Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: Love and Redemption (Ep. 58)

After yet another betrayal of trust from Bai Lin, Luohou Jidu brings the battle to the heavenly realm once again and seems hellbent on destroying the world. Si Feng and the others try to find a way to stop him, but will it work?


Recap

The God of War asks Bai Lin where her scars came from. He addresses her as the God of War, but she responds, “Shouldn’t you call me Luohou Jidu?” She calls him out for never mentioning her name or any family. He never gave her any soldiers to command; he relies on her abilities, yet he also fears her. Because he’s afraid that if she discovered the truth, she would lead a revolt. No wonder she always felt so bad when fighting the Xiuluo. She demands to know why he did this. Did he really think she would let herself be manipulated forever?

She slashes her way through the few guards separating her and Bai Lin and approaches him. Bai Lin stumbles from her blow. She demands to know how he and the rest of the heavenly realm dared to use her like this. Before the God of War can get any closer, she’s suddenly surrounded by the Heavenly Beasts and several other soldiers. Qing Long warns her that her disobedience is an unforgivable crime, but the God of War says that she’s done nothing wrong — they’re the ones who are wrong. She demands to see the Heavenly Emperor, otherwise she’ll destroy the heavenly realm.

The soldiers try to apprehend the God of War, but she tells them that she can defend the heavenly realm, but she can also kill them. She knocks the soldiers and Heavenly Beasts away and tries to attack Bai Lin, but he easily brushes her attack away with an arm. She demands to know where her heart soul is. Bai Lin summons the Liuli lamp, then uses it to attack the God of War. She falls, but vows to kill him and everyone else who dared to wrong her like this. He orders that she be imprisoned for her crimes.

Luohou Jidu’s eyes open under the water. He grabs Si Feng and flies them both to the heavenly gates. The guards there nervously hold them at spearpoint. Luohou Jidu tells Si Feng that this is the heavenly realm he wanted to protect. They say one thing, then go behind your back and do another.

Luohou Jidu strides forward, the guards nervously edging back, and promises that today he will cleanse the heavenly realm. He puts Si Feng in a protective and binding enchantment, then tells him to watch and see how he will kill them all. He zips through the guards and they all die. Si Feng says no, but Luohou Jidu isn’t listening anymore. He deactivates the vase that activated the Shengsi Ocean.

Yuan Lang smiles as he watches the ocean of storms recede, then leads the army in a charge toward the heavenly realm.

Wu Zhi Qi leads the others into the real Kunlun Mountain and points ahead at a waterfall. That’s where the Heavenly Emperor’s mansion is.

Meanwhile, the soldiers of the heavenly realm clash with the demon army. Luohou Jidu approaches the Hongmeng furnace, which contains the primordial fire that can destroy the world. Teng She appears in front of him and blocks his way. He won’t let Luohou Jidu drag Xuan Ji into this mess. Luohu Jidu reminds Teng She that because he is Xuan Ji’s spirit beast, he must answer to him as well.

Teng She demands that Luohou Jidu let Xuan Ji out. Luohou Jidu says that he won’t kill Teng She because he’s his soul’s spirit beast, but he also won’t let Teng She talk to him. He knocks Teng She aside and keeps going forward.

Luohou Jidu finds himself at the Heavenly Lake by the pavilion he and Bai Lin used to drink at. Bai Lin invites him to come drink again, but Luohou Jidu isn’t falling for his tricks anymore. He swipes his arm and finds himself back in Bai Lin’s palace. Multiple Bai Lins surround him up above.

Bai Lin asks Luohou Jidu to pull back, given their many years of history and affection from the heavenly realm to the mortal realm. But Luohou Jidu just smirks. Has Bai Lin lied so much that he’s deluded even himself? He tells Bai Lin to look at his own hands — it’s stained with Xuan Ji’s blood, the God of War’s blood, his blood. He’s here to get revenge.

Bai Lin says that he tried for years but it’s clear now that a Xiuluo’s penchant for killing cannot be changed. He pulls out the Mirror of the 36 Heavenly Spirits, which can supposedly capture any demon and cleanse any evil. He tries to use it on Luohou Jidu to make him repent, but Luohou Jidu protects himself and laughs. He saw in the Shengsi Ocean the soul of every Xiuluo who suffered, waiting for their revenge for the past thousand years. Bai Lin wants him to repent? How about Bai Lin acknowledge the evil he’s created?

Luohou Jidu releases a cloud of Xiuluo spirits that destroy the mirror. He knows that Bai Lin is protecting himself using the Way of Heaven, but also knows that if he knocks over the Hongmeng furnace, Bai Lin will lose his protection because everything will start anew. Bai Lin reminds Luohou Jidu that the Hongmeng furnace is the foundation of the three worlds. He won’t be able to find it just by looking.

Luohou Jidu reminds Bai Lin that he was once the God of War. He transforms himself into her. The God of War knows how to make the Hongmeng furnace appear. She draw it out of the pool at the center of the palace. Bai Lin tries to stop her, but it’s too late.

Heavenly fire rains down on the mortal realm, destroying cities.

Si Feng frees himself from Luohou Jidu’s spell and heals himself while the battle rages around him. But everyone pauses and turns as the central palace starts shaking and crackling with lightning. The heavenly realm itself starts to crumble and everyone runs. Si Feng thinks only of Xuan Ji and takes off.

The group in Kunlun Mountain are suddenly surrounded by heavenly soldiers. A white-haired man orders that they be kicked back into the mortal realm. They must not be allowed to disturb the Heavenly Emperor.

Wu Zhi Qi is ready to fight, but Ling Long reminds him that they can’t do that if they want the Heavenly Emperor’s help. Instead, she and the others start making a racket, calling the Heavenly Emperor’s name to try to get his attention.

It works. The Heavenly Emperor orders that they be allowed to meet with him. They find him playing Go on a giant board. Ling Long speaks for the group and tells the Heavenly Emperor what has happened with Xuan Ji turning into Luohou Jidu. She begs the Heavenly Emperor to help save the three worlds.

The Heavenly Emperor says something to the tune of “what goes around comes around” and then turns back to his board. What should come has come. They’re surprised that he doesn’t seem to care that the three worlds are about to be destroyed.

The Heavenly Emperor says that he tried to talk Bai Lin out of it before, but Bai Lin insisted on acting and that is how things came to be this way. It just shows that this catastrophe is inevitable. The Heavenly Emperor follows the Way of Heaven — if it’s not their destiny, then he can’t intervene in the fate of the three worlds. He tells them to go back.

“What is destiny?” Ling Long asks. It’s destiny that they came to find him. Mortal cultivators trying to save people from the heavenly fire — that’s destiny. Si Feng being in the human world for Xuan Ji is also destiny. Ling Long knows that the Heavenly Emperor knows who Si Feng was in the heavenly realm — Xi Xuan. The Heavenly Emperor turns at the mention of his son’s name.

Ling Long points out that he’s risking his life for the three worlds — they all are. How can the Heavenly Emperor use destiny as an excuse?

The Heavenly Emperor smiles slightly. It sounds like Xi Xuan is as persistent as ever. He tells Ling Long that everything she’s said is right, but that this is everyone else’s destiny, not his own. He starts talking about the Go board. If he can win, then that means his destiny is close. But right now, he’s outnumbered, which means his destiny is far away.

Ling Long says that if the only way the Heavenly Emperor will help them is if he wins this game, then she’ll help him. She uses her magic on the board and fills it with black stones. He’s won.

The star god wants Ling Long arrested for her impudence, but the Heavenly Emperor praises her. He acknowledges that maybe he got caught up in the game and lost himself, but Ling Long was able to see past the game. That’s the true Way of Heaven. He tells the group that he’ll go with them and zaps them all up to the heavenly realm.

Bai Lin stares at the Hongmeng furnace then stares at the God of War and her audacity. She laughs. He never imagined that the God of War who once protected the heavenly realm would one day destroy it, did he? Bai Lin warns Luohou Jidu that what he’s doing is an unforgivable sin, but the God of War laughs. She already committed an unforgivable sin when she killed all the Xiuluo a thousand years ago.

They say that all living beings suffer, but why must that be true? It’s all because the Way of Heaven says that it must be so. The Way of Heaven is set by the Hongmeng furnace. If she knocks it over, then there will be no more suffering.

Bai Lin says that he won’t let her get any closer to the furnace, but the God of War easily knocks him aside. Before she can approach the furnace, though, Si Feng appears and says, “No!”

Si Feng tries to speak to Xuan Ji, but the God of War tells him to stop looking for death. Si Feng addresses her as Luohou Jidu instead. He tells her that if the furnace is knocked over, nothing will exist anymore. What she loves and what she hates — they’ll all disappear.

The God of War doesn’t care. She reminds Si Feng that she’s Mosha Star, not Xuan Ji. “Don’t think I won’t kill you,” she says. But Si Feng says that if she wants to kill him, he welcomes it. He didn’t leave a part of his soul behind in the devil realm for protection. He knows that if the furnace is knocked over, he’ll die anyway, or at least his memories will be gone. He’d rather die by her hand than be a soulless husk.

But the God of War says she has no interest in personally killing him. He can live or die as he wishes. She turns toward the furnace and attacks it with Juntian Cehai, but Si Feng leaps in and blocks. He’s wounded, but the God of War’s attacks are repelled twice. Before she can attack a third time, the Heavenly Emperor appears.

Bai Lin bows to the Heavenly Emperor. The Heavenly Emperor just sighs and turns to Si Feng instead, addressing him as Xi Xuan. Then he corrects himself — since Si Feng is still a part of the mortal realm, he should call him by his mortal name instead. He says that he knows everything Si Feng has done — he’s worked hard.

The Heavenly Emperor then greets Luohou Jidu, who transforms back into his original form. He was wondering who was blocking his attacks and didn’t think that the Heavenly Emperor would personally show up. The Heavenly Emperor responds that since this matter concerns the three worlds, he shouldn’t be the only one here. Everyone should be here. He waves his arm and people appear: the group that was at Kunlun Mountain; Teng She, Si Ming, and Bai Yu the star god; the Heavenly Beasts; even Yuan Lang.

Ling Long tells Xuan Ji that they told the Heavenly Emperor everything that happened and that he’s here to make sure justice is served. Luohou Jidu surveys the crowd and asks the Heavenly Emperor if he created such a spectacle in an attempt to stop him. The Heavenly Emperor responds that doesn’t want to stop Luohou Jidu from doing anything. Rather, Bai Lin and Luohou Jidu’s personal grudge is impacting the three worlds. As the leader of the heavenly realm, the Heavenly Emperor finds that it’s his responsibility to resolve this issue.

Bai Lin repeats his usual spiel about trying his best but being unable to stop Luohou Jidu. He requests the Heavenly Emperor intervene and stop Luohou Jidu. The Heavenly Emperor reminds Bai Lin that everything has karma. He points out that everything Bai Lin has done, starting from creating the God of War and ordering her to exterminate the Xiuluo, to activating the meteor strike spell against Shaoyang, to harming the mortal realm with the Shengsi Ocean, has harmed the beings of the three worlds. Yet he says that Luohou Jidu is the one who has become evil? The Heavenly Emperor says that Bai Lin is the one who has actually become evil.

Bai Lin says, yet again, that everything he’s done has been to protect the three worlds. The Heavenly Emperor responds that he’s only trying to protect the madness in his own heart. He shows Bai Lin an image of heavenly fire smashing into mortal cites. Is this the result he wanted? The Heavenly Emperor tells Bai Lin that he went wrong the day he committed his betrayal in the pavilion.

Bai Lin shakes his head, in denial. The Heavenly Emperor shows him what would have happened if he never poisoned Luohou Jidu’s win.

Luohou Jidu tells Bai Lin his good news — he convinced King Wu to declare a truce between the heavenly realm and devil realm. After this drink with Bai Lin, he will issue the order for the Xiuluo army to retreat. Peace will return to the three worlds.

The Heavenly Emperor tells Bai Lin that he single-handedly destroyed the chance for peace. Without anyone to tell the Xiuluo army about the truce, the war continued. If Bai Lin had not insisted on always taking matters into his own hands, things would never have become the way they are now. If Bai Lin hadn’t insisted on going down to the mortal realm for this iteration of the God of War’s mortal life, then this whole saga would have already ended.

The Heavenly Emperor shows Bai Lin another vision of what could have been: Xuan Ji and Si Feng, dressed as the God of War and Xi Xuan, bow before the Heavenly Emperor. Xuan Ji tells the Heavenly Emperor that she’s completed her ten lifetimes of tribulation and understands love. She and Si Feng join hands. Xuan Ji requests that the Heavenly Emperor allow them to protect the three worlds together.

Bai Lin opens his eyes and reels. He was wrong. Was he really the one who was wrong? The Heavenly Emperor tells Bai Lin that every being has true intentions. If Bai Lin didn’t do anything, then nothing would have happened. But he allowed evil to take root in his heart and it blinded him to the world.

Bai Lin struggles with the realization that everything happened because of him. The Heavenly Emperor says that Bai Lin always thought the person with internal demons was the God of War when in reality it was Bai Lin himself. He reminds Bai Lin that all beings in the world start out empty; they are created out of nothing. The heavenly realm started out empty, and so did the Xiuluo. If everything was empty, why did the heavenly realm become respected while the mortal and devil realms became inferior?

The Heavenly Emperor tells Bai Lin that he cared too much about the heavenly realm’s safety and that’s how he developed internal demons. Bai Lin kneels and begs to know how he can redeem himself. The Heavenly Emperor sighs and says it’s too late.

Bai Lin accepts responsibility for bringing trouble to the three worlds and offers to disperse his own magic to heal the world. Teng She and the other heavenly beings drop to their knees and request that Bai Lin think again.

Bai Lin shakes his head. He only got to this point because he thought too much these past thousand years. They should take him as a lesson. The Heavenly Emperor asks if this is really wants to do. Bai Lin says he has decided. The Heavenly Emperor sighs — maybe this is his fate.

Bai Lin glares up at Luohou Jidu, then disperses his magic and turns white-haired. The Heavenly Emperor asks if Luohou Jidu is satisfied. Bai Lin no longer has any power and is no longer a god. Will he have mercy?

But Luohou Jidu just laughs and says that the Heavenly Emperor has wasted his energy. Will Bai Lin losing his godhood bring back the Xiuluo or erase Luohou Jidu’s suffering? The Heavenly Emperor seems to have underestimated his misery.

The Heavenly Emperor says fine, say Luohou Jidu gets what he wants and destroys the world. What happens after? Afterward, there will be nothing. This mortal life he has finally succeeded and found the person most important to him. Isn’t that better than being a killing machine? He reminds Luohou Jidu of something he once said — he’s not a god or Xiuluo; where can he go? Doesn’t the mortal realm provide the existence he’s looking for?

Does he really want to destroy the mortal realm and wallow in his own anger? Luohou Jidu says… why not? That’s his own choice and he doesn’t need to explain it to anyone. Regardless of whether he’s Luohou Jidu or Xuan Ji, to the heavenly realm he’s inferior. But even if his life is inferior to theirs, he won’t let them toy with him any longer. As long as the Way of Heaven doesn’t change, it doesn’t matter if this Bai Lin is gone — someone else will take his place. Only once the Hongmeng furnace is overturned will their arrogance disappear.

Luohou Jidu says that the Heavenly Emperor can either fight him himself or give way. The Heavenly Emperor says that he won’t stop Luohou Jidu. If he insists on flipping the furnace, then the Heavenly Emperor can only watch. But he reminds Luohou Jidu that once the furnace is flipped, karma will disappear. His friends and family will become part of the chaos. Is that what he wants?

Ling Long shakes her head and says, “Xuan Ji, no!”

Si Feng tells Luohou Jidu to turn around and look at his family and friends behind him. They could have stayed safe at Shaoyang, but they didn’t want to lose their shared experiences, so they came here against all odds. They know they might die, but they want to make sure he knows how important their friendship is.

It doesn’t matter if he’s Luohou Jidu or Xuan Ji. In this life, there are so many people who love him and want to protect him. He’s no longer the lonely Mosha Star anymore. He’s a friend, family member, lover.

Yuan Lang turns to Luohou Jidu and says that it seems like everyone is still treating him like he’s Xuan Ji. They don’t actually care what happens to him — they only care abut what happens to Xuan Ji. After all, all these friends, family, and lovers are all Xuan Ji’s, not his. He reminds Luohou Jidu that the entire demon army has left a part of their soul behind in the devil realm. After the Hongmeng furnace’s fire cleanses the world, the demons will be the only ones left. He shouldn’t let these people’s words ruin their thousands of years of planning.

Luohou Jidu says that if Bai Lin doesn’t even care about the beings of these worlds, why should he? The furnace will be destroyed.

The Heavenly Emperor welcomes him to go ahead.

Luohou Jidu flips the furnace. Everyone starts turning to dust. Luohou Jidu turns into the God of War, who looks around and sees the entirety of Xuan Ji’s memories while people start to vanish, one by one.

Si Feng stares up at the God of War, tears in his eyes. She sees all of their shared memories. They make eye contact. The God of War closes her eyes for a moment and struggles. Si Feng disappears. The God of War clutches her head and says, “No!” But she and the Heavenly Emperor at the only ones left.

The world turns to white.

Luohou Jidu opens tear-filled eyes and finds Si Feng staring at him. He wipes a tear away and stares at it, stunned. What’s happening?

The Heavenly Emperor explains that he just showed Luohou Jidu what would happen if he destroyed the three worlds. Luohou Jidu angrily responds that it was just an illusion — everything was just an illusion.

The Heavenly Emperor responds that what he saw isn’t just an illusion — it is what reality will be if Luohou Jidu insists on destroying the Hongmeng furnace. He won’t stop Luohou Jidu from getting his revenge, but since it affects all the beings of all the worlds, he hopes that Luohou Jidu won’t regret the decision he makes.

“Luohou Jidu, you say you don’t have a heart,” Si Feng says. But Luohou Jidu just shed a tear. Someone without a heart wouldn’t shed tears. It’s proof that Luohou Jidu’s heart has been reborn. Why not try accepting himself, instead of being blinded by hatred?

Luohou Jidu tells Si Feng to shut up. He refuses to believe anything they say. Yuan Lang tells Luohou Jidu that if he had any doubts because of what these people have said, he is here to make them all go away. Yuan Lang claims that Si Feng has betrayed him. He and Bai Lin had arranged for Luohou Jidu and Bai Lin to meet in order to prove that Si Feng could control him. Yuan Lang claims that Si Feng was just trying to create a new Liuli lamp.

But Luohou Jidu destroys Yuan Lang’s protective enchantment with a wave of his arm. He tells Yuan Lang that he picked the wrong person to try to frame. Anyone else, he may have believed would betray him, but not Si Feng. Luohou Jidu remembers every thing Si Feng did for him in all of his ten mortal lives. Did Yuan Lang really think he would believe that Si Feng would betray him?

Yuan Lang backtracks and admits that he was wrong, but Luohou Jidu knows all about Yuan Lang’s previous betrayals and schemes. If Bai Lin is evil, then Yuan Lang is worse, and Luohou Jidu won’t keep someone like him by his side. He tells Yuan Lang to kill himself. Yuan Lang protests: he spent a thousand years on the run for him, and now he’s telling him to kill himself? Luohou Jidu says that Yuan Lang didn’t run for him — he ran for himself. Luohou Jidu knows that Yuan Lang is thinking. If the three worlds were really destroyed, then the next person to oppose him would be Yuan Lang.

Yuan Lang decides that if Luohou Jidu won’t destroy the furnace, then he will. He surprises everyone by striking the furnace, making it tip over, and laughs.


Commentary

Finally – some justice! And Bai Lin finally gets called out for all the evil he’s committed. At the same time, his self-served punishment feels so dissatisfying, because even though he acknowledged he was at fault for harming the world, he still hasn’t acknowledged the personal wrongs he committed against Luohou Jidu. Like Luohou Jidu said, Bai Lin losing his powers is not enough. It’s more symbolic than anything. What reparations is he actually making?

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