Summer’s Desire Episode 1 Recap
Romanized title: Pao Mo Zhi Xia
English title: Summer’s Desire / Summer’s Bubble
Broadcast station: FTV
Broadcast dates: 30 May – August 29 2010
Cast: Barbie Xu, Peter Ho, Huang Xiao Ming, Shen Jian Hong, Chang Kuo Chu, Ke Huan Ru, Patina Lin, Serena Fang, Maggie Wu, Coco Jiang
Opening theme: “I Remember I Loved” by Peter Ho
Ending theme: “Zuan Shi” by Barbie Xu
Based on the novel Pao Mo Zhi Xia (泡沫之夏) by Ming Xiao Xi
Watch on DramaFever
Synopsis: Xia Mo is an adoptee whose fate is tangled with two men. One is a rich heir who was her boyfriend in high school, the other is another adoptee that her adoptive father brought home who is now a popular actor and singer in Asia. Xia Mo works many jobs while learning to be a makeup artist in hopes of getting a break to enter the show business world for the money. She supports her little brother through art school and would do anything for him. Her ex-boyfriend Ou Chen after the events that happened five years ago that caused him and Xia Mo to fight and Luo Xi to leave Taipei, is suffering from amnesia. Ou Chen is desperately trying to get his memories back. After five years, these three find each other again with (probably) even more disastrous results than in the past.
We start with Yin Xia Mo (played by Barbie Xu) narrating about how her fate is entwined with Luo Xi and Ou Chen’s and how things led to hatred and jealousy, making the three eternally tangled. While she is narrating, we see Ou Chen (played by Peter Ho) driving erratically, narrowly avoiding cars while Luo Xi (played by Huang Xiao, Ming) is being surrounded and attacked by a gang of thugs. She talks about how Ou Chen is the rich young master of a prominent family while Luo Xi is an orphan just like her. Xia Mo fears that she was bad luck to both the men as misfortune followed them all until they were cruelly separated. We then see Ou Chen crash and stagger out of his car while Luo Xi has collapsed after being badly beaten. Both whisper “Xia Mo” before they lose consciousness.
Fast forward to five years later. And no, this is definitely not linear storytelling as the entire episode goes back and forth between past and present, which can make things confusing even though past and present are clearly delineated. Why? The relationships and events are scattered all over the place so relationships and events that led up to the present are not completely clear.
Luo Xi has returned to Taipei after five years. We see him flashback to the past where Xia Mo is sending him off while he looks at the drawing he keeps of her in his wallet. Luo Xi asks if it had been Xiao Cheng if she would have sent him away like she was sending Luo Xi. Xia Mo says that she would never send Cheng away and Luo Xi says that is because she loves Cheng while Luo Xi is just a passerby in her life. Xia Mo then says that it’s alright if Luo Xi can’t forgive her for being selfish so he should just work hard while he’s gone. Work hard, become strong, come back and make those who sent him away regret abandoning him. Then we are back in the present and Luo Xi goes out to greet his adoring fans of Taipei.
Meanwhile, the older Xia Mo and her friend Zhen En (played by Serena Fang) are at a studio to apply for the job of an assistant to some famous star. They are both excited by the opportunity, but are disappointed (at least Zhen En is) when they find out the star in question is Yao Shu Er, an old college classmate. Shu Er looked excited to see the two girls until she learned they were their for the assistant position. While Jam (Shu Er’s manager) is trying to work out Zhen En’s very vocal dislike of the assignment, top star Wei An comes up and vocalizes her unhappiness at the attention Shu Er is getting when Wei An is the bigger star. Jam tells Wei An she can have her pick of assistants first while he takes a phone call. Wei An shows interest in Xia Mo who ignores her and helps out Shu Er. Wei An asks if Xia Mo actually wants to be Shu Er’s assistant instead of Wei An’s. Xia Mo says that her friend Zhen En is better suited to Wei An’s needs, making Shu Er and Zhen En happy while annoying Wei An who says that Xia Mo will come to regret the decision.
Xia Mo goes home where she talks to the picture of her adoptive parents about how she saw Luo Xi for the first time in years on the television. We then flashback to when she first meets Luo Xi when her father brings him home from the orphanage. Xia Mo states that she knew he was a pilferer, but that she had no idea just how much of an upheaval Luo Xi would cause to her family’s existence. Xiao Cheng then breaks into her reminiscence. She gets his medication ready while he gets her a glass of water. They have a really cute sibling relationship. They are adopted, but definitely act as if they were blood related. Xia Mo reminds Xiao Cheng of his doctor’s appointment the next day and he says that it’s just a checkup so he can go by himself, to which Xia Mo agrees. We don’t really learn exactly what Xiao Cheng’s condition is in this episode.
Now we skip to France and Ou Chen’s nightmare. In it there is a girl who takes green lace out of her hair and throws it on the floor. Ou Chen begs for a way to keep the girl with him and something is mentioned about only death and then he wakes up. We get Ou Chen’s internal narration of how he lost his memory five years ago and how he keeps having the same recurring nightmare. He can never see the girl’s face and he wonders why he has the green lace in his possession. A young woman comes to help him. Ou Chen says how he is told that she is his girlfriend/fiance, but he just can’t believe its true. Ou Chen then has flashes of memories where Xia Mo is always present, but you can’t really see her face. He is trying to remember who she is to him. Ou Chen then goes fencing where he lets himself deliberately get hit even though he could have avoided the blow. Apparently he is looking for a certain kind of pain. Ah yes, I can see now, Ou Chen is just a hair’s breadth away from being a total psychotic.
Then a brief flashback to Taipei where Shu Er is letting Xia Mo listen to Luo Xi’s song, telling her that Luo Xi is Shu Er’s favorite artist. Xia Mo says she’s never heard his music before nor does she know who he is. Liar. Then back to Ou Chen who tells Xi Meng, family servant, that he won’t head the company in France and will go back to Taipei instead. Why? He is hoping to regain his memories that way. He then goes out and takes a walk by the pool with his “fiancee.” He hands her an apple and has her stand in front of a target while he shoots arrows at her. Yep, he’s definitely bonkers. He then has a flashback to a little girl who stood perfectly straight and didn’t cry while he performed the same stunt. He then tells his fiancee to leave as he just doesn’t care about her. Xi Meng has watched all this silently, worried about Ou Chen. Who wouldn’t be?
Back in Taipei, Zhen En complains about how difficult it is to be an assistant and Xia Mo congratulates her on being so capable as to handle everything the diva Wei An needs. Xia Mo sees Wei An come out and Zhen En says that Wei An is introducing her cousin, Pan Nan, to Jam in hopes of her becoming Sun’s new talent. Shu Er comes out and falls down, sending Xia Mo running to her side. Shu Er pleads for a chance to talk to Jam, who finally agrees. Shu Er then recommends Xia Mo as a new talent, infuriating Wei An and surprising Xia Mo. Wei An then says that Xia Mo was just using Shu Er as a stepping stone. Shu Er says she doesn’t care as she is willing to be that stepping stone. Shu Er also says she was Wei An’s stepping stone, pissing Wei An off even more. Jam finally intervenes between the bickering stars and tells Pan Nan and Xia Mo to show up for training.
Luo Xi’s manager is talking with Cai Ni about having Luo Xi help out Sun’s new talents they are trying to promote. His manager refuses, saying Luo Xi just doesn’t have the time. While he is talking to Cai Ni, a fax comes in of the potential talent candidates and Luo Xi smiles when he sees Xia Mo’s picture. The next day Xia Mo goes to the training where she is ostracized by the other three girls there. Pan Nan comes in and goes to sit by Xia Mo. Cai Ni, Jam, and Allen who will in charge of training come in and introduce themselves. Cai Ni scolds the girls for not making introductions earlier when they were alone. Cai Ni then announces that only 2 out of the five girls will be chosen and the three girls opposite Xia Mo and Pan Nan complain about those two getting in through the back door. Cai Ni then says that only one of the two will be chosen to release a single with superstar Luo Xi. This upsets Xia Mo and Pan Nan notices that Xia Mo is less than thrilled with the news. Apparently, Luo Xi decided to help the girls and the company after all.
Afterward, Xia Mo is in a convenience store with posters of Luo Xi and a music video of his playing. The poor girl can’t escape him. She then flashes back to the airport scene that Luo Xi was remembering earlier. Luo Xi tells Xia Mo that he doesn’t want her to forget him. Luo Xi says that although he doesn’t like Xia Mo, he feels uncomfortable that he will leave and she will then forget all about him. He then goes in for the kill, grabbing Xia Mo by the nape of the neck and pulling her in for a kiss. He pulls away for a little and says he wants to make sure that she will remember him forever and then kisses her again. When Zhen En hears about Xia Mo’s chance to record a duo with Luo Xi if she wins, Zhen En is excited, while Xia Mo says nothing and only smiles, refusing to tell Zhen En anything more about the past or her feelings for Luo Xi.
Xia Mo flashes back again to a moment where she sees a girl confess to Luo Xi who accepts the homemade cookies and kisses her on the cheek. After the happy girl leaves, Xia Mo sees him throw away the cookies. Luo Xi turns and sees her, smiles, and walks away. Luo Xi shows his report card to his new parents who are excited their son just transferred and was getting such good grades. Annoyed, Xia Mo says that Xiao Cheng is top of his class again and his painting even won a prize. This excites her father who wants to know why Xiao Cheng didn’t mention anything before. Xia Mo looks at Luo Xi and says that Xiao Cheng doesn’t like to brag, nor does he need to. Burn. The girl Luo Xi kissed is getting bullied for telling the story to others. Luo Xi comes and says he has no idea who she is and leaves. Xia Mo tells the other girls to stop bullying the girl. They weren’t going to listen until one girl recognized Xia Mo as “his” girlfriend. Whoever messes with Xia Mo gets into big trouble. The girls then leave and Xia Mo tells the thankful girl not to be stupid to talk so openly of such things again. At home, Xia Mo warns Luo Xi that she knows and sees everything the troublemaker does.
Luo Xi is staring at Xia Mo’s profile while his mangers talk about why he would want to help out some newcomer and we go back to Xia Mo being asked by Zhen En if she will really feel nothing if she sees Luo Xi again. Xia Mo then flashes back to a time when her father bought Luo Xi a guitar. Luo Xi is playing and singing for the family and all of a sudden Xia Mo gets up and checks an envelope. After Xiao Cheng gets ready to go off to art class (he was begging Luo Xi to play him another song). Xia Mo asks what happened to Xiao Cheng’s prize money. Her father takes her aside and said he spent it and will explain it to Xiao Cheng on the way to class. He and Xia Mo go back to the living room where Xiao Cheng gives Luo Xi a portrait he had drawn of Luo Xi. After her father and Xiao Cheng leave, Xia Mo remembers what happened to the cookies and goes through the trash, seeing Xiao Cheng’s picture on top. She takes it out and confronts Luo Xi who says that he knew she wanted to buy art supplies for Xiao Cheng with the prize money, but too bad, he asked for the guitar. Xia Mo then says that if Luo Xi doesn’t shape up she will make sure to chase him out of the family before his roots are firmly planted. Luo Xi says he concedes defeat and Xia Mo gives him the portrait telling him he can never through it away nor hurt her family or he will suffer the consequences.
Luo Xi announces he will go to the company to meet the candidates. The next day Luo Xi stops in while the girls are taking a break from practice. Pan Nan has declared she wants to be friends with Xia Mo who says that she is hard to get along with and Pan Nan says she is determined and has the patience. Xia Mo stops smiling when Luo Xi shows up. Luo Xi says he came to check on the girls because one of them is a good friend. The girls line up and when Luo Xi gets to Xia Mo he holds her chin and turns her face towards him. He then introduces himself before going to Pan Nan who is the friend he was talking about. What a coincidence! Xia Mo is relieved that Luo Xi did not say that she was his old friend. While the other girls leave for a champagne brunch with Luo Xi, Xia Mo practices by herself. Luo Xi is waiting outside for Xia Mo after practice.
We then flash to Ou Chen who hasn’t gotten screen time for awhile. Apparently companies associated with Ou Enterprises have been in a lot of trouble recently, Xi Meng asks if it’s Ou Chen’s doing. Ou Chen said yes as he was testing the waters to see how the companies managed under duress. Xi Meng said he didn’t expect Ou Chen to dive into business so fast and Ou Chen says that Xi Meng must stop reporting things to his parents as he is in control in Taipei now. Ruthless, scary, and crazy. What a combination.
Luo Xi takes Xia Mo out to dinner. He reintroduces himself again and Xia Mo says nihao. Luo Xi then scolds her for being so cold to an old friend. Xia Mo gets up and offers her hand, telling him she’s glad to see him again. Luo Xi stares at her hand for awhile before taking it saying he was worried that she would actually forget him. Xia Mo says he is hard to forget. Xia Mo goes to take her hand back, but Luo Xi won’t let go. He says that he hated her for letting him go like an unwanted toy without putting up a fight, but now he is grateful because he has the chance to be in show business thanks to her sending him away. He then kisses Xia Mo’s palm. Xia Mo pulls her hand back and Luo Xi scolds her for that, saying she was the one who gave him her hand in the first place. Xia Mo says if he can’t forgive her for what happened so long ago, that’s fine. He can take revenge or whatever, but she wants to resolve things tonight.
The two sit back down and Luo Xi asks why Xia Mo has to be so heartless. He then asks if Xia Mo doesn’t believe that he was once crazily in love with her. Xia Mo tells him that there is no person in this world that he will truly love and even if he did, his personality wouldn’t allow him to confess. Why? He doesn’t trust anyone so he would only hide from those he loved. Xia Mo then wipes her hands on her napkin. These two are even for their witty repartee and verbal jabs. While they are talking about the past, Ou Chen is trying to find his. The yearbook Xi Meng brought him didn’t help, so he went to his old high school for answers. Luo Xi says he is surprised that Xia Mo is not married and a wealthy woman. Xia Mo confesses she hasn’t heard from Ou Chen for five years. Luo Xi is shocked by this and says it is funny that Ou Chen grew tired of her after all they went through. Xia Mo becomes uncomfortable and Luo Xi says he won’t mention Ou Chen again. He is then spotted by fans and he grabs Xia Mo’s hand and they take off running.
At the high school Ou Chen has a flash of Luo Xi singing, but before he can recall more, fireworks go off. When he turns around, there is a crowd behind him. Xi Meng said his old schoolmates wanted to throw a welcoming party. Ou Chen says he doesn’t need it and walks off. After finally ditching Luo Xi’s fans, Luo Xi asks Xia Mo if she wants to be a singer. Xia Mo says yes and Luo Xi says he hears she needs the most work. Xia Mo says she will work hard. Luo Xi says he will help and Xia Mo says she will accept it if she needs it and Luo Xi says he knows she won’t ask as she’s always kept him at a distance, never treating him as a friend. Xia Mo says the day they drank beer under the cherry blossoms and she told him “welcome to the family” is the day he became her friend. We don’t know what happened to make them buddies, there is just a flashback to Xia Mo welcoming him and giving him a cat as a present from both her and Xiao Cheng. Luo Xi asks if that means Xia Mo hated him less. Xia Mo said she has never hated him. It’s just that he always made her remember things that she wanted to forget and then Xia Mo asks about Luo Xi hating her to which we don’t hear a reply as the flashback ends. The present day Xia Mo says he was always her friend from that day on and she apologizes for hurting him in the end.
While Xia Mo and Luo Xi were talking, Wei An and Jam were making out in a car nearby. The scandal breaks the next day (apparently to make matters worse, Jam is married). Shu Er calls out Xia Mo who was at practice where the other girls were upset saying the deck was rigged as Pan Nan is Luo Xi’s friend. Pan Nan wants to tell her story to Xia Mo who says she doesn’t care and Pan Nan says that Xia Mo is the only one she wants to tell. Xia Mo goes to Shu Er who apologizes for using Xia Mo to get back at Wei An. Shu Er asks Xia Mo to come back to being her assistant as the show business world is not all it’s cracked up to be. Xia Mo thanks her, but says she will try hard since she has the opportunity. Shu Er is then surrounded by reporters asking about Wei An. Xia Mo tries to get Shu Er out, but Shu Er makes a comment that surprises Xia Mo. Later, at the recording, Wei An comes and slaps Shu Er for talking behind her back to reporters. Wei An then tells the producer she will be on that show today to explain everything as long as Shu Er is bumped from the schedule to which the producer agrees. Really, that was Shu Er’s own fault.
There is a competition to judge which performers will make it to the final round. There will be two stages and the singers will go head to head to compete for the crowd. Luo Xi learns this and has all of his appointments canceled for that day. His assistant asks if its to support Pan Nan and Luo Xi replies no as Pan Nan is a pub performer with experience. No, he is going to support Xia Mo who is practicing hard. The other girls say it’s no use for her to practice as she always clams up on the stage, but Xia Mo ignores them and does her best. When they come to split the girls into teams. Two of the girls jump at the chance to be with Pan Nan as she is the shoe in to win. Xia Mo doesn’t disagree and the teams are made. The day of the competition arrives and Pan Nan blows the competition away, easily passing. Xia Mo’s partner doesn’t want to follow Pan Nan, so Xia Mo goes first, singing an old club song. She is actually doing well, but she flashes back to a bad memory of her mother collapsing in front of her and she freezes. Luo Xi comes and says she is his friend and gives her his support, making Cai Ni and Allen reconsider cutting Xia Mo. This of course causes rumors to fly about the two. Ou Chen’s car stopped to avoid hitting a cyclist and he hears Xia Mo’s song. She seems familiar and he begins to have feelings, especially when he sees Luo Xi come to her rescue. He tells Xi Meng to find out who she is as she made him feel heartache.
Xiao Cheng is not pleased when he finds out Xia Mo is trying to be a singer. He says he has changed his major to architecture so she should stop. This upsets Xia Mo who wants him to study art. Xiao Cheng says he doesn’t want to be the reason she enters such a cruel world. Xia Mo says she is entering it because she wants to. She is sick of working hard everyday, sick of being poor. She tells Xiao Cheng that if he doesn’t change his major back to art, she will disown him. Way harsh. Meanwhile, Ou Chen tells Xi Meng he had the same nightmare again. Xi Meng asked if he saw the girl’s face this time. Ou Chen said no, but that Xia Mo’s face came to him after he woke up. Xi Meng then divulges her name and where she works (he’s always known who she was).
Luo Xi asks Xia Mo why she wants to become a singer, especially since she has problems with appearing onstage. Xia Mo immediately replies its for the money. Luo Xi was surprised by how honest she was. He then goes to offer her money but she refuses saying she doesn’t want to hear it as it makes her feel cheap. Luo Xi understands Xia Mo wants to work for what she gets and that she truly considers him a friend to tell him all of this. He takes her to an empty theater to practice. He starts playing the music to the song she sang earlier, surprising her. He told her he hid and listened to her. She starts to sing, but falters as she remembers the night her mom got drunk, sang this song, and then died in front of her. Luo Xi tells her to look only at him. She does and finishes the song finally.
Ou Chen is out drinking when he sees Xia Mo walk in. She performs and he is enraptured by her. He notices Luo Xi after Xia Mo’s performance and he follows the two. Luo Xi compliments Xia Mo on her performance. Apparently they went to several different places trying to get her used to being on stage. Xia Mo thanks him and Luo Xi says he should be thanking her instead for falling in love with him. Her always keeping herself at a distance from him was because she loved him. Because she has feelings for him she couldn’t forget him, because she has feelings for him she trusted him enough to relax and sing. He then tries to kiss her, but she turns away saying he misunderstood. Luo Xi says her being repressed and calm is boring. Xia Mo says its better to be that way than to be his toy. Luo Xi smiles and asks if her heart was racing. Xia Mo goes to say something and he kisses her.
She pushes him away and says she won’t repay him in this way and she won’t see him again. He asks why it’s so hard to admit she likes him. She says she doesn’t and he insists that she does. He grabs her arm and says they walk the same path, that is why they are fated to love each other. He fell in love with her five years ago and did childish things she hated just to get her attention. Luo Xi then states that she hated herself for liking him, that’s why she repelled him. He asks her why she must resist him and their love when it is fate for them to be together. Xia Mo tells him to stop, as he is trying to hypnotize her. She says she knows what he really wants. He asks if she really does and kisses her. Xia Mo finally stops fighting her feelings and kisses him back. This enrages Ou Chen who has been watching the whole exchange. He turns on his headlights, blinding them before putting the car in gear.
My thoughts: Wow. A lot happened in an hour and a half. So much is going on that it is hard to keep track of it all. I must admit surprise to Luo Xi and Xia Mo’s relationship progressing so fast. There is so much mystery and pain there, and it seems that Luo Xi might have something up his sleeve, but who knows. I am hoping he is going after her only because he really does love her. What with Ou Chen coming back into the picture soon, things will be complicated enough.
Ou Chen got quite a bit of screen time in the beginning and then fell off the map for just little bit parts and none of the flashbacks actually had scenes really with Ou Chen. I can only imagine what happened and how complicated their pasts must be. I wonder if things will slowly keep being revealed until we have the full picture, or if we’ll get it in a few episodes with the rest just focusing on the present drama. Which there is plenty of.
I already can’t wait to see the next episode, but I fear this drama is going to end up being a train wreck that one can’t help but watch.