Thursday, November 17, 2016
Overnight, the happy go-lucky Princess Xin'er (Tiffany Tang) is orphaned and her country is decimated.
She's saved by Li Wei Yang, the estranged daughter of Li Xiao Ran, a high ranking official of the country Northern Wei. Wei Yang dies saving Xin'er who then, decides to take up her identity- it's her only way to get into the enemy's country so she can exact revenge on those that caused her country to fall.
Living as Li Wei Yang now, Xin'er figures out the workings of her new "family," Her father has multiple wives, the first one of which came from a notable military family and as a result rules the family with a biased iron fist. Her own two grown children are spoiled beyond reason whereas Wei Yang, the seventh wife's daughter, was bullied and sent away as a child because she was born under a bad star.
The first wife, Chiyun Rou, is a seasoned manipulative woman. She plots to kill Li Wei Yang's mother but luckily Wei Yang finds out in time and saves her mother. Plot foiled, Chiyun Rou then kills all the fish in the garden pond and points it at Wei Yang saying they are having so much misfortune because Wei Yang, their black star, is back. Wei Yang is beaten half to death and left to die in a forest.
Thankfully Tuoba Jun (Prince Gao Yang) played as Luo Jin saves her. And takes care of her till she gets better. Prince Gao Yang is the grandson prince of the Northern Wei. He's heavily favored by his Emperor grandpa but doesn't have much greed for power. Instead he prefers to live a carefree life.
Going back to her "family" Wei Yang is much more careful now. She finds that the first wife had her kids also bully all the other wives and their children. LiMinde is the adopted son of the third wife but because he was adopted and has no blood relation to Li Xiao Ran, he has no standing in the family. Li Changru is the daughter of the second wife, she isn't bullied as much because her mother comes from a more reputable family, but she doesn't have much say either.
Wei Yang is invited into the royal palace for an imperial event. There she learns her savior is a prince of the empire, a blood relative to the dynasty that brought her country down and killed her family overnight. She turns cold and distant. She can't afford to fall in love with her enemy's son. Prince Gao Yang on the other hand, is bewildered as Wei Yang has always been sweet and nice to him.
On a side note, Princess Tuoba Di (Prince Gao Yang's aunt) finds interest in Minde and constantly badgers him- much to Minde's dismay.
Chiyun Rou's son acquires a portrait of the fallen Princess Xin'er. Worried it will reveal her identity, Wei Yang steals it back in the middle of the night before anyone gets a chance to take a good look at it. She incidentally bumps into her bodyguard from when she was princess but its a short reunion as Chiyun Rou's son finds her forcing the bodyguard to flee. But it turns out elder brother was part of the team who killed Princess Xin'er's family. He is one of her direct enemies.
Wei Yang goes to 'pray at a temple' as a guise to look for her bodyguard. In the outside world, she's almost attacked but Prince Gao Yang saves her again. He adorably asks her to take care of him since he was wounded in the fight to save her. His left arm hurt so much. Wei Yang clever as always asks how did he fend off the attacker again?
Eager to please Prince Gao Yang raises his arm to reenact his block again... only he used his right arm lol. Wei Yang good heartedly leaves but not before learning that he was in the area to try and solve a famine issue.
Back at the temple, she tries to help the prince and writes up a plan on how to save the famished people. But one of her maids is a spy for the first wife's son. The maid steals the plan when Wei Yang isn't looking.
Idea stolen and used by another, Wei Yang can live with, but she realizes, there's a flaw to her plan. She requests to change it but no one would listen to her.
There is a big problem with the plan, There's mass corruption, the officials tasked with distributing food to civilians have been lining their pockets instead.When the citizens find out, there's uproar and fights everywhere. Realizing they've been tossed into the fire, Wei Yang's father rushes to Wei Yang who feigns ignorance. Everyone said the plan was elder brother's so he should be asking elder brother what to do instead. Father tells her to cut the front, they both know she came up with the plan, (oh great, now where was he yesterday when everyone wouldn't believe Wei Yang again?) He demands that Wei Yang since it was her plan, it's her responsibility to come up with a solution... and the credit will go to elder brother- Wei Yang finishes for him. Not even bothering to lie, he says credit to elder brother means credit to the entire family including her. (Oh no he did not say that! Die patriarchy!) Wei Yang tells him to set up a meeting with the emperor, she will tell him personally how to save the people. She will tell no one but the Emperor.
At night, her two trusting maids ask curiously what her solution is. Swayed, Wei Yang tells them the plan... unknowingly, the spy maid tells her elder brother and sister.
Elder brother and sister interrupt Wei Yang's meeting with the emperor. They have a plan as well. It's unsurprisingly identical to Wei Yang's plan. They say that Wei Yang copied their plan. Seemingly prepared for this, Wei Yang easily talks through the though process of her plan and proves her that she's the originator. In front of the emperor, even their father can't save elder brother and sister. They are punished severely and gossip about them being copy cats spread thru the city like wild fire. Wei Yang on the other hand is handsomely rewarded. Prince Gao Yang applauds Wei Yang for her smart move but she just coldly brushes him off. Her scene also incurs the interest of Prince Nanan (played by Vanness Wu).
Wei Yang, cunning and wise beyond her years, knew that her maid had turned leaves from the beginning. Everything, from the moment she wrote up her first plan at the temple was pieced out perfectly for this ending.
At home, the first wife puts all the blame of the spy maid. She orders the maid to be beaten to death but she's pregnant with the elder brother's child.
Even the pregnancy can't save the maid. She's taken into the elder brother's wing but beaten and treated so badly, she eventually dies. Though she once betrayed Wei Yang, seeing her once trusted maid treated like that, Wei Yang swears to make elder brother pay for all his evil deeds.
On the day of her celebration, she floats the maids dead body into their garden. Shocked beyond belief, she "innocently" asks elderly brother what happened to her maid, why is she dead, why are there beating marks on her body. Even though she was just a lowly maid, she was the mother of his to be child. No match against her, all the guests at her party are easily convinced, elder brother cruelly beat his maid to death, and it quickly spreads through social circles up to the ears of the emperor. Hearing of such an atrocity, the emperor sends the elder brother to "chong gong" which is work as a lowly laborer/prisoner in the outskirts of the country. Crying, the first wife begs her husband to save their only son but nothing can be done, it's not like they can say no to an emperor's edict. Wei Yang's previous bodyguard, whose been in hiding, take the opportunity to assassinate elder brother as he's being transported away.
The first wife is hell bent on taking revenge on Wei Yang. She's fully convinced she's the reason behind her son's death. Hearing that this Wei Yang may not be the real Wei Yang, she sets a trap for the fake Wei Yang.
The seventh wife, mother of the real Wei Yang already knew this current one wasn't her daughter but when a second fake one shows up, she chooses to cover Princess Xin Er. Even though she's not her real daughter she believes this Wei Yang has good in her heart.
In private, Wei Yang's father slaps the first wife. He knew she orchestrated the whole thing.
Prince Gao Yang "coincidentally" bumps into Wei Yang on a trip. He tries to make small talk with her but Wei Yang gives him the cold shoulder. Just as she was about to leave, Prince Nanan also "coincidentally" sees them. They stop at a pavilion and have the world;s most awkward three way courtship where Gao Yang and Nanan try to on up each other including a very wet "let me suck bug poison from your hand."
The first wife suddenly falls deathly ill. The doctor can't find a logical reason for her to be sick so it must be because of something unnatural. They find a voodoo doll in Wei Yang's room.
They torture Wei Yang and her two maids. Her elder sister, the first wife's daughter, takes Wei Yang's fan, a memento from Prince Gao Yang. Wei Yang obviously cared for it a lot. Elder sister holds a huge crush for Prince Gao Yang. Unable to believe her prince charming (literally) could care of someone else, she brings to fan to Gao Yang who takes the fan and immediately tries to go and see Wei Yang. So all the cold shoulders she's been giving him were just playing hard to get, she really did like him. He arrives in the nick of time. The first wife was about to make Wei Yang commit suicide.
Prince Gao Yang happily meets Wei Yang a week later but Wei Yang comes prepared. She can't afford to love her enemy's grandson. She tells him she only kept the fan to return it to him later on. She never gave it back to him because she just forgot. Proving her point. she throws the fan out the window. Upset, Gao Yang leaves. Wei Yang immediately runs downstairs to retrieve the fan. She tenderly holds it and dusts if off as a man helps her up. It's Li Min De. (Nooo I thought it was Gao Yang how adorable would that be but they are probably keeping that reveal for later)
Upset at first, Prince Gao Yang throws himself into work to avoid thinking about Wei Yang. But his Emperor Grandpa goads him on. Renewed in energy he gifts Wei Yang with a bird who tweets her name and recites verses. Wei Yang tries to send the bird back but each time it flies back with new verses it learned from Gao Yang. Eventually giving up, she keeps the bird with the excuse that she couldn't get rid of it no matter how hard she tried. (She really just wanted to keep it) Li Minde, also crushing on Wei Yang, gives her a bird.
Li Minde turns out to be the long lost prince of another country. He is attacked on a work related trip and his whereabouts are unknown.
Wei Yang gets invited to the palace for a party. She's given the opportunity to dance infront of the queen but chooses to give it to her good "sister: Changru instead. Changru's dance makes the queen very happy but back at home, the oldest sister, desperately jealous, cuts up Changru's outfit in retaliation.
Li Minde and his mother were attacked on separate occasions because the first wife ordered it. They dared to side with Wei Yang so they are her enemies too. She's successful and Minde's mom dies. Bent of revenge, Wei Yang spikes her father's soup with poison. He starts getting sick just as the first wife did when Wei Yang "cursed her" with her voodoo doll. When they find out it's poison, Wei Yang immediately points the finger at her eldest sister. Eldest sister and the first wife are trying to get Wei Yang "in trouble" again, search their rooms, the poison and antidote will be there. They search the rooms and lo and behold, it's there. Last time, they wrongly accused WeiYang and this time they are trying to do the same thing. Shame on Eldest sister for poisoning even her father to try and get WeiYang in trouble. Realizing they can't get out of this one, the first wife signals eldest sister to "commit suicide" by hitting her head on the wall. (Basically to say they didn't do it, WeiYang is evil, but they can't prove themselves so they may as well just kill themselves because no one trusts them). Easily seeing through them, Wei Yang's bodyguard stops her and tells her hitting her head on the wall isn't very efficient, she will most likely live, if she really wanted to die, she should use a sword. lol. Thwarted again, eldest sister take the sword and says its all WeiYang's fault so she goes to stab WeiYang who dodges so she ends up stabbing the father instead. This throws the father over the edge, angrily, he banishes the eldest sister to a small village to work as a servant.
Li Minde did not die but his mother did so he vows revenge.Wei Yang hasn't been sleeping or eating ever since Minde's mom died and it hurts Prince Gao Yang's heart. He tells her servant to make sure Wei Yang is eating and sleeping and if there's anything she needs to just contact him.
Prince Gao Nan tells Wei Yang he wants to marry her. Wei Yang brushes it off but Changru hears and begins to get worried. Price Gao Nan as been her crush for over ten years and her life goal was to marry him. (She seriously needs to find better priorities),
Li Minde tries to assassinate the first wife but fails. It's only a matter of time before she dies anyway, her son is dead and her daughter taken away, the first wife's health has been failing. Coming from a powerful family, the first wife's mother comes to take her home so she can live her last days with her family.
Starring heavy weights, Tiffany Tang, Luo Jin and Vanness Wu, this drama was bound to be a hit from the beginning. After watching 13 episodes, I'm inclined to say it's living up to it's expectations. The plot moves swiftly and thankfully this time the female protagonist doesn't just sit around and wait for her prince charming savior at each bend. Tiffany Tang can save her self. Spoiler Alert! When She swore to revenge the death of her handmaid, I thought it would take at least a few episodes before we see her do it. But nope, the next day, she smears her step brother's reputation and he is killed. Talk about efficiency.
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Genre: Detective, Criminal, Romance
Xu Xu (Wang Zi Wen) is a behavioral profiler who works for the police. She's a genius in her field
but lacking in the EQ department, her nickname is "snail"- because her emotional and physical reactions are slow as a snail. She interns in the Criminal Investigations Unit under Ji Bai (Wang Kai) alpha no nonsense department captain, hence his nickname- the lion. From the beginning Ji Bai does not approve of Xu Xu. She got into his department because of her smarts and connections- she didn't even pass the basic physical test needed to get in. But the more cases they solve together the better they know each other and before the know it, the snail and the lion fall in love.
Ji Bai is in Myanmar acquiring an ancient pipe for his childhood friend, Ye ZiXi. But he doesn't forget to leave instructions- get rid of the new intern who couldn't pass her physical exam. XuXu, the aforementioned intern is an expert in criminal psychology. So good at reading people, she figures out everyone's nicknames within an hour of meeting them and manages deduce, Ji Bai isn't going to let her off easily for not passing her physical.
Episode 2 Summary-
For their first case, someone buried blades in the ground at public parks and monuments. Xu Xu mystically deduces someone was trying to slander the Ye Corporation (the company who made the blades) and one of the higher ups, Zhang Xi Yong has been kidnapped. It should be noted, Zhang Xi Yong is married to the Ye Corp heiress, Ye Qiao. But he cheated on her so she's not too interested in saving him. The police set a trap to have Ye Qiao drop off the money with an undercover cop, Yao Meng, another female police intern.
Episode 3 Summary-
At the drop off site, they catch the wrong person, a pick pocket. Only Xu Xu notices that the janitor is off and follows him to the roof. But she's no match for the kidnapper and ends up being held hostage instead. A tear leaks from her eye, indicating how scared she was but her mind is still moving a thousand miles a minute. She figures out the kidnapper is Yang Cheng Zun's son (someone the Ye corp wronged). Ji Bai comes to the rescue last minute and tackles the kidnapper from behind. Unimpressed with XuXu, he congratulates her on being the first detective to be held hostage by the criminal. In the interrogation room, the criminal insists he was only doing it mainly for ransom to revenge his father but XuXu sees right through him. Why wait all these years to exact his revenge? Why kidnap the son in law who isn't even related by blood. There would have been plenty of other better picks.
Zhang Xi Yong's mistress was Ye ZiXi (also an heiress of Ye Corp and Ye Qiao's cousin). The criminal was madly in love with Ye Zi Xi and angry at Zhang Xi Yong for taking away the love of his life and putting her in the mistress position. He was never going to let Zhang Xi Yong go even after getting the ransom. Ji Bai had figured it all out and already rescued the hostage (from a horrible death by being smother with cow feces) by the time Xu Xu tells him about her deductions. He tells her ZiXi is his good friend and she is not a mistress. In a cool but also mean way, he tells Xu Xu to leave his unit.
Episode 4 Summary-
Ji Bai gives Xu Xu the ultimatum. pass the physical exam or leave his unit in 3 months. Her fellow intern, Yao Meng, beauty queen/pentathlon champion, helps her but it's a long way to passing her test.
One morning, Zhang Xi Yong stops Ji Bai and Xu Xu on their way to work. He wants to "thank" them for saving him but his real purpose was to try and get a read on Ji Bai. Ji Bai is the third heir to another big corporation and also the one Ye ZiXi admires.. Xu Xu guesses that Zhang Xi Yong was trying to get a feel of what kind of person Ji Bai is and appear as the bigger man in front of him but he failed and left angrily. Again, because she thinks Zhang Xi Yong and Ye Zi Xi have a romantic relationship,
Episode 5 Summary-
Ji Bai tells Xu Xu not to buy breakfast for them anymore. It's not going to change his mind about her. Xu Xu straightforwardly tells him Yao Meng bought the food and she bought his favorite food because Yao Meng cared deeply about him. Embarrassed, Yao Meng stutters that it's just because she idolizes him.... not that she has a crush on him, Lol.
But seeing Yao Meng so frazzled. Xu Xu apologizes for embarrassing her friend and swears that she will learn. It's here that Ji Bai sees Xu Xu in a new light. Not as the confident genius who only cares about achieving her goal but as a person who is willing to learn and cares about the people around her.
In the middle of a human trafficking case, Ye ZiXi calls Ji Bai to tell him she's ending their friendship and can't see him again. Surprised, Ji Bai was about to find her but gets another call saying a girl linked to their trafficking case was found murdered.
Episode 6 Summary-
The murder brings them closer to the human trafficking mastermind as Ye Zi Xi sends Ji Bai an urgent text to save her.
Episode 7 Summary-
Ji Bai is too late, Ye Zi Xi is found dead in her villa. Ji Bai is hit hard but he reigns his emotions in to solve the case.
Episode 8 Summary-
Zhang Shi Yong is the primary suspect. He is Ye Zi Xi's secret lover. His fingerprints were found everywhere in the apartment but he had no motive and no hard evidence. The next biggest suspect is Zhang Xi Yong's wife. On top of being cheated on, she also had an unsavory rivalry with Ye Zi Xi. She admits to killing Ye Zi Xi.
On a cuter note, Ji Bai stole Xu Xu's breakfast and drinks out of her water bottle at dinner (indirect kiss!). But when Xu Xu tries to help Ji Bai, her psychoanalyzing becomes too much. He draws the line and tells her not to cross it.
Episode 9 Summary-
Rethinking and feeling bad, Ji Bai lets Xu Xu psychoanalyze him but he actually learns more about her and how she became to be a "little alien". She got so good at analyzing people because she's always been smaller than everyone, in addition when she skipped a few grades, her classmates wouldn't play with her so she just observed them. Saw what they did, their emotions, guessed how they felt and what they would do next. The more she played the game, the better she got at it.
Episode 10 Summary-
Even though the wife confessed, things still didn't add up so Xu Xu goes back to the crime scene. Similar in size and weight there should be no way the wife was able to push Ye Zi Xi over a railing to her death and escape without a scratch herself. In addition, Zhang Shi Yong said he heard the ding from a microwave. But Ye Zi Xi had a salad for dinner. there was no need to use the microwave. The air conditioner was also on. But it's cold outside, the heat should have been on instead. In addition, Ji Bai says the actual killer must be someone important to the Zhang Shi Yong's wife. In the interrogation room, she was so determined to confess, she must be covering for someone she deeply cared about. They conclude it was the wife's brother. There's enough motive and because they figured out how the time of death was altered (someone injected cold water into her stomach using syringes Ye Zi Xi had at home for her gastritis) his alibi was voided.
Episode 11 Summary-
In the interrogation room, the brother admits to killing Ye Zi Xi. She had lost the company so much money, was in cahoots with his brother in law and yet she wasn't showing any remorse at all. In his anger he pushed her over the railing. But it turns out he didn't kill her either. She was alive even after she fell. It was the assistant who killed her. He had walked in on the brother, shocked and still over Ye Zi Xi after she fell. He ushered the brother out and began his "work." Eerily, he was the one who texted Ji Bai. The assistant was the one who injected the ice water and stabbed her to death. But by the time Xu Xu and Ji Bai concluded this, it was too late. The assistant had escaped by boat to another country.
Episode 12 Summary-
Ji Bai had gotten injured when saving Xu Xu. She goes to his house to bring him dinner and clean his house. Ji Bai thinks she's trying to get on his good side and bribe him with the help but she straight up tells him she just wants to do it.
In their dorm, Yao Meng decipher's Xu Xu's actions for her. The snail has fallen in love with the lion. That's why she just wants to help and make him happy. The first time the lion saved the snail, the snail was annoyed but the second time he saved her, all she cared for was his safety. Now, even when he yells at her, to her, he's cute and caring.
Ye Corp is in deep water by now. Aside from the whole murder case, the CEO of Ye also found loads of drugs in their storage. The assistant, who looked slow and honest, was actually an ingenius and evil crook.
The human trafficking case remains unsolved. Yao Meng is sent undercover to play a potential trafficking victim, At first Xu Xu asks if she should help via satellite since last time she got the department in trouble but Li Bai says "it's alright since he's there." Aww. They play a couple at the stake out but afterwards, Xu Xu's face is all red. Li Bai asks if she's ok and she tells him to leave some distance between them, he's a man and she's a woman after all. Ji Bai just laughs and says there's no genders when it comes to "aliens." lol.
Episode 13 Summary-
Xu Xu speculates their criminal mastermind is a large male between the age of 30-40. They make the arrest and save all the female and children trafficking victims. But Xu Xu finds a used face mask in the master bedroom and realizes she had it all wrong. Their target is a female.
Episode 14 Summary-
Realizing her cover was blown, the criminal mastermind kills a nurse and escapes but not before wounding Yao Meng and Ji Bai's best friend. Ji Bai gets into deep trouble for letting two interns in on such a dangerous mission and on top of it, one of them got severely injured.
Episode 15 Summary-
Everyone on the team is emotionally scarred. Yao Meng can't fire a gun anymore and Xu Xu takes to her comics for relief. She feels that it's her fault for not accurately profiling the target. Ji Bai helps her train physically as she only has one month left before her physical exam and the higher ups are making him bring her to Cambodia where the trafficking mastermind fled to.