I hope all the Bu Bu Jing Xin fans have finally returned to a semblance of their normal lives. I know I have, but having a sister just recently marathon her way through it and then wanting to discuss it at length does resurrect all my feelings for this wonderful drama. My scene recaps just naturally came to a halt as real life and other dramas intruded, but I wanted to give one final recap to bid a fond farewell to Ruo Xi and 4th Prince. I know I’ve been woefully neglectful of the many many great scenes between Ruo Xi and 8th Prince, and sadly I won’t have the time to go back and recap those thrumming moments between them in Mongolia.
For me, 4th Prince was the most unforgettable character in the drama, and it was his love for Ruo Xi that changed everything. But not every love gets it happy ending, and sometimes love doesn’t die so much as it simply cannot be. With that said, we watched Ruo Xi return to the Forbidden Palace when 4th Prince became Emperor, now it’s time to watch her leave. I’ve already recapped the ending to the drama, so this will be my last scene recap, and hopefully all my scene recaps and write ups will form a stepping stone of sorts through this marvelous story.
A steady stream of escalating events have brought Ruo Xi to the point of no return. The woman radiant in love with the 4th Prince is gone, and in her place is a spectre of her former self. Li Gong Gong is dead, to protect 4th Prince’s right to the throne. Yu Tan is dead, punishment for her transgressions and a warning to 9th Prince. Ruo Lan is dead, finally at peace and able to find her long deceased lover in the afterlife. Ming Hui is dead, her desire to protect 8th Prince even to the very end. Ruo Xi and 4th Prince’s unborn child is gone, perhaps he/she was never supposed to arrive on this earth? Ruo Xi will never know. One thing she does know is that 4th Prince will never stop punishing the other princes for what they did to him and 13th Prince. It’s a never-ending cycle that only she can break. Ruo Xi makes her decision. She walks into a meeting between 4th Prince and 13th Prince and tells them calmly that she is here to reveal the truth.
It was not Ming Hui that caused the death of their baby, it was Ruo Xi herself. Despite 13th Prince’s warning for her to stop, Ruo Xi digs into the past that was so long ago it seems like multiple lifetimes. Back when 8th Prince was still just her brother-in-law, she told him to “beware of 4th Prince and his cohorts.” 13th Prince doesn’t believe her, how could she know back then? Ruo Xi says that she knows, she knows everything, even back then. She tells 4th Prince to go check with 9th Prince and 10th Princes, who were aware of what she said to 8th Prince.
Ruo Xi’s tears start to fall and she turns towards 13th Prince, apologizing for his ten year confinement, which was not caused by his enemies, but by his closest confidante. If she didn’t tell 8th Prince to beware of 4th Prince, then 8th Prince would not have set a trap for 4th Prince that ended up causing 13th Prince to suffer the consequences. Ruo Xi bows her head in abject apology while 13th Prince can only stare in shock. 4th Prince can barely conceal his emotions hearing all of this. Ruo Xi takes full responsibility for 13th Prince’s hardship and suffering, and it’s her rightful burden to bear for her own weakened physical state.
Even her and 4th Prince’s unborn baby’s death was caused by her. 4th Prince clenches his hand in rage. Ruo Xi continues, telling 4th Prince that while it appears on the surface that 8th Prince and his gang targeted 4th Prince, when in fact it was the woman he loved that set him up as the target. She tells 4th Prince that he’s hated the wrong people all these years. 4th Prince yells at Ruo Xi to be quiet! But Ruo Xi doesn’t stop, telling a crying 4th Prince that it’s all her fault. She is standing right in front of him now, the person he ought to hate. He screams at her to get out!
After Ruo Xi bows and leaves, 4th Prince just breaks down and cannot control his sobs.
Ruo Xi walks with 13th Prince in silence, but finally she clutches her chest and collapses.
Ruo Xi wakes up in her bed, with 13th Prince by her side. He tells her that she’s been asleep for a few days now, and has lost her voice from the stress. He smiles and tells her to rest until she’s better. Seeing how much he cares for her still, despite knowing her role in his suffering, Ruo Xi smiles wanly and mouths the words “I’m so happy.” 13th Prince smiles back, concurring that he’s also happy to have a confidante like Ruo Xi in his life. She grabs his hand and writes a few words on his palm, asking him to pass word to 14th Prince.
Ruo Xi asks him to tell 14th Prince that she is willing. He asks what that means, but then agrees to pass word without hearing her answer. He asks her to promise not to give up on herself. 13th Prince tells 14th Prince that Ruo Xi said she is willing. 14th Prince looks deep in thought, and when 13th Prince asks what Ruo Xi meant, 14th Prince says that everything is for Ruo Xi’s sake. He asks 13th Prince not to worry anymore.
4th Prince stands outside when the Empress joins him. The Empress reminds him that he hasn’t visited Ruo Xi in quite a long time, why does he torture himself this way. 4th Prince says the deeper he loves, the deeper the feeling of betrayal. The Empress explains that back then, Ruo Xi was not yet in love with 4th Prince, plus 8th Prince was her brother-in-law. How can he blame her now? 4th Prince wonders what he did many years ago that would cause Ruo Xi to warn 8th Prince? He can’t figure it out. The Empress explains that 4th Prince was always the most talented, of course he would be singled out as an opponent.
She tells 4th Prince that losing the baby must be a heartwrenching loss for Ruo Xi. Just like 13th Prince asked, 4th Prince needs to forgive and understand Ruo Xi’s sincere heart. 4th Prince does understand her sincere feelings for him, but he cannot understand how she can continue to hurt him in order to protect others.
Ruo Xi apologizes to her faithful servant Qiao Hui, who has to suffer here with her. Qiao Hui doesn’t feel any suffering, serving Ruo Xi is her happiness. Ruo Xi looks out at the expanse of the Forbidden Palace, noting that the sky outside the walls is the real sky. She has always been just a transit passenger here.
14th Prince, dress in his formal robes and carrying a box, arrives at the Palace to see 4th Prince. He kneels in supplication and asks 4th Prince as the Emperor to grant him a hand in marriage. 14th Prince looks pleased as a peach as he announces that their deceased Imperial Father had granted him Maertai Ruo Xi’s hand in marriage, and the decree is right here in his hands. 4th Prince and 13th Prince is floored by this revelation. The decree is brought up to 4th Prince, who unfurls it to read that indeed Emperor Kangxi had given Ruo Xi’s hand to 14th Prince. 4th Prince says he has other important matters to discuss today with other officials, telling 14th Prince to leave for now. 14th Prince bows and retreats.
Ruo Xi finds out and explains to 13th Prince that the marriage decree must have been a reward from Emperor Kangxi to 14th Prince for winning his conquest. 13th Prince says that 4th Prince will surely find a way to negate the decree. Ruo Xi calmly discusses how the public will view 4th Prince refusing to abide by this royal decree from Emperor Kangxi, leading one to think perhaps there are other royal decrees (like Kangxi’s will, perhaps), that 4th Prince may be willing to overlook. 13th Prince is furious she would speak thusly. He calms down, telling her that 4th Prince simply loves her too much. Is it really too late for them to work it out?
Ruo Xi confesses she didn’t really know what trump card 14th Prince had in his hand. She just thought he had a way to get her out of the palace, unaware that it was a marriage decree. But if this is her only way, then this is the choice she will pick. 13th Prince asks if she is serious about marrying 14th Prince? Ruo Xi says she’s completely serious about leaving the Palace. She is sure 14th Prince will not force himself on her, and their marriage will be in name only.
13th Prince goes to see 4th Prince, who asks if it was 13th Prince who passed word to 14th Prince about Ruo Xi. He confesses to doing it, but he didn’t know what it would cause. He just wanted Ruo Xi to have the will to live. 4th Prince asks if she really can’t survive in the Palace? 13th Prince thinks Ruo Xi might not belong to them, she has such odd thought processes. 4th Prince asks in anger whether he thinks Ruo Xi isn’t from their era? 4th Prince remembers Ruo Xi whispering to him one day that she was not Ruo Xi, she was Zhang Xiao, and she doesn’t belong to their world.
They both consider whether that could possibly be true. But then 4th Prince rages that it doesn’t matter whether she is from their time period or not! He sits down forlornly, the weight of so much on his shoulders.
Ruo Xi walks with the Empress, who counsels Ruo Xi to please back down a bit so she can spend her life with 4th Prince, especially considering what they went through to be together. Ruo Xi says she tried, but she cannot. 4th Prince is the Emperor, and needs to do things that Ruo Xi cannot accept. The Empress asks her to please understand 4th Prince. Ruo Xi says she never wants to hurt anyone, but people are getting hurt because of her, and that is something she cannot live with.
The Empress asks if Ruo Xi can sever her feelings for 4th Prince? Ruo Xi says she will sever it even if it cannot be severed. The Empress asks her to please make her decision after much thought. Ruo Xi gets checked out by the palace doctor, who says she is recovering well. When Ruo Xi asks for the truth about her remaining time left, he hesitates, but when pressed, reveals that Ruo Xi has but 3 or 4 years left to live. Ruo Xi smiles, telling the doctor not to fret for her health. She asks if 4th Prince knows, but 4th Prince does not because the doctor was never asked about it.
Qiao Hui grabs Ruo Xi’s hand, shocked at what kind of place this Palace is, destroying a person’s health like this. Ruo Xi and Ruo Lan are both the same, loving with free abandon, and Qiao Hui supports Ruo Xi’s decision to leave the Palace now.
4th Prince is in a meeting with his officials and some of the other princes. 8th Prince stays behind after everyone leaves and proceeds to tell 4th Prince all about his love story with Ruo Xi many years ago. He spares no details, including embracing Ruo Xi, holding hands with her, and kissing her. 4th Prince sits there in silence, forced to listen to this. 8th Prince concludes with how he and Ruo Xi swore to grow old together and have kids. 4th Prince calmly tells 8th Prince to leave now, and 8th Prince leaves with a smile.
4th Prince slowly walks into Ruo Xi’s chambers and excuses all the ladies in waiting. He and Ruo Xi stare at each other, having not seen each other for quite some time now. 4th Prince sits down and doesn’t say anything for awhile, just looking at Ruo Xi. He breaks the silence first, telling her that he finally understands why Ruo Xi cares so much for 8th Prince, and why she would warn him to beware of 4th Prince. Why she would suffer alongside 8th Prince when 4th Prince punished 8th Prince.
Ruo Xi asks if 9th Prince revealed everything? 4th Prince wishes it were 9th Prince, but it was 8th Prince who told him everything directly. How 8th Prince taught her to ride a horse, gave her a jasmine bouquet, the bracelet she wore was a gift from him, holding hands in the moonlight, kissing and embracing her. Ruo Xi and 8th Prince even made a vow to be together forever. 4th Prince recounts what 8th Prince told him all with tears of rage. Ruo Xi cries out for him not to say anymore. 4th Prince says he was screaming the same words in his heart when he heard 8th Prince detail every little thing between him and Ruo Xi. Does she know how much he hurt hearing all this? So it’s true that words can kill someone. Every word said by 8th Prince was like a knife that was stabbing at him.
Ruo Xi gets up to touch his face, but 4th Prince grabs her hand and pushes her aside. He tells her that she is never allowed to touch him again. He once said that the thing he was most afraid of was her leaving him. But now he is not afraid of anything anymore. 4th Prince gets up and slowly walks out, leaving Ruo Xi sobbing on the floor.
4th Prince approves the marriage of Ruo Xi to 14th Prince. Ruo Xi goes to the temple and says her goodbyes to 4th Prince, knowing this separation is as permanent as death. She packed and is ready to leave, with 13th Prince as her escort. Ruo Xi is leaving most everything behind for Princess Chenghuan.
As her horse drawn cart leaves the Palace, the camera pulls back and we see 4th Prince standing there watching Ruo Xi leave his side. His tears fall as the cart moves further and further away. He reaches behind his back and grabs his queue. He pulls it forward and looks at it, recalling how Ruo Xi used to grab his queue, the only person who dared.
4th Prince cries as he stands alone in the expansive corridor of the Palace, watching the only woman he has ever loved head off to marry another man. While Ruo Xi and 4th Prince moved mountains and bridged chasms to be together, in the end, they discovered there was indeed a bridge they could not cross.