Absolutely nothing important happened in episode 16 of Office Girls, other than Mina and Lao Yu getting back together. The only reason that is even important is to wrap up the flimsy thread and hie those two off to Paris next week and off my screen. They are actually not annoying, but just pointless without any entertaining value. If we shift gears and view OG as a TW-sitcom rather than a drama, then any disappointments with the lack of plot progress morphs into simple enjoyment of the silly and cute interludes.
OG has thematic cohesion, but by staying light and airy even when there are moments of emotional honesty, it’s never going to have a great overarching story. It’s trifle that never pretends to be a pound cake, which explains why we still crave more. Zi Qi the rich boy earning his inheritance is the sole plot driver, and I’m looking forward to seeing Xing Ren and ZI Qi deal with their vastly disparate backgrounds and how to find acceptance and understanding going forward once the truth is out.
Day 16 recap – Is a white lie okay?
Xing Ren finds Zi Qi on the store floor busy at work planning the upcoming Christmas ideas. She’s surprised at his sudden hardworking bug. He scoff at her surprise. Doesn’t she know who he is? He is Mama Shen’s Zi Qi, and hard work is his middle name. He’s decided that being mature and responsible is the way to go, since it provides the girl a sense of security and happiness. Zi Qi wants Xing Ren to relax, he said he’ll take responsibility for her and he means it. She tells him to take responsibility for his work first.
Xing Ren walks away but Zi Qi follows, asking for a reward if he hits his projected work targets this month, pointing to his cheek. He leans in for a test run but she pokes him away, reminding him that they are at work, They see an English-speaking customer asking to buy a cell phone but needing some assistance on the different models. Xing Ren is tongue-tied so Zi Qi slithers over and introduces himself as Justin and offers to help her. He uses passable English to suggest a model, complimenting the customer with his slick words.
He makes Xing Ren take a picture of him with the customer using the two phones to show her the picture resolutions. She picks the phone she wants and Xing Ren goes off to ring the customer’s purchase while giving Zi Qi a dirty look. The customer hands Zi Qi her card and tells him to call her anytime. He even teaches her the slang for hot chick.
Xing Ren sits at her desk and goes through her English dictionary to practice the words Zi Qi used on that customer. She sees Zi Qi hovering and brushes him off. He thinks she should compliment him for selling a product. She asks why the customer gave him her name card? ZI Qi quickly says he tossed it already and tells her not to be upset. She suggests he memorized the number already. He tells her not to study English, he can be her translator. Even better, he can tutor her.
Xing Ren gets a call from accounting and discovers that she put the wrong phone into the box. She charged the customer the higher price of the two phones because she put the cheap phone in the expensive phone box before ringing it up. She runs around looking for the customer who has already left. Xing Ren asks Zi Qi where the name card is and he confirms he tossed it in the trash. She drags him down to the trash chute to rummage for the card.
Xing Ren looks while Zi Qi sits there. She asks him to help and he reveals he used to not even know how to take out the trash, much less touch trash. He thinks she should let this mix up go but she refuses to have a customer cheated and it can affect the reputation of the department store. But mostly she just wants to take responsibility for her own mistake. Zi Qi finally switches places with Xing Ren and places her on the throne he was sitting on.
He reluctantly goes to dig through the trash with a grossed out expression on his face. Xing Ren watches and asks why he likes her? Zi Qi looks surprised and replies that like is just like, there is no reason. Xing Ren thinks she’s just average, which he knows. But he likes her not just because of her looks and her personality. He likes her when she’s angry and when she argues with him. He likes her a lot, that is all. He’s known a other girls, but she is the first girl who is always on his mind.
Zi Qi asks Xing Ren for a promise to not get mad if one day she discovers he lied to her. Xing Ren thinks a couple should not lie to each other. Zi Qi knows that and quickly assures her that he’s always been honest. But he’s asking for a maybe. What is something happened before they got together. Before he can continue, Zi Qi finds the card but the last few digits are missing from the card. Zi Qi stares at the card while Xing Ren thanks him.
He doesn’t think thanks is enough and asks whether she shouldn’t kiss him? Xing Ren thinks and agrees. She cups Zi Qi’s face and leans in for a kiss, only to move her lips to his forehead. She heads back to work while ZI Qi stands there with a happy goofy smile. He touches his forehead and looks all moony. My god, is this boy in love or what?
Stallone sits down and looks around for a beverage. Lu Cha arrives with his doctored latte and watches Stallone take a sip. He offers to treat Stallone for coffee every day from now on. Stallone is touched while Lu Cha just wants him to quickly drink it. Stallone takes a sip and says it’s delicious. He compliments Lu Cha and gives him a miniscule extra point.
Zi Qi and Stallone discuss the plan for Stallone to pursue another woman. He refuses, wanting to continue pursuing Le Le. Zi Qi’s plan is for Stallone to take a step back and pretend he’s given up on Le Le, which will arouse her interest because he’s suddenly gone. Zi Qi compliments Stallone on getting with the program, and he needs to pursue a super hot chick to make Le Le know he’s hot stuff.
Zi Qi even has a person picked out – Wei Mina. Even Stallone thinks it’s a huge mismatch, but ZI Qi reveals that Mina just broke up with Lao Yu and needs comfort right now. And if Stallone can actually land Mina for real, he’s even better off. The two guys cackle like fools.
Stallone talks loudly on his phone to Mina and walks by Le Le on purpose. She overhears and does look concerned. After Stallone walks off, ZI Qi sidles up to Le Le and starts fanning the flames. Le Le confirms it was a personal call to make plans for a date. Later Stallone asks Zi Qi what Le Le’s reaction was like, and is pleased that she appeared to take interest in him going on a date with Mina. Stallone laughs maniacally with happiness.
ZI Qi sits at home and the God of Gamblers music plays as he rubs the card hoping he can magically bring back the missing last three digits. He can’t, so he ends up dialing all the available digits and then punches in the last three digits starting from 000 (and presumably going until 999). The next day, Xing Ren calls the bank for the credit card used and wants to get the customer’s contact information but the bank won’t divulge it. Stallone arrives and tries to press Xing Ren for any information about Le Le, asking if she said anything in particular last night. Xing Ren says Le Le plans to buy new clothes for Michael when there is a discount. Stallone is disappointed to hear Le Le made no mention of him.
Zi Qi walks into the office late and promptly drags Xing Ren out to “clean up the mess.” Stallone sits down all mopey while Lu Cha arrives with the morning coffee he obviously spiked again. Stallone thinks only Lu Cha cares about him, but the resentful dude is just pleased Stallone is drinking down the nasty brew.
Xing Ren and Zi Qi meet with the customer and hand her the reimbursement for the overcharge and a small gift for the inconvenience. The customer leaves happy with the level of service at the department store. After the customer leaves, Xing Ren finds out that ZI Qi called the numbers ending from 000-308. She asks if he stayed up all night calling? Zi Qi says after he got yelled at 75 times, he switched to sending text message. LOL, he’s adorable. It wasn’t until morning that he heard back from the customer.
ZI Qi leans against the wall tired from a night of dialing. Xing Ren thanks him, but he gives her a heated look, asking if saying thanks is enough? He walks over and says he’s hungry. Xing Ren agrees to feed him and grabs his hand to pull him along. She brings food to the table and finds Zi Qi sleeping while sitting on the chair. A call comes into his phone from Mina. Zi Qi wakes up to answer it, but he walks away for a private chat.
Xing Ren asks Zi Qi after he finishes the call why Mina is calling him. He lies that Mina wanted to thank Xing Ren for chatting with her the other day. She suggests he’s doing something odd again, and asks him to be honest with her if they want this relationship to last. When Zi Qi asks if white lies are okay, or lies under duress is okay, she doesn’t accept either of those excuses. Xing Ren warns ZI Qi that if he’s lying to her, she won’t forgive him. ZI Qi reveals that he’s talking to Mina about Lao Yu.
Xing Ren finds Lao Yu at the PB Booth and wants to take him out to dinner to ask for his advice about NY Fashion Week. He agrees but she looks uncomfortable still and quickly hurries off. She is the worst liar on the planet. Xing Ren waits outside the restaurant for Lao Yu and he arrives, though he’s surprised at her choice of restaurant because it’s not her style. Her behavior seems really out of character, and Xing Ren’s lame excuses are even less believable.
They turn to walk in when Stallone walks out of the restaurant with a drunk MIna draped on his shoulder. Lao Yu asks why she’s so drunk and offers to have Michael drive her home. Mina declines and says Stallone will take her home. Lao Yu looks pissed and chases after Mina, asking why she’s being so childish. Mina reminds him that they are broken up and calls Stallone over to take her back to his place. Lao Yu stands there looking stricken.
Lao Yu excuses himself because he’s worried about Mina. He catches up to her and tries to take her home himself. Mina refuses and drapes herself over Stallone. Lao Yu asks Stallone not to bother Mina, but Stallone doesn’t think there is anything wrong with him dating a single woman like Mina. Lao Yu says he can date any woman but not Mina, and then throws a punch at Stallone.
Stallone howls in pain and screams for ZI Qi to get his lying ass out here right now. He tosses down the script and refuses to play his part in this pointless exercise anymore since Le Le isn’t even here. Zi Qi takes responsibility for this scheme, but Mina tells Lao Yu not to blame them because they did for her. Mina cries that she is childish which is why she flew back from Paris and tried to steal his booth and was mean to Xing Ren. Mina cries that she’s childish because she doesn’t want to lose him.
Lao Yu says she’s pushing him further away by what she is doing. Mina apologizes but he doesn’t say anything. Mina gets fed up and turns to walk away, but walks right into oncoming traffic. Lao Yu runs out and pulls her to safety. He falls down and sprains his ankle. Zi Qi and Xing Ren follow them to a bench and ask if they are fine. Mina apologizes for what happened. Lao Yu asks if the car was also part of the plan?
Zi Qi planned everything but the car, all he wanted was for the two of them to realize how much they still love each other. Lao Yu asks Mina if she’s scared by what just happened. She cries that she is fine but she is more scared about losing him. She apologizes and he pulls her into his arms for a long overdue embrace.
Zi Qi and Xing Ren arrive outside his apartment. She complains about his silly plan causing someone to get hurt. Zi Qi reveals he did it all for Xing Ren, otherwise Mina would continue to come bother her. Xing Ren has to stay up late and talk with her, plus spend extra money making an extra breakfast the next morning. Awww, this boy is beyond considerate. He gets worried that Xing Ren is tiring herself out. Plus if Mina bothers Xing Ren, they don’t have time for dating.
Zi Qi thinks he got Mina and Lao Yu back together and needs a reward for it. Xing Ren refuses to give him another chuuuuu and tells him to go to sleep. Zi Qi does the Mr. Roboto and says he can’t activate if she doesn’t kiss him. Xing Ren walks upstairs and tells him to stand there all night then. But she can’t resist and turns back to kiss him on the cheek. Zi Qi smiles and says good night, leaving Xing Ren grumbling that he’s so immature. But immature Zi Qi is thrilled.
Lao Yu wakes up the next morning finding Mina has made him breakfast. Lao Yu notes that this is the first time he’s seen her cook since he’s known her. She confesses that watching Xing Ren happily make breakfast for Zi Qi in the morning made her realize that was a kind of happiness. She knows her breakfast isn’t very tasty, but she just wants to watch him eat it. She’s learned a lot from Xing Ren recently. Mina holds his hand and promises that she will work on her childish temper.
Stallone sits in the office and bemoans his shiner. Mandy suggest he go home and rest, but Stallone won’t take time off for such a minor injury. He stalks over to Zi Qi to settle a score over last night. Zi Qi says it’s outside his control because he invited Le Le but she didn’t show. Zi Qi suggests that Le Le’s no show is a good thing otherwise she’ll see him getting his ass kicked. Plus Stallone got to enjoy the company of the Goddess last night, or a shiner is worth it. Stallone asks where Zi Qi learned to push responsibility aside and Zi Qi says he learned it from Stallone.
Mina arrives and asks to borrow Zi Qi and Xing Ren for a moment. She thanks them for getting her and Lao Yu back together. Xing Ren is really happy for them, while Mina wants to sincerely thank Zi Qi for what he did. Mina hugs Xing Ren for being such a wonderful person. When Zi Qi moves to hug Mina, Xing Ren stops him with one look. Mina confirms that Xing Ren’s visa is getting approved and reminds her that the flight is on Monday. Zi Qi looks sad and Mina tells him she will take good care of his girlfriend.
Le Le walks into the planning department and finds Stallone holding his cheek. She laughs when she realizes he got punched. Stallone lies that he got it playing a pick up game with some youngsters. Stallone pointedly makes Mandy go slowly retrieve a file so he can be alone with Le Le. Once they are alone, he starts pouting excessively and does a sob story about how he’s all alone with no friends who can help him apply medicine. Le Le reluctantly applies medicine for him. When Le Le is applying medicine, Lu Cha returns to the office and gets even more upset to see this scene.
Xing Ren is eating lunch when
the she-devil Kai Er walks up and asks to join her. She reminds Xing Ren not to let work cause her to neglect her love life. Xing Ren looks down and Kai Er asks if Zi Qi is mistreating Xing Ren? Xing Ren says he’s not, and he’s actually very sweet and considerate towards her. Kai Er hopes one day she has meet someone who treats her the same way, because it’s rare to meet someone like that in life. Xing Ren assures Kai Er that she will meet her special someone.
Kai Er changes the subject and asks if Xing Ren has met Zi Qi’s parents yet? Xing Ren says not yet since they just started dating. Kai Er suggests Xing Ren find out more so she understands what Zi Qi’s family does. Xing Ren says Zi Qi’s family owns a small market store and took out a loan for him to study abroad. Kai Er wonders why he hasn’t introduced Xing Ren to his family yet when he’s so close with Xing Ren’s mom. Xing Ren thinks perhaps there is an inconvenience, which Kai Er suggests is because Zi Qi may be keeping something from Xing Ren. Oh shut the hell up, bitch.
Kai Er asks if Xing Ren has considered why Zi Qi may be keeping something from her? Xing Ren asks Kai Er if she’s met Zi Qi’s family before? Kai Er honestly says she hasn’t, but she flashes back to seeing Zi Qi’s identification card which lists President Qin as his dad. Kai Er goes back to her office and stands there looking even more plotty. She thinks back to how happy Xing Ren is with Zi Qi, describing him as treating her well. Kai Er vows that she won’t lose to Xing Ren, so Xing Ren needs to watch out.
Thoughts of Mine:
I don’t have much to share, aside from a continued appreciation with how the love story is progressing in such consistent ways with the character of Zi Qi and Xing Ren. I think ZI Qi asking Xing Ren for a chuuuu is going to become a running gag between them, and it’s cute and believable. Xing Ren has no romantic experience, and she always struck me as not an overly affectionate or touchy feely person. For her to need kisses coaxed out of her feels real, even if I feel bad that Zi Qi is always asking for affection from her. But he enjoys it akin to their typical back and forth banter, it’s who she is and he adores that about her. Plus she always acquiesces in the end.
I can noticeably feel the wafer thin plot progression slowing down in this episode, probably because the drama is being extended so they need to add more filler. As long as the filler is Zi Qi and Xing Ren I don’t mind, but Le Le and Stallone are no longer amusing to watch. Stallone has officially jumped into Jim Carrey territory, and needs to rein himself in before he permanently damages a facial muscle. I appreciate Patrick Li’s side-splitting efforts to deliver the goods, but the character has become only a buffoon now without any semblance of reality.
Other than attempting to drive a wedge of distrust between Xing Ren and Zi Qi, I wonder what else Kai Er has up her sleeve. I refuse to believe she plans to sit up and play fair in any way. She’s not just trying to break up the happy couple, she’s trying to land Zi Qi in other underhanded ways. My koala sense is tingling. I wish Xing Ren weren’t so trusting of Kai Er, but that is who she has been. Plus Xing Ren does feel a tad sorry to Kai Er because Zi Qi is now Xing Ren’s boyfriend while Kai Er has no one. I hope Le Le or Zi Qi wise up to Kai Er’s real motives and step in before Xing Ren falls for her tricks.