Twdrama: Mars Episode 7
Ling’s need for speed counts against him when he breaks the rules of his important race while Qi Luo finishes her painting. While things initially seem to be looking up for our young couple, a woman from Ling’s past steps into the picture to stir things up and bring Sheng’s death to the forefront once more.
Ling recovers from the dirty racing trick and races off once more. His friends and team owners are happy to see him back in the race. Ming Gao’s former racing buddy says that while Ling is resilient, it will be hard for him to enter the top three or win the race. Da Ye repeats that he hears miracles can happen on track and next thing we know a racer wipes out and another racer wrecks trying to miss him. Ling doesn’t decrease speed and narrowly avoids the wreck. The yellow comes out meaning caution. I don’t know about motorcycle racing rules, but in NASCAR, once the caution flies, your speed is supposed to decrease and you are not allowed to pass. Ling passes another rider and eventually takes the lead to win the race. But since he passed on yellow, ten seconds are added to his finishing time and his first place win suddenly becomes seventh.
Ming Gao was upset with Ling gunning it and passing a rider under yellow, but he knows his rider’s mindset the best. Ling’s only focus on racing is going fast and passing everyone he can. Just a tidbit from the manga. When this race happens, Ling was in an endurance race with Xiang Zi. She is the one injured so Ling, instead of giving her the bike back for her portion of the race, kept racing. This disqualified them even though Ling won the race as no rider could drive more than x%. I like how the Taiwanese drama has changed things, but still keeping the plot faithful enough to its source material. Anywho, Ling walks up to Ming Gao and Xiang Zi, abashed. He apologizes for his mistake and the crowd bursts out in cheers for his amazing performance, surprising Ling.
The anxious Qi Luo quickly picks up the phone. He is all right? Yes, Ling is fine. He then says he did not win the championship. Qi Luo doesn’t care as he is a champion in her eyes. To her the most important thing is that Ling survived the race in tact. Once Ling is back in Taiwan, he goes to see Qi Luo’s painting. She waits outside as she can’t see her model and painting side by side. Ling doesn’t know if he will have a bad reaction or not, but he’s willing to try to see how Qi Luo portrayed him. He goes in and people immediately stop and stare. He is shocked by the larger than life painting of himself in a cocoon of vibrant flames. He goes to touch the painting and is yelled at until he turns around and everyone can see he is the subject of the painting. He walks out and Qi Luo nervously asks his opinion. He liked the vibrant energy and he thinks the painting is even handsomer then himself. We end this scene seeing a young woman coming and staring intently at Ling’s picture.
Qing Mei meets with Qi Luo and shows her pictures of the race while describing how awesome Ling was and how this man from a famous European team especially came to the race to see Ling. Qi Luo’s smile goes away more and more as Qing Mei talks about Ling’s prospective future in getting sponsored by a major maker. Qing Mei notices Qi Luo’s face and wonders what is wrong. Before Qi Luo can answer her phone rings. She answers and it is Lee Zhuyi from another university who got her number from her art teacher. He has questions about the painting Mars. Is the subject Chen Ling. Is he Chen Ling’s friend? Then does Chen Ling go to her university? Yes. The man on the other end thanks her and hangs up leaving Qi Luo and Qing Mei mystified.
Qi Luo is out and about and runs into Zhi Xiang. She helps her take her groceries back to the shop. Ming Gao will be in later once it is time to open. Zhi Xiang congratulates Qi Luo for winning a prize for her painting Mars and says that both Ling and Qi Luo are very talented. Yamaha is giving Ling a chance to test a 500 which will bring him closer to his dream of racing in the Grand Prix. Zhi Xiang then gets serious and says that if it wasn’t for Ling, Ming Gao would never have given up on racing. Seeing Ling sets Ming Gao’s mind at ease as Ling has the talent to accomplish the dream he was unable to. Has Zhi Xiang stopped racing, too? Yes, as she wishes to support her husband with his new role. She then seriously talks to Qi Luo about dating a racer and the life a racer faces. Qi Luo must be prepared because without her support, Ling will not reach the finish line. Qi Luo must be there to make certain he comes back in one piece. As much as she loves Ling, Qi Luo needs to come to grips with this reality. Can she?
At school, Qi Luo’s class is trying to come up with an item for a university-wide auction. Someone mentions a ride with Ling. He refuses his bike’s services, so someone mentions auctioning off the rider instead. Qing Mei says they should ask Qi Luo’s opinion and Qi Luo throws him under the bus—lets auction off a day with Ling. This makes Ling very unhappy that she agreed to this. Da Ye, Qing Mei, and Ling then get scolded for all their snacking in class and Ling throws his bag on Qi Luo’s desk.
The day of the auction arrives. Ling, Ah Bin, and Da Ye are at the basketball court trying to win prizes via shooting free throws. Qing Mei is hanging out with Qi Luo. Girls ask them where Ling is and Qing Mei blatantly lies and Qi Luo scolds her for this. Qing Mei says the annoying number of girls has climbed thanks to Ling’s performance in Japan. The two girls then go to the auction where Ling is up for bid and a gaggle of girls are there with scary looks in there eyes (according to Qing Mei). While this is going on, Ling is dominating the free throw toss trying to win a necklace for his precious Qi Luo. He gives up a PS2 for that necklace. Ah Bing complains about giving up the PS2 while Da Ye encourages Ling to go ahead and win the necklace.
The girls at the auction complain that Chen Ling isn’t there. The auctioneer says Ling is at the basketball court trying to win a special necklace. If girls are lucky they will win a date with Chen Ling and a necklace. The bidding intensifies until the girl from the gallery at the beginning of the show bids an outrageous sum of 100,000. She wins the bid and gives up an expensive piece of jewelry to the auctioneer and demands to be taken to Ling. He wins the necklace and is celebrating when the girl comes up and smacks him hard across the face before hugging him and crying. Her name is Sha Zhi. She clings on to Ling as Zhu Yi greets his old friend. Ling asks how he found him and Zhu Yi replies Qi Luo. This makes his face fall.
Qi Luo arrives on scene looking very unhappy and insecure. Zhu Yi apologizes for calling her out of the blue like that. Ling introduces him and Sha Zhi as friends from his high school days. Sha Zhi finally lets go of Ling’s arm and approaches Qi Luo. She had heard from Zhu Yi that Ling was a model for a painting and had to check it out. She thanks Qi Luo for painting “her” Ling so well. You can tell Qing Mei does not appreciate this and it makes Qi Luo more and more uncomfortable. Ah Bin brings Ling his prize and Sha Zhi immediately claims it for herself. An irate Da Ye takes it back and looks at Ling…this should belong to Qi Luo, right? The uncomfortable Qi Luo says it is fine as she doesn’t care for such things. Ling looks unhappy, probably because he knows that Qi Luo is unhappy.
Ling, Zhu Yi, Sha Zhi, and Qi Luo end up at a restaurant where poor Qi Luo is left out as the three reminisce about the old days and Sha Zhi scolds Ling for disappearing without a trace. She even asked Ling’s father and he refused to say. Zhu Yi scolds Ling as well about this and Ling apologizes saying he’s been too busy. You could say that, I guess. He was in that institution before going to university. Sha Zhi talks nonstop about people Qi Luo does not know and Zhu Yi tries to get her to stop as this will most likely not be the last time they see Ling. Sha Zhi refuses saying you never know because Ling could disappear again at any time and continues on.
Qi Luo sits unhappily picking at her fingers until Ling holds her hand. This perks her right up. Sha Zhi notices this and is very unhappy. Possessive little wench. Qi Luo looks up and sees Sha Zhi’s angry glare. Qi Luo’s happy expression immediately evaporates. Sha Zhi spills her coffee cup and complains about being dizzy. Zhu Yi offers to take Shan Zi home, but she refuses. Ling tells her not to be childish, but Sha Zhi does not care. She only wants Ling to take her home. Even though she does not like it, Qi Luo tells Ling to take the other girl home.
Ling puts Sha Zhi in a cab and asks if Zhu Yi is coming, too. Zhu Yi says he is going in the opposite direction and will take the subway. Ling apologizes to Qi Luo and tells her to wait for him at the school as he needs to go back for his bike. He then asks Zhu Yi to see Qi Luo back to school safely. He then leaves with Sha Zhi. Zhu Yi apologizes for ruining the festival atmosphere and having Qi Luo give up the necklace. Qi Luo is Ling’s girlfriend, right? Zhu Yi felt this since seeing the painting. He and Qi Luo sit down and talk. Zhu Yi apologies for Sha Zhi’s self-centeredness. Since she is so cute, everyone spoils and protects her. Qi Luo then asks if Sha Zhi is Ling’s ex.
Ling and Sha Zhi end up alone at the beach thanks to her selfishness. Ling cannot believe how she hasn’t changed. He calls her fickle and selfish. She’s just like the sea right? Sha Zhi doesn’t even seem to catch on that Ling is not praising her, but is rather scolding her. Back in their younger years, he did not like these traits of hers either, but he could not help liking her and wanting to be with her. Sha Zhi tears up as he remembers what he told her back in high school. She hugs him and asks why he left her and disappeared. He apologizes over and over. She pulls away and asks him if he still likes her as she still likes him. Sha Zhi says that no matter what she will like Ling—even if Sheng were still alive. She then cuddles into him once more.
I recall a quote from Jane Austen’s novel, one of my favorites outside of Price and Prejudice and Northanger Abbey, Mansfield Park. A rather horrid woman tells our female lead “Selfishness must always be forgiven you know, because there is no hope of a cure.” Sometimes you may be able to forgive another’s selfishness, but to forgive can be construed as encouragement. Sha Zhi’s selfishness and blatant disregard of others and their feeling should not be encouraged. As guilty as Ling feels over Sheng’s death, he can also fall back into the black pit that is Sha Zhi’s selfishness, can’t he?
Zhu Yi asks if Qi Luo knows about Sheng’s suicide. Zhu Yi and the others back then thought that Ling would pull through just fine since he was so strong. They did not realize he was slowly breaking apart from the inside out until they were told he would need to rest at a psychiatric hospital. Time passed and Ling did not return to school. Sha Zhi almost went crazy. Zhu Yi then reveals that Sha Zhi was not originally Ling’s girlfriend, but Sheng’s. Ling stole her from his brother and after that Sheng killed himself.
And this…just this. Knowing this, how can Sha Zhi honestly thing she could still be with Ling? Obviously he feels responsible for Sheng’s death and she just doesn’t get it. She continues on with her spoiled and selfish ways not caring who is hurt. I really hate her character. She was awful in the manga, this drama, and the Japanese drama. I also don’t like how Qi Luo quickly gives in. She knows there is something between Ling and Sha Zhi in the past and yet she encourages Ling to go with the other girl. Qi Luo stood up Qing Mei about her own feelings for Ling when the other girl was going to crush her hand so Qi Luo cannot paint (which originally brings Qi Luo and Ling together, remember), but why does Qi Luo immediately become a turtle here? She endures too much at times without standing up.
I really like the friendships we have developing. Qi Luo is coming out of her shell. She’s learning how to get along with others and make friends. Ling is still wild, but he is reigning in his worst impetuousness. They are all growing and becoming adults slowly but surely. Our trio of males are also a great foil to one another and Ah Bin and Da Ye love picking on each other just like Qing Mei loves picking on Da Ye (the beginnings of their own love).