Having finished watching Sunny Happiness, my recapping requires me to temper a natural tendency to jump ahead of myself. Conversely, it also gives me a birdseye perspective on the entire drama, and my opinion of SH’s quality gets validated further when I rewatch an episode to recap. SH may not qualitatively compare to the best K-drama romance offerings, but it actually offers something refreshing and different that is rooted in its TW-roots.
Watching SH, you notice afterwards that it lacks any heightened dramatic moments of confrontation or angst. It delivers important plot movement with an honesty of emotion that doesn’t hammer home the point. I loved how Yong Yong and Yun Jie dealt with the aftermath of their accidental wedding night – with a combination of discomfort and understanding that it happened and its time to move on. Episodes 11-12 brings everyone back to Taipei, and finally puts into place (without any forward movement yet) the second biggest emotional thread of this drama – Yong Yong and Yun Chao.
Episodes 11-12 Recap:
Yun Chao asks Yun Jie to give him an acceptable explanation for why he pulled the plug on the shopping mall. Yun Jie placates his brother by telling him that Tian Yu belongs to them both, and he’s doing this for the company. Yun Chao decides to let it go, but he asks why Yun Jie is playing the piano all of a sudden. Yun Jie confesses that suddenly having a son is a huge change in his life, and he turned to the piano to help him think.
Yong Yong is home in bed when her cellphone rings. It’s Yun Jie, and she talks to herself, wondering why he’s calling her if they agreed to forget the wedding night incident. Angel and Devil Yong Yongs pop up to debate whether she should answer the phone, and Devil Yong Yong says that Angel Yong Yong has clearly NOT forgotten the incident, and wants to talk with him. Yong Yong is conflicted about whether to call him back, and decides ultimately not to.
The next day, Yong Yong is cleaning in the hallway when Yun Jie walks towards his office. She adorably scampers off and hides, only to see Yun Jie perched next to her hiding spot looking at her. He asks why she didn’t answer his call, and she gives a paltry excuse that she was asleep and who calls after midnight. He asks how she knew he called at midnight if she was already asleep, and she says that caller ID shows the time of the call.
He asks her why she didn’t call him back, and she stammers out another excuse like she doesn’t want to waste her minutes. He asks to speak with her privately, and Yong Yong hilariously becomes a nervous wreck and accuses him of behaving inappropriately with her since they had agreed to forget the incident. He drags her into his office and calms her down.
Yun Jie tells Yong Yong that Wan Lan is seriously considering handing custody of Xiao Nian to him, but she wants confirmation that he and his new wife can take care of Xiao Nian. Yun Jie wants Yong Yong’s input since she’s the kid expert, and she teases him that he becomes a different guy whenever he talks about Xiao Nian. She suggests showing Wan Lan how he behaves around an entire group of children.
Yun Jie, Wan Lan, and Xiao Nian head to the orphanage to spend a day with the kids. Yun Jie is surprisingly great with kids, and Wan Lan feels reassured enough that she agrees to transfer custody to Yun Jie. While washing dishes, Yun Jie notes that seeing all the smiling faces at the orphanage is truly a remarkable experience.
He asks her if there is a time machine, what would she do? If he has a time machine, he would want time to stop at this very day, and it’s such a lovely sentiment. Yong Yong doesn’t want to stop time, she wants to go back and change things, making sure that their wedding night never happened. You can see Yun Jie’s face fall a little, but both continue to try and let it go.
Wan Lan goes to speak with Yong Yong, thanking her for being a great nanny to Xiao Nian back then, and for being such a great host today. After they leave, Yong Yong wonders if maybe Yun Jie and Wan Lan will get back together, since they get along now, and that will give Xiao Nian a complete family. She wistfully notes that if such a thing were to happen, she would have no relationship with Yun Jie anymore.
Yun Chao is waiting for friends outside a restaurant when he runs into Ba Hu from the orphanage. Ba Hu thanks him as a benefactor of the orphanage, and wishes Yun Chao could have come today to spend time with the kids along with Yun Jie. He hands a present to Yun Chao to give to Yun Jie, which the kids made for him. Yun Chao realizes that his brother spared the orphanage and is suddenly friendly with the kids.
Yun Chao meets with his subordinate, who derides Yun Jie as having a double personality, seemingly cold on the outside, but turning into a charitable benefactor on the inside. Yun Chao is pissed that his family thinks he’s a kid who can’t be trusted, and he thinks that his brother gave him a promotion in name only, but refusing to give him actual work to prove himself.
Yun Chao sees some hoochies, and he invites them out to go get drunk with him. Hands off my Yun Chao, hoochies! At the club, Yun Chao is drinking when he runs into Xin Jie, and she mocks him for drinking away his sorrows with lady companions as opposed to working hard to overcome his setback. She wonders why he’s not finding out the reason that his project was sacrificed, and is instead just moping. The subordinate sees Xin Jie, and encourages Yun Chao to go after her.
Yun Jie and Yong Yong are both at the supermarket shopping, and she sees him first and ducks for cover. As she’s scurrying away, it’s Yun Jie’s turn to see her. He wonders why she’s refusing to acknowledge him, and she wonders why he’s following her. Both decide to keep ignoring each other, until the bump carts by the checkout. Yun Jie pays for her groceries, in exchange asking she teach him how to make a sandwich for Xiao Nian.
They head back to his place, and Yun Jie demonstrates his complete inability to make even a simple sandwich. Yong Yong agrees to teach him, but first he has to call her “teacher.” Heh. They make their sandwiches together, and it’s totally a cute bonding sequence that doesn’t feel forced or random. Yong Yong produces a sandwich that wows Yun Jie.
Yong Yong finishes and heads out, and Yun Jie samples her sandwich and is bowled over. He keeps working on his own sandwich. Yun Chao comes in and tells Yun Jie that he knows Yun Jie went to the orphanage today, and that he is entitled to change his mind since he’s a father now. Yun Chao tells Yun Jie that he wants to head another project this year, and he will find his own funding for it. Yun Jie tells him that the company will support him as long as he want it.
Yun Jie is having a picnic with Wan Lan and Xiao Nian, and he drops the news to Xiao Nian that he will be staying here in Taipei with him. Xiao Nian is excited until he realizes that his mom is headed back to China and won’t be staying. Yun Jie promise that he will always stay by Xiao Nian’s side, and will take him to visit his mom anytime he wants. Xiao Nian is torn, but decides to stay like a brave boy.
Wan Lan leaves to go back to China, and Xiao Nian has a tearful farewell with his mom. Poor kid, I always wish any child could have both parents around, but sadly reality doesn’t always work that way. Wan Lan drives off, and Xiao Nian collapses in the driveway crying, and she holds back her tears in the car. Wan Lan meets with Si Han, and tells him that she’s given custody of Xiao Nian to Yun Jie. Si Han reminds her that he’s by her side anytime she needs someone.
Yong Yong is sleeping when the phone rings, and its Yun Jie calling in the middle of the night. He apologizes, but says that he needs something from her. He says that Xiao Nian refused to eat dinner tonight, and now says that he wants to eat a cake, complete with candles. But it’s too late to buy a cake, so she heads over to make it for him.
Xiao Nian is curled up in the corner of his room understandably moping, and Yun Jie goes to comfort him. Yong Yong brings in the cake, and Xiao Nian’s face immediately lights up at seeing a familiar person. He makes a wish before blowing out the cake, and he apologizes to her that he doesn’t want to eat cake, he only wanted to make a wish. His wish is that his parents will quickly get back together, so he doesn’t have to shuttle between them.
Yong Yong is cleaning up in the kitchen, and Yun Jie comes to thank her again for helping him out today. She reminds him that she knows how a kid feels, wanting to have parents around. Yong Yong tentatively asks him whether he and Wan Lan really can’t get back together? He reminds her that his lawfully wedded wife right now is her. He offers to drive her home, and they are walking out when Yong Yong sees the grand piano in the living room and stops to admire it. She tells Yun Jie that before her mom died, she was going to start piano lessons. But then her mom died and she ended up in the orphanage, and never ended up learning to play the piano. Yun Jie offers to teach her, and she happily accepts, calling him “teacher”.
Yong Yong practices her piano every day, and she sneaks into Yun Jie’s house to take lessons from him whenever his family is out (since their relationship is a secret). Yun Chao is told that his new project doesn’t have the funds to launch at this time. Yun Chao reminds his brother that he wanted to take full control of this project, and that he will make it happen.
Yun Chao thinks to himself that he doesn’t want to remain a side character in his brother’s life. This is the beginning of his battle with Yun Jie, and he wants to compete on his own. Yun Chao goes to see Xin Jie, and she’s dismissive of him. He tells her that he wants to see her, and he tells her that he likes her. Xin Jie tells her that he’s the least suitable candidate of all the men pursuing her, and he apologizes and leaves.
But she was just caught off-guard, and she chases after him into the elevator. She confesses that she likes him, too, because he can see through all her faults. Yun Chao is taken aback, and Xin Jie blames him for putting her on the spot with his sudden confession. She leans in to kiss him. They break apart, and this time he pulls her in for a longer kiss.
Yun Chao voiceovers that he’s not sure how he feels about Xin Jie, but she represents a pair of wings for him. With her by his side, she’s the freedom he needs to succeed in his professional life. They start dating, and he rationalizes to himself that both of them are getting what they want – she gets him, and he gets a way out from under his brother’s shadow.
Yun Chao is at the hotel, and he sees a maid walking past. He stops her to ask that she clean his office, and he recognizes her as Yong Yong. As she is cleaning, he asks why he sees her quite often, at the orphanage and now at the hotel. She tells him that he must think the world revolves around him, and that is a trait he shares with his brother.
Yun Chao asks how she could say that he is like Yun Jie, since this is the first time she’s cleaned his office. She points out his entitled attitude, and says that they are so much alike. He tells her that no one thinks they are alike at all, even their parents don’t think so. She finishes cleaning, and Yun Chao notes that she did a great job.
She leaves, and he places a request with the cleaning staff that Yong Yong has to clean his office from now one. Yong Yong is annoyed that she’s already cleaning the President’s office, and now she has to clean the Vice-President’s office as well. She’s outside practicing a mock piano sheet, and eating a late lunch. Yun Jie comes out and asks why she’s eating so late.
She makes a reference that the two brothers are quite similar, and this time its Yun Jie who says that they are very different. He sits down next to her, and finds out that Yun Chao has requested Yong Yong clean his office, too. Yun Jie says that Yun Chao has always wanted equal treatment with everything that Yun Jie has.
Yun Jie confesses that it was hard for Yun Chao just by virtue of being born second, and always having to play catch up. Yun Jie can’t encourage him, because Yun Chao won’t accept his validation since he sees him as a rival and competitor. Yun Jie wants Yun Chao to succeed, but he can’t help him too blatantly otherwise Yun Chao will feel like he didn’t succeed on his own.
Yun Chao comes out and sees them talking, and he correctly surmises that Yun Jie and Yong Yong must know each other beyond boss-employee. But Yong Yong goes on the defensive, and says that just because two people of the opposite sex are talking doesn’t mean anything untoward is between them. She claims to have been talking with Yun Jie today to complain about her mistreatment at the hands of Yun Chao.
If she has to clean both their offices, she wants a raise! Hahaha. She looks at both brothers, and says that is both of them want her to clean their office, then they have to compensate her properly. She waltzes off, and both brothers turn to look at her walking away with an amused expression. Oh yes, I can see where this is going, and I love it.
Yong Yong walks out and thinks that she ought to maintain a suitable distance from Yun Jie at work from now on. Back home, she looks at her wedding and divorce papers, and thinks to herself that she can only have a relationship with Yun Jie in a space that is not known by anyone. She thinks that her marriage to Yun Jie feels like a dream. Even though she can see him, it’s still in secret.
But she thinks it’s a good dream, because she can say things and do things she never imagined she would be doing. And spending time with someone she never thought she could get to know. We see Yong Yong and Yun Jie happily practicing the piano together and goofing off.
Yong Yong finishes cleaning Yun Jie’s office, and she’s got dirt all over her face. Yun Chao walks into his office with Xin Jie in tow, and offers her some tissues to wipe her face. Yun Chao tells Xin Jie that they have to the party tonight, because there is a bank executive that he needs to meet.
Yun Chao tells Xin Jie that he wants to resurrect the shopping center project, and he will find the funds necessary. Xin Jie tells him that she wants to help him. Yun Chao tells her that he doesn’t want to mix business with his personal life. When Xin Jie turns around, Yun Chao gives off a little smirk. Oh my bad boy, you are so sly and manipulative. Ggggrrr, but I still wub you!
Thoughts of Mine:
I don’t think I’ve seen any drama that goes halfway before introducing the other leg of its love triangle. And the fact that the other leg is not some gimpy choice is even more exhilirating to watch unfold. All I can say is that Yun Chao is not your average second male lead, either in terms of his simmering rivalry with his brother, nor in terms of his growing curiosity about Yong Yong. I’m not happy that he upped and started using Xin Jie, but then again, he’s conceding that his impetus may not be pure, but he does expect that he can make it work and make her happy.
I’m happy that the custody battle (or non-battle as it turned out to be – to my everlasting relief) was resolved so amicably, logically, and maturely. I suppose its time to consider that Wan Lan and Yun Jie of yesteryears really were both to blame for the entire divorce fiasco.
Wan Lan was probably hormonal and pregnant and wanted an abortion, and instead of fighting her, Yun Jie caved in and then left her. Hhhhmm, perhaps if he had tried to convince her to keep the baby and compromised so that her worries were sincerely dealt with, then she probably would have had Xiao Nian in the end and they would be one big happy family. But it’s water under the bridge, and both of them earned my respect as parents in this respect for working now to make the best enviroment for Xiao Nian.
Yun Jie continues to roll in the awesome by the littlest gestures and concern towards Yong Yong. I can’t say I’ve ever seen a male lead teach his OTP the piano in a way that made a lifelong dream of hers come true. What he gave her is nothing money can buy – it was his time, talent, and patience, and that meant more to Yong Yong than he likely realizes. She’s totally falling for him, and it’s not like she’s angry about it. More like she’s resigned to the fact that for all practical purposes they just can’t be.
But you can see that there is something going on with him as well. His playing the piano again, his calling her all the time to ask for help and advice, his face falling a little when he heard her say that she wished to time travel back and erase their wedding night. I just love how their feelings rise to the surface in the littlest ways, without any big musical cues or some emotional scenes (yet) – just two people who find they keep running into and thinking about each other.
While I would prefer that Yun Chao wasn’t using Xin Jie for her family’s money or connection, I do believe that he inherently wants to grow to love her and make it work. His impetus may have been for his own validation and ambition, but they had the immediately chemistry that both have always acknowledged. Xin Jie’s smart enough to be guarded against men, but I think Yun Chao’s hot and coldness got under her skin, and now she’s way more in love with him that he is with her. As SH heads into its second half, I expect a lot more emotional developments that will raise the stakes on Yun Jie and Yong Yong’s contract marriage.