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Mei Ren Long Tang: Episode 2 – Replenishing

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

This episode continues with the dragon dance face-off between Long Shou Cheng and Zhao Ren Hu as Long Tai pursue the thief thus ending up in the same area of the competition taking place.

Within such a crowd, it was already a lost cause with the thief so Long Tai focused on the action onstage. Reenforcing his righteous actions from the fish market seen in the previous episode, he interfered upon seeing how Zhao Ren Hu had used such a low tactic to win over Long Shou Cheng. After the initial thank you that was uttered from Long Shou Cheng’s mouth as Long Tai helped him up from the ground, Long Shou Cheng shockingly stared into Long Tai’s eyes and soon realized it was Tian Hao returning. Though his servants had misheard him (just like previously when he hadn’t really agreed on the battle but was forced to compete) and ended up blurted out that it was Tian He returning from Japan.

Still in the midst of sorting out his thoughts, Long Tai was soon forced to make the decision of representing his ‘father’ to compete against Zhao Ren Hu or not. He silently came to the conclusion that they must be mistaken him for his brother. After some heated arguments between the two sides of the Zhao and Long family, the battle between Long Tai and Zhao Ren Hu began with many spectators ready to see the show as always. After all, what do they have to lose except some time out of their day to see this particular battle, right? To be straight about certain things, Long Tai didn’t care to meddle into the battle in the first place since he had shrugged it off and said it was none of his business anyway. Yet Zhao Ren Hu had to insult his mother SO that had really pushed his buttons. So it wasn’t like Long Tai was such a busybody, always meddling into others’ business, etc.

The result? Too obvious. Yet I find it really funny that the grandma was saying how the Long family was bullying them when she apparently had harassed the Long family previously before the battle with her harsh words. What I found more admirable coming from Long Tai was how he refused to let Zhao Ren Hu off so easily, demanding that Zhao Ren Hu knelt down and apologized to his mother. He wasn’t someone who liked to insult others or embarrass others so cruelly, but anything concerning his mother, it had to be that way. The poor women deserved every ounce of respect–whether alive or dead.

Before anyone could react with all the hostility in the air, someone within the crowd had discovered the fire blazing at the Zhao family’s place. Since things were urgent, it was understandable that Long Tai let the situation be for that moment. And I don’t know whether to think differently of the grandma for the time being because she first thought of Ren Mei upon realizing that her place was on fire–instead of blurting out about some ‘loss’ like some cold-blooded person out there usually would. So should her character be reconsider at this point? I could understand how she could be harsh on Ren Mei because she wanted what was best for the girl, but her techniques were just too wrong for Ren Mei. Yet her previous cruel words were still inexcusable, causing Ren Mei a lot of emotional pain and torture, thinking she was inferior to others.

As the Zhao family rushed off to tend to their family matters, a storm was also brewing within the Long family as the confrontation between Long Tai and Long Shou Cheng took place. A powerful one indeed, leaving Long Shou Cheng speechless in the end. It wasn’t like he wasn’t able to defend himself. He tried. But after learning that his wife had already passed away, it was a really, really hard blow. What else could he do aside from letting Long Tai leave?

So the little flashback with Zhao Ren Hu fuming at home did explain his reason for losing it. He was reminded of Tian He’s words to him about the ‘kneeling’ part when they were still in school. (I love the script-writers for this part because it makes both twins so similar though there were some differences because of how they grew up, etc. Real life twins are quite similar too, sometimes even scaring others with their routines, etc. At least the ones I know or was told of by some people.)

The most reassuring thing about our cute female lead’s story was how her parents really loved her when they were still around. It sure made me feel a little better about the whole situation because at least she have them to think about when she was down. It would be indeed too sad if her parents hadn’t loved her and would favor her brother over her as well. (A little pause here, Jacky fans, you’re NOT mistaken, that’s him in the flashbacks with the young Ren Mei as both were smiling happily and watching the mother performed her ballet moves. Then another scene of them eating together as a family of four.)

Opposite from Ren Hu’s reminiscing full of hatred, Ren Mei’s reminiscing moments were that of her parents and when she was still a happy little girl with both parents caring for her. Then it explained to us viewers how Ren Mei had used food in place of other things in her life, like how grandma had taken away her love for ballet dancing and wanting to take after her mother. (Here’s a typical plot device: grandma hates Mom’s gut so Ren Mei had to take the torture. SAD! And where have we heard this one before? Oh yeah, Long Tai’s grandma doesn’t like his mother either. NICE? Probably for different reasons OR none at all since ‘hate’ is just too tricky to figure out anyway.)

So fate intervened allowing our main leads to meet once again. This time, both were chasing after the thief. (YES, Ren Mei ran away from home and just had to use the opportunity at such a place to count her money that the thief snatched it from her as he ran by.) That was so mean though with Long Tai using Ren Mei as leverage to catch the thief. AND even threw her ballet shoes like that. He was desperate but still.

Poor Ren Mei, already having to fled her house. Now she was scared half to death by Long Tai’s warnings of the nightfall and how there would be ‘bad people, wolves, and ghosts’ out and about. (The third one being the most fearful I guess, though there wouldn’t be any proofs of it.) But have no fear, our main guy wouldn’t be that mean with not helping out the main girl after that little scheme of scaring her out of her wits. He had handed her some money before leaving. Though that wasn’t the last of their wacky encounters (far from it) because they ended up at that same abandoned house and even had a spout. Long Tai was seriously a prankster, lol, trying to scare her again.

Their disagreement continued the next day after they’d awaken from Ren Mei’s doing of knocking them both out the previous night. (It’s a long story but it happened, lol.) To add to the madness, the thief they were both looking for even dared to show his face and scolded them for being loud at such an early hour. He realized too late because they soon turned around and another chase ensued.

Wanting to payback for yesterday’s kick, Ren Mei landed herself into the enemy’s hands instead. Again, no worries, it was just briefly because the thief was soon bitten by Ren Mei and ended up being caught by the police afterward. Though Long Tai had to chase after the garbage truck to retrieve his precious dictionary again. Ren Mei wanted to help but was shrugged off by Long Tai. Though the funniest thing was after he found it, he wanted to explain to her why it was so important to him yet she wasn’t around anymore. (And Ren Mei’s daydreaming moments were quite hilarious. She sure have a wide imagination.)

Ren Mei’s runaway from home scheme was short lived because she was forced to come home and check on her grandma. Grandma had fallen ill and it was up to Ren Hu to take care of the family business for the moment. Yet as Ren Mei wanted to enter, she heard some bitter words from grandma hence getting discouraged. However, her brother had other agendas, wanting her to take the fall for it so he manipulated his way into making Ren Mei accepting the deal of coming to the Long family for ‘work’ to fulfill the previous terms at the dragon dance battle. And it seemed like grandma wasn’t so cold-blooded after all, considering how she was quite worried when Ren Mei went missing (though pretended she didn’t want to care at all) and then how she was really concerned with Ren Mei wanting to go to the Long family in place of her brother and grandma.

As Long Tai was still struggling with what to do regarding the golden dragon and wanting to shrug it off since it wasn’t his problem anyway. Yet he was guided by the dictionary opening to a certain page and spotted a certain phrase. (It means to return to one’s roots, if anyone’s wondering.) So was this a message from his mother? (Because this was her book to him after all.) Considering how according to the truck driver’s words that the golden dragon was an ancestral item, Long Tai took it back to the Long family’s place but had placed it on the ground of the entrance instead of entering. Though he soon had to change his mind and actually took it inside and placed it on the proper mantel. The result? He lingered when he overheard his father’s words to his mother while he was standing outside. Another mistaken in identity from the servants and he was forced to go to ‘his’ room. (His attempted escape that night was thwarted by none other than his own thoughts. He had reconsidered the servants’ words regarding his father hence wanting to stay behind after all.)

Another episode and I’m still hooked. OMG, in fact, I’m going crazy trying to figure out what was going on. I don’t mean ‘not understanding’ the plot, but there are just too many pieces of the puzzles still untouched. How will all of these play out in the next episode? Can’t believe ratings go down a bit for this one. But it’s all right, still time to fight on!

*All images were captured by DTLCT

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