Chapter IV

Shan Cai’s mom gives them to wear dresses from her hilarious youth. Qing He, whom Shan Cai also invited, arrives at that moment in a similarly embarrassing outfit. They have to drag SC out to his even more ridiculous motor vehicle. He asks his chauffer(ette) for some “live” entertainment. I say: driving + singing off-key = not a good mix. Meanwhile, Li Zhen VOs that this dress (the one SC gave her) will finally get her noticed. Holy crap, who in the hell’s voice is that?! It doesn’t sound anything like her.

They arrive at the party, whose patrons are dressed to the nines… only it’s more like the sixes. It looks as if someone wrapped a huge piece of uncut cloth around each woman and made sure the hem touched the floor. Qing He whips out his autograph book and begins collecting signatures from celebrities. Xi Men spots the girls and calls for Dao Ming Si, but he just walks away. Shan Cai can’t believe his behavior — she was the one who was attacked, after all. While she was musing, however, XM turned on his charm for Xiao You, but SC finally snaps out of her reverie, pulls her away and warns her he will get her pregnant.

Sometimes, you just pause at a very opportune moment.

Teng Tang Jing finally makes her appearance, looking as radiant as ever. As she dances with Hua Ze Lei, Xiao You comments to Shan Cai that they look like the perfect couple. A lady comes up to Dao Ming Si and asks why he hasn’t called; he claims he’s been busy. Yeah, busy sitting on your fine ass and not being arrogant and cocky. This asshole is supposed to be so cocksure of himself that it’s almost hilarious, so you shouldn’t be able to tell he was fishing for an excuse. We don’t even see him beat anyone up! (Unless it was for Shan Cai, in future episodes.) It’s all alluded to. This guy is supposed to transform from a major, raging asshole to a guy who can be an asshole, but his biggest transformation is his hairdo.

Shan Cai goes over to the bar, where it’s less crowded. Mei Zuo is already there and helps her order a gin & tonic. Gerr… seems like a scene just to show off his fluency in English. And to actually, you know, use Mei Zuo in a scene. Li Zhen arrives alone in the “everything’s-coming-up-Milhouse” dress. When she notices Dao Ming Si looking at her, she believes she’s getting the attention she’s always wanted, but he calls her ugly and undeserving of that outfit. Despite Qing He trying to comfort her, she makes a hasty exit.

As Shan Cai and Mei Zuo become more and more inebriated (seems like she’s moved onto vodka, lol), he askes why she and Ah Si are so violent. After she tells him not to lump them together, Jing starts to make an announcement. They get up from their seats to listen. Jing thanks everyone for coming, then declares that she will return to Paris to become a public defender, with no plans of returning to Taiwan. Her parents are understandably surprised (though they don’t look it) as they ask her how she could do this, seeing as she had only returned home recently and is their sole heir. Jing apologizes, explaining she wants to decide her own fate. She tells them to think of her as married off, meaning she no longer needs her beautiful clothes or her model-long hair, and she shears a chunk off. After we get a reaction shot from the major players (including a funny one from the pair of drunkards), Hua Ze Lei and Jing seem to stare at each other before Lei walks away. The acting in this show is way too subdued. Jing should be saying this with conviction, not as if it were a decision as whimsical as whether or not to blow a dandelion. DON’T YOU WANT ME TO BELIEVE, SHOW? DON’T YOU WANT ME TO BELIEVE??

Soylent green is people!

Shan Cai goes into the lobby, where she overhears a company CEO (most likely) asking Dao Ming Si to talk to his father about their contract. DMS says he doesn’t involve himself in his father’s corporate affairs, but he’ll see what he can do when he takes over the business in seven or eight years — that is, if he’s still in business then. The CEO thanks him and walks away muttering, “What an absolutely haughty individual! The similarities between him and his father are simply astounding!” Lame, lame, lame. Did I mention it was lame? I wanted to be nice, but the jig is up: Jerry Yan couldn’t act his way out of a paper bag. And why did he thank him? If the guy was just a bad actor (you’re not alone, buddy), and he couldn’t rouse the appropriate emotions, why couldn’t they just loop him being pissed at the outset rather than later? It’s not like we even see his face. (Also, it sounds like the looping is done by a different person. Yet the “thank you” was not? What about continuity!porn?)

Dao Ming Si finally notices Shan Cai and thinks she was eavesdropping. She retorts that his acting like a big shot is, like, totally gross. Well, that’s too frickin’ bad because he is a big shot; people try to go through him to reach his father all the time. She says that that’s how he must get all ladies, but he raises his voice and tells her they are only after him because of his money — he would never want a girl like that. She apologizes, then asks for his apology for the other day. If he apologizes, she will forget about it and write off the experience as being bitten by a dog.
Dao Ming Si: A dog?!
Shan Cai: It’s just an expression, you fool! It’s all your fault! Apologize!
Dao Ming Si: Pfft. Whatever, it was your fault.
Shan Cai: Mah fault?! Son, you better tell me what was crackalackin before I cut you like a box! Along the flaps!
Dao Ming Si: Lookatchu, you idiot, if you can’t even hold yo’ liquor you shouldn’t even be wetting yo’ whistle!
Shan Cai: *RALPH*
Dao Ming Si: ARRRRRRRGH! My zoot suit riot!

But… there were no photographers at the party.

The next morning, Shan Cai’s mom wakes up her hungover daughter, reveling in the fact that Dao Ming Si brought her home. She presents her smiley-face checklist (reminds me of kindergarten where you get a gold star for each accomplishment), showing that SC is on her way to being Cinderella. SC sees that the front page news is of Jing renouncing her claim to the Teng Corporation. She decides to see how Hua Ze Lei is doing, who is remembering the misty, water-colored memories of last night. When asked if he was surprised at her decision, he responds that this is exactly like Jing — once she decides on something, she will stick to it, no matter what. SC thinks that they should set off some fireworks to make a wish again (how did she not bust a gut saying this line, I wonder), but he’s not going to try to change her mind if she’s set on it. Shan Cai wonders if, with Jing gone, she will finally have a chance with HZL? However, she immediately berates herself and runs off without a word.

Shan Cai: “That shit is ridonkulous.”

Was she looking for Jing or was it just a coincidence? Well, anyway, there’s Jing in her wig picking up her transcript. Shan Cai asks her to stay in Taiwan for Hua Ze Lei; she could study law here, couldn’t she? She understands the feeling one feels when the person you want to see most isn’t there, and she doesn’t want to see HZL upset. Jing reiterates what HZL had said earlier: she’s already made up her mind. Desperate, SC drops to her knees to beg, because that’s all she can do. Jing gently describes decision-making as shopping overseas: if you get on the plane without buying something you want, you’ll never have that opportunity again. She doesn’t want her life to be about the “if’s” — she wants to live her life without regrets. Shan Cai apologizes, but Jing says she’s glad she came to her and, complimenting her personality, it’s no surprise that she can take on the F4. Jing hugs her goodbye, spots Lei from afar, and leaves. SC VOs that Jing had it all, but she threw it all away so she can become the person she wants to be… no wonder Hua Ze Lei is in love with a woman like that. HZL appears, seething. He never asked her to do such a thing and can’t believe she would resort to begging. She lamely answers that she did it because he looked so sad that he and Jing might never see each other again, but he barks it’s none of her business and tells her to leave. Upset that the guy she’s totally jonesing for yelled at her, she runs away, yup, funnily. Can’t believe it, but Hua Ze Lei got more angry than Dao Ming Si. Lei looks like he’s about to cry, so he hangs upside down, thinking back on the friend (whom they’re implying is Jing) who first told him the upside-down story.

Upside down! (Bouncing off the ceiling) / Inside out! (Stranger to this feeling) / Got no clue what I should do / I go crazy if I can’t get next to you!

Now at the airport, Mei Zuo and Xi Men try to contact Lei to no avail. Dao Ming Si is in the midst of wrapping a present when Qing He asks if it’s for Jing and if he could see it. DMS tells him to be careful because he spent time wrapping it. Uhm… you are still wrapping it. Anyway, it’s a gag gift; this interaction causes SC to VO that if Hua Ze Lei were more like DMS, he could bear the pain better. When DMS asks her what’s up, she asks if he’s ever liked anyone. Is liking someone akin to keeping your feelings inside and letting the other person go? DMS, in a weird fit of rage, calls her an idiot; if you don’t say anything, then it’s like the relationship never existed. What if the other person died tomorrow? Then what? Travel across the Styx to convince Hades with your lyre playing, only to look back and have her disappear forever, huh, Orpheus?!?!?! Shan Cai is amazed that a simple-minded guy like him could answer the question she and HZL had been searching for, then remarks aloud that maybe he’s not so stupid after all. I don’t know if it’s the director, but why did he play it so angry? I know this is supposed to be the “Aha!” moment for Shan Cai, but he didn’t have to be so mean to sell this scene. Man, if only he was this mean for the previous scenes where he needed to be angry… and it still wouldn’t be that believable.

Jing’s flight is announced and she gets ready to leave. Mei Zuo apologizes for not being able to call Lei. She shrugs not-quite-so indifferently and tells them to give him her regards. Dao Ming Si hands her his gift, and despite Qing He’s protestations, she readily accepts. In my mind, she already has a good idea what’s inside the box because they’ve known each other since childhood and I think he’s given her many a gag gift. When Jing has gone past the gates, they finally see Lei. He claims he had arrived an hour ago and was watching from behind a pillar. How completely creepy and stalkerish. Shan Cai pipes up that if he cares about her, he should go after her. She tells him to be a man, though hanging out with these three guys, she understands would warp anybody. Lei presents his plane ticket and states he’s on the next flight to Paris. Mei Zuo, in a display of happy hamminess (he even calls out, “Oh, shit!” in English), is glad HZL is finally doing something about Jing. HZL thanks Shan Cai for letting him see that standing idly by solves nothing (hear that, Duncan Donut) and admires the strength in her that he lacks. He kisses her forehead, much to the chagrin of Qing He and Dao Ming Si. After he says his goodbyes to the others, he embarks on his romantic journey. Or will it?! Shan Cai remembers fondly her memories of Hua Ze Lei.

It’s guy love: I want to point out Vic Zhou’s freakishly scrawny body. It scares me. Damn you, freakishly scrawny men with little to no body fat! (OTOH, skinny jeans on guys, unless they are freakishly scrawny, is really, really, really weird. I can see your junk jiggling in jeans, Joey Joe-Joe Junior Shabadoo.) Also, Xi Men just broke the fourth wall. It’s called professionalism, amateur.

The F3 discuss Lei’s newfound determination, and how it was Shan Cai who helped turn the tide. The F2 thought she liked him, but Dao Ming Si says in an I-told-you-so tone, “I told you so.” The two know better, though, but they ignore it. Ugh, remember back then, when long hair on guys were, like, teh kewl? This scene makes me sick inside. The guys keep brushing their hair away from their faces and it’s so annoying. Luckily for Jerry he has all that product in his pineapple hair. And they are STANDING RIGHT NEXT TO HER. Why are they talking about her like that one meter away?? (As an aside, the F4 to me are like the Three Tenors. You know how it’s Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, and the other one? When I think of the F4 [which is, like, all the time!! Hah, no, actually, I would die], it’s always Jerry Yan, Vic Zhou, Vanness Wu, and… the other one. What’s his name? Some plain name? John? Vincent? James? Joe? Josh? Derr… Six hours later after DVD shopping, eating lunch at Wendy’s, and walking around town, completely forgetting my name cull — KEN!!. So, list of “And… The Other One”: José Carreras, Ken Chu… who else? That fugly redheaded one who stands in the back of the Pussycat Dolls?)

Dao Ming Si, perhaps taking a page from his own book, asks Shan Cai on a date… right as an airplane passes by loudly. I’d be surprised if these people don’t have hearing problems later on in life. He says he will tell her the time and place later. She asks him to repeat what he said, but he calls her an idiot for such a request. I liked this, because it’s the perfect infusion of his well-established arrogance and nervousness at first love. There may yet be hope for you, Jerry! (I have no idea if he got better later on. I haven’t really heard anything from him acting-wise except the doofusedly-named Magic Kitchen. [Let’s not mention MG2.])

Shan Cai: WHOT?!?!?!
Some guy: I… didn’t say anything.
Shan Cai: YES PLEASE!!

Dao Ming Si brushes up on his dating techniques (or lack thereof) by reading a how-to manual. At school, like he said he would, he tells her the time and place, but without context, she is just befuddled. Qing He is clever enough to figure out he’s talking about a date, but he isn’t clever enough to stop himself from saying “my Shan Cai” before running away (in fear? Embarrassment? The runs?). SC is as obtuse as a 179° angle, so she just thinks everyone is acting weird.

Shan Cai thinks it’s some trick, rather than a date, but… er, actually I don’t see her motivation behind this at all. It’s supposed to be: “Oh, it’s four… hope he’s still not waiting… now it’s precipitating! Uh-oh… nah, he isn’t still there… is he?” Not: “It’s raining. It’s two-thirty[supposed to meet at two]. Gotta go!” Funny part: SC’s mom asks the cashier to re-scan the items because she didn’t watch her do it the first time around since she was busy talking to a running-away Shan Cai.

She arrives at the meeting place (“Times Square”?) and sees him sitting on a bench, drenched. When she approaches him, he complains it’s been four hours. She tells him he could’ve gone home, but he counters that she should’ve called — he didn’t know if she had been held up or had been in an accident or something. At his complaint that it’s cold, she offers to treat him to tea. This is a lot funnier than it should be, but he shouts right in her face (I imagine spittle), “THEN LET’S GO!”


And off they do go! Shan Cai’s sidetracked by a survey taker, but Dao Ming Si threatens the guy with his very presence. He reprimands her for trying to pick up guys and drags her away to a very posh café that requires an elevator to reach. SC doesn’t have enough money, so she suggests they go to a place of her choice, since she’s treating. DMS says he will pay, but they quickly devolve into a loud argument. When the maître d’ greets DMS, SC claims he’s here for the very noisy show. This show should really be classified as a comedy. I mean, it’s not always well-acted, but the humor makes me laugh. After DMS orders him to go away, they step into a stairwell to continue their yelling, but they laugh at their foolishness and SC says she knows an inexpensive place for good tea. DMS agrees, but every door is locked: they are stuck in the stairwell. Oh noez! The stairwell! The elevator in the manga worked precisely because it’s a claustrophobic, confined space, especially after DMS tried to kiss her. The locked-in-the-stairwell alternative is not so effective. And lame. (Urgh!! I tried not to use that word again… I tried.)

Shan Cai checks Dao Ming Si’s cell, but it’s out of power. Holy old Nokia phones, Batman! Remember when they were the best of the best? Now people want pictures and cameras and music players on the phone, not just monochromatic text. She feels it’s a bit stuffy, so she moves to take off her jacket, but she decides against it because she has a front-clasp bra, lol. (OT: I totally miss mine! It was black and very nice.) DMS starts moving toward her and calling her name in a totally pervy way, so she promises she will bite her tongue off. She pushes him away from her, but notices he is not trying his darndest to engage himself in one of their fights. She feels that he’s burning up with a fever. SC decides that, under these circumstances, she will help DMS. She lends him her jacket as a cover to keep him warm and directs him to use her lap as a pillow. He looks more than happy at this development.

After an indeterminate amount of time, they’ve both fallen asleep and woken up. Shan Cai feels his forehead and says the fever seems to be lower now. He apologizes for all the trouble, but she lobs back one of his lines, “If apologizing were enough, what do we need the police for?” When she says her legs are numb, he quickly responds that it’s her own fault. She laughs at his childishness and thinks it’s difficult to believe this guy right now could be the leader of the F4. When he asks why she’s laughing, she says sorry, but she’s all he’s got right now and that his mother can baby him when he gets home. He admits that his parents have been away for business for two years in New York. She muses that it must get lonely in that big house. SC then says she will make it up to him, so he moves to kiss her again. Luckily, a cleaning woman pops into the stairwell in the nick of time. The woman scolds them, informing them that a hotel is much safer and that if it were her daughter, she’d break her legs. I’m telling you, this stuff is LOLLERSKATES!

Back in the open air again, it’s now morning. Shan Cai offers to help Dao Ming Si walk, much to his protests. (I’m surprised, he is usually so pervy. Well, not so much pervy as… guy-y.) He begins with, “Shan Cai…” but doesn’t complete his thought aloud. He enters a cab (WITH HER JACKET!) and drives off, while SC smiles at an overhead jet. When she gets home, her mom gives her the look of doom while she recounts that when she was her daughter’s age, she had to be home by 9 p.m. She then asks her to tell her which bases she covered, rofl. Shan Cai is not as squicked out by this as I would be (or maybe she’s just tired) and says she didn’t do anything. She retires to her room as her father appears, and her parents celebrate her continued virtue. SC realizes that even though her parents are as crazy as they come, she knows they care about her; she wonders if anyone is caring for DMS right now, but quickly snaps out of her train of thought as she questions her sanity.

“Yay! Our daughter’s still a virgin!”

Upon her arrival on campus, people start congratulating Shan Cai. When Li Zhen also offers her well wishes, SC finally asks, “Huh?” LZ asks if she isn’t Dao Ming Si’s girlfriend now, considering the pictures on the bulletin board? We cut to Qing He passing by this very BB and when he notices the photos, he looks displeased. In class, the professor (I thought he told her never to return?) asks Shan Cai what Zhu Yuanzhang put inside mooncakes to rally the Han Chinese to revolt against the Mongols. She answers, “egg yolks.” The prof laughs uneasily and he says that it was actually small slips of paper, but he tells the class to applaud her for her great response.

Baiheqianhui run up to Shan Cai, greeting her. They compliment her on her hair and ask if they can touch it. SC says she didn’t have a chance to wash it the previous day, but Qian Hui insists on sniffing her special locks. Bai He asks why didn’t SC tell them about her awesome boyfriend and insist on dragging her to hang out.

Watching the closing credits, which also include a “preview” of the next episode, I’d forgotten how much kissing there was in this show! It was kind of a shock, especially seeing the HYD J-dorama so recently… it’s so chaste it’s like back in the ’50s where the husband and wife sleep in separate beds.