*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 rushed out of the hot spring resort in search of Ren Mei, fearing that she might be on her way to do something silly. On his way out of Ren Mei’s room, he was stopped by Ah Pan Jie asking about Ren Mei’s current condition. However, he just blurted out some vague answers, claiming he had to go find Ren Mei. Ah Pan Jie was forced to figure it out on her own. It wasn’t until she read the letter that Long Tai shoved into her hands that she realized the seriousness of the situation. It was also around then that she yelled out for her boss, informing him about a major crisis.
Though Long Tai declared that he was out to search for Ren Mei yet the whole household was not far behind on the task. And I don’t mind this time that they backtracked a bit to recount of Ren Mei’s letter and let her voice be the narration while the others were searching for her. It indeed added to the hectic atmosphere as anxiety build for everyone, pondering where Ren Mei could be heading toward. The ones not searching for Ren Mei were Long Shou Cheng and Xiao Xiang. Xiao Xiang was trying to call Ren Mei on her cell phone while Long Shou Cheng was on standby to wait for words from the others. After half a night of unfruitful searching, the others were getting even warier. Long Tai wasn’t about to give up though. It wasn’t until daybreak that he returned home as the others were seen resting and waiting for news. He probably thought that the others must at least have some news so he rushed home to check. Yet upon learning that the others didn’t have any luck either, he vouched to go search again.
Wen Zi stopped him as he was getting ready. She told him to go rest, considering how he hadn’t slept all night. (She hadn’t slept all night either–according to Lao Tu’s words earlier.) Long Tai’s response was that he wasn’t tired. (What else? He was worried nuts so he didn’t care.) Wen Zi reminded Long Tai that Ren Mei wasn’t a kid so she would be all right. Yet Long Tai asked Wen Zi how would she know that Ren Mei would be all right. So what else did Wen Zi do but ask back how would he know she would encounter some trouble, etc. OY, yup, jealous episodes unleashing. She was too smart not to recognize how much Long Tai cares for Ren Mei. YUP, Wen Zi confronted him with the whole Ren Mei “isn’t just a friend” to him, etc. Long Tai didn’t want to answer her yet she blocked his path and forced him to respond. (Nice?) Yet I guess everyone will have to thank Wen Zi because she had forced Long Tai to face his own feelings. He had told Wen Zi to get out of the way since he already lost his mother, he didn’t want to lose Ren Mei as well. Wen Zi kept asking, and Long Tai begged her to step aside so he could go search for Ren Mei. Though he hadn’t really answered, it was too clear already. Seeing Long Tai’s determination, Wen Zi had no choice but to do as she was told, letting him leave at last.
Inside, the others were breaking down one by one. Lao Tu was his usual hot-headed self, bursting out words of frustration while Ah Pan Jie cried over Ren Mei’s possible doom. The others tried to calm Ah Pan Jie down but it seemed unsuccessful. It wasn’t until Long Shou Cheng spoke up, saying that he would go over to the Zhao resident to see if Ren Mei had gone home. Ah Pan Jie voiced out her injustice of how Ren Mei was being treated at the Zhao family that she might as well not go home. Yet Long Shou Cheng reassured her that he would calmly talk to them, etc.
Long Shou Cheng’s trip to the Zhao family seemed smooth at first. At least he hadn’t gotten kicked out, etc. Grandma Zhao was shocked that Ren Mei had gone missing. However, when Long Shou Cheng tried to explain the situation, Ren Hu jumped in to stop him, putting all the blame on his sister for being dramatic, etc. (Seriously, I just want to slap Ren Hu at this point.) Even Long Shou Cheng seemed more caring toward Ren Mei. In fact, the whole Long family cared more for Ren Mei than all of the Zhao family combined. (It didn’t matter if the grandma was doing the ‘tough love’ bit, it hadn’t worked yet had caused Ren Mei’s confidence to sink lower and lower over the years.) And just when Grandma Zhao wanted Long Shou Cheng to finish what he was saying before Ren Hu interrupted (about twice already), Long Shou Cheng was faced with the fact that Grandma Zhao might not be able to take it. (Ren Hu just had to remind Long Shou Cheng of his grandma’s high blood pressure situation, etc.) So what now? (Honestly, just plain say it already!) He just had to go with it didn’t matter what the reason was, he would find Ren Mei, even saying that he had told Lao Tu to inform the cops of the situation. (Seriously? He was going to take the fall for it? Now Grandma Zhao had more reasons to scold him.)
Okay, so Ren Hu was successful in shutting Long Shou Cheng up–one way or another. Yet it wasn’t so with the assistant. She was mumbling about how it was strange that people from the Long family came over last night and now they were coming over again. That was what got Grandma Zhao’s attention and she inquired further into the matter. It seemed slim that anyone was connecting the dots, considering how the other lady didn’t know much of the details anyway. Then a confrontation was set forth. So the assistant did know a lot more. Ooooh, so no wonder words got leaked. The cell phone Ren Hu had with him while talking to Long Tai the previous night was the driver’s cell phone, not his. He kept his in his office–as seen from last night.
And my faith in Grandma Zhao somewhat restored. At least after she said Ren Hu shouldn’t hurt his sister–and the fact that if he’d done wrong she (Grandma Zhao) would scold him. The fact that she didn’t want to use underhand tactics to operate her business was admirable enough already. Then Grandma Zhao realized how cold-blooded Ren Hu had turned out. (She was thinking to herself outside in the hallway after warning Ren Hu to never pick on Ren Mei again.)
After having some lead from the head of the town, Long Tai went to the woods in search of Ren Mei. According to the former, Ren Mei might have gone to her parents’ place. So it was really worrisome and NOT at all random that Long Tai spotted the ropes hanging from high above by one of the trees. It made sense she wanted to go there to talk to her parents before ending her life. Though it seemed random, viewers who might not know (or had forgotten some previous details) would treat it as random. Then there was also Ren Mei’s belongings laying nearby as well. Who could blame Long Tai for thinking of the worst?
Having run around and around in circles, Long Tai resorted in yelling out and telling Ren Mei not to do anything stupid to hurt herself or he wouldn’t forgive her for it. Not getting an answer, he opted to bargain with Heaven, asking Heaven to return Ren Mei to him, saying that he couldn’t lose anyone else in his life. Whether that had helped or Ren Mei might have heard him previously already, she soon appeared from behind him and called out his name. (Or at least she had called “Long Tian He”.) He turned around, surprised, not knowing what to say yet just stared at her while she asked him why he was there. She even dared to ask him which important person did he lose? (Well, it was hard to blame her since he kept insisting on hating her or was just caring for her because of some responsibility so how would she know? And he had said he was dating Wen Zi as well.) Soon, she showed him some flowers that she had picked. The flower was called Angel flower, her mother’s favorite. Long Tai still didn’t say anything. Yet he finally pulled her into a kiss–to much of her bewilderment.
Afterward, they were both standing in front of Ren Mei’s parents’ graves. Ren Mei confessed to her parents that it was her first time coming after all these years. She kept making excuses not to come and therefore had created even more tension with others, causing them to think that she was not filial. Yet the real reason why she didn’t want to come was because she wanted to lie to herself that if she didn’t see their graves, she could still believe that they were still alive. The moment was indeed both heartbreaking and touching. (Da Yuan’s acting at this point was really good. It really tugged at the heart. If anyone had gone through this type of loss, they could so sympathize with Ren Mei’s character at the moment and understand why she wanted to deceive herself like that. Da Yuan really brought out that feeling with her acting. NOT at all bland. Her face and eyes were full of the appropriate emotions.) Long Tai soon stepped forward to comfort Ren Mei and reassured her that her parents were always living in her heart.
Back at the Zhao resident, it seemed like Grandma Zhao was going crazy trying to dial and couldn’t get through. She wished she had treated Ren Mei better in the past. Yet she soon said she wasn’t going to give up on the search, even insisting on going out. Her assistant asked if she would want Ren Hu to go with her yet she was more upset upon hearing Ren Hu’s name, claiming that she could go on her own. So it was set.
Meanwhile, Long Tai and Ren Mei were making their way back. Or so it seemed. As they were walking, Ren Mei was happy inside that Long Tai had confessed to her. Yet her smile soon turned upside down. She was thinking of Wen Zi and what would come of it. As she was phasing out, Long Tai turned around to tell her to hurry if they wanted to get back before dark. They ended up lost because Ren Mei was so sure that her direction was right. (Nice?) So they made their way back to the one that Long Tai had pointed out before. Again, like last time when they made their way home–or tried to, rain hit. So they were forced to find shelter before continuing on. Ren Mei tripped over a tree and had to be carried. Lucky for them, they found a cave to hide for the time being. The funniest thing happened when Long Tai was trying set some fire going so they could warm up. He used a traditional method with rubbing two rocks together to get some sparks. However, he didn’t realize there was a lighter inside his pants pocket all along. Well, the reason how he came into contact with that lighter in the first place was because he caught Xiao Xiang smoking inside the hot spring one day so he confiscated it from her and had put it in his pocket. Another brush of luck since his rocks didn’t work.
Anyhow, Grandma Zhao was in a brink of some kind of breakdown when she overheard the head of the town yelling about something. She came to check it out and he said that he was trying to make an announcement over the microphone so the townspeople could come and help in finding Ren Mei. Though Grandma Zhao was desperate, but she also managed to fix the microphone and made her own announcement with making a plea for others to help her find Ren Mei. A touching speech indeed. It proved that she really cared for Ren Mei, even letting go of her own self-pride for the moment and only think of Ren Mei’s well-being.
Back in the cave, it seemed to stop raining–or something. Yet they were all nice and warm again. Long Tai even took the time to check on Ren Mei’s leg. He almost blew his cover yet patched things up in time. They soon moved onto the situation with their misunderstanding. She still thought that he was just pitying her yet he clarified that he liked her. He didn’t mean to blurt it out so fast yet how could he take it back? Besides, why would he take it back at this point? After some awkwardness passed between them, Ren Mei asked what would happen to Wen Zi, considering their current situation. (She had no idea.) He took that time to clarify that there wasn’t anything between him and Wen Zi. She, of course, realized that she had misunderstood. (Major time, lol.) As Long Tai was saying how he treated Wen Zi like both his best friend and younger sister, Ren Mei realized that the way he spoke of Wen Zi was like they grew up together. (YES, she wasn’t so clueless after all. In fact, she wasn’t dumb, just lack confidence on different levels due to her grandma and brother’s behaviors toward her all these years.) But Ren Mei soon abandoned the analysis and focused completely on Long Tai’s words since he said he didn’t know what love was until he met her. However, what Long Tai discovered was Ren Mei’s secret admiration of his brother since young, even donating blood to his brother when his brother was sick that one time in high school. (The recounts of how Long Shou Cheng was willing to kneel in front of Grandma Zhao to beg for the donation also was quite touching.) How could Long Tai be happy when he realized the reason why she was so tolerant of him and even feel happy when she got bullied by him? Since it wasn’t because of his identity but because she thought (like everyone else) that he was Long Tian He. She confessed she was able to see Tian He’s pain hence treating others like that. (Ummmm….) The more Ren Mei talked, the more Long Tai realized how stupid he was, considering how he was currently posing as Long Tian He. So when he confessed his love to Ren Mei, he was Long Tian He AND not Long Tai. Beating himself wasn’t going to help now, right?
The finally made it home at long last–while the townspeople were gathered at the Long hot spring resort to divide up tasks and think of other ways to find Ren Mei. Upon knowing that Ren Mei was all right, the others were more than happy. However, Grandma Zhao was giving her a stare down. While Ren Mei apologized, her expression was also turning worrisome, knowing from her grandma’s look that it wasn’t going to be good. Far from it. Yet Grandma Zhao still stayed silent while the head of the town recounted the events of Grandma Zhao’s search for Ren Mei and her speech. After hearing those words, Ren Mei stepped over and apologized to her grandma. How did Grandma Zhao react? From her expression, it was too obvious yet I still wanted to be hopeful. But it was indeed inevitable. She gave Ren Mei a slap–to much of everyone’s surprise. After a brief lecture, Grandma Zhao departed with her employees following closely. Then Xiao Xiang walked over to comfort Ren Mei. Contrary to her usual negative outlook on matters, Ren Mei was actually happy that Grandma Zhao was worried for her. (Considering how she had always thought her grandma didn’t care for her.)
That night at the Long resident, they celebrated for Ren Mei’s well-being and safe return. Ah Pan Jie was scolding her son (Ah Lun) for eating like a ‘starving ghost’, lol. Yet Ah Lun resorted with saying that they’d been searching all day hence they should be able to restore their health by eating more. The atmosphere indeed was harmonious, even Long Tai and Ren Mei were seen more than happy at the moment. They weren’t at war anymore and even sat next to each other. Ah Pan Jie pointed out that Long Tai/Tian He searched harder than them so he should eat more. Ren Mei quickly apologized again for causing them to worry. Yet Long Shou Cheng said it was all right, but told Ren Mei to talk to them in the future, not go off alone like that. Xiao Xiang then spoke up, stating that she didn’t realize the people in the area were that nice and caring toward one another (hinting at how everyone dropped what they were doing to help search for Ren Mei). Lao Tu soon stepped out to say that of course they were a good bunch of people who had big hearts. The spar between Lao Tu and Xiao Xiang soon subsided, because they were focusing on celebrating that night, not argue. After everyone had settled down already, Long Shou Cheng realized that Wen Zi wasn’t around and asked the others. (Yes, strangely–but not so strangely–Wen Zi wasn’t around for the celebration.) Though Ah Pan Jie was saying that Wen Zi had said she didn’t want to eat, Wen Zi stepped into the room to much of their surprise. Xiao Xiang got up at that time and let Wen Zi have her spot as Ah Pan Jie rushed to get additional utensils and whatnot. Wen Zi, of course, didn’t seem that all happy like she tried to show.
A showdown quickly commenced–with Wen Zi stating that she wanted to celebrate for Ren Mei’s safe return–yet she ended up drinking away. Even if she stated that it was for Ren Mei, the others could see how intense things were. As the others interfered with Wen Zi’s drinking and Wen Zi’s attempt to lure Ren Mei in, Wen Zi stated that she was just celebrating for Ren Mei. Long Tai, knowing what was going on, tried to stop Ren Mei yet Ren Mei decided to stand up for herself and take it. (Though she was wondering if Wen Zi had known of her get together with Long Tian He already.) So the so-called celebration event ended up being a disaster with everyone watching and not being able to stop it. It wasn’t until Ren Mei was finally so drunk that she developed multi-visions that Long Tai interfered, trying to help her stand up straight. Wen Zi, not drunk at all–or maybe not that drunk yet, decided to fake drunk too so Long Tai could catch her. As Long Tai yelled for Ah Pan Jie’s help, Xiao Xiang was smiling, knowing too well what was going on. To much of Wen Zi’s disappointment, Long Tai told Ah Pan Jie to tend to Wen Zi while he took Ren Mei to her room.
After putting Ren Mei to bed (and hearing her declare how much she liked Long Tian He), Long Tai went over to Wen Zi’s room to check on her. Wen Zi jumped up from where she was sitting and hugged Long Tai, begging him not to like Ren Mei, etc. Long Tai assured her that there was nothing going on between him and Ren Mei because Ren Mei had someone that she liked. Wen Zi, more than happy to hear that, wanted Long Tai to be with her, etc. Yet Long Tai turned her down as well, stating that it was impossible between them. She was upset all over again, declaring that she didn’t want to see him anymore, asking him to leave.
That wasn’t the last bit of drama of the night. Because Wen Zi soon went to Ren Mei’s room to confront her. Ren Mei, still very much drunk, told Wen Zi that she didn’t want to drink anymore. Wen Zi asked Ren Mei if she liked Long Tian He. Ren Mei quickly apologized for what she did, stating that she knew Wen Zi also like him. However, Wen Zi clarified that she didn’t like Long Tian He. When Ren Mei asked Wen Zi who she like, Wen Zi said that she didn’t blame Ren Mei for the mistaken identity, but told Ren Mei to stay away from him. Ren Mei, more than confused at this point, asked Wen Zi what she was talking about. Wen Zi disclosed that the person Ren Mei was currently interacting with wasn’t Long Tian He but someone else. That was when Ren Mei sat up and questioned Wen Zi more about the confusing situation. Wen Zi said that when Long Tian He return, Ren Mei would know. She was about to disclose further of the siblings’ identity yet Long Tai stepped in to stop her. Their argument continued in the hallway. He reminded her that she had promised him not to say it out. Yet she told him it was a matter of time that Ren Mei know so she might as well end it now. The fact that Long Shou Cheng overheard their argument made things tenfold more sticky.
But that had allowed him to ease into wanting to restore his own identity. Long Shou Cheng, as it were, still stood firm on his past words, wanting Long Tai to continue on. He stated that Ren Mei was already so drunk and wouldn’t remember what she was told the next day. He even told Long Tai to keep it in and play along for one more month until Tian He return. Long Tai, having had enough, confronted his old man once again. He didn’t want to be Long Tian He’s shadow anymore, and that he was also a human being. This confrontation was as emotional as their first encounter. Yet it seemed like Long Shou Cheng never changed, always wanting to cast Long Tai aside and only cared for Tian He. He said he didn’t mean it in that way, but he had disregarded Long Tai’s feelings all these times. (And one would think that he had changed through all these months staying with Long Tai and perhaps wanting Long Tai to stay with them as well. Even if he was thinking it, but honestly, what was he trying to do by saying that Long Tai wanted to return to Japan anyway. Honestly?) It took awhile for Long Shou Cheng to speak up again. And it had probably also caused Long Tai to make up his mind. When Long Shou Cheng offered to make up for Long Tai with all these years not being able to take care of him, Long Tai said that he was already grown up and that his mother was already gone so it was already too late. (It didn’t matter that the old man looked pitiful. He already made his choice to protect Tian He.) Even if he pleaded to Long Tai to give him a chance to prove it, it was indeed too late. (If only he hadn’t insisted so strongly for Long Tai to stay patient for Tian He’s return. Because honestly, when Long Tai wanted to step out of Tian He’s shadow and declare his existence to everyone, his old man turned him down. So I honestly do not blame Long Tai for not taking that offer.)
Back in his room (or more like Tian He’s room), his anger was far from being extinguished. It had re-ignited upon seeing Tian He’s pictures all over the room. He walked over and grabbed one of the pictures to confront it. It seemed like Long Tai was the same as Tian He, trying to confront his inner demon. The only difference was that Long Tai’s anger would eventually subside, because he had his mother as guidance and would always be the kind Long Tai, unlike Tian He who had always fought his own battle and withdrew from others all these years. (Yet Mike’s acting was honestly so good here. The confrontation with his old man and then with his supposedly twin brother.)
The night was indeed far from over. Aside from Long Shou Cheng’s little walk in the garden and trying to talk to his wife, there was also the confrontation between Xiao Xiang and Wen Zi. Xiao Xiang told Wen Zi not to act in that way and gave Wen Zi some advice. Yet Wen Zi said she didn’t want to talk and slam the door in Xiao Xiang’s face. Nice?
So the next day, Wen Zi was out walking and ranting about how “Long Tai was hers.” (Honestly, now he was an object? I used to like her as well, but now less. NOT because she was being mean to Ren Mei, but because she was objectifying Long Tai like her toy, stating that he was hers, etc. I don’t like it when the guys do it to the girls SO it would be the same with girls doing that to guys as well SO not picking on just her.) Anyway, Wen Zi also felt like what Xiao Xiang said was true so she wanted to leave so that Long Tai would turn around and acknowledge her, etc. Yet she had no money at this point. What else but to finally call her father up for help? Yet instead of asking for financial assistant or the like, she ended up assuring her father that everything was good before hanging up. (OY, changing her mind or growing a conscience since she realized how much her old man was worrying over her well-being?)
Back at the Long resident, Ren Mei finally woke up. She, of course, was feeling like hell after all of that drinking the previous night. Yet Long Shou Cheng was wrong. Ren Mei remembered about the conversation she had with Wen Zi last night regarding Long Tai/Long Tian He. What now? Dismiss it like another weird dream or investigate further?
*All images were captured by DTLCT