In A Good Way Episode 5 Baby Recap

I think the excitement over how awesome In A Good Way was right off the bat caused some delirium on my part and now I’m slowly talking myself down that high so that I can handle the long journey with this drama and not jump my own shark. Episode 5 continued the steady ratings increase by hitting 2.17 among the cable networks (last week netted 2.0), solidifying its cult hit turning to mainstream hit status in Taiwan. I actually felt that episode 5 was the meatiest episode yet, but narratively it lacked a central event as the cornerstone to tie all the kids together, be it a race or a treasure hunt. But conversely this episode started to show the ins-and-out of normal college life, and with it comes the stirrings of misunderstandings and ordinary conflicts. Liu Chuan’s composed exterior is starting to crack around Jia En while he learns that she has quite a temper and a fast mouth on her when she’s in a funk. Their fight (or fights?) in this episode mirrored the very conflicts friends have in the school days, with a bad mood leads to minor altercations over unrelated issues that results in an impasse for days. I know this drama is from Jia En’s narrated point of view, but I’m still finding her less interesting than Liu Chuan, and even in a sense Ren Wei and Bai Xue.

The problem with Jia En is that she seems like a blank slate from when we met her, or at least she’s a slate trying to start from scratch after disengaging herself from being a Ren Wei copycat. She goes around absorbing information and trying new things, but maybe her change is happening too slow for me because she isn’t anywhere near finding herself. I both appreciate showing us how Jia En tries hard at everything she attempts, but at the same time the impetus for why she does something is always coming from others. I want Jia En to do something because she thought of it, she took the initiative, it’s something unrelated to what others share with her. Liu Chuan continues to get his emotional axis jumbled when he’s around Jia En, which is delicious to watch and I’m willing to give him plenty of room to figure things out on his own and then decide on what he wants to do about it. Even if he likes Jia En, what if he just has the capacity right now to be friends with her, unable or unwilling to attempt the messiness of romance when it’s just not a priority. Or will he cop to the truth that somethings the heart wants what the heart wants and he has to let it take over when the time comes? Episode 5 is the clearest indication that Jia En is to him like no other girl in his life, but his life is a pretty well-structured thing and whether he wants it upended is still within his control.

Jia En’s post on the campus BBS gets a response from 3631 about how memories form our journey and that intrigues her so she asks about his/her memories. She gets no immediate response because 3631, i.e. Liu Chuan, is not at the computer. Too bad Momo can’t type. The next day, Jia En is hanging with Bai Xue and she finds out that Jia En has selected the ballroom dancing class as her PE elective which happens to be the same class Liu Chuan is in. Turns out he’s prone to picking classes based on when its scheduled so he can have more days free. Ha, that was totally me in college. Tracy and Xiao En come by and is nice to see girls being friends and not bitchy towards each other. Tracy is dressed in a hot sexy outfit which turns out to be the album cover outfit of her idol Japanese pop star Namie Amuro. Talk turns to idols and Jia En is once again feeling sheepish that she has no idols of her own, in the past she liked what her friends liked.

Jia En is at the ballroom dancing class and she’s paired with another girl student so she has to dance the male part. That student wants to hurry up and finish the test so won’t switch parts with Jia En so she ends up only knowing how to dance the male steps. When the teacher asks which male student will help Jia En practice and retake the test, no one raises their hand and Liu Chuan sees it so he volunteers. Afterwards Jia En thanks him for taking time to help her and conversation turns to idols. Jia En wonders if he has an idol but Liu Chuan points out that idols are human beings as well so its rather silly to place them on a pedestal. He does admit that his idol would be someone who influenced him greatly.

Jia En comes back to the tea shop and finds Ren Wei hanging with his Men of Steel. She thinks they are reading books and studying for the upcoming midterms but instead they are reading books on how to woo women. So typical but endearing. Jia En rolls her eyes at the guys and tells them flat out that they will never get girls by following such lame advice. The books spout the usual gender stereotypes about the fairer sex, but one thing gets Ren Wei’s attention. He reads that women are auditory creatures and he gets a brilliant idea. He sends a mixed tape to Bai Xue containing him crooning the popular love balled “Crazy for Love” by Rene Liu. Ren Wei also reminds Jia En that she has an idol, she used to love watching Taiwanese-American tennis wunderkind Michael Chang play.

The next day,Ren Wei actually takes a guitar and shows up outside the Treasure Hunting club to serenade her with the same song. An audience forms including Jia En, Liu Chuan, Ah Qing, and Ri Qi, watching in mild awe at Ren Wei’s ballsy guts. Ren Wei’s love ballad gets the crowd on his side chanting for her to accept him but of course she doesn’t though she makes it clear he’s welcome to join the club. Ren Wei announces that he’s joining the club ASAP. After everyone disperses, Jia En claps for him and gives him a thumbs up for a really awesome performance. Their friendship really is so sweet.

While hanging at the club, Bai Xue hears that Jia En’s idol is Michael Chang. Bai Xue is a member of the University Public Relations Squad consisting of female students selected to represent the school at public events around town. An upcoming event will include the attendance of Michael Chang so Bai Xue encourages Jia En to try out especially since all she needs is good English skills and being a Foreign Languages major Jia En has that ability covered. Liu Chuan overhears all this. Jia En goes home to practice her try out speech in English and she’s pretty good. We also learn her English name is Joan (though the subtitles read Joan but she pronounces it Joanne). Jia En is practicing in empty classroom and Liu Chuan passes by and sees it. He goes off to play basketball with his guys but later when some bottled water is brought over he leaves them to go bring one to Jia En. She thanks him and asks if he’ll stay and listen to her practice her speech. He does and stares at her rather proudly.

Jia En and Liu Chuan practice their jitterbug for the upcoming test retake and they are just adorable together. Bai Xue happens by and she greets them warmly. She asks Liu Chuan to come plan an upcoming Treasure Hunting event but he asks to do it later since he’s practicing with Jia En. Bai Xue leaves with an understanding of Liu Chuan’s priorities. Jia En goes to the try outs and notices all the other girls dressed very presentably whereas she’s in her usual t-shirt and overalls. Her friends all come to support her including Bai Xue, Ren Wei, Xiao Wei, Tracy, and Liu Chuan. Okay, Jia En is a very beloved girl indeed. She comes out of the try outs feeling good about her effort, but she ends up not being selected. She’s dejected and everyone tries to cheer her up to no avail.

Jia En is moping on the park bench when Liu Chuan comes by with a lollipop that he dangles before her, explaining that he heard something sweet can cheer people up. Jia En is not in the mood and continues to obsess over why she wasn’t selected. Liu Chuan doesn’t know either but reminds her that the results are out of her control but as long as she did her best then she has nothing to be upset about. Jia En thinks her best was good enough but Liu Chuan doesn’t placate her and instead says she doesn’t know that, i.e. maybe the others are better than her. That rubs Jia En the wrong way and she asks if he’s got something to say that he’s holding back on. She is clearly venting her frustrations out on him and walks off angry. Later Jia En admits to Xiao Wei and Tracy that she got mad at Liu Chuan because she was so sensitive about not being selected and everything he said she took the wrong way. Tracy doesn’t mince around and tells Jia En that she was dressed so dowdy while the other girls arrived dressed for the part so of course she’s at a disadvantage.

The next day, Liu Chuan runs into his dad, who turns out to be a famous congressman and he’s speaking at the university today. Liu Chuan purposes avoids his dad who clearly wants to talk with him. Jia En finds Liu Chuan at the club and asks to speak outside. She immediately apologizes for losing her temper with him the other day, it’s all her fault because he did nothing wrong. She can sense Liu Chuan is in an off mood because he’s so dismissive towards her and tries to get him to talk with her about what’s bothering him. She asks him not to hide away his worries and if they are friends he can talk with her. That triggers Liu Chuan to unload on her – she’s the one who has hidden away her feelings about not being selected and he can’t even get inside, so who is she to tell him to share. He leaves her with the harsh parting words of “mind your own business.” Ouch. After Jia En walks away, Liu Chuan wonders aloud why he can’t maintain his usual self-control anytime he encounters Jia En. He’s brooding later that night and even his two roommates can tell something is off with him.

At the ballroom dancing test re-take, Jia En looks around and Liu Chuan is a no-show. The teacher allows her to go last to wait for him to arrive but he’s still not there by the time all the other students are done. Jia En asks to dance alone and she gives a good effort but naturally stumbles and misses steps. Liu Chuan arrives at the last minute and the teacher allows them to re-do the dance. They dance and are perfectly in sync, ending with a twirl and dip that leaves then holding the position for quite some time staring at each other. The teacher hilariously has to tell them twice that the dance is over. Jia En wants to talk with him afterwards but he gets a page and has to go off to return the call. Liu Chuan calls his dad back and reminds his dad that he promised him 4 years of freedom in college, which includes not letting people know his dad is a famous political bigwig. His dad confirms that arrangement but simply wants Liu Chuan to stop ignoring him like he’s some criminal.

Jia En goes back home and gets on the campus BBS portal to write about how its hard to break an impasse and wonders if everyone has secrets they don’t want to share? Liu Chuan has logged on as 3631 and replies that keeping secrets is a painful feeling. Jia En shares that its a friend keeping a secret and wonders what to do to relieve some of the tension. Liu Chuan suggests taking the newly open MRT Muzha line which is a very uplifting feeling especially when the train exits the tunnel and the sunlight filters in. Their BBS chat ends up going all night until the sun rises and Jia En asks for a recommendation of a famous Taipei breakfast place. Liu Chuan makes a suggestion and Jia En goes there later that morning. Liu Chuan is already there and he notices her. Liu Chuan is taking the MRT like he recommended to Jia En and at a later stop she gets on and sits across from him but they don’t notice each other. After the train enters a tunnel and comes out on the other side is when they finally spot each other. Liu Chuan breaks the awkward mood and asks what she is doing here and hears that a BBS anonymous poster suggested to Jia En to take the MRT when she’s in a bad mood.

Have a dance scene cut and the preview for episode 6:

[youtube id=”M2NuUk83360″ w=”625″ h=”445″]

 

In the preview for episode 6, Ah Qing tries to get Liu Chuan to admit to something but Jia En plays the fierce protector and tells them to lay off. If they push Liu Chuan he’ll get mad. Liu Chuan asks Ah Qing if he’s ever fought with a girl but made up yet things are still weird between them? Ah Qing laughs about this problem since that he thought Liu Chuan could handle anything. Jia En asks Liu Chuan to find the BBS poster with the handle “3631”, adding that she thinks his family has someone who is an elective representative. Liu Chuan types on BBS under the handle 3631 “Actually I am Liu Chuan” but we don’t see if he pressed send.

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In A Good Way Episode 5 Baby Recap — 37 Comments

  1. This was a really nice episode for Jia En and Liu Chuan’s relationship to deepen and develop; after all, every relationship goes through ups and downs!

    Another week of desperate waiting T.T

  2. My heart keep skiping like crazy whenever Liuchan starring at Jia En. He’s soooo like her.
    Their conflict really believable and I love in In a good way, there isn’t antagonist to stir the pot, just circumstance and personality clash.

    And now, augh! I must wait another weekend again *sigh*

  3. one episode each week is too cruel. I never saw this actor, and I’m interested now on watching his dramas, what would you guys sugest ?

  4. I’m pretty sure that sure that anger about Jia En hiding herself also relates to the past when she didn’t tell him she got in uni and the year before when she cut him from her life.

    The preview suggested to me that she thinks he will easily get angry now and she’s being more careful around him which isn’t what he wants.

  5. Oh, the “eye sparks” that Liu Chan shoots Jia En are out of this world. I can’t believe she isn’t burned to cinders. *drumming my fingers waiting for subs. I, too, feel like I should have waited to start watching until I could marathon episodes. Thanks for posting, Koala. I love the dance sequence. And finally someone tells girlfriend that her overall habit is going to backfire.

  6. Although this episode doesn’t have lots of sweet moments, I still love it because it shows the other side of both of our lead characters. It shows their imperfections and it’s almost a test on how deep their feelings for each other now. Their only humans and at that young age, it is just natural for them to act immature at times. The question is, do they like each other that much now that they can accept each other’s flaws? We saw how bothered they are with the misunderstanding their small quarrel so definitely, they care for each other deeply. I can’t wait for the next episode when they patched things up and hopefully they “kiss” and make-up. Lol.

  7. I am starting to get concerned about my feelings for this show. One of the Chinese students in my summer Korean program posted a Lego Lee picture on facebook, and I (of course) squeeled back, which caused her to send me the link to the IAGW facebook page, which I immediately “liked.” Just spent a half hour on it even though I could not read anything or understand anything. I was perfectly fine smiling like a loon looking at pictures. Help!!! Do I need an intervention already? We are only on episode #5. I should follow Captain Koala’s lead and start calming myself down and distancing myself–focusing on grading British Literature end of term essays should help–but first one more look at the IAGW facebook page . . .

  8. Just wanna say, thank you so much for introducing In a Good Way to me ^^
    It’s been quite a time since the last time I watched Taiwan drama diligently, without having to stop in the middle of the drama. This drama is such a ‘fresh’ thing. Too bad that it’s only one episode per week. Anyway, now I can’t wait for friday to come 🙂

  9. I am head over heels for this show. Jai En’s struggle to find herself–and her tendency to act like a sponge and try different identities on–may be frustrating, but it is just SO true to life at that age. It’s incredibly difficult to want or even know what our likes and needs are–in many ways, we are just bumping up against each other, figuring ourselves out in the process. I find her and Liu Chuan to be the most compelling characters on the show, by far. Watching them together is like falling in love. I can’t squee enough.

    Also major props to the writers for exploring love with such depth and maturity. I adore the fact that it’s presenting Chuan & En’s attraction as something that is based on true mutual fondness and respect, but it’s also showing that there is only so much you can love another person if you don’t know yourself (Jai En).

    Other major props to this show for showing real, complicated female friendships with depth and nuance. Huzzah!

    I have to say though, Ren Wei is really bugging me. His character makes sense to me, but he is basically stalking Bai Xue & trying to manipulate her into having feelings for him, and that is not ok. I really hope this show does not put them together (at least without MAJOR maturation from Wei). I’m ready for him to get over her and do some real growth of his own.

  10. Well, part of my birth name is Joan, so, yes, I replayed LC saying MY MY MY name over and over and over, because he was really talking to me and I am not crazy, right? RIGHT?!

    Thanks for this recap!
    I have watched the ep three times so far, and counting.

    Speaking of counting, how many of you love 5, or rather, “ohhhhhh” when the danced?

    I love that this relationship is not happening quickly. It is realistic that someone would nurse a crush and hold back on admitting it to himself and his friends and that person because it is scary. And, while LC has positive thoughts about me Joan, we don’t see all the hours he isn’t with her: a life with classes, bball and clubs.

    The layered conflict between LC and Joan is so authentic. Not just that they are seeing the real person warts and all, but the timing of the bad moods. Of course someone who needs comforting doesn’t WANT comforting at the time. Pissy moods don’t go away cause some really really really cute guy waves a sweet in front of your eyes. I think this may be the first drama ever where this happened. She didn’t melt, she got even madder!! The same thing happened with him when he was preoccupied with thoughts of his father. We, like Joan, misread the situation tending to think the other must be mad at us if they are abrupt when in fact he’s just mad.

    LOVED LOVED how he stormed off and then, looked back admonishing himself.

    The French have a saying I like, “esprit d’escalier” which means after losing our head in a situation, we’re not able to come up with a proper (funny, smart, perfect) response, until we recover our wits later at “the bottom of the staircase.” We obsess: “I shoulda said this, or why did I say that?”

    His face when he asks her “Why are you here?” was perfect.
    Why the hell isn’t his a 2 day a week drama?
    Are you effing kidding me I have to wait 6 days?
    Son of a dumpling!!!

    • Just curious, but i s the Joan in your named pronounced Jo-an instead of Jone too?

      One hundred percent agreement on what you said about the fights between JE and LC. In addition, during the situation with JE’s burst of anger, LC didn’t try to coddle her. Instead of telling her that it was not her fault that she wasn’t selected, or that the judges must have been crazy to not choose her, he was frustratingly straight but vague, suggesting that she had some sort of problem but not explaining what it was. It might be true that the judges would have had some sort of reason to not choose Jia En, but suggesting that it’s her fault when she’s dejected and angry is a pretty stupid move. Either compliment her, distract her with something fun, or give her quiet moral support when she’s like this. If you want to help her understand her faults, wait for a better time, like Tracy did.

      I’m kind of sad/frustrated that LC didn’t immediately go and set things straight with JE after storming off but realizing that he overreacted/was taking his anger out on her. It was also really unfortunate that he arrived late at the exam, exchanged very few (mostly vague and polite) words with her, and left immediately. It appeared like he was there very grudgingly only because he had promised.

      Also, total agreement on the “why are you here?” face. That baffled, “what is going on,” “am I getting pranked” face was hilarious (if I recall correctly, his eyes flickered towards the camera/the rest of the train for a second, almost as if he was expecting people to jump out and laugh at him).

      • Jone

        Yes, LC really put his foot in it, and has no clue that what he said made it worse. I find most guys don’t understand how to deal with girls in touchy situations, and would rather remove a limb that talk about anything to do with feelings.

        But he was brave (and anger can make you bolder) to tell her she shut him out after her loss. I was impressed that he felt that connected to her that THAT is what hurt his feelings, not the shouting and running off.

        In future eps, I hope we see that LC starts to understand himself better, and relax more around JA. He was prolly too embarassed to bring up any specifics of the old fight, and worried whatever he would say would set up another battle.

        I see me and my boyfriends/husband in the same predicament when we argued. “What did I say wrong? You ASKED me my opinion and I TOLD you!”

  11. I hate what this show is doing to me. I searched for Rene Liu’s Crazy for Love and Wu Bai’s Lingering and learnt to sing them. I super love the music used on the drama.

    The standout moment for me on this episode is when Ren serenade Bai Xue with Rene Liu’s Crazy for Love. Props to Ren, I think he sang it really well.

    Still loving the show. It was clever to write for Liu Chuan and Jia En to quarrel even before they confirm their growing feelings for each other. I don’t know about you but it was very realistic for me as it happened like that in real life.

    If I had to nitpick I would protest on the dancing exam, when Jia En spins and falls into Liu Chuan’s arms at the end of the dance. The editing was choppy. From one angle, Liu Chuan was smiling slightly and his expression was relaxed as he looked at Jia En smiling. You can see the camera cut and he was filmed the same scene from another angle where his expression was more serious and he was shooting serious sparks staring at her. The editing was disconnected and choppy. Yes, so you know how closely I was watching the scene 😛

    On a side note, I am finding Liu Chuan’s room-mate Ah Qing seriously good looking! He should have a more meaty role in future dramas!

    • i noticed that too about Liu Chuan’s expression not being the same when filmed the same scene. i too find Liu Chuan’s roommate both roommates are cute!!!! hehe.

    • I noticed that too! Wish they had edited it so that Liu Chuan’s expression remained consistent.

      Steven Sun was actually the only actor I recognized from this cast prior to starting the drama, since I read about him in a magazine. Seems like a pretty hardworking dude! It’d be nice if he gets meatier roles in the future.

  12. This episode is not as breezy and romantic as the other episodes but I love it. The struggles of our leads with themselves and each other feel so real and palpable. Jia En being lost and finding herself through the aid of others is so true to us at that age. I’m really loving how JE and LC’s relationship is developing. There’s no pretense. They are slowly peeling each other’s layers and genuinely falling in love. OMG another week of waiting. So torturous but exciting. Thanks for the recap!

  13. This drama is too addicting, my daily life is now very revolved by this drama!!! And now we have to wait another week for new episode.
    And the couple are so adorable and sizzling. ;D

  14. I can totally relate to that feeling of awkwardness that can appear sometimes even after you’ve made up. From my interpretation, if Jia En had found Liu Chuan at a better time (when he wasn’t in a mood) and he hadn’t snapped at her (in a very similar way that she’d took her anger out on him), or if Liu Chuan hadn’t given her a brush-off (at least from her point of view) after the dance, the persisting feeling of weird wouldn’t be there.

    Jia En was clearly in the wrong the first time, and she took the right step in apologizing the next day. In my opinion, the second time was all on Liu Chuan. It would have been on him to apologize. Of course, this is a friendship and not a turn-based game, so Jia En trying to reach out to him would have made perfect sense too. She did try to reach out to Liu Chuan after the jitterbug exam, but he ran off without letting her. I think it’s comparable to Bai Xue running off right after getting Jia En as her mentee. Since we didn’t know anything about Bai Xue at that point, most of the audience assumed that she was being mean and dismissive. She quickly dispelled that notion from our minds and Jia En’s minds by being adorable and lovely since, but so far Liu Chuan hasn’t had a chance to show Jia En that it wasn’t on purpose/meant maliciously. From her point of view, he must have a pretty bad temper, since he rejected her attempts to mend their friendship twice in a row.

    Even after they make up (which I expect will be Jia En promising that she won’t pry, and Liu Chuan being awkwardly mum because he can’t explain what he’s hiding because he’s trying to hide it), Jia En’s going to be extra cautious around Liu Chuan and maybe a bit distant. I expect lots of frustrating awkward silences next episode, where they don’t say anything because they’re afraid of offending each other instead of the usual, where they’re a bit nervous because they really like each other.

    Hope they’ll properly make up soon, because I miss them being adorable with each other, and thumbs up at the show for portraying friendships (with all their flaws and petty fights and awkward reunions) realistically!

  15. I thought that his last comment when he turned back around after his argument was pointing towards his father. I took it as whenever he sees his father, he loses control because he seemed quite upset at seeing his father and didn’t want to talk to him for too long on the phone, which might indicate that he does not have a great relationship with his father. He didn’t seem to only lose his cool around Jia En because he seemed to be trying to cool off before she came by, so I didn’t think that he was trying to say that he loses his cool whenever SHE shows up, but whenever HE shows up.

    This is just a minor detail, but didn’t the music instructor start the retest after Jia En said that her partner suddenly had something to do and had asked the instructor if it would be alright for her to dance her part by herself? In the end, she was the last to dance, so I guess it was implied that she was waiting for him in case he could come..

    • I’m pretty sure you’re right! The in the subtitles, the chinese character used for him/her in that sentence was the masculine one 他 (instead of 她), meaning that he was referring to a male. He really does have a highly antagonistic relationship with his dad, unfortunately.

      • That’s true, but I’ve noticed that sometimes they use the masculine 他 instead of a feminine 她 even when it was meant to be a she instead of a he.

  16. Thanks for the recap! This episode wasn’t as fun but I think it had some major developments. Liu Chuan is finally feeling more human (人情味). As awesome as he is the last few episodes he was way too perfect. And I’m also liking Jia En’s development. I’m sure we’ll see her grow but we have to give it time, she’s still in her first semester of college after all.

  17. Why I liked Jia Ean’s character. She is a very lovable young lady and pure at heart when comes to friends. She is not like most girls (including me) at her age would go crazy for a cute guys like Liu Chuan. I am okay with her clueless mind right now because she is still young. For me, unmarried woman is still a child in mind. I would love to have a daughter like her. She is hardworking and constantly improving herself to be a better person. Friendship is something very important for her and it’s lucky to have many good friends around in the story evolved. Between love and friend, I think she would choose friend. When comes to guys, “love” never cross her mind. When comes to girls, I’m glad they never go bitching, in fact they supports and encouraged each other. Go girls! I would think, these positives mind in her that actually attract his attention.

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