I was traveling this past weekend so couldn’t get to episode 23 of In a Good Way until now which was a good thing. The drama is still very lovely but noticeably lacks the sparkle that would keep a viewer riveted to the screen. What sustains the pleasurable hour spent with it is the feeling of comfort and consistency. I know what I’m going to get and I want to see how all the remaining issues get resolved. I can say that the direction the drama is taking has already differed from the ending of the novel that was released a few weeks ago. That makes me happy since I wasn’t particularly keen on the way the novel handled the final stretch of the OTP journey. What makes Jia En and Liu Chuan such beautifully written characters is the lack of magically transforming personalities and thought processes. The cutie pies got in quite of few disagreements in this episode and it’s all true to their different backgrounds and the way it erupted also harkens back to their first fight in episode 5 which makes me happy for the consistency.
It’s so classicJia En the way she tries to put the best spin on anything related to Liu Chuan’s dad’s shady behavior since her closeness with her own dad clouds her perception of father figures. Liu Chuan’s tendency to just close himself off the moment Jia En voices a different opinion is a perfect example of his overall preference to internalize everything. On one hand is his idealistic and upstanding grandfather’s will and on the other is his corrupt and deceptive father’s crimes and misdemeanors starting to bubble up to the surface. I didn’t expect the final treasure returning task to unearth such a big can of worms but narratively it’s well laid out as the drama has never shied away from presenting Liu Chuan’s dad as capable of doing what he did (and more) when it comes to political gains. It’s a bit depressing to watch because it’s so realistically presented, especially seeing how it is literally crushing Liu Chuan to be confronted with the magnitude of his father’s malfeasance on all levels. Poor baby boy.
Episode 23 recap:
Ri Qi confesses that he likes Xiao Wei and asks if he can take her home now? She shakes her head and points out that he needs to pick up all the drawings on the ground first. She smiles shyly in happiness as Ri Qi scurries to tidy up. Well that was easy peasy.
Jia En waits outside the tea house and Liu Chuan pulls up on his motorcycle. He came late because he went to buy some xiaolongbao for her to eat and that confirms for Jia En that he’s not mad at her. She asks him not to fight anymore and Liu Chuan smiles and says they aren’t fighting. She pokes him sweetly and gets him to repeat that they won’t fight anymore. She takes the xiaolongbao and gets on his bike as they head towards locating the people on the address book.
They go to the registry office and from there they go everywhere together returning the heirlooms to the descendants of the people who entrusted the items to Liu Chuan’s grandfather. It’s truly rewarding as the people who get it back thank them profusely and are overcome with emotion. I especially love how they are doing this together and on Liu Chuan’s chick magnet motorcycle that he used to woo Jia En on multiple occasions!
Liu Chuan and Jia En return all the items until they are down to one person only. They track down the last person to a man named Lee Lai and find him selling his mochi on the street from a bicycle. The man reveals that his father was accused of being a liar for taking other’s property and then disappeared. Liu Chuan takes out a land deed from the father and reveals that the father was coming back with it but died on the Taiping steamer. Lee Lai smiles because seeing this feels like it was yesterday his dad disappeared but it’s too late now because his mom died being hounded by debt collectors. He hands the land deed back to them and says it’s no use anymore and thanks them for coming all this way to find him and offers them mochi to eat.
Jia En and Liu Chuan walk away sadly as they watch Lee Lai resume making mochis from the back of his bike under the hot sun. Liu Chuan sits at home brooding while holding the land deed which is invalid now. Liu Chuan’s dad says he asked about the land deed and heard it’s invalid now. Liu Chuan raises an eyebrow that his dad asked about it and his dad claims he did it thinking this was something valuable Liu Chuan’s grandfather left for Liu Chuan. After he walks away, Liu Chuan takes out the picture of his dad posing with all the items he donated and wonders why the land deed isn’t in the picture.
The Treasure Hunting club gathers at the tea house to celebrate Ren Wei becoming the next president of the club. He takes out a map and says the next hunt is based on the six-sided star as well and will be aimed at bringing the guys and girls together. Jia En doesn’t mind losing to Ren Wei since this was the first time she’s seen him taking something so seriously. Ren Wei says Liu Chuan was very into his hunt as well but it’s a secret between him and Liu Chuan. Ah Di and Jacky suggests having a Treasure Hunting matchmaking date once a month and ask Ri Qi to chime in. Ri Qi takes Xiao Wei’s hand and reveals he doesn’t need it anymore.
Liu Chuan arrives but stands outside until Jia En goes out to get him. She wants to pull him inside but he stands there silently so she offers to walk with him. During their walk, Liu Chuan reveals that he couldn’t see the land deed in the picture of his dad posing with the donated treasures. Jia En suggests it’s just a misunderstanding and Liu Chuan should just ask his dad directly. Liu Chuan doesn’t want to because his dad will lie or try to misdirect him. Jia En knows Liu Chuan’s dad is very superficial but suggests he will be different with his own son.
Liu Chuan is disappointed that she doesn’t take his side or understands why he feels this way. He doesn’t want to talk about it anymore since Jia En doesn’t understand his family situation. Jia En admits she doesn’t understand but that’s because Liu Chuan doesn’t share more with her. Jia En says if her dad did anything wrong she would try to understand him. Liu Chuan says his dad is a congressman and the situation is different. Jia En thinks he’s insulting her dad for just running a tea house. Liu Chuan gets up and says this conversation is over and walks away.
Jia En mopes her way home and finds the gathering has dispersed and only Ren Wei there cleaning up. He asks if she got in a fight with Liu Chuan and wants to go talk to him. Jia En stops Ren Wei because right now Liu Chuan must be feeling bad as well. Ren Wei instead tells a joke to lighten the mood and get Jia En to smile.
Bai Xue finds Ren Wei sighing in the club room and hears that Jia En and Liu Chuan got in another fight. Bai Xue warns Ren Wei not to meddle and he sighs that he would never meddle. Ren Wei knows that Jia En and Liu Chuan are very compatible personality-wise but grew up in completely different environments and that is why there is conflict. Ren Wei has decided not to confess his feelings to Jia En and just be her good friend so that he has a right to take care of her when she’s upset or down. Bai Xue smiles to hear this and is quite impressed with how mature Ren Wei has become. He sasses back that he’s always mature and she just didn’t see it. Bai Xue is genuinely moved by how Ren Wei has melded his romantic and familial feelings for Jia En into something so sweet.
Ah Qing finds Liu Chuan on campus and hands over Liu Chuan’s grandfather’s will that he took out of the law firm. He believes Liu Chuan has a right to see it since the will was meant for him. The will contains a photographic record of all the treasures to return which makes it easier for Liu Chuan to match up. He flips to the land deed and finds there is another one with a modern day plot number. Liu Chuan looks distressed as he confirms the land still exists.
Liu Chuan waits for his dad to come home and asks about the land deed. He wonders if his grandfather didn’t try to keep the land valid for the day he could return the deed to the rightful owner. Liu Chuan takes out the land deed and reveals that he and Jia En found the son of the land owner but it’s too late. He’s lived his whole life being wrongfully accused of taking other people’s land. Liu Chuan stands up and asks his dad directly if his grandfather left him only an invalid land deed? His dad looks him in the eye in the eye and says yes. He then goes to answer the ringing phone leaving Liu Chuan utterly pained by the blatant lie.
Jia En comes down in the morning and finds Liu Chuan standing outside the tea house. She opens the door for him but brusquely walks away to turn on the lights and ready the tea house for opening. She asks why he came and is just standing there not talking. She doesn’t like him like this, fighting and then not saying anything. If he’s here to apologize then she’ll give him three seconds. Liu Chuan asks her to accompany him to a place, and at least even when they are fighting they hold hands when walking. They arrive at a big building which Liu Chuan reveals is the land that was supposed to be returned to Lee Lai. They go inside and hear that this building was built about ten years ago and this location has increased significantly in value. Reportedly this developer is very well connected, wherever a building goes up then nearby the government will also be building infrastructure.
Liu Chuan takes Jia Ento a second location which is the land registry administration to find out who owns that property. He views the sale record and sees that the land was sold by Liu Shan Feng to a Yuan Sheng Corporation. Liu Chuan is resigned to get confirmation that his dad sold the property under his name to a developer. Jia En makes the connection that Liu Chuan’s dad must be connected with the developer since the government is able to build around the area afterwards. When Liu Chuan and Jia En leave, a reporter who has been tailing him goes to get a copy of the same information they requested.
Jia En apologizes for fighting with him last time, she really didn’t have a clue what he was dealing with. Liu Chuan admits he wanted to be wrong last time when they fought, he wished he was wrong about his dad. Jia En keeps apologizing for not taking his side. Liu Chuan is worried now about Lee Lai and how that man has suffered over the years because of not getting the land deed back. Jia En and Liu Chuan go back to visit Lee Lai and find him pushing his bike up a steep hill. They help him get it back home and he thanks him with more mochi. Liu Chuan stumbles a few times as he tries to tell Lee Lai the truth and Jia En interjects by saying they really like his mochi so want to come visit him more and help him push his bike. That makes Lee Lai happy and he gives them more mochi. Suddenly his landlady comes by and asks for rent which is three months overdue. He promises to pay soon and the landlady tells him to pay soon and wonders how long he can keep selling mochi at his advanced age. Jia En and Liu Chuan take this all in.
Liu Chuan walks away feeling really guilty about how Lee Lai is so impoverished when really he could be living a good life with the land. He wants to find a way to return the land to him or else give him back the money that was exchanged during the land sale. Liu Chuan plans to ask him dad but Jia En knows his dad will take it poorly as an accusation that he took land belonging to someone else. Back at home, a reporter calls Liu Chuan’s dad and wants to ask if he sold a piece of land a few years ago to a Yuan Sheng Corporation. The reporter is calling to confirm the rumors that Liu Chuan’s dad might not be as clean as he is known to be. Liu Chuan’s dad admits to selling the land but says he sold it for much lower than the valuation. Liu Chuan comes home and wants to continue the land deed conversation and reveals he knows about the piece of property under his name that was sold. Liu Chuan’s dad now claims to remember the land in question but says he had no clue it was related to the old land deed. He sold it ten years ago and the money remains intact in the bank and was never touched.
Liu Chuan chastises his dad for selling land that belonged to someone else, that family is now suffering in a life that wasn’t meant for them. Liu Chuan’s dad asks what Liu Chuan wants him to do now? Liu Chuan wants his dad to give the money he took in back then for the sale and return it. Liu Chuan’s dad readily agrees and tells Liu Chuan to handle it. As Liu Chuan walks back to his room, he passes his dad in the study and sees him rummaging through his desk drawer for the bank account book. He hands it to Liu Chuan and tells him to return the money. He asks Liu Chuan to accompany him to a political event to start getting used to this profession. That night Liu Chuan sits in his room and broods as he remembers his dad’s shadiness. He sneaks back home and opens his dad’s locked drawer to read through the files inside. His dad hears noise and gets out of bed to go check. Liu Chuan is gone by the time he walks into his study.
Bai Xue and Jia En are walking through campus and discussing the two available exchange student opportunities this year. A professor passes by and encourages Jia En to apply and to attend a retreat for the department.
Jia En has lunch with the preoccupied Liu Chuan and hears that Liu Chuan found a secret account book in his dad’s study and inside shows an incoming all-cash amount ten times greater than the land sale price on the same day the transaction took place. Jia En suggests it might be a coincidence but Liu Chuan is more pragmatic about why there is an all-cash infusion and the fact that his dad immediately agreed to return to land sale money to Lee Lai. Liu Chuan wants to dig into it some more and asks Jia En to accompany him. She agrees and then remembers that she was encouraged to apply for an exchange student study as well as attend a foreign languages retreat. She pouts because she doesn’t want to be separated from him. Liu Chuan reminds her that he’s going off to the army soon as well and a separation means they will grow up better and cherish each other more. He suggests she treat the retreat as a test run of being apart. Liu Chuan assures her that he’ll investigate the land sale more and contact her if he learns something important.
Jia En’s dad is not happy that she might be going overseas so soon as an exchange student even though this is a great opportunity. Mom tells Dad to let Jia En go as she grows up but Dad is very reluctant because after she’s done studying she’ll get married and he’ll have less chances to even sit down and eat at the same table. Dad grumbles that she can go but warns her not to bring back a foreigner for a boyfriend. Jia En says there is nothing wrong with that but she’s planning to be with Liu Chuan and won’t be having a change of heart. Morning arrives and Bai Xue comes around to pick up Jia En to go attend the retreat together. They quickly hustle off since the cab is waiting and leaves Jia En’s dad running after her waving a pair of socks she forgot.
Liu Chuan is at the library with Ah Qing doing research on the land development in the area where the land is location. Liu Chuan’s dad was on the development committee with other congressman and might have influenced the development plans so that would benefit the developer holding the land. The developer then paid Liu Chuan’s dad a thank you bribe afterwards. Ah Qing and Liu Chuan confirm that this method seems to have gone on repeatedly. Liu Chuan is scared and disappointed the closer he gets to the truth and wants to keep digging. Ah Qing stops him from going further beyond the land that rightfully belongs to Lee Lai. After Ah Qing and Liu Chuan leave the research building, the reporter that was tailing Liu Chuan earlier goes inside.
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