Chapter V

Behold! My bootlegged version of a Chapter V cap!

I’m not sure what happened, but it doesn’t appear for me. Oh wait, I know what happened — I suppose that’s one of the many great perils of buying from questionable sources. >_>,, If you didn’t already know, I love continuity, so this makes me sad. If I had remembered (or watched the entire series ahead of time — yeah, right! I’m not going to watch it twice in quick succession! It warrants a leap year kind of schedule.), I wouldn’t have started capping the episode numbers. :(((((( So here is my rather pathetic attempt to maintain continuity.

zomg, ur florz totally hab a yello waxy buildup

Xi Men and Mei Zuo find Dao Ming Si in the cafeteria taking some medicine for his sickness. They reveal that they had also found out from the bulletin board that his date was Shan Cai. They ask how was “it,” but he’s clueless. XM is way too interested in the story, like an impatient kid who wants ice cream RIGHT NOW. I’m expecting him to pout at any moment. He says they were in the stairwell all night and after MZ marvels at the location, says that that’s why he’s the F4 leader. (So in order to usurp his throne, one of them has to what… do it in a volcano?) Mei Zuo spots BHQH enter the lunchroom with Shan Cai and starts singing what I think is a love song, but it’s just… weird. They pressure him to say hi, but he leaves for class. The two girls believe this exchange was really romantic.

Invisible lunches are the best

They continue to compliment Shan Cai on how cool and lucky she is, and that they feel honored to be in her presence. Li Zhen tries to greet her, but BHQH won’t have any of it and try to force her to leave. SC sticks up for her, but they say that she was the reason SC got the red tag in the first place and LZ didn’t even try to help. SC, with a lot less attitude than I’d like, points out their hypocrisy. Flustered, they lamely argue that she wouldn’t have gotten to know Dao Ming Si otherwise. They want to make it up to her by taking them out clubbing.

Li Zhen doesn’t like drinking absinthe that’s been sullied by a sugared decorative slotted spoon

At the discotheque, Shan Cai and Li Zhen just sit around drinking and watching people dance. If you knew you wouldn’t have fun, why accept their invitation?? And why does Qian Hui always think bedazzling her lower eyelids instantly means she’s ready for a night out on the town? The DJ gets so turned on from the tunes he’s playing that he feels compelled to go out on the dance floor himself to do some bootleg breakdancing — including standing upside down. This immediately catches Shan Cai’s eye as it causes her to think back on her Prince Charming with the marble eyes, Hua Ze Lei. (Why are marble eyes so appealing? Doesn’t that mean he’s dead?) She finally gets off her keister to ask the DJ, who is manning his tables again, why he stood on his head. He claims it relieves some kind of stomach discomfort. Disillusioned like the little girl who finds her milk tooth still underneath her pillow, Shan Cai returns to her seat.

Look at me! I’m a famous upside-down historian!

Whoa, a real-life Chanel bra!

BHQH and the gang, including Qing He, take a respite from the dancing by agreeing to play a game. The DJ, Thomas, also partcipates. (Uhm, did he clock out? Is he an itinerant DJ who randomly turns tables at whichever club he turns up at?) Bai He loses at rock, paper, scissors, so she chooses dare. Qian Hui dares her to flash the folks at the next table her Chanel bra. She returns, and after some bad continuity (BHQH switch places), Shan Cai loses the next round. She chooses truth, but they think she’s lying when she answers that her allowance is only NT$3000 a month, so she has to drink from a test tube. Next, Li Zhen loses. For some reason Shan Cai’s face has all the gravity of the doctor of a dying patient. LZ chooses dare, but balks at showing the group her underwear. What is their obsession with undergarments??? She also has to drink from the test tube. Time passes, lots of drinking, and a pseudo-montage later, LZ passes out. Shan Cai asks Qing He to take her home. BHQH are total lushes at this point, but still ask for beer. Clears the mind, y’know. Thomas, as he’s about to leave, finds SC passed out on the couch by herself. Could’ve fooled me! She was perfectly fine lucidly instructing Qing He to bring Li Zhen home.

Bai He is on the left. Do you see?
Qian Hui is now on the left. Do you see?!

Shan Cai can’t provide any useful information, so Thomas takes her to a hotel. As they make their way to the entrance, God takes a picture of them. Well, I’m assuming it’s Our Heavenly Father, because the flash is like lightning, and you know how the Lord rolls. The next morning, SC wakes up tucked beneath the covers, with her clothes off. She tries to remember what happened last night and hopes nothing did. As she enters campus, we hear her mom’s voice scolding her for staying out all night and coming home reeking of alcohol before she gives her a mighty wallop. She rubs her cheek in pain as Dao Ming Si suddenly appears and asks if she’s cutting morning classes, since she’s so late. Instead, she asks him if he had been waiting for her. He says no way, he was on his way to the lunchroom. She retorts that it’s in the other direction, but he claims he likes the scenic route. Here, Barbie Xu plays Shan Cai as not quite as oblivious as her other counterparts. It kind of destroys the long-running joke that she can be quite dense sometimes. He notices the bruise on her face and asks what happened. She begins to explain, “My mom hit me because last night” — she catches herself — “I didn’t return her call.” He chuckles as he notes the similarity between mother and daughter and then literally drags her to the cafeteria.

Dao Ming Si orders a lot of food, which Shan Cai objects to. DMS states that she’s too skinny. The waiter (uh) hands him the bill (huh?). Are the school cafeterias really that much different over there, or is it supposed to compare to the classiness of an actual fancy restaurant? She grabs the bill to pay, but DMS thinks it embarassing and puts it on his card. He wasn’t raised to let women pay. Qing He walks in with an armful of snacks while DMS continues to force SC to eat. QH starts, “Shan — ” but DMS cuts him off with his look of doom, which actually isn’t that scary. QH decides it’s better to sit by himself with his plethora of snacks. So unhealthy, tsk.

Xi Men remarks that he has never seen Dao Ming Si so nice to anyone. Mei Zuo warns her that he’s possessive and will probably kill her and any guy she talks to who isn’t an F4 member. Don’t worry Shan Cai, if it comes to blows, it will only happen once! Or never. His presence doesn’t really strike any fearful awe in me in the way the other versions have. (I mean, I’m not scared shitless, but I certainly think, “I would not mess with this guy in real life.” Not so for Dao cha xiaoye.) She fantasizes about what would happen if last night’s events ever got out. I wonder if feminists got riled up over the fact that SC’s wearing a Playboy bunny shirt while having her lunch paid for by a guy who wanted to save face. (Thanks for ruining me, Veronica Mars.) Alarmed by the severity of her public-humiliation daydream, she shouts out, “Never!” and runs to the bathroom. Now alone, she reassures herself VO-style that she will probably never see that white guy again and she would definitely know if something had happened. As she dries her hands on the seat of her pants (o_O), she convinces herself out loud: “if it doesn’t hurt, nothing happened.” This scene is weird. First, she gets some alone time so she can get a voiceover, then, when she’s done with that, she speaks aloud the thing that could most incriminate her!

When she exits the ladies’ room, she sees Qing He waiting for her. He explains that the white guy from last night gave him a letter to give to Shan Cai, whose jaw literally drops. Their reactions always seem so forced… it’s as if when it’s time for closeups they just park the camera in front of their faces and the director says, “React on action! …Action!” SC claims she has to go to the bathroom again, but really so she can read the letter in private. I can only guess what the contents say: “Privyet, mon Liebchen, per favore to meet to me at 14 o’clock en el frente de la universidad. Wo xihuan ni, Thomas. P.S. Why are you so cool? You are teh kakkoi.” Outside, Dao Ming Si sees Qing He hanging near the women’s restroom and demands an explanation. He says he’s doing research on why the men’s room is always next to the ladies’ room, then runs away. Next, Shan Cai bumps into him. She quickly says she’s busy and can’t hang out with him, then excuses herself.

Yay! I’m still a virgin!

Shan Cai rushes to meet Thomas, who tries to give her a hug. Instead, she accuses him of taking advantage of her by bringing her to a hotel. He argues that he didn’t know where she lived and it was the only thing he could think of. She asks if anything happened, and he makes a little show of, “Yeah… so what if something did? I took off your clothes.” SC whacks him one and she wants to know why. Thomas says she had passed out and thrown up all over herself, and he had actually asked the maid to undress her. He’s here to return her ID because he needed one to check in (why doesn’t he have one?? ALIEN!!!) and forgot to put it back. Realizing that nothing happened, she grabs his hand and jumps up and down with relief. The guy’s Mandarin-speaking skills are, uhm, let’s just say not up to par, but these two have more chemistry together than Barbie and Jerry! Holy crap! Why am I realizing this now? Perhaps I was too swept up back then in the main couple, and only now can I see all the cracks and faults this version has. “Shan Cai!” a voice calls out, lost in the traffic noise. Haha, guess who?! (Does your person have facial hair?)

The way this scene came together is really hilarious: Shan Cai quickly covers that the guy was just asking for directions, but Dao Ming Si mentions that they were holding hands. She says they were just shaking hands, and to bring the point home, she does it again, only she adds, “Xie xie, xie xie.” DMS bellows that he’s not dumb and doesn’t believe her. Suddenly, Thomas breaks out the German and Shan Cai thinks she’s saved. However, DMS also spricht Sie Deutsch and responds… not in kind… not even close. I don’t speak German and even I know it’s just really horrible. I cringe! More so than for Thomas’s Chinese! (I think he’s supposed to say “Ich,” but he says it as “Itch,” and “nacht” as “natch”… I think.) Shan Cai doesn’t know any better so she’s impressed. She asks what language he was speaking, and he responds, “Dewen (German)… learned it in Switzerland, holla! I’s the heir, ‘course I’s gotsta know lotsa lenguajes or idiomas!” SC requests for some more multilingual skillz; DMS starts with Italian, then French. While she’s keeping him busy, she gestures to Thomas to leave the scene. DMS finally figures out something’s afoul and yells after the foreigner. Shan Cai’s yelled at for “picking up guys” all the time. Of course, she’s outraged at such an inaccurate description of herself, but even if she were such a person, what did it matter since they are not even together? “We’re not?” he remarks, then leaves abruptly. She calls after him to no avail. She thinks to herself that he made her feel as if she did something wrong.

Chippendales reject

Now we are at a hair salon! Why are the F4 members waiting around for one guy to get his hair done? It seems so… domestic. Like the husband who has to hold the purse and/or sit in one of the chairs for men in a department store. Xi Men claims he’s there for the hairdresser, but Mei Zuo knows it’s for a girl. Somehow the conversation turns to how XM knows that women never mean what they say (the setup is too stupid to mention): the more inexperienced a woman, he claims, the more she will deny her feelings. Dao Ming Si’s ears perk up as he makes sure of this statement. The other two say in unison it’s Shan Cai, but DMS halfheartedly neither confirms nor denies it. He goes off by himself to… dance. Don’t worry, he made sure no one was looking first as he danced in front of the glass window!

BHQH meet in a bar, the latter bringing an envelope of photographs that was left in her mailbox. Bai He looks them over with much glee. Qian Hui says, “Showtime.” At the Apollo?

Don’t drink, kids

The next day, a new poster is up on the bulletin board — Shan Cai drunkenly walking with a stranger into a hotel, made the more obvious because Thomas chose a hotel with the big letters HOTEL in the name. Scandalous! Maybe I’ve been desensitized (and I’m usually such a puritannical prude), but… really? All it takes is this? Li Zhen runs up to SC to tell her to go home because of the picture. Picture? she asks. The subject of the photograph sees for herself as the students walk away in disbelief that she’s pretending to be Dao Ming Si’s girlfriend, and in excitement over the impending fun. One of these students sounds like Barry White. Tsk, when you do use ADR you can’t even use it to the best of your ability, MG crew?

Shan Cai confides in her stuffed bunny that, even though she hates “that guy,” she doesn’t want to see him upset. If he hadn’t asked her out, then nobody would even think they were going out in the first place. She’ll go to school, because she didn’t do anything wrong.

DMS: “This isn’t porn!”

As SC parks her scooter the next morning, she feels as if she’s on her way to execution. Yeah, because most dead people walking wear helmets as they push their motor vehicle. The campus is eerily empty as she passes through, wondering why they haven’t done anything yet. Suddenly, we see a car dragging her scooter with a rope. I like that the entire student body made a united effort to avoid her so they could launch this surprise attack on her. And I mean that sarcastically. She tries to free her wheels, but Qing He, who has appeared out of nowhere, warns her it’s too dangerous. Shan Cai starts screeching (Barbie Xu really isn’t a great yeller) at them to let the scooter go. Dao Ming Si also apears, but Qian Hui shows him the pictures of her “betrayal.” SC yells that it’s a misunderstanding, and she doesn’t care what others think as long as he believes her. Qian Hui tells him not to be fooled and shows him the pics again. She says they are all doing this for him. How sweet. Seemingly convinced, DMS says in a voice that sounds like Hua Ze Lei, “You have made a cuckold of me for the last time, wench!” before leaving as abruptly as he had shown up.

Shan Cai screams after him that he’s an idiot for believing Qian Hui over her. She goes back to chasing her scooter, but the car has started up. Result: bad. Where the hell is Bai He, I’d like to know? They are BHQH! Li Zhen finally shows up to help Shan Cai. Bitch. She totally ignores Qing He. Über-bitch.

Bad results

Say yun tou, ga dam sum?! What a bitch!

The girls try to hide her bruises with her long hair. Their attempt to sneak past her mom undetected fails, because she notices them as they are about to close the door when she pops in screeching, “Shan Cai!” for no good reason. (She’s funnier with her husband.) Li Zhen makes up a story that SC hit a tree while avoiding a dog. Her mom asks if the tree is all right, and is glad she won’t have to pay for damages. She brings the first-aid kit, then asks LZ to “create opportunities” for her daughter and Dao Ming Si at school, who just smiles and nods along. Well, at least the irony is more subtle than my subcutaneous fat. It’s not even dramatic, the best kind of irony! Although I guess re-watching can somewhat be considered as such.

Meanwhile, Dao Ming Si is busy wasting away in Margaritaville, but not searching for his lost shaker of salt. Xi Men and Mei Zuo complain that the waterside is full of mosquitoes instead of chicks and is unsuitable for knocking back brewskis (Michelob). I don’t get it… they are the F4, not the SATH4 (Surgically Attached at the Hip). They don’t have to hang out all the time, yeesh. XM and MZ talk amongst themselves as DMS drinks hella alcohol. Even if it’s actually iced tea, I hope there’s a spit bucket. In this specific shot, Mei Zuo actually reminds me of Akira, when he decided to straighten his hair (and thus transforming into the “fun guy”… he was way more like a playa when his hair was wavy, or at least that’s my pespective). Anyway, they discuss that one of them should knock the dude out so they don’t have to deal with this anymore. After arguing who should hit him, they agree that they both will, but when they pick up their beer bottles (lol), Dao Ming Si has already left.

DMS makes his way to Shan Cai’s place, but stops short. Li Zhen spots him when she’s leaving and asks if he’s okay. He mistakes her for SC and demands how she can ask him to believe her. Before she can utter much, he kisses her in a drunken stupor, but it looks like he’s draining her life.

I vant to suck your blood!

Soft, lilting, Spanish-styled guitar music plays through the last and this scene, as DMS lies in bed and Li Zhen hovers over him, wishing she could stop time because when he wakes up, she will have to go on hiding her true feelings again. I think I know what’s wrong with her voice… it’s just very monotonous, unless she’s physically acting. No voiceover work for you! When he wakes up suddenly, the dreamy music stops. Nice touch. He asks where he is and she responds that they’re at a hotel, because he didn’t seem to want to go home. DMS puts on his shoes to leave and LZ asks if he drank so much because of the photographs? He snaps at her, asking her who she thinks she is sticking her nose in his bidness. She replies, “Did you know you kissed me?” “So what?” She knows he kissed her because he thought she was Shan Cai, but she doesn’t mind because she knows how hurt he is. He scoffs; she then says she understands him because when you love someone, you only see their good side… it’s the same with her. DMS flashes back to Shan Cai screeching at him to believe in her and he finally gets up to leave. However, LZ follows him and lays one on him, but a wide-eyed DMS pushes her away. She falls on the bed and screams that she can also act tough like SC, she can change if he wants her to. He says she’s nothing like Shan Cai and to never mention tonight to anyone. I don’t know why, the last statement has always made me laugh. Probably because his tone is not at all threatening.

The next day, a gang of boys are beating up Shan Cai. It really is pathetic and difficult to watch. Pathetic because it’s a bunch of males ganging up on one girl, whoa, your egos must be huge now! Difficult because the asshole just keeps punching her before she can fully finish a sentence. Dao Ming Si finally arrives and punches one of them as the other punks run away. He pulls her up and into his arms and tells her he believes in her as she cries. I like how perpendicular her body is.

DMS carries her out to his car. She says she can walk on her own and to let her go, but he tells her he’s not letting go now that he has a hold of her. He informs her that they are going to his home lest she make her parents worry. In the car, he continues his vice-like grip on her, prompting her to say that he’s hurting her.

At his home, he asks his servants to get a room and bath ready for her. One of the maids sets off running, but once she reaches a certain point (where the staircase starts), she just stops and walks while turning around to check out the actors. In the room, the maids try to help Shan Cai out of her clothes, but she objects. They say the master will be angry if they don’t do their jobs. SC dun care! She races into the bathroom and shuts the door in their faces. She VOs about what he told her about not letting her go and how she only started crying when he came for her.

A maid brings her to his room and he explains he called her mom, who sounded very excited about her whereabouts. Shan Cai mutters that she’s crazy, then asks about his straight hair. He explains that it straightens out when it’s wet, so it’ll go back to normal when it’s dry. It’ll… defy gravity when it’s dry? He instructs her to sit next to him. She thinks he’s being lewd again until he presents a first-aid kit. She then complains he’s tending her wounds too forcefully. He apologizes for her ordeal, but asks if she didn’t really do it with the German guy. “No! I ain’t that kind of girl… idiot. Don’t tell me you’re jealous?!” He confirms it, and it’s because he likes her. Oh-ho! Then he leans in to kiss her. There’s a lot of kissing in this episode. (In fact, this kiss is shown for thirty seconds. How gratuitous!) I hate the word “kiss” now, but “smooch” and “canoodle” aren’t better at all. I guess I can always say “lips meeting each other the way a pilgrim’s hands do,” but that’s too unwieldy. They get really into in it because they both fall off the bed and awkwardly stare at each other. He says her blushing isn’t making things easier, but she counters that he’s as red as a monkey’s butt. She says one of his servants has prepared a room for her and she excuses herself. He stops her before she leaves, telling her he’s serious about this.

As she walks down the hallway, she wonders, “What should I do? He likes me?” Perhaps to mirror her thoughts, she finds herself lost and confused in his big house.

This is how horror movies start

In the morning, Shan Cai is served breakfast, her clothes are returned to her mended (because DMS knew she wouldn’t want him to buy her new ones), washed, and ironed, and is presented with a new scooter, because there was just no way to fix the old one. (I don’t think we see Shan Cai ride the new scooter, ever.) She’s forced to eat breakfast with the butler hanging over her shoulder. Yeah I don’t like it when somebody watches me eat, either. It means I can’t pocket the food for later use! She wants to thank Dao Ming Si, but the butler informs her he’s already left. “This early?” she asks. He claims when he left the house he was talking about revenge.

Every breath you take, every move you make, every bond you break, every step you take, I’LL BE WATCHING YOU

At school, two of the perpetrators are being pulled around by ropes attached to a car. Bai He is really upset while Xi Men and Mei Zuo simply appear amused looking at something innocuous. Shan Cai stops the car with her body and orders DMS to let them go. He says he didn’t tie them up and that they are holding on due to their own accord. (Which looks to be the case.) He also mentions he hung upside down the people who beat her up yesterday. He says he’s doing it for her, but she tells him there’s no need. He’ll let them down if she says she’s not angry, which she says she is. Furthermore, he’s got something else to show her: Qian Hui tied and gagged in the trunk of his car. DMS also says she went inside the trunk out of her own free will. He rips the tape off her mouth and QH says she did not take the photos or post them up. DMS gives her back the tape and she sticks it over her own mouth. DMS doesn’t believe her so he instructs a minion to shave off her eyebrows, which he only seems too happy to do. (Yessir!)

Have you ever seen the movie Misery?

Shan Cai indignantly calls out his name and he replies in disbelief, “Don’t tell me you believe her?” A still distressed Bai He goes up to them and calls out SC’s name (Say my name, say my name, you’re actin’ kinda shady) as Qian Hui wails in the background. SC finally says that she does believe her, so Dao Ming Si calls off his crony. QH apologizes while BH thanks her. Aww… they almost seem human, especially since they decided to lose the lost-in-a-Canadian-blizzard storyline from the manga. Xi Men and Mei Zuo notice their awkwardness and asks what happened between them, but DMS denies denies denies and leaves. Shan Cai wonders if he meant what he said and thinks his declaration was too sudden and she too ill-prepared for it.

Upon arriving at home Shan Cai’s mom pops out wearing a celebratory hat. The place is decked out with decorations and she informs her daughter that they are celebrating marriage (or as she says, “mair-e-ji”). “Whose?” “Yours!” “Mine?!” Her mom takes out the ugly-duckling chart again, but this time, she is just thisclose from becoming a swan. SC says nothing happened last night and that they slept in separate bedrooms. I’ve never seen a woman so disappointed in her daughter’s purity.

Dao Ming Si’s butler races into an empty room where his master is jumping rope. I wonder if this is the jump-rope room? DMS wants Butler to find out where the scandalous photographs of Shan Cai were developed. Hey, at least that’s not improbable, only impossible!

Empty like my heart

He’s wearing the same shirt from the other day!! Shameful! Though I don’t blame him, that shirt is pretty sweet

At school, Qing He shows up just to ask about Shan Cai’s wounds. He helps her hold her work for computer lab (which is just a big ol’ box… did she make a computer?). DMS also appears, frightening QH into hiding behind SC. DMS gives her a cellphone, informing her he’s 1 on speed dial and to come when he calls her. This, of course, infuriates SC and she grabs the box back from QH in anger.

Outside their home, Shan Cai’s mom is being shown how to operate a computerized refrigerator. SC comes out (with no bruises) and thinks her mom bought it, but in actuality DMS had it (and other stuff) delivered over. The Mission: Impossible theme starts playing — it’s Shan Cai’s cellphone. She answers it immediately by screaming, “Dao Ming Si! You idiot! What a stupid ringtone! And why did you send so much crap to my place!!” DMS corrects her, that it’s all high-quality products, but she should come on down (to Oganara? Ogallala? I don’t know what he says although it would be really awesome if it were the latter) and they’ll talk then. SC starts to say that she’s not a dog, but he ends the conversation with, “Bye-bye.”

Shan Cai finally arrives after hailing a taxi. Dao Ming Si introduces her to a waiter as his girlfriend. The worker replies that it’s no wonder he hasn’t been around lately. What happened to the girls? I liked it when she back-sassed them. She can’t back-sass a waiter, he will spit in her drink. SC finally sits and stares at her huge comet of an ice cube. When she wonders aloud why it’s so big, DMS responds, “That’s what she said!” Just kidding. It’s so it won’t melt as quickly and dilute the drink. Wasn’t the first one so much funnier?