Sunny Happiness has this magical ability to make me happy. No joke, I literally smile and chuckle as I am recapping, even though I know exactly what is going to happen. I’m using this as a chance to enjoy the moments again without the stress of worrying about what is going to occur. It’s ridiculous how easy this drama is to watch and write about. It has this heart and simplicity structured around telling one story and doing it well in its own way. And no – it is not your imagination or just you – Mike He really is getting hotter scene by scene, episode by episode.
I find how the drama has structured Yun Jie and Yong Yong’s journey to be so wonderful to watch (if I stop overthinking the billions of coincidences that keep bringing them into each other’s orbit). He’s not purposely an asshole, and she doesn’t really dislike him. Once you remove the orphanage from the equation, suddenly they are just two people who come from very different backgrounds, but appear to understand each other’s motivations. Episodes 7-8 are technically set-up episodes that bring the marriage contract to fruition, but it had some genuinely sweet moments between Yong Yong and her second sister as well as the orphanage.
Episodes 7-8 Recap:
Second sister is typing on the computer to her online friend, and first sister comes and tells her to stop pursuing these fruitless daydreams. First sister says that she’s gven up on marrying her prince Yun Jie, and has elected to choose amongst a group of men at a dating agency. She’s decided to work at the agency, and use that opportunity to find her perfect guy. LOL, both sisters are so silly but sweet.
Yong Yong borrows first sister’s suitcase and announces that she’s going on a trip to Mainland China. Second sister sweetly asks Yong Yong if she can tag along. She wants to go meet her online friend who lives in China, and this a perfect opportunity to meet. Yong Yong thinks it might be too risky, but second sister is not worried since Yong Yong will keep her company. When Yong Yong balks, second sister asks why Yong Yong thinks her matter is silly and not important. Second sister says that being a fat girl is hard, and she wants to find her happiness with just one guy. Yong Yong tells her sister that she’ll meet that right guy. Yong Yong agrees to take second sister along, much to her glee.
Yun Jie finds out that Wan Lan is planning to leave Taipei tomorrow with Xiao Nian. He goes to the airport to send Xiao Nian off, and Wan Lan behaves like a mature adult and lets her son say goodbye to his dad. Yun Jie promises that he will see Xiao Nian soon. After Yun Jie sees Xiao Nian off, he turns around to see Yun Chao has witnessed the entire scene.
He confesses to Yun Chao that Wan Lan actually gave birth to his son eight years ago behind his back. Yun Chao tells Yun Jie to follow his heart. Years ago, Yun Chao followed his heart and started the internet company which failed. But he doesn’t regret it, because he believed it was right back then. Yun Chao tells big bro to get back what he longs for. Nice to see the brothers talking and supporting each other, and its especially poignant to have the supposedly irresponsible Yun Chao giving advice to Yun Jie.
Yong Yong and second sister head to China, and first sister promises to take good care of their flighty mom. Gah, they are the cutest most functional stepfamily ever. It’s not syrupy sweet, but it’s all anchored by the fact they all genuinely love each other like real family members. Yong Yong checks into the hotel and runs into Yun Jie at the front desk. It’s a little awkward, especially since they are assigned rooms right across the hall from each other. The benefactor that Yong Yong is here to meet is out of town and won’t be back for three days.
Yun Jie meets with his lawyer, who is also his good friend (and good friends with Wan Lan). They discuss custody options, and the lawyer confesses that it will be hard for Yun Jie to be awarded custody. Since Xiao Nian has lived with his mother for eight years, the court will frown upon splitting them up. Wan Lan gets a promotion at work, and she’s really pleased that her hard work is being rewarded. Too bad she gets a call and goes to meet with her lawyer friend, who drops the expected news that Yun Jie will be seeking custody of Xiao Nian. The lawyer tries to convince Wan Lan to negotiate with Yun Jie and avoid going to court.
Second sister is adorably getting dolled up for her long-awaited meeting with her online friend. Yong Yong cheers her on, but second sister gets cold feet and asks Yong Yong to come with her to the actual meeting. Yong Yong agrees, and they head there together. The guy sees the two ladies walking towards him, and of course assumes that his online buddy is pretty Yong Yong and not fat second sister. He fawns over Yong Yong, until he’s told that he’s got the wrong girl. Then he becomes and uber-douche an insults second sister as a fattie (and I want to shove a giant stick up his ass and kick him until he’s black and blue).
The girls go back to the hotel room, and second sister is devastated and drinking her sorrows away. Yong Yong tries to comfort her sister, telling her the guy is a jerk and the problem is with him, not her. But second sister sees the truth, that men only want skinny and pretty girls, and never women like her. Oh god, my heart breaks, because second sister’s trauma feels so real, and she wails even more when she recollects how the guy thought that she was Yong Yong’s mother! Second sister tells Yong Yong to go out and buy lots of snacks, because she needs it to feel better, and she fasted last night to prepare herself for meeting the guy. She hands Yong Yong a brochure with a list of specialties foods in this city, and Yong Yong agrees to go buy it. Second sister starts to drink by herself.
Yong Yong heads out and sees Yun Jie and Wan Lan walking into the hotel. She hides, and realizes that Yun Jie is here to see his ex-wife and child. Yun Jie and Wan Lan are trying to have a civil conversation. Wan Lan agrees to allow Yun Jie to visit with Xiao Nian, and Yun Jie tells her that he refuses the offer. He’s here to seek custody of Xiao Nian, not just visitation rights. She asks him to be mature, and he throws her words back in her face – how is she mature having Xiao Nian call her aunt in public and telling him that his father is dead. Yun Jie has no pity for her career ambitions and need to support Xiao Nian.
Yun Jie coldly tells her that the divorce happened because she wanted the abortion. If she didn’t insist on it, they would still be married, and he would be a father, and Xiao Nian would have a father figure today. Wan Lan suggests he bears responsibility for the divorce as well. Wan Lan says that she’d rather Xiao Nian not have a father if the alternative was that he was going to have a selfish father. The exes clearly don’t see eye to eye, and Wan Lan walks out, telling Yun Jie that they can resolve this in court. Wan Lan goes home to make dinner for Xiao Nian, and the sweet kid tells his mom that he will always want to stay by his mother’s side.
Yun Jie and his lawyer are having drinks, and the lawyer notes that Yun Jie has a snowballs chance in hell of getting custody, since he’s a single man. The only chance he has of convincing the court to award him custody is to show the court that he can provide a happy family to Xiao Nian. Ergo, Yun Jie needs a wife. Too bad a wife won’t just fall out of the sky. Yun Jie ponders this possibility. He heads back to the hotel and runs into Yong Yong at the elevator bank. They adorably even move in sync, and both try to enter the elevator at the same time. Yong Yong tells him ladies first, and he allows her in.
She’s pressed against the side of the elavator. He asks why she seems so scared of him? She asks if he drank again tonight? Yun Jie flashes back to his drunken state the last time he drank, and he tells Yong Yong that he’s not drunk today. She tells him not to drink so much, especially since he’s here to see his son. He doesn’t want to talk about it right now. The elevator door opens and she walks out, and he follows her. She finally gets so nervous and asks why he is following her. He tells her in annoyance that he’s no stalker! He flashes his room key and tells her that his room is across the hall.
Yong Yong opens the door and enters the room to find second sister sprawled on the ground passed out. Yun Jie hears her yells for help and rushes into her room to help her. Second sister ends up at the hospital, and she walks up to find Yong Yong nodding off next to her hospital bed. Second sister got drunk and then took a lot of cold medicine for her headache and now needs to stay in the hospital for a few days. Yong Yong heads out and sees Yun Jie sitting in the waiting area. She thanks him, and he asks why she’s here.
She tells him that she is here to save the orphanage, and that the director has found a solution. Yun Jie kindly tells her that he is a man of his word, if she can pay 1.2 times the price of the land, he’ll sell it to her. She tells him that she wanted to thank him, but when she sees his face, she suddenly loses all desire to thank him. Yong Yong gets a call to meet with the benefactor, and he is a good man but unfortunately he cannot help at this time. His business is currently in financial distress, and he doesn’t have the ability to donate money at this time.
The lawyer asks Yun Jie to consider the proposal that he get a contract wife. He asks Yun Jie whether there is a suitable candidate at this time. Yun Jie says that it can’t be his college friends, he doesn’t keep in touch with them, and also Wan Lan knows them. Yong Yong sits outside and cries, but she calls the orphanage to give the bad news. The director wonders if there is any other way around it, and Yong Yong tearfully cries and apologies to the director. The director has to give the bad news to all the orphans, and oh god my heart just weeps for these poor kids.The kids all cry, and the director promises she will visit each of them.
Yong Yong is still crying when Yun Jie walks up to her. He asks what happened, and she tells him that he won. She has no money to buy back the orphanage land. She congratulates him on building his grand shopping mall. Yun Jie asks her whether she remembers what she said to him before, that if he spared the orphanage, she will do anything for him. He offers her a deal – she enter into a contract marriage with him, and he will never touch the orphanage. But they have to get married for real (registered and all), but he doesn’t expect to have a real married life with her.
He will sign a contract with her and this is purely a business deal between them. The marriage contract will be for only one year, but afterwards the orphanage will always be safe. Yun Jie thinks that she’s getting a good deal. She asks why her, and he says that she happens to be here. He aks her to give him a decision by tomorrow afternoon. She’s nervous, and he tells her that he will not force her. She has a right to decline his offer, but even if she does decline, she has keep this proposal a secret. Yong Yong lays in bed and thinks about this proposal, knowing that if she accepted, she’d be a divorced woman in one year.
Yong Yong wakes up and goes to visit second sister. Her phone rings and its Ba Hu calling from the orphanage. The kids all get on the phone and sing a children’s song for her. Yong Yong listens and her heart breaks. She’s told that the kids are getting moved this evening. Yong Yong heads back into the room, and she asks second sister what she should do. She has an way to save the orphanage, all she has to do is enter into a contract marriage with him. Second sister finds out that the guy is Yun Jie, and she tells Yong Yong that this contract marriage is a good deal for her. Yun Jie gets a fake marriage, but Yong Yong gets her precious orphanage saved.
Yun Chao drives to the orphanage and is there to assist in the move. Ba Hu doesn’t want his help. Yun Chao walks out, but his eyes betray his slight discomfort at having to do this. Yong Yong gets up the courage to see Yun Jie, and she agrees to the deal. She tells him to stop the project now or else the orphans will be moved tonight. He says that they need to get married first this afternoon, and she realizes that he’s still the purposeful Xian Yun Jie who doesn’t do anything without being 100% sure. Yong Yong calls second sister to tell her that she is getting married this very afternoon.
Yong Yong is at the lawyer’s office with Yun Jie. Yong Yong fills out the papers reluctantly. They are about to sign the papers when second sister burst in. She tells Yong Yong that getting married is the most important thing in a woman’s life, and she’s not going to let her sister get married without her family by her side. Oh second sister, you rock! Yun Jie is annoyed that Yong Yong told someone this secret, and second sister yells at Yun Jie that a sister is not an outsider. Second sister tells Yong Yong that with her around, no one will take advantage of Yong Yong. Yong Yong tells her sister that she’s fine, she’s saving the orphanage and that’s a good thing. Yong Yong and Yun Jie proceed to get married.
Yong Yong voiceovers that she got married just like that – no wedding, no dress, no family and friends around. It’s not her dream wedding, but she has beccome someone’s wife now. The orphans are about to be moved when Yun Jie calls to tell his staff to stop the project. The assistant tells him that the Vice-President ordered it, and Yun Jie says that he is the President and he is now ordering the project to stop. The director is ecstatic, and Yong Yong lies to her by saying that she managed to convince Yun Jie to spare the orphanage.
She hears a knock on the door, and opens up to find Yun Jie outside. He tells her they need to complete the next step of their contract. It outlines their deal – the marriage in exchange for Tian Yu agreeing never to touch the orphanage. He hands her divorce papers, which he has already signed. The divorce is dated for one year from now, and he tells her that one year from now, the lawyer will file it automatically. Yong Yong wryly notes that she is getting married and divorced all on the same day. She hesitates a little before signing, and they look at each other for a moment. But Yong Yong signs anyway.
Back in her hotel room, Yong Yong looks at the divorce papers. She hides them when second sister comes home. Yong Yong thanks second sister for being there today. She makes second sister promise never to reveal this secret to anyone, and she agrees. Yong Yong heads to the bathroom to wash up, and second sister finds the signed divorce paper on the bed and sits up in shock.
Thoughts of Mine:
This episode was heavy on the plot movement, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t have nuggets of goodness tucked away here and there. I loved how it was hinted at before, but these two episodes really made Yong Yong’s stepfamily, especially second sister, feel like real people with a multitude of personalities aside from good and bad. Second sister may be rather demanding and always asking for Yong Yong to take care of her. But when push comes to shove, she’s right there for Yong Yong, and her lecture at the lawyer’s office was hella awesome. Now that is how a real sister ought to behave.
As a parent, I am on the side of Wan Lan today, in that Xiao Nian is better off with her since she’s raised him for 8 years. But on principle alone, the reason she raised him by herself was because she concealed his existence from Yun Jie. I cannot fault Yun Jie for seeking custody, especially since he’s so angry right now at her. My problem with Wan Lan is not that she wanted an abortion (its her body and her choice, as long as she lives with the consequences), or that she changed her mind about the abortion (again, until it happens, she’s free to change her mind, though it makes me perceive her as flighty and indecisive on matters as important as carrying a baby to term) – she’s completely wrong when she didn’t tell Yun Jie that she had to baby!
Anyway, I think its all water under the bridge, and Wan Lan has tried her best to be a good mother. Xiao Nian is a good kid, and appears to need a father figure now more than ever. I foresee they will try to work things out later, perhaps. Personally, I find even side characters like second sister is more realistically constructed and flushed out than Wan Lan. But SH can’t win every battle.
I cannot stress how every open, frank, and candid conversation between Yun Jie and Yong Yong, and between everyone around the SH neck of the woods, fills me with complete and utter glee. I was getting so tired of all the conversations in dramas where people talk a lot, but say very little. And what’s with all the misunderstands and secrets! SH is a breath of fresh air, as it takes the most contrived of all drama concepts, the contract marriage, and makes it feel believable, real, and well-rationalized by the two participants.
Yong Yong really thought long and hard about her decision, and was ultimately swayed when the orphans called to sing a song to her. I like how she’s not the self-sacrificing uber-kindhearted heroine. Yes, she did agree to do it, but it was after serious consideration and it was willingly, nor was it in anger or frustration. I love how she didn’t mistake Yun Jie’s proposal for some sort of tawdry deal, or get offended by it. She was levelheaded, and made a decision that she could live with. Now that they are married, I can’t wait to see how their relationship (or the purely business one they are trying to maintain) develops and changes.