Endless Love Episode 12

For a show that’s called Endless Love, there is a conspicuous lack of it. They should reconsider renaming this drama from “Endless Love” to “Endless Torture of Rui En By All the People She Trusts In Her Life, Except for Tong Tong and NoQ”. Or, they could be punny. ‘Rui En’ sounds like ‘ruin’, so the show could be called “Endless Ruin”.

But I digress. On with the recap!

He looks so innocent sleeping though.
Dressed in his night gown, Fu Chen rages against his son Jing Hao. He demands to find Zhi Shu and wails against his son for standing in the way. Jing Hao hugs his father tightly and tells him that Zhi Shu is sleeping – they will look for her tomorrow. This mollifies Fu Chen. Assured that tomorrow he will find his Zhi Shu and return to his old home, Fu Chen giggles at his good fortune and heads to bed. Jing Hao watches over his sleeping father, realizing that his father’s return brings as many problems for him as joy.

Xin Jie learns that Zhi Shu is the name of Jing Hao’s mom and that Zhi Shu’s house is Jing Hao’s old apartment. She offers to accompany Jing Hao to his old apartment and ask the current occupants to lease or sell the place to them, but Jing Hao firmly declines her offer. For, as we know, among the current occupants is Rui En, and having Xin Jie there while he asks for help, after all he has done to her, would be a extremely potent form of awkward.

Our anti-hero returns to his old apartment, where he encounters Rui En returning from work. Jing Hao tells Rui En that his dad is still alive and she is obviously moved by the news. An awkward silence passes between them - heavy in the air is the knowledge that if it weren’t for Fu Chen’s disappearance three years ago, they would have married and all this heartache never would have happened. Jing Hao asks if Rui En would give up the apartment to his father. She replies that the place no longer looks the same, so Jing Hao should first bring his father over to see if he still likes the place. Should Fu Chen find the place agreeable, she will discuss moving with her roommate.

It’s morning and Fu Chen is watching his cartoons. Jing Hao brings him breakfast and inquires about the time Fu Chen spent in the nursing home. Fu Chen mentions that he had a good friend at the nursing home, someone who wore a coat, drove a big car and gave him tons of chocolate. Jing Hao asks if Fu Chen remembers the name of the good friend, to which Fu Chen replies “Yes, the name of my good friend is… ‘Good Friend’”. Haha!

Fu Chen goes on to explain that his good friend delivered letters to his son while he was in the nursing home, but his son never replied. Fu Chen has the latest letter with him, and gives it to Jing Hao to read. In short, the letter asks Jing Hao to help Fu Chen find Zhi Shu. Jing Hao promises his dad they will find her.

NoQ makes the cutest expressions sometimes.
The mafia boss has finally been discharged from the hospital. He visits the Red String company to visit the office and meet the staff. Introductions are made. Brother Koo takes an interest in Rui En and asks to speak with her privately. NoQ worries aloud that Brother Koo wants to start up a romantic relationship with her. He looks like he will make a bigger fuss, so the assistant tells NoQ that the boss used to work for the Mafia (I argue he still does) and, as a result, could easily dispose of NoQ with no one the wiser.

"Welcome to my purple palace."
Brother Koo asks Rui En why she wanted to be a designer for Red String. She makes up some reason, the kind of reason you give to interviewers when they ask you why you took a job that doesn’t seem to match your skill set (I need the money ok? Sheesh!). Brother Koo calls her on her BS, pointedly telling her that she joined because of Jing Hao. Yet, instead of telling her to back off, he says that he doesn’t care what the young people do, as long as they get their work done and he gets paid.

"I am surrounded by incompetent fools!"
Chairman Song has just caught wind that Fu Chen has vacated the premises with the help of an unknown male. Chairman Song chews out his hospital staff for their ineptitude and then watches a security tape of the abduction. While watching the tape, he spots an unfamiliar woman. He asks an employee who the woman is, and she replies that it is the woman he sent to check out the nursing home menu. Chairman Song says he never did such a thing, to which the employee shows Chairman Song a signed order which gave the unfamiliar woman authority to check out the menu. Chairman Song realizes that the paper Ming Shou had him sign is what the employee standing before him now holds.

At the hospital where almost every major and minor character has either been hospitalized or works, Chairman Song encounters Bi Yun in a hallway. He recognizes her from the security tape, and calls her to his office. He confronts her, and asks her why she abducted a resident of the nursing home. Ming Shou comes in and saves Bi Yun from a scolding, taking all the blame himself – where it rightfully belongs, I might add.

He accepts blame for the abduction, and then inquires as to why Chairman Song has hidden Fu Chen for three years. He subtly hints that Rui En would be unhappy to learn her father kept Fu Chen hidden away for so long. This ruffles Chairman Song’s feathers, and he replies that no one would have discovered what he did. Ming Shou points out that he found out, and then goes on to explain his plan to get Jing Hao to quickly marry Xin Jie, and that Fu Chen was the pivotal piece in the deal. He concludes that his actions are not a big deal, as they were all for Rui En’s sake anyway (the fact that Ming Shou also benefits is just a happy coincidence).

Fu Chen visits the house, and as Rui En predicted, he is disturbed by the different furnishings. He goes on a rampage, demanding Zhi Shu be returned to him. During his rampage, he cuts himself, and Rui En runs out to buy bandages for his wound. While Rui En is out, Bi Yun returns home and is shocked to find the Liang men in her house. Fu Chen recognizes her as the woman who took him out of the nursing home. Jing Hao realizes that Bi Yun and Ming Shou are in cahoots. Bi Yun won’t admit to the part she played in Fu Chen’s return/abduction. She tells Jing Hao that he is a horrible man, and she refuses to waste breath on him. Rui En returns with the bandages and attends to Fu Chen’s wounds. Rui En initiates introductions between the Liang men and Bi Yun, but Bi Yun boldly declares that she already knows who the men are. Jing Hao cuts in and says that they met before. Bi Yun excuses herself and says she isn’t feeling well.

Happiness, but wait, it's different!

A calmer Fu Chen stands outside of the apartment, still wanting to go to Zhi Shu’s house. Rui En extracts a promise from Fu Chen, saying that if he is good, she will take him to Zhi Shu’s house. Fu Chen thinks this is a good arrangement, and agrees to be good. Jing Hao smiles and says, “My father still likes you a lot.” Rui En replies, “But you don’t.” Snap! No answer to that.

Rui En gets a call from Ming Shou inviting her to lunch. She accepts and parts ways with the two Liang men. She meets Ming Shou for lunch and is surprised by the presence of her father. Ming Shou explains that he invited her father because he misses her. Chairman Song then puts out a heartfelt plea for his daughter to come home again. Rui En admits that she was wrong and the two make up. Ming Shou smiles, no doubt satisfied with himself for orchestrating the whole thing.

And while all this is happening I keep thinking… THEY ARE PLOTTING AGAINST HER!!! WHY HAS THIS TURNED INTO AN EVERYONE AGAINST RUI EN SHOW?</end rant>
Evil has...
...many faces.

After lunch, Rui En and Ming Shou walk around town. They pass by the store where Rui En bought her wedding dress. Rui En wistfully gazes at the dress , remembering her almost-wedding day. Ming Shou senses where her thoughts are going, and interrupts that thought train with a childhood memory. Apparently, back when they were younger, Rui En often wanted to play bride and groom with Ming Shou. He found this annoying before, but now, he sees the appeal of it. He asks Rui En to marry him.

Not paying attention to me...
...So I propose marriage!

Before Rui En can reply, Xin Jie enters the scene! Xin Jie asks if the two are dating. Rui En attempts to pull her hand away, but Ming Shou has a firm grip on her hand. He answers in the affirmative. Xin Jie is happy her bestest friend has found love, and is happier still to be trying on wedding dresses today. Jing Hao joins the group, and Rui En and Ming Shou pretend to not know him. Ming Shou farther by congratulates Jing Hao on his upcoming wedding and informs the group that he and Rui En are also getting married. I’m pretty sure she never agreed to that. I guess this is one of those times where silence = assent.

Inside the wedding gown shoppe, the news of Rui En’s upcoming nuptials rattle around in Jing Hao’s mind. He absently listens to Xin Jie’s prattle about marriages and dresses. When Xin Jie leaves to try on her first gown, Jing Hao runs out after Rui En. He calls out for Rui En.

Instead of admitting he’s still in love with her and that this whole situation is messed up, he asks her to promise him that she will be happy. She answers that she will, because she has found a man that “will never leave me and let me cry alone, or change his heart and love another girl.” Satisfied with this, Jing Hao gives his approval - as if some sort of approval was needed to give her away! Bah, you gave up the right long ago my friend.

Poor Xin Jie. Trying on wedding dresses, dreaming about her wedding day, while her man is out chasing after another woman. Xin Jie exits the fitting room, looking for Jing Hao. He is no where to be seen. She goes outside and sees his figure, walking away from the shoppe. She calls out for him. He turns, and in his delirious state, thinks he sees Rui En. He runs to Xin Jie/Rui En, hugs her fiercely, and sobs that he is sorry and that he loves her. Of course Xin Jie is thrilled with this, as Jing Hao has never shown this sort of emotion to her before.

Jing Hao's fantasy.
Jing Hao's reality.

Back at home, Rui En and Bi Yun chat about the circumstances surrounding Fu Chen’s disappearance three years ago. Adding Rui En’s information to what she already knows, Bi Yun pieces together a puzzle she has wrestled with since Chairman Song scolded her the day before.

The next day, Bi Yun tells Ming Shou that she knows what went down three years ago. Ming Shou tells Bi Yun she must not tell her suspicions to Rui En. If Bi Yun mentions these things to Rui En, her relationship with her father will be ruined (and more importantly, his upcoming marriage to her will be finished). He asks her if she really wants to ruin his and Rui En’s happiness. Well, kinda.

I want NoQ's shirt.
The Red String’s product is out of design and into testing. The employees celebrate and Rui En explains the red string myth behind the product's design concept. Jing Hao is sharing the latest company news with the Mafia Boss. The news pleases Brother Koo, who says that he was always confident that Jing Hao could accomplish this. He cautions Jing Hao on Rui En, saying that Jing Hao must forget the past, or it will impede his forward progress. And that would be bad, because someone has to make Brother Koo money, after all.

Xin Jie is minding Fu Chen, who is upset that no one has taken him to Zhi Shu or Zhi Shu’s house yet. Flustered, Xin Jie takes Fu Chen with her to Jing Hao’s office to seek his help. Xin Jie leaves Fu Chen in the taxi while she runs up to get Jing Hao. That was not a smart idea, has no one told her how they lost Fu Chen in the first place?

Jing Hao is not at his office so Xin Jie heads back down to her demanding and inconsolable future father-in-law. She meets Rui En on her way back to the taxi. They start talking, and Fu Chen hears Rui En’s voice. He runs out of the car towards her, calling out “Zhi Shu!” Xin Jie is puzzled as to why Fu Chen called Rui En ‘Zhi Shu’, but concludes that it must be because Rui En looks like Jing Hao’s mother. The three decide to spend some time together.

Still oblivious as ever, Xin Jie asks Rui En if Fu Chen is treating her like Jing Hao’s old girlfriend. Rui En answers “Probably”. Xin Jie remarks that she is so jealous of Jing Hao’s old girlfriend – both Jing Hao and Fu Chen seem unable to forget her. Xin Jie goes on to say that Jing Hao has a painting of his ex-girlfriend’s which he stares at and thinks of the past. Intrigued, and a bit hopeful, Rui En asks to see the painting.

Now Rui En is confused. The painting she is looking at is hers, but how can that be when Jing Hao said that all of her paintings and all of their shared memories no longer meant anything to him? She resolves to clarify the matter with him later.

The fashion police are after Xin Jie.
Then the Witch enters, ready to take Xin Jie away. A scuffle breaks out, and Fu Chen bites an abductor in the arm! Go Fu Chen! Rui En runs after the abductors, breaks Xin Jie free and they flee together. Xin Jie is running in shoes that look uncomfortable, but when you’re running for your life, I guess you don’t mind so much. During the escape, Rui En is hit by a car. The abductors back off, Xin Jie cries over Rui En, and the driver calls for an ambulance.

Hospital scene! Seriously, how many times have we been to the hospital? Rui En is screaming in pain – it appears that her leg is severely injured.  Xin Jie waits outside the operating room, racked with guilt.

 Ming Shou and Chairman Song arrive on the scene. Ming Shou yells at Xin Jie while Chairman Song runs in to the operating room to comfort his daughter. Jing Hao finds out about the attempted abduction from his father, and then a call from Xin Jie reveals that Rui En is hurt and is at the hospital. Jing Hao rushes to the hospital.

"Tell your mom there's only one villian on this show, me!"
Ming Shou continues to yell at Xin Jie, telling her that her mom has gone too far and that he will hunt the Witch down. Chairman Song intercedes and says that he will handle the matter. You bet he will! The Witch will get her comeuppance. That’s one thing I’m looking forward to.

Jing Hao: "Wha? Oh yeah, you're here."

Jing Hao runs along the corridors of the hospital, the only thing on his mind is Rui En. Xin Jie spots him and cries out his name, pulling him towards her. Jing Hao looks momentarily surprised to see Xin Jie at the hospital and in his arms. He regains his composure, returns Xin Jie’s hug, and asks after Rui En. Eventually an attending doctor greets the gathered group and informs them that Rui En is all right. Xin Jie and Jing Hao leave.

Listen to teacher Tong Tong, she will explain the plot to you.
Bi Yun and Tong Tong have no idea what just happened to Rui En. Mother and daughter talk, and Tong Tong tells her mother that she is aware that her mom has a crush on Ming Shou. Furthermore, Tong Tong knows that Rui En and Jing Hao still love each other, so naturally they should get together. See, even a child understands this! Why do adults have to complicate things so much?

Relationships are just easier when they don't talk back.
Driving home, Jing Hao asks Xin Jie why she was with Rui En. In her explanation, Xin Jie reveals that Rui En visited Jing Hao’s apartment and saw the painting. Crap! The jig is up! Jing Hao is rocked to his core, but masks his emotions during the drive. He later reappears at the hospital, and sits by Rui En’s side. He reaches out for her…

Jing Hao discovers who put his father in a nursing home! Xin Jie finally figures out that Rui En = Jing Hao’s old girlfriend!

I have three critiques.

First, this show needs to stop dumping on Rui En. The amount of duplicity and heart ache she has to put up with is reaching sheer ridiculousness.

Second, I understand that several of the characters work at, or are affiliated with, the hospital. That is fine. I also understand that no idol drama is complete without two or so hospital visits. Also fine. It comes with the territory. But seriously, it feels like the hospital is now a crutch. Can’t the writers come up with some better, more compelling way for characters to reveal their true intentions/feelings about things?

And finally, it feels like the writers just keeping adding complication on top of complication, which adds nothing of value to the story. For example, the side story with the Mafia Boss, Brother Koo, is not compelling. Rather than have him in every other episode, why not just re-introduce him once in episode 8, flesh out his character’s personality, history and motivations, and then be done with it? When he actually does something interesting, then you can add him back in.

Overall, the last few episodes could have been re-edited and re-cut to form one, tighter and faster paced episode. Ha, but that's kinda true for most idol dramas.

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