Oh holy freaking momma was this episode of Miss Rose amazing! Yes, the OTP still hasn’t talked directly about their feelings for each other, but dang it everything else is barreling full speed ahead with the start of a conversation-laden episode. This was Cheng Kuan’s episode to shine, and my Roy Qiu shined brighter than the moon by owning every scene he was in. We get further confirmation that Cheng Kuan really is a stone-faced dude around everyone other than Si Yi, who is the only person he admires enough for her beauty inside that he is willing to open up to her. I loved the cute accidental double date in Ping Xi and the subsequent releasing of the sky lanterns, because ultimately MR is a story about characters that cling to hope however it feels ephemeral or drifting away. The reason Si Yi can move on from Yi Chun, and Xiao Ke can stand up again after Ah Zhe’s betrayal, why Cheng Kuan can finally risk all for the chance to follow his heart for the first time ever, is because they have experienced what it feels like to be surrounded by loving and supportive people. No matter what happens, they have the strength to move on. That is the strength that Cheng Kuan is risking his career future to seek, because he knows that his feelings for Si Yi are real and impossible to come by again, so he’s not going to let it pass him by. My jaw fairly dropped when I realized that Vivian actually likes Cheng Kuan, which makes sense in her own twisted fashion but surely throws an even bigger wrench into his plans to end things with her.
Screw 11: Love’s Worth
Cheng Kuan waits outside his apartment and Sheng Jun pulls up. Getting into the car, Cheng Kuan gets an earful from Sheng Jun who complains about having to see him even on a day off from work. This is why Sheng Jun doesn’t have a girlfriend. Cheng Kuan snarks back that Sheng Jun wouldn’t have a girlfriend anyway. Sheng Jun makes the joke that we are all thinking about, that everyone will think they are a couple if they spend all their time together.
Sheng Jun points out that Vivian is arriving at the airport today but Cheng Kuan isn’t planning to pick her up. Sheng Jun asks where the rude corporate bully wants to go and Cheng Kuan picks the destination of Ping Xi.
Si Yi wakes up the moping Xiao Ke, who compares herself to a ghost who wants to do nothing. Xiao Ke gets a text and but sadly its from a loan shark company spam text. Si Yi grumbles that Ah Zhe hasn’t even tried to contact her and explain. Si Yi drags Xiao Ke up and offers to take her out since she has the weekend off.
Cheng Kuan and Sheng Jun wander through the picturesque Ping Xi, which is an old town outside of Taipei that retains a lot of old Taiwan architecture and pretty bridges and creeks.
They stop by a sausage stand to buy a snack and run into Xiao Ke and Si Yi. When Sheng Jun suggests that there is some ESP going on, Si Yi thinks Xiao Ke called those two out but she insists she didn’t. Si Yi invites the two guys to join them tonight to release sky lanterns to make a wish. Sheng Jun whispers to Cheng Kuan that both pairs were thinking the same thing.
The foursome go electric scooter riding and then snapping pictures all over town. What’s hilarious is that Sheng Jun has the camera and he’s snapping away, but Cheng Kuan just whips out his cell phone and starts taking pictures of Si Yi hammng it up. God, he’s so not subtle its adorable.
The four of them walk over to the creek and sit down to splash around the water. Conversation turns to how sky lanterns came to be historically. Cheng Kuan says back in the olden days, when the bandits raided the towns, people escaped to hide in the mountains. After the bandits left, sky lanterns were released to signal that it was safe to return. Later on people wrote messages on the sky lantern to say that they were doing well.
Si Yi says this is just like leaving a light on for a loved on at home. Cheng Kuan turns and gives her a warm smile when he hears this.
Cheng Kuan’s mom calls him on the cell and is pleased that he’s out rather than spending his days off at home. She can tell he sounds stressed and asks what is going on? Cheng Kuan asks his mom if she would be upset if he did something that disappointed her. Mom smiles and says her son has been so understanding and considerate even as a child and has never worried her. She knows he’s smart and thoughtful and whatever he decides to do, it will be after much deliberation so she’s not worried. Si Yi calls for them to go buy the sky lanterns and Cheng Kuan quickly hangs up, but his mom hears the voices and recognizes as sounding like Si Yi.
The four of them buy the sky lanterns and set to work writing their wishes on it. Si Yi wishes for everyone to be happy and healthy. Xiao Ke says she wishes that her next guy won’t be a cheating bastard and wants to meet a good man. Sheng Jun hears this and clears his throat while repeating “a good man” but neither Si Yi not Xiao Ke catch his drift.
Cheng Kuan takes off and releases his sky lantern alone. He stares as his lanterns disappears into the sky.
Cheng Kuan then rejoins the group and they release the remaining sky lanterns one by one. As they watch the lanterns disappear into the night sky, Sheng Jun sees his and Cheng Kuan asks why he wrote “girlfriend” on all four sides of his lantern. LOL.
Si Yi asks Cheng Kuan what he wished for? Cheng Kuan lies that he can’t see it anymore. He thinks to himself “Luo Si Yi, can I like you?” and we see that is what he wrote.
Cheng Kuan and Si Yi sit in the courtyard of their hotel and watch as hotel guests play with fairy sticks (like little firework wands). Si Yi wants to play with it but Cheng Kuan derides it as totally immature and childish. Si Yi pouts but doesn’t push him.
Next thing we see is Cheng Kuan running through the yard playing with his lighted fairy stick and hooting and hollering like a kid. Poor Si Yi follows behind him and tries to get him to calm down, but all he does is run back and forth waving his fairy stick and making ridiculously awesome funny noises. Love.
Sheng Jun gets ready for bed and tries to get up his courage to invite Xiao Ke out for a walk or chat. He can’t get over his nervousness, which is when Cheng Kuan’s phone rings with a call from Vivian. Sheng Jun freaks out and the call ends before he can decide what to do. We see Vivian standing at the airport in the rain.
Sheng Jun’s own phone rings from Vivian and he answers with a fake cheer. She’s pissed and demands to know where Cheng Kuan is. Sheng Jun lies that Cheng Kuan is in the shower. Vivian bitches about no one picking her up at the airport, and then chews out Sheng Jun for not reminding Cheng Kuan as his assistant. Vivian hangs up and Sheng Jun runs off to warn Cheng Kuan.
Sheng Jun heads to Xiao Ke and Si Yi’s room and finds out Cheng Kuan isn’t there. He adorably tries to take the first step with Xiao Ke but loses his nerve and leaves. Xiao Ke looks curiously at him.
Si Yi and Cheng Kuan sit down and watch their fairy wands finish sparking. Si Yi says playing with these reminds her that no matter how difficult life is, its still filled with happiness. Cheng Kuan says happiness is like the fairy wands, just short lived. Si Yi can see that something is bothering him and offers to talk. He’s such a workaholic and its must be something serious that he’s willing to take time off work.
Cheng Kuan says no one wants to be n workaholic and those who do so are forced by circumstance. Si Yi agrees and points out how nice it would be to stay a child forever and have no responsibilities. Cheng Kuan agrees that staying a child would keep life from becoming so complicated. A child won’t be controlled by image, power, wealth, or anything like that, to decide if he likes a girl. Si Yi asks what he means?
Cheng Kuan explains his backstory – his father was President Jiang’s driver and passed when Cheng Kuan was 14, and after that President Jiang paid all their family expenses and his schooling. Cheng Kuan worked hard to repay President Jiang and after he graduated he went to work for him to make him lots of money. Si Yi realizes this is why Cheng Kuan works so hard. Cheng Kuan reveals that he does whatever the President tells him to do, such as go to Guang Qiang or marrying Vivian, despite not wanting to go and not being able to love Vivian. He explains that Vivian sees him as beneath her, as just the son of a driver. But he still agreed to what the President wanted.
Lately he can’t handle this kind of life anymore. He doesn’t want to ruin his own and Vivian’s happiness to repay a debt. Si Yi points out that Cheng Kuan and Vivian are about to get engaged? Cheng Kuan says he was planning to, but not anymore. He looks at Si Yi and says that since he met someone recently, that person’s place in his heart has become more and more important. They stare at each other, which is when Sheng Jun arrives and forestalls the rest of this conversation.
Sheng Jun reveals that Vivian called spitting mad and chewed out Sheng Jun like he was her boyfriend. Vivian is pissed that no one picked her up at the airport. Cheng Kuan tells Sheng Jun that they can discuss this later. He tells Si Yi to get some rest since its late already before walking away.
Sheng Jun drops Cheng Kuan off at home and asks if he’s alright? He doesn’t think Cheng Kuan can get out of this mess. They look towards the front door and see Vivian standing there waiting for Cheng Kuan. He gets out of the car and they stare at each other like enemies rather than a future affianced couple. Cheng Kuan and Vivian walk into his apartment and she shows him the magazine covering how he bid for a necklace and gave it to Si Yi.
Vivian throws the magazine at his face and asks if he’s doing charity work or falling in love? Cheng Kuan points out that VIvian doesn’t like anything he gets for her, so even if he bid on it and gave it to her she wouldn’t like it. Why bother? She doesn’t care – its up to her to like or dislike something, but he doesn’t have a right to buy things for another woman. Vivian also insults Si Yi, telling Cheng Kuan to pick a better woman.
Cheng Kuan stands up for Si Yi, saying she is the precious daughter of her dad, so how will Vivian feel if someone else described her the same way. Vivian is pissed that Cheng Kuan keeps taking Si Yi’s side and vows to deal with Si Yi at work. Cheng Kuan asks that she not take their personal matters to work. Vivian demands to know why he didn’t pick her up at the airport? He doesn’t see the need since she has a driver, but she yells that he has to do what her dad wants and because he’s her boyfriend/future fiancee.
Vivian then asks why he wanted to see her today, which explains why she is there. Cheng Kuan says he recently went to friend’s engagement party and realized that a marriage not based on love and honesty is just built on lies. Cheng Kuan announces that he cannot marry Vivian. She refuses to call it off, which is when Cheng Kuan calmly tells her that he likes someone else. You can see her face just tense up and freeze.
Cheng Kuan cannot force himself to stay with her because its not fair to either of them. Vivian laughs that someone like him who never cared about romance can actually have a girl he likes? Cheng Kuan refuses to be dishonest with his feelings and asks her to cancel the engagement. She refuses because of her image and position in society, cancelling the engagement would be a huge embarrassment. Cheng Kuan wants Vivian to not force herself into a marriage for the sake of keeping her image in society. Vivian swallows and tells Cheng Kuan that its not forcing herself, she doesn’t mind. OMG, she likes him! The crazy spoiled Vivster likes Cheng Kuan! Okay, was NOT expecting this at all.
Cheng Kuan says a marriage is between two people and she can’t insist on it alone. Vivian asks what about her doesn’t match up to Si Yi, pointing out that lots of men want her. Cheng Kuan concedes that Vivian may have lots of admirers but he wants his other half to be someone considerate, thoughtful, and caring. The unspoken being that she is none of that. Ouch, that hurts, but oh so true. He doesn’t want a princess that just orders people around. Vivian correctly identifies the person Cheng Kuan likes as Luo Si Yi, and Cheng Kuan’s silence confirms it for her.
Vivian asks what Si Yi has that she doesn’t? Is she richer? Cheng Kuan says Si Yi is just the daughter of a dry cleaner, which pisses Vivian off even more to lose out to the daughter of a dry cleaner. She warns Cheng Kuan that her daddy will kick him out of the company but Cheng Kuan is willing to accept the consequences. Vivian calms herself down and changes tactics, gently telling Cheng Kuan he can play as much as he wants before the marriage and she won’t care. Cheng Kuan turns back and tells Vivian that he’s not playing around, he’s serious.
Vivian tries to slap him but he grabs her hand and asks her to be mature. Vivian tells him that its so cruel that he will tell her directly that he has feelings for another woman. Cheng Kuan wants to be honest to her and apologizes. Vivian screams that she doesn’t want his sorry. She derides his dad as just a driver, and Cheng Kuan isn’t even worthy of carrying her shoes. Cheng Kuan says his dad worked hard for his money and its something to be proud of. Vivian scoffs at that since Cheng Kuan considers employees just like screws that can be switched out.
Cheng Kuan’s mom arrives and asks if something is wrong since she can hear raised voices even from outside. Vivian is very nice to Mom and gives her a present and asks to talk about the upcoming engagement. Cheng Kuan tries to leave but Mom makes the excuse that she’s going to buy food for lunch and she wants to discuss it over lunch, purposely giving Cheng Kuan and Vivian time to be alone. She whispers to her son to be nicer to Vivian and not raise his voice.
After Mom leaves, Cheng Kuan asks why Vivian called her over? Vivian says there is nothing wrong with her wanting to spend time with her future mother-in-law. Cheng Kuan says he will explain the broken engagement to his mother later. When Cheng Kuan walks away, Vivian grabs his cell phone and turns it on.
Si Yi is coming home and runs into Yi Chun outside. He’s too afraid to call her out because she might reject him. He invites her to lunch but she’s already eaten, and she declines his invitation to tea. Si Yi gets a text from Cheng Kuan asking to meet at the bridge this afternoon. Yi Chun offers to drive her, asking for a chance to do something for her. Si Yi thinks about it and accepts the ride.
Cheng Kuan walks out into the living room and finds VIvian gone. He looks at the magazine and then checks his phone. He stares at a message asking to meet Si Yi at the bridge and Si Yi replying yes. Cheng Kuan asks the phone “Vivian Jiang, what else are you trying to do?”
Yi Chun drops Si Yi off and offers to go with her but she declines. Si Yi waits on the bridge when Vivian walks up and surprises her. Vivian asks what Si Yi’s relationship is with Cheng Kuan that she will even meet him on a weekend? Si Yi says its merely a boss and a subordinate but Vivian bitches Si Yi out as just Cheng Kuan’s secretary and stop crossing the line with VIvian’s boyfriend, such as dragging him off to some friend’s wedding.
Vivian warns Si Yi to keep herself and her low class friends far away from Cheng Kuan. Vivian says they are of a different class than Si Yi and her friends and tells her to stay away. Vivian spots the rose necklace and demands that she take it off now. Vivian tries to grab it and Si Yi finally speaks up and asks Vivian to be calm. Vivian refuses to be calm when her boyfriend buys a present for another woman. Si Yi says she will return the necklace directly to Cheng Kuan to respect him since he bought her the present. Vivian says Si Yi doesn’t respect her and she wants Si Yi to be reminded that Cheng Kuan belongs to Vivian.
Suddenly a scooter rides through the bridge and Si Yi pulls Vivian aside to avoid being hit. Vivian pushes her away for daring to touch her and causes Si Yi to tumble over the bridge railing. Si Yi manages to grab the edge but is slipping off. Vivian looks genuinely stricken but she just stands there doing nothing. Yi Chun arrives and grabs Si Yi but he can’t hold on as her jacket starts to rip.
Before Si Yi almost slips from his hand, Cheng Kuan arrives and grabs Si Yi’s other hand. He tells Si Yi to grab tight and Si Yi’s hand tightens around his. The two men pull Si Yi up to safety.
Si Yi lands on the bridge and falls into Cheng Kuan’s arms. He worriedly brushes her hair away from her face and asks if she’s okay. Si Yi says she’s okay and looks like she wants to seek comfort in Cheng Kuan’s arms, which is when Vivian walks forward and puts her head on Cheng Kuan’s shoulder as she cries. Cheng Kuan asks Yi Chun, who is watching all of this and understanding the subtext going on, to please take Si Yi home, and then he walks off with Vivian clinging to him.
On the drive home, Vivian is surprisingly subdued and Cheng Kuan doesn’t chastise her. When he drops her off, he tells her that he made the right decision to end the engagement when she casually claims it was just an accident and she can pay Si Yi off if Si Yi really got hurt. Cheng Kuan tells her to think about why she always puts herself first and never cares about how others feel. He points out that not everything can be solved by throwing money at it. Vivian cries as he drives off and vows that she will make Si Yi pay for this.
Vivian is drinking and crying her woes away when he dad comes in and asks what happened. Vivian reveals that Cheng Kuan ended their engagement claiming he doesn’t love her and she’s a spoiled selfish girl. Daddy promises to take care of everything for her, and confirms that Cheng Kuan is doing this because of that Secretary Luo.
Cheng Kuan gets called in to see President Jiang who cuts to the chase and tells Cheng Kuan that if he loves Vivian and marries her, the President will hand him the reins to the company. He reveals that the company is filled with talented young men like Cheng Kuan, and the reason he was picked as the successor was because he’s the one Vivian likes. The President knows he spoiled Vivian, but she was his only daughter and the light of his life. He truly admires how Cheng Kuan’s mom was able to raise such an outstanding son who persevered through adversity, and that is why the President likes Cheng Kuan so much and wishes he were his own son.
Cheng Kuan thanks the President for all he did for him and his mother and the President waves it off as something he was glad to do because Cheng Kuan’s father was his long time driver and good friend. With respect to his offer of the entire company in exchange for marrying Vivian, Cheng Kuan says he views that not as the price of love, but as what love is worth, and that is how Cheng Kuan and President Jiang differ in their views on love. The President laughs to discover how romantic Cheng Kuan turned out to be. He reminds Cheng Kuan that the hardest thing in life is having it all and then losing it. He tells Cheng Kuan to think carefully about what he is doing, and then pulling sweet mom into the equation, asking Cheng Kuan whether his mom would approve of how Cheng Kuan is repaying President Jiang for his years of kindness? Cheng Kuan sighs and takes a deep breath.
President Jiang calls Vivian in and tells her that Cheng Kuan needs some time to make the right decision. Vivian is pissed Cheng Kuan didn’t immediately dump Si Yi and come running back, but then asks for advice on what to do. Her dad tells her to use her brains at a critical juncture like this.
Si Yi is chatting with the other secretaries and reveals that the government bid was submitted late and was accepted only because Cheng Kuan begged. This is overheard by Ting Ai who immediately tells the GM and Manager Kang, who are trying to hide the trail of evidence of Chairman Wang’s bribery. The GM tells Manager Kang to report this and vows that Guang Qiang is a law-abiding company and will rather not take this contract if it wasn’t fairly won. These three might be an evil trio, but they are crafty indeed. That’s a great way to sink the government bid despite winning it.
Cheng Kuan and Sheng Jun attend a company welcome party for Yi Chun, and we see Vivian following them and waiting outside. At the party, Cheng Kuan is rather out of it and Si Yi asks if he’s alright? As his secretary she is of course concerned about him. Cheng Kuan is silent for a moment and then asks “If one day I’m not your Deputy General Manager anymore, will you still be concerned about me?” Si Yi stares back at him.
Thoughts of Mine:
What can I say other than “hold on a moment and let me catch my breath first.” I felt my brain twirling a mile a minute during this episode trying to capture every line of dialogue because it was all so important and meaningful. With every step Cheng Kuan took to arrive at this point, I was more than happy to let the man take his time. This isn’t a love story where he is suppressing or denying his feelings, he is merely trying to process this monumental shift in his life paradigm and then having the courage to re-choose his path. I was thrilled there was very little histrionics, and actually I was fine with Vivian’s temper tantrum and reaction to losing Cheng Kuan. Like I said earlier, it took me by surprise that she actually likes him and wants this engagement, because her actions up until now in no way pointed to that. But it makes sense that she would treat the guy she likes so poorly, because in her mind he’s beneath her and he doesn’t like her, so in her warped mind she just wants to get his attention using the only way she knows how. I actually feel bad that she’s so spoiled by daddy that she has no way of being a better person, hence she has no chance of winning Cheng Kuan’s heart.
I could not love Cheng Kuan anymore than I do right now, after hearing him try to confess his feelings for Si Yi after revealing everything about his past to her. He’s not staking a claim on her, he is just taking steps towards her which include first ending things with Vivian. He’s thoughtful and mature, though the glimpses of him being a child around Si Yi almost makes me teary because he’s likely never enjoyed life much after he was forced to grow up so young. I appreciate the drama making his mom such a sweet and wonderful parent, and even President Jiang comes off as a decent albeit forceful person overall. He doesn’t threaten Cheng Kuan and appreciates this man for his decency and loyalty, and he’s using all the leverage he has to buy his daughter happiness. It’s perfectly legitimate though it hurts to see Cheng Kuan so pressured by the weight of this largesse forcing him to accept Vivian.
Si Yi is really such a well-written character and her reaction to things remain true to her personality as generally non-confrontational until she’s pushed to the brink. I may wish she was more fiery in general, but I appreciate that her consideration of others is what makes her so wonderful in Cheng Kuan’s eyes. She is also willing to stand up for her friends at anytime, and for herself when she doesn’t believe in backing down against straight up bullying. Her refusal to give the rose necklace to Vivian was the right thing to do, but she’s not the type to stake her claim on Cheng Kuan using such a present to goad Vivian. At this point the love square is harder to untangle than I initially thought, which makes me giddy with anticipation to see what the drama has in store for the second half of its run.