This episode is all about our characters figuring out their own personal issues, and it’s so rewarding to see! Da Quan faces his decades-old guilt, Tian Lin and Zhi Sheng make decisions on how to balance their personal and professional lives, and Zi Tong gets to hash out some misunderstandings from the past.
Da Quan confronts Zhao Feng Liang, asking if he had anything to do with Fang Xiang Tai’s death. He knows that Feng Liang took Mingtong Group’s money — he must have reached out to Xiang Tai about his research.
Feng Liang shakes Da Quan off. Xiang Tai is already dead and the police already said it was an accident — why is Da Quan trying to make things difficult for him? He tries to threaten Da Quan in response. If Da Quan insists on reporting him as a suspect to the police, he’ll tell them that Da Quan was the one gave the order. He knows that Da Quan also went to see Xiang Tai that day and can provide evidence to frame Da Quan. Feng Liang reminds Da Quan that he has family to think about — they both know how the media will treat the family of a murderer.
In the present, Da Quan tells Zi Tong that all he wanted to do was protect them. She asks what he means by that, but Da Quan is done talking. He walks away, saying that she needs to stop pressuring him.
Tian Lin tells Zhi Sheng that if they can find whoever threatened Da Quan, then they’ll be able to find the culprit. Zhi Sheng sends him a photo of the lighter he found when he was younger.
Zi Tong continues to do her weighted exercises at the dojang while the other athletes spar. Cai Feng takes a moment away from the other students to supervise Zi Tong, which doesn’t escape Qian Ni’s notice.
One of Fang Qing’s coworkers catches her signing off on a message from Tian Lin and teases her about inviting him over. Does that mean she’s decided to accept him? Fang Qing says she’s still considering it. Her friend points out that it seems like fate they’ve met again. She makes Fang Qing close her eyes and leads her in a visualization exercise to help her make a decision. She tells her to imagine waking up by his side, eating breakfast with him in the morning, holding hands and walking together when they grow old. If she can visualize it, then that means she has feelings for him.
Fang Qing still seems a bit concerned by the age difference, but her friend tells her all the reasons why it’s a good thing: it’s a testament to her attractiveness and women live longer than men anyway, so it just means they’ll have more time together. Her friend tells her that she won’t know until she tries, and if she doesn’t try, then she’ll only have regrets.
Qian Ni tries to get a reaction out of Zi Tong when they’re alone. First, she offers to spar with Zi Tong, but Zi Tong does her exercises and does her best to ignore Qian Ni, saying that their coach hasn’t permitted her to spar yet. Qian Ni responds that Zi Tong was never that obedient anyway, then taunts her, asking if she really thinks Cai Feng will let her spar again. Zi Tong ignores her and continues doing her exercises.
Qian Ni accuses Zi Tong of being too scared to accept the challenge and fight and tells her to keep hiding behind her boyfriend’s back. He seems to have more than enough money to give to her. That elicits a response out of Zi Tong. She doesn’t care what Qian Ni says about her, but she won’t let her badmouth Zhi Sheng.
Qian Ni keeps trying to get Zi Tong to fight and starts attacking. Zi Tong defends herself but doesn’t retaliate at first, but Qian Ni doesn’t let up so Zi Tong grabs her by the collar. The two struggle for a moment until two of Qian Ni’s friends separate them, warning them that their coach is coming.
Tian Lin seems distracted and lost in thought while he and Fang Qing grocery shop in preparation for dinner. Fang Qing asks what’s on his mind and eventually he relents and asks a question “for a friend”: a journalist’s duty is to report the truth, but what if that truth might hurt people his friend cares about? Should he still pursue it?
Fang Qing says yes without hesitation. Even if he doesn’t report on the truth, someone else will. At least if he is the one to do it, he can try to minimize the damage. Other reporters can be cruel.
She tells Tian Lin that last time, when the student’s mother was causing trouble, it was the reminder that Xin Yan was watching that made her lift her head and refuse to back down. He should ask his “friend” if he wants to be a hero in front of his kid.
Fang Qing invites Tian Lin in when he drops her off at home, but he says he needs to get back to Xin Yan. He offers to reschedule and eat together another time. She agrees a little too eagerly.
Tian Lin smiles and says that Xin Yan likes her a lot. Fang Qing responds that she likes Xin Yan a lot, too. “And what about Xin Yan’s dad?” Tian Lin asks.
Fang Qing turns away. Tian Lin calls her out for trying to run away again. She turns back sheepishly and asks for some more time. He nods. Fang Qing takes the grocery bags from him and turns to go inside, but he grabs onto her elbow. She looks back questioningly. He says that he just want to look at her one more time so he can remember this image forever. Silently, he vows to prove that his father didn’t cause her brother’s death. Then, he can look at her forever.
Zhi Sheng and Yu Qian meet with a representative from Mingtong Group — You Ren Jia. Zhi Sheng asks where Lawyer Zhao is and notices that Ren Jia seems uneasy. He reassures Ren Jia that whatever he says within this meeting room is confidential. Ren Jia tells him about the conversation he overheard between Zhao and Zhao Feng Liang. Zhao had offered Feng Liang NT$150,000 to make Tian Lin stop investigating Mingtong. Feng Liang asked for NT$500,000. Zhao agreed after Feng Liang revealed his knowledge of the corporate politics within the company — he knew that the Mingtong board of directors election was coming up and that Zhao wouldn’t want his corporate backer, the Huang family, to lose out to a rival.
Zhi Sheng thanks Ren Jia for sharing this information with them. Ren Jia says that he doesn’t want anything to happen to the company because his friend works here. He knows she really needs the money. When Ren Jia says that his friend is Zi Tong and he was hoping to see her here, Zhi Sheng immediately goes on the defensive. He tells Ren Jia that Zi Tong resigned and is never coming back.
After Ren Jia leaves, Zhi Sheng asks Yu Qian for help looking into Mingtong, specifically who Lawyer Zhao is close to. Yu Qian points out that investigating Mingtong is a very large task — there are four main families in power at the corporation. Zhi Sheng thinks that the Huang family might be a good place to start. He believes they’re close to the truth.
Zi Tong sees Qian Ni being harassed by two men about repaying a debt they’re owed. They start to get physical with Qian Ni, so Zi Tong rushes in and knocks them both out with solid kicks, then grabs Qian Ni by the arm and pulls her away.
Qian Ni throws her off once they’re a safe distance away. Zi Tong asks if her family still hasn’t repaid the money they borrowed. Qian Ni says it’s none of her business and starts to leave, but Zi Tong grabs her arm, stopping her. She suggests that Qian Ni should tell Ke Ting Wei about her problems. Qian Ni retorts that she’s not as shameless as Zi Tong. She doesn’t need to rely on someone else for money — she can earn it on her own. Zi Tong responds that there’s no shame when it comes to chasing her dreams. Rejecting help isn’t strength; it’s just being too proud.
Zi Tong trusts that Ke Ting Wei will help her if she asks. Qian Ni repeats that it’s none of Zi Tong’s business. Zi Tong claims she just doesn’t want Qian Ni to be distracted from her training. Qian Ni scoffs — she knows that Zi Tong only views her as the despicable villain who stole her boyfriend and intentionally injured her. Zi Tong starts to say that she’s thought about it, but Qian Ni interrupts. She doesn’t care what Zi Tong thinks. She won’t let her come back to the dojang.
Tian Lin asks his father about the lighter that Zhi Sheng found. He knows that Da Quan is just trying to protect him and Zi Tong, but points out that times have changed. Mingtong can’t do whatever they want anymore.
He asks if Da Quan knows why Zhi Sheng hasn’t come looking for him again. It’s because Zhi Sheng cares more about Zi Tong than he cares about his own problems. He knows how much Da Quan means to Zi Tong, and he doesn’t want to change how Zi Tong views him. Zhi Sheng is willing to wait for Da Quan to tell the truth himself and make up for the mistakes he made, so that he can get over this guilt he’s been carrying with him.
Da Quan says that he doesn’t deserve this much from Zhi Sheng. Tian Lin responds that Zhi Sheng isn’t doing this because he wants to — he’s doing it because he has to. He likes Zi Tong and knows that he has to do this because one day they’ll all be family. Da Quan beams and then cries slightly to know that Zhi Sheng loves Zi Tong so much.
Tian Lin takes his father’s hand and says that he’s grown up. He’s capable of protecting himself, and protecting him. “Let me share this burden with you,” he asks.
Zhi Sheng arrives at the dojang at the end of the day to find Zi Tong wondering whether her mother actually wants to coach her, or if she’s just humoring her. Zhi Sheng cheers her up by showing her the clay figurine he modeled after her, which he’s put on a keychain because he knows she appreciates practical gifts.
Hao Ping tells Zi Tong that she’s recovering ahead of schedule. She asks if that means she can start training, and shares how Cai Feng hasn’t let her start training in earnest yet. Hao Ping says that he knows Cai Feng doesn’t want to train her, but he also knows that if Cai Feng has agreed to train her, she will. She’s the most honest person he knows.
Hao Ping shows Zi Tong a training plan that he and Cai Feng came up with together. Everything Zi Tong has been doing so far is a part of that plan. Zi Tong is surprised — her mother never said anything about it. Hao Ping points out that Cai Feng isn’t the type of person to say anything. But she did tell him that Zi Tong is more talented than her. Hao Ping echoes what Cai Feng told him about how Zi Tong was born to do taekwondo.
Cai Feng also knew that if Zi Tong got injured again, even surgery wouldn’t be able to fix her again. There’s a possibility that she would even lose her ability to walk. She knew she wouldn’t be able to stop Zi Tong from wanting to compete and didn’t trust any other coach to look out for Zi Tong. She knew the only thing she could do is make sure that Zi Tong’s chances of reinjury are minimized. As for Zi Tong returning to competition? That was a given — Zi Tong is her daughter after all.
Hao Ping shows Zi Tong his text conversation with Cai Feng, which is a record of all the times they’ve checked in with each other on Zi Tong’s recovery. Zi Tong sniffles as she reads. A new message from Cai Feng comes in, asking how Zi Tong is doing. Hao Ping has Zi Tong text back for him.
Cai Feng smiles when she sees that Zi Tong is doing better than expected, then immediately turns stern for a moment to lecture her students.
“Do you trust your coach now?” Hao Ping asks Zi Tong. She smiles and nods, even as she continues to cry.
When Zi Tong returns to the dojang, she watches her mother overseeing a class and gets lost in a memory of when her mother would coach her as a child. Back then, her mother had been warm and affectionate toward her. Cai Feng catches Zi Tong daydreaming in the doorway and gives her a new set of exercises to do. Zi Tong accepts the instruction with eagerness and Cai Feng gives her a strange look.
Da Quan finds Zhao Feng Liang playing with a lighter in the park. Feng Liang reveals that he knows about Tian Lin’s investigations into Mingtong and warns Da Quan to watch his son more carefully. He wouldn’t want Tian Lin to be the person who puts his own father into prison, would he?
He tries to threaten Da Quan and then leave, but Da Quan refuses to be intimidated again. Feng Liang hasn’t changed at all in the past 23 years; he’s still in the dirty business of using news stories to extort money. Da Quan wonders if everything would have been different had he the courage to publish Xiang Tai’s article back then. But he was too afraid. It’s different now. “You had something to do with Xiang Tai’s death, didn’t you?” he asks Feng Liang.
Feng Liang thinks back to that night. Xiang Tai was drunk by the time he got there and had refused to listen to him. While Xiang Tai got up to go get himself another drink, Feng Liang sat down at his laptop and tried to erase the hard drive. Xiang Tai saw him and shoved him aside, but Feng Liang managed to grab the laptop back and initiate the command, which succeeded. Feng Liang had been ready to leave, but Xiang Tai angrily attacked him.
Feng Liang shoved Xiang Tai away and left. Behind him, he heard Xiang Tai screaming in pain, but ignored it. He didn’t seem to know that Xiang Tai had slipped on a beer bottle and slammed through his fish tank.
In the present, Da Quan demands for Feng Liang to say something. Feng Liang just repeats his old threat — if he goes down, he won’t go down alone. This time, he’ll make sure to take Tian Lin down with him. Da Quan mentions that he genuinely intended on promoting Feng Liang to be his deputy editor, not Xiang Tai. But Feng Liang just says that there’s no use in saying these things now.
After he walks away, Tian Lin reveals himself from his hiding place. Da Quan tells him that he didn’t want him to be a journalist because he knows how difficult it is to always do the right thing. Sometimes it requires paying an unimaginable price.
Tian Lin knows, but he would still choose this career. “Then do it well,” Da Quan tells him, “Don’t be like me.” He was too afraid to do the right thing and ended up living a life of regret.
He hands his son his phone, then walks away. Tian Lin hits play. His father had recorded his whole conversation with Feng Liang.
Tian Lin brings the recording to Zhi Sheng. Zhi Sheng asks him what he would do if he asked him to give up on his story. Tian Lin asks if that means he wants him to give up on his investigation. “What if I said yes?” Zhi Sheng asks.
Yu Qian tries to stop Zhi Sheng as he enters the Mingtong Group’s office building, but Zhi Sheng forges ahead. He’s confident he can succeed in his plan.
Later, the breaking news headline is all about how the president of Mingtong reported one of his own board members to the police for money laundering. Tian Lin is upset when he realizes that this is why Zhi Sheng asked him to give up on his story — because Zhi Sheng had brought all the research and evidence he compiled straight to Mingtong so that the company could deal with it internally.
Zhi Sheng claims that he was just trying to create a win-win situation for everyone, but Tian Lin knows that Zhi Sheng set himself up so he would be the biggest winner of all. Now, the Mingtong president will hold Zhi Sheng in high esteem, which means more business deals for Zhi Sheng in the future. He also managed to complete his father’s last news story. Zhi Sheng applauds Tian Lin for his astute analysis and calls him a worthy future brother-in-law. Tian Lin exasperatedly exclaims that the only person who lost out was him.
A drunk Zhao Feng Liang happens to be at the same bar as them and stumbles over when he hears Tian Lin’s voice. He grabs Tian Lin by the collar, but Tian Lin easily wrestles his arm behind his back. Feng Liang accuses Tian Lin of handing over his research to the Mingtong president and blames him for making him lose out on the money he would’ve earned from Lawyer Zhao.
Zhi Sheng realizes that Feng Liang is the person who tried to extort Lawyer Zhao for money. He reveals that he’s Fang Xiang Tai’s son. Feng Liang looks terrified and starts denying that he had anything to do with Xiang Tai’s death. “He slipped on a beer bottle and fell!” he says.
Zhi Sheng asks how he knew that Xiang Tai slipped on a beer bottle. He must have been there. Feng Liang warns Tian Lin that if they go to the police with their accusation, he’ll make sure to say that Da Quan told him to do it. They’ll all die together. Then he repeats that he didn’t do it and runs away.
Tian Lin asks Zhi Sheng if he’s really just going to let Feng Liang go like this. Zhi Sheng already asked a lawyer — the lighter isn’t enough proof and it’s already been so long since his father’s death that it’s unlikely Feng Liang would be implicated even if he did report it to the police. Besides, he doesn’t want to cause trouble for his father-in-law. Tian Lin crosses his arms and comments that his father hasn’t agreed for Zhi Sheng to marry Zi Tong. But Zhi Sheng just puts a hand on Tian Lin’s shoulder, calls him “brother-in-law” and says that they should have a drink together.
Zhao Feng Liang continues to drink himself into oblivion. He narrowly avoids being hit by a car, then stumbles on a crack in the pavement and falls backward in an echo of Xiang Tai’s death, and ends up impaled on some construction materials.
Zhi Sheng wakes up at night to the sound of sniffling. The childhood version of himself stands by his bed, crying. Zhi Sheng approaches him and says, “It’s okay. It wasn’t you.” He hugs his younger self and reminds himself that he, Zhi Sheng, is a good kid.
Zhi Sheng and Da Quan visit Xiang Tai’s grave together. Da Quan lays down some flowers and smiles sheepishly as he admits that this is the first time he’s been able to visit Xiang Tai without feeling extremely guilty. Zhi Sheng admits that he used to think his father was useless and irresponsible, a man who neglected his own family for the news. He didn’t even realize that his wife was sick until it was too late, and afterward became so guilt-ridden that he ignored Zhi Sheng. That’s why Zhi Sheng vowed that he would become someone capable. He would win, just like his name. (Zhi Sheng literally means “to win.”)
Da Quan tells Zhi Sheng that he thinks Xiang Tai wanted to start over and set himself back on the right path. That’s why he was so unyielding in his pursuit of the Mingtong story. Da Quan says that it’s his fault. If back then, he had — Zhi Sheng interrupts him, saying that he shouldn’t say that. His father lost to his own alcoholism. He discovered a record of his father’s treatment at an alcohol rehab clinic among his belongings.
Da Quan tries to apologize again. If only he had shown concern for Xiang Tai earlier, then maybe he would’ve discovered how Zhi Sheng was being mistreated. But Zhi Sheng doesn’t need his apologies. He brightly says that without everything that happened, he wouldn’t be who he is today and he never would have met Zi Tong.
Da Quan smiles at the mention of his daughter. Zhi Sheng says that he might not be able to change the past, but he can look forward to the future.
Da Quan turns to Xiang Tai’s grave and tells him that he has a good son. He pats Zhi Sheng on the shoulder and says that he needs to come over for a meal one day.
Fang Qing gets a text from Tian Lin inviting her to dinner. Her friend sees and asks if that means Fang Qing has accepted him. Fang Qing smiles and nods shyly. She sighs happily that once everything is settled with Zhi Sheng and Tian Lin’s sister, then she’ll be free to pursue her own happiness. Her friend never knew that the person Zhi Sheng is dating is Tian Lin’s sister. She comments that once they get married, Fang Qing and Tian Lin will technically be related. Is that strange?
Fang Qing frowns. That thought hadn’t occurred to her before.
Qian Ni calls her mother to check up on their money problems. Her mother mentions that everything is fine, thanks to Zi Tong. A few days ago, Zi Tong came by with some money to help out. Now Qian Ni can focus on her training. Qian Ni does not look happy to hear that Zi Tong interfered.
Zhi Sheng watches as Zi Tong stretches while the other students run through drills. Ke Ting Wei shows up and Zhi Sheng teases him, asking if he’s here to do PR for his girlfriend again. Qian Ni brushes past them, completely ignoring them both as she confronts Zi Tong. Ting Wei tries to follow her in, but Zhi Sheng holds him back.
Zi Tong tells Qian Ni that she’s just trying to help her focus on her training. Even if they can’t be friends, they can at least be rivals in competition. Qian Ni accuses Zi Tong of always having been this way. She’s always giving her things without asking if she wants them. She accuses Zi Tong of pitying her and viewing her as weak because her family is poor. She accuses Zi Tong of wanting to be friends only because it would make her look better. “You only care about yourself. You’ve never cared about what I felt,” Qian Ni says.
“I’ve never thought that,” Zi Tong protests.
Cai Feng brushes past the boys and strolls in, looking stern. The dojang is not a place for them to have their arguments. She tells the other students to get back to their drill then orders Qian Ni and Zi Tong to follow her. She punishes them by telling them to hold squats for an hour.
Zi Tong apologizes to Qian Ni. She never knew Qian Ni felt that way. She also knows that Qian Ni would never ask for help when it comes to money. The money Zi Tong gave Qian Ni’s parents was the money she had saved over the course of two years for her surgery and recovery. She knows what it feels like to always be chasing after money. She doesn’t want Qian Ni to be distracted from her training by money. No amount of training can make up for being distracted by outside issues.
Qian Ni cynically responds that she can always just kick her opponent’s knee. Zi Tong says that she knows Qian Ni didn’t intentionally injure her. She admits that at first she did think Qian Ni was being intentional, but eventually she realized that she got injured because she lost control. Qian Ni was just protecting herself.
Zi Tong says that she was angry back then not because of Ke Ting Wei, but because Qian Ni didn’t tell her. Qian Ni scoffs. Then what? Would she have given him to her? Zi Tong knows that feelings can’t be given, but she only started dating Ting Wei because she was curious what dating was like. She acknowledges that she cares about her own feelings, but says that she cares more about Qian Ni. When she gave Qian Ni things, it was because she wanted her to be happy. She genuinely thought Qian Ni was her friend. She never thought she was better than her.
In fact, Zi Tong tells Qian Ni that her mother once told her that if Qian Ni had started taekwondo when she was young, like Zi Tong had, then she would be better than Zi Tong. Because Qian Ni is dedicated and focused and works hard. Back then, the only reason her mother hadn’t wanted to accept Qian Ni was because the dojang was low on resources.
Qian Ni tells Zi Tong that she wasn’t the one who came up with the idea of making Zi Tong take all those flights of stairs. Zi Tong says she knows — only Ke Ting Wei would do something like that. But Qian Ni says that Ting Wei isn’t capable of coming up with something like that. Ting Wei and Zhi Sheng eavesdrop from the stairwell.
Zi Tong asks Qian Ni if she actually likes Ting Wei. She starts commenting on how Ting Wei is so dumb, but Qian Ni cuts her off and says that she knows he cares about her. Zi Tong accepts that.
Qian Ni promises Zi Tong she’ll return her money with her first place winnings. Zi Tong smiles and says, “First place is mine.”
“I really hate you,” Qian Ni responds with a pout. Zi Tong smiles and says that she knows.
Ting Wei goes downstairs and pouts that Zi Tong called him stupid. Zhi Sheng follows him downstairs and tries to give him some advice.
Tian Lin and Ya Jun watch a news report on Feng Liang’s accidental death. Tian Lin apologizes for losing the Mingtong story. Ya Jun tells him that he can make up for it by giving him another one.
Wang Xin Hui drops by, but denies having met up with Feng Liang when asked. Before he heads out, Tian Lin warns Xin Hui that if she truly has the ability, she should be looking for her own stories and not stealing other people’s. If there is a next time, he won’t be polite about it.
Zi Tong is finally allowed to change into her hanbok and join the other students in their training. Cai Feng reminds the assistant in charge of Zi Tong that she’s to have two weights added to her legs when she trains. Qian Ni asks if she can also have two weights for her training. Cai Feng says no. She’s to add three.
There weren’t many Zi Tong-Zhi Sheng moments this episode, but that didn’t really matter because this episode is really about Zi Tong and Zhi Sheng’s internal struggles and their relationships with everyone else. Da Quan, Tian Lin, and Zhi Sheng all had to make tough choices, but also all stuck to their principles. I’m always a sucker for complicated parent-child relationships and always knew that there was a lot more to Cai Feng than meets the eye, and I’m glad that Zi Tong is able to fully realize that this episode.
I like that Zi Tong and Qian Ni were able to work their way into resuming a healthy rivalry. With only one episode left, it seems like every conflict is being wrapped up with a nice little bow, but I don’t mind!