what he was saying instead of relying only on what she saw. She runs out, trying to chase after Ting Nu.

Ting Nu asks Yi Huan why he won’t tell the truth about Si Feng and Hao Chen as Yi Huan pushes him through the forest outside Shaoyang. Yi Huan exasperatedly responds that he saw exactly what happened that day and look what happened to Si Feng. No one will believe him if he says anything. But Xuan Ji has found them and overhears Yi Huan talking about how Hao Chen knew he had been injured by Yuan Lang but decided to frame Si Feng anyway. Yi Huan has seen clearly that Shaoyang just has it out for Si Feng.

Xuan Ji finally reveals herself and asks Yi Huan if what he said is true. Yi Huan sarcastically responds that she should be happy now that she knows Si Feng has been so wronged. Xuan Ji asks why Hao Chen would lie, but Yi Huan doesn’t know. Knowing Hao Chen’s prejudice toward demons, he probably thought that the more demons who died, the better. He tells Ting Nu that it’s time to go. He doesn’t want to be in a crappy place like Shaoyang any longer than necessary.

Xuan Ji asks where Si Feng is. Yi Huan tells her that Lize Palace is empty and that the garuda are leaving the human world. He’s not going to tell Xuan Ji where Si Feng is. The lovers’ curse has already struck Si Feng twice. A third time and he’s dead. It’s best if they never see each other again.

Xuan Ji stops them before they can leave. What lovers’ curse? Why doesn’t she know about it?

Yi Huan doesn’t want to tell Xuan Ji, but Ting Nu says that he should. Even if they never see each other again, Xuan Ji deserves to know why.

Yi Huan tells Xuan Ji everything: how Si Feng was forced to endure the thirteen tribulations for a year and that donning the mask was the only way he was allowed his freedom. How he should’ve kept his distance from Xuan Ji, but Xuan Ji insisted on entering his life. Xuan Ji might have been able to remove his mask because she was the God of War, but she couldn’t lift his curse.

Xuan Ji weeps as she flies toward Lize Palace. Teng She catches her and helps her land safely at Lize Palace, lecturing her for almost drowning herself in the ocean.

Xuan Ji continues to weep over how Si Feng did everything for her, yet she didn’t even listen to a word he said. Teng She tries to say that it’s not her fault she didn’t know, but Xuan Ji isn’t listening. She realizes that Si Feng always knew exactly what she needed, but she never even thought about him or what he was feeling. He was right when he said that she had no heart. And now he’s really gone.


Commentary

I’m glad that we’ve finally seen the origins of Xuan Ji and Si Feng’s ill-fated romance and it’s every bit as beautiful and tragic as I thought it would be. Ting Nu basically told us from the start when he mentioned to Xuan Ji that the most beautiful scene he ever saw was the God of War talking to a garuda by the Heavenly Lake.

I’m sad that Hao Chen is even worse than I thought — making Xuan Ji think her brief memories of happiness in the heavenly realm were all because of him? — but he made enough bad choices that he was already on my shame list. He claimed that his relationship with her was deeper and longer than Si Feng’s, but was it really? If anything, his one excuse for acting this way is that he really is jealous of Si Feng, because he actually does love Xuan Ji. But he won’t actually acknowledge that he loves her or even recognize that feelings are real, so that’s no excuse at all.

I don’t know if we’re supposed to feel like Wu Tong redeemed himself by saving Ling Long at the end, because I certainly did not feel any sort of redemption for him. If anything, he just proved that at least he has a heart, even if it’s a very cold, disgusting, delusional one.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s