Princess Agents Episode 3 Recap
Blame it on the time we live in where human lives are regarded as trash. This is the philosophy of the eldest sister of the Jing family. If you have not status, your life if cheap, expendable, and the most you can do is endure and survive. Needless to say this goes against everything Xiao Liu stands for. Even if she cannot remember her past en toto, she is a woman of action who refuses to be bullied. Xiao Ba is also more of this spitfire mindset and the two are constantly told to lie low to ensure the safety of themselves and their family.
Knowing her brother is in trouble, Xiao Liu arrives on scene in time to witness Yuwen Yue killing him and throwing him into the fire. When she goes to rush to the fire, Yuwen Yue surreptitiously kicks a stone at her leg, causing her fall. She loses the pass here which Yue Qi finds. Yuwen Yue denounces Lin Xi as a spy and that his death can in no way make up for his complicity in killing Yuwen Yue’s beloved grandfather. Xiao Liu insists on her brother’s innocence. He was a good man who was not at the manor long enough to be embroiled in any plots against the members of second household.
She does confess that her brother did get the pass for her. There is a severe punishment for this, but she escapes with a sword slash to her arm. Why? A poisonous spider had crawled its way onto her arm unnoticed except by Yuwen Yue and he strikes before it can poison her, too. This marks the second time he saved her life. He also gives her a lesson—she has no power in an age where people look up to and revere those with power. She is just a poor person meant to be trod on by the powerful. Xiao Liu vows that if she lives on, she will become a person with power and Yuwen Yue warns her against her bold words as they will only bring her shame.
Xiao Liu manages to go back to her eldest sister and let her know of their fifth brother’s death. Zhi Xiang takes her younger sister in and once more tends to her wounds. Xiao Ba is livid. Another sibling lost. She puts all the blame on Xiao Liu. A black cat, an unlucky star. Ever since she entered their lives, bad things have happened—they lost their parents and now their siblings. Zhi Xiang is livid. Xiao Liu is a precious sister of theirs and it is not her fault their lives are trash. They are born low and have no power. They can only endure and pray not to attract attention and lose their lives. The thing I don’t like, especially since Xiao Liu does her best to protect her sisters, is that Xiao Ba and Xiao Qi often think of throwing Xiao Liu away, but yet they cannot survive without her.
Steward Zhu reports to Yuwen Huai that the old man has died and their real spy, Jin Zhu, remains undetected in Yuwen Yue’s manor. Huai asks if Zhu saw the body with his own eyes. Steward Zhu hems and haws, but admits he did not. This makes Yuwen Huai livid. He will need to see for himself that the old man has really perished as they planned.
So, Yuwen Huai marches to Yuwen Yue’s household and arrives as they are about to seal the coffin. Huai demands to see his uncle’s body to which Yuwen Yue refuses. Huai should know better than anyone just who his grandfather liked and disliked. Yuwen Huai insinuates that the ungrateful Yuwen Yue killed his grandfather to gain the “Eyes of God” spy network. The two then start a huge fight as Yuwen Huai tries to force his way in to open the coffin to investigate the real cause of his uncle’s death (which we all know is a ruse to confirm his uncle’s death).
Enter the Noble Consort Shu [Sun Ning] who is displeased at this fighting as she was a good friend of Yuwen Yue’s grandfather. Huai whines that his cousin is suspicious in not letting Huai see the old man’s corpse. Yuwen Yue explains to the consort that he has burned all of his grandfather’s personal affects and was going to seal the coffin to prevent the leak of the rare Western poison that killed his grandfather. Consort Shu tells Yue that this is indeed right and that she will examine the body herself. She goes to the coffin and Yuwen Yue carefully opens it while she masks her face. She confirms his grandfather’s death. Ah, we must not forget that she insinuates Yuwen Huai in Yuwen Yue’s grandfather’s death as it is known that Huai’s family regularly does trade with the West on the Silk Road. This is fact. To make matters worse for the annoying Huai, Shu forbids him from entering Yuwen Yue’s manor unless expressly invited by Yuwen Yue.
Later when Shu and Yue are alone, he thanks her again for her help. She is worried about Yuwen Yue. He has a decision to make. Should he take on the mantle of his household and reactivate the “Eyes of God”? If not, he should know that the emperor does have others who could take charge of this. Yuwen Yue keeps his cold expression. His whole thing is flying under the radar. For whatever reason, he must always downplay his power and intelligence. Of course, he is living in a political and personal minefield, isn’t he? This is also why Yan Xun does his best to keep a low profile and not attract negative attention from the emperor.
Yuwen Huai reports to his own grandfather of their success in killing Yuwen Yue’s grandfather. Now that Yuwen Yue is on his own without his grandfather’s backing, it should be easier to kill him and retain the “Eyes of God,” but there is the snag of being kicked out of Yuwen Yue’s manor. Of course, Jin Zhu is still there. Huai’s grandfather laughs as he recalls how Jin Zhu turned down Huai’s advances as she was saving her virginity for Yuwen Yue. A nice verbal slap in the fact to Huai. His grandfather right now only cares about women and leaves his grandson to figure out how to end Yuwen Yue’s life. Of course, at the same time, he doesn’t believe his grandson, the son of a lowborn woman, can every accomplish anything. Ouch.
So, since the owner of Jin Le Pavilion wants women, Madam Song picks out maids. Zhi Xiang breathes a sigh of relief when neither herself or her younger sisters are chosen. That is until Madam Song tells them to drag Xiao Liu to the pavilion as well. Zhi Xiang begs for mercy for her younger sister, but Madam Song does not yield until the oldest of the Jing siblings tells the older woman that she will do whatever Song asks as long as Xiao Liu is spared. Anything? Then go in Xiao Liu’s place.
This is important. Earlier, Zhi Xiang was with Xiao Liu and trying to get her to drink some medicine so she can heal. Xiao Liu initially refuses, but then drinks the medicine so she does not let her older brother’s sacrifices for her go to waste. Xiao Liu will live. She will not give the people in power the satisfaction of her death. Thus, even though she probably would have done it anyways, Zhi Xiang is even more so determined to save her beloved sisters.
Zhi Xiang collects her things when Xiao Ba and another Jing sibling arrives—Xiao Qi. I am not certain, but Xiao Qi might be the seventh of the siblings, which puts her between Xiao Liu and Xiao Ba. Zhi Xiang lies to her sibling and says that she is going away for a little while and that Xiao Liu as the eldest of the remaining siblings and must look over Xiao Qi and Xiao Ba well and keep her head down. Xiao Liu agrees to this. Before Zhi Xiang leaves, she gives Xiao Ba and Xiao Qi an object that contains the truth behind Xiao Liu’s identity.
So…Zhi Xiang is another sacrificial lamb to the lust and power of the Yuwen family. Yuwen Huai’s grandfather is a man who is crazy and takes pleasure in killing maids. Zhi Xiang almost managed to escape with her life, but she is killed by Huai’s grandfather in the end. Xiao Liu wakes to her younger sisters crying and learns that Zhi Xiang was taken to Jin Le Pavilion and the three go out in the rain to find her. There they see guards and a cartload of dead maids. Her sisters see her dead body and are hit with grief once more. They go to the pile of corpses and collect their sister’s. They bury her and create a mound as well as a funeral plaque for Lin Xi and Zhi Xiang. Xiao Liu has made up her mind as she pays her last respects to her fifth brother and eldest sister. She will not do as Zhi Xiang insisted and lay low in hopes of things going their way. No, Xiao Liu will fight for herself and the remainder of her family.
At this time, Huai is upset with Steward Zhu over the leaking of their family’s trading information which throws suspicion on them for Yuwen Zhuo’s death. Zhu throws Madam Song under the proverbial bus and Zhu relishes in kicking her out of the Yuwen household. You get to see in this rain scene that Yuwen Huai is tormented by his own existence. He despises his lecherous grandfather, his low birth, and his inability to be included with his other “friends” in the top 5 of the young nobles. Do I feel sorry for him…eh. The actor playing Yuwen Huai, Wang Yan Lin, does a great job. And you know Huai is as sick and twisted as he is because of how he was treated and raised, but you just can’t feel sorry for the cruel arse that he has become.
In order to win merits, she follows one of the Jing siblings as they get paper money to burn for their recently deceased siblings. It is forbidden to do this, and Song stupidly believes if she turns the Jing siblings in to Huai, she will be spared. Xiao Ba talks back as does Xiao Liu and a fight ensues. Madam Song chases the siblings onto a bridge and nearly sends Xiao Ba and Xiao Liu over. Instead, it is Madam Song who falls. Xiao Liu and Xiao Ba try to save her, but Song grips Xiao Liu’s injury and she slips and falls, taking Xiao Ba’s bracelet with her. Xiao Ba is horrified. They have killed a person. Xiao Liu, much like Yuwen Yue, is as cold as ever. No one saw them, so they will be fine. If the truth should ever come out someday, Xiao Liu will take full responsibility for Madam Song’s death in hopes to spare her beloved siblings.
Xiao Liu must now walk a fine line. She desires freedom and justice for her family, but she must also guarantee the survival of her remaining siblings. Can these three remain intact? Doubtful. And we all know that besides catching Yuwen Yue’s eye and Yan Xun’s, Xiao Liu has also caught Yuwen Yue’s eye and will be drawn into the bloody political battle raging not only among the Yuwen family, but also between the different states.