This was an curious episode of Drunken to Love You. I’m not quite sure what to make of it. I enjoyed it, but I feel like we’re just getting plot for the sake of plot at this point. I can’t complain, because it means we get to spend more time with Xiao Ru and Jie Xiu, and lord knows I’m always loathe to say goodbye to great characters.
The only substantive plot movement was seeing Daniel finally step up and be more than window dressing. I still find him excessively clingy and needy, but it’s about time he finally learned the truth about what happened at the orphanage with Xiao Ru. Plus he confessed his feelings, which needs to happen so he can be shot down flat.
I’m just thrilled there were no stupid misunderstandings this late in the game. I don’t mind some plot gymnastics to pad the next few episodes as long as Jie Xiu keeps inventing new ways to be both endearing dorky and awesome mixed into one sexy package.
Cup 15 recap:
Jie Xiu sits in the room and patiently writes out the word “patience” one hundred times using Chinese calligraphy. Dr Chiu is pleased with how well Jie Xiu performed this task and declares him well on his way to being cured of his impatience and short temper.
Xiao Ru goes to speak with the janitor and finds out that there was a woman who used to volunteer here with the same name, Lin Xiao Ru. The woman gave her daughter up for adoption and has been looking for the daughter since then. Xiao Ru was dropped off at the orphanage wearing a tag by the name of Lin Xiao Ru, which was her mother’s name on a hospital tag to identify the newborn as the child of Lin Xiao Ru. The orphanage director tells the baby that henceforth, her name shall be Lin Xiao Ru.
Xiao Ru heads back and tells Jie Xiu that she can’t marry him right now. Jie Xiu doesn’t lost his temper, but it’s instead Dr. Chiu that is upset that Xiao Ru won’t marry Jie Xiu after he worked so hard to fix his temper problems.
Once they are outside, Jie Xiu tells himself to be calm, and asks Xiao Ru to please explain to him what’s going on? Xiao Ru thinks back to what the janitor told her about the woman meeting her daughter two months ago at the office when the daughter came to get a divorce. The woman was too scared to confess her true identity to the daughter. The woman just wants to find her daughter and take care of her. Xiao Ru says the woman has left and didn’t leave any contact information.
Xiao Ru says she feels like her mother is very close to her right now. Jie Xiu wonders what will happen if Xiao Ru waits one year, two years, and she still can’t find her mom. Will she let her happiness stall? Xiao Ru says she just wants to be like any other girl and have her mom put on her wedding veil, and she can tell her mom how grateful she is that her mom gave birth to her.
Jie Xiu wraps Xiao Ru’s arms around him and says that her dream isn’t laughable. From now one he will dedicate his life to making her wishes come true. He will help her find her mom, and ask her mom to put Xiao Ru’s hand in his, and give her to Jie Xiu for the rest of their lives. And from that moment on, they will be happy forever. Xiao Ru nods and Jie Xiu kisses her on the forehead.
Avril walks in the rain and thinks about all these conflicting issues. Her agent wants to terminate their relationship and she’s lost Jie Xiu forever. Rickie’s fans come up to Avril and tosses tofu at her, accusing her of using Rickie to shield her secret relationship. Rickie yells at the fans and asks Avril why she allowed the fans to hurt her and didn’t fight back. Where is the spirited Avril he knew?
Avril says the old Avril existed because she was protected by Jie Xiu. Without Jie Xiu, she is just an insecure and self-loathing woman without any dignity left. She cries that she deserves all this punishment, that this is the reality of her shitty world. Rickie puts his jacket around her and pulls her in for a hug. Oh Rickie, you can do so much better than her, even if you two are so beautiful your babies will be like world wonders.
Rickie takes Avril back and helps her change into dry clothes. He offers to let her stay here for the next few days, and he’ll get another room. Avril asks why he’s so nice to her? She says that she’s not worth it. Rickie says it’s not up to her to decide if she’s worth his affection and care. He wants to be even nicer to her, but he doesn’t want to take advantage of her when she’s emotionally down. He wants her to genuinely reciprocate his feelings for her one day.
He’s just being nice to her right now as a friend, no pressure and no strings attached. As a friend, he suggests that she go abroad with him. She can start fresh again. Avril says that no matter where she goes, she can never run away from how much she dislikes herself. Rickie doesn’t push her and tells her that she can think about it some more. Avril thinks that Rickie is so nice to her now, but he’ll surely come to regret it someday.
Jie Xiu and Xiao Ru come home to find Samantha waiting for them. Samantha says that a woman who sells marriage for money is not someone she wants around her. She tells Xiao Ru to scram. Jie Xiu tries to explain their fake marriage led to a real love so that’s all that matters. Samantha asks if Xiao Ru will turn out to be another Avril? Jie Xiu says no.
Samantha grabs the ring off Xiao Ru’s fingers and tosses it into the barbecue pit. Xiao Ru dives into the pit to retrieve it, barely being restrained by Jie Xiu. Xiao Ru screams at Samantha, yelling that the ring represents Jie Xiu’s commitment to her. Samantha flashes the ring and gives it back to Xiao Ru, confessing she knew from the beginning they had a contract marriage and this stunt was just to test Xiao Ru. She asks why Xiao Ru is delaying marrying Jie Xiu all of a sudden. Is she hoping to have an out and leave Jie Xiu in the future?
Xiao Ru says no, she is serious about Jie Xiu. Samantha accepts that answer, because she can see how serious they are about each other. She puts their hands together and congratulates Jie Xiu on finding someone to be his partner for the rest of his life. Jie Xiu holds Xiao Ru’s hands and they look at each other tenderly. Samantha heads into the house and does a happy dance along the way.
Jie Xiu and Xiao Ru head out to the pit and toss their contract into the fire, along with the calendar Xiao Ru was using to mark off 100 days. It represents their clean start without any pretense or objection. Xiao Ru hopes that Avril can be like them, allowing all the bad memories to wash away and start over again.
Jie Xiu pulls Xiao Ru into his lap and asks if they can have a date tomorrow. Xiao Ru says no, she has a date already tomorrow with a very important man. Jie Xiu calls her a mabohan (idiot) and loses his temper, demanding to know who that man is that Xiao Ru is meeting tomorrow? She says jealousy is part of the experience of love. Jie Xiu can come with her tomorrow if he’s that worried.
Jie Xiu sits down and tells himself that he’s not going to be able to sleep tonight. He texts Xiao Ru and asks if she’s going to remarry him again, right? Xiao Ru decides to be nice and texts him back that her answer is yes. Suddenly she hears Jie Xiu raging from outside, wondering why Jie Xiu is angry instead of happy. Turns out she wrote too quickly and her text says that her answer is “fuck”. Hahahaha.
Daniel places another box of croissants in Xiao Ru’s work locker. He gets a text about the birthday party this afternoon of the orphanage director. A search of the employee locker room finds a hidden camera. He wonders how it got there. Xiao Ru sees another box of croissants and confirms from Meng Jun that she didn’t leave it.
Kelly is dragged into the office and confesses to Daniel that she placed the camera. Daniel fires Kelly immediately. She asks for another chance. Daniel sees all the employees lurking outside and he invites them in. He asks if they have a suitable candidate for manager now that the position is open. All of them nominate Xiao Ru and Daniel agrees, promoting Xiao Ru to manager. Daniel gives Kelly one week to transfer all duties to Xiao Ru. Kelly gives Xiao Ru a dirty look and Daniel warns her that they will pursue other legal causes of action against Kelly for her violation of privacy.
Jie Xiu sits with his mom at the hotel restaurant and his mom reads Xiao Ru’s answer text from last night. Xiao Ru comes over and Meng Jun reveals that Xiao Ru got promoted. Jie Xiu is still surly from Xiao Ru’s text last night. Xiao Ru tells Jie Xiu they should get going. Jie Xiu drags Xiao Ru away. Samantha tells Meng Jun that she will be in charge organizing a party for Xiao Ru’s promotion, and Xiao Ru’s engagement to Jie Xiu. Meng Jun gladly agrees to participate.
Xiao Ru is changing out of her uniform and chatting with Jie Xiu about how excited she is to get promoted. Jie Xiu is moping outside and finally barges into the changing room. He asks what her response meant last night? Xiao Ru says her text doesn’t count because she typed incorrectly. She kisses Jie Xiu on the cheek and shows him her phone which has a text message with tens of “yes” responses. Jie Xiu suddenly gets all cute and thanks Xiao Ru. He offers to help her change.
Xiao Ru says she’s happy Jie Xiu offered to help her change, but she worries that he’ll be in pain. Jie Xiu pounds his chest and says he’s strong, he won’t be in pain. Which is when Xiao Ru knees him in the groin and he falls out of the changing stall.
On the drive to the orphanage, Jie Xiu wonders why Xiao Ru was all cryptic and made him sleepless and jealous all night. Xiao Ru explains that her best friend Jin Xui may be coming, but they’ve lost touch since he got adopted to the US. Daniel is already at the orphanage and finds out from the director that Xiao Ru didn’t betray him.
Xiao Ru actually met the parents first and they wanted to adopt her. But she overheard them say they only wanted one child, so she told them to adopt Daniel. She pretended to remove the tree they planted together, but after Daniel was adopted, she replanted the tree. Xiao Ru tells this story to Jie Xiu, and laughs that she was the one who brought Jin Xui back to the orphanage.
Suddenly Xiao Ru remembers the croissants in the locker, how Daniel put a bandaid on a torn stocking, and she gets quiet all of a sudden. Jie Xiu asks her if something is wrong? Xiao Ru says that she has a feeling the boy, her best friend, is back and close to her. Daniel stands before the tree, upset that he’s been wrongly angry at Xiao Ru all these years. He apologizes to Xiao Ru via the tree.
Jie Xiu drops Xiao Ru off first as he goes to park. Xiao Ru walks up to Daniel and he turns around and runs towards her and pulls her in for a bear hug. He tells her that he’s so sorry, he never knew how much she did for him. She apologizes for not recognizing him. Daniel confesses that he’s Jin Xui and he’s back. This time he won’t let her go, no matter what happens.
Jie Xiu arrives and pulls Daniel off Xiao Ru with an added punch to the face, asking why he’s hugging Jie Xiu’s wife. Daniel says that getting Xiao Ru into a fake marriage to cover up a relationship with a top model, Jie Xiu has no right to call her his wife. Daniel returns the punch to Jie Xiu. Xiao Ru tells them both to stop it. Xiao Ru tells Jie Xiu that Daniel is the boy she told him about.
Jie Xiu doesn’t care that Daniel was Xiao Ru’s childhood best friend and is her current boss. Xiao Ru is Jie Xiu’s wife so Daniel better not get any ideas about her. Daniel sees Jie Xiu’s dropped wallet and his identity card. He picks it up and laughs that he thought Jie Xiu was bluffing in front of the media, but it’s true since the spouse line on his identity card is empty. This means Jie Xiu and Xiao Ru did get divorced, so she is currently NOT Jie Xiu’s wife. Daniel laughs and says they shouldn’t ruin the director’s party today.
Daniel smiles and tells Xiao Ru that he’s happy today and they ought to go inside and celebrate. Daniel thanks Xiao Ru for making that tree continue to grow, which represents that their feelings for each other had never died. He congratulates Jie Xiu on being an eligible single guy again and head inside. Jie Xiu asks what the stupid tree represents and tells Xiao Ru that he’ll get a saw right now and chop that tree down. Xiao Ru tells him to go right ahead and leaves. Jie Xiu quickly follows Xiao Ru inside and tells her he was just exaggerating.
Jie Xiu makes faces as he watches Xiao Ru tend to Daniel’s wound. The kids asks if they were fighting? Daniel says he just fell but Jie Xiu says he was fighting monsters outside. Xiao Ru finds a desk with Daniel’s old name carved on it. Jie Xiu laughs because Daniel’s old name sounds like the Taiwanese word for “bad luck.” Xiao Ru stops smiling and gives Jie Xiu a stern look.
They cut the cake for the director and Xiao Ru asks him what his third wish is? The director says that he’s third wish is for Jie Xiu to accept all of Xiao Ru and make her happy. Jie Xiu bows and calls the director “father-in-law” and promises to make that come true. Daniel comes over with a locker filled with presents. He gets Xiao Ru to open the locker and everything tumbles out.
Daniel teases that he wanted to remind her of their shared memories, and look forward to making more with her. Jie Xiu quickly runs over with a piece of cake to feed his wifey. The kids get new ping pong equipment but can’t use it since their table is broken, Jie Xiu says he can magically make a ping pong table for them, but he needs one item from Xiao Ru.
He makes a make shift ping pong table and uses Xiao Ru’s pantyhose as a net. He sets up the table and tries to show how to play. But Jie Xiu sucks and Daniel steps forward to demonstrate. Daniel challenges Jie Xiu to a game and the kids say the loser has to let them draw on his face. Jie Xiu says he loves drawing and competition. Xiao Ru smiles watching the boys and their cockfight.
Daniel was on his high school ping pong team and just creams Jie Xiu, who ends up completely covered with scribbles on his face. But he doesn’t give up. Xiao Ru cheers on Jie Xiu. When a little girl asks why Jie Xiu is acting so immature to keep playing even when he is losing so badly, Xiao Ru just smiles and says she loves seeing a man working so hard for the woman he loves. Even though Jie Xiu looks dorky playing ping pong, she loves watching him try even if he fails. Daniel tells Jie Xiu to just quit now but Jie Xiu refuses.
Xiao Ru puts salon pas on Jie Xiu’s back and tells him to stop being so childish. Jie Xiu says the competition wasn’t fair. They ought to have a house building competition tomorrow and let’s see who wins that. Xiao Ru says Daniel is her good friend and asks if Jie Xiu can’t be friends with him as well? Jie Xiu is worried that Daniel will forget that Xiao Ru is Jie Xiu’s girlfriend.
Jie Xiu asks if Xiao Ru really gave up a chance to be adopted and let them take Daniel instead? He calls her a real life Candy Candy (lol, love the reference), because if she got adopted by that family, she’d be an heiress right now. Xiao Ru is not upset, because otherwise she would have never met Jie Xiu and fell in love with him. So she sees herself as the luckiest person in the world. Jie Xiu says he’ll confess now that it is on fact him who is the luckiest person in the world, meeting Xiao Ru through a series of random occurrences.
They start teasing each other when suddenly they hear Samantha raging on the phone for a missing pair of shoes that Samantha custom ordered last year. The sales lady acts like she doesn’t know where the shoe is. Samantha rages that she is planning a surprise party tomorrow for her daughter-in-law and she needs that pair of shoes or else. Xiao Ru and Jie Xiu overhear all this. Samantha says the red shoes have an S embossed on it, S for Samantha.
Jie Xiu and Xiao Ru head to the shoe store to look for the shoes, worried that Samantha will end up wearing her worn out pair to dance and injure herself. They can’t find it (they find the box but it’s empty), but end up seeing it on the feet of the saleslady, who was clearly a thief. They get the shoes back and head home hand-in-hand.
At the hotel, Xiao Ru sees on the newspaper an article about the wife of the hotel president being ill and in the hospital. This woman is Daniel’s adoptive mother, and we see Daniel moping in his office. Xiao Ru goes to see him, asking why he’s here when his mom is sick. He says he read it on the newspaper and no one has contacted him.
Since graduating, he’s treated as just a money making member of the family. Family to him is just a place to sleep. Daniel screams at Xiao Ru to stay out of his business. Samantha reads the same news on the paper and heads up to Daniel’s office to make sure he’s okay. Daniel starts crying and telling Xiao Ru that only his mom in this entire family treated him like a real son. If she leaves, he’ll have no one.
Xiao Ru walks up and puts her hand on his back, which is when Daniel turns around and hugs her tightly. Samantha walks up and sees this hug, causing her to huddle behind the wall. Daniel says “sorry mommy” – ever since his dad abandoned him at the orphanage, only his mommy loved him. Xiao Ru says he’ll always have her and the orphanage director beside him. Daniel says it’s not enough, he wants Xiao Ru to stay beside him forever.
Daniel pulls Xiao Ru in for a forced kiss. She struggles for a good while before breaking free. She knows he’s looking for comfort at a time when he’s confused. But he can’t take advantage of the concern Xiao Ru has for him to seek comfort from her this way. Daniel admits he was rash, but he’s not sorry. Because she’s Xiao Ru that was beside him when he had no one. Xiao Ru says their shared experience is exactly why Daniel can’t destroy it this way.
Because they are both orphans, when they find someone willing to love them, they will never let go of that person’s hand. Daniel cannot be selfish and not care about Xiao Ru’s feelings. Daniel says he’s not using her, he genuinely loves her and he’s genuinely hurting right now. He can’t stop his mom from dying, but he can keep Xiao Ru beside him. That is why he returned to Taipei, just for Xiao Ru.
Xiao Ru says that she has Jie Xiu now, and she can only give Daniel friendship. He says he only wants her love. He derides Jie Xiu as nothing, he can give Xiao Ru a hundred times more than what Jie Xiu can give. Xiao Ru says love is not a competition, in the end it’s about how much a person gives up for the other person. On the journey of love, two people must be on the same boat. Love is a chance meeting with no expectation, and that is the love she has with Jie Xiu.
Samantha hears this and silently thanks Xiao Ru (for loving hers son). Xiao Ru says she has never regretted seeing Daniel again, because he is always her best and most important friend. She tells him to calm down alone. Daniel says that in the eyes of the person one loves, you can see the best of oneself. Daniel says he saw it today. Xiao Ru can deny the way Daniel loves her, but she cannot deny that he genuinely loves her. Samantha thinks to herself – how is Jie Xiu going to handle this complicated situation?
Samantha gets a call and she tells the person at the other end that Jie Xiu is waiting at the airport already. Samantha is waiting at the hotel lounge when Jie Xiu arrives with a young girl. She cheerfully greets Xiao Ru, explaining that she is “Ding Ding’s” childhood playmate and now she works in Canada, her name is QQ. She asks if Xiao Ru is Jie Xiu’s girlfriend that he kept talking about all during the ride from the airport.
Xiao Ru wonders where the nickname “Ding Ding” came from and Samantha says Jie Xiu loved pudding since he was a kid but he couldn’t pronounce pudding (Bu Ding) so he kept saying ding ding ding whenever he wanted it. So the nickname stuck. QQ says her stupid nickname was courtesy of Jie Xiu, to which he pinches her cheeks and says it’s her fault for being so Q (QQ is Taiwanese slang for something being plump and delicious). Jie Xiu blames the loss of his first kiss on QQ.
Xiao Ru says FIRST KISS and digs into Jie Xiu’s should with her claws until Samantha explains the kiss happened when they were four. Samantha teases that Jie Xiu even proposed to QQ as kids. QQ remembers Jie Xiu crying when she moved to Canada, but soon after she left he got close to the little girl Xiao Mei down the street.
Jie Xiu says he’s seen all of QQ as kids and she tells him to take responsibility for her now. Xiao Ru gives Jie Xiu a dirty look. Meng Jun tells Xiao Ru to go check on Daniel, since he’s not eating. Jie Xiu tells Xiao Ru not to go since a man not eating one meal isn’t a big deal. He doesn’t want Xiao Ru to go check on her “croissant prince”. Jie Xiu says he’s hungry right now, and Xiao Ru tells him to order from the menu.
She leaves and Jie Xiu is frustrated. Samantha tells her son that he doesn’t know the danger he’s in right now.
Thoughts of Mine:
DTLY really isn’t a very sophisticated drama, even for TW-drama standards. The story is basically a big outline of contract marriage, fall in love, deal with random obstacles, finally reaching a happy ending. It has really poorly developed secondary characters, and situations plucked from every conceivable plot stereotype. But it’s so peppy and cheerful that it’s just a pleasure to watch. I never get annoyed, and only occasionally get bored.
What elevates DTLY really is the character of Song Jie Xiu, and the performances of Rainie Yang and Joseph Chang. Stripped of these elements, and this drama sinks faster than a rock in a pond. But I think as a rom-com, DTLY delivers a solid performance that defies criticism. It never tries to elevate the source material, and instead strives to take small moments and conversations and make them really touch you when you are watching it unfold.
I ought to talk about Avril and Rickie, even if they are as interesting to me as watching paint dry. While visually Tiffany Hsu and Tom Price look stunning together, but I totally wish the writer would forget about them and let the story continue on without them. I don’t think any viewer would mind. There really is not tension left, clearly Avril will finally get her shit together and realize she’s lucky enough to have Rickie and go overseas with him to pursue her career with a fresh clean slate.
I’m happy Daniel finally stopped lurking and being passive-aggressive with Xiao Ru, learning the truth about what she sacrificed for him, and confessing his feelings to her. He’s not a genuine threat to the OTP, but I do think resolving things with Daniel is good for Xiao Ru in the long run, giving her hopefully another good friend in her life and clearing up yet another misunderstanding she carries around with her.
Jie Xiu’s childhood friend QQ is clearly just an adorable and amusing interlude, and she’s cute enough to get Xiao Ru all jealous, which is about time. I also loved seeing the return of immature and jealous Jie Xiu, because Joseph plays him with such boyish charm, and isn’t afraid to be ridiculous when called for. At this point DTLY is like my weekly date with a box of chocolates, pure comfort food.