A housekeeping matter first – I’ve been alerted to the fact that my DTLY posts have been lifted (some with and some without proper credit) and have been floating around drama cyberspace in various sites. I hate being a school marm with the big stick and having to explain cyber-etiquette, but please don’t take my work, for this drama or anything at AKP, without first asking me. You can link to any post as much as you want, but don’t take any content (written or screencaps) wholesale.
Now that I’ve gotten that out of way – episode 2 of Drunken to Love You made me feel like I was in a twilight zone of TW-drama watching. I watch most TW-dramas with the liberal use of the FF-button and my brain half engaged. Not so with DTLY, a drama which I don’t want to miss even a second of the show, where so many scenes and dialogues are exquisite gems that have so much meaning in the moment and in the greater context. DTLY does everything with heart and honesty, willing to parse through the glossy drama bullshit and have its character behave like adults, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. I love this drama to pieces.
Cup 2 Recap:
Xiao Ru and Jie Xiu stare at each other, and then Xiao Ru makes the first move by thwacking Jie Xiu near his private parts with her crutch. Xie Xiu doubles over in pain, and Xiao Ru walks into house, accusing him of not only being a swindler of money and marriage, he’s also a sexual predator (since she caught him holding her bra). She demands to know what he did to her yesterday.
Xie Jie points at her with his hand still holding her bra, telling her that he’s no sexual predator. But then he realizes he’s still holding the bra, which he flings out of his hand like it’s covered in lice. He insults Xiao Ru by pointing at her bra and her, saying that she’s too “small” for his tastes, and he would never be interested in her. Jie Xiu calls her a monetary swindler, pointing to the ring on her finger, demanding that she return it to him. Xiao Ru screams at him for being the reason she got so drunk that she married him and moved out of her apartment. Plus all her hard-earned money is gone! Until she figures out where the NT 600K from her account went, she’s holding the ring as collateral.
Jie Xiu, who is still squirming on the ground, refutes her assertion that he got her drunk, since after the fourth drink she was the one who kept him drinking. Jie Xiu stands up, and the two begin to tussle all around the living room, with him trying to get his ring off her finger, and she refusing. During the tussle, he ends up on top of her and cupping her chest. She pushes him off her and they stand up strike a martial arts battle pose.
Jie Xiu thinks to himself – he’s alone with this swindler lady, and what if she uses the accidental groping just now to demand money from him? Xiao Ru thinks to herself – she’s alone with this sexual predator, what is he tries to molest her? Xiao Ru calls a truce, and asks for a calm discussion, but she cannot even remember Jie Xiu’s full name. He tells her there is nothing to discuss, he doesn’t want to be married to someone who doesn’t even know his full name.
Xiao Ru agrees to end this travesty of a marriage as soon as possible as well, but since the bank is closing earlier than the civil affairs office, she suggests they head to the bank to check where her money went, then go get a divorce. Jie Xiu agrees to go with her, but tells her he has nothing to do with her money disappearing. He stalks off, but Xiao Ru tells him that she is a cripple and he ought to help her, which is when Jie XIu throws her crutch at her and barely misses her head. She screams that he’s got no manners.
Avril is watching the interview about her supposed scandal with Jie Xiu. She’s been told that she’s off the movie if there is even a hint of scandal. At the bank, Jie Xiu and Xiao Ru are watching CCTV footage of her withdrawing all her money from the bank yesterday. She was so drunk and insisted on withdrawing all her money.
The bank tells her that they did their best to dissuade her from withdrawing her money. JIe Xiu is all laughing at her expense. He tells her that he never got any money deposited into his account from her yesterday. Xiao Ru realizes that her money and her dream is both gone just like that. Xiao Ru still insists that Jie Xiu could be a marriage swindler. He tells her to look in the mirror, and look at this girl who is so pathetic right now. He has no reason to swindle a woman like her.
Xiao Ru flashes back to Yi Xian dumping her by the fountain yesterday. Her eyes fill with tears, and she asks Jie Xiu what she did wrong? One minute everything was fine, and the next minute everything has changed. Jie Xiu feels bad, and tells her that if part of her feels like she hasn’t given up all hope, then she needs to keep pursuing what she wants.
He tells her that he’s done what she’s asked, now can she go get a divorce with him. Xiao Ru agrees – she says that her life force is stronger than even the wild boars that live in the mountains near her old house back home. For her own love, she needs to find her own answers. Xiao Ru perks up and tells Jie Xiu to hurry up and let’s go. Jie Xiu remarks that she sure walks fast hobbling on one leg, clearly she’s as tough and resilient just like a wild boar.
They show up at the civil affairs office, and their officer remembers them from yesterday, and present them with a love pillow with their picture imprinted on it. Jie Xiu and Xiao Ru announce that they just want to get a divorce. Jie Xiu gets a call from Avril, who asks if he’s married? He says that it was an accident, and she starts to cry and asks him to please come and talk with her, right now.
Jie Xiu leaves without completing the paperwork, and the officer hands the paperwork back to Xiao Ru. On her way out, she grabs the free couple pillow, but she drops a photocopy of her identity card. Xiao Ru catches up to Jie Xiu, jumping into the car and asking whether he’s changed his mind about getting a divorce, and wants her for her “body” now. Jie Xiu insults her by saying that even if you put blush on a wild boar, it’s still a wild boar.
Jie Xiu leaves Xiao Ru in the car and heads into the television studio to meet with Avril. Xiao Ru heads into the studio as well, and overhears Jie Xiu talking with Avril. She’s devastated and wants to know why he would get married after she turned out his proposal. She cries, saying that she’ll quit the entertainment business right now if he’ll give her another chance.
Jie Xiu is willing to wait for her, but she asks that he not get a divorce right away. If he divorces right away, then the media will resurrect their scandal. She asks if he can remain married while she makes the movie. Jie Xiu is dumbfounded, and asks her if she’s sure this is what she wants. Avril takes his phone and takes a picture of the two of them on it – as a sign that they are not over yet. Jie Xiu agrees to believe in her. He tells Avril that his new wife is Xiao Ru, the girl who helped them back at the hotel. Avril notes that she owes Xiao Ru quite a lot then.
Avril talks with the media and announces that she is just friend’s with Song Jie Xiu, and she’s sorry she caused Jie Xiu and his new wife media scrutiny. The tenacious reporter sees Xiao Ru leaving the television station, and follows her back to the car. Xiao Ru tells Jie Xiu that she’ll leave after she gets his luggage from his house. Jie Xiu brings up the divorce, and Xiao Ru turns him down flat, knowing that he is going to ask her not to get a divorce and stay married for three months. Xiao Ru says that her acting is not like Avril’s. If she were that good, she’d be an actress herself. She cannot be his contract wife for three months. Jie Xiu offers to pay her NT 1 million for her agreeing to this proposal. Xiao Ru tells him that even though she needs money, she refuses to trade her future happiness for money.
She calls Jie Xiu and Avril selfish people, who gave no right to kidnap her into a farce of marriage. Xiao Ru takes off her ring and hands it back to Jie Xiu, telling him that she’s off to Vegas tomorrow to find her boyfriend. Jie Xiu says that a divorce needs both parties to consent. He tells her to agree to his proposal and he’ll give her NT $1 M, or else he won’t agree to the divorce. She threatens to go to the media, and he threatens to tell the media that she’s suffering from delusions.
Jie Xiu drives Xiao Ru back to his house, but she’s not changed her mind (though she’s hilariously still clutching the heart pillow). Xiao Ru tells Jie Xiu that he must know this is wrong to ask of her, so why did he agree to this unreasonable request from Avril? She calls him a mabuhan, and Jie Xiu asks her what that means. Xiao Ru says its an aborginal dialect word that means “idiot.” They start fighting right outside the house, with Xiao Ru saying that Jie Xiu doesn’t know anything about her. He looks at her and asks whether something happened to her during her development phase. He says that she’s at most a B (cup), her family home is in Taidong, and she likes to call someone a mabuhan as an insult.
He tells her that he already knows enough about her, and that if she agreed to his proposal, he’ll give her money and she can eat as many of her “Dear Dishes” as she likes. Xiao Ru realizes that he read her journal – she corrects him that her “Dear Dishes” is not food she wants to eat, it’s food she’s developed over the years. Her dream is to open a restaurant someday, and Jie Xiu says that now he even knows her dream! He goes into the house, and bars her from entering to get her luggage until she’s agreed to be his wife.
She pounds on the door until he opens it, but he tells her again that she has two choices – accept his proposal or leave his house right this instant. Xiao Ru throws his earlier words back in his face now, if she has even a shred of the refusal to accept an outcome, then its not time to give up now. Xiao Ru tells him that she cannot wait even one minute to find her Yi Xian. Jie Xiu may be willing to trade for his love, but she is unwilling to barter hers. Xiao Ru hobbles away on her one crutch, and Jie Xiu looks at her with consternation.
Xiao Ru and her friend Meng Jun are discussing how Jie Xiu kicked her out and wouldn’t even give her luggage back. Meng Jun shows Xiao Ru a magazine that explains how Song Jie Xiu is one of Taiwan’s top interior designers. Xiao Ru realizes that Jie Xiu designed some of her favorite restaurant interiors.
Meng Jun tries to convince her to give it a chance, but Xiao Ru refuses to be the sacrifice for Jie Xiu and Avril’s love story. Jie Xiu gets a call from Avril, telling her that Xiao Ru hasn’t accepted the proposal yet. Jie Xiu tells Avril that it’s selfish of them not to consider Xiao Ru’s feelings. Jie Xiu finally tells Avril that she’s being cruel to him, asking him to stay married and live with another woman for three months. Avril says that she will trust him and all that matters is that they love each other. Avril hangs up and immediately picks up her script. Jie Xiu flashes back to happier moments spent with Avril in his house. Xiao Ru doodles all over Jie Xiu’s face on the magazine cover.
The next morning, Meng Jun and Xiao Ru discuss how none of Yi Xian’s co-workers know where he is right now. They run into Yi Xian’s co-pilot Henry, who laughs at the possibility of Yi Xian cheating on Xiao Ru with another woman. He reveals to Xiao Ru how Yi Xian compares Xiao Ru to the entire sky – she’s like the sky to him, and he wants to belong to only her, and fly for her only her.
Henry tells her to go to Vegas and discuss it directly with Yi Xian, he’s sure there is some other reason for what happened. Xiao Ru is excited, but realizes that her passport and luggage are all stuck at Jie Xiu’s house and he refuses to return it to her. The ladies decide to break in and take back Xiao Ru’s belongings.
The two first ring the doorbell to check to see if Jie Xiu is home. Since no one answers, they safely assume the house is empty. They sneak around back, trying windows and doors along the way to see if any one is open. Finally they crack open a window, and Xiao Ru crawls in and opens the door for Meng Jun.
Xiao Ru goes upstairs to Jie Xiu’s room, and she sees a huge framed portrait of Avril over his table. She calls him an idiot (thinking back to what he’s agreeing to do for Avril). Xiao Ru finds her luggage and heads downstairs, where she finds Meng Jun watching My Queen on TV and eating snacks (while moaning over how awesome Lucas is – hey, I do that whenever I watch MQ, too). They head out and run smack into a police officer, who promptly arrest them and call Jie Xiu.
Xiao Ru tries to explain that she was trying to retrieve what belonged to her. Jie Xiu arrives and informs the police that Xiao Ru is his wife. She refuses to acknowledge that relationship, until Jie Xiu pulls out his ID card which identifies Xiao Ru as his wife. Xiao Ru refuses to accept his help, but agrees for Meng Jun’s sake. Xiao Ru is running away from Jie Xiu, upset that she’s wasted another day because of him.
Jie Xiu listens to them yelling at him, and calls his assistant Tony to book her a ticket to Vegas right away. He apologizes to Xiao Ru – he always thought he was the victim, but he realizes that he has become the person adding more hurt and pain to Xiao Ru. He doesn’t want a mistake to continue anymore. He tells her to go to Vegas right away, and when she gets back, he’ll divorce her immediately. Xiao Ru asks about Avril, and he tells her not to think about Avril right now.
Jie Xiu drops Xiao Ru off at the airport, and as she is walking into the terminal, she sees Yi Xian loading luggage into a car. She smiles, until she sees a woman walk up and kiss Yi Xian on the cheek. Xiao Ru stares dumbfounded, and Jie Xiu walks up and wants to go figure out who that woman is. Xiao Ru stops him, telling him that it’s her love at stake, and she will find out the answer by herself. Xiao Ru calls out to Yi Xian, who turns around and is shocked to see her.
The woman introduces herself as Peggy and pretends to not know who she is. Yi Xian tells her to stop pretending, Xiao Ru is clearly his girlfriend. The bitch walks up to Xiao Ru and grabs her hands in a pretend gesture of sympathy, telling Xiao Ru that she’s sorry for being the cause of any pain Xiao Ru must be feeling. Xiao Ru looks down and sees the diamond ring on her finger, and asks Yi Xian if they are married?
Yi Xian explains that they are not married, but Peggy interjects that the ring is a symbol of Yi Xian’s commitment to her. Peggy continues to be a hateful and spiteful bitch by saying that sometimes love comes so swiftly and can’t be denied, which is what happened between her and Yi Xian. Xiao Ru shakes Peggy off, and when Peggy stumbles, Yi Xian rushes to help her and confesses to Xiao Ru that Peggy is pregnant.
Jie Xiu cannot watching this anymore, and he drives his car right up next to Xiao Ru and gets out. He asks his dear wife what she is doing? Didn’t she tell him that she was just talking with an old friend, so why did she leave him waiting in the car for so long? Peggy asks if Xiao Ru is his wife, then where is her ring? Jie Xiu puts his arm around her, informing them that his wife was afraid of losing her ring so she left it at home. But what his wife needs from him is not a ring, but for him to stand by her side supporting her, just like he is doing now.
Yi Xian says that Jie Xiu cannot be Xiao Ru’s husband, since Xiao Ru would never have another man in her life. Jie Xiu walks right up to Yi Xian and gets into his face, saying that it was probably true in the past since Xiao Ru only had eyes for a crappy man before her. Xiao Ru didn’t know who was really a good man who treated her well, until now. Oh booyah, Jie Xiu, that was a solid right hook you delivered right there. I approve.
Jie Xiu steps back and apologizes to Xiao Ru, for not doing what he had agreed to do, which was to make sure she never shed another tear for that pathetic man. Jie Xiu calls himself a mabohan (idiot). Yi Xian speaks up, telling Xiao Ru that he hopes that she is happy if this man is her choice. He apologizes to her again and walks away with his new bitchy fiancee. Xiao Ru keeps crying until Jie Xiu leads her away.
Inside the car, Jie Xiu is telling Xiao Ru to stop crying. She gets out and he follows her. She tells him, hiccuping between sobs, that she wants a “bao….bao….bao” which Jie Xiu naturally assumes she wants a hug (Chinese word “bao bao”). He hilariously hugs her in the most awkward way possible, and she pushes him off her, accusing him of taking advantage of her when she’s in this condition.
Jie Xiu defends himself, saying she was the one who asked for a hug, but Xiao Ru says that all she wanted was popcorn (baomihwa)! Jie Xiu wonders where the hell there is popcorn around here, and suddenly there is a popcorn vendor right next to them. He buys her a bag and they sit down for her to eat it. She thanks him, for the popcorn, and for what he did earlier.
She eats her popcorn happily, and Jie Xiu thinks there is actually a cute side to her, that is until she starts shoveling popcorn into her mouth. He asks her what she wants to do next, and she tells him the story of the princess and the deer, a famous aboriginal story. A princess was walking in the field and met a magical deer. The princess and the deer fell in love, and the deer gave the princess the seven-color crystals from his leg, as a reminder of him and a symbol of their love. One day, a warrior of the tribe was angry that the deer trampled over the field, so he killed the deer and ate his meat. The princess was so devastated, she jumped off the cliff to join her deer in death.
Jie Xiu wonders what the point of the story is, does Xiao Ru consider this story romantic? Xiao Ru’s reaction to the story is the opposite, she’s not willing to die for love.
Xiao Ru has decided to accept Avril’s request and be Jie Xiu’s wife for three months. Xiao Ru tells Jie Xiu that she grew up in an orphanage, where there was simply too many kids for her to ever get enough to eat. Afterwards she was adopted, but she never had a place at the table. She was always hungry and hiding in her room.
Which is why her dream is to open a restaurant, so that she can never go hungry again. Then she also wants to start her own family with the man she loves. Jie Xiu tells her that they need to discuss the specifics of the contract. Back at Jie Xiu’s house, Jie Xiu drives a remote control truck bearing the contract over to Xiao Ru. He’s such a kid and teases her, moving the truck back and forth so that she can’t grab the contract.
She finally grabs the contract and changes the dollar amount to NT $2M, saying that the asking price should be higher since as a divorced woman, what if she can’t get married anymore? Jie Xiu tells her that being married to him is a great resume booster. He keeps reading the contract, which stipulates that other than Avril, Jie Xiu and Xiao Ru, no one else can know of the contract marriage.
Xiao Ru says its too late for that, she already told her friend Meng Jun. Jie Xiu asks how much she knows, and Xiao Ru confesses that she knows everything. Suddenly Xiao Ru looks around, wondering if he lives alone, and where his parents are. Since they are sleeping apart, what if his parents came to check on them? Jie Xiu says that he has a mom, but he hasn’t seen her in 3 years. Xiao Ru has clearly hit a sore spot, because Jie Xiu screams at her to not mention his mom anymore.
Jie Xiu keeps reading from the contract – both have to attend couple activities, cannot disparage each other in public, cannot seduce each other. Xiao Ru says that she has no interest in Jie Xiu, her heart is as still as a calm lake and she can see him naked and wouldn’t be moved. Jie Xiu asks her if she wants to test what she just said, and he gets up and walks over to Xiao Ru, all while pretending to take his clothes off. Xiao Ru yelps and covers her eyes, and Jie Xiu has called her bluff.
Jie Xiu reads a laundry list of special rules that Xiao Ru has stipulated, and he agrees to her many side rules about his behavior around her. He hands her the contract, and she signs it. They shake hands, wishing each other a pleasant collaboration. She puts on the ring, which symbolizes the beginning of their contract. Xiao Ru looks at the ring and Jie Xiu tells her to stop think about the past. She needs to look ahead, and three months will pass quickly.
In Xiao Ru’s new room at Jie Xiu’s house, she circles three months on her calendar. She tells herself that after three months, she’ll open her restaurant and achieve her dreams. Xiao Ru opens her suitcase and finds her scrapbook, containing all the postcards given to her from Yi Xian. She flashes back to happier times between them. Xiao Ru shoves the scrapbook deep into her suitcase, taking deep breaths as she tells herself to she’s done the most she can to change things. She grabs a piece of bread and starts cry and eat her bread at the same time. She looks at her free couple pillow from the civil affairs office and starts to wail.
Jie Xiu hears her crying, and he sketches a picture of a wild boar wearing boxing gloves. He goes to her room and tapes the picture on her door. Jie Xiu gets a call from Avril, and he tells her that everything is taken care of. He warns Avril that Xiao Ru may change her mind, and Avril says that its out of their control what Xiao Ru does.
Jie Xiu asks her what will happen if he’s the one who crosses the line? He’s just a man, and now he lives with a woman. Avril tells him that she trusts him, and since this is just a job, he’s going to be professional through it all. Jie Xiu hangs up, and he pulls the wild boar picture he just taped on Xiao Ru’s door off.
The next morning, Jie Xiu wakes up and heads to his bathroom to shower. He disrobes, only to turn around and find Xiao Ru sleeping in his shower stall. He screams and asks what she is doing in his bathroom? They stare at each other and start screaming. Both scramble to get out of the bathroom, and in the ensuing melee, Xiao Ru trips and ends up kissing Jie Xiu, all the while he’s naked and somehow landed on the toilet.
Thoughts of Mine:
I love Jie Xiu and Xiao Ru, individually and together. They are the heart and soul of this drama, the solid core by which the silliest drama concept like a contract marriage actually feels believable. The same thing happened to Sunny Happiness, a drama that took the contract marriage and made it secondary to the real emotions that developed between the two participants.
Let’s discuss Jie Xiu first – he is in turns bossy, arrogant, and dictatorial. Yet none of that matters, because he’s also a decent, kind, and sensitive man, one who won me over completely and without reservation by what he did in the latter half of this episode. When he bailed Xiao Ru out and then bought her a ticket to Vegas, that was a decent thing to do. But it was what he said to Xiao Ru that killed me.
He told her that he was wrong, and that in considering himself the victim and pressuring her to enter into a contract marriage with him, he was in fact becoming a perpetrator himself. How refreshing was that? A male lead who admits he’s wrong, thinks about the feelings and considerations of someone else, and then rectifies his mistakes. Jie Xiu just become THE man in my eyes, and his other attitude shortcomings do nothing to mar his awesomeness in my eyes. When push comes to shove, on the things that matter the most, Song Jie Xiu is absolutely a great guy.
I also love how he thinks about the ramifications of what Avril is asking him to do. He tells her right off the bat that he doesn’t want to do this, but she persists. Then later he tells her again, what if something went wrong, what if HE makes a mistake since he’s just a man now living with another woman? But Avril again persists with her selfish wants and tries to brush aside his concerns. When Jie Xiu falls for Xiao Ru, I’m going to be the first to tell Avril – in your face, lady!
Xiao Ru, on the other hand, already had me at hello (in the first scene in episode 1 when she happily clutched her plane ticket and announced to Vegas that she was coming), but she’s totally taking the plucky heroine role and added so many layers of subtlety and nuance that I feel like Lin Xiao Ru is real and not just a character played by Rainie Yang.
Xiao Ru’s laughs, cries, pouts, and is angry all in ways that are understandable, her being stuck in what feels like a horrible nightmare, none of which are her doing. From the moment she happily packed her bags to head to Vegas with Yi Xian, her life has been turned upside down due to no fault of her own. The fact that she bravely continues to fight for her love and her dreams makes her a heroine that I can root for and connect with.
I love how her first reaction to Jie Xiu’s offer of a contract marriage was “Oh Hell No”, because any other reaction would have been unbelievable. Even knowing that Yi Xian dumped her and even wanting to earn money, Xiao Ru still had zero interest in trading a chance at getting her Yi Xian back for an easy way to achieve her dreams. Good for her, for not selling out, and for continuing to fight for her man (who is a total scumbag douchenozzle, but Xiao Ru just didn’t yet know it).
The confrontation at the airport was painful to watch, and killed whatever teeny shred of doubt I had that Yi Xian had an acceptable reason for dumping Xiao Ru the way he did by the fountain. Oh, I’ve no doubt Yi Xian loves Xiao Ru and wanted to marry her, and this ugly inside and out Peggy whore chick probably threw herself at him and used pregnancy to rope him in. But Yi Xian ultimately did betray Xiao Ru, and his feelings at this point I could care less about. I’m just furious at the way he let Peggy attempt to humiliate Xiao Ru, and like burrowing a thorn into her heart deeper, use her words dripping with false sincerity to attack the woman he shouldn’t be protecting.
But this only lets Jie Xiu show me what he’s made of, and he’s made of the good stuff. I started pumping my fists when Jie Xiu drove his nice Porsche Cayenne right up to the cheating duo and stepped out to claim his wife. And just like Peggy’s words were intended to hurt Xiao Ru, Jie Xiu’s words were all intended to protect her. SQUEEEEE. And he did it not because he wanted to keep Xiao Ru in the contract marriage, he did it because in that moment, he just wanted to stand up for her, to let those who would hurt her know that she’s fine and should be looked down upon as some downtrodden lovelorn loser. All this for a girl he just met and doesn’t much care for.
It’s refreshing to see how deftly DTLY balances the funny with the serious, the moving with the goofy. Rainie is out-acting everyone in this drama by miles, but her chemistry with Joseph pulls him up to her level of nuance. Xiao Ru is an expressive girl, and Rainie’s acting turns on a dime between happy and sad. While it hurts me to the how much Yi Xian has betrayed Xiao Ru, I support her decision to pursue that relationship until the end, and then move on in the only way she knows how. I also approve of Xiao Ru and Jie Xiu’s reasons for entering into the contract marriage, and I can’t wait to watch them fall in love.