For all the fans of In a Good Way who thought this drama was going to coast to a happy ending with the same low-key mood and plot that has come to define it, it’s time to meet episode 25 and experience a resounding thwack to the head. I felt my head spinning from midway through the episode and the pressure didn’t let off even as the credits rolled with nary a hint of what’s to come for next week’s final episode. This episode can be summed up as “Liu Chuan-meets-jail” as the shit really hits the fan in the fallout from Liu Chuan’s dad’s bribery and corruption scandal. The drama hasn’t veered towards melodrama territory even in this episode where there are serious consequences at stake but no one freaks out about it. Jia En does cry (A LOT) and I don’t know if Kirsten Jen is just tired or zoned out but her acting in all her crying scenes was surprisingly cringe-worthy. For the first time she warrants criticism for delivering a slew of unconvincing crying scenes, made all the more awkward when stacked up against Lego Lee tearing up across a jail cell window pane from her.
The story keeps everything focused on the few remaining plot threads such as Liu Chuan’s family crisis, Jia En’s study abroad coming at a terrible time for her relationship with Liu Chuan, and all the remaining students trying to forge ahead in their own life matters. Jia En’s dad continues to be the bestest daddy in the world, standing toe-to-toe with Bai Xue’s unshakable status as the best girlfriend in the world. When all is said and done, these two are the most heartwarming supporting characters I’ll take away from the drama. I saw a twinge of possibility flare up between Bai Xue and Ren Wei again, just a teensy bit which is all that is needed to keep that ship buoyant. It needn’t go anywhere but its existence is a well-crafted development from the heyday of Ren Wei’s crush on Bai Xue all the way to a friendship between them defined by candor and mutual support. If Jia En becomes fully focused on Liu Chuan, at least Ren Wei won’t lose his best friend and have no one left because he’s gained another good thoughtful friend in Bai Xue. It’s so bittersweet to acknowledge that only one episode remains of this wonderful drama but the sadness is tempered with the emotional satisfaction of reaching the end of the story with these kids and being ready to let them go.
Episode 25 recap:
Ah Qing takes Tracy to Tanshui in an attempt to cheer her up after watching Titanic. He explains the story is fictional but she points out the Titanic really did sink and she’s sad about the lives lost more than the love story in the movie. She wonders why he’s not sad and Ah Qing explains he treats it as just a story so he doesn’t let it affect him emotionally. Tracy stands on the railing and asks what he’ll do if she jumped? Ah Qing won’t jump after her if that’s what she wants to hear – they are not movie characters like Jack and Rose so their love story doesn’t need to be so star-crossed. Tracy wants such a romance and opens her arms up to feel the ocean breeze. Ah Qing grabs her by the waist and pulls her down and sincerely says he will work hard so that they can continue living and that is how their romance will continue. That is how he loves. Tracy hugs him and compliments her boyfriend as cooler than Jack. He pulls her in dance an Irish jig right there and the mood is suddenly buoyed and Tracy is in a good mood again.
Liu Chuan rides his motorcycle down the highway alone while Jia En storms back to the tea house and pages him to leave a voicemail inviting him to watch Titanic with her. Bai Xue left her two tickets and it’ll be a good change of mood to go watch the movie. Dad hears her inviting Liu Chuan to watch a movie but Jia En ignores him and goes to sit down and wait for the phone to ring with Liu Chuan calling her back. Dad can tell his daughter is really affected by all this. Liu Chuan goes to the beach that he took Jia En to in episode 2 after the tea confession fallout. He paces back and forth and doesn’t notice his pager beeping with Jia En’s message. He sits down on a log to brood as night gradually falls. Jia En falls asleep still holding her pager in her hand which leaves Dad sadly taking it out of her hands. Liu Chuan sits at the beach all night until the sun rises. He finally gets up and checks his pager to find the message from Jia En. Liu Chuan rides back straight to the tea house to find Jia En and runs into her Dad outside. He finds out Jia En is still asleep since she was awake until late waiting for a return call on her pager. Liu Chuan admits she was likely waiting for him and he didn’t notice she paged him since he was out all night. He is about to leave but Dad asks him inside to have tea with him.
Liu Chuan sips tea with Jia En’s dad and discuss how this tea tastes unique like honey. Dad explains it’s not honey but an insect that nibbles on the leaves and leaves behind its secretion which is fragrant like honey. But to grow these tea leaves is very difficult because the insect can easily eat all the leaves. Liu Chuan knows Jia En’s dad has something specific to talk to him about. Dad tells Liu Chuan that people facing difficulty needs to deal with it together. If they don’t then they will let the difficulty tear them apart. Dad asks how Liu Chuan’s dad is doing now? Liu Chuan admits his dad made a mistake and will now pay the price for it. Dad brings up how Jia En is so worried about Liu Chuan’s family situation and can’t even sleep. Jia En comes downstairs and cuts them off and the two youngsters head out to have breakfast at their favorite xiaolongbao joint. Dad smiles to watch them leave together.
Jia En and Liu Chuan sit down to breakfast and she asks what Liu Chuan talked to her dad about? He brushes it off as just chatting about tea but she presses on and asks if they talked about anything else? Liu Chuan apologizes for worrying her recently but he needs a bit more time to figure things out. She squeezes his hand with the reassurance that she will wait for him. Jia En says the sun will come out after the storm and this will all pass. Liu Chuan envies her optimism and doesn’t want her to change because of him. Jia En explains she is always like this even with her own problems and look at where she is now, she’s in college and has a boyfriend like Liu Chuan. Her beaming smile leads him to smile back because he’s happy when she’s happy. Jia En smiles broadly again and he pinches her cheek and teases that he knows she’s got a set of lovely pearly whites. They agree to go watch Titanic when he’s ready.
Ren Wei finds Bai Xue in the club room and gives her a present of an electronic translation notebook. She is impressed but doesn’t want to accept such an expensive gift. Ren Wei explains that his online business is booming and it was all thanks to Bai Xue writing the marketing plan for him when he was selling the portable CD players. Talk turns to watching Titanic and Ren Wei admits he was touched but didn’t end up crying. Bai Xue reveals she cried as well but not because of Jack and Rose but because of the old couple who held hands waiting for death. The fear of death doesn’t seem as scary when there is a loved one to face it with. Ren Wei likes Rose’s fiancee because he can empathize with a man not receiving love back. Bai Xue assures him that Ren Wei won’t turn out like that because he’s more mature and is able to wish Jia En well. Ren Wei sighs that he’s a coward and too scared to lose Jia En as a friend which is why he’s not asking for more, but being stuck in this impasse is very frustrating. Bai Xue decides to take Ren Wei somewhere so they can confront their fears together.
They go bungee jumping off a bridge and Bai Xue pushes him to do it. She explains how she conquered her fear of heights by taking the cable car alone after she was depressed being rejected by Liu Chuan. Ren Wei is impressed but he’s not ready to try yet. Bai Xue eagerly drags him to do it and the two of them are secured into the jump harness. Ren Wei tries to call it off but Bai Xue won’t let him. They get on the ledge and each tells the other to go first. The bungee jump operator hilariously offers to push them and speed things up. Ren Wei screams for him to stop and says they are a brave pair who have suffered heartache. They join hands and count backward from three and jump together. They finish jumping and Ren Wei hugs Bai Xue while laughing about how good it feels to be alive.
Jia En and Liu Chuan are returning to his dorm when they see a crowd of people gathered outside. They rush into Liu Chuan’s dorm room where two police officers are there asking Ah Qing and Ri Qi questions about where he is? The officers see Liu Chuan and slap handcuffs on him and take him away for missing two summons to testify as a material witness in his dad’s bribery case. Jia En starts screaming at the officers to let him go since they don’t need to cuff him but Liu Chuan doesn’t want to escalate it and leaves with them. Ah Qing tells her not to worry since he didn’t go home so he missed the summons which is why the cops are taking a heavy handed approach now in taking him away. He should be fine unless the investigation reveals Liu Chuan might be involved as well.
Jia En’s dad is watching the nightly news about the investigation and the reporter claims there is new evidence that further implicates Liu Chuan’s dad. He turns off the TV when Jia En comes back and wonders why her eyes are all red. She makes the excuse about allergies so her dad goes to find eye drops for her. She brushes him off and goes back to her room to rest. Ren Wei arrives bearing egg tart snacks and hears Jia En needs eye drops for her allergies. He offers to bring it to her and finds Jia En curled up in bed moping. He can tell her from voice that she’s not suffering from allergies and pulls open her blanket to find her all swollen-faced from crying. Ren Wei tries to find out what’s wrong but she keeps saying nothing is wrong.
He hands her a tissue and asks again if she doesn’t want to talk to him about it? Jia En sits up and admits she doesn’t know if she can talk about it. Ren Wei sits down on the bed and reminds her that he’s not an outsider and she can tell him anything. Jia En reveals Liu Chuan was arrested by cops because he missed two witness summons. What worries her even more is Liu Chuan being implicated in this case. Ren Wei assures her not to worry since Liu Chuan is just going to give a witness statement and will be back soon. Ren Wei comes downstairs and finds Jia En’s dad about to bring a delicious egg tart upstairs for his daughter to try. Ren Wei lies that Jia En is asleep already and shouldn’t be bothered.
Jia En goes to the detention center to see Liu Chuan and finds him in prisoner scrubs and they meet across the window pane and jail bars. They pick up the jail phone to talk with Jia En asking if he’s well and Liu Chuan assuring her that he’s fine. She wonders why he’s not out after giving a witness statement? Didn’t he say he would be right back? Liu Chuan assures her that he’ll be let out in a few days. Jia En frets about him not having enough warm clothes inside and isn’t eating well. She starts crying and offers to bring him whatever he needs. Liu Chuan tells her not to cry and apologizes for worrying her. He says “don’t furrow your brows, if you’re like this then my heart will hurt.” He reminds her of their separation practice and she yells at the stupid practice and how useless it is. Liu Chuan is choking up when he tells her that he’s fine and reminds her to not miss the application deadline for the exchange student program.
Jia En asks what she can do for him and he just stares and shakes his head while repeating that he’s fine. He asks her to stop crying again because it feels like he’ll he locked up for a long time. Jia En apologizes for crying and Liu Chuan says there is nothing for her to apologize about. He wants to see her smile because her smile gives him strength. Jia En stops crying long enough to smile for a moment before breaking down in sobs about how Ah Qing thinks Liu Chuan might be in big trouble if he’s implicated. He assures her no such thing can happen since he’s not involved. He asks her to do one thing for him – the only thing he worries about is her. Without him protecting her, what will happen to her? Will she cry all the time, not go to class, have to deal with everyone around her giving her pressure? Just thinking about this hurts. Jia En promises that she will take good care of herself and live well. They reach their hand out to press on the glass and Liu Chuan asks through tears for Jia En to not worry him while he’s locked up and she nods.
Everyone assembles at the Treasuring Hunting club to discuss the shocking news that Liu Chuan was taken away in handcuffs by the police for missing witness summons. Ah Di and Jacky wonder if Liu Chuan might be implicated in his dad’s case? Jia En comes in and assures everyone that she just saw Liu Chuan at the detention center and he’s fine. Ah Qing explains that under the law Liu Chuan will be released after he testifies at trial, unless he turns into a defendant as well. Everyone tries to stay optimistic that Liu Chuan did nothing wrong and will be back soon. Jia En suggests everyone write down their new year’s wish in the memory book since they can’t all celebrate new year’s eve together this year like last year. Everyone takes turn writing down their wish and it’s well-wishes for Liu Chuan to overcome this obstacle and find his real freedom.
Jia En and Xiao Wei are leaving class when her professor walks up to congratulate her on getting selected for the exchange student slot. Xiao Wei is sad about Jia En leaving for a year studying abroad and she’ll really miss having Jia En around. Ri Qi rides up and Jia En teases that Xiao Wei won’t be bored since Ri Qi is around. Ri Qi puts an extra jacket on Xiao Wei as they head to watch a new year’s eve concert. They invite her to come along but she declines since she made plans to have hotpot with her parents tonight. Ri Qi and Xiao Wei ride off and Jia En sadly walks off. She passes by the track field where other kids are setting up tents to celebrate new year’s eve together as 1997 is about to turn into 1998 which leads her to remembers how much fun they had together last year. Jia En walks off thinking about how last year her wish was to celebrate new year’s together every year but now even such a simple wish is difficult to come true. She hopes Liu Chuan will be okay.
Jia En goes home to have dinner with her parents and Dad hands her the study abroad materials such as her passport. Mom laments how fast time flies and how next year she won’t be around anymore. Jia En assures them that she will call often but then gets mullish and suddenly doesn’t want to go anymore. Her parents chastise her for being so immature but Jia En says there is so much she can’t leave behind like her parents and friends and school. Dad is certain it’s Liu Chuan that Jia En can’t leave behind. Mom assures her that she can stay home if she wants but Jia En says Liu Chuan will be disappointed if she doesn’t go. Dad says it’s her own dreams and goals that matter, she needs to go after what she wants otherwise she will regret it. After dinner Jia En sits at her desk and circles February 6th on her calender since that is when she’s going overseas. It’s only a month away and she wonders what she will bring with her to go so far away from home? She takes out a heart-shaped box and opens it to find her special mementos inside containing memories with Liu Chuan. She flips through a photo album of college pictures and sighs that it’s impossible to get used to separation no matter what. She touches a picture of Liu Chuan and wonders how she can bear leaving him behind?
Liu Chuan’s dad meets with his lawyer Ah Qing’s dad to discuss the files he prepared for the upcoming court hearing. Ah Qing’s dad reveals the rumor that some of the other implicated congressman have accepted deals and are testifying against him. Ah Qing’s dad asks for the whole truth from Liu Chuan’s dad so he can help him. Liu Chuan’s dad is freaking out about the possibility of getting convicted because that would end his political career. He claims there is nothing else he hasn’t told Ah Qing’s dad but Ah Qing’s dad keeps pressing him to reveal things he doesn’t want to say. Ah Qing’s dad conveys a message from Liu Chuan’s mom that she doesn’t want to come visit him. Ah Qing’s dad then reveals that Liu Chuan has been detained as a material witness in the detention center for missing two witness summons. Liu Chuan’s dad is worried and Ah Qing’s dad assures him that he’ll make sure Liu Chuan will be fine. Liu Chuan’s dad then whispers something to Ah Qing’s dad and says he needs Ah Qing’s dad’s help. Ah Qing’s dad thinks this is too much of a risk to win the case.
Ah Qing informs everyone that the hearing date is next Monday. Everyone decides that they will all show up in court to support Liu Chuan. Jia En thanks them all and is certain Liu Chuan will get strength from their support and encouragement. Liu Chuan is at the courthouse waiting for the hearing to start when he’s dad is led out in handcuffs. He tries to talk with his dad but the two officers push him aside roughly. The hearing starts and the charges are read in court and the judge asks if Congressman Liu admits or denies the charges. Ah Qing’s dad speaks up on behalf of his client and takes out his finances to show there was no corruption plus the land use deal was done with other congressman on the same land development commission so he couldn’t have done it alone. The prosecutor calls in another congressman and he throws Liu Chuan’s dad under the bus and says Liu Chuan’s dad pressed them all to approve land use deals. The prosecution then calls its witness Liu Shan Feng. Liu Chuan walks in and stares at his dad sitting at the defendant’s table.
Click here to watch In A Good Way.