Twdrama: Mars Episode 6
Ling is lying in bed while memories of his mother and dead twin play in a confused montage in his head. The next day he returns to the hospital where he spent a significant amount of time after his little brother died. He pauses when he hears a voice call his name and he turns to look at a door before continuing on to the art room. The doctor is surprised to see Ling. Why is he there? Just to visit. Inside the room is a little girl who refuses to paint. The doctor will consider her partly healed if they can just get her to pick up a pen. The child will then need some long-term care before she is completely better. Painting is away to converse with your own subconscious. They used this method on Ling as well and still have one of his paintings. Ling says it was not really painting, just slapping color on the paper. Colors are another way to convey feelings the doctor replies.
Ling sits down with his head in his arms. The doctor asks just why he has come as he knows something is wrong. Ling finally asks if the doctor lied to him when he said Ling was cured. The doctor says that when Ling first came he was in an awful state. After medicine and psychological treatments, the young man was able to gradually return to a more normal state. They did not discharge Ling until they evaluated him and found him okay to be released. However…psychological injuries are not the same as physical injuries. It is not about being healed, it is about how you overcome them. Even now does Ling still believe he killed his brother? Ling remains silent and recalls his brother falling from the rooftop.
Ling is back in class sleeping and Qi Luo is worried. No one knows about Ling’s past or what happened to his twin brother. This makes Qi Luo very afraid that she will lose him. She touches his arm and lightly calls his name. Ling jumps awake and says that his dream is to win the Grand Prix. This has the class laughing and the teacher scolding. Ling sits own an asks Qi Luo why she woke him up. She says nothing and Ling goes back to sleep.
After class, Ling asks Da Ye for his notes. This surprises Da Ye…Ling actually wants to study? Yes. To help curb his sleepiness. When Da Ye shows him what was just covered, Ling is appalled. So much??? How come Ling has no retention of any of the earlier lessons as well? He will have to borrow the book from Da Ye to get this all figured out. When Da Ye says that Ling was not napping but fully asleep, Ling complains that between working at night and racing on the weekends, he doesn’t have any time and is always tired. Da Ye wants to ask about what Qi Luo told him, but gets interrupted with the arrival of Ah Bin who has some alcohol. Ah Bin heard Ling was going to Japan to race. Yes, next month. He asks for Ah Bin and Da Ye to come be his cheerleaders. Da Ye just smiles and lets the question go.
The thing that I like about this version of MARS is that it stays truer to the plot of the manga. You get to see Ling’s/Rei’s passion for motorcycle racing. I know that the Japanese drama was shorter and they sacrificed much of the original plot to rework it to something to fit their time frame, but I was saddened that this was cut out. Beside’s his lover for Qi Luo/Kira, his main passion is to be a professional racer.
Ling is busy studying…and drinking when Qi Luo shows up. She scolds him for drinking on campus and he tells her to lower her voice. What did the sweet art teacher want? To warn Qi Luo away from Ling? No. Her teacher has nominated Qi Luo for an art award. Ling is happy for her. If she wins a prize, she must treat him to dinner. Qi Luo says winning a prize is not important—she only wants to paint Ling. Even teacher Lili says to use Ling as her subject. Qi Luo really wants to show Ling how she views him. Ling is silent. He doesn’t want to? He smiles and says that Qi Luo can paint him anytime.
Ling takes Qi Luo to his race headquarters. He introduces her Xiang Zi saying to not be mistaking Xiang Zi as a normal girl—she’s a fierce rider who can run circles around other male racers. Ling introduces Xiang Zi merely as his classmate and Xiang Zi says this is the first time Ling has brought a woman. Xiang Zi then says that Ling must be a bad student. Qi Luo smiles and says he is different. Xiang Zi jokes this is because he was raised by wolves for six years, earning her a scolding from Ling. Enter her hubby Ming Gao. She introduces him to Qi Luo and tells Ming Gao that Qi Luo is Ling’s girlfriend. Ming Gao greets her, but his false leg gives out a bit. He apologizes and greets her again. He has Xiang Zi take her inside while he talks to Ling.
Ming Gao hands over documents to Ling about the race in Japan while Xiang Zi talks to Qi Luo about the racetrack. It is said both angels and devils exist there. Ming Gao was unfortunate to catch the eye of a devil. Isn’t Xiang Zi sad that such a thing happened to the man she loves? It’s a lie to say it isn’t painful, but what can she do? Xiang Zi is in love with a motorcycle racer who cannot guarantee his own life. Meanwhile, Ling discusses a new technique that could improve their race times. He has seen European racers do this. Ming Gao is familiar with the technique, but they are short of time to learn it. Besides, it cannot be used often as it will make the bike unstable, overuse the tires, and can cause serious injury from a fall. Ling looks a little petulant with this lecture.
Back inside, Xiang Zi asks if Qi Luo has ever seen Ling race. She shakes her head no. It is worth seeing as he is a born racer. He’s been attracting attention at tracks since the age of eight. This surprises Qi Luo. So young! Xiang Zi says that Ling and his bike become one and many people envy how he can ride. Qi Luo asks if Xiang Zi has known Ling for a long time. Yes. Then does she know about Sheng? Qi Luo knows she shouldn’t be asking, but she wants to know more about Ling. What kind of person was Sheng? Xiang Zi hesitates, but goes on. Ling and Sheng were complete opposites. Sheng was a painter and loved to paint Ling. Isn’t that like painting himself? Sheng replied no because of Ling’s incredible aura. One time when Ling was injured during a race, Sheng stayed by his side crying. If Ling died, Sheng could not survive. Xiang Zi doesn’t know why, but she believed Sheng’s words—he could not live in a world without Ling.
Qi Luo breaks in. Shen committed suicide, didn’t he? Looks like she figured that out. Qi Luo is a bright girl…then again, all the signs were there. Xiang Zi confirms this. Two years ago Sheng jumped off the roof of a building in front of Ling who had tried desperately to stop him. On that day, Ling saw a dead body that had his same face. Why did Sheng kill himself? They do not know as there was no note. Sheng was constantly bullied and very fragile, so they believed that is why he decided to die. From that day on, Ling broke all the mirrors in his house and would have attacks where he would stop breathing. He cannot look at himself in mirrors, photos, or paintings. At this time, Ling’s father sent him to the hospital out of concern.
Ming Gao comes in and says it was not fatherly concern. It was because Ling’s father didn’t now what to do so he let the doctors deal with it. If you can’t tell, Ming Gao is not a fan of Ling’s dad. Ming Gao then goes on to say how awful a father Mr. Chen is. When the twins’ mother died, he sent them to LA for eight years. He did not call or visit. What kind of father would do that? Xiang Zi argues that Mr. Chen had his reasons, but Ming Gao will have none of it. And…he is right in a way. Yes, Mr. Chen was going through a very hard time, but so were his children. As a father, it should be him helping his sons and they in turn could probably have helped him a little as well. So…to summarize, no mother, an absentee father, and then his little brother left. Ling has no one. Mr. Chen should have been sent to the psychiatric hospital instead.
Enter Ling. Do they have to talk so loud? The three people turn and are stunned to find Ling leaning nonchalantly in the doorway. He could hear every word from outside. We then see a flashback of the little boys at their mother’s funeral. There Ling promised his little brother that he would always be there for him. They were born together, they will die together. Ok. Other memories begin flashing through. These ones without sound. A confused jumble.
Ling was lying down and sits up. He looks ill. Qi Luo calls out to him. She apologizes for asking him to model for her as that is like asking him to force himself and hurt himself. She doesn’t want him to model for her if he will be hurting. Ling gives Qi Luo a gentle smile. It is alright since it is her. He is a bit frightened, but he wants to see how Qi Luo paints him. Since Qi Luo has come into his life, he has learned there are things to be frightened of. He’s scared when she rides on his bike lest he make a mistake and she gets hurt. It all comes down to not wanting to lose her. Qi Luo leans in and gives him a kiss this time. He will not lose her.
Qi Luo is out shopping with Qing Mei who is trying to get our reticent leading lady to buy clothes for the race in Japan. Qi Luo says she will not be going because her mother will not let her. What? Does Qi Luo’s mother think she will get pregnant for spending the night out? Qi Luo laughs. Of course not. Qi Luo tells the story of what happened to her father to Qing Mei and then asks the other girl to go cheer in her place. Isn’t Qi Luo afraid Qing Mei will steal Ling away? Silence. Right. She’d never be able to do that.
Qi Luo goes to the airport with Ling and Da Ye is constantly nagging him to hurry up as everyone else is there and there isn’t much time left. Ling complains about Da Ye’s noisiness. They continue running for a bit more and then Ling stops telling Qi Luo to give him his stuff. Qi Luo only says his name, but Ling tells her not to worry since he’s a genius (at racing). She goes to give him his lucky bracelet back, but he refuses it. The bracelet fully belongs to her now. Is she still worried? Ling then asks for something from Qi Luo then to help calm her. She takes the ribbon from her hair and ties it on his wrist. She will be cheering him on from Taiwan. He gives her a peck on the cheek to say goodbye and follows after Da Ye who is still nagging at him.
In Japan, Da Ye is staring at the bikes and easily converses in Japanese. Meanwhile Ah Bin and Qing Mei are only staring at members of the opposite sex. Ah Bin asks Da Ye to talk to the pretty Japanese showgirls for him. Use English. Ah Bin complains that he doesn’t understand the English the Japanese speak. Day scolds both him and Qing Me and the trio then go to watch Ling’s qualifying lap which barely met the minimum standard. Is this because he hasn’t raced in so long? Ming Gao says it is not a problem of rusty skills, but rather the pressure Ling is putting on himself. He’s still young after all.
Xiang Zi and Ming Gao go to find Ling to give him some support and find him having fun with his friends. Ling commands the boys to take out their most previous thing and Ah Bin and Ling attack Da Ye. Xiang Zi and Ming Gao compliment his nerves of steel and go back without talking to him.
Ling is out on the racetrack earlier the next morning. He is jogging and taking a good look around. He’s getting a feel for the track. Ling is good at hiding his real feelings in front of others. This boy is nervous to be in his first race after a long time, but he is also very excited. Racing is his blood, sweat, and dreams. Ming Gao is explaining the track and what to do, but is Ling listening? The boy just smiles. Ming Gao warns him that the time he thinks everything is under control is the time mistakes are made.
Qi Luo is in bed sleeping when her cell starts ringing. It’s Ling! What was she doing. Sleeping and she will go to school soon. Ling is getting ready to start the race. He is bored being around all of these racers. He wants a kiss from Qi Luo for good luck. She kisses the phone for him and he hangs up. She is nervous for him.
The race is about to begin and Ah Bin, Da Ye, and Qing Mei look for Ling amongst the other riders. The race begins. Racing is a dangerous sport, but very interesting. While the friends cheer him on in Japan, Qi Luo prays for his safety at school and begins her painting of him. Our trio then meet a rider who was active at the same time as Ming Gao. He explains the race to them and then says he’s there particularly to watch Ling race. Ming Gao and Xiang Zi watch as Ling moves up to fourth place. The three ahead of him are very good, so we’ll see if he can catch them.
Chen Ling is doing, but the older rider is worried about how Ling will handle the dirty tricks used in racing by the manufacturer teams. The rider talks about how the bike that fell back lay in wait to sabotage the lead so his team can take the win. The number 11 swerves into Chen Ling’s 61 and forces him into the wall. Ling’s pinky is dislocated, but he forces it back in place and gets back on his bike to continue on.
We then flashback to Chen Ling posing for Qi Luo. Ling says that no matter how fast or how well he rides, he will never be great. For those who understand people like him, they know they are trying to break through a certain limitation. For those who do not understand motorcycles, it’s difficult to tell them how they feel about speed. For Qi Luo’s mother, Ling is no different then the men who killed her father. Qi Luo tells him not to talk like that. She does not understand the world he loves, but she knows that it is a holy place. Anyone can paint whenever they want at any time. It may only be a childish drawing, but anyone can do it. Not everyone can be a person to ride high speed on track. “Only people who trade their lives are able to race in such a beautiful place.” This makes Ling smile happily.
It’s nice to see Qi Luo comforting and supporting Ling’s desire to race even though she is terrified he will meet with an accident on track and get seriously hurt or even killed. They are a good couple.