Mei Ren Long Tang: Episode 12 – Robbing

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*WARNING*: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD. If you DO NOT want to be spoiled, please DO NOT read. You have been warned.

As it were, Long Tai was chasing after Ren Mei’s car, attempting to patch things up between the two of them. Yet the last scene of the episode was also deceiving. Because even if Ren Mei had heard him and turned around, the bend in the road had caused their misunderstanding to enhance. Long Tai couldn’t chase any longer and stopped before the car took the turn hence not allowing Ren Mei to see him. (GOD, indeed a very torturous scene.)

Unlike their past encounters, Grandma Zhao was actually seen as quite anxious while waiting for Ren Mei’s return. And indeed, the tension that often existed when they were crossing paths seemed to have dissolved. Though Ren Mei still looked uncertain yet Grandma Zhao was seen less strict. In fact, her face expression had softened. Ren Mei finally spoke up to say that she was back–to which Grandma Zhao responded with a “Good” instead of her sharp words from before.

That night at the dinner table, Ren Mei was able to witness of Grandma Zhao’s partial toward Ren Hu once again, thinking things hadn’t changed at all. However, she soon realized how wrong she was when her grandma told the assistant that the soup pot she just brought in wasn’t for Ren Hu but for Ren Mei. Yes, that had shocked not only Ren Hu but also Ren Mei, who was staring at the tabletop at that point. The assistant was more than happy to see that Ren Mei was being treated so nicely–like she should be. Yet Ren Hu was the only one being unhappy and thinking that his grandma had changed. Grandma Zhao went even further, encouraging Ren Mei with her words. Though she didn’t say exactly in a ‘mushy’ style like the others (LOL), but she told Ren Mei it was better that she drank that particular soup to help her maintain her energy for ballet dancing rather than eat the oily stuff (that would make her fat again, not being able to pursue her dream).

So after Ren Hu failed in causing trouble for the Long family by using the whole “seeking justice for Ren Mei” shield, he turned to another alternative. Yes, the one with wanting Xiao Xiang to return the money–despite the fact that her business just took off. Xiao Xiang was more than shocked that the other person wanted the money back so soon. Yet, of course, the head of the town only said he received a call and was told to pass the word on, etc.

So they were forced to go back to the Long family for a meeting. Long Tai thought up of a new method to help their business drive in even more customers with different options and thus could help their financial matter even more. Though somehow along the way, Ah Xiang and Ah Lun had misspoken, causing their almost fight. Yet Lao Tu said that their plan was also in place, and soon Long Tang’s business would also pick up. While they were chatting away so excitedly, Tian He appeared at the door. Long Tai, wanting to ease tensions between all parties, asked if Tian He wanted to join their discussion. Tian He, of course, responded that he wasn’t the least bit interest in their discussion. That had caused some reaction from Ah Lun and Ah Xiang, thinking that it was weird he didn’t care for his family business and all. Long Tai soon asked Lao Tu and Ah Pan Jie if Tian He had always been that cold, withdrawn. Yet Lao Tu disclosed that Tian He changed his attitude since Long Shou Cheng slapped him that one time. (Ooooh, so the plot thickens.)

The incident occurred one day when Tian He returned home all upset. Long Shou Cheng was asking for his well-being, wondering if he’d gotten into fights with classmates again, wanting to check if he was hurt. Tian He shrugged him off and said his classmates were laughing at him. Tian He went on to chide his father for marrying such a ‘woman’ and stated that he hated her. Long Shou Cheng went mad and slapped him. (Apparently, Grandma Long had told Tian He that his mother was one of those girls who worked in bars/nightclubs. SO yeah, it wasn’t good for the mother’s case, far from it.)

Later that day, Long Tai was seen at the tree talking to his mother again. He told her she wouldn’t believe how much Tian He hated her, and how terrible the relationship was between Tian He and the father. (Long Tai still calls his old man “Lao Tou” (老頭), lol.) Though he knew what was going on, he said he couldn’t just meddle into their business like that. He also told his mother of his personal problem and he wasn’t able to resolve it either.

That night, Long Tai went to check on Ren Mei’s practice session again. She was practicing like usual until she spotted Long Tai. She didn’t care if he was Long Tai or Long Tian He, she made the same request as in the past, telling him not to seek her out anymore–regardless of the situation. As she turned to leave, Long Tai blurted out that he was there just to give her something. It was indeed the shoe that he had wanted to give her that day–until all the craziness took place. She thought he was using that as compensation for the pain he’d caused her hence throwing it away after saying she didn’t need it. After she turned to leave, he ran like mad in that direction to try and search for it. Yet it wasn’t until the zoom-in that we (as the audience) see that she hadn’t tossed it at all. It was still in her hand. It was also around that time that she turned around to see him searching for the shoe. Though not understanding his reason for still treating her so well–after the whole Long Tian He facade had been exposed, she still couldn’t toss away the shoe. As for Long Tai, he wasn’t able to find the shoe (of course) and had thought that had signaled their ending.

That night, Ren Hu was also seen drinking and crying over something. Apparently, it wasn’t just about his hatred for Long Tai or the rest of the Long family anymore. It was deeper than that. He reminisced back to the time that his grandma had told him about how the Long family had used some underhanded technique to snatch “Long Tang” away from their family. Then he remembered the time his father scolded him for saying those words and insisted that his grandma was kidding about the matter. What was strange was how Ren Hu and Ren Mei’s father didn’t blame the Long family. So, what was with the conflict? Anyway, that was also the time that Ren Hu’s father slapped him. Perhaps, seeing Ren Mei being treated so kindly by Grandma Zhao had triggered all sorts of emotions inside him, making him feel like he was cornered. Since little, his grandma cared for him a lot–and now she seemed to side with Ren Mei more, making him feel like he was neglected–just like how his father had treated him. (Or what it seemed to suggest in the flashback.) Then Ren Hu was forced to think of the car accident that had killed his parents once again. It showed that he was really suffering too, but was that a good excuse to blame it on his sister? (I had suspected a long time ago that it was his way to grieve with his parents’ death but it was like too frustrating to see him pick on Ren Mei time after time.) What got even more interesting was when he pulled Wen Zi into his embrace and blurted out how he’d been suffering all these years, and he knew it was his fault. (What?) Oh, he was saying how if he didn’t take Ren Mei to the mountains then his parents wouldn’t end up in that accident.

The next morning, Long Tai went to seek Tian He, wanting to teach him how to cook so he could help aid Long Tang’s business in the future. Yet Tian He, with his usual attitude, turned Long Tai down and slammed the door in Long Tai’s face. Long Tai wanted to knock again but his old man stopped him, saying that Long Tai didn’t have to force Tian He and if Tian He didn’t want to learn, he would. So they proceeded to the kitchen with Long Tai teaching his old man the recipes. Though he claimed it was none of his business, Tian He soon showed up in the kitchen to check up on them. Watching a little, he decided to leave. It wasn’t until he heard his old man cried out that he returned to watch. Apparently, Long Shou Cheng had cut his hand in an attempt to chop some of the items. Tian He spied on them some more until Ah Pan Jie claimed that she would go get some meds for Long Shou Cheng’s hand–with Lao Tu following. Tian He was standing nearby, still eavesdropping on Ah Pan Jie and Lao Tu’s words. (Was he feeling jealous or regretting in his earlier decision in not joining in? It seemed like he was reconsidering things, but who knew?) Though the feeling from Tian He was definitely jealousy–because his thoughts had disclosed just that after Ah Pan Jie and Lao Tu left the scene. He was thinking how his father had never looked at him that way before (i.e. the look Long Shou Cheng gave Long Tai when Long Tai was tending to his hand).

As Tian He was out taking a walk and seething of some sort, he encountered Ren Hu. They exchanged the usual taunting. Then Ren Hu made a promise to make Tian He’s life even more miserable.

That night, Long Shou Cheng was cheered on by Ah Pan Jie and Lao Tu with his success in creating all those dishes. Yet to backtrack a little, if it wasn’t for Long Tai, things would have gone from bad to worse. Long Shou Cheng finally admitted that he wasn’t made out to be a chef. Long Tai soon assured him that no one was good on the first try so he should practice more. Long Tai went on to say if his old man didn’t try harder, how could they fend when he returns to Japan. That was when Ah Pan Jie jumped in to ask if Long Tai really have to leave, stating that they couldn’t go on without him. Long Tai told her not to say those words, and if Tian He were to hear those words, he would be really sad.

Strangely as it were, Ren Mei was out and about yet encountered rain again. The strange part was actually spotting Tian He sitting nearby. She didn’t want to approach him, even wanting to turn and leave. Yet it rained even harder. He made a jab at her by saying she was really stupid, not knowing how to hide from the rain. Soon, she was indeed forced to run toward the shelter to hide. It was also then that Tian He was forced to move aside. Instead of crying or taking it in like before, Ren Mei returned the attack. Yet she annoyed him by deciphering that he cared for her hence scolding her like that. Even Tian He was surprised by her reaction, thinking that he wasn’t mean enough with his words. It was really funny actually, considering how she kept reversing his words with positive meaning instead. They finally parted ways when she went on the public bus. However, I kept thinking what if she thought he was Long Tai? (Yet it didn’t seem so, considering how she was still mad at Long Tai at this point, she wouldn’t be joking around with him like that.)

When Tian He arrived home, he was able to witness the others chatting happily and having tea. He was envious of them, especially feeling left out. (Like he was willing to admit that but he looked that way.) Indeed, in his room, he was seething over the fact that it didn’t change with or without him. It seemed like they were having a lot more fun without him, etc.

Meanwhile, in the kitchen, Ah Pan Jie and Lao Tu were tending to Tian He’s dinner. They were preparing the dishes that he liked. Long Tai soon stepped in to interfere, not wanting them to spoil Tian He like that. Long Tai stated that it was all right to do it when he was sick yet now Tian He was already well again. Ah Pan Jie told Long Tai to bear it for a while, considering how Tian He was still recovering. Long Tai said that it wasn’t good for Tian He in the long run, and stated his attitude was more an emotional problem than of the physical health matter. And since Long Tai was on a roll, he didn’t care to say it all out, wondering what in the world does Tian He want. It was around then that Tian He stepped in and heard it all. He returned the favor by asking what Long Tai wanted.

So another confrontation was inevitable. Tian He was accusing Long Tai of trying to replace him. Long Tai repeated that after he was done with helping them learn the recipes, then he would leave. Yet Tian He’s expression said it all, he didn’t believe Long Tai. Tian He went right ahead and told Long Tai not to use that as an excuse anymore and that if Long Tai wanted to leave, just leave. Ah Pan Jie and Lao Tu soon interfered, wanting to stop Tian He. But before they could say anything else, Long Tai said he didn’t need Tian He to kick him out, he would leave tomorrow morning.

So what else could Lao Tu and Ah Pan Jie do except to run to their boss and tell him of the matter? Lao Tu was saying how the twins were brothers yet couldn’t get along. Then both he and Ah Pan Jie were wondering how they could make Long Tai stay. Long Shou Cheng said that he already said all that he could. He didn’t know what else to do or say that would convince Long Tai to stay. So they were back to looking morbid. It wasn’t until Lao Tu and Ah Pan Jie both yelled out they had an idea that hope stirred again. What was the plan then?

Old plan, pretending to be sick. That got Long Tai worried all right. Yet how long could they keep this one up? Long Tai was a tad suspicious, saying how he was fine at dinner time, etc. Yet Lao Tu and Ah Pan Jie were saying that their boss didn’t want Long Tai to worry hence not saying anything–and told them not to say it out either. It was a riot actually! It worked brilliantly at first. It wasn’t until Ah Pan Jie handed him a tissue of some sort so he “could cough blood into it” that they got busted. She handed him the wrong one. Or had applied the wrong substance–since it was mustard and NOT ketchup! LOL! (I so didn’t see that one coming BUT it was indeed a comic relief after such hectic scenes.) Yet Lao Tu patched it up by saying that it was lucky their boss didn’t cough up blood this time, just phlegm. (LOL! Good save!) That wasn’t all, because Long Tai soon suggested that they should get his old man to the doctor to have a look. (Nice, Long Tai wasn’t the dumb type, how could he not think of ‘doctor’ right away, lol.) Once again, the other two said that their family doctor was Doctor Jin and he was currently in Japan so couldn’t check, but Doctor Jin had previously said that this was all due to stress/pressures. So what now? Ah Pan Jie said that they shouldn’t give Long Shou Cheng any more pressure. Lao Tu jumped in to agree with Ah Pan Jie. And the two had somehow weaved the whole conversation with wanting Long Tai to stay for now and help them manage Long Tang. (OY, clever one.) They also told him to not take Tian He’s words to heart since what Tian He was saying wasn’t true and that Tian He didn’t mean it. Ah Pan Jie even said that Long Tai was the younger brother so he should try to bear with Tian He for now. It wasn’t after Long Tai left to prepare some soup for Long Shou Cheng that Ah Pan Jie and Lao Tu high-fived each other. (LOL! Cute indeed!)

Later when Ah Pan Jie was bringing out the soup for Long Shou Cheng, she almost bumped into Tian He. She quickly begged him to make some sounds when he walked because she almost bumped into him and that could have hurt him with the hot soup. He spotted the soup and seemed to be pondering about it. Ah Pan Jie clarified it was for the boss, stating that he wasn’t feeling well. When Tian He asked, Ah Pan Jie responded with how the boss’ health hadn’t been well for a while now. Yet she soon remembered that Tian He’s health wasn’t good in the past either so how could he have time to worry about his old man’s health. Just when she was explaining about how they finally convinced Long Tai to stay behind and help for the time being, the phone rang. She kept calling for Lao Tu to pick it up yet it seemed like he wasn’t around. That was when Tian He told Ah Pan Jie to go pick it up and he would deliver the soup. Ah Pan Jie was surprised but mumbled that Tian He indeed cared very much for his father–after Tian He left. What was more hurtful for Tian He was when he was about to knock, Long Shou Cheng had asked if it was Long Tai. With that discouragement, Tian He placed the tray on the floor and made his leave instead of coming in. Long Shou Cheng didn’t understand why Long Tai didn’t come in but ended up realizing that it might have been Tian He. Yet he retreated his thoughts and said that it was impossible it was Tian He.

That night Tian He had a strange dream. He was standing in front of the hot spring, thinking that since his returned no one cared about him anymore so there was no point in staying so he left. Yet someone suddenly called for him, asking him why he didn’t enter. He turned around to see his mother smiling at him and greeting him. Upon seeing her, he wasn’t able to say anything but just stared. The look on his face said it all. His tears finally fell and he questioned her where had she gone to and why she didn’t take him along. She responded by saying that she didn’t leave far since she still existed in his heart. She then call him “Silly Child” and told him not to cry anymore. That was when he hugged her and called her “Mom” instead of “that woman” like he had regarded her many times in reality. And in reality, he was indeed crying.

The next morning Long Tai was seen going to Ren Mei’s ballet dancing place again. He was there to spy on her yet she wasn’t there, and was pondering why. She had spotted him earlier while she was on her way there hence changing direction. Yet she had bumped into Ah Xiang and Ah Lun hence learning of Long Shou Cheng’s health condition. She quickly rushed to Long Tang to check on him. But had stopped short at the door because she realized she didn’t want to bump into Long Tai. Ironically, he was on his way back and they soon were forced to face each other. Luckily for them, Ah Pan Jie arrived home from the market and invited Ren Mei in.

It was also then that Ah Pan Jie and Lao Tu were forced to put on some makeup for Long Shou Cheng. (It was hilarious! Really!) Because their boss looked too good to be “sick” so they had to resort to that method. It was indeed helpful because Ren Mei was convinced of Long Shou Cheng’s sickness, even stating his lack of ‘color’. It was also then that Ah Pan Jie and Lao Tu gave themselves a mental pat on the back. Soon, they invited Ren Mei to stay for lunch. Even if Ren Mei wanted to turn them down, it was hard to, because of how Long Shou Cheng had insisted.

So Long Tai and Ren Mei’s meeting was inevitable. They finally were forced to face one another again. Yet after the staring and a mental conversation with his mother, Long Tai wasn’t able to speak up and confess of his true feelings for Ren Mei. He was too late. He lost his chance because Ah Pan Jie and Lao Tu’s conversation had ruined the mood and had distracted them from the actual conversation. Even if Ren Mei was steering the conversation back on course, it was too late. Ah Pan Jie and Lao Tu soon stepped out to ask Long Tai to go and prepare lunch.

Interestingly, Ren Mei seemed to have more luck in talking to Tian He of recent than Long Tai. Because while she was thinking about what Long Tai was about to tell her earlier, Tian He walked by and saw her hence stepping in to engage in a conversation. Well, it was more like another showdown than an actual conversation. Yet Ren Mei was seriously getting good at it, succeeding in annoying him more than he realized. (And the mystery with Ren Mei being able to distinguish between the twins or not was also resolved. She indeed was able to since she stated that although they looked alike but their preferences in attires were different.)

Their banter was cut short with Ah Pan Jie walking in and telling Ren Mei to get ready for lunch. Upon seeing Tian He, Ah Pan Jie informed him that she would deliver lunch to his room soon. However, Tian He surprised them both by saying he would join them for lunch. No one could blame Ah Pan Jie for pondering if the sun had risen on the west or some other phenomenal event had taken place. It was indeed quite strange.

And as Tian He was making comments about the dishes, Ah Pan Jie explained the reason why it seemed so plain was that Long Tai had especially prepared it that way. Lao Tu soon stepped into the room and said that Long Tai especially made those dishes for Ren Mei because it would be good for her training instead of eating those oily stuffs. As the explanation was taking place, Ren Mei realized that Long Tai still remembered that she loved drumsticks the most.

When everyone had settled down at the table, Tian He discovered something was going on between Long Tai and Ren Mei. Yet Lao Tu and Ah Pan Jie seemed indifference to it. They were just happy that it was Long Tai and Tian He’s first time eating at the same table. Ah Pan Jie took that time to placed some drumsticks into Ren Mei and Tian He’s rice bowls. It was around then that Tian He decided to test out his suspicion. He immediately placed the drumstick in his rice bowl on Ren Mei’s, which sparked some reactions from everyone. And while Tian He was playing the game of “placing food onto Ren Mei’s rice bowl”, Long Tai was staring him down, Lao Tu and Ah Pan Jie were exchanging looks, and Ren Mei only knew how to say “Thank you” each time. Ah Pan Jie, Lao Tu, and Ren Mei were indeed shocked of Tian He’s behaviors. They had no idea he was just trying to test Long Tai. Tian He was in fact quite happy with this new discovery–with Long Tai liking Ren Mei. Then Ah Pan Jie and Lao Tu were holding a psychic conversation of their own, pondering what Tian He was up to. As for Long Tai, he couldn’t take it anymore hence declaring that he was full and left. Ren Mei gave the same excuse and left as well. She wasn’t going home. She went to the kitchen to wash dishes. Tian He was indeed smiling even more with his discovery.

Act 2 of the play moved itself to the kitchen. Because while Ren Mei was cleaning up, Ah Pan Jie and Lao Tu was saying how she was the guest and can’t be doing it. Yet Ren Mei didn’t mind. Long Tai soon walked in with a big box. Ah Pan Jie told him to place it somewhere before telling him to take Ren Mei outside to discuss with Ren Mei about their latest plan, considering how it was a while since they talked. Before anything like that happened though, Tian He walked in. What was even more surprising to Ah Pan Jie and Lao Tu was how Tian He said that he wanted to help Ren Mei wash dishes. (WHAT?!) Not being able to witness it anymore, Long Tai left–even if Ren Mei had turned to look at him at one point. (Despite some frustration, it was so funny seeing how Lao Tu and Ah Pan Jie were taking turns to close each other’s mouth for the other person, LOL!)

New development. As Ren Mei was spotted outside Long Tang, still lingering around, she thought back to the conversation with Tian He after everyone had left. He was asking her to be his girlfriend. She was indeed really, really shocked. Yet he said if she thought it was too fast, they could just be friends first. (A familiar scene or what? It was like how Tian He had played Ren Hu in the past with confessing to the girl Ren Hu was interested in just to spite Ren Hu.) Yet that wasn’t the most important thing at this point. The most important thing was how Ren Mei was questioning herself of her own reaction when Tian He asked her those questions yet she wasn’t the least bit happy. After all, didn’t she say that she like him? She was indeed quite upset with herself. So she headed home scolding Long Tai for not clarifying things with her.

So Tian He finally have something to be happy about. At least he had something to taunt Long Tai with, not feeling so sorry for himself of being abandoned anymore. Suddenly, Long Tai was seriously too weak. Sure, he cared for Ren Mei, but why was he taking all of these in and even begged Tian He not to hurt Ren Mei? Tian He finally confronted Long Tai with saying that Long Tai like Ren Mei. Long Tai still denied it. (And why in the world did Long Tai tell Tian He that Ren Mei like him since little? Darn it!) Before Tian He left, he told Long Tai not to worry because he would treat Ren Mei well. (Really?)

Then came the time when Ren Hu once again confessed to Wen Zi and wanted to convince her to stay. What she ended up discovering was how he had her passport all along. He wanted to explain that he didn’t do it on purpose and only wanted her to stay hence not returning it to her just yet. But she didn’t care for it. She left after scolding him some more for being a liar and she didn’t want to see him again.

As for Tian He, he succeeded in getting Ren Mei to ride on his motorcycle with him as Long Tai witnessed them together–with Tian He’s taunting smile directed at him. (The motorcycle Long Tai often used was actually Tian He’s yet the taunting had meant for Long Tai that he–Tian He–had won.)

*All images were captured by DTLCT

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