Janine Chang: The antagonist
I officially conclude that episodes 29 and onwards are episodes meant to make you hate Janine Chang, the antagonist, who plays Xu Hui within the drama. I wonder what the real Xu Hui would think if she would alive, that the Crown Prince’s rebellions and the death of so many people are so wrongly attributed to her in this drama. Anyways, even though Janine Chang seems pretty conniving and manipulative, I don’t hate her – I just feel bad for her. Anyways, I’ve already caught up to Episode 89 as this point, so reviewing the drama at this point is really strange, comparing the actors. The actors certainly show a lot of character development and definitely act very differently. I miss Bing Bing’s make-up when she was just a cai ren because she looks so much better with less make-up and the simple hair.
The episode starts with the Emperor and the two princes: Cheng Qian and Li Zhi. I definitely prefer the younger Li Zhi – he was so much better – he was just always smiling and simple, but in the latest episodes he always seems so troubled. Anyways, this was an opportunity created by the Emperor to tell Cheng Qian to get rid of Cheng Xing, his personal servant, because the rumours are getting more and more serious about Cheng Qian being too close to this servant, almost being gay. This isn’t acceptable for a person that is going to become Emperor one day.
So Cheng Qian tries to kill Cheng Xing, by taking him out on a hunting trip…
And… pointing the arrow at him.
But Cheng Qian fails – I get it, that’s his friend (or lover) right?
Li Zhi and Mei Niang have such a cute scene at the library. It’s so weird that they got together in the end. They act like siblings – he calls her Wu jie jie, which translates to sister Wu. But it was cute regardless. Aarif’s acting is very good, I liked how he transitioned from such a kid to a man in the end.
In the end Cheng Qian brings Cheng Xing out… and takes his head.
He brings it to the Emperor to show him the job is done.
Meanwhile tai zi fei, Cheng Qian’s wife, was so happy that she was in tears. She decided to create a celebration for all the concubines to come to her place to eat lychee.
Meanwhile another story is going on:
Xiao Chang overhears Wei Fei’s evil plan for her!!! Wei Fei could not bear a child all along, and it has always been one of her vices. Her plan was to kill Xiao Chang during childbirth so Wei Fei could adopt her child afterwards – and a child is always one of the first steps to becoming Empress right? I must admit – this is pretty ingenious. Usually schemes are pretty obvious in dramas but I never would’ve guessed *slow clap* I’m impressed.
So Xiao Chang uses the celebration that Cheng Qian’s wife, tai zi fei has created to celebrate Cheng Xing’s death (and eat some exotic lychees), to connect with the other concubines. She looks for her best friends. Or… ‘best friends’. She conveniently hears that that they hate her.
They hate her so bad that they want her to miscarry. That’s a pretty d*ck thing to wish upon someone, even when Xiao Chang was such a d-bag in the beginning.
So during the celebration, she could only tell Xu Hui that she needed to talk to her. Wei Fei interrupts their conversation. Xiao Chang later requests for Xu Hui to come over to visit.
Well since the next few episodes is focused on “Xu Hui is the antagonist”, she has to swoop in and ruin everything all the time.
Xu Hui advises her to get rid of the baby. I feel like if she had actually told the Emperor, he would’ve swooped in to save her, but Xu Hui says it’s the only way to frame Wei Fei, and to save Xiao Change herself.
I’ve noticed this from the beginning but does it bother anyone else that Janine Chang’s hair is so obviously dyed brown?! LOOK AT IT! It’s so obvious that the top half is a wig. For a production that costed 50 million, you’d think they wouldn’t have let this one slip. It looks so bad and unprofessional.
And since we’re playing the ‘let’s get everyone to hate Xu Hui’ game, Xu Hui even gets Mei Niang to deliver the goods that will make Xiao Chang miscarry.
Screen caps of their pretty headdresses:
That’s pretty smart too. If Xiao Chang couldn’t frame Wei Fei, it would be traced back to Mei Niang. Either way, there would be one less baby, and one less concubine to fight with.
Meanwhile… Tai Zi Fei gets a message from an unknown eunuch about Cheng Xing. She goes to this mountain as it states. She finds out Cheng Xing isn’t dead.
She finds out that Cheng Qian lied, and was hiding Cheng Xing.
So many feels. First of all she’s probably so disappointed in him – lying to the Emperor is a huge offense with the consequence of the death penalty. Secondly she’s probably heart broken – he would rather risk his life and his status to save a man that everyone thinks that is his gay lover. At this point, their relationship is very muddy – are they lovers? Or are they really good friends?
Like would you come to visit your friend everyday and just live with them like this? Seems more like a couple thing to do.
And because we are playing the ‘let’s get everyone to hate Xu Hui’ game, tai zi fei bumps into Xu Hui even though she was looking for Mei Niang for help. She tells Xu Hui everything. And of course, Xu hui ruins everything.
Xu Hui tells her to get rid of Cheng Xing – kill him before anyone finds out, so Cheng Qian technically wouldn’t have lied. She even told her the exact perfect location to tell Cheng Qian’s teacher to arrange to kill Cheng Xin. Why? So she could lead the Emperor to there to overhear it.
She literally says “Can we please go for a walk near area x?” and he’s like “OK” with no suspicion.
And… overhears everything. How do you not suspect Xu Hui at this point? Well, because, drama.
Xu Hui then tells Mei Niang that the Emperor just found out that Cheng Xing is still alive, and she acts innocent. So sneaky. The Emperor takes matters in his own hands and goes to the mountain to find Cheng Xing.
…and kills him. Cheng Qian is so angry that he attempts to kill his own dad (c’mon). I mean all signs lead that Cheng Qian is not good as a Crown Prince – he isn’t willing to give up things to become Emperor (Cheng Xing) and he is so emotionally-driven that he even attempts to kill his own dad. I know this might sound heartless but it’s just a man, it’s just a friend. I think to run a country back then, you have to give up a lot of things, and even kill your own family to gain power. You can’t be so emotional.
Lastly are left over screenshots of the candle room. They don’t really add to the plot, but I think this room looks very pretty, so I decided to add them in: