Fangirling Chinese Novels

My Sunshine (何以笙箫默): Episode 3 Review and Recap




Thank you again Chewywon for making our posts look so pretty.  Peanuts and I have been bombarding our poor artistic designer with post after post, and she has been doing such a good job with all the pretty screenshots. 🙂

The expected highlight of this episode is Yi Chen and Mo Sheng’s first meeting.  You could feel the undercurrent of emotion behind our Lawyer He’s composed expression or Mo Sheng’s quiet answers.  But a surprising highlight to me was the young love of the university-aged Yi Chen and Mo Sheng. For your information, the young Yi Chen is acted by Leo from a popular China boyband called JL. What did you all think?

My Sunshine Episode 3 Review & Recap (written by hoju & illustrated by chewywon)

Lights aren’t working in the new apartment, so Mo Sheng is off to that same supermarket again for some lightbulbs.  (The timeline has been shortened by quite a bit here compared to the novel, which had a whole month passing, not just a few days between supermarket trips). Hey, Mo Sheng is even less handy than me and doesn’t even think to check wattage or bring an old bulb with her!  A security guard at the supermarket seems to recognize her and stops her, asking if she had lost something recently.  He whips out a men’s style wallet and smugly states, “This is yours.”  Confused, Mo Sheng opens up this wallet, which we saw Yi Chen drop in the last episode, and discovers a photograph of herself in it!  At the security guard’s insistence that the wallet must belong to someone she knows, she takes the wallet with her.  She later discovers the photo has the English words, “My sunshine” written on it and instantly recognizes it as Yi Chen’s handwriting.2

Mo Sheng remembers her very first meeting with Yi Chen in university when he discovered her secretly taking  his picture.  (Hey, we were all duped by the trailer!  They still ended up using different actors for the university-aged Yi Chen and Mo Sheng.  Ahem, I shall just suspend my disbelief and believe that Yi Chen and Mo Sheng’s features managed to completely change, even though they were done with puberty.)

Mo Sheng sits in the coffee shop next to Yi Chen’s law firm as a man (who was very much enjoying his coffee and biscuit) looks on at her.  When she sees Yi Chen walking by as he leaves his law firm, she gets up and heads to his office, where she drops off the wallet with reception.  As she heads out the door, the same man who had been observing her in the coffee shop walks in and takes notice of her once again.  It turns out he is Lawyer Yuan (aka Lao Yuan), one of the partners of the law firm, and when he finds out that Mo Sheng had been asking about Yi Chen, a nosy-auntie type of grin covers his face and he takes the wallet with him.4

Treasure’s Editor-in-chief Zhang makes an announcement to the nervous staff of the magazine that… sales of the magazine have been exceptional this month!  The previously icy attitude towards Mo Sheng has melted as everyone credits her connections to the American model, David Morgan for the success.  Editor Wen (that annoying superior who had been giving Mo Sheng grief last episode) walks by and makes a snarky comment, though.  Office gossip has it that Editor Wen’s husband has been having an extramarital affair, hence her wicked temper and need for a lawyer of late.  Mo Sheng takes in the information quietly as the women of the magazine wonder if there are still any good, faithful men out in the world.

(Although Mo Sheng is supposed to have changed a lot over the seven years, from her sunny disposition in university to a more reserved woman now, the drama’s Mo Sheng seems even quieter than I imagined from the novel.  The novel version of Mo Sheng would still tell jokes with her colleagues but drama Mo Sheng seems to just listen more.  Other novel readers, thoughts?)

Yi Chen is chewing out his rookie subordinates, again showing the all-business Lawyer He side.  Lao Yuan brings the wallet to Yi Chen, intending on getting some gossip on the proper, serious Lawyer He.  “A beautiful girl brought it to our firm…… Your wallet was at someone’s home.  Did you stay overnight at that person’s place?”  At Yi Chen’s questioning, Lao Yuan reveals the wallet was dropped off by a “short-haired, large-eyed girl… a Miss Zhao from a magazine firm”, who had been watching from the coffee shop for him to leave before returning the wallet.  Yi Chen’s emotions are noticeably stirred up by this piece of information, and memories of that first encounter in university flood over him.

A handsome, successful-looking man comes looking for Mo Sheng at Treasure’s office.  *drumroll* The face-to-face reunion of Yi Chen and Mo Sheng!

"Miss Zhao."

“Miss Zhao.”

"Mr... He.  Please, have a seat."

“Mr… He. Please, have a seat.”

The scene plays out just like the novel is written.  Wallace’s Yi Chen is how I pictured him.  A reserved, aloof front about him that does not completely cover the anger in his eyes or the cutting edge of his quiet, overly-polite words.

Yi Chen: Miss Zhao.
Mo Sheng: Mr… He.  Please, have a seat.  (pause)  Would you like anything to drink?
Yi Chen: Thank you, but no need.  I’ll just say a few words and then leave.
Mo Sheng: You came to find me… How did you know I’m here?
Yi Chen: Xiao Xiao. I’m her lawyer.
Mo Sheng: Right. Is there anything I can help you with?
Yi Chen:  Three days ago, Miss Zhao came to my humble firm and said you would return, but so much time elapsed and you still had not come by. I had no choice, then but to personally pay you a visit.
Mo Sheng: How did you know it was me?
Yi Chen: I happen to have the reasoning and deductive abilities of a normal person.
Mo Sheng: I went to return the wallet.  Since you already got it back, I decided not to make another trip.
Yi Chen: Besides to return the wallet, was there anything else?
Mo Sheng: No.

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The subtle flash of disappointment across Yi Chen’s face when he hears this response is spot on.  Mo Sheng’s hesitation and unwillingness to make eye contact are noticeable contrast from the young version of Mo Sheng from the flashback, who had boldly stared straight at the young Yi Chen and asked for his name.

He asks for the photograph back from Mo Sheng.

Yi Chen: There was a photo inside here.  Miss Zhao, do you know where it is?
Mo Sheng: Was there?  I did not really notice.
Yi Chen: Besides money, there was nothing inside.  So, Miss Zhao, how is it you knew that this wallet belonged to me?… Could you return the photo to me?
Mo Sheng: The person in the picture is me.  Why should I give it back to you?
Yi Chen: I would advise you to not argue with a lawyer regarding the issue of right of possession.
Mo Sheng: The photo isn’t here.
Yi Chen: Give it to me tomorrow.
Mo Sheng: Tomorrow, I still…
Yi Chen: I think, neither of us wants to have too many entanglements with one another.
Mo Sheng: What do you want with a photograph of me?
Yi Chen: Who knows?  Perhaps, I want to keep it with me, to constantly serve as a reminder of the stupidity of my past.

His mocking (and self-mocking) smirk as he says that last sentence oozes tension.  In the end, she loses the argument on right of possession of the photo to Lawyer He and promises to bring the photo to him the next day.


After a work gathering to celebrate record sales of the magazine and welcome Mo Sheng, Mo Sheng walks alone, wondering, was it really a past of stupidity?

A flashback to their university days of a young, innocent Zhao Mo Sheng, not afraid to speak whatever thought came to mind, telling Yi Chen, it’d be even better if they could not make it back to the dormitory before the doors closed.

And then, in contrast, Zhao Mo Sheng in the present, reflecting, “If my hair was a bit longer, pulled back in a ponytail, and my skin was fairer…”

*Flashback to their university days*

On her very first day of university, Zhao Mo Sheng, basking in her doting father’s love and affection as they exchange father-daughter banter, is dropped off at her new school.  She happens upon Yi Chen, sitting under a tree reading, and it is love at first sight.



Mo Sheng meets her new dorm mates, including sweet and simple Lin Shao Mei  (present day big name model, Xiao Xiao) who is also in the faculty of chemistry with her.  Young girls who have nothing to worry about but what clothes they wear and how good the food is in the cafeteria… We learn Shao Mei comes from a less fortunate background.

Mo Sheng tails Yi Chen all around the university grounds until he finally asks her what she wants.  She gives him the photo she took of him, which he accepts before walking off.  Chasing him, she asks, isn’t he planning on giving it back?  The photo is hers.  He responds, “Fellow schoolmate, are you sure you want to debate right of a possession of the photo with someone studying in the faculty of law?”  Whoa, deja vu!


Mo Sheng spends her university days following Yi Chen around, everything from forcing him to have lunch with her to copying down his faculty’s class schedule to choosing law as one of her options — only to be rejected.  One of my favourite lines that came straight from the novel, spoken by the young, innocent Mo Sheng: “Yi Chen, are you the stupid one or am I? But you’re so smart, so I must be the stupid one. How can I be such a failure? I’ve been pursuing the guy for so long, yet he still doesn’t know what I’m doing.” Peanuts’s favorite reply is: “I do not intend to have a girlfriend in university.” Mo Sheng: “Then I will stand in line right now and wait for you to graduate from university. I will be given priority, right?”

"I do not intend to have a girlfriend in university."

“I do not intend to have a girlfriend in university.”

 “Then I will stand in line right now and wait for you to graduate from university. I will be given priority, right?”

“Then I will stand in line right now and wait for you to graduate from university. I will be given priority, right?”

New actors and actresses aside, I am happy with these young versions of our leads.  Mo Sheng’s smile has the right innocence needed of the girl who boldly and unwaveringly pursues the boy of her dreams, pestering and harassing until he gives her his name and faculty.  Yi Chen is the stuffy law student who is slowly being melted by that persistent girl’s sunny disposition.  I’m so glad they purity of young love is captured because it serves well as a stark contrast to the relationship seven years later and leaves you crying, “What if…?”


23 thoughts on “My Sunshine (何以笙箫默): Episode 3 Review and Recap

  1. Thanks hoju for the recap. I really like the younger versions. I’m just happy we get two episodes a day. Mo Sheng was so adorable in the flashbacks. I can’t wait til your recap of episode 5, I really like that episode.

  2. These caps are amazing! I’m so happy to finally know what they are talking about in the drama. Haha. I have to admit though, guessing their conversation as I watched the RAWs is pretty fun. Thank you!

  3. thank you hoju 🙂 i love those scenes, the reunion and the flashback.. bittersweet.. 🙂

    • That reunion scene was… awesome! Really appreciating Wallace’s acting. Tang Yan is doing okay, but nothing exceptional yet. I’m waiting for her to impress us.

      Bittersweet is such a good word… Especially if you think about their current relationship.

  4. I watched these episodes and had no idea what they were saying especially episode 4 since that focused in their college years and had little reference from the novel but I love it…the younger Mo Sheng was so cute she really emodied the young Mo Sheng fro the novel…I was a little confused because I read that WC and TY will be playing their younger selves but no complaints here…still liked it…

    Thanks for the recap ai finally have an idea of what was going on.

    • Weibo-ers were quite miffed that the trailer misled us into believing Wallace and Tiffany would be playing the younger versions of their characters as well. While I agree it is frustrating to have been misled, I can’t deny that the young actors captured the spirit of those university years so well!

      Glad this helped you understand what was going on.

  5. You’re just so wonderful keeping us updated with the recaps.
    I find the younger version a breath of fresh air. They are doing a good job but want to see the happy and “hot” days coming.
    Thank you.

    • Thanks for reading. 🙂 And commenting! I love discussing with other people (even if it’s not about Toupai).

      I’m glad there are people who are liking these younger years. Haha… But yes, we are all eagerly waiting for WC and TY to grace our screens again!

  6. Thanks Hoju for the recap 🙂

  7. Thanks Hoju for recapping 🙂
    I don’t know whether only me or what, first and second episodes are so depressing and suffocating for me. When seeing WC expression as He Yi Chen, I just felt as if I could feel his pain and all his sadness. So, when the story flash back to the younger of them, I feel so delight because there are lots sweet scene. still I look forward WC and TY back to screen 🙂

    • You’re welcome!
      I suspect that is the effect they were striving to achieve. The sweetness of the younger days serves only to make the sense of loss even greater over the seven years of separation.

  8. ” the drama’s Mo Sheng seems even quieter than I imagined from the novel. ”

    imo, mosheng is exactly like how i imagine when i read the novel. i might be wrong, though its not that long since i read it, but i simply don’t believe my memory xD

    the editor seriously annoying, what’s wrong with her? i hope she wont have much screen time after this.

    i like the scene when heyichen ask for the mosheng picture. that scene looks like a lawyer asking a defendant in court xD

    i like the flashback too.. the girl played the character so well.. exactly what i imagined before. yichen was so cold. but the scene looks sweet.. 🙂

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