Shockingly, in this episode we find that…the Fearsome Four are actually human. Or that they can show slivers of humanity beneath their cruelty. Am I taking it to the extreme here? Or it’s just a case of Stockholm syndrome? This was a rather slow episode, and the focus shifted from Shilang and Taohua’s blossoming relationship to the dynamics of the Fearsome Four with the family. I enjoyed seeing another side of the Fearsome Four that does not include being all overbearing on Taohua (granted, they still can’t let go of Taohua).
Before I get carried away with myself, this episode starts off again at the amusement park, where Taohua and Shilang orchestrated a double date with Xue and Cheng. Honestly, in this day and age, who needs a chaperone? Unless you are Taohua, apparently. The two unknowing chaperones quickly get clued into what the kids are up to, and disapproving looks go all around.
Taohua and Shilang manage to persuade the two chaperones of doom into going on the double date, with some cliched 2-for-1 drama trick. And they even got a nice couple photo too (don’t you love freebies?). Meanwhile, someone else from the Chen family is realising his potential as a stalker: Yui, who has left home to check on Taohua and Cheng’s whereabouts.
He’s more concerned over the fact that his beloved Xue seems to like Cheng than going ballistic over Taohua and Shilang’s rendezvous. I think Yui’s character does deserve a lot of pity for always getting pushed around and picked on by the Fearsome Four, but in this episode I’m beginning to see him in a new light. The Fearsome Four is also shown in a different light in this episode, which is why I like this show again. Suddenly progress kicks in, and it seems like we actually have some plot development! We’ll see why later on, but I haven’t given up on this show just yet.
So, while Yui wail in sadness over his lost love (I’m being overly dramatic here, just like he is), our two couples, or almost-couples, go on a safari ride. The atmosphere is super awkward though, as you can imagine. Gawd. Shilang and Taohua try to break the ice by initiating conversation, and Cheng joins in the chatter as well, because he wants to be a nice guy. Yeah, suddenly being a nice guy matters, especially when there’s a chick you want to impress.
I’d like to say that she can be a bit harsh at times, but after witnessing everything that the Fearsome Four has pulled off so far, hostility is awfully generous, as opposed to…violence. She calls Cheng Crazy #2, which kind of throws him a slap in the face. Because he’s a Casanova fashion designer who’s used to girls fawning all over him. She throws another nasty line at him about how she hates designers who stereotype women so that only rich and the slender can fit into their clothes. Cheng isn’t too happy about being insulted, but he swallows that like a man, and instead thanks Xue for the wine that she sent him.
This leads to both Shilang and Taohua’s lies getting exposed…
But to be fair, the two kids aren’t all that good with lies and deceit. (In fact, practically no character in Taiwanese dramas are good at lying, unless you’re made out to be a villain.) Taohua admits sheepishly that she sent the flowers to Xue, because the Fearsome Four were so mean to her during their previous encounter. Cheng doesn’t know that the flowers were sent only in his name though, as opposed to all of the Fearsome Four. Nice omission there, although probably not intentional. But Taohua calls him out on receiving the wine – he told Taohua it was from a client. Aha! Cheng gets a bit squeamish at this, lol.
Shilang gets questioned about the wine, which he says was as a bribe to the Fearsome Four, so that all her garbage bin throwing antics will remain a secret. Right…I don’t know how Xue puts up with these lame cover-ups. Shilang brings up the flowers that Xue received, which results in Xue throwing a few of her expert (feminist) opinion on the symbolism behind flowers as gifts from men. Hair-pulling stuff, I must say. I’m not too surprised when Cheng subtly likened Xue to a buffalo, and Xue retorts with a comparison of Cheng to a hippo. Typical idol-drama spats, which are thankfully accompanied by pretty giggle-inducing music.
More awkward couple interaction go on in the amusement park, and Taohua even captures (sneakily) a photo of Shilang for her stalker album amidst the Xue-Cheng awkwardness. Way to go, girl! While Yui comes to terms with his loss, he gets a phone call from Qi, who has tracked Yui down. Qi couldn’t find Cheng and Taohua because they’ve both turned off their phones, rendering the GPS tracking system on their phones useless! Smart ones, those two.
Yui denies that he’s following Taohua and Cheng, probably ashamed of all the stalking he’s doing, but hey, it’s something that runs in the family! Yui gives himself away by calling out Taohua’s name when she stumbles a bit while attempting a juggling trick with a clown. Shilang holds her steady, and Cheng sees his concern for Taohua and flashes not a look of rage or jealousy at him, but something which oddly seems like…recognition?
Taohua then suggests that they go rafting/canoeing, and the editing team decided to deny us the fun of watching that, instead leading us to the aftermath of that activity, which has the girls in the washroom drying off. Dang. Where’s the continuity in this, and for half a minute there I was wondering why everyone got wet.
Xue calls on Taohua’s sneaky double date plan when they are alone in the washroom, and in a parallel scene in the men’s room we see that the same happens with Shilang and Cheng. They take this opportunity to find out what Xue and Cheng think of each other.
Xue seems indifferent, while Cheng comments that Xue should be as honest and forthright like Taohua. (Comparing every female to your sister? Creepy!) However, he does see that this is Xue’s barrier to protect herself. Shilang apologises on behalf of Xue, but Cheng turns his attention back to Shilang, asking him (threatening, which is more of his style) to decide on his feelings for Taohua. Is he going to reject her, accept her, or just be string her along as a ‘friend’? Ooh, scary. But it’s true, Shilang hasn’t made his feelings for Taohua clear to anyone else but his split personalities yet. I can take Shilang’s side because I can see through his inability to express himself, but to people around him, not knowing what he thinks is a bother. And also because, in Taiwanese dramas, you have to be more than explicit with your feelings.
If you thought Cheng got scary, Xue gets all threatening on Taohua, too, albeit rather unnecessarily. Xue accuses Taohua for pressuring Shilang by confessing her love to him and having her idiot brothers swoop down on Shilang, putting even more stress on Shilang. I can see where Cheng’s worries come from, and he seems to have momentarily put behind his Taohua-cannot-date-guys mentality in his concern that Shilang may end up hurting Taohua. But Xue just seems protective of Shilang for the wrong reasons. She doesn’t even know if Shilang likes Taohua or not, and asking the brothers to lay off Shilang is fine, but what did Taohua do wrong? Can’t blame Taohua for trying. It’s like Xue just wants Shilang to be as lonely and miserable as she is.
Taohua gets a bit intimidated by Xue, and she runs out of the washroom first. When Xue comes out, she finds only Cheng outside. Looks like the two young ones have eloped! Due to Xue’s poor sense of direction, they end up going to look for them together. They seem to have no sense of urgency at all (even Cheng!) as they stroll along the park, chatting about how Xue and Shilang are so close after Shilang lost his mother. Cheng identifies with her bond with Shilang, and he also worries that Taohua is growing apart from him and his brothers, a worry that Xue also has after not being around for Shilang for the past 3 years. They have an odd sense of acceptance of each other in that moment. Aww.
Shilang and Taohua discuss about Xue and Cheng in their alone time, all while sitting on a ride that goes round and round. I have no idea but ride it was on, but I wouldn’t whine about my brother or cousin while on an amusement park ride. I’d be yelling my heart out! Wooooooohooooo. After the ride, they step into a fountain, for no apparent reason at all! Except to show that they’re having fun and getting wet. Cheng spots the two of them frolicking, and stops Xue from going in to spoil their fun. More points of redemption for Cheng! One brother down, three more brothers to go!
Yui’s lonely party is joined by Qi, who is here to stalk Taohua and Cheng with Yui. Qi is a bit sheepish when Taohua sees him and Yui there, and Cheng says that they weren’t supposed to disrupt his day out with Taohua. Zhuan and He appear too, saying that their initial plan didn’t include having Xue and Shilang for a double date anyway. And you three knew this how? By stalking Taohua and Cheng in the first place, you bet.
Somehow, everyone sits down for a roundtable, and now only does Cheng know that Shilang sent the wine and Xue finds out that Taohua sent the flowers. It’s very confusing to me as well, because I thought that they already knew it during the safari ride (which made me rewind to that part). But on the safari ride, Xue only knew what Shilang had done, not Taohua, and vice versa for Cheng. Oh well, guess eavesdropping only works to the best interests of the screenwriters.
Cheng and Xue then get into a spat while defending their own, and their argument becomes more personal. Everyone else (but Yui) just seemed to enjoy the show, including me. The scene serves best for the underlying tension between Cheng and Xue, which I put up to the chemistry between the actors.
Taohua seemed a bit embarrassed by the exchange, and she later points out to Cheng that she hasn’t seen him lose his temper in front of a girl, ever. What compells a perfect gentleman to lose his temper, hmm?
Back in Shilang’s home, the atmosphere is icy. Xue berates Cheng, saying that he musthave some mummy issues for him to act like that. Shilang agrees with the mummy issue point, which makes Xue a little embarrassed. She then berates Taohua for doing the double date setup, mad at being matched with Cheng just so that Taohua can get her hands on Shilang. Shilang defends Taohua, saying that he had a hand in planning the setup too, because he hopes she can be happy (without him, of course). Xue just wallows over the fact that Shilang no longer includes her when he says ‘us’.
Taohua is sad about her backfired plan, and it seems like she genuinely wanted to match up Cheng and Xue. She didn’t think that Xue would be that unhappy about it. Seems like Yui is unhappy about it too, because he wanted to be matchmade with Xue, instead of Cheng. Poor little boy. Taohua just wants to be a responsible and independent girl, instead of having her brothers do all the work for her. Yui comforts her, saying that it’s not her fault, it’s just that they’re destined to to work hard, because they’re so overprotective.
Yui is the one with the bug, as it turns out. Lol. Taohua’s words do have some effect on the brothers, and Qi suggests that they all go out to relax a little, after all their sneaking around and spying. They even bring Yui out with them, and to their dismay, Yui’s been scoring with all the girls! Cheng suggests bringing him out more often, even.
They discuss Taohua’s transfer to Shilang’s school, Xingchen. Qi reasons that Xingchen is a better school than the one that Taohua is currently studying at, so perhaps they should give their blessings for the transfer. He points out that Taohua obviously wants to transfer because of Shilang, but Qi in zen mode thinks that they shouldn’t stop her from going to a good school just because of that. Plus, who knows, there may be better guys in Xingchen, or other things that can distract her from Shilang.
Wow…they’re finally starting to seem like they actually have brains now, as opposed to just testosterone-laden guys with violent tendencies towards Taohua’s male suitors. And He vows to help Yui get into Xingchen also, so that Yui can help them protect Taohua. Right, like Yui’s going to be on the same boat as you four.
So, in the next progress of Cheng and Xue, Xue starts to accept that her overprotection of Shilang has pressured him a great deal, and Shilang just hopes that his cousin can smile and be happy. Cheng, on the other hand, shows up to apologise to Xue for losing his temper the other day. They make peace with each other, and he turns on his charm for her, which signifies a start of good things!
Shilang is there too, and he also finds out that Xue and Cheng have exchanged phone numbers prior to this meeting, so he gleefully stands by to watch his cousin and Cheng.
The next important bit of plot development is Taohua’s entrance exam to Xingchen. Zhuan helps Taohua with her revision, while Yui is subjected to a more torturous regime. He and Cheng lock Yui in his room, confiscate his phone and tv and even fit grills on the windows to prevent him from escaping. Yui begs for some humanity, saying that he is motivated enough without their extreme tactics, because their reward for his success is the ultimate freedom for Yui – going to school in Hawaii. He and Cheng look solemn when they are reminded this, since they haven’t updated Yui on their change of plans. Their initial plan was to have Yui succeed in the entrance exam to thwart Taohua’s chances, but now they want Taohua to get into Xingchen, which means…no liberation for Yui, ever. At least they’re nicer (relatively) to him now that they need him.
Taohua, on the other hand, has the tender loving support of her brothers for a change, and Shilang also shows his support by sending him a photo of him as a child. Which she prints multiple copies of and puts them everywhere, including on her exam pass. Like, literally everywhere. Glad to know that she has the stalker characteristics that runs in their family too. Now I can rightfully call their whole family creepy.
Meanwhile, on the day of the entrance exam, we are introduced to two more characters, Gong Huiqi and Calvin Chen’s character (don’t know his name yet).
Yui runs into Huiqi first, by picking up her exam pass and returning it to her. He is awestruck by her beauty, and has his Chaplin fantasy sequence with her in it. Again! He calls her his Audrey Hepburn. Lol. He ends up at the nurse’s room because he fainted, after all those days of prison-like regime. He gets treated by a odd-looking nurse with huge specs and dressed in the wrong shade of pink. No further description and no screencap of her, because I’d like to forget about her, thank you very much.
Taohua is getting a bad case of exam fright, and she runs into Huiqi in the washroom. Huiqi gives her a massage to help her relax, and then gets her to do some silly-looking relaxation dance with her. Awkwarrrrddd.
Taohua loses the photo of Shilang stuck at the back of her exam pass, which fell off in the washroom after her encounter with Huiqi. Oddly enough, she spots Huiqi with Shilang’s photo on the back of her exam pass. Taohua asks Huiqi for her photo back, but Huiqi says that it’s not Taohua’s, even asking Taohua how she knew that it was Shilang in the photo. Is she another stalker Shilang fan?
After the exam, Taohua goes up to Huiqi to get her photo back, but Huiqi insists that the photos is hers. Taohua childishly asks Huiqi to swear on her weight, and Huiqi retorts equally childishly. Huiqi is then curious how Taohua is related to Shilang, which Taohua replies with “he’s an important friend”. Huiqi says that Shilang is important to her too, and she wonders how Taohua has Shilang’s photo in the first place. (Taohua did say that Shilang gave the photo to her, so that’s pretty poor writing there again.)
The photo had miraculously been transferred under the soles of many feet from inside the ladies’ room to right outside of it. Calvin’s character steps on the photo and brings it along with him into the men’s room, just as Taohua rushes into the ladies’ room to search for it. Unsuccessful, she peers into the men’s room to search (right…first instincts, the men’s room?), right after Calvin had discovered the photo lodged under his foot. He offers to help her look for it, but doesn’t tell her he has it under his foot. After she leaves, he smiles happily to himself for a second, then takes the photo from beneath his foot and tears it up. Hmm…possible interest in Taohua? Not like hiding a silly photo from her can change much of what she feels anyway. Sometimes I don’t get why these people have such intentions in the first place.
Taohua then goes home with the Fearsome Four, only to find Shilang waiting at their front door. The Fearsome Four aren’t all too happy, but they reluctantly allow them to speak privately upon Taohua’s request. Ooh, this is progress! Shilang’s missed her for the past few days when she was studying hard, so he didn’t want to disrupt her studies. The only thing on Taohua’s single track mind is the photo, so she asked if he’s ever gave anyone else his photo. Taohua says that she’s lost his photo, but doesn’t manage to tell the rest of the story about Huiqi. Shilang says he’s never given anyone else the photo, and asked her not to worry about it. Yeah, well, that’s what normal people would do, not idol drama characters!
After he leaves, he gets a phone call from Huiqi, and he seems to know her after all. So what’s with the photo? We’ll probably find out soon, because Huiqi is moving back into the neighbourhood. Taohua, who tries to call in at the same time, gets a busy tone, which makes her sad. Again. Silly girl. What’s sadder is that the Fearsome Four had left Yui behind, even after promising to pick him up after the exam. Yui waits in the nurse’s room with the nurse till late, the poor thing!
On results day, the Fearsome Four eagerly await the results, and everyone is genuinely happy (for all the wrong reasons) when Yui gets in. I don’t think I’ve seen many scenes where all five brothers are happy at the same time, lol. Taohua is crestfallen when she hears Yui’s name instead of hers, but she gets the last spot, and Shilang was the one to tell first her via text.
Her brothers are less happy (compared to when they found out Yui got in) to see that she’s got through, somehow, despite already agreeing to let study there if she passes. They still can’t get over the fact that Shilang will be in the same school as Taohua, but is consoled by Yui’s success in the exam too. Poor Yui. He’s already dremaing about Hawaii, and his dream girl (Larisa!) even materialises. I love Larisa, so the customary screencap is inevitable.
Yui basks in his shortlived joy, but he is faced with the inevitable truth when Xingchen calls to confirm his attendance.
Instead of beating him into submission this time, they actually sit down with Yui to speak with him. They try to convince him that he’s the only one who can protect Taohua, now that they (the Four) are old. Yui gets emotional and really angry for the first time ever (he used to only be whiny), because no one cares for his life, and he shouldn’t have to give up his life just for Taohua, because it’s not like the Fearsome Four had to put their dreams away for Taohua. This point is true, because the Fearsome Four do have their jobs and their own paths.
They persuade him to go along with their plans, bribing him with money, a motorcycle and girls, but Yui would not budge.
Yui expected to get beaten up, but even when they were on their knees Yui felt threatened as well. Abusive patterns never go away. Poor Yui. But I feel that the Fearsome Four have mellowed a bit, and this makes them a bit more likable.
I don’t agree with their tactics of forcing Yui into participating in their every mission to protect Taohua, but they do have Taohua’s best interests at heart like parents would have, even if they’re a bit misguided. Even though Yui is older than Taohua, he doesn’t always have Taohua’s best interests at heart. Sure, he’s been the middle man between her and Shilang a few times, and often lend an ear to her troubles.
Sometimes, I wonder if he’s ever tried to pretend to be half as crazy as the Fearsome Four and join them instead of his futile attempts to go against them. Maybe if he even half-heartedly share the same goal as them (for the better of Taohua’s future), he wouldn’t have to bear the brunt of all that abuse, and maybe the brothers would even let him do what he wants. And to be honest, Yui doesn’t know what he wants either – his idea of Hawaii stemmed from wanting to get away from the brothers, it’s not as if he has a very strong passion for anything in particular. Yui strikes me as someone who gives in too easily, and it’s hard to empathise with him all the time when he doesn’t fight for himself properly (as opposed to selfish whining and complaining).
On a side note, Huiqi passes the entrance exams too, and to Taohua’s dismay and Yui’s delight, Huiqi moves in to the house opposite theirs. This leads to Yui’s worries going away temporarily, and he runs over to help her move in. The Fearsome Four misunderstands it as him running away from home, so they lunge at him to hold him back.
I’ll leave you at that. 🙂