This drama owns me. I was curious how the shipping wars currently broke down for King Flower, whether there is an even divide between fans who adore James Wen‘s rough-and-tumble lunkhead oppa Guan Jun, or were won over by emotionally battered but clinging on to a lifeline Terry played by Chris Wu. After spending an afternoon at the drama’s BBS forum and its official website and facebook page, it’s not even a competition. It’s like an overwhelming 95% clamoring for Da Hua to end up with Terry. The most recent TW-drama had a second male lead so definitively the fan favorite, it was last year’s I Love You So Much with Blue Lan, Ivelyn Lee, and Nick Chou. That drama was almost done filming when the fan groundswell started so the producers actually filmed two endings and asked the fans to vote for which one they wanted. Fans voted 80-20 for guy2 so the leading lady ended up with Nick’s younger brother character. In that drama, Nick was definitely the second male lead, whereas in KF we have co-male leads and the drama is on live-filming right now so anything can happen. I actually don’t want Da Hua to suddenly pick Terry, I want to see more development between her and Guan Jun while she continues to pretend to be Liang Yen and slowly finds herself confused as to whether her feelings for either guy is romantic love or familial affection.
One poster made a very perceptive observation – the drama starts with two pre-set couples in Terry-Liang Yen and Da Hua-Guan Jun, but as the viewers we don’t see the falling in love process. We are asked to accept the first couple loves each other, while the second had Da Hua crushing on her oppa from when she was small. But then the drama spends the emotional development phase only between Da Hua and Terry, so its no wonder viewers are hooked on that. Even Guan Jun’s realization that he has non-brotherly feelings for Da Hua happened suddenly. Episode 11 doesn’t make anything clear, but it does calmly resolve the conflict between Da Hua’s decision to stay with Terry (unrelated to contract or money) and Guan Jun’s jealousy about her staying with his rival. Another reason I think Terry wants to send Da Hua home, and its mostly because he’s at road’s end and has to come clean because there is nothing else left, is that she affects him and he can’t afford to like her when he just lost Liang Yen and she’s unavailable to him since she loves Guan Jun. Or does she? I don’t know any girl who would do what Da Hua did with Terry in this episode with a guy she doesn’t have feelings for. Period. Because that was the cutest date ever.
Stage 11 recap:
Guan Jun arrives with Xiao Fei in tow and raises the bid by another NT50 million. Terry is about the up his bid and wonders why Guan Jun is even bothering since he can keep outbidding him. Guan Jun drops the trump card – Terry has the funds to bid because President Du is backing him, but what happens if the President finds out Liang Yen is dead and it was due to Terry that he didn’t get to say his final farewell to her. Guan Jun threatens to reveal all to President Du. Terry is stunned and doesn’t up the bid, much to the concern of Da Hua and Cheng Hong.
The auction ends and Guan Jun wins the bid on behalf of Xiao Fei’s dad Hu Jin Biao (Da Hua calls him Da Cai Cong, or big vegetable bug). When Team Terry walks out, Hu Jing Biao is outside celebrating in a very obnoxious way with Guan Jun and Xiao Fei and enjoys rubbing it into Terry’s face.
Later that night at home, Da Hua worries about what will happen next and Terry laughs that she’s more nervous than he is. Terry smiles and says the worst is that he will lose his job and his cousin Ouyang Shen will take over. But his cousin is a total douche and under his control the company will be run into the ground, so Terry can’t give up despite this big set back.
Terry asks Cheng Hong to set up a meeting with Hu Jin Biao to try a different avenue.
At the meeting, Terry asks for a partnership to develop the parcel into luxury condos. Hu Jin Biao claims he’s just a silent investor and Terry needs to talk with the acting head of his company, Director Lin.
Guan Jun arrives with Xiao Fei on his arm and says no to the offer, cutting Terry down to size much to the alarm of Da Hua. There are many offers to develop the land and they have no need to work with Sheng Da. Da Hua wonders to herself what Guan Jun’s relationship is with Xiao Fei? Her curiosity and lack jealousy is odd for someone who wants to marry Guan Jun. Terry leaves hand-in-hand with Da Hua, who gives Guan Jun an angry look as she walks past.
Back at the office, Terry and Da Hua are mulling over what is going to happen next. She hands him a warm drink and he accepts with a smile. She points out that everyone knows he lost the land auction bid so his position is now in jeopardy.
Guan Jun arrives and throws NT2 million on the table and prepares to take Da Hua home since he’s repaid the amount Terry gave Da Hua so the contract has ended. Terry asks what if he won’t let Da Hua go and Guan Jun could care less and grabs Da Hua’s hand to go.
Instead Da Hua shakes off his hand and asks if Guan Jun got the money from Hu Jin Biao for helping him win the land auction? Guan Jun confirms it and Da Hua blows her lid at him, asking how he could work with the guy responsible for almost ruining their family, and hurting someone as good as Terry in the process? Guan Jun wonders what he did wrong since he needed that guy’s help to get the money to bring Da Hua home.
Guan Jun cannot believe that Da Hua is speaking up on behalf of Ouyang Tai! He’s not a good person, he orchestrated this entire charade and is responsible for changing Da Hua’s life. How could she take his side! Da Hua says she willingly entered the contract, no one forced her. Guan Jun asks if she’s blinded right now, how could she think everything he did is wrong and everything Ouyang Tai did is okay?
Da Hua didn’t mean it that way but Guan Jun leaves the money on the table and storms out, leaving Da Hua worriedly staring after him.
Da Hua is nibbling on a salad at home when she hears piano playing. She goes in search of Terry and finds him at the piano, offering him a salad.
Terry smiles and says that Da Hua has been eating food that Liang Yen likes since she arrived, he’s sure she doesn’t like the same things so what does she like? Da Hua laughs that she likes high calorie foods like fried chicken and boba tea. But then Da Hua says she has a most favorite food of all.
Terry and Da Hua sit down at a cheap steak restaurant in the Tong Hua night market and he confirms this is her favorite place to eat. Da Hua says Guan Jun took her here for her birthday and she thought it was the most delicious meal ever. Terry smiles and stares in amusement at his corn chowder.
When the sizzling steak comes out, Da Hua has to show him how to use the napkin to block the steam and oil. He encourages her to dig in and she says likewise. Da Hua takes a bite and is in bliss while Terry tentatively takes a bit and is surprised that its quite tasty.
Guan Jun is in a bad mood and walks through the night market with Da Li and Ah Xi. They head over to the steak restaurant but he stops in his tracks when he sees Da Hua and Terry eating there. He turns and leaves though Da Li and Ah Xi think its pretty cute that rich people like Terry and Manager Du eat at such a cheap place.
Da Hua and Terry walk through the night market and he asks if this is her favorite place to hang out? Da Hua confirms it is since it’s cheap and there is so much to do.
Da Hua rushes over to the stand selling pig’s blood cake on a stick (it’s delicious, trust me) and orders one. Terry has never seen this food before and she assures him its yummy. She offers him the first bite and he hesitates for a moment before taking a bit of the piping hot cake. He admits its delicious and Da Hua laughs as he almost burns his tongue, casually reach over to wipe a crumb from his mouth. He lets her and then wipes his mouth himself afterwards.
She takes a bit as well and he stares at her with a smile before reaching over and similarly wiping a crumb from her mouth. She then offers him another bit and he takes it, confirming again that its quite tasty. They are sharing food, people! Guh, they are so cute I can’t even.
They go play games like shooting hoops and catching goldfish. Terry is a total failure while expert Da Hua shows him how to catch the little fish in a paper scooper.
At the end of the night, Da Hua happily walks besides Terry while swinging her goldfish on her hand. Terry looks happy but contemplative.
Da Hua spots Cheng Hong with the car and cheerily asks him to take them home. Da Hua gets in the car but then Terry slams the door shut instead of getting in. She looks alarmed and rolls down the windows and asks him what is going on? Terry smiles and says her mission is over, she can go home now.
Da Hua reminds him that she promised to stay for the entire year. Terry points out that her Guan Jun oppa has paid him back the NT2 million so she’s free to go. Plus didn’t she say that her dream was to be with her Guan Jun oppa forever? Now she can go back to her original life and live her dream.
Da Hua worries about what will happen to Terry but he says that he will handle it. He puts his hand on her hand and thanks her sincerely for everything she’s done for him. They stare at each other before he slowly pulls his hand away. He calls out for Cheng Hong who drives off, leaving Da Hua yelling out the window for Terry.
Terry stands in the street as the car pulls away and he looks very resigned. Then he gets a call from Kai Le, secretary to President Du (and she has a crush on Terry), that the President has fallen ill and is at the hospital. Terry rushes to the hospital and watches as the President is wheeled in for surgery.
Da Hua makes Cheng Hong stop the car and she jumps out ready to run back to Terry. Cheng Hong grabs a package and stops her, handing her the package per Terry’s instructions. Inside is the NT2 million that Guan Jun brought over. Da Hua asks if anything happened, or if she did anything wrong? Cheng Hong doesn’t know, he only knows that Terry made him pack her belongings tonight and take her home. Cheng Hong says Terry is very grateful to Da Hua and she doesn’t owe him anything.
Da Hua looks stricken, calling Terry an idiot. He’s lost the land and he’s lost Liang Yen, so what is he going to do now?
Guan Jun sits outside the store and is startled to see Da Hua walking back schlepping her suitcase behind her. Her mom walks out and finds it such a coincidence that Manager Du has the same suitcase as her daughter Da Hua. Guan Jun wants to tell the truth but Da Hua stops him, asking to talk elsewhere.
Da Hua and Guan Jun head to their playground and he asks why she doesn’t let him tell the truth since their mom misses her so much. She hands him back the money and he wonders if she still won’t take it and wants to stay? Da Hua says no, Terry wants him to have it back. Guan Jun thinks Terry is lording his power and wealth but Da Hua reveals that Terry ended their contract early and sent her home and he doesn’t even want the money.
Guan Jun is ecstatic that Da Hua can go back to her former life – be the happy stupid rice ball and not have to pretend to be someone else and face all sorts of obstacles every day. Da Hua does not look happy in the least about this and turns away before saying she cannot come home yet. She cannot leave Terry all alone to face his problems. Guan Jun incredulously points out that she’s a little too concerned about Ouyang Tai? Da Hua doesn’t respond to that query and instead tells Guan Jun that he really put Terry in a terrible position – he’s about to lose his job and the company.
Guan Jun asks her to stop Terry this and Terry that every time she opens her mouth. Guan Jun says Ouyang Tai is a horrible bastard and put Da Hua through so much. Her face was given by her parents, what right does he have to change her? Because he is rich and paid their debt for them? He asks Da Hua not to keep helping Terry. Da Hua doesn’t know why Guan Jun dislikes Terry so much, but he helped them in their time of need.
What is Guan Jun to do then? Keep enduring Da Hua staying by Terry’s side and pretending to be his fiancee, holding hands with him in public and being tender towards each other? He begs her not to have anything more to do with Ouyang Tai. Da Hua stares at Guan Jun and says he’s changed, how could he be so selfish? Guan Jun says she is the one who is selfish now, she likes being pretty but he longs for their past life. And Ouyang Tai is the one who took it all away from them! Da Hua gets a call from Cheng Hong that President Du has collapsed. She tells him to pick her up and informs Guan Jun that she needs to go to the hospital now. Guan Jun grabs her arm and asks if she really needs to go? Is Ouyang Tai’s problem more important than them? Da Hua pushes his hand away and says Terry really needs her right now and she needs to go.
President Du’s surgery is a success though his heart problem is a ticking time bomb that is waiting to erupt. He wakes up and asks for Liang Yen. Terry is about to come clean when suddenly Da Hua arrives and calls the President dad. She assures him that she is here and he will be fine.
President Du is so happy to see her and all he wants now is to see her get married before his time is up. Da Hua and Terry turn to stare at each other.
The door to the hospital room opens and Terry pulls Da Hua behind him as he storms out. She asks him where he is taking her to as she scurries behind him. Kai Le walks out of the hospital room after them and looks very suspicious.
Terry and Da Hua are talking outside the hospital and he demands to know why she’s back after he told her to go home? Da Hua points out that President Du would know Liang Yen was died if she didn’t come back. Terry was prepared to come clean to him so there was no need for her to come back. All Da Hua wanted to do was help him and Terry looks very conflicted to hear this. He correctly surmises that Guan Jun didn’t agree to let her come back and she came anyway.
Terry tells Da Hua that she can still change her mind and leave right now but Da Hua shakes her head no. She knows Guan Jun is looking out for her and she’s touched by his actions, but she’s decided to stay because she can’t leave Terry to face the problems alone. Terry always tells her not to worry, but the person most worried must be him. She tells him not to take on all the problems by himself, she can help him.
She’s been pretending to be Liang Yen for so long that she feels like a friend. Now that her dad is sick, as a friend she ought to come take care of him. If the President knew that Liang Yen died and he didn’t get to see her the final time, how devastated would be be? She wonders if she did something wrong.
Terry says no, she did nothing wrong. He was the one who told the lie and didn’t let the President see Liang Yen one final time. Da Hua was just an innocent caught up in this and she shouldn’t have to endure any of this. Terry walks over and pulls Da Hua into his arms and apologizes to her. Da Hua leans in and cries. Can you two stay like that forever?
Ominous music plays and the camera pulls back to see that Kai Le has overhead all of this. She walks away looking very determined and scary. OMG, bitch if you mess with Terry-Da Hua I will fillet you.
The next morning, Terry gets ready to go to work and he thinks back to what the doctor said about President Du’s medical condition. Apparently his heart is failing and he needs to be kept in a state of peace and cannot endure any shock. Looks like Terry has no choice but to continue the lie, this time not for the company but for Liang Yen’s dad. Sigh.
The Jin parents are at the store and hear about Guan Jun quitting his cush job at the big company and now is working for Hu Jin Biao. Apparently the slumlord likes Guan Jun and have him a huge sum of money. Mom is very unhappy when she hears this. Ah Xi arrives and is also shocked to hear that Guan Jun went to work for the man that almost destroyed their family.
Suddenly a worker from Sheng Da arrives, it’s the busty girl named Qi Qi (and Da Li gave her the nickname Miss. D cup) and wonders why Da Li quit so suddenly. She brings him some pastries and asks to hang out in the future. Da Li is pleased with the attention but then Ah Xi gets jealous.
Guan Jun comes home and Mom grabs him for a talk. She asks why he quit such a good job at the company and why he’s working for Hu Jin Biao? Guan Jun cannot answer why he quit the job so he stays silent. Mom is fine with him quitting if he can’t work there, but she doesn’t understand why he went to work for Hu Jin Biao.
Guan Jun gets a call and heads out to meet Da Hua at the park. They talk calmly with each other, with Da Hua confirming that President Du is resting comfortably. She assures him that if President Du knew his real daughter was dead he would croak so she needs to keep pretending to be Liang Yen. Guan Jun accepts his decision finally though he wonders what will happen after one year and nothing has changed? Da Hua bites her lip and has no answer for that. He also wonders if Da Hua might fall for the handsome, rich, and nice-to-her Ouyang Tai in the process?
Da Hua promises that will never ever happen, and she’s just happy to see the return of her confident Guan Jun oppa. Guan Jun reluctantly agrees to let her stay but warns her to keep her distance from Terry. LOL good luck with that. He promises to end his association with Hu Jin Biao since it was his impetuousness that led to helping him win that land auction. They make up and Da Hua grabs his arm and asks to go grab a rice ball and Guan Jun takes her along.
Guan Jun returns the NT2 million to Hu Jin Biao and doesn’t want to help him anymore. Hu Jin Biao is impressed that this feller isn’t easily bought by money and compliments his daughter Xiao Fei on having good taste. He remarks that Lin Guan Jun has now become his number 1 choice for a son-in-law.
Thoughts of Mine:
I find it very telling how Terry and Guan Jun treats Da Hua. Terry has always given her a choice and he never imposes his will on her. This episode saw Guan Jun annoyed and jealous and believing he’s doing what’s best for Da Hua. Conversely this episode after Terry remembering what Da Hua wants and then giving it to her so that she doesn’t fall into an impasse with Guan Jun. I also loved every moment of their date at the night market, starting from when he asked her what Da Hua likes to eat. It was like that night he wanted to spend time with her and not pretending to be Liang Yen. It was the most perfect date ever, and the way Da Hua smiled throughout was so candid in showing how she enjoys being with Terry. Somewhere along the way it stopped being a job for her based on a contract. I don’t know if its the stirrings of love because she’s so dense but Terry is clearly affected by her and aware of it. I feel like the writers are working so hard to insert Guan Jun into the story proper and they still can’t manage to give him any meaningful stakes. He’s character is decent but in the context of this story doesn’t do anything other than get into trouble or react to something. It’s like Da Hua and Terry have their own narrative career, ethics, and responsibility line and rest is just filler. If the drama wants her to end up with Guan Jun, the writers need to start building at relationship otherwise it’s just a end game without a journey.