My husband thinks I am crazy for watching and recapping this drama. Often he glances over at my screen and sighs and shakes his head while making fun of whatever scene happens to be on. But like I stated in my previous post, Chinese romantic dramas are directed at the female audience and not the male. I am really enjoying Jin Yu Liang Yuan regardless of how much he is making fun of it. Sure the plot lines are contrived and does not always make sense but there is a lot of hilarity in the first fifteen episodes. Episodes 15-30 is considerably weaker. [Below image via gywb.cn]
Bonus: I really like the ending theme song of Jing Yu Liang Yuan. Listen to it here.
Episode 16, 17, 18 Recap: At the banquet Madame Jiang does not to expose the switch because the second prince had just arrived without being invited. After the introductions are made, it was to late to correct the mistake then and there so she decides to confront them later. The second prince is here to tell Liu Wenzhao that Jin Yuanbao must die within the year so that the military tally can then fall into the second prince’s hands. Unfortunately, Xier (Yu Qilin’s maid) hears their conversation and was choked to death by them.
Madame Jiang confronts Yu Qilin and Jiang Xiao Xuan, but the girls do not back down and says that if Madame Jiang was to tell the truth it would be to the detriment of the Jian and Jing families. They would all be punished by the dowager Empress and so Madame Jiang leaves without exposing the ruse.
Madame Jin pleased by the way Yu Qilin handled the celebration decides to give them a mini vacation of sorts and orders them to collect the rents during their mini vacation. Yu Qilin asks to be sent to the town where the midwife that delivered Jing Yuanbao lives as she wants to gather proof that Madame Jin did not give birth to Jin Yuanbao. Madame Jin agrees and off they go with Gu Chang Feng and Jiang Xiao Xuan. The foursome are having the time of their lives and we see more cute OTP moments.
After arriving at the village, Yu Qilin goes off to search for the midwife only to find out that the midwife is pretty much living in lala land and is incoherent most of the time. Defeated she takes a walk around the village and notice that the village is blighted and asks Jin Yuanbao how can they collect rents from the farmers who have had several bad harvest seasons. Later Jin Yuanbao has all the debts cancelled and works out a future rent payment plan to the delight of all. To celebrate they all get drunk which results in Jin Yuanbao and Gu Chang Feng losing a bet and having to dress up as women to be paraded around in the village. An old woman tricks them and ends up selling the foursome to a bandits that traffics women. Luckily they manage to escape and also free the other women that were held by the bandits. Jin Yuanbao also notices that the bandits have the same tattoos as the ones that tried to capture him earlier.
Returning from the trip, they discover that Xier has gone missing. Both Yu Qilin and Jiang Xiao Xuan thinks that Xier ran off because she was afraid of Madame Jin exposing the ruse and that she would be blamed and killed. Additionally, Liu Wengzhao discovers the real identity of Yu Qilin but keeps it a secret for now.
Episode 19, 20, 21 Recap: Liu Qian Qian discovers Xier’s body floating in the pond inside the Jin compound. At first it was thought to be suicide, but it is later confirmed to be murder. When Yu Qilin thought it was suicide she wanted to run away as she feels too guilty to live in the Jin household but as soon as she learns that it is murder she vows to stay behind and fild the culprit. Unfortunately for her Liu Qian Qian overhead her fighting with Xier before Xier’s death and also informs Jin Yuanbao that Yu Qilin was going to run away without telling anyone so that probably means that Yu Qilin murdered Xier. Yu Qilin has no good defenses and is not willing to tell the truth to Jin Yuanbao so he has no choice but to lock her up in prison even though he knows that she is innocent. He sets about trying to prove that she wasn’t the murderer and succeeds in freeing her.
Yu Qilin still wants to leave the Jin Household though because she is afraid that once Jin Yuanbao discovers her true background he would hate her and look down at her. Liu Wenzhao previously told her that Jin Yuanbao rejected all the most beautiful and well educated daughters of high ranking officials because he thought that they weren’t good enough for him. Ah Fu, Jin Yuanbao’s servant also told her how much Jing Yuanbao despises fakes of all kinds, as Jin Yuanbao orders all the fake paintings he was gifted to be thrown away even though the fakes are very beautiful. Knowing Jin Yuanbao’s personality, she decides to once again leave before getting entangled further. So she rejects Jin Yuanbao’s romantic declarations set against a background of floating lanterns and fireflies telling him that she never liked him. She and Jiang Xiao Xuan run off the next day with Jin Yuanbao and Gu Changfeng chasing after them.
Jin Yuanbao caught up to them and talks privately with Yu Qilin trying to convince her to stay with him, she walks off but turns around when she sees him attacked by a masked killer who is Liu Wenzhao in disguise. She takes a sword wound near the near the heart for Jin Yuanbao and passes out. Liu Wenzhao runs off shocked that he may have killed her as Liu Wenzhao has fallen in love with Yu Qilin already. Jin Yuanbao brings her back to the Jin household and has the imperial doctor try to heal her. The imperial doctor tells him that the only thing that can save Yu Qilin’s life is a miracle pill that only the Dowager Empress has. Jing Yuanbao carries Yu Qilin and begs for an audience with the Dowager Empress in the rain. Though he is permitted to state his case, the Dowager Empress at first rejects giving him the miracle pill as she herself has only one.
Episode 22, 23, 24 Recap: Jin Yuanbao threatens to kill himself if the Dowager Empress does not grant him the miracle pill and follows through by stabbing himself. The Dowager Empress backs down as Jin Yuanbao is necessary in helping the crown prince ascend the throne so she grants him the pill.
Liu Wenzhao also goes to beg the 2nd prince for the pill, but the 2nd prince heaps tons of abuse on him and finally tells him that he will give Liu Wenzhao the pill if only he kills Jin Yuanbao. Just as Liu Wenzhao is about to assassinate Jin Yuanbao, Liu Wenzhao sees that Jin Yuanbao is already in possession of the pill that will heal Yu Qilin so he holds off. Yu Qilin awakens and is touched by how much Jin Yuanbao went though for her and vows to stay with him come hell or high water. Cue more happy times for our OTP’s which angers Liu Wenzhao who proceeds to make trouble for them in the form of convincing Madame Jin that Jin Yuanbao needs a concubine in the form of Jiang Xiao Xuan. Madame Jin agrees as she feels that Jin Yuanbao is too in love with Yu Qilin and besides it would be good for him to have a concubine for the continuation of the family line.
Jiang Xiao Xuan and Gu Chang Feng tries to run away when they heard of the concubine plan but was caught by Liu Wenzhao. Madame Jin decides not to force the issue and instead agrees to Liu Qian Qian being Jin Yuanbao’s concubine. Finally Jin Yuanbao is able to diffuse the concubine situation by promising to take over the Armory to show Madame Jin that he won’t forget his duties due to his affections for Yu Qilin. He then learns of the ruse when he heard the two girls burning offerings to the deceased Xier and is shocked by their duplicity. He gives Yu Qilin a necklace he made himself and then asks her if she has anything to confess to him but she doesn’t which saddens him.
Episode 25, 26, 27 Recap: Jin Yuanbao catches Jiang Xiao Xuan and Gu Chang Feng running away again with Yu Qilin’s help. Angered he asks Yu Qilin for the reason why she ran away after learning of Xier’s death. She lies to him and he is angered by her refusal to tell the truth because he thinks that if she truly liked him she would trust him with the truth. So the only reason she is lying is because she has hidden motives so he decides to punish her for it. He orders that she undergo training to be worthy of the title of the young Madame Jin. To tell the truth I skipped many of these scenes as I don’t like it when the hero is torturing the heroine, though I do understand why Jin Yuanbao feels so betrayed. He hates that he still loves her despite knowing her duplicity and is taking it out on Yu Qilin.
To make Yu Qilin leave the Jin Household of her own accord, Jin Yuanbao announces that he is going to take Jiang Xiaoxuan as a concubine to the surprise of all. This part obviously doesn’t make sense and is very contrived but let’s just go along with it. He locks Jiang Xiaoxuan up to prevent her from escaping and locks Yu Qilin up because she protests the fact that he is taking a concubine. Gu Chang Feng tries to dissuade Jin Yuanbao and even resorts to poisoning him though in the end he couldn’t do it. Meanwhile Jin Yuanbao heads off to the Armory where he presides over the grand ceremony announcing him as the commander in charge. He almost gets blown into pieces if it wasn’t for Yu Qilin arriving in the nick of time to save him. This is all due to Liu Qian Qian who discovered her brother Liu Wenzhao’s plot to blow up her beloved Yuanbao into pieces. So she creates a diversion and frees Yu Qilin in addition to tossing her a note to tell her to save Yuanbao.
Jin Yuanbao temporarily lost his hearing from the blast but quickly regains it due to Gu Changfeng’s acupuncture skills. However he keeps this to himself. During this time Yu Qilin thinking that he still can’t hear confesses the fact that she is not the real Jiang Xiao Xuan and that it was all a mistake how she came to be his bride. Jing Yuanbao listens and we see his tears flowing down his eyes. All is forgiven on his side once he heard her confession. Note: During Yu Qilin’s confession, she does not tell him the reason why she was seeking him out in the first place. Nothing of Jin Yuanbao’s real mom was mentioned.
Episode 28, 29, 30 Recap: Madame Jiang sent her servant to let Yu Qilin know that someone is poking around and asking questions about her identity. Jing Yuanbao overhears and knows he has do protect Yu Qilin at any costs. Therefore he plans to send Yu Qilin away after spending one last night together during which he thanks her for saving her and told her that his hearing had returned. I thought they were going to consummate the marriage but they didn’t. Instead he gently wakes her up the next morning brings her to pay respects to his mom and announces that he wants to divorce her and listed out the reasons. Madame Jin of course thinks her son is crazy and tells him no way and then makes him kneel outside the ancestral hall. Yu Qilin is mighty confused as well and refuses to leave despite Jin Yuanbao shooing her away. Cue lots of angst with Yuanbao keeping everything to himself until he finally confides in Gu Chang Feng but orders him not to say anything to anyone.
Finally Yu Qilin makes up her mind to leave once she learns that Jin Yuanbao petitioned the Dowager Empress to dissolve their marriage. However Gu Chang Feng can’t keep it inside and tells her the truth that Jin Yuanbao already knows of her identity and is sending her away for her own protection because her identity is being questioned. Cue to Yu Qilin running back to the Jin Household and gives Jin Yuanbao a big kiss telling him that she will never leave him ever again. They go back and all is well until Liu Wenzhao spills the beans about the identity switch and Madame Jin locks both Yu Qilin and Jiang Xiao Xuan up, planning to kill both to save the Jin and Jiang households.
Jin Yuanbao storms the jail to free both girls and along with Gu Changfeng they run away from the Jin Household to begin a new life. Except someone is trying to kill them again, but Madame Jin sent guards to protect them because she loves Yuanbao despite the fact that she wasn’t the one who gave birth to him.