I would’ve left some cushions for my post if it was some other drama. But I just finished this and can’t believe for the first time it wasn’t cliche. OKAY, there were some parts that were cliche. But I thought what made me really like this drama, in the end, was its twist. Like I mentioned in the previous post regarding Wen Xiong, I hoped for a different ending. It was not just because I’m a Jacky fan, but when I analyzed it and it had become so typical with Wen Xiong turning bad, I was disappointed. I meant like there goes another drama wanting to crank up its hype by needing a dramatic ending with some battle between good vs. evil. And in a sense, it was more subtle than was thought. The impact was large, but it was not overdone like how other dramas would’ve approached it.
Those who watched know by now that the scene with Wen Xiong advancing on Qing Mei and how Jiang Hu Piao had kicked Wen Xiong out was just a plan cooked up by none other than Jiang himself. YES, that was cruel and unnecessary in a sense but that allowed us to re-analyze everything about the plot. Or maybe I was the only idiot who found too much time to go study every single thing out there to connect with Wen Xiong’s actions.
So should I hang my hat since I let my imagination jumped ahead after episode 11? NO! Are you kidding me? I was expecting a twist so of course, I’m prepared to defend it as a turnaround. It would make me sound contradictory but in a way, the previous analysis made me think more about the depth of Wen Xiong’s character and how the plot had concealed some part of his personalities on purpose to mislead us. They needed that to make us think before showing us the ending.
I was waiting for the ending to continue this discussion anyway. So I actually drew up several factors. (I know, I must have no life to even sit around and think about it.) What was kind of suspicious that made me have some hope about Wen Xiong?
- Didn’t make sense. The Gao brothers were brought up by Jiang Hu Piao since their parents died when they were really young. Although they both experienced hardships, Jiang did give them a lot of opportunities and also allowed for Wen Xiong to study to the point that he earned a law degree. One could argue that it would be a good investment for Jiang to have an educated assistant yet the Gao brothers were given everything that Qing Mei had since they grew up. (This was mentioned by Wu Xiong in episode 1–with the scene by the pool.) Unless he was really a greedy dude who didn’t even treat them like family, he had no reason to do such. And maybe Qing Mei had such an effect on him like I said in the other post, behaving in such a way was too stupid–even if he was drunk.
- Jiang Hu Piao sure got there fast during the assault scene in episode 11. I’m so serious here. I was more than glad to see that it was just barely visible and we got the gist of it, nothing too traumatizing yet had a great impact. BUT I was so puzzled since it happened that: Why was Jiang so fast to jump in and rescue his daughter in time? I meant that house was BIG. Anyone saw it yet? It was shown from various angles from time to time AND it was a huge mansion or villa. Whatever you want to call it. But come on now, she could be the loudest girl but her voice could get drowned out in that house, considering how Jiang might be on the other side of the house. It would also take a while to get there. I tried to say that he was probably around the living room or possibly near that so she was lucky, but it had always puzzled me in the past week about the scene. (OR like I just said, the director wanted to spare us from a ‘too dramatic’ scene.) It would make sense that he was outside the door and jumped in at the right moment to stop everything and then tossed Wen Xiong out after some outburst. Convincing one indeed. And why did Jiang Hu Piao have to pick this method instead of some other excuse to kick Wen Xiong out? It was the most convincing one no matter how you thought of it. It was so fierce and so horrifying and unbelievable in a sense that was why it ended up being true–or so they wanted to be. Besides, having subtle hints of Wen Xiong not agreeing with Jiang Hu Piao at times and that could have led to his breaking point was another one to trick us, and possibly to show how comfortably they could disagree but it just meant they were just covering every single possibility with those business decisions. Besides, with this scheme between Jiang and Wen Xiong, it showed Jiang’s cunning side. After all, we saw too much of his comedic side overlapping more than his gangster side, right?
- Wen Xiong’s walk in the night. This was after he got kicked out. He wandered around and sat on a bench to think things over before approaching Bai Long the next day. He looked like he was mulling things over or regretting his actions, etc. At first, I thought it was the way it was directed to mislead us for a bit until we were shown the scene of the next day or how it was with Jacky’s acting. BUT it now made sense. He was just thinking the next step and how he would approach Bai Long to make the whole plan more convincing.
So what about Wen Xiong and Qing Mei? Honestly, I knew for sure and I thought other viewers would know as well that he liked Qing Mei. But he must have seen how hopeless it was after seeing how Qing Mei and Tuo Hai already reunited, it was like too low of a chance for him and Qing Mei. He was smart after all, so would he rather choose to stay by their side and be part of their family than make things even more complicated? And yes, he had chosen to stay by their side.
So I don’t know if I was thinking too much at first, my bias, or even disappointment that had led me to try and come up with possible outcomes. But I was glad to see a different ending than the typical as I stated many times before.
What about the rest of the characters? I thought it was well done in a way. I meant there were dramatic moments with the confrontation between Tuo Hai and Qing Mei. But it wasn’t too dramatic. I wondered how in the world could they wrap it up but was glad it wasn’t too cheesy. They did not have to show us everything with their reunion. The ending scene was already enough to tell us that Tuo Hai had returned. Many might have felt a bit of a rush but I thought it was good enough. Not everything had to be answered or showed too much. We got it. Not every single person had to show up for the ending. Not too gift-wrapped. I liked it that way. It was how life was at times. Not everything had to be all wrapped up.
What really surprised me was the chemistry between Xiao Gui and Qiao Qiao. I meant not that I was against it or anything. But I never thought about it–as most people. Since they never worked together before? (Not that I could remember so if I got it wrong, please correct me.) They were really fun and addicting to watch at times as Tuo Hai and Qing Mei. What I liked about their story was it began kind of typical with him being the “knight in shining armor” saving her and then the typical schemes that she would come up with to get to know him, become closer to him, etc. BUT it did not stop there. It did not reduce her character or his character to some complete hopeless beings or wishy-washy personalities. They had their differences that they needed to overcome. But their characters were really consistent throughout. Even how they had matured during the three years, some traces were still there in their personalities to show that they didn’t change at all. Their feelings for one another were still the same–if not stronger through time apart. Some things did not have to be said about their friendship but actions showed it all how they were able to be there for one another. Promises weren’t tossed around so loosely or try to make the whole thing magical like other dramas. If they promised, they really meant it. It was the first time I really liked a character Qiao Qiao portrayed without being annoyed. I meant I like her and her acting in the past–though I know she isn’t the best. But this role and how she had portrayed it made me feel like it’s my favorite role of her because it could count as the most serious character. There were traces of immature moments or those times with her grandpa in conspiring with one another, but that was done quite well and seemed genuine because it reminded us that we all have those moments in our lives. My first time watching Xiao Gui and I actually liked him as well.
The friendship in here was also something I really liked. Yes, those who know me (or read my stuff), know that I love those friendships in various dramas. Sometimes more than romance relations even. The friendship between the students was so random at times yet genuine. It paved a great picture for the rest of us to think about the school days.
And who could forget the three generations of the Jiang family, right? They were just a hilarious bunch. Come on now! I was more into watching them interacting within the family than the other side dramas at times. Maybe for comedic reasons but it was really funny. Grandpa Jiang was always so hilarious with his forgetful state (or fake ones?) or how enlightened he could sound at times. Jiang Hu Piao was crazy though really loved his family. Nothing like a gang leader but he was more than capable. Then there was the princess of the house, always up to something yet she was not really spoiled. She was fierce all right yet I think she couldn’t really be called spoiled because she treated others so nice, not letting on airs at all–whether how she regarded Wu Xiong and Wen Xiong or her classmates. She might be scheming away about some things, but never looked down on others.
And while we were on the subject, was Qing Mei really Jiang Hu Piao’s daughter? The director and/or scriptwriter(s) were messing with us too much. We got the answer that Grandpa Jiang was trying to delay matters by tricking Bai Long. BUT there was definite suspicion in the air–even if Jiang Hu Piao had claimed on trusting his wife fully. Qing Mei chose to rip the envelope up without opening it because she declared that her father was Jiang Hu Piao. So…it was all about trust and the importance of their family after all. The truth did not matter that much. They had a good relationship going on all along. It did not matter to them what was real. (Even before the DNA incident, Grandpa Jiang had told his son that he did not care if she was or was not really his grand-daughter because she would always be to him.)
Nothing like ending it with a wedding, right? But I was glad it wasn’t cliche with the main couple’s wedding. A family portrait indeed. (Too bad no Wu Xiong but it was all right. Don’t want to ask for too much, LOL!)
So was it a satisfying ending for everyone? I bet there were complaints. But it was enough for me. I enjoyed it and the bonus was seeing it so short. Not really if you consider it since it was like one hour per episode. Yet it did not drag.
*All images were captured by DTLCT
10 thoughts on “Liu Mang Xiao Zhang’s Ending”
A great analysis of the final ep!
Part of me wanted a very operatic ending, with maybe some kind of standoff scene between the gangs as in the first ep, and Wen Xiong has to do something very brave to save Qing Mei, maybe even be wounded or die. In his dying breath, or at least as he slips into unconsciousness, he reiterates his love for QM, but asks Tuo Hai to look after her. That would have been juicier, but I doubted it would happen because Jacky’s mother told him how much she had enjoyed his performance in the final ep, I didn’t think she’d like a scene with blood in it. I can see how the twist and Jacky’s amusing acting would have appealed to her a lot.
One thing I didn’t quite get because my Chinese is so limited, was whether Qing Mei was in on it. I think not, right? Wen Xiong certainly apologises to her in the carpark. I was left wishing he and QM could get together at the end. I did enjoy XG’s performance, though. He is so cute.
@vgag – LOL! That would have been too dramatic and WAY over. Though it sounds like fun to watch to see how far the cast’s acting could go. If it was that way, it would still be cliche though. I don’t know, LOL! If it was that dramatic, I wouldn’t finish it that fast. I meant too bi-polar (like most dramas), moods keep going up and down when you watch it, etc.
And see the second cap counting from the top of my post? That was the part where Jiang Hu Piao had to explain to Qing Mei that he and Wen Xiong were in on it together SO she was pissed off at them for playing with her like that. (And of course, sacrifice her.) They needed the others to be in the blind to make it more convincing.
Regarding Wen Xiong and Qing Mei – don’t I wish that too? BUT I know it’s too unrealistic considering how they built the plot around Tuo Hai and Qing Mei already, LOL! Something to ponder still.
The scene at the parking lot, he was saying how he did it because of her. AND I loved that scene because she was saying how she could forgive him if he’d hurt her but since he went overboard and hurt her family and others around her, she couldn’t forgive him. It just proved Qing Mei was not someone that others could push around. She was still nice to him or try to get along before he helped Bai Long take over at the uni but after that, she had to draw the line.
And so off-topic but not sure if you’ve been reading my fics but I have a bunch going on with Jacky and Joanne but so far, just mostly good friends relations. I have one where they pair up but I’m stuck so can’t post it yet.
For some reason, I think I didn’t understand much of that scene where Hu Piao has to explain the reasons for WX’s reasons to QM. Now I get it, thanks to your explanation. I still think maybe YX really harboured feelings for QM, though. There was something so heartfelt in that scene when he kept insisting, ‘Wo ai ni’.
I love that white scarf Wen Xiong wears in the wedding scene. Really elegant!
I really enjoyed Jacky and Xiao Gui and Qiao Qaio’s performances. I hope to catch up with their new dramas as soon as they come out, and I also hope they appear together in something again.
@vgag – The reason why it seemed confusing was there weren’t really words while he was explaining. It just showed the scene where they were in the living room and mumbling something. It just showed their lips moving. Then when Qing Mei spoke up and scolded them, that was when the scene sort of zoomed in a bit and it was more clear. So we could guess that her father explained it to her.
Like I said, I think Wen Xiong must have loved Qing Mei, but he didn’t want to risk the relationship they had thus far, being friends or somewhat like sibling sucks BUT risking all of that was beyond dumb. I guess he chose to stay by her father’s side and be part of the family. They didn’t say much but we could guess since he didn’t express anymore after, eh?
Yes, I think that the big decision Wen Xiong had to make was between his love of Qing Mei and his loyalty to his foster father–and to the Jiang family as a whole. He was at heart a cool, rational person so he must have figured out how deeply Qing Mei had falled for Tuo Hai–so it made his decision that much easier to make. Wen Xiong acts very properly in that last episode, putting aside his personal happiness for the greater good. No wonder Jacky’s mother liked his performance in that final ep. He was very filial!
I hope other fans seek this series out. It’s really good.
@vgag – I hope that other fans would enjoy it as much as we did. But I know for sure some won’t because of how it wasn’t as supposedly ‘high quality’ or up to their standard. I didn’t care for that as long as it met my requirement for it. I felt I could connect with it more than the supposedly ‘high quality’ ones out there OR what is required in those production process. I knew the cast and production team must have put in great effort to make it entertaining and short for the rest of us.
Now that it’s over, I’m really impatient for the DVD set to come out so I could collect. I seriously wonder when. Is checking YesAsia every day sane? LOL!
Ok, it wasn’t a great idol drama but it had a quirky, low key quality that would reward fans who seek out the box set. I’m slowly get used to the idea that Jacky had cosmetic dentistry done on his teeth–his rather wolfish canines definitely seem smaller and his entire smile is more even. What a shame he didn’t have his new smile in Mafia Principal–but then he was supposed to be the adviser to a gangster and not TOO handsome. Well, maybe we’ll get to see it in They Are Flying. LOL
@vgag – I don’t know what is good anymore since I sort of operate on my own wavelength, but it was good enough for me. It’s not because my favorites are in there, but also because I thought it was enough, not too over-hype or bi-polar like I mentioned before. It has a consistency that allows me to appreciate it for what it is, not the forced formula with trying to create climatic moments on purpose to bring ratings up. Not sure how to explain it anymore but maybe I could relate to it so I like it better than the so-called ‘high quality’ ones out there. NOT the gangster part of course, but the other parts relating to the various relationships in here, especially the friendships of the students and how they’d gone through problems of their own, etc.
Regarding Jacky’s new look, I’m not sure it would be seen in ‘Fei Xing Shao Nian’, depending on when he had those cosmetic dentistry done because it seemed like he filmed that right after ‘Liu Mang Xiao Zhang’ (and the filming date is different from the airing date). I guess we’ll have to wait and see.