This was such a meaningful episode that encapsulates how In a Good Way is really just a slice of our own lives but with good looking people reenacting the daily struggles in love, life, and purpose. As the drama winds down, I’m grateful I don’t need to be bemoaning any precipitous drop in quality or nervous about last minute nonsensical obstacles thrown in the road for the sake of causing a minor scrape up. This drama is still so damn good and we’re lucky to have for our viewing pleasure. In the long road ahead for these kids who are still in the formative years of their college education, there will be no shortages of mountains to climb and potholes to avoid. Some will make sense, others will feel like it came from nowhere. But what I really appreciate is that we are watching how these kids are forming bonds of either friendship or romantic love that will help them down the road, as well as growing up through each challenge we’ve seen them face in the drama.
This episode firmly placed Liu Chuan in the driver’s seat of his life and brings both his search for his grandfather’s final treasure together with his struggle to snatch the keys to his future back from his imposing father. I love how the ending of this drama appears headed towards an upcoming final treasure hunt with all the characters we’ve grown to love from the Treasure Hunting club working together in one final hurrah. Next year is senior year for Liu Chuan, Ah Qing, Ri Qi, and Bai Xue. I think the drama will wrap up after they graduate rather than letting us watch how the underclassman fare in the rest of their college education. With that said, it’s going to be extra meaningful if this final treasure left by Liu Chuan’s grandfather ends up bringing wisdom and direction to everyone in the club, thereby letting this drama both be satisfying as well as truly meaningful to watch. For those detaching a bit from IAGW after the OTP got together and feel like the story is just treading water, I say to stick with what will likely be the best Taiwan idol drama EVER once all is said and done.
Episode 20 recap:
The episode starts off with a rewind before the end of episode 19, showing us how a happily headed to a date Jia En fell asleep on the bus and missed her stop. She wakes up in an all-dark bus which is parked at the last stop bus terminal. Jia En gets off and wanders around but sees no one. She walks through the remote area until she finds a pay phone and uses it to page Liu Chuan and leave the message asking him to pick her up. Jia En mutters about why there is no one around and can’t decide if she wants someone to show up or have no one show up lest it’s something scary. She gets a page from Liu Chuan and listens to his voicemail telling her not to freak out and wait for him at the nearby temple. Jia En gets to the temple and leaves another voicemail on his pager that she’s arrived and telling him to hurry. Jia En sits down to wait for her boyfriend and then sees a figure in red walking through the bushes. She quickly covers her eyes! Another page from Liu Chuan is him asking where she is since he’s there but can’t see her.
Jia En starts calling out loud “Liu Chuan, Liu Chuan, where are you?” She calls him back and leaves a page that she’s at the temple, and he pages back that he’s also at the temple. Liu Chuan tells her to to stay put and he’ll find her. Jia En remembers all the recent talk about people and things disappearing randomly. She starts to whine in fear and sees a shadow of something headed towards her. Jia En runs off but sees the shadow headed towards her and keeps running until she ends up at a playground. She keeps running until she runs into Liu Chuan who is wearing red and he hugs her to confirm that she’s safe. Jia En wonders why he couldn’t find her and he reveals there are two temples nearby so they were at different temples. Jia En curls up to him while he assures here that there are lot of things hard to explain and complicated in this world all around them. Jia En calms down and they stare up at the full moon. Liu Chuan notes that when there are things hard to explain people chalk it up to mystery and then starts sharing some things his grandfather taught him about lunar cycles and the moon.
Liu Chuan’s talk appears to trigger a memory in him and he goes home to take out a book which discusses lunar events and the six-sided star is marked against a date where the Supermoon occurs. Liu Chuan takes out the numbers from the painting and matches it up to the coordinates of the Supermoon occurrences in recent times. Liu Chuan picks up the moon book and stares it at some more.
Ren Wei sits with Jia En’s parents as Dad rid Jia En’s clothes of fuzzballs. His daughter is so pretty he wants her to wear clothes that aren’t all messy. Dad wants to do more for her while he still can before she gets married. He reminisces about how he showed Jia En how to do everything from tying her shoelaces to swimming to riding a bike. Ren Wei thinks he taught Jia En some things but Dad claims he already taught her even earlier than that. Jia En comes home and stands by the door listening to her dad reminisce and crying because she’s so touched. Jia En runs up to hug her dad and he teases whether she wants to know what the supernatural show aired about today. Ren Wei offers to recap for her but Jia En isn’t interested, she just wants to watch it with her dad.
Tracy arrives at Ah Qing’s dad’s law firm and runs into Ah Qing in the lobby. She immediately walks away but he chases her down. Tracy asks why he doesn’t stick with something through, why call 99 times but not the 100th? Ah Qing forgot how many times he called her but knowing Tracy is keeping track makes him happy. Turns out when he was on the phone, someone bumped into him and spilled something. Ah Qing ran off to wash and his pager fell into the sink and broke. Tracy yells at him for leaving her worried and not getting a new pager immediately. Ah Qing realizes that he means a lot to Tracy but she tries to deny it. Ah Qing pulls her in for a sweet kiss and Tracy doesn’t push him away. They hold hands after the kiss and stare at each other.
Ren Wei goes to the printing store to have the blank check his dad gave him laminated. The owner warns him that if it’s laminated he can’t use it ever. Ren Wei insists he will never use it. Ren Wei puts the laminated check on his computer and salutes it as his goal in life and makes Jacky and Ah Qi salute it as well. Ren Wei has a new idea to make money, the only way to save money is on transportation costs. From now on he will handle all the operations while Ah Qi and Tracy delivers the goods. Jacky points out that Ren Wei’s suggestion came from his dad and Ren Wei isn’t against listening to his dad if the idea if good. He just want to show his dad that he can succeed. Dad has been listening outside and smile proudly at his son.
Jia En is at the park with Liu Chuan and Momo and the little sucker keeps barking towards the swings. Jia En hands Momo back to Liu Chuan and walks towards the swings to investigate. Liu Chuan asks what she is doing when she leans down to look at the underside of the swing. She finds a dog treat wedged there and realizes this is why Momo barks at the swing. Liu Chuan is reading the moon book and Jia En asks if he discovered anything else? Liu Chuan takes out the book and opens it to a thicker page and uses his pencil to shade over the blank page to discover that there is a decoder grid hidden underneath. Jia En and Liu Chuan get to work decoding the numbers from the painting using the decoder grid. The come up with the letters BYACING.
They head to the library but can’t find anything connected with the term. Jia En finally locates an old Taya tribe legend about how the sun was too hot so a warrior was sent to shoot it down. The warrior carried a baby on his back but the road was long so when he arrived the warrior was an old man but the baby had grown up to be a strapping warrior himself. The young warrior carried the old warrior’s mantle and shot the sun into two, and one half became the moon. Jia En wonders if Liu Chuan is the young warrior finishing the work behind by his grandfather. Liu Chuan doesn’t know what task his grandfather left behind though, but his grandfather is his idol and taught him everything. He died when Liu Chuan was ten years old but he shaped Liu Chuan’s entire world view. His grandfather supported everything Liu Chuan did except one time when Liu Chuan used his allowance to buy snacks but lied that he bought a textbook. His grandfather knew he lied but didn’t confront him, only staring at him in disappointment which is when Liu Chuan decided never to lie to him again. Jia En can see Liu Chuan’s grandfather must have been a very gentle and caring man, and that is where Liu Chuan got the same traits. They hold hands and smile at each other.
Jia En comes home to the teahouse and sees her mom conspiring with Ren Wei’s parents about planning a surprise 60th birthday party for Jia En’s dad. Talk goes to what Jia En’s dad is worried about and her mom says he’s jealous that he’ll lose his daughter now that she has a boyfriend. Ren Wei’s mom suggests they lie that Jia En is marrying Liu Chuan but the other parents say this shocker will give poor dad a heart attack and is too much. Jia En’s dad walks out and Ren Wei’s dad smoothly lies that they were talking about a friend of theirs who has a weak heart. Dad suggests older people need to exercise more and makes everyone stand up to start doing exercises at the table. It’s hilarious the way Ren Wei’s parents quickly take their leave and then Jia En’s mom as well as Jia En run off before Dad forces them to learn him “toad maneuver.”
The Treasure Hunting Club is out and everyone is writing down their secrets. Jia En and Liu Chuan write that they want to be together with each other forever. Ren Wei looks sad and writes “I hope Jia En will know one day how much I like her.” Jia En and Liu Chuan walk over and stare, with Jia En accusing Ren Wei of liking her and changing their sibling-like friendship. Liu Chuan takes Jia En away and tells her to pay no attention to it since they are going overseas soon. Ren Wei screams at Jia En not to leave! Of course this is Ren Wei’s dream and he called out “Don’t go!” Jia En walks in and wakes Ren Wei up and asks if he’s under too much pressure with his start up business? Ren Wei reveals it’s going better now that he has Jacky and Ah Qi doing deliveries and has sold most of his current inventory.
Jia En offers to lend him her allowance if he needs it but Ren Wei doesn’t and he’s in fact laminated his dad’s blank check to show that he doesn’t need any help. Jia En notes that Ren Wei and his dad are exactly the same type of people, so stubborn and headstrong. She wonders why people who are the same seem to repel each other? Ren Wei remembers Liu Chuan saying that he and Bai Xue are very similar and that is why they are just friends. Rei Wei wonders if he and Jia En are the same type of person and Jia En says they are – they say it as it is, laugh loudly at jokes, and even get angry quick. Ren Wei asks if Jia En believes the same type of persons can’t love each other? Jia En is afraid he’s talking about herself and him but Rei Wei quickly explains that he’s talking about himself with his dad. Jia En is called downstairs to help in the teahouse and this conversation ends right there leaving Ren Wei sighing.
Jia En and Liu Chuan are having lunch and she notices that he saves the best for last just like she does. She says Ren Wei used to take her food thinking she didn’t like it, which is yet another reminder why Ren Wei is never ever getting Jia En in the end. Jia En takes his kungpao chicken and threatens to eat it but Liu Chuan doesn’t care since he likes her more than he likes kungpao chicken. He gives her half off his plate and they feed each other. Jia En wonders if Liu Chuan’s grandfather kept a journal and maybe more clues will be inside? Liu Chuan will go check with his dad when he gets home. Jia En reveals that her dad took her clothes to defuzz and he seems to be sad that he’s losing her now that she’s dating.
Liu Chuan says his dad doesn’t care and only cares about how to help himself in the upcoming elections. Jia En used to think that her parents cared more about their work in coming to Taipei and leaving her in Pingdong. But she soon realized that they worked hard so she could have a better future and eventually she wrote them a letter to apologize. Perhaps Liu Chuan’s dad is the same way? She notices Liu Chuan shutting down again and quickly says perhaps this is just her point of view. Liu Chuan is ready to talk because he knows Jia En is a very sweet and considerate girl and he does need to communicate better with his dad. He will work harder to talk with him. Jia En invites Liu Chuan to her dad’s 50th birthday party this weekend and they have a surprised planned for him.
Ren Wei takes Bai Xue out to have some ice-cream and it’s to chat with her about whether she dreams a lot when she sleeps. He shares his nightmare about confessing to Jia En but she got mad that he ruined their pure friendship and took off with Liu Chuan. Bai Xue is shocked that Ren Wei is so into it that he’s even dreaming a night. Bai Xue adorably understands Ren Wei is feeling so emotionally strapped right now and Ren Wei is which is why he wants to just tell Jia En and get it off his chest. Bai Xue tells him to be prepared then for the possibility that his friendship with Jia En can’t withstand this confession.
Ren Wei sighs that he may have to keep it inside forever. Bai Xue doesn’t think so, perhaps one day a new girl will appear in his life so he just has to endure for now. Bai Xue believes such a girl will appear one day even though it’s hard to find someone you like who also likes you back. They cheer each other on and Ren Wei thanks her sincerely for being a great friend to have. Ren Wei gets a page from Jacky and reveals it’s probably good news since they are working together. Jacky and Ah Di hand their earnings to Ren Wei and tell him to pay off his bank debt and don’t get into anymore business. Ren Wei claims he has an idea and runs off. Sigh.
Ren Wei and his parents are having revolving sushi as he’s taken them out to eat using the money he earned. Dad eats only tofu skin because it’s too expensive and he can’t stomach eating something too costly. Mom tells her dad to eat up since it’s a treat from their son. Ren Wei’s dad keeps taking only the cheap items. Ren Wei’s mom hears that Ren Wei made a lot today and she’s happy for him but advises that knowing how to make money needs to come with learning how to save it. She coaxes her husband to eat an expensive piece and he compliments that it’s very delicious.
Ren Wei promises to take them out for steak next time he makes money and thanks his dad for believing in him which makes him very happy. Later that night, Ren Wei is on the computer selling and his dad comes by and peers in. Ren Wei offers to teach his dad about how to sell online. Dad wants to do it as well and Ren Wei helps his dad create an account online. His mom walks by and looks in as her husband and son working together. The two moms talk downstairs about how kids grow up and become better at communicating with their parents. Jia En’s mom says Jia En is planning to study overseas and as a parent she needs to let go.
Jia En wheedles that she’ll call her mom everyday when she’s abroad. Ren Wei’s mom laments having a son who isn’t as close as having a daughter, and while Jia En has a boyfriend but Ren Wei doesn’t have any prospects. Jia En knows Ren Wei used to like a girl and Ren Wei’s mom says that if Ren Wei stops like one girl it’s because he’s fallen for another girl. Ren Wei’s parents are suddenly called back to Pingdong because their fishes are sick.
They say their farewells the next morning and Ren Wei’s dad hands a cell phone to Ren Wei for use in taking his dad’s calls on computer questions. Ren Wei runs off all happy he has a cell phone now. Ren Wei hands his dad a business card and his dad offers the suggestion to use his own name in the company name so that he can build up his own business brand. Ren Wei likes this idea and will confer with his dad if he has any business needs going forward. Ren Wei’s parents head back to Pingdong pretty relieved that their son has taken a step in the right direction. Ren Wei watches them leave and actually looks forlorn, confessing that two years in Taipei has actually led him to miss home.
Liu Chuan finishes his shift at the Public Services Section for his free legal advice. His colleagues notices Liu Chuan looks snappy and hears that he’s going to a birthday celebration for his girlfriend’s dad. The colleagues wishes Liu Chuan well since winning over the dad is a long and hard battle. Jia En’s end is trying to remind everyone about his birthday today on 8-23 but no one falls for his reminders and keep on ignoring him. He finally places a calender in front of him as he sullenly drinks his tea. Suddenly Jia En and Liu Chuan walk in from outside carrying a birthday cake and singing Happy Birthday. Ren Wei and Jia En’s mom joins in and everyone surrounds the smiling dad who is finally happy. Jia En gives her dad three wishes but he just has one wish and says it out loud – he wants the man dating his daughter to be just like him loving his daughter, to always love Jia En. Liu Chuan knows that no one will love Jia En as much as her dad and he will try to match up.
Dad wants Liu Chuan to give Jia En freedom to be herself and to respect her wishes, can he do that? Liu Chuan thinks back to how his dad has controlled his freedom and only gave him these four years to be himself. Everyone stares at Liu Chuan and Jia En’s dad pushes him to give him an answer. Liu Chuan says he will do his best and Ren Wei steps in to say that Liu Chuan is very conservative so when he says he’ll try it means OK. Jia En’s dad knows Liu Chuan is a very good young man with a bright future, but he worries that someone so accomplished will be more opinionated and the girl dating him will feel less accomplished and end up relying on him. Liu Chuan knows what Jia En’s dad means but he likes Jia En the most because of her opinions and he’ll do his best to allow her to continue being who she is. Dad likes this answer and blows out the candles. Liu Chuan shoots Ren Wei a thank you glance for speaking on his behalf.
Jia En walks Liu Chuan out and she assures him that she will be very independent going forward and he doesn’t need to worry. Liu Chuan teases that she’s so independent which is why she told him she didn’t need him as a tutor, and she was so independent she could go to a concert alone. Ahahaha, I knew it! He totally still has those incidents on his mind. Jia En pouts that she’s very independent but she’s still happiest when she’s with him. He feels the same way and tells her to go in and help out in the bustling teahouse. She doesn’t want it and wants to spend more time with him. He kisses her on the cheek and sends her inside.
Liu Chuan goes home and gives his dad a curt acknowledgement as he walks upstairs. He sits down at his desk and wonders if he can give Jia En freedom in his current situation? He heads back downstairs to talk with his dad and brings up how his dad wanted him to follow in his political footsteps. Liu Chuan accepted it in exchange for four years of freedom but asks now if he can pick his own path in life. Liu Chuan wants to become a human rights lawyer to help people. Liu Chuan’s dad says being a congressman can help more people and feel even more useful in life. Liu Chuan sighs and says he doesn’t know any other politicians but from his dad he doesn’t see any feeling of accomplishment and worth other than his dad sacrificed his family to cement his political career. His dad asks if Liu Chuan wants to discuss this now because of Jia En? Liu Chuan says this problem exists irrespective of Jia En. His dad doesn’t think he sacrificed his family since Liu Chuan turned out so well. Liu Chuan doesn’t feel accomplished at all, he just feels like he’s very disappointed in his life. His dad says Liu Chuan has another year and right now he’s in the throes of love so can’t think straight. If Liu Chuan and Jia En date past a year, then he’ll be happy to discuss this issue then with Liu Chuan.
Xiao Yao finds Tracy reading mangas in the cafe and asks what Tracy wants to do since the dating deadline is coming up tomorrow with Ah Qing. Tracy insists she will break up to win the best but Xiao Yao sweetly suggests they make a very nice couple. Tracy calls up Ah Qing and asks if he knows what tomorrow is? He acts clueless and says tomorrow is just tomorrow. She calls him out tomorrow to talk before slamming down the phone. Xiao Wei asks if Tracy is alright but Tracy says she won’t lose and she can’t lose, but she wonders what is the real losing and winning in this situation.
The Three Musketeers are playing ball and Liu Chuan is in a foul mood and his buddies can tell. I love how Ah Qing asks if Liu Chuan is “frustrated” in not getting any and Liu Chuan shoots him a “whatever” look. Ri Qi has done research on the Taya tribe legend and what the word BYACING means. Ri Qi figures Liu Chuan’s grandfather anticipated that Liu Chuan would be stuck in a world that is not free and left him a treasure that would allow Liu Chuan to choose his future. Liu Chuan asks if his buddies will help him find that treasure when the time comes. Both guys are willing though Ah Qing reveals he’s in a confused bind lately due to Tracy. Ah Qing doesn’t know what to do about his future with Tracy, only that he feels like a death row inmate facing execution.
Thoughts of Mine:
Ren Wei look a major step forward in episode 20, more on his career ambitions than on his romantic quagmire of liking his best friend who is currently in a perfect romance with the cutest smartest guy around. But I think he is also taking baby steps towards dealing with his feelings for Jia En that is destined to go nowhere at this time, and it takes the ever insightful Bai Xue to help him learn to live with those feelings rather than be plagued constantly with the feeling of unrequited affection. Ren Wei’s problem is that he’s only ever been motivated by the idea of love hence he goes from liking one girl to another, and perhaps the rise of his business endeavor is just the thing to ground his life in a purpose beyond romance. I did love how he learned to accept his dad’s help and how his dad was pleased with watching Ren Wei take the first steps towards maturity. Bai Xue has been marginalized in this drama since she got over her crush on Liu Chuan, which is a shame since she’s such a wonderful character in her own right.
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