Open Thread Autumn’s Concerto Episodes 19, 20 & 21

Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! I love this shot of Guang Xi and Xiao Le – so much! 😍 – which is why it’s headlining our post today.

SOME IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS, before we begin:

ZERO SPOILER POLICY

1. We will be adopting a ZERO SPOILER POLICY for this Open Thread, except for events that have happened in the show, up to this point.

The spoiler tags don’t work in email notifications, therefore, please take note that WE WILL NOT BE USING SPOILER TAGS FOR THIS OPEN THREAD. 

ANY AND ALL SPOILERS WILL BE REDACTED to protect first-time viewers in our midst (although, I’d appreciate it if you would save me the trouble of having to redact spoilers, heh 😅).

This includes, but is not limited to, how characters &/or relationships develop, later in the show.

We need to protect the innocent! 😉

SPOILER ZONE

2. HOWEVER!! If you’d like to discuss spoilers from a rewatcher’s point of view, I’ve created a SPOILER ZONE for you, where you can discuss all the spoilers you’d like, without the need for spoiler warnings. You can find it here!

Without further ado, here are my reactions to this set of episodes; have fun in the Open Thread, everyone! ❤️

My thoughts

Episode 19

We start the episode on a handhold, and end the episode, also on a handhold, and yet, it feels like Guang Xi isn’t that much closer to figuring out the truth, despite the various fragments of information and memories that he gains.

I’m not mad about it, to be clear; I still find the watch engaging. I’m just wondering when Show will allow the reveal, because we still have quite a few things to sort out after the reveal.

I feel like Show’s writers basically mapped out everything that Guang Xi and Mu Cheng experienced together, 6 years ago, and then used it as a checklist, in terms of creating situations that echo those experiences in our current timeline.

Not only do these serve to jog Guang Xi’s memories (by the little bit that they’re allowed to be jogged), they also serve to jog Mu Cheng’s emotions.

I had a bit of a giggle at how they had to hide in Shende Hall and then get locked in there, in order to mirror the last time they’d been locked in there together. So THIS was the key reason that the symposium had to be held at Shende University in the first place.

I have to give it to Show’s writers; they do plan ahead.

So while I might giggle at the moments when I realize things, like, “Aha! THIS is why Xiao Le’s been written to address Mu Cheng by name, all this time, instead of Mom!,” I actually appreciate the fact that our writers aren’t just making up stuff as they go along.

And, in this scene, Guang Xi’s memory flashes are getting more specific; he’s able to remember pretty key things, like how there had been a piano in the room before, and how there’s a spare key hidden in the clock.

All this makes me think that we’re getting closer to Guang Xi regaining his memories, which, YAY. I really do hope that he gets his memories back in full, and not just in fragments.

The way Guang Xi talks about not being able to remember people who might be important to him, feels so poignant, particularly since he shares that he’s been hiding these wistful feelings from the people around him, so as not to burden them.

He does want to remember, and he does care about remembering, and for that reason, I really hope he does.

Of course, it does feel really weird on a practical note, that they’re on such a time crunch to save Hua Tien Village, and they’re spending this extended interlude in Shende Hall, having this introspective conversation, but I’ll just count that as par for the course, for a retro melo like this.

Plus, I do like the idea that Guang Xi feels comfortable enough with Mu Cheng to share these thoughts with her, which he’s been keeping to himself for the past 6 years.

And, from the way Mu Cheng tells him the story of how the rollerblading marks on the floor had come about, I do feel like she’s softening up a bit, and relaxing the guard that she’s put up, in order to keep the truth from Guang Xi.

That’s.. some kind of progress, yes?

The whole way Hua Tien Village is saved, with Director He agreeing to return the land to the villagers, and compensate them in a manner that’s not only fair but leans generous, is pretty unbelievable to me, honestly.

If he’s so unhappy about it, then why would he agree to Guang Xi’s request, since it would literally cause him to lose money in the millions? That doesn’t seem organic to his character, I feel.

However, because I’m just happy for this arc to be concluded (so that we can move on to other arcs), I shan’t quibble too much.

It’s also nice to see everyone feel so grateful to Guang Xi, and want to celebrate him so much.

At the same time, with Xiao Le looking so withdrawn and somber during the celebration dinner, I can’t help but be reminded that Guang Xi’s time in Hua Tien Village is now finally up, and his departure – which would be so gutting for Xiao Le – is imminent.

Dang. That does add a very sharp layer of pathos to what is otherwise a rowdy and happy occasion.

I do like the detail that Guang Xi seeks out Xiao Le and Mu Cheng in the midst of the celebrations, because he notices Xiao Le’s sad mood, and he also notices that Mu Cheng hasn’t raised her glass yet, to give him a toast.

I appreciate this indication that Xiao Le and Mu Cheng are extra important to him, because, YES PLEASE.

It feels like the perfect choice, when Mu Cheng says her toast to Guang Xi, and makes it about him being the Ren Guang Xi whom he’s always been. I totally believe that that’s what she wishes, for him, regardless of troublesome details like his missing memory.

Guang Xi soon gains some important intel from Auntie Hua, who happens to mention two key pieces of information to him, as they chat after dinner.

One, that Mu Cheng had used to sell bento boxes at Shende University, and two, that Mu Cheng had already been pregnant, when she’d come to Hua Tien Village.

It’s too soon for him to put any pieces together, but it feels important that he knows this.

Of course, Xiao Le’s tantrum about wanting to go home, is just so that Guang Xi and Mu Cheng can have some alone time running in the rain.

But y’know what, I’m so eager for Guang Xi to figure out the truth, that I can’t complain about anything that maybe-possibly-hopefully nudges us in that direction. 😅

Episode 20

Ok, this feels Significant with a Capital S, because Guang Xi’s finally convinced enough of his memory fragments, that he’s asking outright, if he and Mu Cheng had known each other before.

Even though Mu Cheng insists that she couldn’t have known him from before, I appreciate that Guang Xi doesn’t give up right away.

He even cites the fact that she knows about the rollerblade mark in Shende Hall, and that she hadn’t felt like a stranger to him, the first time they’d met at Hua Tien Village.

And, he even talks about how she’d been able to see through his plans, and then convinced him to help get the land back, concluding that she knows him better than anyone else.

PLUS, he’s saying that she looks so much like the person he keeps seeing in his memory flashes.

Ahhh! This is the closest we’ve come to Guang Xi actually uncovering the truth, and it feels like he’s so close, because everything he says is true!

Unfortunately, Mu Cheng is adamant in maintaining her position, that she has no idea what he’s talking about, and isn’t the person he’s thinking of – even when Guang Xi gives her puppy eyes and earnestly beseeches her to be honest with him.

Gosh, Mu Cheng’s got more will power than most people, that’s for sure!

Guang Xi appears to believe her wholeheartedly, which I’m somewhat bummed about, but which I can’t blame him for, since he really doesn’t have much to go on except circumstantial evidence, and his blurry memory flashes.

Meanwhile, Yi Qian arrives at Mu Cheng’s house, dun dun DUN!

How very awkward, especially since we find out later, that Yi Qian actually has full knowledge of exactly who Mu Cheng is, and how she fits into Guang Xi’s lost memories.

Well that’s got to be extremely awkward for Yi Qian, who’s playing along with the narrative that she’s meeting Mu Cheng for the first time, and only knows her as Guang Xi’s landlady.

On hindsight, the way Yi Qian talks to Mu Cheng about Mu Cheng being special to Guang Xi, and managing to change him in such a short time, totally feels like Yi Qian’s testing Mu Cheng, to see how Mu Cheng feels about Guang Xi now, 6 years later.

I mean, as the conversation goes on, Yi Qian even talks about how she’d thought that Mu Cheng would be someone who cherishes the past, to which Mu Cheng answers that reality had forced her to some people and things behind as she’d moved forward.

This totally sounds like they’re talking in code, doesn’t it? Except that Mu Cheng doesn’t realize that Yi Qian probably understands more about Mu Cheng’s hidden meaning than she’s letting on.

I do love the scene that we get of Guang Xi sharing a bath with Xiao Le.

When Guang Xi had jumped up to volunteer to give Xiao Le a bath, a shared bubble bath was absolutely NOT what I’d been expecting, heh. I guess Guang Xi’s a bit of an overachiever? 😁

Their little conversation in the tub is cute and sweet, and I find it very heartwarming, that when Xiao Le tells Guang Xi his wish, that Guang Xi would sleep with him that night, Guang Xi agrees so readily.

Aw. He really does love that little kid, doesn’t he?

When Yi Qian readily agrees to stay the night, and Guang Xi sits with Mu Cheng, asking, “Yi Qian’s a good woman, isn’t she?,” I was bracing myself for a noble-idiocy tinged conversation, where Mu Cheng would have to endure listening to Guang Xi talk about how good Yi Qian is.

But no. The minute Mu Cheng agrees that Yi Qian’s a good woman, and that it’s Guang Xi’s fortune to have met her, Guang Xi follows that up by saying that it’s also been his fortune to have met Mu Cheng and Xiao Le.

That, even though she says they didn’t know each other from before, they’ve really brought him so much delight, since he’s met them. And then he thanks her.

Awww. That is very sweet and sincere (though it does make Yi Qian, who’s overheard everything, look rather uneasy).

Every adult in the house spends the night in deep thought, with very different feelings, among the three of them.

Guang Xi’s wistful about leaving, and in particular, he seems wistful about leaving Xiao Le, while Mu Cheng’s deep in thought about all that’s happened lately, with wishes for his happiness, as she reminds herself that Yi Qian is his future.

And Yi Qian herself thinks over everything about Mu Cheng that she’s learned, while also taking us on a flashback to how President Mom had persuaded her to keep the truth from Guang Xi, in order to build him a new future.

Huh. I’m not surprised by this, but trust President Mom to have made requests of both Mu Cheng and Yi Qian, so that she’d be able to shape him into the son whom she wants him to be.

The conversation the next morning between Yi Qian and Mu Cheng is all kinds of awkward, and it honestly seems quite futile, because what does Yi Qian expect Mu Cheng to do, anyway?

Even if everything Yi Qian believes about Mu Cheng is true, it’s not like she actually wants Mu Cheng to ‘fess up to the truth, and take Guang Xi back?

That said, I can understand the emotional aspect of it, where Yi Qian’s simply burning with a dark curiosity, to know whether Mu Cheng feels at all sorry, for abandoning Guang Xi at his most vulnerable point.

She doesn’t expect Mu Cheng to do anything about it; she just wants to know.

But she doesn’t actually learn anything in the end, really, since Mu Cheng takes the noble idiot sort of route, by leaning into the Bad Woman characterization, and accepting all the blame.

Which I kind of understand, in that Mu Cheng thinks that Guang Xi’s got this bright future ahead of him, and that she would just end up being a burden in his life.

I’m also guessing that it’s because Guang Xi doesn’t remember her anyway, and so he wouldn’t feel the loss, and so, why torture him with a reveal, if it’s going to feel like someone else’s life anyway?

Or maybe that’s just me projecting onto Mu Cheng, and she’s simply trying to keep the promise which she’d made to President Mom, 6 years ago.

I don’t know how I feel about Tuo Ye showing up and pretending to be Mu Cheng’s boyfriend, and speaking up for her, because it kinda feels like he’s complicating the situation further, as if it’s not already complicated enough.

What I’m most interested to know, is whether Guang Xi’s overheard any of this, when he walks up to join the conversation.

(Because, if he has, ahhhh!!)

Episode 21

Well. As it turns out, it looks like Guang Xi hadn’t overheard anything after all, and everyone just keeps getting ready for Guang Xi to leave.

Which is a decidedly odd point in time for Tuo Ye to decide to confess his feelings for Mu Cheng, but I’ll take the point that the way he’d stood up for Mu Cheng and pretended to be her boyfriend, probably triggered him to want to make it official.

To Tuo Ye’s credit, his love confession is sweet, earnest and heartfelt, and I do want him to be happy with the woman he loves.

However, it’s clear to see that he isn’t the one whom Mu Cheng loves.

I’m guessing that the reason Mu Cheng decides to accept his love confession, is more for Xiao Le’s sake than anything else.

Most likely, she’s realizing, from watching Xiao Le glom onto Guang Xi, that Xiao Le needs a dad, and since she’s concluded that she needs to let Guang Xi go, Tuo Ye works out to be a solid choice, not only for his devotion to her, but also, for his love for Xiao Le.

I’m sure that given the chance, Tuo Ye would be a loving dad to Xiao Le.

But, as happy as he is about the fact that Mu Cheng has accepted his love confession and agreed to let him be “the one,” I do think that it’s sad for Tuo Ye, that he would be committing himself to someone who doesn’t actually love him.

And of course, poor Chi Xin’s witnessed this whole thing, along with Guang Xi, who, for some unexplained reason, has decided to bring that gift of bedding INTO the house, instead of loading it into the car. 😅

I’ve tried to find a way to rationalize this, but I’ve come up empty. Do you guys have any ideas?

Of course, the most heartrending part of this episode, is when Guang Xi leaves, and Xiao Le starts running after the car, while wailing inconsolably.

Augh. The sight of his little bawling face just makes my heart ache, seriously. 💔 And then, Guang Xi’s face crumpling in tears, as he drives away, also makes my heart ache.

AUGH. I need this father-son pair to be reunited, as soon as possible please!

And.. might we be going in that direction soon? Because Yi Qian realizes that something doesn’t quite add up right, when she hears from Guang Xi that Mu Cheng had already been pregnant when Tuo Ye had taken her to Hua Tien Village.

As far as Yi Qian knows, Mu Cheng had left Guang Xi on the side of the road, and left with Tuo Ye, yes?

Of course.. she’s also accused Mu Cheng of dating 3 men at once, to which Mu Cheng’s made a false confession, so.. hm, maybe Yi Qian’s not putting as many pieces together as I’d thought?

in the meantime, I feel bad for Tuo Ye, that he gets such an upset response from his mother, when he breaks the news that Mu Cheng has agreed to date him.

On that note, I just wanted to say that Show’s done a decent job of making us see that Auntie Hua isn’t a bad person, even though her prejudice against Mu Cheng as a potential daughter-in-law is so strong.

Also, she’s been made out to be more of a comic-relief character than a serious one, all this time, so for that reason, I find myself treating her angry rant with less of a serious lens.

Poor Tuo Ye. It seems like no one is actually happy for him, when this is something that he personally considers really special.

And also, poor Chi Xin, whose heart can’t help but be broken, and who’s still trying to keep up a strong front, for Tuo Ye’s sake.

I’m not surprised that Chi Xin would decide to leave. It’s a way to start over for her, and also, I’m sure she’s thinking along the lines that Auntie Hua wouldn’t keep bugging Tuo Ye to marry her, if she’s not even there.

And as unlikely as it seems, that a taxi driver would agree to drive a 5-year-old boy from the countryside all the way to Taipei, Show does at least allow the taxi driver to protest at first, and go through a process of rationalization, before agreeing to take Xiao Le to Taipei.

That helps to make it at least a little bit more believable. Like, maybe this taxi driver has a particular soft spot for children who’ve been affected by divorce, and that’s why he’s making an exception and taking Xiao Le to meet his alien dad?

And, it looks like Mu Cheng’s landed on Xiao Le’s likely course of action, so I’m sure she’ll be able to trace his whereabouts before long – all the way to Guang Xi’s side. 😁

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