Love Forward Episode 13 Recap
Step 13: The risk of falling into your own revenge trap.
Ah, Ai Xing and Tian Ze. A lot of great moments between these two. I am still not a fan of Ren Wei, but at least his cheesy, sleaziness is toning down and we are seeing more of his gentle side as he begins to soften more and more towards Jing Jing. I must say that as good as this episode was in some ways, I really, really missed Grandpa. Oh, and Mrs. Meng totally annoyed me. I get it that her situation has drastically changed, but OMG to her attitude and willful ignorance. Sigh. Poor Jing Jing has to deal with that, her father’s death, managing Fu Hua, and Ren Wei’s advances. It’s a good thing Ai Xing is on her side and is there to comfort her.
It’s almost hard for me to believe that Chen Yi Rong/Tammy Chen was the lead actress in Lavender. Even though that show was a depressing melodrama, I really enjoyed it and her acting. How she has changed in 11 years!
We start with a voice over saying that Mr. Meng died of a cerebral hemorrhage. I’m still saying it looked more like a heart attack (or possibly a bad stroke), but hey. The day of the funeral Jing Jing and Mrs. Meng come home, both emotionally drained by the whole ordeal. Jing Jing looks at the counter and mail catches her eyes. The courts are seizing their property (probably for all the debt that is owed). Jing Jing tells her mom that they might have to move, looks at the notice again and says that they HAVE to move. This causes Mrs. Meng to collapse. Yes. It’s a lot to deal with, but where did the strong, fiery mother go?
The Meng’s move into an apartment that looks bigger than Ai Xing’s, but still really small compared to the fact that they once lived in a mansion. Mrs. Meng huffs up the steps the entire time yelling at the movers to be careful with the bone china from France. Seriously? She then gets all the way up the apartment and is horrified. Surely there has been some mistake. Jing Jing comes in and says that there is no mistake, this is where they will be living now. It’s the best she can do. Unfortunately, Jing Jing’s best is NOT good enough for her mother. It’s interesting to see the de-evolution of a parent into a child and a child into a parent. This is what Mrs. Meng should be doing instead of Jing Jing. Mrs. Meng then wonders why they are being treated as badly as murderers. The banks and courts have already seized everything else, so why can’t they get an upscale apartment or house? Jing Jing explains that would only cause the tax office to come after them again.
During this argument, Ai Xing comes in. She is the one who found the apartment for the Mengs. Ai Xing goes into her super hyper, glass half full mode and points out all the good things about the apartment and the area where the Mengs are now living. Needless to say, what Ai Xing points out as qualities are not something a well-bred woman like Mrs. Meng would consider selling points. She thanks Ai Xing for the trouble and insists that she and Jing Jing will not be staying at that place for long. Soon they will be moving into a much more suitable place. Mommy dearest really needs to wake up and smell the coffee. She then leaves to go get her hair done. Again, seriously? They have gone bankrupt. I don’t even know how they are affording the place Jing Jing rented, how can she go to the salon?
Ai Xing and Jing Jing sit on the couch and Jing Jing thanks Ai Xing for all she’s done. It’s a good thing Ai Xing came. Ai Xing takes Jing Jing’s hand and reminds her of how she drove the Zheng family to the hospital the day her mom died. If it hadn’t been for Jing Jing, then Ai Xing would have completely fell apart that day. Ai Xing does her best to comfort Jing Jing who gladly cuddles into her friend’s supporting embrace. Jing Jing tells Ai Xing not to worry as she can handle the situation just fine alone. It’s Jing Jing’s mother that Jing Jing is most worried about. She has never seen her mother so out of control. Jing Jing has really grown up. She understands that despite her mom’s current and past behaviors, she has to love her and take care of her. Ai Xing is happy to hear this and then reminds Jing Jing that she’s not alone. Ai Xing then goes over to her gifts and the two set off a pest repellant and leave.
The two friends go to a nearby park and sit on the swings and talk. Jing Jing reveals that Du said Ren Wei has agreed to settle and pay off Fu Hua’s debts as long as he can retain his 60% of shares. Jing Jing also says she now has to focus on finishing up the last of Fu Hua’s projects on time to honor her father who thought that was very important. Ai Xing looks on Jing Jing once more with admiration. Her friend is so strong. Ai Xing recalls what happened at Ren Wei’s apartment and tears up. How worthless is she that she can’t even help her friend? Ai Xing also hasn’t been able to sell a single unit of the Mei Ze Development. Jing Jing stops this tirade with tears in her eyes. Now it’s her turn to comfort Ai Xing. Jing Jing touches her cheek and calls her a silly girl. Jing Jing then lists all that Ai Xing has done: she’s taken care of Tian Ze, she’s worked hard to try to sell the units, and in spite of all the chaos and Jing Jing losing everything, she has stood by Jing Jing’s side. This causes Ai Xing to tear up and she asks Jing Jing no matter what happens with Ren Wei, can the three friends go back to how things were? Jing Jing grabs Ai Xing’s hand and the two continue swinging. I guess Ai Xing’s thinking if her two friends can’t be together anymore, can they at least have the trio friendship they all once shared?
When Ai Xing returns to work, she learns that NT$11,000 has been deducted from her salary due to her illness causing her to stand up and loose a potential client. Ai Xing faints at this, causing her coworkers to worry. Ling Li comes in and tells Ai Xing if she sleeps at work, then Ling Li will deduct even more pay. This wakes Ai Xing up and she begs for mercy. She can’t afford to lose any more money. Ai Xing is also unhappy to hear that Ling Li has taken back her call list bible. Ai Xing is now on probation and her manager isn’t certain if/when she’s try training Ai Xing again. I loved how Ling Li said she crawled to work with food poisoning just to keep an appointment with her client. Poor Ai Xing. She couldn’t even move and was sick, but that earns her a harsh reprimand anyways and Ai Xing does take responsibility for this and is angry at herself for losing money and her attendance bonus.
Jing Jing goes to Ren Wei’s with a tie and demands to know if its his. He takes it and says it was his father’s and Jing Jing lights into him. Since that tie was found where her father died that means Ren Wei had something to do with his death. Ren Wei then tells Jing Jing the abbreviated version of his story (not the whole story about his father’s suicide and him taking his little brother with him). Jing Jing is surprised to hear about her father betraying and ruining his father. I was, too, because Mr. Meng seemed too good and not viciously cutthroat at all. How strange, but good people do stupid and cruel things sometimes. When Jing Jing learns that he wanted revenge against her father (which meant living with nothing and not death), Jing Jing then asks why he settled. Ren Wei explains that was all Tian Ze’s doing. Who’d’ve thought that naïve young man could be so cunning. Since he explained how it would benefit Ren Wei, that is why Ren decided to go with the settlement. This shocks and touches Jing Jing. Ren Wei makes a comment about Jing Jing and Tian Ze and Jing Jing explains that she promised her body, not her heart. Ren Wei (jealous, jealous) shouts at her to get out as he was NEVER in love with her. Guess it was supposed to be a pick-up line.
Tian Ze gets home and Ai Xing has instant noodles ready. She’s eating instant noodles again? Well, she doesn’t have much choice give her financial situation, which she partially blames him for as she stood out in the rain with/for him. Tian Ze comes close and tweaks her nose. Silly girl. No one told her she had to do that. LOL. Ai Xing asks about if it isn’t awkward to work for Ren Wei. Tian Ze explains that is the best way he can keep Ren Wei and another lawyer from totally destroying the Meng family. This makes Ai Xing happy. He is a guardian angel love fool. Tian Ze says there is a difference in being a love fool and an admirer and calls Ai Xing out for being an old virgin who doesn’t know the difference (uh…he’s an “old” virgin, too). Ai Xing asserts she isn’t old, but is interrupted when Tian Ze gets a call from his dad asking him over for dinner. Ai Xing immediately urges Tian Ze to go for dinner. The boy refuses and Ai Xing puts down her noodles and talks to him as she is talking to a child and asks him to open his heart as it is obvious his father loves him. Ai Xing then grabs his phone and tries to call his dad back to accept his reputation. Thus ensues a really cute wrestling match in which Ai Xing attacks Tian Ze with her feet and even manages to sit on top of him. In retaliation, he uses her chopsticks to tickle her foot. LMAO. OMG. This was epic cute greatness.
So Ai Xing does manage to drag Tian Ze over to his house for dinner. She is completely in awe of just how big it is. Something must be wrong with Tian Ze’s brain if he chooses to stay with her vs. living at home. She then teases him about trying to get his father to adopt her and be treated like a princess. Of course, like with the last time, Du shows up. Heehee. Ai Xing quickly apologizes and tries to explain. He then asks about her calling him a jerk earlier. She tells him to never mind that, it’s only because that is what Grandpa and Tian Ze call him all the time. Chuckle. She said that to his FACE! Although, I am sure he knows he isn’t well thought of by his son and father. The moment, which was finally getting a little less awkward, is destroyed by the arrival of Ms. Zhu. Who…may or may not be married to Du (it’s kind of hard to tell, but I at least know they are living together).
The quartet sit down to dinner and Ai Xing and Tian Ze fight over an eggroll. Really, there was a whole plateful, why fight over one? In the end, Tian Ze wins it, but Ai Xing holds out her rice bowl and he gives it to her. LOL. This leads Du to ask how long the two have been dating. They both open up their mouths, but Ai Xing gets it out first that they are not dating and are only just friends and this earns her an odd look (yes, heisui, I don’t think you were reading too much into it, he does give an odd look). Why? Is Tian Ze starting to like her just a wee bit as more than a friend? During dinner Tian Ze makes a comment about not knowing an outsider would be there. This, of course, refers to Zhu. You know Tian Ze’s words hurt her, but she doesn’t blame him and tries her hardest to win him over. Although, given the history there, it might not be possible as Tian Ze worships his dead mother. Oh, so what is the story? Zhu started pursuing Du while his wife was sick in the hospital. Well, that drops her a few pegs in my book. Going after a married man? Uh, no. Bad, bad, bad. If there is a ring, you do not pursue. And I think this situation is also what helped separate Du from Grandpa as well as Zhu wrote him a letter asking to be accepted (it sounds like this was also before mommy passed away).
So the dinner is ruined and Tian Ze and Ai Xing go up to his room to pack up his things to take back to the apartment. Du comes in and says he’s leaving with Zhu so they have the house to themselves. It’s at this time that Jing Jing arrives at their apartment looking for Tian Ze, but no one is home. She even tries calling Ai Xing, but her best friend doesn’t answer either. Ai Xing pokes around and notices Tian Ze’s toys. She starts playing with them, but Tian Ze takes them away. They aren’t to be played with as they are the last gifts his mother bought him. Ai Xing asks after his mother (finally, after 4 years?). Tian Ze explains she died of cancer when he was in primary school. She was the most loving and good woman. Grandpa couldn’t stop singing her praises. No wonder he has a hard time dealing with a woman who came into his father’s life when his mother was at her lowest.
I loved this next scene. Ling Li wryly thanks Ren Wei for asking her out to celebrate his revenge. She pretty much has it all figured out that he destroyed Fu Hua because of revenge. Ren Wei replies it’s worthy celebrating, but he doesn’t feel satisfied. Ling Li then compares Ren Wei’s and Jing Jing’s relationship as being Romeo and Juliet. Ren Wei denies this as they were in love. He doesn’t love the young woman. She also says that he is incapable of loving anyone but himself and his work. Ouch. It also looks like while Ling Li does care for him, she doesn’t want to be with him and even warns away his pity. She may not be surrounded by guys, but she isn’t in dire enough need to settle for him. Burn! She then slaps money down on the table and bids him goodnight (after warning him to be on his best behavior to remain her friend). Ren Wei picks up the money and recalls Jing Jing doing the same. I love Ling Li’s subtle slap in the face. She’s great.
Back at the Du house, Tian Ze is still packing while the sleeping Ai Xing browses through a magazine. When Tian Ze comes out of his closet, the girl is sound asleep. She then asks Jing Jing to make up with Tian Ze in her sleep. He pauses and then sits down. He looks at Ai Xing and then smiles a little before getting serious: “Silly girl, why are you so good to me?” This is actually Tian Ze’s first real acknowledgment that Ai Xing is really good to him. Why won’t these two ever be 100% completely honest when it comes to each other (just like with Jing Jing, too)? Sigh. He then covers Ai Xing up. Aww.
The next morning Jing Jing prepares breakfast of burnt toast, which her mother turns her nose up at. She then demands breakfast from their servant, but they don’t have servants any more. I’m sorry. I find these scenes with Mrs. Meng a little too extreme at times. It just doesn’t seem quite right. Then comes a knock at the door. It’s Ren Wei with a fruit basket. He is most unwelcome, but he plans on coming again and again to see the Mengs as he must watch them suffer (so he says, but you know his conscience is pricking and he actually wishes to help Jing Jing). Ren Wei then says Jing Jing must come with him since she is know part of the board of the Mei Ze Development. Jing Jing changes and asks him what’s going on. Ren Wei then offers her help. She has no way of running Fu Hua herself and has no real marketable skills (um, hello, she was about to promoted at her old job?). Jing Jing doesn’t say anything to this beyond she didn’t ask for his help.
Ai Xing is also eating toast. Though I have never heard of “white toast.” Isn’t that just plain bread? This worries Yia Nan because that is all she’s eating, but Ai Xing must be frugal since her salary is cut. Yia Nan doesn’t get this as she has already repaid the debt to Jing Jing. Ai Xing then explains money is her life’s goal and she won’t stop until she has enough money to buy a house and take care of Zhi Xing and Grandpa. She is such a sweet, simple woman. A coworker comes in with a bento for her. Looks like Ling Li had a prick of conscience as well and ordered an extra bento for a “client” and didn’t want it to go to waste so it could be give to whoever’s hungry. Ai Xing grabs the bento and runs into the hall to proclaim her love loudly for her manager.
Ren Wei then shows up with Jing Jing and introduces her. She is part of the board and will be working with his advertising agency as well. Ling Li is not happy to see her at all, but she can do nothing. Ren Wei does notice how visibly Ling Li snubs Jing Jing. After the introductions are over, Ai Xing quickly runs over to give Jing Jing a tour. She is happy to be able to see her friend all the time now. She even tells her that Ling Li’s bark is worse than her bite. Later Ling Li asks Jing Jing out for a welcome dinner, but Jing Jing shoots desperate eyes at Ai Xing who says that they already have plans that include one more person. Ren Wei guesses it’s Tian Ze and you can see his jealousy rising once more. He does not like this at all.
Jing Jing and Ai Xing get back to the apartment, but Tian Ze isn’t back from the market. Jing Jing looks around while Ai Xing changes and notices the three mugs (her is still by Tian Ze’s) and a picture of her and Tian Ze above the coach. Tian Ze then comes back. He’s happy she’s there and you know it, but things are still awkward. Tian Ze says he wanted to go the funeral, but it was for family only. Ai Xing then comes out, takes the groceries and starts dinner. Things are semi back to normal when Ai Xing later has to bring up the whole bit about the dinner at the Du house and how Du thought that AI Xing and Tian Ze were girlfriend and boyfriend to which Ai Xing replied Jing Jing and Tian Ze were dating).
Enter Ren Wei. The guy just couldn’t leave things well enough alone. This sends Ai Xing into emergency mode. Ren Wei immediately starts talking about work and Jing Jing tells him not to do so at a friend’s gathering. Ren Wei says shouldn’t they know about her doing that to repay her debt. Jing Jing says she hasn’t agreed and has other options. Tian Ze then starts talking work and this annoys Ren Wei. Isn’t that impolite? Tian Ze throws back that Ren Wei started talking about work first. Ai Xing then opens a beer and says it tastes funny. Must be expired. She asks Tian Ze to go buy more while stomping on Ren Wei’s foot. Tian Ze replies he just bought it, so its fine. Ai Xing drinks again, but insists it tastes bad and sends both Jing Jing and Tian Ze away. Ren Wei comments on her going to such lengths for them and Ai Xing demands to know his intentions when it comes to Jing Jing. Shouldn’t he marry her if they do “that” and he loves her? Ren Wei digests this and says he’ll take the suggestion into consideration before leaving. Uh, not what Ai Xing necessarily meant.
Meanwhile, Jing Jing and Tian Ze are walking back with beer and just as Jing Jing goes to tell him about what really happened between her and Ren Wei, Tian Ze ruins the moment by saying he understands her decision and hopes she will be happy with Ren Wei. Ouch. There went the timing to say nothing happened that night. The two part ways and Jing Jing recalls how Ren Wei stopped her from stripping off her clothes and says he will wait until she’s ready. Looks like Tian Ze and Jing Jing will never mend their relationship if they can’t be 100% honest as when Tian Ze’s alone, his face crumbles. Yeah, he so didn’t mean what he said.
The next day, Ling Li wonders how long Ren Wei plotted his revenge and is not happy to learn it’s been what he’s been doing for his entire life. Ren Wei was actually the one who instigated the banks to ask for their loans to be paid off to bankrupt the Mengs. Ling Li warns him about being caught in his own revenge trap (especially since she’s beginning to see that he his developing feelings for Jing Jing). She touches his cheek with a sad face and also says that living as he did, consumed with revenge, must’ve been really lonely. But then again, that is the route he himself chose. Tian Ze then comes and sees this exchange and asks to speak with Ren Wei (he saw Ling Li touching Ren Wei’s cheek, he didn’t overhear the conversation). And that’s where this episode ends.
Kudos for someone actually comforting Ai Xing a bit. The girl needs some TLC as she’s going through a tough time like everyone else. She just silently suffers and doesn’t complain.