I’ve been rather unmotivated to recap the final few episodes of Sunny Happiness, for the exact opposite reason that normally explains a lack of motivation for doing a certain thing. Rather than dread, I’m trying to prolong my recapping of SH, because I’m going to be so sad when it’s all done. I checked out a handful of new K-dramas and TW-dramas this weekend, and everything got a big thumbs down from my personal interest radar – none of them are riveting enough for me to get beyond one episode.
SH, on the other hand, is like the most charming of old friends. The moment I click on an episode, I’m immediately back in the moment. Episodes 21-22 is like the best of times and the worst of times, the highs and the lows flowing into each other so hard and fast it’s like being caught in an unexpected downpour. Yong Yong, being the kind of person who always looks out for the best interests of others, decides to give her umbrella to Wan Lan and be the one to get drenched. Thank god the umbrella is like “I don’t think so!”
Episodes 21-22 Recap:
Si Han accuses Yun Jie of hurting Wan Lan since he’s come back into her life. Wan Lan chimes in through the intercom, asking Yun Jie to please leave. Si Han grabs the card from Xiao Nian and demands that Yun Jie leave and never come back to bother Wan Lan again. To no one’s surprise, and everyone’s annoyance at the one lame plot twist in this drama, Si Han goes up to Wan Lan’s apartment and we see that she’s in a wheelchair.
He asks why she is hiding her condition from Yun Jie. She says that it doesn’t matter if she still loves him, because he doesn’t love her anymore. Hiding her condition from him preserves what little dignity she has left. She also does not want Xiao Nian to see her like this, she wants her son to remember her always as a healthy and happy mom. She just wants to live her life peacefully, do some writing at home. She will learn to take care of herself.
Yong Yong is doing some house cleaning in the courtyard, gathering old newspapers and magazines for recycling. Yun Chao comes out and asks what she is doing with one of his magazines. She grabs it back and says that it’s her magazine, which she used to find a penpal when she was a teenager. They discuss how they each had penpals, and both actually used the same magazine to find their penpal.
Yong Yong confesses that she actually had a penpal she considers her boyfriend, even though they never met. Yun Chao mocks her half-baked boyfriend, and then he confesses that he also onced liked a girl that he never met. She was his penpal, and her letters were amusing, and they could be open with each other and discuss anything. But then he went abroad to study, so he never saw her, getting on a plane instead of meeting her. Afterwards, she didn’t write to him anymore, and he was too embarassed to write to her first.
Yun Chao wonders how things would be different if he met her at that amusement park on Valentine’s Day many years ago. Yong Yong’s eyes widen with comprehension, and she calls Yun Chao “Fei Lei”? And he responds with a “Do Ya Cai”? And voila, our alterna-OTP are each other’s first penpal loves. Oh god how I love this! They both yell out “this can’t be possible!”
We flashback to their amusement park meeting, and poor teenage Yong Yong is stood up waiting for her Fei Lei to show up. Dude, you so lost your chance with her, Yun Chao.
She tells Yun Chao that she left the amusement park crying that day, and he apologizes for what he did, and missed out on having a good friend like her. Yun Chao says that fate is so unpredictable, that they would meet again years later and in this way. Yong Yong says that clearly he owed her for standing her up years ago, which is why he’s been tasked with protecting her now.
Yun Chao suggests that they take Xiao Nian to the amusement park tomorrow, as his treat and apology. They head to the amusement park and have a great time. Xiao Nian gets ice-cream all over his face and Yong Yong kneels down to wipe his face clean. Yun Chao hilariously purposely smears ice-cream on his face and points it out to her. Oh dude, you are so smitten it’s too funny. She hands him a tissue to wipe himself and he pouts at being thwarted.
Xiao Nian is on the carousel, and Yun Chao and Yong Yong discuss how things would be different had they met that day at the amusement park. She says that they would have likely become friends. If they were friends, then Tian Yu Group would not have tried to demolish the orphanagae, and she would not have become his sister-in-law.
Yun Chao wants to say something to Yong Yong, but Xin Jie walks up to them at that time. Her pointed remarks indicate that she’s not pleased to see them out together, even if it was innocent and they were taking Xiao Nian to the amusement park. Yong Yong invites Xin Jie home for dinner, during which Xin Jie suggests that Yong Yong take Xiao Nian to China to find Yun Jie, who has not come home yet.
Yun Chao doesn’t think a pregnant lady should travel, but the family decides that Yong Yong and Xiao Nian should go back, especially since Xiao Nian misses his mom very much. Afterwards, Xin Jie is honest with Yun Chao – she’s jealous of how nice Yun Chao is to Yong Yong, and she purposely wants to get her away from Yun Chao by suggesting that she go to China to find Yun Jie. Xin Jie suggests that they get married soon, so that she doesn’t have to be jealous of his time anymore. Yun Chao doesn’t answer.
Yun Jie is sitting in his apartment, just thinking back to amusing and sweet memories of him and Yong Yong. Dude, you are even more smitten than Yun Chao. He voiceovers that he’s got all these expectations recently. Whenever he is alone, he thinks about her all the time. He realizes that there is not much he can do for her anymore. Yun Jie goes to the airport to pick up his son and wife, and he’s got a giant bundle of flowers for Yong Yong and a placard for Xiao Nian.
Both are happy to see each other, and Yun Jie confesses that he had wanted to call and ask them to come to China. The family heads back to his place, and Yun Jie just stares and smiles at Yong Yong as she walks through the door to admire the new place. She wonders why he bought a place rather than stay at the hotel? Yun Jie confesses to Yong Yong that Wan Lan is adverse to seeing him, and even stated that she doesn’t want to see Xiao Nian anymore as well.
Yong Yong bakes a batch of desserts for Yun Jie’s friends, with Xiao Nian helping her. While baking, Xiao Nian announces that he wants to marry Yong Yong when he grows up, because she makes delicious desserts and tells great stories. Yun Jie wipes some cake batter on Xiao Nian, asking why Xiao Nian wants to steal his dad’s Yong Yong. Ahahahaha, man, the Xian men all love Yong Yong.
Yong Yong’s desserts are a hit, and Yun Jie tells his friends to decide on their choice and tell him later. He heads with Yong Yong and Xiao Nian, and she wonders why he’s not staying to catch up with his friends. He confesses that he accomplished a goal and let out a sigh of relief, and now all he wants to do is go home and relax. She says that she’s more tired since she did all the baking today, and they do rock-paper-scissors for the right to take a bath first. Too bad they both throw a scissors, while Xiao Nian throws a rock and runs off because he gets the first bath. Heh.
Yun Jie and Yong Yong put Xiao Nian to bed, and Yong Yong says that sleeping Xiao Nian looks just like sleeping Yun Jie. He teases her about staring at him when he’s asleep, and she pouts that since they are in the same room, she can’t help but see him sleeping. They sit down to enjoy the evening, and he tells her that she’s been selected as the head pastry chef for his friend’s new restaurant, which is her lifelong dream to cook and make people happy.
She worries whether she’s ready for such a job, and he tells her that he will train her properly before she takes the job. In fact, at the grand opening of the new Tian Yu shopping center, he wants her to make the desserts for the opening party. They stand up to look out the balcony, and he tells her that he bought the apartment for her. In the future, when she comes home from a hard day’s work, she can enjoy the sunset and an ice cold beer.
She’s incredulous that he would do this for her, and he tells her that she brings him warmth, even if its just on borrowed time. He can’t keep her by his side forever. She deserves her own life, to live her own dreams and find her own happiness. Yong Yong tells him not to plan out her life for her, but Yun Jie confesses that he has to do that otherwise he would worry about her and not be able to let her go.
After she’s all settled, then he can try to forget her. Yun Jie looks at Yong Yong and tells her that it’s so hard to forget her. When he thinks about life without her, there is this empty feeling in his heart. He’s handled innumerable contracts in the past, but this is the one contract he doesn’t know how to let go. Yong Yong leans forward and kisses Yun Jie, his shocked expression gives way to a mutual kiss.
Yong Yong breaks the kiss and apologizes, but Yun Jie hugs her and asks why she needs to apologize. If they both feel the same way, would she consider extending their contract for an indefinite period of time. The hug goes on forever and ever and I melted into a puddle of goo by the sweetness of their love for each other. The next morning, Yun Jie comes downstairs and finds Yong Yong resting on the sofa.
He asks her what her answer is to his question last night, about extending their contract indefinitely. She asks for more time, and he gives her one hour. Heh. She wants more, and he extends it three hours then. Yun Jie takes Xiao Nian to visit with his former classmates, but not before reminding Yong Yong one more time that she owes him an answer in three hours. She adorably flops on the sofa after he leaves.
Yong Yong goes to the supermarket to buy snacks for Xiao Nian to bring to his classmates. Yun Jie calls her to ask her to come directly to the school with the snacks, and also to remind her that she has twenty-seven minutes and fifty-six seconds left before she owes him an answer. She hangs up, and Yun Jie lets out this hurrah on his end of the line. Yong Yong starts to text Yun Jie with her response, saying that she agrees to indefinitely extend their contract. Before she can hit send, she sees Si Han and Wan Lan, sitting in a wheelchair, at the supermarket.
Yong Yong goes to meet with Wan Lan at her apartment, and finds out that it was a car accident which caused her paralysis. She doesn’t want anyone to know because she doesn’t want anyone’s help. To Wan Lan, Xiao Nian is better off being with Yun Jie and Yong Yong’s new family. Wan Lan doesn’t want any sympathy, and she gets on her knees to beg Yong Yong not to reveal her condition to Yun Jie and Xiao Nian. Yong Yong decides that she needs to tell Yun Jie.
Yun Jie arrives to meet with Wan Lan, and Si Han tells Yong Yong that they are both outsiders in this situation. Yun Jie asks why Wan Lan kept her condition a secret from him. She wanted to avoid his sympathy and letting him see her like this. He says that he had the money and connections to help her, but she says that he has no obligation to help her. Yun Jie says that she is Xiao Nian’s mother, and he wants to help her. He asks her to come back to Taipei with him, and they will address her medical recovery together.
Yun Jie asks how the accident happened? It was the night where she asked for another chance with him, and he rejected her. On her way home, she was distracted and got into a car accident. Yun Jie asks her to consider what is best for Xiao Nian, which is that he needs a mother no matter what. Yong Yong brings Xiao Nian to see Wan Lan, and the poor kid goes from happiness at seeing his mom to sadness that his mom’s in a wheelchair, They have a tearful reunion, and Xiao Nian promises that his dad will help her get well. Yong Yong watched this tearful scene and walks out.
It’s nightfall, and she’s sitting out side Wan Lan’s apartment, clearly Yun Jie is still inside. She flashes back to the current situation with Wan Lan, and her many memories with Yun Jie. She starts to cry, and then she makes up her mind and deletes her composed text message to Yun Jie that she was accepting his offer. Yong Yong finishes deleting the text and she breaks down sobbing her heart out, and she forked a piece of my heart as well. Yun Jie walks out of Wan Lan’s apartment the next morning and sees Yong Yong sitting outside, knowing she was there the entire night.
He wants to take her home to rest, but she asks instead for some time to talk. They head to the same beach where they drank beer after the wedding banquet. Yong Yong suggests that he let Wan Lan live in his house when they get back to Taipei. Yong Yong tells him that she is declining his offer, because she can’t sell out her true feelings. She says that when he told her that he had planned her future for her, she was so touched she mistakenly thought they were in love.
Yun Jie asks her not to be angry, and he apologizes for letting her wait outside all night. Yong Yong says that the ideal situation will be for Yun Jie to bring Wan Lan back with him to Taipei. Yun Jie says that even if Yong Yong leaves, Wan Lan is not coming back into his life. Yong Yong says that the happiness they have been experiencing recently is just on borrowed time, and she wants him to let her go. He asks again if this is how she really feels, and she doesn’t answer. He tells her that he refuses to let her go.
Yong Yong says that he’s the buyer and she is the seller, and they ought to end their story where it all began. She says that she’s done with what she came here to say. She tells him that she’s Miss. Capable and she can take care of herself. She walks away without a backward glance, and Yun Jie’s heart breaks as he watches her leave. Yong Yong voiceovers an apology to Yun Jie – she confesses that she promised Xiao Nian that she would return Yun Jie to him after a year, and that she would do her best to get his parents back together. She’s doing that right now.
Second sister is cleaning the Xian house when she finds the pre-signed divorce papers. She’s trying to take the papers home when she runs into Yun Chao at the front door. She’s about as subtle as a two-by-four, and Yun Chao easily snatches the paper she was trying to hide. He sees that its Yun Jie and Yong Yong’s divorce papers, and he finds out that their entire marriage was a contract to get custody of Xiao Nian in exchange for sparing the orphanage. Yun Chao is shocked, and ponders these new revelations.
Yun Chao comes home to find Yong Yong is back. He asks why she is back alone, and her excuses for why she’s back early leads him to confront her with his knowledge about her marriage contract with Yun Jie, He wants to know why they would do such a ridiculous and preposterous exchange and lie to everyone about it? He asks her for the truth, and she tells him the truth is just like he said – her marriage is a ridiculous and preposterous game they concocted.
Yong Yong tells Yun Chao that she’s out of the game, because she’s exhausted and hurt from it all, and everything has ended now between her and Yun Jie. She walks out of the kitchen, and Yun Chao grabs her for a backhug. He confesses that seeing her like this makes his heartache, and he wonders how much she’s been suffering. He wants to help her, but she declines his offer. Yong Yong is the only one who can resolve what is between her and Yun Jie.
Xin Jie is trying on her own wedding gowns, and she gets a call from Yun Chao asking to speak with her in person. She senses something is going on, but heads to his office to meet with him. He’s stuck in a meeting, and his secretary hands her Yun Chao’s cell phone that he left in a restaurant and asks her to return it to him. Xin Jie looks through his phone and sees the sleeping Yong Yong pictures he snapped. The date stamp confirms that Yun Chao was with Yong Yong the day he was supposed to have dinner with her parents, and he lied to her about his whereabouts.
Yong Yong goes to visit with her former hotel supervisor. After the visit, she’s taking the stairs down when she runs into Xin Jie crying in the stairwell. Yong Yong asks worriedly if everything is fine, and Xin Jie slaps her and accuses Yong Yong of seducing Yun Chao. Yong Yong denies these ludicrous accusations, and tries to explain the pictures on his cellphone. But Xin Jie refuses to believe the explanation, and Yong Yong tries to walk away before this confrontation escalates further. Xin Jie grabs her and in the ensuing tussle Yong Yong falls down the stairs. Xin Jie runs to get help from Yun Chao.
Yun Jie breaks a bowl while cleaning up in Wan Lan’s kitchen, clearly a bad omen. He tells Wan Lan that he’s headed back to Taipei in the next few days to make arrangements, and then he will bring her over for her treatment and rehabilitation. Yun Jie finds Xiao Nian folding his own clothes, and Xiao Nian says that Yong Yong taught him to learn to be self-sufficient. Yun Jie flashes back to what happened between them recently, and he tries to call Yong Yong, only to keep getting her voicemail. He thinks she’s refusing to take his calls.
Yong Yong is in a dreamy state, where she sees Yun Jie and a little girl sitting by her bedside. The little girl calls her mom, but then turns and leaves. Yong Yong wakes up and finds Yun Chao standing over her bedside at the hospital.
Yong Yong remembers the accident in the stairwell with Xin Jie, and she tells Yun Chao that it wasn’t Xin Jie’s fault at all. Yun Chao says that he won’t blame her, he just wants to make sure Yong Yong is fine.
Thoughts of Mine:
So…..Wan Lan is paralyzed. Yup, that plot twist REALLY did just happen. Yes, I also went WTF a billion times at the screen, and then had to laugh at the absurdity of this all. So we finally get one lame and annoying plot development in an otherwise perfectly smooth story. I guess it can’t all be a win, and for the most part, how the drama handles this is actually quite moderate and tame considering all the blood, snot, and handwringing that could be milked from this scenario.
This plot development also did turn Yong Yong into a noble idiot, giving up Yun Jie for Wan Lan, even though she knows he loves her and not Wan Lan. But thankfully, Yun Jie isn’t buying her bullshit excuses for being confused about how she really feels, and he’s not about to let her leave that easily. But the Wan Lan situation is a burden for him to bear, and he has to find a way to convince Yong Yong that he can take care of Wan Lan without being forced to reunite with her as a couple.
I loved Yong Yong and Yun Jie’s time in China, up until they discovered Wan Lan’s situation, because it was so delicately handled and so romantic in all its conversations and moments. The mutual confession on the balcony was just….gah, it was perfectly done. He confesses one thing, she responds with another, and on and on it goes until she finally kisses him. Brave girl, Yong Yong, and it was that final thing Yun Jie needed to ask her to stay with him forever. To bad the drama gods want to throw a paralyzed ex-wife in the mix to torment them (and us) even more.
Everything in Yun Chao’s slightly confused life seemed to come to a head in these two episodes as well, starting from his discovery that Yong Yong was his penpal/first love, and vice-versa for her as well. I totally saw this coming when they played basketball a few episodes back, but I loved how the scene played out with all the details slowly coming together until Yong Yong made the connection.
The amusement park date was adorable, and Yun Chao keeps making me all schmoopy that he lost his chance with Yong Yong years ago by not showing up. Still, I can’t say I wished things had been different, because otherwise there’d be no Yong Yong-Yun Jie today. I feel really bad for Xin Jie, whose only fault in this mess has been her spoiled princess jealousy and falling for a guy who doesn’t love her back. While I’m devastated that Yong Yong lost the baby, it really was an accident on the part of Xin Jie, and it’s hard for me to apportion her any blame.
I don’t think SH needed to go to the Wan Lan is paralyzed and the Yong Yong loses the baby route to create additional angst between Yun Jie and Yong Yong. But, since it’s been introduced, both were handled deftly and really made me feel all the right emotions of frustration and sadness.
I do love that fact that Yun Chao knows the truth, because ultimately Yong Yong and Yun Jie cannot become a real couple until their relationship starts on a fresh foundation of love without any exchanges or contracts. The baby may be gone, but the time spent between Yun Jie and Yong Yong for the months they have been married remain, and should help them both find the way together in the end.