Gong Episode 3 Part 2 Recap
So this will get a little tricky as I am switching from the TV version to the DVD version. So this is technically the very last part of episode 3 according to the DVD release versus the TV version. Got to love various versions of one drama. So episode 1-3 recaps are from the official TV version and from this point onwards, the recaps will be based on the official DVD version. Sorry about that. I decided to do the last bit of episode 3 from the DVD version and start recapping via the DVD version versus the TV version starting with episode 4.
As Consort De and Yin Zhen leave the emperor’s palace, Consort De cautions Yin Zhen against his ambitions. She tells her eldest son that everyone has pre-determined roles to play and some things can just not be forced. Does Yin Zhen understand? Yin Zhen then asks his mother if she thinks like his father – that he can only be a pillar to the empire. De turns around and asks what he wants to be. Yin Zhen (instead of stating his true desires) just says that even she believes the incompetent crown prince is better than he is, so who is he to argue. De then reminds him that Yin Reng is the son of the empress while Yin Zhen is only the son of a lower wife. Yin Zhen replies that his elder brother has already been incarcerated. De tries to stop him, but Yin Zhen continues on and says that all mothers expect their sons to be accomplished, so why can’t De have high expectations. Does his mother still bear a grudge against him?
Grudge for what? Consort De flashes back to a time when the 4th prince was just a little boy. Due to imperial rules, she gave her son up to Imperial Consort Tong to raise. One day, her maid helps her arrange a chance meeting between her and Yin Zhen. De is nervous, wondering what will happen. Then up skips Yin Zhen who calls his mother Consort De. This upsets De who asks him to call her mother. The little prince gets angry and says that she is a lowly consort while he is the son of the empress. At this time, the empress and her maids arrive and Yin Zhen rushes happily off. Well, that is quite a painful blow for a mother, but Yi Zhen was a child raised by the empress and not De herself, so of course he wouldn’t readily recognize her as his mother. End flashback.
Yin Zhen then says he was young and immature at the time. When Tong passed away, he immediately returned to his birth mother’s side. De puts her hands on his shoulders and tells him not to worry. She is his mother, how can she not dote on him? It’s just that they need to follow palace rules. Yin Zhen then asks if his younger brother (and De’s 2nd son with the emperor), was there today and had gone through the same thing, would De still be saying such things? De chides him for being angry over her favoritism of the 14th prince. She admits that she shows more concern for her baby because Yin Zhen is always near whereas the 14th prince is far away. Yin Zhen asks if that is really true. De smiles and nods and tells him to go back early and rest. You can tell that Yi Zhen really does not believe her. All he felt from his mother was politeness, not love or affection – she is too cold.
Qing Chuan finally arrives back at Xi’s palace looking for the maid that tricked her (Xia Lian). Qing Chuan is immediately scolded for arriving late and not having the drinks prepared for the emperor like originally promised. The other maid then tells Qing Chuan that she can go rest while the other maid takes care of the beverages. Qing Chuan thanks her and goes in to her palace to freshen up after her ordeal. You know that maid is up to no good. Qing Chuan delivers the tea to Xi and the emperor who says that the tea must be really good to take so long to brew. Xi then says she will brew it no matter how much effort it takes if it pleases his majesty. The emperor tries it, but his face is not too good. Xi takes it and tastes it and it turns out to be plain water! The emperor laughs this off saying it is the foundation for tea and goes to leave to handle court reports.
When the emperor leaves, Qing Chuan is immediately berated. She is then sentenced to kneel outside of the Chiu Xiu palace on metal chains until sunset. Su Yan sees the miserable Qing Chuan and wishes to help, but she recalls Yin Zhen’s words and doesn’t dare approach her new friend. At this time out comes Yin Si who laughs merrily at Qing Chuan’s punishment. She asks why he laughs and he replies that it is because Qing Chuan angered Yin Si to save Su Yan thus leading Qing Chuan to be bullied, beaten, and locked up. And what does the maid get in return? Yu San doesn’t have the courage to help. Qing Chuan then warns Yu San to stay away as she doesn’t want her to suffer. Yin Si claps and says that he is impressed at Qing Chuan’s display of sisterly love, but he is afraid it is one-sided. Yin Si vows to see how much Qing Chuan can take and goes to walk off, but Qing Chuan yells out that she doesn’t regret anything and doesn’t believe she will in the future either. Time will tell.
Night has fallen and Qing Chuan comes in to find the other maids of Qiu Xiu palace cleaning up after dinner. But none is left for her since she was “late” and wasn’t deserving to have rice saved for her. The maids who bully Qing Chuan then titter and are scolded and told to work properly lest they get punished like our heroine. Qing Chuan goes to drink water, but the pot is empty. She goes to sleep and her bed is full of snakes! As she runs outside to scold the other maids, a bucket of water is dumped on her head. Su Yan sees this and drags Qing Chuan off and apologies for not being able to help her. Why? Su Yan is just another lowly maid with no connections. Qing Chuan says she doesn’t mind at all and doesn’t blame Su Yan. This makes Su Yan feel at ease and she quickly hands Qing Chuan a steamed bun before running off.
Qing Chuan, touched by this, eats it and cries, cursing Yin Si and refusing to give in. At that moment up comes Yin Zhen scolding her for making a din. Qing Chuan recalls him from the night after the fire (she still doesn’t know his true identity as the 4th prince). He tells her to bury her grievance in her heart. He then asks if she knows him. Qing Chuan replies that she doesn’t and wonders why a man would be there – he doesn’t look like a eunuch. She then thinks he must be a guard. This seems to amuse Yin Zhen. Qing Chuan then asks him to teach her martial arts and when he asks why, she tells him to stop the bullying. Yin Zhen tells her that martial arts is not enough, she needs a strong heart as well. He asks if she has ever experienced heartache. Qing Chuan replies that her heart really hurt for a long time when her father died. Yin Zhen then asks if she has ever thought of how to stop her heartache. Of course not!
So what does Yin Zhen do? He walks off and pulls off his shoes! Truthfully, not the first time this is done. In the Korean drama Tree of Heaven/Heaven’s Tree, Lee Wan’s character of Yoon Suh would periodically take off his socks and shoes and walk barefoot (particularly in snow). Why? He’s afraid his heart will be cold, so he walks barefoot to keep his heart “warm” – kind of makes perfect sense in a way. Anywho, done digressing. Qing Chuan watches this in surprise as Yin Zhen begins walking on the cobblestone courtyard calmly. Yin Zhen asks if she sees. She replies that his feet will hurt from the stones. Yin Zhen replies that is the point. The pain in your feet takes away the pain in your heart (kind of like why people start cutting themselves). He then tells Qing Chuan to walk towards her goal, unwavering and he even says he believes that she can do it! Does she understand? Qing Chuan immediately sits and takes off her own shoes. She gets up and walks faltering on the stones. She tells him that she can do it, too. He asks if she can continue to live in the palace. She says she can. He then grabs up his shoes and walks away with Qing Chuan staring intently after him.
And that is the last part of episode 3 on the DVD version (which would be the beginning of the TV version’s episode 4). Starting with episode 4, it will be the DVD version only.