Fated to Love You Episode 13: “Rebirth”
Our married couple, Chen Xin Yi (Joe Chen) and Ji Cun Xi (Ethan Juan) suffered a loss that effectively ended their relationship. Xin Yi and Dylan (Baron Chen) have gone to Shanghai for a fresh start. Cun Xi realized his feelings for Xin Yi and went to confess, but Xin Yi was already gone. As she leaves the island via ferry Xin Yi throws the chip that Cun Xi gave her into the sea. Wow, that’s a real indicator that she is ready to move on!
Our story is told in two cities this episode. Cun Xi is in Taipei trying to pick up the pieces of his life and Xin Yi is in Shanghai trying to pick up the pieces of her life.
Shanghai: Xin Yi and Dylan head to his art gallery. He introduces Xin Yi to his staff. They wonder what her role will be. Dylan tells them that eventually Xin Yi will be a manager for the art gallery. Everyone, including Xin Yi, is blown away at this announcement. Xin Yi adamantly tells Dylan she knows nothing about art. Dylan calmly tells her she’ll learn as she goes. He takes to an apartment he has rented for her. I must say I like the green and white color palette. Xin Yi lies on the bed missing Cun Xi and their baby.
Taipei: Cun Xi on the other hand visits Xin Yi’s family every day but they refuse to see him. Anson is at his wits end trying to corral Cun Xi to do work instead of wait outside the family door every day. Finally Xin Yi’s mother agrees to see him. She gives it to him straight. You had a chance at a wonderful life with my daughter. You did not cherish or protect her. By the way she admits she did not cherish or protect her as a child either, hence the need to please was nurtured in Xin Yi from a young age. You blew it and she’s gone. Give up and go on with your life. Xin Yi does not want to see you ever again. She hands him Xin Yi’s wedding ring. She tells him the day Xin Yi signed the divorce agreement, she said she wanted nothing to do with Cun Xi. Cun Xi finally grasps that it is fruitless to continue as he has been. He presses an mp3 player into Xin Yi’s sister’s hand and begs her to send it to her. He tells her it has everything he wants to say on it. The sister casually tosses it on table and says she’ll think about sending it.
Shanghai: At the art gallery, history has repeated itself. Xin Yi has become the sticky note girl for the staff and she is running errands for everyone. Dylan is frustrated and firmly talks to her that this is NOT what he had envisioned. Why isn’t she studying the art books? Why isn’t she trying to do more at work than is a secretary? Xin Yi runs off upset with herself and failing in Dylan’s eyes. She wanders for it bit until she runs across an older man with a sketch asking people what he should title the drawing. Xin Yi’s title is insightful and impresses the older man. Xin Yi continues walking and thinking and deciding that she indeed must leave the past behind and start anew or she’ll forever be stuck. She takes out her phone and deletes the photo of she and Cun Xi. She runs into the older man and they talk about her husband, his lost love, and how heartache can become inspiration for the rest of your life. I like how he said memories are like nutrients to creativity. She tells him that she wants to apologize to her friend that is giving her a chance at a new start. The man suggests maybe this friend is part of the next chapter of her life’s story.
He walks her back to the art gallery. Dylan grabs Xin Yi in his arms apologizing for being critical and promising to support her. She in turn promises to work hard to evolve beyond who she is now. With a knowing smile the older man pats Dylan’s back and tells him he never thought he’d live to see the day when Dylan openly cared for another. Dylan introduces the older man to Xin Yi. He is Master Long the world renowned sculpture that Xin Yi has admired for years.
Taipei: Cun Xi and Anna are not together as Cun Xi is direct with Anna that he loves Xin Yi. Anna bitterly muses that it is all her fault that she lost Cun Xi. She has lost dance and Cun Xi. She even hands over the dog, Baby Ji, to Cun Xi. Later Anna comes to the house to apologize to Grandma Ji. We don’t see Grandma Ji this episode. Cun Xi has a nice scene in the nursery where he realizes he must accept the loss of the baby and his married life. He puts the wedding ring on the rocking horse he built for the baby. As he shuts the door to the nursery he says goodbye to the baby and Xin Yi.
Shanghai: We see vignettes as we pass through the next three years. Xin Yi studying art and becoming knowledgeable and able to converse easily with customers, Xin Yi getting a new look (super flattering hairstyle that Dylan picks out for her), Xin Yi studying sculpture with Master Long, Xin Yi teaching sculpture to children while her assistant looks on enviously and comments how poised and together Xin Yi is. I love the transformation; it makes sense and does not seem forced. Dylan, now sporting cornrows in the back hair style, comes to pick up Xin Yi to show her a surprise he has. He tasks her to the art gallery where he unveils Xin Yi’s sculpture under glass, the first piece of art sold under her new name, Elaine. I must admit the sculpture is pretty. Xin Yi is excited and cannot believe HER art will be sold in the gallery. Dylan asks if Xin Yi will allow him to love her. She thinks he is joking and runs off. Dylan is nonplussed that his first declaration of love went so badly. Later that evening she tells him he deserves better than her for a love interest. Dylan counters that he loves her for simply being herself. He asks if Cun Xi is still in her heart. She tells him Cun Xi is in her heart but now he is the nutrient to her current life. She tells Dylan if her artwork sells tomorrow she’ll go out with him as his girlfriend. They are soft and sweet together.
Taipei: We see vignettes as we pass through the next three years. Cun Xi is finally back in the groove as the CEO and he seems calm and more caring than he has ever been. He volunteers at the orphanage Xin Yi supported. He still cares and thinks about her as he is unnerved when the new sticky note girl in his office enters the room bringing back memories of Xin Yi. He’s back together with Anna who is teaching dancing now. They are engaged to be married soon. The past is gently laps him and the wounds have healed.
* I really liked this episode. The last episode was an emotional gut punch and I frankly thought that our couple’s cuteness would be gone forever. I can see that is wrong. They have evolved and can finally have an adult relationship. I look forward to the next episodes. What would I like? I’d like Xin Yi to maintain her new self-image as she interacts with Cun Xi and not revert to her old persona. I’d like Cun Xi to keep his gentler more considerate side while he woos Xin Yi once again.
* Now our second leads will really have a stake in this next phase. Before they were merely onlookers watching Xin Yi and Cun Xi’s marriage. Now they have established themselves as couples. They should have more to do and play a bigger role.
* I loved the transformation of Xin Yi. That is a cute hairstyle she is sporting. I don’t like the transformation of Dylan’s 80’s windblown hair style to corn rows in the back. Xin Yi’s self-confidence is wonderful to see. She is like a breath of fresh air. I am totally invested in this character.
* Three years seems an appropriate timeframe for both Xin Yi and Cun Xi to have let go of each other and the pain of their loss. The writers of this show (Pan Yiqun, Chen Xin Yi, Du Xinyi) must have had a loss in their lives, because 1 year, the typical fast forward timeframe, would be insufficient.
* This series is wonderful in a way that has surprised me. It has evolved from the campy initial episodes to character development and exploration of personal growth. I’m ready for phase 2 of our couple’s cuteness – bring it on!