The Queen of SOP Episode 21

This episode felt a bit like a filler, building up to a larger conflict for our characters so it feels like there is very little development on our main characters.

We go back to Tang Jun bidding farewell to Chu Chu, and Xiao Jie sees them hugging. More like, Chu Chu hugging him. Xiao Jie looks away.

Tang Jun visits his mother bringing dinner. He takes out two pairs of chopsticks so that she can eat with him too. Awww, so sweet. He eats alone, and ends up sobbing into his bowl of rice.

Then, Mummy’s eyes flickers and she calls out his name. She’s back! Tang Jun helps her up and feeds her some chicken soup (don’t they need to call for a doctor?), and he tells her that he’s left Huang Hai again. She asks if he would regret leaving with the rest of his team, but he doesn’t, because it’s the first time in his life that he’s ever felt a sense of responsibility towards others. Funny how she’s so clued in to recent happenings…

Because it’s a fakeout. We cut to the morning and see Tang Jun asleep by Mummy’s bed. He realises pretty quickly that it was only a dream, but nevertheless he’s glad to have had some encouragement from Mummy. Which would have been his own subconscious telling him that. So, he’s telling himself to carry on then. Weird.

He gets a phone call from Chu Chu’s daddy, Director Zeng, who invites him out for golf at the driving range. Director Zeng brings up the company and Tang Min and tries to drive a wedge between Tang Jun and his sister, but Tang Jun is largely unresponsive to that. He does let on that he plans to work in other departmental stores.

Meanwhile, we see Director Zeng speaking on the phone to a man in an office, which I can only take to mean that something bad is in the works. He then confirms with Chu Chu that he is planning to fight Xiao Jie while she is distracted with planning SSP week. They are vulnerable on other fronts, so I assume he would hit them hard once SSP week commences. Chu Chu just sits back and listens, because all this scheming is way too much for her little brain. She looks at her dad with wide-eyed wonder, because her dad promised her that he’ll bring Tang Jun back, if not she won’t ever eat with her father, ever again. Tsk tsk.

In Huang Hai, Xiao Jie is sailing through her business meeting with the Italian brand representative (who speaks real awkwardly). All her other planning goes along with the SOP she’s drafted, so things are looking good. So far anyway.

Before we know it, SSP week is officially kicked off, and sales figures are skyrocketing. Xiao Jie is thrilled to announce to her team that two other major cosmetics brands are in talks to open in Huang Hai as well.

Even Tang Jun drops by to contribute his bit by buying some shoes, and he runs into Tang Min, who treats him coldly. Well, he’s allowed to at least do some shopping here. After he does his shopping he runs into Xiao Jie. Or rather, Xiao Jie runs after him.

 

But when they meet face-to-face, she just smiles at him. He smiles back and gives her the thumbs up. What, so you ran all the way to see him to smile at him? Say something! Obviously he has no hard feelings towards her, but I wish she would at least test the waters to see where she is with him, instead of just standing there smiling, and expecting him to make the first move. Cos you know he’s gonna try again when she’s drunk or unconscious anyway.

As he leaves, we see Tang Min watching him from afar, disappointed that he’s left without putting up a fight. And letting his feelings take over. We also see a VIP customer buying 10 units of a caviar skincare set (ewww), and the salesgirl tells her there aren’t many units left. This is probably what sneaky Director Zeng is planning.

Tang Jun meets up with Su Su and Zheng Fan, and they update him on their situations. The other members have got jobs, thanks to Chu Chu’s help. Zheng Fan is awaiting the outcome of an application she’s made, and is working as a designated driver for now. Su Su is working as a cleaner in Huang Hai, which she’s quite happy with, despite Tang Jun’s offer to get her a better job. He gifts them with the shoes he just bought, and Zheng Fan shows off her caviar skin serum, the one from the same product line that the VIP just bought 10 sets of.

Tang Jun clues in to the possible stock shortage issue, and wonders how it would be possible. It’s a brand new product, but Huang Hai was slow to acquire the product line, so when it was released they only received very little stock of it.

Tang Min and Xiao Jie and the team reviews the sales figures from SSP weeks. Xiao Jie discovers an anomaly in the sales figures in the cosmetics department. Tang Min calls someone in to check it out, and it turns out to be the man who was on the phone to Director Zeng earlier. So he’s sabotaged their stock purchasing. Tang Min flips her lid, because SSP week has just begun, and they are running out of stock. Xiao Jie and Chu Chu are sent to do damage control, but Tang Min almost collapses.

Director Zeng gloats about his scheme to the other directors as his minion reports on the progress to him, including Tang Min’s collapse. Huang Hai’s stock prices are plummeting, and the sales figures in the past 2 days have gone down 8%.

The minion gets a pat on the back and is sent away. The other directors worry that if the shares are going down, it will hurt themselves in the long run. Director Zeng assures them that it’s only to get rid of Tang Min and Xiao Jie. Once they get the boot, he’ll step in and correct the stock shortage, because of his many connections, everyone will fall over themselves to help him out. He asks the other directors to get their wife and children to go to Huang Hai to buy the items in shortage, and to kick up a fuss when they don’t have it.

Chu Chu, oblivious to her father’s plan, goes around on Tang Min’s damage control assignment, trying to secure stock from other departmental stores through her network. Her ‘friends’ are not so willing to help out, because there’s no reason to help out your competition when you can sell the stuff yourself. At the end of the day, business is business.

Xiao Jie gets the short end of the stick when she has to deal with one of the Director’s wife and daughter, who are playing the role of disgruntled VIP customer very well. Xiao Jie plays by the customer service handbook, apologising profusely multiple times with her unfaltering smile.

***

Just chugging along till we can get some more action next episode, which hopefully sees Tang Jun back to save the day. I’m sick of them just standing opposite one another and smiling at each other, I need more!

 

 

 

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