The finale of Drunken to Love You marks the completion of the first TW-drama I watched and recapped in tandem with the drama’s broadcasting run, which spanned four long months. At times exhausting, the wait between weeks, at times plodding, when the story didn’t progress as much, ultimately the drama validated my decision to recap it with a fitting conclusion for everyone involved. While the final episode itself was pretty much silliness all-around with respect to any plot, the OTP moments were always perfect and utterly satisfying. Xiao Ru and Jie Xiu got their well-deserved happy ending, and the viewers got the closure we needed to put this drama behind us as one that was worth our time and commitment.
To be honest, even had the drama faltered completely in the second half (which it didn’t), I would still have found watching DTLY worth it simply for discovering the talent that was Joseph Chang, and finally understanding why some folks are fans of Rainie Yang. Both Joseph and Rainie have completely won me over forever with their performances in DTLY. I don’t know how TW-dramas do it sometimes – nailing the OTP so perfectly even when the drama has the flimsiest of plots and the silliest of contrivances. What remains is the sensation of watching real love blossom onscreen.
Cup 18 recap (final episode) – this episode was actually titled “Cheers” which is just too cute for words:
The nurse explains that she was the delivery nurse 26 years ago when a woman named Lin Xiao Ru gave birth to a baby girl at her clinic. Xiao Ru was the first baby the nurse ever delivered, which is why she remembers so well. Mommy Xiao Ru turns out to be the wife of the boss of the Crow Gang, the boss who unfortunately died before the baby was born. The gang’s deputy in charge, Brother Xiong, arrives at the hospital requesting that the mother take over her husband’s gang boss position.
Xiao Ru’s mom didn’t want the responsibility and asked to be allowed to leave the gang life. The lackeys take Xiao Ru’s mom and the baby away, which is the last time the nurse ever saw them. But the nurse kept something that Xiao Ru’s mom’s left behind at the hospital, which is a locket containing a picture of Xiao Ru’s parents. Jie Xiu chides Meng Jun for not giving birth earlier. Jie Xiu says they have one clue to go on now – the infamous Crow Gang.
The current boss of the Crow Gang is Brother Xiong, nickname The Crow King, said nickname which he hates. His defining characteristic is the scar on his cheek. Tony explains that if anyone calls Brother Xiong his hated nickname, the scar on his cheek will glow red and the unfortunate person will immediately be stricken down. Jie Xiu scoffs at this ridiculious exaggeration. Xiao Ru asks if the investigative agency that provided this background knows anything about whether her mom is still in the gang’s clutches.
Tony says there is no further information. All they know is the Brother Xiong goes to a certain nightclub every night to drink before heading home, but the club only allows members to enter. Xiao Ru and Jie Xiu decide to give it a try. Their first attemp to enter the club directly fail when are kept outside the door by the lackeys. Jie Xiu earlier used his connections to get a map of the interior design, so they sneak into the club via the backdoor alley entrance.
Meng Jun is at the Big Booby Temple praying for her Er Bao’s health. The Temple Lady suggest that Meng Jun convince Xiao Ru to marry Jie Xiu and give up looking for her birth mom. Meng Jun mentions that Xiao Ru is trying to find her birth mom right now, and has a new lead the Crow Gang. Meng Jun gets a call from Xiao Ru explaining that they are at the club and about to find Brother Xiong. Meng Jun hangs up the phone to find herself alone in the Temple.
Xiao Ru and Jie Xiu overhear Brother Xiong on the phone discussing the recapture of an “Ah Ru” and reminding that the cage be inspected to make sure it’s secure. Brother Xiong asks for a picture to be taken and sent to him. Jie Xiu says they need to see that picture to determine if the “Ah Ru” is in fact Xiao Ru’s mom. Jie Xiu changes into a waiter outfit and Xiao Ru puts on an evening dress.
Jie Xiu reminds her that her safety is his TOP priority. If anything happens, they need to run away first. He grabs Xiao Ru for a hug before they commence the operation. He makes her promise him that nothing will happen to her.
Brother Xiong is sitting in his private room reading a text from his staff regarding a recent spate of robberies committed by a husband-wife duo. Brother Xiong reminds his team to make sure no such bandits enter their club to harm their customers. Xiao Ru and Jie Xiu arrive and say they are new employees at the club. Brother Xiong immediately asks Xiao Ru to sit next to him and pour him a drink. She does so while Jie Xiu seethes.
Jie Xiu tries to interrupt using various excuses but he’s sent off to the side where he stews watching Xiao Ru flirt with him. She tries to clean his cell phone then asks if she can borrow his phone to call. Too bad his cell phone has run out of batteries. Jie Xiu turns off the lights and in the ensuing darkness he grabs the phone. The lights turn on and Brother Xiong asks why Jie Xiu has his cell phone?
Jie Xiu claims he’s too poor to own a cell phone but suddenly his own cell phone rings. Brother Xiong accuses them of being the infamous husband-wife bandit duo and tells his staff to apprehend them. Jie Xiu tries to explain they are not bandits but Brother Xiong orders his staff to teach them a lesson. Jie Xiu is getting beaten up, and when he tries to protect Xiao Ru he gets even more beaten up.
Xiao Ru cries as Jie Xiu shields her from the beating. She manages to get a gun that has fallen on the ground and she threatens to fire the gun. But when she fires it, turns out that it’s just a lighter shaped like a gun. Brother Xiong orders the two of them to be taken back. Suddenly the Temple Lady shows up and offers to take the injured to the hospital. She steps forward and easily subdues Brother Xiong’s lackeys.
Brother Xiong tries to stop her and get a good look at her face. He manages to tear her sleeve off and realizes that she is the wife of the former boss (because she has an arm injury scar sustained years ago when she saved the boss). Brother Xiong hilariously remarks that she’s gotten so fat! They all head back to the club and Brother Xiong apologizes about the beating earlier, since one was her daughter and the other her son-in-law.
Jie Xiu says his injury is fine, what’s more important is why she refused to confess to Xiao Ru that she was her mom? Xiao Ru’s mom tearfully explains what happened back then. When she was being forcibly dragged away from the hospital she managed to sneak away using the excuse that she was changing her daughter’s diaper. But she knew she couldn’t get away if she had a baby with her, so she left the baby at the orphanage while she continued to evade the gang.
Once she realized that Xiao Ru was her daughter, she tried her best to secretly help Xiao Ru behind the scenes. Turns out that when Xiao Ru slept outside in the rain, it was her mom who stood over her and shielded her with an umbrella. Xiao Ru cries and tells her mom that her life will not be complete without her mom, and that she doesn’t hate her mom for what she did. Brother Xiong apologizes for his actions years ago, when all he wanted to do was make Xiao Ru’s mom succeed the business.
Xiao Ru asks Brother Xiong to release that “Ah Ru” from the cage and let him go. Of course “Ah Ru” turns out to be a turtle he was raising for Xiao Ru’s dead dad, who loved her mom so much that he even named his turtle after her. Xiao Ru’s mom says it’s not yet a happy ending, because Xiao Ru and Jie Xiu still need to get married.
The sun dawns on a beautiful day as Xiao Ru and Jie Xiu are preparing to get married. Tony is going around confiscating alcohol to keep this wedding drunk-free. Jie Xiu grabs a bottle from the box and tells Tony that he’s so nervous he needs a drink. Tony threatens to tell Xiao Ru so Jie Xiu puts the bottle back. All the guests even have to breathe into a breathlyzer to enter the wedding.
Samantha arrives bearing a bottle of wine which Tony promptly confiscates as well. Samantha asks if Tony can make an exception. Meng Jun reminds Samantha what happened the last time Xiao Ru drank. The famous baker Lin Bao Chun sends a box of his newly developed ice-cream croissants over as a wedding gift for Xiao Ru, which Tony and Meng Jun promptly sample. Brother Xiong shows off his sharp shooting skills and wows the kids from the orphanage with his aim.
Avril and Rickie are sitting enjoying a meal. He wonders if perhaps she’s eating too much. She confesses that she’s always had a great appetite which she concealed when she was a model, but now she’s free to be herself and enjoy the food. Rickie happily feeds her more. They are really ridiculously gorgeous together.
They spot Jack the papparazzi sneaking in covered in leaves and twigs. Jack says he’s not here to capture Avril or Rickie, since they have no value because they are openly in love. The media loves secret lovers. Turns out he’s here looking for Daniel, who is rumored to be secretly in love with Xiao Ru. So this time he suspects Xiao Ru is entering into a fake wedding with Jie Xiu to make Daniel jealous. Jack points out that Avril has gained some weight, and she pouts to Rickie, who just smiles and checks her new full figure out.
Xiao Ru looks at herself in the mirror wearing her wedding dress. She turns to ask her mom if she’s beautiful today. Her mom says she’s the most beautiful bride in the entire world. Xiao Ru asks her mom if she won’t reconsider and come live with them? Her mom says that she made a vow to the Big Booby Goddess to spend the rest of her life in that temple to atone for the bad things she and her dad did in their youth. Mother and daughter tearfully hug.
The wedding commences, and the two cars Xiao Ru and Jie Xiu won at the amusement park are adorably decked out like bride and groom as well and parked next to the altar. Xiao Ru is walked down the isle by her mom. He mom is reluctant to put Xiao Ru’s hand in Jie Xiu’s, asking him if he knows that once he holds that hand in his, he can’t let go for the rest of his life. She makes Jie Xiu loudly vow that he will remember this and to never let Xiao Ru shed any more tears going forward.
The pastor begins the ceremony that they are here today to witness two completely sober and sane individuals wanting to spend the rest of their lives together. Xiao Ru and Jie Xiu eagerly say their I Dos and are pronounced as husband and wife. Before they can kiss a man runs to the front and announces that he is here to present a portrait by a famous artist to thank Xiao Ru for donating money to kids needing help to pursue their dreams.
We see the final interlude of Xiao Ru and Jie Xiu’s drunken journey from episode 1 where they are walking down the street and approached by kids seeking donations for art programs. Jie Xiu takes out Xiao Ru’s NT600,000 and donates it all for her. Xiao Ru says if the artists draw her a wild boar picture, she will donate the money. Xiao Ru laughs to realize she donated her entire life savings just for a wild boar picture.
Jie Xiu tries to tell Xiao Ru to calm down, whispering that the wild boar picture given to her as thanks was painted by the world famous painter Wu Hao, and each of his portraits are worth millions of NT apiece. Xiao Ru calms down and grabs the portrait, muttering that she’s going to auction it on ebay. Jie Xiu says he’ll buy it from her, and reminds her that they have something they haven’t done yet.
Xiao Ru and Jie Xiu finally have their wedding kiss amidst cheers from their family and friends.
Jie Xiu and Xiao Ru drive their husband and wife vehicles to their domestic honeymoon. He voiceovers to Xiao Ru that she elected to stay local for their honeymoon so she can’t complain later she didn’t get to go abroad. She voiceovers that she just found her mom and doesn’t want to go too far.
We see the newlyweds adorably enjoying their honeymoon doing couple things.
Jie Xiu and Xiao Ru toast each other. He asks her why she’s smiling all by herself. She thinks they ought to thank alcohol, because had they not gotten drunk, none of this would have happened. Jie Xiu says she ought to thank her own wild boar personality. Because of her strength and tenacity, Jie Xiu is completely her captive and is willing to be tormented by her for the rest of his life.
Xiao Ru asks how he’s so handsome all of a sudden? He gets shy and says it’s just something he’s born with. Xiao Ru asks if he wants to know what happened between them at the resort that night, and perhaps revisit the event again? Jie Xiu quickly gets the check and Xiao Ru teases him.
Turns out the three nosy ladies – Meng Jun and the two moms – have Tony planting a surveillance camera in the newlywed’s hotel room so they can make sure the wedding night is consummated. But the camera angle is incorrectly positioned so they can’t see anything. They tell Tony to go back and turn the camera around. Tony tells Jie Xiu not to blame him, he was forced by Jie Xiu’s mom to do this.
The newlyweds make out from the sofa and then get on the bed. The camera angle moves to try and capture it. The two peeping moms and a Meng Jun are way too into this voyeurism, under the guise of just wanting to make sure the couple consummates the marriage.
Thankfully Xiao Ru pops her head out from under the covers and notices that something on the ceiling is moving. The amorous couple finally notice they are being spied on and stare into the camera rightfully pissed. Next we cut to a black screen. Jie Xiu mentions that he wasn’t satisfied with his “performance” so could they, uhm, do it again? Xiao Ru tells him “come on, baby!”
Finally the drama ends on a montage of all the memorable OTP moments in the drama with the title cards that explain this is the history of how Song Ding Ding wooed a wild boar girl named Lin Xiao Ru.
Thoughts of Mine:
Eighteen cups later, I am neither drunk nor completely sober. The drama wasn’t so insanely addicting for me that I felt like it overwhelmed my senses and made me completely it’s captive, heart and soul. That would describe my reaction to Sunny Happiness, and DTLY never reached that level for me. Other than the OTP, nothing else in DTLY was really very good, even for a TW-drama.
However, the OTP was so incredibly swoon worthy it made me a little tipsy just watching them interact. While neither Song Jie Xiu nor Lin Xiao Ru were written with much nuance or intricate depth individually, once together their relationship was nevertheless filled with the tiniest details that reminded me of how wonderful it is to fall in love with the right person.
DTLY had a kick-ass OST that elevated scenes which normally might fall flat, and a very capable PD at the helm that understood exactly how to present this story. The camera always made the viewer feel like a voyeur in a good way, peeking into the life of Xiao Ru and Jie Xiu. DTLY definitely exceeded my expectations, but why it wasn’t better isn’t something I can offer any suggestions for. Sometimes when I critique something I can proffer my thoughts on what ought to have been done instead, but here I’m not quite sure this drama failed at anything. I think DTLY was a rousing success for accomplishing everything it set out to do. It’s failings are rooted simply in this drama not aiming for more.
I was really disappointed in most of the secondary AND ancillary characters. A few managed to shine in key moments (Samantha towards the end of her arc, Daniel in the scene at the airport), but for the most part, no one was worth mentioning. I liked that Xiao Ru and Jie Xiu never truly had any third party get between them, but the lack of a set second male lead made the story feel choppy, with characters introduced and exiting without any proper fanfare.
As a second female lead, Avril was just okay, not bitchy or evil enough to be fun to hate, nor was she amusing or decent enough to truly pity her. I thought the performances by every actor not named Rainie Yang and Joseph Chang reflected the secondary characters being written so superficially, so the performances also felt like mailing it in from most of them.
Same goes with whatever passes for “plot” in DTLY, which ranges from stupider than a bag of rocks to harmless silliness. Issues are resolved so quickly and easily that it renders angst nonexistent. But if anyone signed up to watch a drama about a couple getting drunk and ending up in a contract marriage afterwards for the serious plot, then clearly the “drunken” in the title didn’t tip you off that this drama is more fun than substantive. With all that said, I really enjoyed watching this drama. It didn’t tax my brain, left me always in a pleasant mood after pretty much every episode, and allowed me to take away one of the best OTPs I have ever seen in any drama. For that, DTLY is a win in my personal drama roster.