Thursday, November 24, 2011

Episode 4 Recap of Sealed with a Kiss

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you all get some good Black Friday deals. I'll be doing some midnight shopping too, so hopefully the crowd won't be too crazy. Anyway, I finally finished recapping Episode 4! No idea why it took so long. I guess there are so many memorable scenes in this episode that I kept on trying to snap the right moment for screen captures.
Feeling like a piece of chattel, Tong Xue devastatingly thinks that Shaoqian is passing her over to other men. She feels her life will be ruined after she consents to Shaoqian's "request." She recalls her parents' desire to send her abroad to study and their hope she'll explore her artistic talent to become a great interior designer.

Shaoqian, who seems completely unaffected, leaves his house and calls his assistant, Wenhao, to investigate the mastermind behind the trailing of Yueying. He then gets a phone call from Yongfei and the first thing he hears from her is "Do you know how I deal with the women you have outside?"
Shaoqian then answers in an innocent voice, "I don't have any women outside." Oh, such a conceited liar! The smirk he has on his face was so priceless though. I love it! Yongfei goes on to sarcastically compliment him for the great photos he took with Su Shanshan, but he completely ignores her attempts to confront him about the issue. Everything is going according to his plan to lure Yongfei's attention away from Tong Xue and focus on the scapegoat, Su Shanshan.
That evening, Tong Xue dresses up to attend the dinner party Shaoqian arranged for her. As she approaches the reserved dinner room, she can hear Yueying's frustrated voice in refusing a drink. Worried, she immediately barges in unannounced and surprises everyone... except for Shaoqian.

At the dinner party, Tong Xue not only sees Yueying, but also Liu Liangchun (Yueying's father), Director Jin (her boss), and quite a few other guests. Both Yueying and Director Jin are shocked to see Tong Xue show up for the party, but her boss recovers quickly and urges her to introduce herself to Mo Shaoqian. He, on the other hand, pretends not to know her, but Chen Hao takes notice of their feigned unfamiliarity and Tong Xue's uncommon last name.
All this time, Tong Xue has been miserable for naught. Shaoqian had purposely set up this dinner party not only to do Tong Xue a favor (helping Yueying's father) but to clarify the misunderstanding. He is definitely a man of action, not empty words. Moreover, no matter what he says, Tong Xue probably won't believe him anyway. He doesn't like to explain himself but would rather have people misunderstand him until the truth comes out later to clear his name.
Dinner ended pleasantly with a drunken Tong Xue. As everyone bids farewell, Shaoqian "offers" to send Tong Xue home since "her house" is on the way back to "his hotel." Yueying, however, feels safer about taking the half-conscious Tong Xue back to her own house. In her delirious state, Tong Xue  insists on going home. She says, "My boyfriend is back. I gave him a call and he said he'll come pick me up" right in front of Shaoqian while he responded with an "uh huh" look on his face. After much deliberation, Yueying only relented when Shaoqian's chauffeur came to reassure her and her own father's insistence on letting Shaoqian take Tong Xue home. (I feel Yueying is a really responsible friend. It's good precaution not to let your best friend go home with a male stranger without a second thought. I guess she's afraid Shaoqian might take advantage of the drunken Tong Xue).
On the car drive ride back home, the euphoric Tong Xue apologizes to Shaoqian for her wrongful accusations and Shaoqian seems to enjoy every second of her apology. She rambles on and on about the pretentious front that Shaoqian puts on to fool everyone. In fact, he's not as evil and wicked as he wants her to think.
She admits, "Let me tell you. I wronged you. You lied to me. You are really wicked! You lied to me, but I won't resent you. You helped him so I won't resent you. Let me apologize to you. How could I think you're cable of such evil? In fact, you're not that evil. Why do you pretend to be? Why put up such an act! [Shaoqian's eyes shoot daggers at her.] You're not very happy too, huh? I can sense you have a lot in your mind when I saw you bathed. [Shaoqian's eyes shoot daggers at her again] I didn't peek at you bathing! You failed to close your door tightly when you bathed, so I accidentally took ONE glance. When I watched you bathed, your face...it looked like you were in great pain...like you had a lot on your mind. Right? Right?"
To Shaoqian's embarrassment, the chauffeur has been watching them with much interest this whole entire time. He tries to hush Tong Xue up, but she just babbles and babbles incessantly about her innermost thoughts about him. Finally, she gets too nauseous to talk and literally vomits on his lap. 

On a bench next to the riverbank, Shaoqian quietly smokes while Tong Xue nags on him to let her take a puff. He rejects her request, saying "women shouldn't smoke." Tong Xue continues her ramble again. Resting her head on his shoulder, she acknowledges the fact that he actually treats her pretty well.
Tong Xue reveals, "You never physically beat me. In the winter, you took me to bath in hot springs. In the spring, you took me to look at sakura. You don't have a mommy and daddy, right? I don't know who are your parents and I also don't know who is your wife. I don't read the newspaper. You are a great industrial entrepreneur. You're famous. I don't dare to read the newspaper. I'm afraid to read about you in the newspaper. Actually, I'm afraid to know more about you."
Tong Xue speculates that the reason why he's so mentally warped is, perhaps, attributed to his "unhappy childhood." She can also sense that he hates her, but doesn't know the reason behind his hatred. When Tong Xue probes further about the cause for his hatred, Shaoqian immediately gets up to ask if the chauffeur finished the cleanup and evades the question, abandoning Tong Xue on the bench. The chauffeur answers yes. I think Shaoqian plans to literally dump Tong Xue on the bench until the chauffeur reminds him that he "forgot" something.
In Tong Xue's bedroom, Shaoqian quiently sits on her bed deep in thought and watches her sleep.  Again in a dreamy state, Tong Xue cries out "don't leave me."  Shaoqian does not want to remain silent this time and openly asks who is the person she wishes not to leave her.  Is it the same man who folded the origami paper cranes for her? Before Shaoqian gets an response from Tong Xue, he seems to fear the answer and he kisses her to shut her up. From this scene, you can definitely see Shaoqian's inner turmoil and the teary pain in his eyes.
Housekeeper Ding then interrupts this private moment and informs Shaoqian that Mu Yongfei is on the line. Yongfei tells him that her father wants him return to the Mu family compound but refuses to say more. That night, Shaoqian suffers from insomnia, and languidly lingers in Tong Xue's bedroom. (FYI: Shaoqian actually did the "deed" with a drunken Tong Xue in the novel. He didn't just standby and watch her sleep. In the drama, the writer "purified" it.) He appears to feel hopelessly confused about he should do with Tong Xue. Next morning, Tong Xue wakes up with a bad hangover.  Tong Xue's surprise, Shaoqian has already left early in the morning.
At work, Yueying curiously asks Tong Xue if anything special happened when Mo Shaoqian escorted her home. Tong Xue gets a little nervous and tells her not to think too much into the matter. Yueying then confesses that she fears something "special" might happened and warns Tong Xue that Mo Shaoqian already has a wife.

On his way back to his in-laws, Shaoqian hears about Su Shanshan's sudden demise in the entertainment industry on the radio. Her past relationships with rich married men are publicized and she's suffering from severe public backlash for her indiscretion. Due to clamorous public outcry, all her projects and advertising contracts are unilaterally terminated. Apparently, the culprit behind Su Shanshan's expedited downfall is Mu Yongfei. So, Su Shanshan purposely intercepted Yongfei ay a jewelry store and begged for forgiveness. Even after kneeling down and countless apologies, Mu Yongfei still refuses to spare her. In anger, Su Shanshan insultingly yells, "You vicious woman! No wonder your husband doesn't want you and seeks other women outside your marriage."
Infuriated by Su Shanshan's impertinence, Mu Yongfei goes home to see an insolently smug Mo Shaoqian sitting on the sofa reading the newspaper. She goes over to taunt him about Su Shanshan's predicament to check if he's in "pain" for ruining a woman's life, but he doesn't seem to care. I bet if Mu Yongfei went after Tong Xue, he wouldn't be have that smirk on his face.
Yongfei and Shaoqian's meeting once again ends unhappily with her drowning in misery in her bedroom. Her father comes in to comfort and persuades her to cool down her hot-temper. No man likes a wife who constantly barks and orders him what to do. Mu Changhe reveals that Shaoqian may not be as uncompromising as he projects, and sometimes he's overly idealistic.

Mo Shaoqian's romantic scandal with Su Shanshan actually caused Distal Group's stocks to plummet. His infidelity suggests to investors that the Mo and Mu families' marriage alliance is shaking. To chastise Mo Shaoqian for challenging the Mu family's reins on Distal Group, Mu Changhe takes Mo Shaoqian to an exclusive business club whose members are in the high command of the finance world. At this gentlemanly dinner, these financial executives rudely ignore Shaoqian's calls for investment in his hospital project. They state that Shaoqian lacks the moral upright image to lead a project with such philanthropic mission. Keenly aware of his father-in-law's hidden pedagogic intent, Mo Shaoqian observes quietly with a sarcastic smile.
At his father's grave, Mo Shaoqian tells He Jie that they have endured/tolerated Mu Changhe's oppression for a decade already, but he still doesn't fully trust them. Since tolerance and endurance do not work, then he'll play the role of a docile son-in-law and good husband to reassure Mu Changhe. Shaoqian's father once taught him that "Even though the money-making world is a dog eat dog place, sometimes a little compassion pays back as well. You give someone a little helping hand that saves his life today, someday someone may help you back." Mu Changhe's greatest weakness lies in his relentless attacks on his rivals. The number of enemies he made is definitely not few.

Comments: 

My dear Tong Xue, I really doubt Shaoqian is really going to make you entertain other men based on his past history of displayed jealousy and possessiveness. I'm certain he's not going to even allow another human male to touch your beautiful shiny hair. This poor girl needs to brighten up a little. Then again, you can't blame Tong Xue for seeing Shaoqian in such a negative light. During the past 3 years she lived with him, he definitely coerced her to do a lot things against her will. Any woman in her shoes would see Mo Shaoqian as a unforgivable monster.

This episode has got to be one of my absolute favorites in the series. For the first time, I really like Ying'er's portrayal of Tong Xue. Most people have been dissatisfied with her acting or wardrobe, but Tong Xue's drunken scene really makes her shine!

The drunken Tong Xue's monologue is one of the most important piece of information in the drama if we want to know a more complete picture on how Tong Xue lived her life with Shaoqian in the past three years. Though there were certainly bad times when Shaoqian got temperamental and lashed out at her mentally (e.g. death anniversary of Tong Xue's parents), even Tong Xue acknowledged there were also good times. They lived almost like a "normal" couple. He lavished her with expensive gifts, took her on vacations (e.g. Japan to see sakura), loved to take her out to fancy dinners, and occasionally brought her along on his business trips (implied in the novel when they went to watch a movie together in Hong Kong).

I really doubt it was Shaoqian's original intention to have them live together in such "agreeable" terms . He probably just wanted Tong Xue to suffer the same miserable life he was living under the Mu family's roof and expected nothing more. Revenge didn't require him to transform her into mistress and definitely did not require him to co-habit with her. There were so many ways Shaoqian could have ruined Tong Xue's life, such as getting her expelled from school or crushing her professional aspirations. But then, fate, once again, intervened. One Chinese netizen succinctly summarizes their relationship,"He controls the way she lives, but she controls his mood/emotions."

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