*sniffle* This is my last episode recap and concludes my first (and likely, only) time doing a drama recap. Thanks for humouring me and reading my blatherings. Back to translating after this, which is much more my comfort zone. (BTW, Really, Really Miss You translations will be back to their regular posting schedule next week.)
More of the handsome guy, the rest of the wedding, another wedding, and flashbacks to young, carefree days. Overall, a pretty sunshine-y episode of My Sunshine.
My Sunshine Episode 31 Review & Recap (written by hoju & illustrated by bongsd)
Last episode, we were left off with Yi Mei staring deep into the eyes of a handsome guy outside the wedding site.
(After handsome guy made his appearance, many fangirls went crazy to put a name to the face. One of the most popular searches in China about the drama suddenly became, “Who is the actor that plays Yi Mei’s hubby?” I only found out his name — Liu Cheng Rui, if you’re a fangirl and missed it last recap — because Peanuts came running to me with the same question. ;) )
Yi Mei is now a journalist and has gone to a village to gain understanding on the situation of left-behind children — children whose parents have left to go to the big cities for work, leaving them behind in the village. Yi Mei walks through the desolate-feeling village, speaking into her phone to record her thoughts. She encounters a young boy whose arms are bruise-ridden. He is withdrawn, saying only that he misses his mother, and runs from Yi Mei. She searches concernedly for him through the village and chances upon a courtyard with five or so children alone… or so she thought, until she gets a firm pat on her shoulder. Spinning around to see a strange man behind her, she asks no questions and begins beating the guy with her shoulder bag.
“Why did you hit Teacher Zhang?” the kids ask her later. She guiltily tells the young man she thought he was a bad person here to take advantage of the children. Teacher Zhang notices there’s a child missing. Realizing it is the same child she had come across, Yi Mei goes out with him to search for the boy. They find him under a big tree, where he always sits in hopes of seeing his mom and dad return. Yi Mei looks on as Teacher Zhang gently coaxes the boy to go back with him. As they turn to head back, the boy stretches his hand out to Yi Mei, and the three of them walk back hand in hand.
Yi Mei and Teacher Zhang sit side-by-side, in a shady spot beside the river (such a serene peaceful setting… the perfect set-up for feelings to bud), and she apologizes to him again. He explains to her that he spends every summer holiday here with the left-behind children and could be considered their teacher/tutor. He is a musician who had come to the village one time for inspiration but was captured by the yearning for love and attention he could see in the children’s eyes. The desire of his heart is that he can use the music he loves to fill some of that void in their hearts caused by their longing for their family members, and his presence here in the village is his way to pursue his dream. Yi Mei agrees that every person should pursue a dream of their own. When he asks her what her dream is, she tells him, she is pursuing it already: to be a journalist. She asks if she can join him, to come here to be with the children, and he welcomes her. “I am Zhang Xu,” he introduces himself officially.
They spend many-a-time together, caring for the children and sharing meaningful glances, of course, touched by the other’s compassion and love.
*back to present day*
And so, that is the backstory for us to understand why they are staring so deeply into each other’s eyes. Why Zhang Xu is at the wedding site, I don’t know, but we are not supposed to ask that question.😉
Drinks are flowing at the wedding, and Lao Yuan is having fun. “This is the first time you’re getting married, so you didn’t have any experience, but next time you get married, you’ll be an old pro,” he tells Yi Chen before turning to Mo Sheng. “Next time he gets married, I can’t guarantee the bride will be you, eh?” Yi Chen butts him away while the rest of the crowd laughs at him that he has not even had his first time marriage experience. Yi Mei hurries in and apologizes for having arrived late. “Big Brother, Mo Sheng,” she addresses the newlywed couple, but then corrects herself and calls Mo Sheng, “Sister-in-Law.” She wants to raise her glass to the two, but Lao Yuan starts rowdying-up the crowd and jokes go back and forth. Lao Yuan even declares he is so popular with the ladies now that he has decided he’s not going to get married for fear of leaving a trail of broken hearts behind. Yi Chen eventually cuts in, asking if he could just take a drink from the glass he has been holding for so long.
(I must complain about how awful Mo Sheng’s hair looks, like she got up in the morning, slapped on her tiara, threw the veil on top, and voila, ready to get married. I know it’s short hair, but come on, hubby is a big-shot lawyer and can afford to hire a proper hair stylist for your once-in-a-lifetime big day.)
Yuan Feng and Xiao Xiao are at the hospital. The official test results have come in and Xiao Xiao is not pregnant! The home pregnancy test was a false-positive. Yuan Feng comforts Xiao Xiao, saying they are still young and their children will come eventually. Without a child tying them together, Xiao Xiao tells him they should part ways, but Yuan Feng states, “It’s actually better that there is no baby. That way, it proves that my feelings for you are purely out of love and that I am with you not out of responsibility.”
So, it seems Zhang Xu is from Shanghai? As he and Yi Mei stroll under the shade of trees with rays of sunlight passing through the branches (they are certainly doing their best to make sure Yi Mei has the most romantic relationship ever), Zhang Xu tells her, “Actually, the first time I saw you in the village, I could see a certain sense of sadness and loss in your eyes, very similar to the children, yet different as well.” Yi Mei gives him an excuse that it is probably because she is a journalist and she sometimes has to cover unhappy stories. He gives her a profound and earnest response. “… ‘To love but not able to have’ is a very lonely feeling. I understand that feeling… You are a smart girl. You should be happy.” (He learned all that just from looking into her eyes? Holy! Music is definitely the wrong calling for him, then.) Yi Mei smiles at him, and they share yet another loooooong moment staring deeply into each other’s eyes.
Two years later…
Another wedding! Guess whose it is this time? (If you hadn’t caught the romantic overtones in all those previous scenes, you probably had your finger on the fast-forward button.) I’ll admit, Yi Mei looks radiant as a blushing bride (at least she did her hair!) as hubby, Zhang Xu carries her out to the wedding car, while the photographer, Mo Sheng, busily darts around getting shots of the celebration. In the car, Yi Mei looks back out at Mo Sheng and Yi Chen briefly, a content and happy smile on her lips — the past is truly in the past now.
The picture-perfect wedding, down to the groom’s vow of love: “Two years ago, you let me encounter you. In the one year following, you let me understand you, comprehend you, fall in love with you. A common dream and goal that we persevered at together allowed me to deeply believe and know with certainty that you are the one person whom I want to respect, protect, and treasure. And so, three months ago, I officially proposed to you. That moment when you accepted and allowed me to place the wedding ring on your finger, I felt I was the luckiest, happiest person in the world.” He pauses to tell the crowd he is a little overcome with emotion and nervous, too. (What is that look that Yi Chen is giving him?) The groom continues his vows, “Anyway, the many words I have to say all converge to this: Yi Mei, thank you for appearing in my life, thank you that you are willing to share the rest of your life with me. I promise to give you happiness.” Yi Chen looks on, his expression grateful and touched that his little sister has finally found the happiness she deserves.
(I shall not complain about Mo Sheng’s outfit being way too casual for a wedding where she is actually family, since she is doing double-duty as the photographer, too. However, was I the only one who right away noticed the word “BONDAGE”, capital letters and all, spelled across her back? For a wedding?! LOL! Bongsd helped me research the brand and I guess it says “BON-TON” in the front? Does that make the whole message of the shirt more wholesome? Or, as Bongsd puts it, Mo Sheng’s taste is just a little, ahem, “intense”? FYI, this might be a little preview of peanut’s fashion post, but that Moschino shirt goes for $500 USD. Me… no thanks!)
Wedding pictures time with the family! Yi Chen has dropped all semblance of his cool Lawyer He look (and the Yi Chen of the novel, while we’re at it) and is goofing around in the back with Mo Sheng, making faces and giving bunny ears/bull horns to the oblivious bride and groom.
(Okay, okay, I get it. They’re trying to tell us Yi Mei has let go of everything and is finally able to find true happiness that belongs to her. But, it’s, it’s, it’s so… cheesy! From her first encounter with the good-looking, artistic (musician), compassionate, thoughtful, insightful guy to the babbling brooks and tree-lined paths to the laughing and playing with children while gazing at each other to the “I read in your eyes” line to the fairytale wedding with the touching vow… it’s all too much cheese for me to swallow in the mere 26 minutes total up to this point that Zhang Xu has graced my screen. Apologies for anyone who likes this couple but I get shivers down my spine from how sappy it all is.)
The rest of the episode is into epilogue territory of the novel and follows the book very closely. There is a cold war going on at the law firm. Mei Ting and one of the other lawyers (I think), Xiao Liu are a couple, but Mei Ting has an opportunity to study abroad for a couple of years. Xiao Liu has supposedly already proposed to her, but Mei Ting is insistent on pursuing her dream, hence, they are not on speaking terms with one another. Lao Yuan wants to discuss their situation with Yi Chen but Yi Chen is all business. Lao Yuan chastises him that Mei Ting has been his assistant for several years and he should show some concern. “Mm, my wife won’t want me to be concerned with a female colleague’s private life,” Yi Chen states. This drives Lao Yuan crazy because apparently, Yi Chen has been using “my wife” as an excuse for everything.
Scene 1: A female client is making eyes at Yi Chen, trying to get him out for drinks to “discuss the case.” “My apologies. The wife at home keeps me on a tight leash. Every night, I need to be home promptly at 7:00.” When she asks him if he is scared of his wife, he nods politely.
Scene 2: The three bosses are out for drinks with some contacts. The whole table is covered in Rio bottles but Lawyer He only sips his water. When he is asked to drink, Yi Chen says, “My apologies. The wife keeps me on a tight leash. I don’t dare drink too much.” One of the men there comments, “Lawyer He’s wife is well-known for her jealousy and tight control over her husband…” Haha!
*back to present day*
Lao Yuan threatens that next time, he is going to tell Mo Sheng that Yi Chen has caused her to be known as a “shrew of a wife” in the entire legal circle. “Self-restraint is beneficial to a harmonious household… You don’t have a wife, so you won’t understand,” Yi Chen merely responds. Ouch! Lao Yuan grimaces in pain from that one and leaves, screaming where is his wife, while Yi Chen just smirks.
Mei Ting comes up to Yi Chen’s office with some business, and after, Yi Chen hesitantly broaches the question of whether she really is going abroad. Mei Ting immediately becomes defensive and fires off a string of arguments: Why is everyone telling her to stay? It was very difficult to get into that school and it is a mere two years. “Lawyer He, didn’t you wait for your wife for seven years? So why can’t he wait for just two? If he cannot wait, that proves he does not truly love me!” Yi Chen turns away, his expression much more somber than before and he seems lost in thought. Mei Ting clearly regrets what she said and takes her leave, but Yi Chen calls after her. “Pursuing one’s own dream is a right that everyone has. However, this has nothing to do with proving how true one’s love is… If you want to use time to prove love, how much time would have to be wasted?”
(Ah, that last sentence is one of my favourite lines from the novel. I’m so glad they preserved the whole conversation in its entirety. It’s a lesson that Mo Sheng and Yi Chen learned personally.)
Yi Chen returns home to his “shrew” to see her sprawled on her stomach on the bed, head still wet and reading.
Mo Sheng: You’re back.
Yi Chen: Why didn’t you blow dry your hair before you started reading?
Mo Sheng: I knew you were about to come back.
(Yi Chen sighs, grabs the hair dryer from the bathroom, and plugs it in.)
Yi Chen: Come over. (sits on bed and pats Mo Sheng’s leg) Come.
(Mo Sheng lays her wet head on Yi Chen’s lap and continues reading.)
Yi Chen: (turns on hair dryer and begins blowing her hair) How old are you now? Still behaving like a little kid.
Mo Sheng: You are the one who wanted me to grow out this hair. And besides, from a legal perspective, this long hair was grown out after we got married and is considered a jointly-owned asset. So, you have an obligation to maintain and care for it.
Yi Chen: Where did you learn your twisted reasoning?
Mo Sheng: Taught by Lawyer He, through words and example.
Yi Chen: Taught by words and example? I don’t want a student like you.
(Mo Sheng giggles and continues reading)
Yi Chen: (takes book away) Don’t read like that. It’s bad for the eyes.
Mo Sheng: (grabs book back) But my hair isn’t dry yet so I can’t sleep yet.
The book was lent to Mo Sheng by Xiao Hong and is about a 30 year old woman who died in a car accident but somehow time-traveled back to her 14 year old self and got a do-over of her life.
Mo Sheng: (puts down book) If you could go back to the time you were 14 years old, what would you do?
(Yi Chen sighs but does not answer)
Mo Sheng: (sits up) Would you go earlier to look for me?
Yi Chen: (turns of hair dryer) That year, you were only 13 years old, still a minor and just graduated from primary school. (puts away dryer)
Mo Sheng: That’s true. But if were to go back to when I was 14, I would make sure I get into the same high school as you. And then… (gives a satisfied smirk) catch you and settle you down earlier.
Yi Chen: Mrs. He, I very regretfully inform you that I would not date you at such an early age.
Mo Sheng: You said resolutely that you wouldn’t date anyone in university either, but what was the result? I still caught you! You’re a defeated opponent, so don’t bother with the brave speech.
(playful smile at each other… and then a big kiss!)
Mo Sheng: What are you doing? This morning, we just… I still have to go out on location early tomorrow morning!
Yi Chen: I’ve been waiting on you all this time since I got back. I haven’t even showered yet.
Mo Sheng: Hurry and take a shower!
Yi Chen: Then help me undress.
Mo Sheng: Oh…
“If there really was a thing as traveling back to the past, I would want to go back to when I was 19 years old…” Mo Sheng says, wistfully…
*Imagining their university days*
It’s the long awaited university days acted by Tang Yan and Wallace Chung. Let’s see how much these classic scenes can trigger your memory. No detailed explanations from me here.😉
Mo Sheng’s first day at uni, camera out and her love-at-first-sight moment with Yi Chen. “Are you worried I won’t be able to find you? Even though there’s tens of thousands of people in the whole uni, a determined person will find her way. I’ll ask one by one, and eventually I’ll get my answer.” “He Yi Chen. International Law. Second Year.”
“I’ll give you your scenery back, then.”
The scene where Mo Sheng brings the photo to Yi Chen, which he takes. “Fellow schoolmate, are you sure you want to debate right of possession of the photo with someone studying in the Faculty of Law?”
Hey, fellow student, how long must you keep following me?
“Are you sure you want to debate right of possession of the photo with someone studying in the Faculty of Law?”
And the very classic moment: “From now on, I’ll call you Yi Chen… My name is Zhao Mo Sheng. ‘Zhao’ is just that ‘Zhao.’ ‘Mo’ as in ‘chen mo’ [silence]. ‘Sheng’ is a type of musical instrument. My name has a literary reference. It’s derived from Xu Zhimo’s poem.” (I like this version better than the one with the younger actors. The leapfrog across the bench is cute and emphasizes her name so much better compared to the machine gun speed introduction at the cafeteria table in the other version.)
Check out Yi Chen’s eyes in the second one! If looks could kill…
“I’ve thought about it. If, in three years, you are meant to be my girlfriend anyway, why don’t I exercise my right earlier?” But, this version, we get a hand-holding bonus!
“If, in three years, you are meant to be my girlfriend anyway, why don’t I exercise my right earlier?”
(You will get to see more of the Wallace/Tang Yan version of the young Yi Chen and Mo Sheng in the next episode. If this had been used in the main storyline, I would not have bat an eye. Wallace did fine, despite his real life age. I will complain about that mop of hair that they did not style to make him look younger. However, after having seen the younger actors’ version, I still believe the overall atmosphere given off by that version emits the right feel of innocence and young love better.)