As Office Girls heads into its final stretch of episodes, it’s clear that the drama is finally trying to create stakes where heretofore it hasn’t focused on that aspect of the narrative. Multiple plot threads are converging – whatever Kai Er has up her sleeve, ousted Manager Hu not leaving quietly, Zi Qi’s contract with his father and his big lie to Xing Ren about his background, and Mama Shen’s deteriorating health coinciding with Xing Ren’s trip to New York.
What I love about OG is its breezy attitude that reflects real life, a reminder that things can be interesting without being so damn dramatic all the time. But that’s also its crutch, a drama without a narrative hook (so far) to build up the story to a satisfying conclusion. I have faith the drama will bring everything together for the final hurrah. But for now, we’re still spending time in blissful couplehood with Xing Ren and Zi Qi, who take flirty banter to new heights of sweetness.
Day 15 – Men’s bath, Women’s bath:
Zi Qi walks into the office to find Xing Ren already seated at her desk and acting all busy. He sits down and it’s clear she’s ignoring him. He peers at her until she asks nonchalantly how his talk with Kai Er went? Zi Qi thought she should have stayed, but Xing Ren says it would be odder if she did stay. Zi Qi calmly explains he told Kai Er that he confessed his feelings to Xing Ren already. This logically means Kai Er must know they are dating now. As Xing Ren presses on, Zi Qi changes the subject and asks for her cell phone.
She hands it to him, and he takes a selca of himself and hands the phone back. Zi Qi informs Xing Ren this is a super special selca and she’s not allowed to delete it. Xing Ren admires the selca, saying she will consider looking at this selca when she’s in New York. And it might lead to her calling him. Then he has to accept the collect call. Zi Qi wonders if Xing Ren did call him from New York, the call means she misses him. She nods, and he sits back with a slow smile developing across his face. Even Xing Ren quietly smiles to herself. God their flirting is beyond precious. ZI Qi then takes their little green dinosaur and points to the heart the dinosaur is holding. Xing Ren calls him immature, but then can’t help but smile when Zi Qi kisses the heart on the dinosaur.
Kai Er is getting chewed out by her slimy boss for their department losing all the big projects to Stallone’s department. Kai Er tries to explain logically and offer up new leads she is working on. Slimy boss tells her that he’s having a dinner tonight with some clients who want to meet Kai Er. He holds her hand and tells her she can earn back his trust by landing the client tonight. Ugh, go die slimy jerk. Kai Er apologizes because she’s sick, flatly turning him down. He tosses her hand down and warns her he’ll take another person along then. Suddenly slimy Manager Hu gets called away to meet with the President. Kai Er stands there with a slightly knowing look on her face.
The President asks Manager Hu for a report on his latest projects, and the guy tries to BS his way on his new leads. The President flatly pokes a hole through his lies and shows him evidence that show Manager Hu took kickbacks and played favorites. The guy tries to explain everything, but the President has more and more evidence of his wrongdoing that he can’t explain away. The President is very disappointed in Manager Hu who has been by his side for many years. Manager Hu is told that he should quit voluntarily instead of being fired, as a final way to save face. The President asks to see the Vice-President now. Manager Hu thinks to himself that he won’t let this go so easily.
Stallone affects an accent and gives a speech to his team about working together to build the department, akin to Chairman Mao addressing the party faithful (added cleverness is that the subtitles change to simplified Chinese during this speech and then switch back to traditional after Stallone stops talking). Except Xing Ren and Zi Qi are flirting instead of listening, with Xing Ren holding the green dinosaur now and pointing to the heart to show Zi Qi. Mandy pretends to be busy and the other colleague is doing nothing at all. Stallone warns them to do real work otherwise he’ll make them sorry. Zi Qi thinks Stallone should use this great opportunity to get a promotion now that two heads of the company are gone. Zi Qi thinks everyone in the department gets a chance to be promoted, and Zi Qi apologizes to Stallone in advance should he get promoted to Stallone’s boss one day.
Xing Ren has lunch with Zi Qi and discuss all the new personnel changes. ZI Qi thinks it’s about time, and tells Xing Ren not to worry because he’s there. LOL, I love his confidence. Xing Ren chides him for being uselessly confident since they are just lower rung employees. Zi Qi tells her to have more confidence, she has a chance to move up since the company needs fresh blood. Xing Ren smiles, and when asked why, it’s because she likes seeing ZI Qi so enthusiastic about his career. Zi Qi asks if what she said was a compliment and she nods. Zi Qi compliments Xing Ren on being super gorgeous and womanly just then, when she complimented him. Before they can flirt some more, Le Le runs up and asks if they saw the latest HR announcements. Turns out Kai Er is getting promoted to temporary head of the sales department now that Manager Hu is gone.
Kai Er stands by the railing and looks at Manager Hu leaving the department store carrying his belongings in a box and looking supremely disgruntled. She totally set him up, but he deserved it. Kai Er turns around when Xing Ren and Zi Qi walk up congratulating her on getting promoted. Kai Er confesses that Manager Hu has been harassing her for years and now she’s finally free from his icky presence. Xing Ren thinks Kai Er is very talented and she wants to learn from her. Kai Er compliments Xing Ren on being admirable as well.
Kai Er watches Zi Qi and Xing Ren flirting and she smiles, interjecting to explain once again that she is now just platonic friends with Zi Qi. She asks if she can become friends with Xing Ren, just like Xing Ren is friends with Le Le. Kai Er wants to change her loner ways at work. Kai Er makes plans to have lunch with Xing Ren and Le Le. After Xing Ren walks away, Zi Qi and Kai Er exchange one final look before he turns to leave as well. Kai Er looks at the departing Zi Qi wistfully.
Xing Ren is cooking while Zi Qi is peeling carrots at the table. OMO, they are totally like a newlywed couple. Zi Qi asks if they can go watch a movie tonight, which Xing Ren shoots down as a waste a money. She suggests making their own popcorn and watching a DVD at home. Zi Qi thinks their first date shouldn’t be so low key, plus she’s off to New York soon, they should go out. Xing Ren reminds him about saving money and this time he backs down and agrees with her. He’s adorable, all reluctant and pouting. Even Xing Ren thinks he’s a little boy, calling him a good boy for doing the right thing.
After dinner they sit on the sofa and watch…..Autumn’s Concerto? WTH is OG’s weird fixation with AC? Xing Ren confirms Zi Qi is enjoying himself, and he asks her to stop mentioning money and just enjoy the mood. They end up shushing each other and leaning back to enjoy the show. Zi Qi eats popcorn and then offers one to Xing Ren, who eats it from his hand. He eats one, pretends to feed her one which he eats instead, and then feeds her one when she gets pretend annoyed. Le Le comes home and smiles to see the couple on the sofa, and she adorably backs away to give him privacy. Oh Le Le, you are a good friend indeed.
Zi Qi sets the popcorn bag down and slowly reaches out his hand to hold Xing Ren’s. She puts her hand in his and they both give a little smile. God, they are making my heart just burst with happiness. Zi Qi then leans his head down against Xing Ren’s shoulder, smiling in contentment. Zi Qi moves the bag of popcorn over to Xing Ren and gestures for her to feed him. She pretends to feed him but eats it herself, then she does start to feed him in earnest. I can watch these two eat popcorn FOREVER.
Zi Qi sits at his desk the next morning mooning over a picture in his hand. Xing Ren walks in and is surprised to see a new picture frame on her desk, with a picture of Zi Qi holding girl teddy in the frame. She asks what that is? Zi Qi says this is a great excuse for Xing Ren to explain why she’s distracted at work. He shows her that he has one of his own, turning around his frame to show a picture of Xing Ren in it. He asks her to kiss the picture to see if there is any electricity. XIng Ren tentatively kisses the picture and Zi Qi pretends to be shocked.
Before they can flirt anymore, Stallone arrives and yells at them for flirting and playing kissing games at work so early. He yells that he’s the boss around here, but then Zi Qi plays the recording of him abusing his power. Stallone asks Xing Ren to make Zi Qi delete the recording, as a favor since he got her annual vacation approved. Stallone then offers to take them to Yang Min Shan to look at the night lights, but he asks for help in getting Le Le to come along. Xing Ren agrees to asks Le Le. Zi Qi then asks if perhaps they can go to a hot spring resort as well, to which Stallone happily agrees.
Xing Ren calls her mom but gets only voicemail, leaving her slightly worried. When Zi Qi comes by and asks what’s wrong, he tells her not worry, they can go visit her mom before she leaves for New York. He finds out she’s leaving next week and looks slightly sad. But then he perks up and tells Xing Ren all the fun places to visit in NYC, like the Met, MoMA, Broadway, Times Square. Xing Ren wonders how Zi Qi was able to afford studying abroad since his family owns a small grocery store.
Zi Qi starts to explain, but then he remembers his deal with his dad and the fact that he signed a contract with his dad which included keeping it a secret. He finally explains it as the family mortgaged the store to borrow money for his tuition, and he’s still paying back the loan. Xing Ren worries about how difficult that must be on Zi Qi’s family. He tries to gain her sympathy, to which Le Le arrives and tells him to stop being all sad. He manages to invite Le Le along to their outing that evening.
The gang meet up in the parking garage where Stallone is polishing his car. Stallone is thrilled to see Le Le, but she calls him a cockroach. To which Stallone calls himself a cockroach of love who can’t be killed. Hahaha. When picking seats, Zi Qi follows Xing Ren into the backseat leaving Le Le no choice but to sit in the front.
They arrive at the hot spring resort and Stallone introduces everyone to to “Long Long’s Secret Garden”, the perfect place to take a hot bath and enjoy the night view at the same time. He also adds that they can enjoy the view of a real man, which grosses Xing Ren and Le Le out and they head inside first. Zi Qi asks what Stallone meant and finds out that this hotel has a mixed bath. Zi Qi is shocked at how devious Stallone is, but the latter just wants to show off his big…..muscles. Sadly, Zi Qi points out a sign that says the mixed bath is closed for cleaning tonight. Zi Qi drags Stallone off to the bath.
Sitting in the hot springs, Stallone whines that his great chance just blew away. Zi Qi just sits back and says he only came here to help out, otherwise he would be home with Xing Ren already enjoying their delicious pasta. Stallone chides Zi Qi for hanging around Xing Ren all the time, rather than spending more time with a real man like him. Before they can keep bickering, they hear Xing Ren and Le Le talking about Michael in the ladies bath.
Stallone pipes up to criticize Michael, which gets them yelled at for being perverts eavesdropping on the ladies conversation. Zi Qi gets annoyed at the back-and-forth and asks Xing Ren if she’ll come here next time just with him because the other two are so annoying. Xing Ren agrees but says they will be bathing separately. That gets Stallone laughing at Zi Qi getting shot down in his amorous attempts.
Back home, Zi Qi tries to shoo Le Le off to bed but she can see he’s got criminal inclinations on his mind. After she leaves, Xing Ren heads to bed as well but Zi Qi tries to stall her. He makes the excuse that the dream doll house needs maintenance so it doesn’t leak. Zi Qi finally cuts to the chase and asks if she can kiss bye him? Xing Ren refuses but Zi Qi offers to rock-paper-scissors – of he wins its kiss bye, if she wins its a chuuuuu. Xing Ren repeats that and realizes it’s the same thing, but Zi Qi explains that it’s not because chuuuuu has the extra kissy noise. Xing Ren realizes Zi Qi’s devious ways and they start teasing each other. Just kiss the man silly, Xing Ren!
Which is when Mina arrives and witnesses this sweetness between the couple. She asks to spend the night again. Mina bitches to Xing Ren that Yu Cheng Feng doesn’t call or text. Xing Ren asks her to make the first move but she won’t. Mina remembers how lonely he was when he first started as a designer, but now he’s made it, he doesn’t care about Mina anymore. Xing Ren tries to say Yu Cheng Feng doesn’t seem like that kind of person. She takes out the dress he designed and sold to her when she was just a teenager, and the sketch he gave her of the same design. Xing Ren explains that she was his first customer right when he was about to give up.
Mina wonders if Yu Cheng Feng didn’t change, but it was Mina who has changed? She considers that perhaps she’s at fault for their situation now. Xing Ren tries to explain she didn’t mean to allude to that. The relationship is between them and no one else can understand what is going on. But it’s clear they really like each other, so it’s a shame they are just letting it go like this. Mina doesn’t think he cares since he asked to break up. Xing Ren asks Mina directly if she still loves him, but Mina doesn’t answer.
The next morning, Zi Qi rages at Lao Yu on behalf of Mina, who wonders if he doesn’t like her anymore. Zi Qi reminds Mina that she’s still hot stuff and men all adore her. She shouldn’t be hung up on Lao Yu. Xing Ren sits down to join them for breakfast. Zi Qi makes open mouth gestures for Xing Ren to feed him, so she picks up an item and them steers it into Mina’s bowl. She watches the couple playfully tease each other. Mina apologizes for being suspicious of Xing Ren in the past. Zi Qi pulls out philosophy texts to encourage Mina to give up Lao Yu, telling her to date other guys and show the world she’s still desirable. Mina suddenly accepts Zi Qi’s suggestion and gets her energy back. Zi Qi and Mina cutely toast each other with their rice bowls as they wolf down their fortifying breakfast.
Stallone sits at work with a headband of determination wrapped around his head as he’s hard at work. His colleagues notice that he’s genuinely working, which they have never seen before. It freaks them out out because he’s acting so out of character. Stallone snaps out of his mode and announces his new goal to work hard and prove to the woman he loves that he is a smart hardworking manly man. Le Le arrives to deliver mail and Stallone happily welcomes her. He asks how last night’s hot springs date went? She says the event was great except there was an added annoyance on the trip, that being the presence of Stallone.
Le Le gets Stallone to sign a document which he signs and then asks what it was. Le Le informs him the document requires the operations department to cut its budget by 10% next year while still getting the same target results. When his colleague Lu Cha asks why Stallone is after Le Le when it’s clear he’s always liked Le Le, Stallone teases him for being not up to par because he doesn’t have Stallone’s status or money. When Lu Cha goes to get Stallone’s requested coffee, he puts his shoe lint inside because he’s so pissed at him.
Kai Er walks up to Xing Ren and Le Le and asks if she can join them for lunch. Xing Ren readily agrees but Le Le shoots her a look. Kai Er hopes that the marketing and operations department can work well in the future now that Manager Hu has left. Xing Ren agrees so they start discussing ideas. Le Le watches and looks wary. Kai Er asks why ZI Qi isn’t eating with them, but Xing Ren doesn’t know because he’s busy. Le Le speaks up, saying that Zi Qi is Xing Ren’s boyfriend and they are very happy now.
Kai Er looks uncomfortable and explains that she was just concerned as a friend and was asking. She offers to be Le Le’s friend as well, but Le Le blows her off and leaves. Xing Ren asks Kai Er not to take it personally since Le Le is just such a direct person. Kai Er knows, but suggest to Xing Ren that perhaps she shouldn’t discuss everything with Le Le. Because Le Le is so direct, what Xing Ren says to Le Le can be misconstrued if Le Le repeats it to people not familiar with her. Kai Er suggests Xing Ren not discuss work gossip with Le Le anymore now that Xing Ren is also a manager, since managers need to be more concerned about work protocol.
Xing Ren gets a call from Zi Qi and gets up to answer it. Kai Er’s eyes widen when she hears his name, and after Xing Ren walks away, Kai Er looks contemplative.
Thoughts of Mine:
This felt like a filler episode, thought I don’t mind since it was filled with Zi Qi-Xing Ren goodness. I can’t be the only person who noticed that Yu Cheng Feng was once again MIA. For a guy billed as the second lead, he’s been MIA for a good third of this drama, once in the beginning and again for these few episodes. I don’t mind since he’s as interesting as my sofa cushion, but I’m wondering if his character wasn’t supposed to have a meatier storyline that got shelved once Stallone took over and grabbed the second male lead role out from under James Wen? Just food for thought, because I do find the Yu Cheng Feng storyline (design and his relationship with Mina) really underwhelming. Not sure it could have even been written better, because the entire premise just doesn’t pop. Same with any energy from Kai Er liking Zi Qi in the beginning, yet another half-baked development that never created any tension.
I’m only saying this because OG is headed towards wrapping up all the storylines, and I’m wondering how the writer can do it well since the drama has multiple soggy plot points laying around while the entire gig has been carried on the shoulders of the relationship between Xing Ren and Zi Qi. I vote for just shucking everything else and focusing even more on Xing Ren and Zi Qi and really delving into the final lingering issues between them. Right now they are sweet as can be, and they continue to communicate well and discuss issues out in the open (except for the Big Secret Identity bit), but I want to see how they will deal with larger pressures on their growing love. I think Xing Ren will understand Zi Qi’s deception since it was a contract he entered into with his father, but I feel she won’t feel comfortable being with him anymore because of his connections. I think Kai Er is trying to become Xing Ren’s new BFF, and supplant Le Le, solely to give Xing Ren bad relationship advice.
While I do want to see Xing Ren go to New York, I figure she’s not getting on the plane when push comes to shove. I figure Mama Shen’s health and any dangers looming for the department store will be some big obstacles coming up, and I look forward to how the writer will resolve everything to my heart’s content. I adored the DVD date night scene to the nth degree, it was relax, casual, and low key, just like Xing Ren and Zi Qi’s friendship and relationship. Plus it was peppered with their usual teasing ways hiding how much they adore each other. TW-dramas have had some fantastic OTPs this year, and these two are without a doubt in my top 3 already. Because this is SETTV, the folks who love to show some loving, OG has been the outlier in how chaste is has been so far. I demand some bed rolling before the drama is done, purely to fan service me.