Bu Bu Jing Xin Scene Recap: 4th Prince Becomes Emperor Yongzheng and Reunites with 13th Prince and Ruo Xi

Bu Bu Jing Xin is dramatic in ways that can only exist in fiction, yet it remains true to emotions that feel human and understandable. Not just about love, but about pride and loyalty, fear and courage. The characters lives may be extraordinary, but their feelings touch my heart in all the right ways. I still have so many scenes I’m dying to revisit, so my scenes recaps may end up jumping around chronologically. For now, I continue onward with the story, which finds 13th Prince under house arrest, 4th Prince in seclusion planning his moves with the upmost patient, and Ruo Xi demoted to washing clothes in the harshest of physical labor in the Forbidden Palace.

In a blink of an eye, another 10 years pass, and finally Emperor Kangxi reaches the end of his glorious life and reign. His passing allows 4th Prince to claim the throne as the next Emperor, with the drama positing that he stole it from 14th Prince. Even if that debunked myth is true within the context of this drama, 4th Prince has been fleshed out so well that I side with him on this move. He is poised to run a country with his capable efficiency, but first he must right the wrongs done to the two people he loves the most. In the process, he finally fulfills the promise he made to Ruo Xi many years ago, that he will find a way to be with her.

Emperor Kangxi dies and 4th Prince becomes the next Emperor. He orders everyone locked down so that no one can pass word, i.e. conspire against him. This includes Ruo Xi, of course. The other princes rush to the Forbidden Palace but it is too late to do anything other than question the legitimacy of their father’s will claiming to pass the throne to 4th Prince. The officials who 4th Prince has cultivated over the years are present by his side and create a formidable presence. Plus 4th Prince (I’m going to keep referring to him as 4th Prince rather than Emperor Yongzheng) immediately makes 8th Prince a Grand Duke again, leading his faction to find it harder to oppose him. 4th Prince’s mother, the Imperial Consort De, refuses to accept her eldest son’s claim to the throne.

After seven days, Ruo Xi is finally released, during which time she realizes that she can barely make it through being locked up for 7 days, so how could 13th Prince endure being locked up for 10 years. As Ruo Xi is brought back to the Forbidden Palace, she asks about what has happened in the interim. She’s told Emperor Yongzheng has officially been coronated, and 8th Prince and 13th Prince are now Grand Dukes and assisting 4th Prince in handling the transition. In addition, while all the other princes immediately changed their given name so as to not have the same name as the Emperor, 4th Prince decreed that 13th Prince need not change his name. But 13th Prince insisting on changing it regardless.

Ruo Xi looks out from the horse cart as she drives into the Forbidden Palace. She realizes that in the short span of 7 days, the Palace has a new owner now. Everything has changed. For those who have finished the drama, this scene is such a stark parallel to the scene much later when Ruo Xi leaves the Palace that I’m weeping as I type even though this return to the palace is supposedly a joyous one for Ruo Xi.

As Ruo Xi gets out from the cart, she looks at the entrance and then walks over to the side to sit down instead of walking in. She thinks to herself: the former Emperor treated her so well for many years, yet she betrayed him for 4th Prince, does she really covet this Forbidden Palace that much? She realizes that this dream belongs only to 4th Prince, but to her it’s her cage.

Suddenly we see someone walk out, and that person walks over to the sitting Ruo Xi and crouches down to face her. Ruo Xi looks up, and she sees the aged face of 13th Prince looking back at her. He tells her to get up now, 4th Prince has asked him to come bring Ruo Xi back inside. Ruo Xi cannot take her eyes off him and all she can do is nod her yes. He helps her stand up, but Ruo Xi halts and asks for a chance to wash up first since she hasn’t cleaned herself in 7 days.

Ruo Xi is led to her chambers where she meets two new serving girls. She asks for Yu Tan, and then Wang Gong Gong. She finds out Wang Gong Gong has been assigned to serve the new Empress. Ruo Xi washes up, and this time her bath is very subdued as compared to her giddiness when she took a bath in Mongolian with the anticipation of seeing 8th Prince soon. She asks Wang Gong Gong for Yu Tan again, and is told Yu Tan is past the age for ladies to leave the Palace, and 4th Prince has decreed that she be released forthwith.

After bathing, Ruo Xi is changed into her sleeping attire. She dismisses her servant girls and walks over to her bed. She sits down and releases her hair. You can tell how exhausted she is, an exhaustion borne of years of work and mental and emotional strain. She asks herself what she is afraid of? When she can’t see him, she missed him terribly. Now that she is about to see him, she’s tempted to run away.

Ruo Xi turns over and closes her eyes, finally succumbing to her exhaustion. Day turns into night as she sleeps, until we see 4th Prince walk towards her bed and sit down next to her. He reaches out a hand and lightly strokes her forehead. Ruo Xi opens her eyes knowing that he’s finally come to see her.

4th Prince leans down and asks her why she’s pretending to be asleep when she’s already woken up. Ruo Xi turns to look at 4th Prince, who lays down next to her, causing her to sit up in shock. He recognizes her hesitation and tells her not to be afraid. He really is very tired, and just wants to lay down and rest for a little bit. Is that alright with her?

4th Prince closes his eyes, and Ruo Xi covers him with her blanket before laying back down next to him. He puts his arm around her and pulls her closer towards him. Ruo Xi thinks to herself that this is the moment she’s been waiting for, just the two of them, belonging to each other. Everything else is in the past now.

Suddenly 4th Prince startles and calls out for Ruo Xi. She tells him that she’s right here beside him. He confessed that he thought it was a dream that he was holding her. He touches her cheek and smiles, repeating to himself that everything is fine now. Even 13th Prince has returned to his side.

Ruo Xi strokes his arm to reassure him that they have both returned to him. 4th Prince smiles at her as they stare at each other in silence and peace. At long last. God, these two suffer from so much PTSD it’s not even funny. 4th Prince says he shouldn’t nap because there really are too much official matters for him to attend to.

As 4th Prince sits up to put on his shoes, Ruo Xi also sits up and quietly asks if she can see Yu Tan. In all her years at the Palace, Yu Tan was like a real sister to her. They took care of each other, and Yu Tan even tried to take care of Ruo Xi while she was off washing clothes for many years. 4th Prince leans towards her and says he’ll do as she wishes. Ruo Xi asks if she can see her real sister Ruo Lan as well.

4th Prince’s face falls a little, and then he pulls Ruo Xi into his arms and sighs. He tells her that now is not the time, and when things settle down, he’ll bring Ruo Lan in to see her. Ruo Xi smiles and thanks him. He pokes her on the cheek and says he wants her to smile like this every single day from now on.

Ruo Xi kisses him on the cheek, and then tells him that he should get going on. ROFL, lady, you are crazy! 4th Prince gives her a heated look, before pressing her back down on the bed. Ruo Xi asks if he didn’t intend to leave earlier? To go look at official documents. Mwahahaha, even 4th Prince is staring at her like she’s the craziest little oddball he’s ever seen.

He smiles at her and says that she sure can try a man’s patience. He flicks her on the forehead before leaving. He calls for snacks as he heads to pull an all-nighter at work. Ruo Xi lays in bed and smiles, finally at ease. Neither can really know what the future brings, but finally the wrongs have been righted, with 13th Prince back and Ruo Xi no longer suffering harsh physical labor.

It’s a few days later when 4th Prince finally has a chance to sit down for a meal with 13th Prince and Ruo Xi. He looks at them and says “10 years, and finally we have a chance to get together”. 13th Prince sets his bowl down and thanks his now Royal Brother for his grace. 4th Prince puts some food in 13th Prince’s bowl, still treating his beloved younger brother with the same affection he did before he became the Emperor.

But 13th Prince looks uncomfortable with 4th Prince, the Emperor, putting food in his bowl, and stands up on ceremony to thank his Royal Brother. 4th Prince smiles and tells him to sit down and eat. 13th Prince sits down and they begin to eat.

Ruo Xi looks between the two men and thinks to herself that 10 years of separation, now that they are together, it’s not so easy to just shoot the breeze and catch up on things that has happened. She realizes 4th Prince is making extra effort to be affectionate to 13th Prince, who is conversely making a concerted move to be polite and perform all the proper courtesies towards his Emperor brother.

13th Prince quickly finishes and asks to be excused, citing work he still needs to do. 4th Prince smiles and excuses him. Ruo Xi sets her food down and says she is also done. 4th Prince asks the food to be taken away as they get up from the table. He asks Ruo Xi if she feels the situation is odd? She does, and asks what happened?

4th Prince says that since 13th Prince returned, he has been treating his elder brother with excessive courtesy and polite distance. While 4th Prince may want others to respect and even fear him, but he doesn’t want that from 13th Prince! He just wants to be 13th Prince’s beloved elder 4th brother, not the Emperor to him.

Ruo Xi grabs his hand and reassures him to be patient. 13th Prince was just released from 10 years of confinement, having endured so much in captivity. He needs some time to adjust to all the changes that has happened since he was locked up. 4th Princes squeezes Ruo Xi’s hand and hopes what she says is true. For Ruo Xi and 13th Prince are the only two people he trusts in this world now.

© 2011, ockoala. All rights reserved.

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Bu Bu Jing Xin Scene Recap: 4th Prince Becomes Emperor Yongzheng and Reunites with 13th Prince and Ruo Xi — 121 Comments

  1. I thought you were away. Thanks for your recap!!
    Can you recap the time when Kangxi toured 4th Prince farm? I really liked RX’s tolerance towards their situation and and envy when 4th FuJi served the emporer snacks.

  2. I thought this scene was one of the more awkward scenes of the drama. I hated the outright implications about 4th stealing the throne.

    I think this was the beginning of the end for me. Things started to be so sad after this and that awful horse scene was right after this.

    • My temper really flared at that horse scene, and whatever sympathy/empathy I had for BBJX’s version of 4th Prince disappeared immediately. Yes, the beginning of the end for me too.

      • Really? The horse death was quick way to go compared to way worse things 4th Prince could have done. The official was the one who falsely implicated 4th Prince as colluding to seek the throne, thereby causing 13th Prince to spend 10 years in captivity. I think 4th Prince went easy on him.

        What’s worse was that 4th Prince brought 8th Prince there, and rather than admit he told the official to set up 4th Prince, 8th Prince said nothing and allowed the official to die. 4th Prince hinted that had the official been under orders, then he would consider the punishment different, i.e. he was just a lackey. But since 8th Prince didn’t speak up, 4th Prince had no choice but to concede that the official acted on his own accord to set up 4th Prince, who is now the Emperor.

        I think what’s so telling about all those deaths, Li Gong Gong, Yu Tan, the officials, etc. is that none of them blamed 4th Prince or lamented their fate. There is a saying that to serve the Imperial family, one must accept that your life and death is no longer your own.

        I find some viewers see the story through our modern lens of what is cruel, just, fair, right, etc., but not through the eyes of the rules and regulations of the Manchu court.

        I loved 4th Prince even more for doing what he had to do to secure his power and stabilize the country. Kangxi left it a mess by not announcing a Crown Prince and leaving that seat vacant for so long.

      • I feel the opposite as Ms. Koala as far as Yu Tan is concerned. I was barely OK with the horse scene. Yu Tan’s scene just disgusted me. After I watched it I just started to hate the show and lost all feeling for the characters.

        Logically I can reason out that it may have been an effective method and historically accurate, but my heart and stomach can’t stand it. I would have been fine with Yu Tan dying like the eunuch, but I find torture/painful death scenes so repulsive that afterwards I’m unable to think about that movie/drama without that scene. It flavors everything that happens afterwards. I watched the end of the show, but I had a harder time connecting with the character. When 8th’s wife died, I just laughed because when I stopped connecting to the characters all the angst just seemed silly.

      • Well for my part I agree with you Ockoala. The rules weren’t the same, and sometimes being hard will prevent from having to punish and kill more people. It IS harsh, even more considering nowadays societies, but truth afterall.

      • Actually..

        1. I think Yu Tan’s execution could be considered as the one with the least suffering. I know it sounds silly, but it is really the word “steaming” that sounds scary and disgusting. If you come to think of it.. she is “just” .. being suffocated to death (being caged in a burning house). Like Wang Gong Gong says: it happens fast without pain (which might be Yongzheng’s intention since she was a dear friend/sister to Ruoxi?). Steaming doesn’t mean she is being “cooked” alive in boiling water.

        On a sidenote, I’ve read somewhere else that IF Yongzheng is truly cruel, he would have cooked her alive and cut her into pieces and feed it to 9th. O___________O UHM.. W-H-A-T.

        2. BBJX ain’t going for the idol/fairytale approach, so I can understand the reality and cruelness and I actually appreciate it. Perhaps they could have “skipped” the actual filming.. but well. It doesn’t distract me. Probably because I watch a lot of Chinese ancient series.. so this is nothing new. And poisoned wine would mean for one to be executed without the knowing of other people. Yongzheng WANTED other people to witness the execution of the official and Yu Tan. So there is actually a difference between Yu Tan and Li Gong Gong.

        The Qing dynasty executions are known to be cruel. Both the horse scene and “steaming” are far from the extreme ones. For example.. they had Ling Chi (“slow slicing little pieces of meat .. alive”) which was pretty “popular” during the Qing dynasty. I’m already “glad” that Yongzheng didn’t use that method. The horse one (Wu ma fen shi) is actually one that you hear most often in series.. but it’s just never filmed. BBJX is pretty daring indeed.

      • Just what I wanted to read. Descriptions of more extreme deaths. I feel like this will keep being debated. I’m not ignoring historical facts or the logic. I just know I have a weak stomach. Really weak. Even Princess Bride gives me makes my stomach churn. This all goes back to a horror story during girl’s camp where a peg-legged man pour gaseoline over a group of girls and lit them on fire.

        Others may want the historically accurate version, but I wouldn’t mind a cleaner version. I’m not saying it shouldn’t be noted or talked about as that raises awareness of that past, but I wish I hadn’t seen it myself.

      • I understand it might be hard for some to swallow the scenes. But I personally appreciate the realness of BBJX.

        Perhaps you should have checked some spoilers beforehand.. then you could might have avoided the scenes you prefer not to see ;).

      • The feelings that engulf me during the horse death scene was anger. I was angry that 4th/Emperor had to be that harsh. I was angry that 8th seems non-chalant about it. I was angry that that man has to suffer coz of politics. I knew that as an Emperor facing threats from various sides, 4th has to act that way. Tho i agree with you sis, while watching BBJX, i was putting everything in the perspective of the past. You will understand why, 4th, as the emperor had to act in certain ways, at certain times, more so with the punishments.

    • I can understand why the 4th prince killed the minister who implicated him and Yutan but it was just too cruel for words. Can you imagine the pain of being stretched apart till your limbs fall off and being boiled to your death? I also hate he fact he killed Kangxi’s eunuch who did nothing wrong but had served the previous emperor all his life only to be told to commit suicide. I understand why he did it to protect Rouxi and 13th prince but it still made me hate him.

      So I understood why Rouxi had to leave the palace for her own sanity despite her love for the 4th prince.

      • Actually he ordered for Eunuch Li’s death for a very simple reason; eunuch Li knew too much. Eunuch Li also know his fate was sealed the moment he had to lie about the succession.

        The official was a revenge and frankly I would have done the same thing. same with Yu Tan. What she did was unforgivable. She caused a wedge between father and son, she stirred up problems, spied for 9th.. and she was given many chances, but she squandered those off. So what should 4th do? Forgive her? She is a time bomb. Did he also kill the eunuch at the washerroom?

        I however despise his mother. 14th may be noble but noble and just does not mean he can govern the dwindling country well, rifed with corruption which 8th participated in and dwindling resources. 4th was perfect man to restore order. I would have wished the book adopted the real history; let him ascend through legitimate means. Somehow after the acsession to the throne story ended, everything just went downhill politically, and so much focus on the relationship that it was at times too much to watch. I feel he has to keep justifying his actions to Ruoxi, and Ruoxi kept doubting him and worrying herself to death. In the end she punished him by leaving and then dying.

        And I don’t think the emperor was cruel. Harsh yes but cruel? It was a necessity. Kangxi himself was extremely harsh on his own sons.

      • I was really sad when Eunuch Li died, I think it was unfair but then for the security of his throne, 4th had to do it. Eunuch Li had nothing but a good person, almost a father to RuoXi. He had cared very much for her. It bawled out when he drank the poison, poor man! He was just at the wrong time and the wrong place.

  3. I love 4th prince before he turned Emperor, BUT I loved him even more after he turned Emperor. I love seeing the beyond superior presence of his. His presence and vibe is no longer of a 4th prince but a King of a country. I thought Nicky was so awesome in his transition of power position. His severe cruelty is a debate that can never be resolved. To some, he might be too cruel. However, to me, yes it was cruel, but it was the only way to subdue those trying to push him over. He was cruel but fair, and that’s what I appreciate in an Emperor.

    • I see it as as case of ‘when push come to shove’. Yes he was cruel, but they started it (oh gawd, I sound 5), but you get what I mean right? An example would be Yutan, he gave her chances after chances and ever warning but she went ahead and did what she did anyway. Although not the best method to kill someone, 4th had to set a sample.

      • In the end, everyone accepted that was the way the royal world worked. Li Gong Gong knew his time was up the second 4th Prince ascended the throne, and he accepted that he was allowed a peaceful death. In even more olden times, the servants of the Emperor would be buried alive with the Emperor to continue to serve him in death. To serve a royal master means your life is forfeit, it is at the whim of the Emperor that you receive great riches or instant death. Li Gong Gong did not fault or blame 4th Prince for what happened to him.

        It was Ruo Xi, using her modern sensibilities, and her love for everyone, that ultimately found it hard to accept these completely acceptable actions during that era and that world she lived in.

        And 8th Prince set up 4th Prince. I think 4th Prince was most fair to 8th Prince from beginning to end.

        All through the drama, all the Princes are constantly baffled by Ruo Xi’s actions time and again. She is our lens to that world, but I view that world through the understanding of what was acceptable then and not now.

  4. Ooooo more BBJX!! Yay!!

    Yes, this is the beginning of the end…. But I think the true beginning to the end is like the last five episodes…

    I love how this drama puts you in Ruoxi’s perspective, being both afraid of 4th prince and yet being desperately in love with him…

    Please keep the recaps coming!! :)

  5. quote: “She thinks to herself: the former Emperor treated her so well for many years”.

    I still cannot get over the fact that the Emperor Kangxi sent her to the laundry for 6 years. She served him for as many years before and after everything she’s done, after one refusal, just like that to the pits. I understand it would not cross his mind to ask what she wants, but still I think it is very cruel.

    • You have to think though, (in context of the drama) the king was marrying her off to his successor in his mind so he was being very generous in doing so. It actually tells you how much the king loved her.

      Also, you also have to remember, he could have just as easily ordered her death and her family’s death or imprisonment. He had no choice but to punish her for her refusal but he did it in the most kind way he could.

      It was obvious that the king loved her because he continually missed her after he sent her away, even as he was dying he was concerned for her health.

    • She didn’t think it was cruel. Dealing with the punishment was hard, but the punishment for outright defying the Emperor’s decree was nothing. She could easily have been beheaded and no one would blink an eyelash. KX loved her enough to go easy on her.

      • I agree that KX went gentle on RX. Yes, to the modern thinking rejecting the command to marry someone you don’t love is perfectly sane and normal. However, back in those times, blatantly defying the Emperor is death. Not just your death, but your entire family’s death. Which was why RL had to agree to marry 8th, because if she didn’t, her entire family can be beheaded as well. For RX punishment of 20 paddles and put to the Laundry Dept, it was considered very light. RX knows it too. If there was anyone else besides Li Gong Gong witnessing her defying the Emperor’s order, KX will have no choice but to behead her.

  6. This is the beginning of the irony. After episode 20, 4th Prince fought for the throne not because it was his dream, but because 13th’s and Rouxi’s fate depended on it. Now that he has the throne and that 13th and Rouxi is by his side again, not everything is what he dreamt it to be. His happy reunion was rudely interrupted by reality. As the drama progresses, ironies began to unfold. He fought for the throne, partly for rouxi and 13th, but also because it was his own desire and wish since he was younger. Now that he has everything he supposedly desired, we can only see it unravel as he loses the people he love one by one.

    I think what is sad is that both RX and 4th thought that once 4th become emperor, they can have some happy years together. RX can finally stop being so cautious not knowing when she will lose her life or get married off to someone she doesn’t love. And 4th can enjoy and embrace in the warmth and comfort and joy that RX always provided for him. But once they are physically together, we see their relationship falling apart because they have too many things between them that can’t be solved. Conflicting ideals, emotions, goals, and purposes. It goes to show that you can love someone wholeheartedly and there is nothing stopping you from being with them, it is still not enough. Their biggest obstacle wasn’t some great external force, it was themselves. RX couldn’t let go of the love she has for 8th, 14th, 10th prince. And 4th could not let go of his duties as an emperor. And those two things seem to always conflict with each other. Neither is wrong, neither is right. It really just how it is.

    But it is also one thing I dislike about the drama, it is the inclination that we can’t fight “fate”. Why does every freaking chinese drama always have to have the binary between fate and human will? freedom and responsibility? love and obligation? it is really taxing.

    • And what would make you draw that erroneous and laughable assumption? The two issues are completely unrelated in his mind. He was the Emperor getting rid of a spy he gave multiples chances to leave the palace but she didn’t take it. It was unfortunate RX loved Yu Tan too much.

      • The whole Yu Tan thing bothered me. I dont think he was wrong for what he did. I think 9th should have died with her.

        It really bothered me that he begged RX to listen and let him explain and she didn’t. Their relationship had already started to fall apart at that time but this was really the catalyst that made it unreparable. I hate that he warned Yu Tan several times and she didn’t listen.

        RX was betrayed by her best friend but was never allowed to confront that betrayal, instead having to mourn her friend instead. It was sad for all involved.

  7. I just wanted to say how much I love your recaps. I finished the entire drama already, but reading your recaps keep the drama fresh in my mind and also introduce new angles. Nicky’s 4th prince was so awesome. He didn’t have very much lines compared to some of the other actors, but he conveyed so much more in his expressions and stance. Fantastic job.

  8. I finally finished this drama last night – Viki did a terrific subbing job, One question I have, though. How many years did she spend in the past? The time references seem to vary from episode to episode.
    No spoilers,but I had the same reaction watching the finale to “Lovers in Prague” that I had with the finale of this one – one word. “Huh?!”

    • She spent about 20 years in the past. LiP ending left me befuddled. BBJX’s ending is straightforward albeit open to further conjecture.

      • Thanks for clarifying the time line – I really couldn’t get a clear handle on it, particularly when none of them appeared to age.
        I’d like to discuss more re:finale, but don’t want to spoil it for anyone.
        :)

  9. the relationship between 4th prince and 14th prince always bothered me because they are blood brothers.

    i can never understand what 14th prince had against 4th prince so much. 4th prince, in his own way, always cared for 14th prince and never really punished him like the other princes, but 14th prince always has this animosity toward 4th prince :(

    can anyone explain their relationship further? and their mother! geez, i can’t believe she treats 4th prince like that! outright favoring one over the other. my heart broke for 4th prince.

    • Sibling rivalry. The empress just had a special fondness for one kid over the other. It happens. The emperor did know this and there was one scene when he told the empress, right before he died, that had she treated 4th with more love, been less strict with him, he might have turned out differently. I read this as the emperor loving both his sons and seeing their merits, perhaps wishing all these could be in just one son – then he would have had no issue with appointing a crown prince.

      I felt very sad for 4th whenever he tried to talk to his mother. No matter how much she rejected him, he never lost it with her. That was really testimony to his strength, his restraint – even as an emperor. He desperately craved her approval and acceptance but it was never forthcoming. That showed a really vulnerable side to him which I liked and I think RX and 13th also saw.

      While 8th was craving for public acceptance due to his mother’s lowly birth, sought the throne, one also has to feel for 4th’s pain – he was also seeking a different form of acceptance and understanding.

      Love this series. I’ve finished it already but just can’t seem to say goodbye. So thanks Ms Koala for posting more BBJX recaps.

    • This is one of the reason why I didn’t want 14th to become Emperor even though I adored him. He doesn’t know how to look deeper. He takes everything in at first glance. Just like the time he was disappointed that 4th didn’t chime in and begged the Emperor for him. 13th and 8th knew why 4th didn’t chime in. It wasn’t that he didn’t cared, he just didn’t want to make things worse.

      • i totally agree with you about 14th prince’s character :)

        it bothered me too that he didn’t look beyond the surface and think deeper about things, and also the first half of the series he would always jump at RX about everything 8th prince :( ugh! sometimes i think he was really harsh to her.

      • I think he grew up from that time. Remember when Rouxi asked him after the bird incident why he didn’t defend the 8th prince like before (when he was almost killed by the emperor) he said that he has grown up and he knows that if he did that again the emperor would punish 8th prince more.
        The relationship between the 2 brothers is ultimately the parent’s fault. When the 4th prince was born he was given to another consort to raise while Consort De raised the 14th prince herself so she knows his character fully. She finds the 4th prince hard to read as he is good at keeping everything bottled up but this doesn’t excuse her from her blatant favoritism.

      • from the way consort De behaved towards 4th, i suspect he may not be her true blood son. In those days, if a princess was born, they change a baby boy to take over. Even 4th did asked her if he was truely her son in one of the ending episodes

  10. Thanks Ms. Koala for posting despite your trip. I don’t know when will I get over BBJX. I need help.

    On a different note, sometimes I just want to shake RX and ask her what 14th asked her before “Maertai Rou Xi, what do you really want!” Here she is finally reuniting with 4th, yet she has so much conflicting emotions. No wonder she died young. Just grab that man and kiss him hard, afterall you are a modern times woman. What happened to the woman who did an ala bollywood with 8th on the grassland? Why does she show inhibitions/restraints when it comes to 4th? Not fair to my poor 4th….

    • I totally agree. But to begin with, RX is such a contradictory person, I like her, like all of us, we are contradictory at times. She just could not decide…but if she didnt love the rest of the princes and be who she is, 4th would not have loved her right?

    • There are many scenes where I just wanted her to sweep him off his feet with a giant hug and a passionate kiss. Poor 4th indeed.

    • Well its because he is the emperor. It is hard to let your guard down if you are with someone who can take your life in an instant and can be very cruel. I also think she felt guilty as she was betraying Li Gong Gong and the former Emperor.

      With that said if he hadn’t ascended to the throne she would have acted differently towards the 4th prince more Bollywood, etc.

    • I don’t know when any of us will get over BBJX! Is there a BBJX support group somewhere?

      She really was confused at times and it did annoy me when she couldn’t decide what she wanted. I spent most of the drama wanting her and 4th to have lovely moments like she did with 8th and ultimately that didn’t happen. When he becomes Emperor, they have so many moments tinged with the tension for them; it made me so sad. Also by this time, it’s quite clear she will die a young death no matter what happens; this girl is broken! I can’t believe she was a washer woman for 6 years before this and always worrying about 4th and the others. The ending was poor everyone involved, but I’m a 4th supporter so I felt for him even towards the end.

  11. I really disliked the 4th after this episode
    I dont see how it is anyway “just” or “fair”

    He stole the throne from his brother. end.

    • And he wouldn’t have done that if 13th didn’t have to suffer 10 years of house arrest from his brother’s conspiracy with 8th against him in the first place.

    • it just that 4th brother just need to do what he could in order to protect himself and the one he love.if i were the 4th king in that situation i would do the same

      • I think any of the Bros would do the same given the chance. That’s what this whole battle is about – the ultimate throne and power.

    • 4 did not steal the throne from 14. I dislike the drama making that change to the novel, which left it unclear.

      Also, even had Kangxi given the throne to 14, I wouldn’t have blamed 4 for taking it. KX started the entire mess by insisting on making the woefully inadequate 2 the Crown Prince for so many years, then after stripping him of that position, not announcing a Crown Prince afterwards.

      KX may be a great Emperor, but it’s acknowledged in history that he was a failure as a father, with an unreasonable love of 2 because he was the son of the most beloved wife, despite 2 being a pervert, tool, and moron. It’s clear that if 8 planned as well as 4 and had the chance to take the throne, he would have done so as well. 4 and 8 are clearly the most qualified to run the country. I would be fine with either being Emperor. It was a shame that KX to the end gave into his maudlin sentiments for 14, who was a good general but hardly qualified to run a country.

      If “stolen” means 4 took the throne despite KX wanting to pass it to another son, then good for him. The moment KX fixated so much on 2 and then passed judgment on 4, 8, and 13 so quickly over the years, I realized KX’s determination of which son could take the throne was faulty and could not be supported.

      • I thought that the book did broadly hinted that 4th prince did take the throne in an unlawfully. There was a particular scene when 4th prince was drinking heavily with ruoxi and in his drunken state, he lamented to ruoxi whether kangxi could ever forgive him for what he had done. Ruoxi also suspected that 4th prince may have taken the throne in an unlawful way and posited that this may have weighted heavily on 4th prince’s conscience so much so that even when he died, he was not buried together with Kangxi but instead buried on a wholly separate site.

      • But in history the 4th prince didn’t really stole the throne, did he? I also watched the C-drama Jade Palace Lock Heart wich is similar in story, and in this version the 4th prince didn’t stole it.
        About the king I’m a little bit more lenient on him since it’s difficult to judge of anything as anyone is lying to you for whatever political purpose.
        I think 4th prince may have stolen the throne, but 1) in this version 14th prince wasn’t qualified to be emperor, and 2) if there hadn’t been the draw back of 8th prince conspiration against him, he wouldn’t have lost so much of his father appreciation of him.

      • LOL.. I don’t think you can base history on anything you have seen in Gong. That would be the last material you would want to use as a source.

      • I guess am the only one who thinks that 14th would have made a good emperor (maybe not as good as 4th or 8th but ok in his own right). There have been generals in history who became good kings e.g. Taejo Wang Guhn he was a great general who ended up reuniting the three kingdoms of Korea.

        I honestly think he would have released 13th prince and Rouxi and left 4th alone.

      • I also believe that if it was up to 14th prince, he would most likely release 13th and let RX be with 4th. BUT it’s not up to him entirely. He has 8th and 9th to influence him, and there’s just no way 8th and 9th would want to release 13th and spare 4th. They will try their hardest to pursuade 14th otherwise. In the end 14th would most likely to listen to 8th and 9th working behind the scene. 14 would make a nice Emperor, but not an efficient one, as he’s too soft.

      • @ Shiku

        I think 14th would have made a good Emperor. He was away at war for a long time and we didn’t really get a chance to see how that changed him as a prince before 4th prince became Emperor. I admire 14th prince for going off to battle at his father’s order and actually being successful at it.

        I think both 8th prince and 14th prince would have released 13th prince. I think I remember 8th prince saying at some point that he didn’t think his father would have gone so far as to imprison 13th prince and for so long….Anyway supposedly Daddy Emperor always new what was going on with the brothers from his deep secret investigations, but still he punished innocent people and let guilty ones off so….

      • even in history, it was not proven but plain speculations that the throne altered with a stroke to make 14th into 4th… and that was actually the bad point of the drama, they could have left it open as it was an adaptation of the novel anyway. :(

  12. ahh love your recaps! Although, this one has broken my heart again!

    This part was so bittersweet for me when I first watched it. I love the details that you put into your recaps and the pics that go with it just make me swoon. I particularly adore the first one where RX is kissing 4th on the cheek and the utter joy and surprise on his face.

    When 4th hugged RX in bed I felt a huge weight lift off my shoulders – they were finally together, finally able to talk freely, love openly…but at the same time, they weren’t able too. It’s so tragic. (T_T). My heart skipped a beat when he pressed her back down onto the bed.

    I was overjoyed when I saw the return of 13th…but I felt for 4th when 13th was acting so formal. I know they weren’t young anymore…but I long for the days on the Mongolian plains where RX and 13th got along like a house on fire…and 4th was the ever silent amused character.

  13. I absolutely love all your recaps! I haven’t been able to actually watch the last 10 episodes because i am seriously not ready for the water works. So i cry reading all your recaps knowing how it all ends, and slowly easing myself, one episode at a time into the ending.

  14. thank you koala for recapping bbjx again!please do a lot more!!right now i am a diehard fan of bbjx..bbjx revive my obsession into mainland drama that have been lost long long ago in my mind..bbjx makes me totally makes kdrama left behind and i’m never looked back..the craziness of watching mainland/hk and taiwan drama now is back!

    • Agreeeeeed!!! I am not usually into Mainland series (the only one I have seen in the past was the first HZGG from like twelve years ago)…. but now, I am opening my options to watching more Mainland series…

      • we are in the same ship!!i just started to watch chinese paladin 3..(liu shi shi and hu ge is in)..now i am craving more into mainland drama..need and opinion what is the best mainland drama to be watch except hzgg because i already watch it..:)

  15. something else i didn’t really get even watching with english subs.

    didn’t 8th fujin and RX come to an understanding after Rou Lan died?

    did 8th fujin purposefully go to upset RX and cause her to have a miscarriage?

    and why did RX feel that she had to put all the blame onto herself for what unfolded between the princes for the the thrown? yes, she may have supplied 8th prince the names for his plans, but it was his choice to do what he wanted with that information.

    • No, 8th Fujin went to RX because she was just so angry at 4 pushing 8 to the limit and wanted RX to know that she had a hand in everything that had happened, hoping RX could convince 4 to let 8 just live peacefully.

      No one knew RX was pregnant aside from 13 and 4. So 8 Fujin did not purposely cause her to have a miscarriage or went to see her to upset her. But 8 Fujin was angry, that is true, but it was directed at 4, and trickled down to RX because of how much 4 loved RX.

      8 Fujin asked RX to also remember that 8 is her brother-in-law, and circumstances dictated so much of what happened, including RX’s own actions. RX’s miscarriage was just a tragedy.

      RX did have a direct hand in what happened. She told 8 specifically to “beware of 4″ and then gave him other names. 8 Fujin told RX that 8 and his gang never would have considered going after 4 BUT FOR what RX told 8. Initially 8 didn’t have a plan to sabotage 4, that plan was created after RX told 8 to beware of 4. It’s a Catch-22 at that point.

      • thank you for clarifying that up for me :)

        there is so much depth to this drama that i didn’t catch onto, also one of the best i’ve seen in a long time.

      • i think that when the prince’s set out on their course against 4, they knew there was going to be repercusions. maybe some part of me wants to believe the good in 4 that even after all that’s happened he still had brotherly love towards the others and would have been lenient with them but they just pushed it too far and he couldn’t let it go.

      • 4 did want to let it go for his brothers, even 8 and 9. When RX asked him if he could stop punishing the other princes, 4 yells back that it’s not him who is continuing this feud, it is the other princes who won’t let it go.

        But ultimately he couldn’t because 9 was still plotting behind the scenes after 4 ascended the throne, by forcing Yu Tan to stay in the palace. What killed Yu Tan was not the spying (which she had been doing for years, and 4 even let it go on for awhile).

        What killed Yu Tan was when 9 told her to go create discord between 4 and his eldest son by making the young prince push to be made Crown Prince. That was simply unacceptable to 4.

        4 did not want to kill his brothers, even the ones who hurt him and sabotaged him. He wanted them to submit to him. But 9 refused, and 8 ultimately tried but there was just so much baggage between them all it kept creating more and more problems.

      • yes, trying to create discord between father and son is no no!

        in the author’s epilogue, was it that son in the drama that eventually took over emperor after 4th?

      • Thanks for another lovely post. I’m on my first rewatch of the drama, and I still can’t get over it!

        I agree that both of them had so much PTSD by that point. RX was so broken. I knew very early on that she would die a young death, but I didn’t know how despairing it was. The mood of the drama changed drastically when 4th became Emperor. I am a supporter of his and I was horrified with his punishments, but I understood. I also ultimately believe 4th was the most capable and qualified Emperor. Anyway, 13th, 4th and RX are to me like an OT3. Any combination of these three had wonderful moments before 4th became Emperor and then afterwards, 13th was also so broken.

        Having rewatched the early eps and political interactions, 4th is really fair early on and he seems to just want to be cautious. He also knows his Father best of all and knows that going against him like 8th & his gang did was not the way to go. He kept himself and 13th safe (and even 14th safe during the 2nd expedition) for a long time until he had no choice to be pushed to the throne. I know Ming Hui told RX the only reason 8th pushed at 4th was that RX told him, but I also think 8th was going to scheme against 4th eventually. He knew early on that 4th is the most capable of the princes and rivals. 8th didn’t trust anyone.

        On a lighter note, RX is such a tease! Haha. I’m glad 4th loves her so much and teases her, but this is your first reunion together and you’re in bed and she just kisses him on the cheek and tells him to go back to work? Oh Ruoxi.

  16. on a side note, i just want to say that i LOVED 4th prince’s first wife!!

    she is so nice and caring and supportive of their relationship :)

      • Not me, I hate 14th/4th’s mother. 4th might not have been so repressed if his mother showered him with a bit more affection. I understand that she favored 14th because she personally raised him, but she shouldn’t completely neglect 4th either.

  17. Thank you so much Ms. Koala!!! I love these scene recaps and am dying to watch the series. My only problem, english subs! I can download highquality video, but no one is releasing subs. Viki has it streaming with subs, but low quality video.

    Anyone have the dvds and can tell me if the e-subs are any good? Worth paying $60?

  18. Thanks for another feature of BBJX.

    I think R and #13 are tired and the memories from the past are weighing them down. R/#4 are like an old married couple here. lol. Sitting in the same room with him just to be in his presence is endearing. #4 did not know what hit him or saw this coming…kekekeke

  19. I’m up to episode 31 and dread going on knowing what’s to come. It is such a tragedy when 2 people who are obviously heart and soul in love, cannot be together.

    I am a 4th supporter. Of all the Princes only he and 8th were qualified. 14th – despite all was too naive and inclined to take things at face value. However, comparing 4th and 8th, 4th made the better Emperor – he was a thinker and planner and strategist and above all given to restraint. Plus he had 13th on his side – one who could always see reason.

    8th although capable had a handicap – his supporters – especially 9th – who was vindictive, unreasonable and a toad!! 10th – I think we all acknowledge had nowhere the smarts of his brothers and was foolish for listening to 9th. 14th – I think is a great general and tactician – but would have lacked the strength to be Emperor – given the tough decisions that had to be made.

    I think the problem as Mdm Koala pointed out is that viewers tend to judge 4th’s actions and decisions according to our 20th Century sensibilities.
    What we deem barbaric now – was the norm of that period. Similar to how the Romans used to feed prisoners to the lions, stake rebels head on spears along the roads, plus I think that horse thing started with them too – and the crucifixion – or how the Spanish Inquisitors used torture, cages not to mention the Crusaders!!

    So in every great era there were extreme measures taken – not just the Manchus. So although I too cringe and turn green at the punishment meted out – I take it in context of the era that it happened in. In fact 4th’s punishment was tempered by his love for Rx as 13th pointed out. For spying on the Emperor which was treason – YuTan’s entire family should have been put to death – up to 9 generations – but 4th limited the punishment to her only, and this after cautioning and warning her a few times.

    • While I completely understand why RX was upset about YT’s death, that’s aside from whether 4 did the right thing considering all the circumstances. Even 13 was on the side of 4 in YT’s death, simply that YT and 9 did such a horrible thing 4 had no choice but to have her killed.

    • Yes.. absolutely.. I think a lot of people are just not familiar with Chinese history. So the executions scenes might have scared the heck out of them. While in fact.. “wu ma fen shi” is mentioned VERY often in a lot of other ancient series, be it a Mainland drama or a TVB series. It is just that BBJX filmed the whole “process”.

      China is definitely not the only one with the horse thing. In the country I’m living in (Europe), they use to have that too in the ancient times.

      Furthermore.. Qing is known as the dynasty with very cruel executions. I’m glad that Yongzheng (Tong Hua) didn’t go for Ling Chi (slow slicing) or something even more disgusting.

    • I think it’s hard not to judge some of the things that happen in the drama based on 21st century standards only because our heroine Ruoxi was once Zhang Xiao– a 21st century girl transported to the Qing dynasty. It doesn’t always make sense to judge what happens by modern standards but the audience is a modern audience and the story was made for us (even if it’s historical fiction). It isn’t a story originally written and told during the Qing dynasty that we happen to be hearing now.

      • What would you have wanted to see/hear then? All poisened by death?

        “Wu ma fen shi” is really nothing new, especially in the Chinese ancient drama world. Ok.. perhaps I’m just used to it, cause I watched a lot of them. The only thing that was “shocking” to me is the fact that BBJX showed it.

        I’ve already did my word on Yu Tan somewhere between the comments above.

        I think the harshness and cruelness is what makes BBJX stand out from the many books of the same genre. And it IS suppose to contrast harshly with the beliefs of the 21st century– it is suppose to have a emotional impact on Ruoxi/Zhang Xiao.

      • @Bwear

        “What would you have wanted to see/hear then? All poisened by death?”

        …idk. I wanted them to all hold hands and sing Kumbaya, but that doesn’t make much of a drama. haha :D But really, I don’t know. I don’t know what would be the historically accurate thing to happen. All I know is awful things happened to characters I cared about so I was upset at the person who did them. Simple. You can logic the death out of it, but it still sucks.

      • I thought BBJX was written exactly to suit the modern tastes. It simply didn’t shy away from the harsh realities of life in the Qing dynasty and the intensity and landmines galore of living in the Palace surrounding by warring aristocracy.

        I wonder if it’s a broader exposure to historical dramas, novels, and history that I have (and it seems @Bwear has as well), that makes what happens in BBJX, while sad and difficult to accept, nevertheless is not shocking or ruinous of the story.

        I remember being 8 and watching TVB’s DoMD (Duke of Mount Deer) set in Kangxi’s time, and getting to a scene where the hero finds his good friend punished by his overlord for being traitorous. The man had his four limbs lopped off, his tongue cut out, and then he was shoved into a barrel and left to die.

        I was horrified, still am, at this insane punishment. But DoMD as a novel refuses to sugarcoat the horrors of that time period, and made me realize period stories could be really difficult to watch.

  20. My statement came from absurdity of the situation.
    By killing Yu Tan 4th is going to add such big blow to his relationship with RX.
    I am not sure that any woman would be able to completely separate two things in her mind (actually more then 2 – past relationships, betrayal, spying, death, method of killing). Yu Tan was like a sister to her and was killed by a such cruel death. He could have sent her away to be married off or to do it in secret so nobody knows about and make an example with somebody else, I am sure there were plenty of candidates for that position. I had no idea that there is a such thing as death by steaming to begin with..
    Bottom line – is there really a need to be that cruel? there are other ways to deal with problems.

    • I’m not sure you watched the entire drama, otherwise you would have seen that 4 tried many many times to let Yu Tan leave. He tried to send her out of the palace with money so she could be free, but it was Yu Tan who wouldn’t leave. Yu Tan who kept going to beg RX with her crocodile tears that she wanted to stay in the palace for RX, but in truth so she could continue acting as 9′s spy.

      When sending Yu Tan away didn’t work, 4 had some gossiping servants beaten and purposely made sure Yu Tan was made to watch, to warn her that her spying would yield that and much worse consequences. Yu Tan still didn’t stop passing word to 9th Prince about 4.

      There was nothing absurd about the situation at all. Any Manchu woman would have understood that 4 had to do what he had to do to Yu Tan once she went from spying to trying to drive a wedge between 4 and his son. The problem was that RX was NOT a Manchu woman, she was a modern woman. 4 had no choice, he had to kill Yu Tan horribly as a very pointed warning to 9 to stop fucking with 4 and sending his spies into the palace. Yu Tan died because she loved 9, in her final note to RX, she accepted her punished, she knew it was deserved and it was coming. She simply had no regrets because that was how much she loved 9.

      RX did not have the luxury to love without sense, like Yu Tan did. RX’s love for 4 was always tempered with way too much overthinking on her part.

      No, the steaming was not nearly the worst punishment Yu Tan could have suffered. For her treason against the Emperor, lawfully her entire family outwards of 9 generations should have all been executed for it. Many treasonous spies were kept alive and tortured for years to extend their suffering. Once again 4 let Yu Tan off easy. He killed her, but he made sure it was brutal enough to warn 9 to back off.

      • I can’t get that scene (especially hr eyes) out of my mind. She was so calm being steamed alive.

      • YuTan knew the consequences of her action but did it anyways for the love of 9. She was so calm because she did it for her love.

    • Yes, it was a cruel death, but #4 warned YT several times and she ignored the warning signs. The way I saw it, her death was on her own head. The Emperor was right to get rid of her cruelly because YT’s actions were cruel. To turn a son against his father is cruel and unusual punishment meted out by YT and #9 who she was in love with btw.

      He could not afford to keep untrustworthy servants around. The palace would have been in total chaos if he let her offense slide…..

      • I’m in total agreement. While I cringe at that scene, I support 4th’s decision. YT knew what she was getting into and still decided to make that decision. She chose love above friendship, and it’s a hefty sum to pay, but she was willing. While steaming YT was cruel, but it was also cruel of her to try to turn a son against his father. So I say they are even.

  21. I think mostly because I do not know the Chinese history that well and what was excepted back in the days, that’s why it is hard to accept and understand it.
    Thank you very much for explanations, it means a lot to me.

    • I hope I didn’t sound condescending, because that was not my intention. I think you can find what happens in the drama very hard to stomach, but it’s best to understand better what the world of the drama was like. I love discussing the drama and hear everyone’s differing and similar opinions.

      • Not at all. You actually made my day today as I had real time drama going on, so our discussion helped me to get through today intact and I thank you for that from the bottom of my heart.
        All this discussion puts everything into perspective…
        Thanks again.

      • Thank you for the wonderful posts Ms Koala, have been lapping them all up within 2 days (you write really well!), and thanks for the deep insights my friends. It’s been 3 weeks since I finished BBJX and I absolutely (still) cannot get the show out of my head! Love the discussions on the drama – heated and passionate but never condescending :) I was so appalled by Yu Tan’s betrayal – but still want to believe very much that part of her still loves Ruo Xi as a sister very dearly… It’s just that when it comes to choosing sides, her years of love for 9th wins over. (Seriously Yu Tan, why 9th??? ROARRR).

        And it’s sad but true – in a world so fraught with power struggles and hidden traitors there is, perhaps, justifiable need to be this ruthless to hold the throne, palace and country in balance. It’s a crazy difficult task, not least because people believed that 4th inheriting the throne was suspect, and could easily rally enough support to overthrow him… everyone hungers for the power of the throne first, before considering the consequences.

        Is everyone still around? I realised this thread is at least 5 months old but because I’ve just finished the show everything is SO FRESH in the mind. Have taken to listening to 3 Inches of Heaven to ease the whole Post-BBJX trauma but I kinda think it aches more because there’s so much of the drama’s emotions in the song :( Pavlovian effect sigh.

        The series has also got me taking to reading Tong Hua’s online novel app (and I seldom ever read Chinese as a kid unless I had to pass exams, I struggled so much with it!) But it’s so beautiful reliving all the memories all over again, especially the times when they were all young and playful :) Amazing amazing drama, this.

        Thanks once again Ms Koala. Keep writing, every one of your thought-provoking posts are an awesomely enjoyable read. Much hugs to you!! :)

  22. Thanks for the recap! :D Beautifully directed episode.

    Even so, this was definitely the pivotal episode for me when I lost some of my emotional connection to BBJX. Still enjoy the show after that, but I realized I couldn’t root for anyone anymore, not even Ruoxi to be honest, or else I would be really, really upset. So basically I just resigned myself to watching the story. From the second half of the show I was disheartened that 8th prince was kinda portrayed as a villain when he did no worse (or better) than 4th prince and had no more or less legitimate claim to the throne. I don’t like the whole “Emperor vs. his enemies” dynamic.

    I’m with those who were really repulsed by the deaths after 4th prince became Emperor. Those who were killed accepted their death and “It’s what was done during the Qing Dynasty,” but it’s still disgusting. And tragic in the sense that 4th prince was bringing himself such personal pain and suffering with what he was doing. And yes, the other princes are at fault too. There’s plenty of tragedy filled fault to go around.

    I just don’t buy the whole “he had to do it / it was necessary” reasoning either. Nothing 4th prince did after becoming Emperor was anymore necessary than what his father did as Emperor and Daddy Emperor did lots of crappy things. Emperors *choose* what they deem is best to do. It may fall under the guise of necessity, but it’s still a choice. That’s one reason why an Emperor is so troubled all the time– the responsibility and consequences of his choices constantly weigh on him.

    …I’ll admit my bias though, I’m just lukewarm towards 4th prince. Don’t know how else to put it. ehh… 13th and 14th prince are my favorites on and off the screen. <3

    • I think you have a great point. No one held a sword to 4′s head and make him choose how to treat his enemies. But I take the “he had no choice” discussion to mean he had only one choice, and he chose the right one each time, i.e. the deaths of Li Gong Gong, Yu Tan, etc.

      I think the throne is a dead weight. As Emperor you have to make choices beyond your personal feelings, sometimes for the best of the country and the crown. 4 was never arbitrary and capricious, and he took no joy in taking the lives of even his enemies. As Emperor he could kill anyone for any reason, like his tea was too hot one time or someone was one step too late in handing him his robe. 4 was never like that, he was thoughtful, considerate, and ultimately fair and just. I think it’s sad he had to act in ways that caused RX pain.

      As for 8, I lovelovelove 8, and I never saw the drama as portraying him as a villain the entire time. I cried for 8 in some ways more than I did for 4. I think all the princes knew it was just politics and not personal, their warring and battle for the throne. 13 even tells RX this – to play the game of thrones, one has to accept any consequence.

      13 doesn’t blame 8 for his captivity. When RX said her farewell to 8, I was snot and sobbing my head off. I think 8 is a tragic hero, while 4 is a tragic victor. Both suffered in their own ways. I found 8 to be honorable even when he set up 4, because I can’t even say 4 wouldn’t have done the same thing.

      The game of thrones is age old and across any country with a monarchy. You play to win, you lose and there goes your head.

      I love 4 and 8, but OTP wise it’s only 4-RX, because the way I see it, they loved each other through ages, time, and space.

      • This is what this drama does so well that doesn’t happen often. I love that both of the relationships are so compelling. I definitely get all the OTP vibes from 4th prince and Ruoxi, but I still loved when she was with 8th prince. My favorite line from the whole drama was when Ruoxi said to 8th prince:

        “My heart isn’t stone, you can’t turn it. My heart isn’t cloth, you can’t roll it. This life’s contract together with you makes a story. Holding your hand, we will be together until we both are old.” – Episode 13
        *So on my quote board for life!!!* One stupid (not stupid) line made me love them as a couple. gah!

        Until Ruoxi said those words, I thought their relationship was a passing thing, like wanting something just because you can’t have it. So of course I’m torn. Ruoxi loves 4th prince so much, but she had this space in her heart for someone else before.

        4th and 8th prince are so fascinating. Everyone is really fascinating in this drama, but those 2 especially. (Like Ying and Yang gone wrong. Haha. They’re opponents, but not opposites and they don’t balance each other out at all!) They don’t spend very much time talking to each. They have very few scenes where they are having a conversation alone…. I have no way to really back this up, but I always felt like those on 8th princes side ~believed in him/his ability because they 1st loved him~ while those on 4th prince’s side ~loved him because they 1st believed in him/his ability~. Even though I don’t like how things went down ultimately, this is how I reason that 4th prince makes the better Emperor. People love him because they believe in him and his ability, not the other way around….I kinda hate to admit that I finally agree on this, but I have to…. I still miss Li Gong Gong and Yu tan though :’(

      • Li Gong Gong’s death is the only scene I refuse to watch. I’m furious it had to happen because 4 could not risk the legitimacy of his throne being questioned. But even then, GAH $&%^&$^%#$% so painful to know it happened.

        13 said once that if 4 and 8 united together, they would be unstoppable. I think as brothers they were the most capable, which also naturally made them rivals. RX loving both of them was perhaps the bitterest irony for both to swallow.

        Btw, I LOVE that line from RX to 8, too~

      • sis, i was a 4-rx shipper since the onset of the drama, although i symphatize with 8 at times, i can still see how shrewd and cunning he is, and as early, he was eyeing the throne, maybe coz of bias on his background that he had set it on his mind to excel and go up.

        and yeah, Eunuch Li’s death was just so sad for me. cried really hard during that scene with his protege handing him the poison and how calm and accepting he is. *cries again*

  23. Ah…I see I’m late for the party. Just finished the drama last night, eps 31-35 in one go and I am now one depressed zoombie! I can’t believe how sad and how beautifully tragic it all ended for everyone. I went to work today constantly thinking about all of them, what a formidable force history is, how much I am affected by all of it.

    I think what really did me in was 13th’s death and how he told 4th “I’m sorry can’t help you anymore.” Gahhhh..that killed me. My heart was aching so much I could barely breathe. He was such a loyal brother and a wonderful best friend to Rouxi. And I really love the 3 of them together, more than anything else in the drama.

    I also loved this statement by 4th when Rouxi was angry at him and 4th turned around and said to 13th:
    “Look at her, she only worries for others.
    I only see her.”
    I think this pretty much describes their tragic love. Rouxi kept thinking about the welfare of other people and had because she loved 4th the most she also held him to a higher standard so much so that when he does something that is unacceptable or cruel to her, she was much harder on him. Ah..its just sad overall.

    One thing that I really want to know, maybe koala or others who read the book can answer this for me. Did Rouxi sleep with 8th? I wasn’t sure if that was implied or if something was lost in translation because I’m watching it with subs. And was this the reason why 4th was so livid when he found out about the relationship? I mean, if it was just hugs and kisses and cavorting in the meadows, I would think that 4th will be hurt but after all that they’ve been through he’d still hold on to her. But that was really the final straw that allowed her to leave the palace so I’m just wondering if that was what happened. I know at one point 13th had asked her how far the relationship went with 8th and I can’t remember what she said. Also, is this the reason why she was hesitant to consummate her relationship with 4th after their reunion? — Thanks! I just want this part clarified. ;)

    • No, she didn’t sleep with 8. And 8 never hinted that happened with 4 – 8 just told 4 that he kissed RX and held her hand and they made a promise of a future together. Which was all true. But he omitted the horrible breakup they had, because 8 wanted to help RX leave the palace.

      The mere fact that RX once loved 8 was enough for 4 to be completely broken with RX at that moment. It also confirmed for 4 why RX would have warned 8 to beware of 4 so many years ago. Ah, the tangled web these folks weave.

      • Thank you, koala! And I guess it probably didn’t help that she was also kneeling and standing for 8th while he was being punished.

        Ah..you are so right about the PTSD…they loved each other too much, they were separated and longed for each other far too long that when they were finally together, it was almost like they had forgotten how to be happy anymore. *sigh*

        The biggest irony of all was that even if Rouxi was finally “freed” from the palace, she was really just exchanging one gilded cage after another because she was still essentially “un-free” as 14th’s wife, with her heart and soul still thinking about 4th.

      • i feel that RX felt awkward to see 4 after he became emperor is cos she was unsure of herself n 4. I mean they have not met for a long time, in the novel, they hardly meet each other once a year! so it’s not surprising that she felt uncomfortable and unsure of herself n 4.

    • RX definitely didn’t sleep with RX. All they did was kissed. I believe that 8th respect RX more than that. He wouldn’t sleep with her before giving her a title. All the princes are gentlemen in their own rights. I don’t believe that they would ever dishonor another women like that. Even 4th waited 10 yrs for RX. Even though, he didn’t give her an official title, but he and everyone else already considered her as his concubine.

  24. I am a 4th supporter. Of all the Princes only he and 8th were qualified. 14th – can’t think out of the box. To become emperor you must be strong and can’t show your emotion or your feeling transparency , otherwise your enemy will use it to harm your beloved and 4th know that 9 can use YT who close with RX to find 4th weakness, 4th just want to protect RX from get hurt because of them but as a emperor he must make final decision to protect all . He can’t only protect RX feeling by sacrifice other ppl, so he let RX mad and misunderstand him than he let 9 and YT always create problem. 4 did want to let it go for his brothers, even 8 and 9. Is the other princes who won’t let it go. At the end i still feel sad for 4th , everytime i watch the last episode i cry for him, can feel that he really love RX .

  25. wuah, OC Koala thanks for recap-ing again :)) wait for your next recap about BBJX.

    It seems that among all your post about drama, recap, fashion, BBJX always receives the most comments (already 90 comments in just 2 days O_o )

    I think, RX couldn’t accept the death of YT because she doesn’t know what YT do all this time.. moreover YT was steamed in front of her..Later after 13 explained, it looks like RX has cooling down and begin to understand the situation

  26. Yay recap! Thanks for feeding my BBJX fix. ^^

    I think the saddest thing is that (they mentioned this in the drama) basically Ruoxi being from the future caused the rift between her and 4th. She said that if she was originally from that time period, then maybe she would be okay with marrying a man with multiple wives, but because she was raised with different principles, she couldn’t take it. Likewise, I feel that Ruoxi just couldn’t understand that 4th didn’t do those things out of cruelty necessarily–as in not because he enjoyed watching people in pain, but rather because a certain amount of control needs to be maintained. The rest was just revenge, which I wholeheartedly agree with, terrible death though it was. But Ruoxi just saw it as almost like an attack on her because those were people close to her, but 4th was just doing what he had to do to keep his throne. If he hadn’t, then they would all suffer anyways–4th would be overthrown and probably executed and then what would be left of Ruoxi? I think the common aristocrat in those times realized that a ruler can’t always do what he wants, but Ruoxi didn’t have that mentality, poor girl.

    I just really wish that 4th wasn’t pushed into fighting for the throne. I mean, he didn’t even originally want it (right?… at the very least he didn’t want it with a fiery passion like 8th did) but seeing his loved ones suffer made him determined to become emperor so he could protect them. Augh… if only they could all get along! They could have lived such happy lives with beautiful babies.

    • 4th wanted the throne as much as 8th. Its just that 4th knew his father better, and he knew that his father hated any of the princes to plot, which is why he kept this ambition from everyone (other than 13th – which 4th said, he didnt have to tell him, cos he just knew). Which is why, RX was so touched and started to fall very hard for 4th cos he told her frankly that he wanted the throne. He has been keeping this desire from everyone so close to his chest no one knew about it.

  27. the fact that the novel did not change the history is the best!the storyline walk together with history sometimes make us believe that ruoxi actually exist during Qing dynasty!..if they change it i could be weird and bbjx is not my cup of tea..

  28. i just feel so so at the er ling he death sentence by tearing him apart by horse, same with the yutan steaming.. maybe i must check myself up a bit. ^^I
    maybe the way they’re picture it was rather mild (?) comparing how korean sageuk drama potrays it. its not very clearly shoot, and its clean (not bloody) too. I remember watching this body tearing scene first time in Iljimae (the Lee jun KI one). in that scene, a boy played young junki’s character was watching his father teared by horse. it was a very clear and believable scene that makes me crying for days. i think The Princess Man have those tearing scene too. that’s why the er ling he scene just so-so to me.
    the yutan steaming scene was sad, but i do realize 4th’s reason and thought it was necessary. actualy, as someone mentions it above, if 4th really is cruel, he would sliced her to death then serve it to 9th. on those time, its rather believable cz her sin is just too big.

    • i agree.. i wonder why people above keep grumbling about the horse scene.. because from what i watch from “iljimae” and the “princess man”, it’s far more scary that this..

  29. first i rolmao at that command saying , oh yes i just wanted them to all hold hands and sing, kumbaia, lolol thanks bwear
    i have a question as of to the episode where 8prince was waiting for roxy, what did it all mean, in plain english, to me he still looked at her with so much love in his eyes, i believe he never stopped loving her, and than he made that command to roxy , we were not fated in this life time , lets leave it to the next? He seemed to be glad that she was leaving, and happy for her, when he said 14 will surly treat you well, it sounded more like he wished it could have been him,
    and one main thing, what did he mean when he told roxy , since you know what i am thinking, well i was confused, so can you explain it to me, i am still a roxy and 8prince fan,
    but i did not understand his remarks because after mung hui killed herself , he promised to treat her better in the next life a 100 times better, did he finally love his first wife after she died, did 8 ever truly love roxy , sometimes it seemed like he loved her so much , than at other times like when roxy sister died , he cried, so he still loved her too,
    but i do have to say , the chemistry that 8th and roxy shared was out of this world , i did not see that with roxi and 4th prince, i know they had a deeper love for one another yet they did not spill that hot chemistry all over the place with just looks ,i know my many questions are confusing, but if you have the answer i would love to know and put my poor heart to rest

  30. dear mrs Koala
    hope i did not spell it wrong.
    i would truly love a recap of 8th prince and what you think were his true feelings towards the 3
    women in his life.Like he made remarks like to his first wife , like no one can ever take her place said it more than once .Allso his love for rou lan, did he really after he married her realice that he only loved the rou lan he had in his imagination, which one of the sisters did he truly love.
    8th had me confused,did he tell roxy the truth, 8th and his love with wioman deserves an explanation, for it had my head spinning, with wordgames.
    so mrs koala what do you think. i love your breakdown of this series , helps me to understand it so much better,

  31. Hi , I don’ t like to watch Chinese show but when I watch with my husband that he had donwloaded the whole episode and starting from the very 1st episode, I realise I am absolutely wrong and I cannot resist myself and finish the whole all 35 episode for merely 4 days (till 2am every night though I have to wake up at 5.30am to work, LOL).
    I love the character of the 4th prince(Yongzheng) cos he is such a sweetie , the love for RuoXi but though he is extreme cold outside and strict looking but of all princes, I like him the best, follow by 13the prince and 14th prince. 8th prince was gentle ,cool but not really like his character.
    I was totally captivated by this series and pretty interested to browse through the net for the true story of Qing dynasty. Would be appreciate if anyone can introduce me which book or website can I find or read.By the way, anyone knnow is Ruo Xi really appeared in the Qing or the producer had change the story by adding her role. Last but not least, I also love RuoXi character, kind, helpful and always think of others . Anyone can introduce any nice series act by WuChiLong(4th prince), the 13th prince and the sweetie who act as “RuoXi”
    Bu Bu Jin Xin is a must watch. I will watch a second time who know :)

  32. I like 4th prince the best and feel so much pain for him. He is always so calm on the surface but he hides a lot of pain inside. For a start, it’s already painful that his unfair mother loves his brother more than him. When 13th prince took the rap for him I could feel his pain and helplessness. If I were him, I would also swear vengeance to my enemies and do what he did. Bear in mind that 8th prince and gang acted against him first. Would you have sat there like a sitting duck if you were him? 4th prince may be cruel but so were his enemies. It’s a “dog eat dog” world.

    The 8th prince is like a smiling tiger. He appears innocent but is a bag of schemes. He is a hypocrite if you ask me. In real history, the 8th prince also plotted for the throne all his life, that’s why Yongzheng eventually imprisoned him. To protect your throne, I think I would also have done the same.

    If you read Yongzheng’s story, actually he was an emperor with a hard life. Throughout his life his only loyal ally is the 13th prince, who died protecting his throne against a near coup by 8th prince and gang. Imagine reigning the whole time constantly fearing someone might usurp you. It must’ve been hard. Maybe that’s why his reign was so short. Died of fatigue and emotional stress. Although he was cruel, he was just and acted fairly towards people loyal to him.

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