I wouldn’t exactly call this drama action-packed. Rather, we viewers live for those little moments of interaction that draw Xiang Qin and Zhi Shu closer together. The rest is school and family slice-of-life business. No cliff hangers, no birth secrets, no scary mothers-in-law… it’s about as low key as they come.
Don’t expect to be challenged. Come and switch off your brain with me and enjoy this show for the cute, silly, and warm moments that make us smile.
Zhi Shu is out enjoying a game of basketball with his friends, while a crowd watches and cheers him on. He slam-dunks, hanging from the rim more than once. What a show boat. He’s apparently athletic, too, which shouldn’t come as a surprise (it’s not like he wastes his time studying). When he gets back home in the evening, he looks around for Xiang Qin in curiosity. She bursts out from the other room that she’ll never get it all done, which makes him run the other way.
Xiang Qin still hasn’t made much progress on her vacation homework, and she’s already at risk of falling asleep again. Zhi Shu’s lights go out, and she runs quietly to the outside of his door. She asks for God’s forgiveness, saying that she doesn’t want to steal, but she’s at a dead end.
She is hoping she can “borrow” Zhi Shu’s homework for a while. So, she sneaks in under the cover of darkness. She has night blindness, however, so she trips over the first thing in her path. She makes a huge ruckus fishing through the room, and you can’t help but feel that Zhi Shu will wake up at any moment (you remember that feeling from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast when they sing Be Our Guest? Yeah). There’s no way he wouldn’t wake up. She even turns on his desk light to get a better look. She shines it over to see Zhi Shu sleeping on his bed. When he stirs, she shuts it off in a hurry. Pulling out a flashlight now, she continues to rummage.
She comes across something on the desk titled “Pig Head Xiang Qin Observation Diary.” It’s an illustrated guide to Yu Shu’s feelings for Xiang Qin, and it isn’t very pretty. She takes it upon herself to clean up the picture, whitening her monster teeth. Zhi Shu wakes up at this point, but she’s still busy “correcting” Yu Shu’s pictures (writing “super beauty”).
She finally realizes that she has gotten side-tracked from her mission and gets back to snooping for the homework. Zhi Shu is pretending to be asleep. Xiang Qin spies his school bag from across the room and goes for it. She finds the homework answer book, and just at that moment, Zhi Shu springs into action, grabbing her by the arm and asking her what she’s doing in his room in the middle of the night.
He gets her pinned in a rather compromising position. He says that she must be there to assault him and brings up what Jin said — that even geniuses can become monsters. He says he may not be able to hold back. Xiang Qin, taking him very seriously, says that although she likes him, this is much too fast, and they should date healthily first. He starts laughing at her and gets up.
She’s annoyed that he’s laughing, and he says, “So you still like me.” Ah, yeah. She kind of gave it away. Zhi Shu tells her not to worry—he has no intention of dating her, “healthily” or otherwise. She throws his homework book at him and says she’ll tell everyone at school that he tried to assault her. He says that he’s not worried because only stupid people would believe her. Then he tempts her with his homework.
She says that he shouldn’t look down on people and that she doesn’t need it. In his irritating jeering manner, he offers to give it to her. She’s feeling peeved and stubborn now, so she leaves without it. Zhi Shu seems to look a little sorry for acting like a jerk.
Although she left with her dignity minimally intact, Xiang Qin is still up a creek without a paddle. She is determined to get her homework done, so she heads downstairs with her mug for a caffeinated beverage (good, she’s getting wise).
When she gets to the kitchen, she sees the light on in the dining room. She goes in to find a teddy bear table display. It’s all girly things with a note on a book reading, “You are welcome to use me.”
She seems very surprised when she hears Zhi Shu from around the corner. He tells her that he was fishing, and he waited a long time for the fish to come. She doesn’t get it, and he says that all the stuff on the table was bait for her. He says, seeing as she worked so hard, he’ll help her out this time. He gets all in her space, and tells her that he also wants to get to sleep, so they should get it over with quickly. He drags her up the stairs, and when she resists, he just picks her up. She still thinks he has evil intentions. I’m not as hopeful as she is, however.
He takes Xiang Qin to task on her homework, standing over her while she works. In spite of the circumstances, Xiang Qin is glad to be spending the last night of vacation with Zhi Shu. In the end, she thinks the atmosphere isn’t too bad.
The kids are back at school, and Xiang Qin is the only person in F Class that actually finished her holiday homework. The teacher wants to point out the significance to the class, and her friends interject that Zhi Shu is her personal reference book and her future meal ticket. The teacher corrects them, saying that this is about Xiang Qin’s hard work and determination. He suggests that they all learn a thing or two from her example. It’s their last semester of school, so he is hoping they can all work hard so they can get a job after graduation. A split scene between the F Class and A Class shows that it’s time for the “post-high school plans” survey.
Miss A Class tells her students that she hopes they all plan to go to college (aiming for the best national university). She says the goal is not just to get into the top school, but to get the top scores on the entrance exam. Our tortured genius is leaning his forehead into his hands, not looking very excited.
Xiang Qin and her friends are primping in the bathroom, and they ask Xiang Qin about her future plans. They say they she and Zhi Shu will have to part because he will probably go to Tai Da (National Taiwan University), and Xiang Qin won’t be able to make it in. Xiang Qin says that she thought that they would be together forever, but she knows they will have to part after her house is completed. Jin bursts into the girls bathroom to say, “let’s get married.” Honestly, I think he’s got a screw loose.
He filled out his survey form in a goofy way: date Xiang Qin, get married and have two kids, and live together happily in their love nest. She scolds him not to decide on other people’s lives. Xiang Qin heads home, wondering which university Zhi Shu will choose. She catches up to him walking, which she thinks is quite the coincidence. He points out that it’s not that amazing, seeing as they have the same route home. He doesn’t object or walk ahead when she suggests that they go together.
She asks him which university he’s considering, saying it must be Tai Da. He doesn’t respond, and she gets a little huffy. She says that it isn’t as though she can get in, so she’s not his rival. So why can’t he just tell her? He says that he’s not applying for Tai Da. She tries to get more out of him, but he won’t give it, and walks ahead. Her imagination starts running wild, thinking that he wants to go to their school’s university to be with her. He tells her that no matter which road he chooses, she’ll never catch up. She asks, “who says?” as she catches up to him by running. He keeps walking faster, she catches up, he takes off running, she runs, too! Cuteness. They turned their own metaphor into a game.
Later that night, Xiang Qin is staring out her window, wondering why Zhi Shu isn’t applying to Tai Da, noting that something seems to be troubling him. She’s not sure why someone as smart as him has problems. She snaps out of it and starts to focus on her own future. She hits the books… well, she falls asleep again. Seems she has a book allergy, if you ask me.
She wakes up later that night and wanders down for something to drink. Zhi Su is up, too. He says he was up studying, and she says she was doing the same. He points out the sleep lines on her face and offers her some of the coffee he just brewed.
Xiang Qin is really happy in the moment and ends up dozing off on the couch (so much for my coffee idea). She wakes up and goes looking for Zhi Shu, who is eavesdropping on their parents from the stairwell. She listens in with him. They are talking about house plans. The kids overhear them pointing out the room they have planned for Xiang Qin and Zhi Shu and a baby room.
The kids come down, and Zhi Shu asks what is going on— what do they mean by his and Xiang Qin’s “newlywed room?” He says that if they have decided that they are getting married, he has the right to say no. Xiang Qin’s dad says to him that his daughter also has the right to say no. Xiang Qin pipes in, saying “yeah, who says I want to marry you?” Zhi Shu turns around and says to her out of his parents’ ear shot- “Even if I might like you, I won’t accept their arrangement.” Xiang Qin looks at him in astonishment, “Like me…”
He tells the parents to stop their stupid scheming and heads up the stairs.
The next day at school, we find out that Mr. F class is still in trouble again because his students’ grades have not improved. He is defending his students, saying everyone has their own strong suit and there are professionals in every profession. The principal warns the F teacher that the standard for the school’s university test will be high.
The F Class teacher tells his students that this time, the stakes are higher. He empties his pockets onto the desk- buttons of all the kids that haven’t graduated. He asks his students if they know the significance of the second button. Jin says that it’s the one you prepare to give your love on graduation day, and his is for Xiang Qin (to which her friend replies, “Oh please, she wants Zhi Shu’s”). The teacher says that their last 3 years of grades and the results of the last exam aren’t important—without that button, their lives will be filled with misery. The teacher says he didn’t get a button or give a button back in the day, and even today he can’t hold his head up high. He doesn’t want his students to end up that way. He hopes that they work hard on this exam, and the students are inspired.
Xiang Qin and her friends are having a pillow fight in her room, but when mom comes to deliver snacks, they scurry back to the desk. They came over to study, but they keep goofing off. They ask Xiang Qin about Zhi Shu’s room, and they take off down the hall to go have a look.
Xiang Qin drags them back to her room. She tells them to sit and study, and they start to look bored in moments. Xiang Qin tries to be the studying director, but her friends aren’t as motivated. They are wondering if Zhi Shu will help them. Xiang Qin tells them to get back to studying. They reason, though, that if there’s a genius next door, it makes sense to ask him for help. Xiang Qin seems determined to give it a try by herself. It doesn’t last long, though, and Zhi Shu hears a tapping on his door.
Xiang Qin tries to deliver him a snack or coffee, and Yu Shu the mini gangster tries to get her out of the room. At the urging of her friends, she asks Zhi Shu for help in math, and he says no, teaching her is a waste of his time. She asks for help with just one problem—two or three seconds. He holds out, but the smirk on his face reveals that he likes the attention. He turns around with his angry face on and accepts the homework book from her hand. He fills in the problem as the girls scramble to write it down. He tells them not to bother him again, and they scurry off. Xiang Qin is determined that they should rely on themselves for the rest of it. The three of them stare at the page as if they are trying to decipher hieroglyphics. Zhi Shu gets another tappity tap tap on his door. They are only on the second problem. He fills it in and hands it back, returning to his math window writing. He is already in bed when the girls peek in to ask about the fourth problem.
The next day, F Class is ooing and ahing over the girls’ finished homework. They brag (except for Xiang Qin) that Zhi Shu helped them and also told them what would be on the exam. Her whole class begs Xiang Qin to ask Zhi Shu to help them. She tries to get away, saying that he’ll be mad. Jin comes to her rescue, pushing everyone off.
Jin has already decided not to go to university but to get a job so he can make lots of money and support Xiang Qin. Chun Mei says that Xiang Qin might get into college and meet different men. They tell him to just give it up. Jin is sticking to his “love” plan, though. He’s off in his own little world.
Zhi Shu comes home that afternoon to find the entire F Class and their teacher waiting. They come to the door to meet him and ask him for help on their homework. He tries to escape, but his mom gets ahold of him. He pushes through to get to the stairs, but he turns back and calls out for Yuan Xiang Qin, getting mad at her. She tells him she didn’t mean to cause this situation but asks him to help them, anyway. He runs back up the stairs, and the class follows.
Jin and one of his buddies are the only ones not there. His friend asks Jin if should be working on his love plan, and Jin agrees that he should. He kicks his friend off the bike, and said friend hurries off… obviously headed for the study session.
Zhi Shu’s dad comes home to find a massive pile of shoes at the door. Zhi Shu is teaching the whole class by writing on his bedroom window. His mom and dad stand at the door, musing that Zhi Shu has been changing ever since he met Xiang Qin.
The F Class takes its leave, bowing to the family, the “stray kitten” (Xiang Qin), and their savior, Zhi Shu. Feeling closer to him, they are shouting back things like, “Zhi Shu, next time let’s go play basketball.”
After things have settled down, Xiang Qin is feeling sheepish and wants to express her gratitude to Zhi Shu. She brings him an oatmeal drink so he’ll sleep better, and he drinks it. She says that she’s sorry and apologizes for giving him trouble all the time. She tells him that everyone was so happy today and he did a great job explaining the problems. She thinks that, thanks to him, they’ll all be able to pass the final exam. When she gets up to leave, Zhi Shu asks her how she and her classmates can be so persistent at one thing. She sits back down, asking what he means. He says that he doesn’t understand it – why they are all working hard to get into university. She says he’s probably too smart to understand. Their grades are bad, but they have dreams and goals.
He says that, in reality, he doesn’t want to go to university. She asks him why, and he says that he doesn’t need others to teach him because he can study on his own. She says that university isn’t just about studying- there are activities, and it’s important to work hard for what you want in life. He asks her what her plan is (why she is working so hard). She says that she will work hard so she can help her dad with his restaurant. He’s different, though, since he’s so smart. He has to contribute his brains to society. He said that he’s pondered it before- she works really hard through difficulty. What if she worked really hard and didn’t accomplish her goal? She says that it feels nice. If you set expectations for yourself, then you have motivation to achieve your goals. Hasn’t he ever done that? He says no, he hasn’t. She’s not sure how that could be possible. She says that he’s smart, so he gets what he wants easily and doesn’t know the feeling. He says he’s jealous because he wants to feel that way, too. He decides that he’s going to bed, and she stands there a bit awkwardly as he passes by. She realizes that maybe geniuses have problems, too, and that she just caught a glimpse of his “soul.”
In class the next day, Zhi Shu is staring listlessly out the window. Meanwhile, foreign exchange students are looking in on the testing F Class, trying to establish if anyone is cheating. They are taking their test very seriously.
The teachers grading the tests are surprised at how many correct answers there are coming from the F Class. Someone asks if they were cheating, but Mr. F Class pops up to point out that the answers are different, so they did the work on their own.
The F Class ends up with surprisingly good grades on the exam. It turns out that Jin is the only one who didn’t pass out of the entire class. He’ll be taking the makeup exam.
Dun dun duuuuuuuuun!
End of Episode
See? No cliff hanger. Okay, maybe we can spice this up a bit: While Jin is studying for the makeup exam, he comes across a love letter in a chemistry book revealing Yu Shu’s birth secret. Dun dun duuuuuuun (Yeah, I’m making that up).
Although these episodes may seem to progress slowly in terms of our main couple’s relationship, I like how it handles a gradual passing of time in a quick way. Think about it- in four episodes, they’ve all but finished high school. With so many episodes left to go, we know we get to experience their college life, which, to me is much more interesting than a high school romance (my interest in that pretty much left me as soon as I got out of high school).
Zhi Shu is definitely starting to accept and even (I hesitate to say) welcome Xiang Qin’s presence in his life. She causes him “trouble,” but everything is much more lively and interesting Casa Jiang.
© lovelovedrama 2011
Next: Episode 5