Love Around Episode 8

Despite the ending of the previous episode not being much to my liking, I found myself looking forward to Episode 8. I want to give Xiao Shu a chance to redeem herself. I want her and Zhou Zhen to have a shot at being honest with each other about their feelings, not just having them make OTP googly-eyes at each other.

Recap:

Zhou Zhen drives off to go after Zhou Sheng Min and get Xiao Shu back. Zhou Sheng Min, who is a councilman, has locked Xiao Shu up in his mansion. Xiao Shu comes to, and yells at him from her little room to let her go. Thankfully for her, Zhou Zhen arrives on scene and charges into the house in style.

Scumbag Zhou orders his minions to fight Zhou Zhen off while he screams orders at them by the side. Much like backseat fighting. Zhou Zhen does well to fend for himself initially, but his injuries from the bike race coupled with his newly sustained beatings prove to be too much. Scumbag Zhou has him locked up with Xiao Shu.

Phillip tries ringing Zhou Zhen multiple times but gets no answer. He’s visibly concerned, and Daddy Zhou picks up on it. Zhou Zhen had asked Phillip to ring him in 30 minutes to check on him. If he doesn’t answer, Phillip has to track him down via GPS. Thank god he’s smart enough to come up with a contingency plan (and to leave his phone in the car instead of on himself). Daddy Zhou and Phillip set off to search for him.

Xiao Shu is shocked and outraged to see injured Zhou Zhen. He’s just glad that she’s fine, and reassures her that he’s been injured worse when he was 3. He has faith that they will be rescued. Gotta love a hero who has a plan B.

Xiao Shu wonders if Xiao Wei (the kid from the hit-and-run) is okay, and mutters to herself that she will bring Scumbag Zhou to justice. She’s soon distracted by the fact that Zhou Zhen is running a temperature, and he diverts her attention by asking why she had tried to avoid her before. She tells him about her misunderstanding that Ying Ying was his girlfriend, and he laughs. He now realises why she’d thrown away the hot chocolate and heat patch he gave her.

He stresses that he doesn’t have a girlfriend. The women he comes into contact with most frequently are his granny, sister and her. He jokes that if she doesn’t want to be his friend, he’d have to go back to the matchmaking place. She goes back to worrying for him, and lets him lie on her to rest.

The minions return later to bring Xiao Shu to Scumbag Zhou, who offers to pay her off in return for her silence regarding the hit-and-run case. Money is not an issue for Scumbag Zhou, and he’s happy to increase it tenfold even. Xiao Shu stands her ground (albeit in her childish righteous manner), and refuses to budge. A minion gives an update on the boy, who is in critical condition. Scumbag Zhou barks that she might not live if she doesn’t shut it, and orders her mouth taped shut.

Daddy Zhou makes an entrance at this point. He’s not surprised to see Xiao Shu at all, and asks Scumbag Zhou where his son is. Scumbag Zhou is clueless as to who his son is. Phillip finds Zhou Zhen in the little room and brings him down.

He calls Daddy Zhou “Dad”, which has Xiao Shu taken aback. She says nothing for now, as she still seems to be piecing all the information together. Scumbag Zhou seems to have some respect for Daddy Zhou, apologising for hurting Zhou Zhen because he didn’t know who he was. His problem is with Xiao Shu, and he points out that she has offended them both with her frequent accusations of them on air. He will take care of her, and all Daddy Zhou has to do is look away.

Zhou Zhen begs his father to take Xiao Shu away so that she won’t be hurt. Daddy Zhou lectures Xiao Shu for making so many enemies and dragging his son into this. She apologises for involving Zhou Zhen, but said that she could not turn away after seeing someone hit by a car.

Daddy Zhou turns his fire on to Scumbag Zhou, calling him out on what he’s done. If he’s not innocent, then he should be prepared to face the music. Scumbag Zhou refuses to let Xiao Shu destroy the reputation that he’s built all these years. His minions step in, but Phillip stands in their way. Daddy Zhou tells Scumbag Zhou to man up and take responsibility before the cops come after him.

Zhou Zhen tries to get up but collapses. RIght at this moment, the police turn up and Xiao Shu gets them to call for an ambulance. Or someone could have rang earlier?

Ying Ying joins them at the hospital while Zhou Zhen has surgery. She has never seen her father so worried before, and blames Xiao Shu for it. Xiao Shu thanks Daddy Zhou for saving her, but he gruffly tells her to thank Zhou Zhen when he wakes up. He just wants Zhou Zhen to be fine, he won’t bother with anything else.

Once Zhou Zhen is out of surgery, Xiao Shu volunteers to stay with him while the family goes to get things together for him. Xiao Shu’s parents and Zhe Xuan come to the hospital to check on Xiao Shu (even though she’s not physically injured in any way, haha). Xiao Shu introduces them to Zhou Zhen. Mummy Liang hilariously makes this thank-you speech to the unconscious Zhou Zhen.

She then makes Zhe Xuan and Xiao Shu go get them drinks, and gives them a huge wink-wink-nudge-nudge to take all the time they need. While they are away, Daddy Liang wonders why Zhou Zhen would go to save Xiao Shu and injure himself this badly for their daughter. Mummy tells him that Zhou Zhen is a patient, not a suspect, so stop trying to be a police again. Haha, Mummy really cracks me up.

Zhe Xuan and Xiao Shu mend their fences as per Mummy Liang’s hopes after all. Zhe Xuan initially wanted to avoid her for longer, but he was worried when he heard about her being kidnapped. He realised that he didn’t want the last words she heard from him to be that he didn’t want to see her for a while. They patch things up, and are back to being friends again.

Xiao Shu gives an update to her parents about Xiao Wei, who is no longer critical. She asks for their permission to stay with Zhou Zhen till he wakes up. Her father allows her to, and Zhe Xuan offers to send them home.

When Xiao Shu returns to the hospital room from sending off her parents, Phillip and Ying Ying are already back. Ying Ying wonders why her usually tough brother couldn’t take down those men on his own. He can fight 10 men without any problem, but Phillip accidentally lets slip that Zhou Zhen had a prior injury.

This piques Ying Ying’s interest and she prods on. Poor hapless Phillip tells her about Zhou Zhen racing with Peter and the reason for it in the first place. He also observes how Zhou Zhen has been acting unlike himself lately, such as spending NT$300k on scratchcards. He’s asked Phillip to keep it a secret, especially from Xiao Shu. Only that Xiao Shu is right outside the room, having heard everything. She breaks down into tears.

She remembers all her previous encounters with Zhou Zhen, from when they first met, as she sits by his bed. She holds his hand and smiles.

Zhou Zhen comes to the next morning and the first thing he sees is Xiao Shu asleep by his bed, her hand still holding his. Awww. He groans in pain, and that causes Xiao Shu to wake up. Phillip gets up too, followed by a loud yawn from Ying Ying, who complains about how hard it is to sleep on the sofa. She wakes up to see her brother staring her down. Haha. Zhou Zhen tells everyone to leave. Xiao Shu offers to get him breakfast, but he insists that she gets some rest. She relents.

Zhou Zhen is at least back to his bossy self, so he gets Phillip to send Ying Ying home. Once alone, he looks at his hand and smiles.

Xiao Shu is handling a cleaver, trying to make fish soup for Zhou Zhen. Mummy Liang nags her through the process because she’s ridiculously bad at it. She looks like she could cut off her hand at any minute. Eep. She brings the soup back to the hospital, and worries when she sees Zhou Zhen walking about. She pours him the soup, and passes it off as her mum’s handiwork.

Zhou Zhen apologises for not telling her about his father. She understands that he didn’t mean any harm with that lie, but asks if he has anything else to say to her. I think she means why he helped her save her radio station (with the scratchcards and the race with Peter). He hopes that she sees his father as a changed man now.

Once Xiao Shu finishes her radio programme, she hurries out of the office, and all the colleagues hand her stuff knowingly for her to bring to Zhou Zhen. They are so cute. Zhou Zhen and Xiao Shu open the get-well gift together, which includes a copy of James’s CD. Poor Xiao Shu is so exhausted that she falls asleep on the sofa, and he covers her with her jacket. Zhe Xuan and Ying Ying and Pei Li go shop hunting, and they finally find one that is right. Ying Ying is thrilled at Zhe Xuan’s approval. Zhe Xuan flashes a rare smile at her, too.

Zhou Zhen is finally discharged, and Xiao Shu meets him before he leaves the hospital. She respectfully calls his father “Uncle Zhou” too, which is to everyone’s surprise. Daddy Zhou responds half-heartedly, and Ying Ying asks if he’s still mad. He isn’t, but he’s not used to Xiao Shu being nice to him either.

Xiao Shu extends an olive branch by inviting Daddy Zhou to go on her radio programme. Zhou Zhen agrees that it’s a great opportunity to change the public opinion of him. Daddy Zhou hems and haws, sounding more nervous than unhappy about it. Everyone encourages him to do it, and he agrees. But not without another surprise – Xiao Shu wants him to do it today.

Everyone turns up at the radio station for the broadcasting, much to the surprise of Xiao Shu’s colleagues. Feifei worries that there might be a scuffle in the recording studio. Daddy Zhou is so nervous he can barely speak on air at first, but Xiao Shu puts him at ease. They eventually get into the conversation properly, and they even have some positive banter going on.

Daddy Zhou’s gracious manner is quite a pleasant change from their clash in the previous episode, and both he and Xiao Shu seem willing to compromise on a socially acceptable outcome. Daddy Zhou’s interview receives a lot of positive feedback on their website.

Ying Ying praises Daddy’s on-air voice, saying that he could be a DJ. Daddy tells her that he wanted to buy the station anyway, so it could be possible. Zhou Zhen’s face changes at that, and so does Xiao Shu’s. She asks Daddy Zhou if it’s true that he was trying to buy her out. She looks over at Zhou Zhen, who sheepishly looks down to avoid eye contact.

Xiao Shu admits that she was at fault to begin with, but now that their misunderstanding is resolved, they should move on. Daddy Zhou is glad that she sees it that way, and promises to get her advertisers to come back to them. As he leaves, he asks Zhou Zhen to come back to the hotel to work now that he’s not going to buy the radio station. Oops, another cat out of the bag?

***

I don’t really think that Xiao Shu will blow the gasket at the last ball that Daddy Zhou dropped, but that’s just me. That girl has shown some progress in the thinking-with-her-heart department so far this episode, so I doubt she’ll make a big deal out of it. Not when dear old Zhou Zhen abandoned his original job to help her stop his dad from buying her out. I loved that once he came to in the hospital he addressed the issue of him being Daddy Zhou’s son, and I’m so glad that this storyline was not blown out in makjang proportions, despite all the potential to.

While I was outraged at Xiao Shu’s juvenile attempts to uphold justice in the previous episode, she does redeem herself this episode by letting things go and finally listening to her heart. I hope that following her heart will lead to rainbows and unicorns in the next episode for our OTP, because it’s about time, really. I can’t see anything else standing in their way (for now) for them to be open about their feelings for each other. Xiao Shu is already there anyway; we just need Zhou Zhen to realise his own. And he’s no dimwit.

And Zhe Xuan and Ying Ying take a bit of a backseat this episode, but their relationship seem to be chugging along. My initial dislike of Ying Ying has died down a little, but she does still get on my nerve sometimes. She has shown some great improvement in character and although she doesn’t know it yet, it’s Zhe Xuan who’s propagated this change in her. Zhe Xuan doesn’t know it himself either, but this bratty little rich girl has just put a smile back on his face after going through Xiao Shu’s rejection.

Although most of the episode seemed quite slow plot-wise, I felt that it had a lot of heart in it and opened up a lot of possibilities for our OTP to take the next step in their budding relationship. I don’t mind that at all, in fact, and I’m going to be eagerly anticipating the next episode all week now. Till then!

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