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Episode 22 Summary: Han Fei, Jing, & ALMOST sex

So in this episode, the military expedition is carried out, Jing tries to learn the secret sword technique, and the Emperor and Li'er get REALLY close--spoilers ahead

1.We open up to Li'er and Zheng arguing over the sleep conditions. Essentially she wins and gets the bed and he states he will not sleep because he can't, and will watch her. She says do what you want, falls asleep, has a nightmare, and she is surprised that he is still awake. He promises not to sleep and protect her...

2. Jing and Lan'er were successful in arriving at Tian; he must carry her because she is injured. They locate the training spot in something that is like indiana jones: they unlock a secret room, and are sealed inside until he can learn the technique. So it's learn or die.

3.In this secret room, they discover an altar. Inscribed are the names Cao No, Zhuan Zhu, Yu Rang, and Nie Zheng. The last name stands out to him. Apparently he assassinated the Han King over a century ago, but could not escape the palace, so he damaged his face and killed himself. HOWEVER grandpa said that this was all a ruse; that Nie Zheng did escape and he planted the corpse and damaged the face so they would think it was him and lived in seclusion. So he had to use the sword technique.
SO HISTORICALLY we know Jing Ke tried to kill the emperor (sorry I have to spoil that) and so I guess this is what our JING is going to attempt....

4.They pick up a sword off the altar and magically an indoor thunder storm occurs and on the wall, HOLOGRAM IMAGES of the technique appear--YES. Don't know how they got that technology. So I had to suspend reality but laughed so hard....

5.Meanwhile, the emperor continues to display a puppy like devotion to Li'er. Just watching her sleep...and then we flashback to to Jing who is training, presumably to kill him although I don't think he has made that choice yet--it's just an interesting thing because as the emperor and Li'er become more close, Jing becomes closer to making what I expect to be his big choice to kill the emperor....

6.Elsewhere, Ru'er/Lady Chu learns through the grapevine that Lady Jing is pregnant. Well she can't have that! She summons her and puts pressure on her to drink a 'special tea' that was from the Grand Dowager so it would be an insult to not drink it, and Jing really has no choice but to drink it. I expect a miscarriage will follow...

7.Meanwhile, since news travels fast, Lady Min talks to her servant about the events that Ru'er has caused. She explains that Lady Jing should have allowed a trusted doctor to make the diagnosis, that way she could have at least kept it secret. But she didn't, and the emperor is away so by the time he returns he probably won't pursue any investigations because Lady Jing is not Li'er.

8.Meanwhile, the emperor discusses with his favorite General Mu the reason for taking all of these troops just to get one scholar. (If you forgot, the entire point of this trip is to retrieve Han Fei) Mu believes it is a waste of resources and will make them a laughingstock. The emperor explains no, we need Han Fei because he is smart, and it will benefit Qin. Also, everyone knows that the king of Han is incompetent and relies entirely upon Han Fei. Everyone will think that Han is the laughingstock for not even challenging me and it will be a great PR campaign because it will show I am not a bloodthirsty tyrant but I can get what I want without war and won't force people to submit necessarily.

9.So in the next scene, all of the Qin soldiers are outside of Han. The king is freaking out and immediately allows Li'er in because she is a woman to negotiate. He says I will give you anything--before they ask--and she says we just want han fei. Well.

---Meanwhile, Jing and Lan'er are basically starving to death because they are trapped in this room and he STILL hasn't mastered this technique. They have run out of water and are done to the last of their food!--

10.In the next scene they are already back in Qin--with Han Fei--at a banquet in his honor! I love it! And Lady Min is cozying up Li'er while Ru'er glowers across the room. Essentially during the banquet the emperor gives Han Fei the choice of being part of Qin and tells him that he respects him. Han Fei is very humble but directly asks him why the heck are you rushing to unite right now? The emperor states he is doing it so that the citizens have a long lasting peace. No one can say no to this.

11.Li Si tries to cozy up to the emperor and Han Fei, and then as Li Si is talking to Han Fei, Lady Han appears--as a gift to Han Fei! That's a big deal!

12.Meanwhile, Lady Min in a talk with her servant states that she does not think that Lady Chu/Ru'er had anything to do with this

13.Our story ends with the emperor chasing Li'er around her chambers like two teenagers and finally collapsing on the bed. He convinces her to let him stay the night....
Now I wonder what will happen next?

Thoughts: Probably one of the best things with this show is its pacing and lack of filler. A lot of shows get bogged down showing the journey to and from a place and adding lots of little filler. But things move very fast in this show. Like they were in Han and back in one episode.

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Episode 51
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Sep 13, 2017

Five Stars

"Nothing can be overlooked."
"The clues often lie in the details that we overlook."
and look what happened.

ugh... everything is messed up, wtf,
Actually I'm glad that Touba Yu is one of my favorite characters, so that I won't hate him
I can't blame him, they brought this to themselves, they shouldn't have treated him like that, they despised and humiliated him.. I pity Touba Yu, they made him like this, I'm just so sad, HE JUST WANTED HIS FATHER TO ACKNOWLEDGE HIM... (ik he shouldn't have done what he did but idc) TT
I want to cry, I can't complete this :(
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Ep 21: Grooming? Episode 21
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Sep 12, 2017

Ep 21: Grooming?

We open to the Emperor delivering a well-rehearsed argument for all the reasons that he should make Li'er his Queen: 1)Every state is represented in his harem and because of that he has to deal with the complications of offending someone with his harem 2)A queen from the common people means no feuds among his ministers for power

Li'er tries to back out of this gracefully by explaining that while she is not a negative, she is not beneficial and he should find someone beneficial and besides she doesn't want to deal with the harem. The king ignores this and tells his grandmother that he knows she disagrees, so when he rides out to battle Han, should he win, he gets to have her as Queen

The grand dowager tells him to bring a concubine to battle is the height of scandal. He says nope, it just means that our state is so prosperous he can bring a concubine to battle--

Ru'er predictably states why can only Li'er go with you? And he replies, well you can come, just be prepared to fight. LOLZ

Afterwards, Li'er tells him she is upset because 1)you never talked to me about this and 2)I don't want my child to have to fight over the throne if I become Queen

The emperor diverts her attention by trying to give her a gift (he is so eager, like a kid you can tell he is barely containing his excitement) and its a tray of oranges. Predictably, she says I don't want these, even if its a rare delicacy, and he knocks them to the floor but he isn't angry. He says okay, did deeper. And he pulls out her grandpa's dagger. You know what this is? This is grooming 101 and its working because she is very happy.

Then he sits in his throne room, her at his side, receives Han, promotes him to Middle Guard which means only Li Zhong is above him, and he gives them permission to talk privately whenever they want. She is stunned.

Li'er returns to her rooms with Han, and explains that she can't understand why she saved him, and she doesn't understand her feelings now. (she is being buttered up!)

And the emperor asks Li Zhong if he is being to lax with her, and Li Zhong, not being a moron, says nope. And the emperor says he has finally realized that he can win her by giving her freedom--this is hysterical. All of this chaos, all of it is because he wants to get laid. I love it.

Meanwhile Jing is going into the mountains with Lan'er and someone is following them...I can't remember who the guy is who sent them but he has appeared in older episodes...and it seems this guy wants the mythical legendary sword technique....

The royal eunech, ghao, is discussing what to do with li'er. He acknowledges she is not an enemy but he can't call her a friend. So he decides for now to leave her be but he will have spies reporting on her.

In a great scene, Han confronts Ru'er and tells her that he was appointed to protect Li'er and she needs to stop bullying her otherwise he will act. Essentially he tells her that the emperor gave me this position to cut down people he can't--the emperor won't touch you because he has to think about politics, but I will gladly risk life and limb to protect Ru'er so you better stop--

(so I have lost count of all the warnings that Ru'er has received)

Just before leaving for battle, Li'er reports to the emperor what she knows of Han: Han Fei, the advisor, is smart but has a stutter. He is basically the powerful man while the king is a joke. It kind of illustrates to his men that she has a purpose to serve other than warming the emperor's bed, which is what they will likely suspect.

BUT they reconvene with wind and air, the guys who killed her pops. She freaks, tries to kill them, and the emperor blocks her sword with his armored body. He asks her to stop he orders the guys away, and she says that you only care about losing some good fighters and not about the fact that they killed my grandpa. he says no, I am only concerned about them hurting you (gushing) and she drops the sword and leaves, and he issues an order that the elemental fighters are to never appear in front of her or he will kill them.

Alone, he begins to discuss his battle plans and shares his plans to build the wall of china. In a BIG soap box speech, he tells her that even if the people must suffer, it's to create a stable, better world and even if history derides him as a criminal, he doesn't care (OMG THIS IS DUMB).

While Jing is fighting for his life, she and the emperor are fussing over how to sleep....

Thoughts: I liked this episode because the emperor is like this adorably smug cute guy who is so happy that he has finally found the right tactics to get her in bed and he is clearly so happy that he is making headway with her meanwhile Jing is like fighting for his life AND the emperor is just doing what he wants, no matter the consequences (like the queen issue)

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Episode 20: In Which There are Zero Doubts The Emperor Favors Madame Li

Li Zhong must deal with the aftermath of the chaotic attack(s). He must contend with the possibility that the emperor will maybe take his life because he stabbed Madame Li. Fortunately, the Emperor says he trusts him and wants to know why he acted.

Li Zhong admits that at the time, he believed Li was going to kill him because she had a sword, was running at him, and he knows she is skilled in swords. But looking back, he can see that she wouldn't pick such a public place because she had many chances to do so when they were alone (ha, you don't know Madame Li, the woman of inconsistent smarts).

Meanwhile, Madame Min has an exchange with Ru'er. She essentially calls her out for her incredibly stupid attempt to kill Madame Li. Ru'er plays innocent and accuses Min of being mean but her words aren't angry; she's incredibly smug because she is confident that she is 100% covered. Madame Min again warns her to stop engaging in self-destructive acts.

Back in her bedroom, the Emperor learns that Li'er is out of danger. She wants to visit Han, no matter how weak she is, and he promises to check on him for her. His devotion to her is like a lovesick puppy; he basically jumps into action the moment she speaks, which is such a guy thing; they aren't good with just being supportive they have to do something so he jumps to show her that he can make her life easier by checking in on Han nevermind that it's another guy. And we are given a zillion flashbacks, something I think the show has too many of because it isn't like we forgot all of this stuff.

The emperor continues to investigate. Yan is confident he won't be caught because the woman whom he paid to kill the emperor is from Wei. And she's dead. He also thinks that the focus will be on the Grand Queen Dowager. But he expresses interest in Li'er, and he essentially reveals he respects her for not having any worldly motives for power or wealth, and refers to her as a 'heroine'. He even envies her because she has the luxury to make that choice; he has to think of his country.

Li'er meanwhile awakens to find the Emperor asleep on her. Now this is the second time he has fallen asleep with her. But she touches his forehead, thinking he is having a nightmare (so she was going to....comfort him?) and he freaks out and startles her. He remarks on him falling asleep. The implication is he trusts her, and loves her.

She again says she wants to see Han. He again says nope you are injured I will look in on him. She admits she did not try to kill him, that a sword just fell in her hands, and then she saw the assassin. She tells him that she does not think that the events are related, i.e. the setup and the assassin. He agrees as many people try to kill him (I mean he isn't the most likable person). More flashbacks.

And then he finally visits Han, and lavishes praise on him although he is unconscious, because he proved he was able to do what the emperor could not.

Meanwhile, Jing and Lan'er are travelling to find Warrior Gao and they find him showing off his martial arts skills. This just shows us that Gao has the skills of Jet Li and Jackie Chan and Jon Wick all rolled into one. We learn that their locations is DALIANG.

Then we go back to Zheng. He wants to challenge the Grand Dowager directly because she has belittled his power by refusing to allow him to interrogate her men. He wants to confront her, but Li Zhong points out that she is from Chu. A confrontation with her could trigger a war with Chu, and they must deal with Wei as well--it would be a war from North and South. The emperor says f*** this and declares war on Chu.

And then he goes to the Queen's palace. Unbeknownst to him, Li Si is there and the Queen is trying to get him on her side. Now Li Si isn't a total idiot. The Queen isn't exactly favored right now, and she is from Chu. He tries to get out of accepting the gift but cannot. he accepts it, the emperor is announced, and Ru'er sneaks him out but they both observe his confrontation with the Queen Dowager. He needs to fire all of his guards because it is so silly that they don't notice them. They are hiding in plain sight.

So the emperor essentially tells the Queen to hand over her men. She challenges him and says no. He tells her he declared war on Chu, shocking her, and that he will execute all of her soldiers if he cannot interrogate them. her soldiers plead for their lives.

AND THEN LI'ER SHOWS UP. and intercedes and begs for mercy. Now it is obvious that they have decided Li'er is smart again. So Li'er pleads for mercy and argues that the men were only doing their job to protect him, and that he should not kill them. So he relents and instead exiles them. But by asking for mercy, Li'er has 1)Prevented an international fiasco 2)allowed the emperor to save face as a man because he clearly was trying to protect his woman and allowed him save face as the emperor as he showed he was going to carry out justice but he decided to make his concubine happy
While I understand her reasons for this, I still kind of wanted the emperor to carry out justice because it is very uncommon in dramas, in my opinion, for an emperor to be so direct and unwilling to indulge in the political games because he has enough power that he can actually do this.

But I digress.

What would have made this awesome is if the emperor and her had planned this in advance. but they didn't. Ruo'er is green with envy and afterwards talks again about how Li'er is just doing this for show (and again, this conclusion is not unreasonable as women in the harem constantly play games but she is completely rejecting the possibility that Li'er is perhaps legitimate). She even wonders if Li'er sent the assassin and killed it to stop the questions (no offence that is not unbelievable).

Meanwhile, Jing Ke and Lan'er talk with Warrior Gao. Gao explains that Qin was fighting Chu but must withdraw because they cannot afford a prolonged conflict. Jing Ge again speaks words that show he represents 'the small guy' or the people who are unfortunate victims in Qin's quest for essentially world domination because his only focus is the potential innocent people.

Meanwhile, the empeor talks to Li'er about her intervention on behalf of the Grand Queen Dowager. He admits that he cannot afford to offend Chu but wanted to protect her anyways. She weighs in on the political issues and states that she does not believe Wei wants Qin to actually get back their lands but instead wants to see the powerful states war with one another, weaken each other, and as a result Wei will emerge stronger. The emperor thinks about this and admits he did not think of that and that he now sees that Wei and Han would benefit from the fight especially since Qin relies upon Chu for rations.

<Oh how they are moving closer to each other, especially since she is starting to see she can actually help people and prevent conflict (as she hates war) merely by giving her point of view to the emperor, who listens; it makes it harder to hate him>

Meanwhile, Jing will train in the tai mountains since for reasons unknown to them the Qin are retreating from Chu. He then thinks this is part of the poems secret, so while the emperor is showing signs of not being so unreasonable (because now he can afford to be since his power is very solid in Qin) and we begin to see some of the stability that is emerging from having fewer states, Jing will become a threat to this fragile stability as he trains to take down the emperor, who represents EVIL to him. it will make us less sympathetic to him.

And in a shocking cliff hanger, the emperor decides Li'er will be his queen. I won't even begin to go into how stupid of an idea that is because she brings NOTHING to the table. He should be marrying a foreigner. It is the most sensible choice.

Thoughts; the show is getting better, but it still makes me angry about the very deliberate bad writing to move plot forward because Li'er clearly is not a numnut but they had her acting like one.

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BORIIING Episode 11
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Sep 12, 2017

BORIIING

This series was cute enough until I reached the episode 10. I really hoped it would have been better for the next one, but IT REALLY WASN'T. I'm very sorry because I enjoyed it until now, but I'm not going to continue wasting my time watching this boring flashbacks that i couldn't care less... SIgh!
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Sep 11, 2017

Episode 26: Pro and Con

I think this episode does a good job of highlighting many of the shows pros and its limitations. In this episode, we see that Qu Yuan is spared and sentenced to serving in the military.

1. The emperor receives the petition from the townspeople in the county who are beg for Qu Yuan's life.
Con: While not unrealistic, the show has them all wearing white (would peasants really have access to so many outfits?) and would they really dare to do this before the emperor himself?

2.Meanwhile, Lord Cheng continues to investigate the suspicious circumstances of this case. The king thinks back on all of Qu Yuan's efforts to clean up the county and continues to find it hard to believe that someone so passionate would do this. He asks his advisor for advice, and his advisor implores him to not be biased and to not ignore the hard physical evidence before him.

3.The King wants to personally question Jiao (the man who named Qu Yuan as the embezzler and set him up)

4.The king goes to visit Qu Yuan in his cell, and Qu Yuan is not only drunk, but he continues to maintain his impudent attitude before the king. he tells the emperor he did not do it and that he will say nothing more on the matter. He can kill him if he wants. The king is not only angry he is drunk, but disappointed in his behavior.
Pro: Characters are consistent
Pro: Qu Yuan is reacting in a reasonable way, since his woman is gone and he's been framed he is pretty depressed. It makes him seem more human

5.The king asks him to think of Chu State (essentially he is telling him that he should sacrifice his pride and admit to the crime, so that he can forgive him). I like this scene because Qu Yuan is directly called out for his pride and his black and white thinking. TO me, this is a pro

6.Elsewhere, Jiao is found dead, so the guys who paid him panicked and killed him, but it makes everything even more suspicious.

7.The king holds a formal trial: his ministers are present, as is Qu Yuan and the people who sent the petition. His minister Ji still wants Qu Yuan dead and points out several reasonable points, that Qu Yuan could have had Jiao killed. The people beg for Qu Yuan to be spared, and Qu Yuan is shocked to see Mo Chou leading this. The emperor decides to settle this by having his ministers read all the things Qu Yuan has done, and then read this one crime. He ultimately decides that because the evidence is inconclusive, he won't execute him, but because there is still a question of whether or not he did it, he will have him atone by serving in the military.
Pro: This is a nice Segway into the military, and a reasonable one
Con: The execution of the scene still is a bit wooden in that Qu Yuan is STILL presented as a meme almost and the repetition is killing me--we KNOW he stands for the people

8.After this, the king observes a village festival as they celebrate Qu Yuan being saved
MAJOR CON: SO CHEESY

8.Qu Yuan catches a glimpse of Mo Chou, follows her , and while she hides in the woods using her ninja he shouts that he knows he has no right to speak to her but everyday is miserable for him. Mo Chou cries silently.
Pro: The romance
Con: The romance: it is just kind of...lukewarm

9.Meanwhile, Shi Jia decides to abandon his post at the governer's office because Qu Yuan is leaving. Qu Yuan implores him to stay as they need people like him. Nope, Shi Jia says he is going to wander the country.
Pro: There is some logic in Qu Yuan asking him to stay.
Con: This seems awfully suspicious, like they are going to have him randomly return...

10.Meanwhile, back in Qin, the king sits with his military advisors who protest the power the chancellor has. They are angry that the king has not levied taxes and will not force labor. The king argues it is for the morale of the soldiers and asks them to endure. He also will have his sons Prince Ji (the Chu' king's nephew) and Dan'er serve. They argue this is foolish since the princes are too young and inexperienced. but the king needs to send the message that he is with the people.
Pro: It makes Qin seem more human and is a good military scene

11.Ji'er complains about having to serve and is super angry because his older brother has been excused on account of illness. His mother basically tells him to suck it up that this is a great chance to learn so he reluctantly agrees
Pro: A normal spoiled kid reactioin
Con: spoiled kids are annoying is heck

Major Pro: The show is fairly good with segwaying into new scenes and setting up new plot
Cons: The execution could be improved, and I think the biggest hindrance right now is the actual writing of the character of Qu Yuan, who is so black and white. I am hoping that they pull a JOF and have him do a 180, which makes the character much more likable.

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Doctor With An Agenda Episode 4
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Sep 9, 2017

Doctor With An Agenda

THE NEW SURGEON:
With what we've seen up till now, it's obvious he is in
the town and hospital his Mom worked as a nurse,
wrongfully accused,dismissed, disgraced. The suffering and
humiliation the three went through.
IS HE OUT TO AVENGE HIS MOM????
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Such Frustration! Episode 19
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Sep 9, 2017

Such Frustration!

Spoilers!!!!!

Basic recap with points of characters + opinions past and future.

This drama overall I find entertaining just certain things make me dread their screen time at moments lol.

This episode is full of recap like the last one just from our OCD rabbit fellow this time.

Our main couple is at the stage of maybe half realizing their feelings? He isn't as ocd as he used to be (at least in my mind).. It's like she's been conditioning him, which I find to be a good measure of his feelings for her. They're cute which would be enough to give this episode a 8/10 if not for all of the aspects below.
Here we go... In a 3 point medley:

The brother 2ML IS SO BOTHERSOME! He's like a stalker on crack! She isn't fully hating him because at one point their relationship was very important to her. She got the friendship back but doesn't want his unending devotion in his misguided love. He's a child with no sense of the fact that she genuinely doesn't like him. At the beginning when he thought she didn't like him *basic truth* he went all antagonist on her. He even slapped her. Man I get that he felt hurt but it poisoned the well. Now he just upsets me constantly calling for MICHAEL aka ocd rabbit fellow. Wow how I've wanted to rant on him. He's not getting any better there was a time when his character was developing then that got chopped down.

Our lovely lying fox has a *B* of a step sister. She has been making me rage like a storm on the inside. How can she be so selfish that she doesn't realize tha LLF hasn't done anything to warrant your misguided hatred. I mean sure... she &quot;took'' your love, but they were mutual love and you were one-sided affection. That instead of voicing out THIS AFFECTION to brother 2ML you chose to glare and in turn ruin her relationship by going to the grandmother WHO at this point I truly hope gets no redemption. But *B* of a stepsister at this point although I hate a lot about you if you can grab and keep brother 2ML I wouldn't completely be against your redemption. You could just need one thing of your own in order to be less terrible and nasty. IF that happens I could deal with it.

Lastly our ocd bunny fellows secretary Gao has a new girlfriend who I do like... just don't like that she's a huge liar. Basically she stalked him to find information and is genuinely into him. Just won't tell him that she has money and is constantly lying to him. Like in this episode she acted mad and waited for him to say he'll buy her meal for her. Then she orders so much food as to gauge him. Turns out she had planned to pay off over 80% of the meal total, and get the server to lie about a promotion. She stresses me out, I can only see this turning into a problem later on.

Sara Rojas SEPTEMBER 9 2017

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Episode 8: Fiancee?! Episode 8
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Sep 8, 2017

Episode 8: Fiancee?!

Characters:
President Daiseke
Yuko-president's daughter
Boss Taiyo
Asako-President's Wife

--This episode has a lot going on--

1.That night, at Sumiyoshi Brewery, Ellie and Massan are at the head of the table as a celebration is held. Massan brings out a bottle of whiskey and goes into an exciting speech about making whiskey but is interrupted sharply by the Director, and the president says he can tell more about it later. Immediately all eyes go to Ellie.

2.They want to know why she is in Japan, and Ellie introduces herself and says she came as Massan's wife and hopes to learn from them and be friends with them. They are impressed that she knows Japanese, and another man asks who Massan is, and Masaharu explains she calls him that because it is difficult to say his whole name.

3.For everyone present, Ellie is like a curious spectacle, and Ellie doesn't seem to really notice as long as people are friendly but Massan notices and is a bit uncomfortable with the attention. Then, Boss Taiyo enters. He is extremely dismissive to Massan, saying so you're that guy who went abroad and now you're back. He turns his attention to Ellie, and actually pushes Massan to the floor in his haste to reach her. He wants to know who the pretty lady is and Massan is like, that's my wife--now moments earlier Ellie heard someone say 'Aho' and asked what it meant' and Massan interpreted it as a greeting and so she greets the boss by saying Aho! and Massan is like no, don't say that!--and then Taiyou embraces her and says her perfume smells great

4.Now Ellie is caught off guard but hugs him back and thinks this is all quite funny but to Masaharu--and everyone present--it is extremely rude but also (I think) makes Ellie seem like someone with low manners/sexually promiscuous because she isn't pushing him away. Massan grabs Ellie and hugs her tight and basically glares at Taioyu

5.Now the narrator shares that this Boss guy will have a huge impact on their future but it doesn't say why. The president tells Masaharu that the boss is great, and with his help, they have been making and selling a lot of wine.

6.The Boss picks up the whiskey--and he pours it in his hand and drinks it and then says 'we are leaving' but not before saying goodbye to Ellie in English, who is polite. Then enters the president's wife, who asks to speak to Massan. He goes and leaves Ellie behind. (the president also follows).

7.Wife, president, Yuko, and Massan are sitting together and she says how can you go away, return with a wife, when you are promised to Yuko. This shocks Massan, and Ellie sneaks in and then walks in with her shoes, causing the president's wife to yell at her, causing Ellie to apologize and Massan to scrub the mats and tell her you can't wear shoes on Tatami, and she wants to know what the words (she repeats engaged in japanese' mean)

8. So Ellie is told by the present's wife that her husband is promised to marry her daughter. Yuko runs off, and then the president says to Massan: I gave you a lot of money and said 'I am leaving it all to you' I thought you knew that meant marrying my daughter--why else would I give you all that money?

9.The president tells him to apologize to his daughter since it seems like a lovematch and Massan bows and apologizes but Ellie doesn't understand why he is apologizing since he didn't do anything wrong

10. That night, they lay in bed together and Massan says that he can't wait to begin experimenting with Japanese barley and water to see what kind of whiskey he can make and Ellie repeats her support of him

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Episode 7: Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire

In this episode, Ellie and Masaharu go to Osaka

1.Masaharu and Ellie pack as they are leaving for Osaka. Just before leaving, he visits his family having breakfast and tells his mother that it is unfortunate that she won't accept Ellie, but they will go to Osaka to work towards his goals

2He pulls Ellie to the door but she stops, bows to his mother, and tells her that she will do her best to learn and be all things Japanese and she hopes to return and see her again

3.His mother is so upset she leaves the room and the family is silent until his father stands and gives them his blessing. He tells his son not to return until he has succeeded and Ellie is so happy to have his blessing she hugs him, shocking his father but he laughs it off.

4.At the train, just before getting on, Sumire runs to catch them and delivers a pair of chopsticks. A gift from Masaharu's mother. She is very happy about this, and Sumire understands the meaning but Masaharu does not. On the train she explains it is homework.

5.While on the train, she accidentally calls him Massan, and she admits that it is easier to say, and asks him if it is okay, and he says that it is. In English, she teases him, and then tells him that she loves him. He looks around and then whispers in her ear, in English, that he loves her and she giggles.

6.Once in Osaka, Ellie immediately comments on how lively and energetic it is. He explains it is a merchant city, and she picks up more of the language. They stop at a temple and she learns how to pray the Japanese way.

7.They then go to Sumiyoshi Brewery and the entire way he brags about the president, and seems to hold him in high regard. At the brewery, it does indeed seem like he is a nice man. He greets Masaharu warmly and his men throw him in the air. Ellie couldn't keep up, so when she rounds the corner and the president notices her, he orders everyone to stop and slowly walks up to her and asks if she has any business here (OMG...)

8.Yoko-san, the president's daughter, is there with her mother and it is obvious she likes him. Ellie just does what she always does and smiles but calls out to Massan, who introduces her as his wife and is confused that this illicits a strong reaction in everyone: stunned, shocked silence follows.

9.Yoko runs off, and the president excuses himself, while in the distance, the director looks incredibly displeased. The president urges his wife and daughter to act natural just for today and assures them he had no idea Massan did this. The narrator then tells us that a big sh*t storm will erupt because of yoko....

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Episode 6: Don't Go! Episode 6
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Sep 8, 2017

Episode 6: Don't Go!

So in this episode Ellie almost returns to Scotland.

1. We open up with Masaharu's mother and Ellie alone. She tells Ellie a series of stories about her son that illustrate how much she loves him, and then she breaks down in tears and begins to beg her to let her son go, because no matter how hard Ellie tries, no matter what she does, in Japan she will always be viewed as an outsider and his mother believes that because of this they will one day regret being together

2.Ellie breaks down in tears listening to this, and in a flashback we learn that for her, this reminds her greatly of her own mother who not only said the same things, but Ellie rejected what she said and left in the middle of the night to leave with Masaharu. She whispered to her through her bedroom door, believing she was asleep, and apologized and said she can't stop loving Masaharu. But the audience sees her mother laying down, in tears, as she listens to her daughter. It is so sad because it is probably the last time they will see one another.

3.Meanwhile, Masaharu goes looking for Ellie and can't find her. So he starts asking the servants and his sisters and no one has seen her. Finally he goes to his mother, who has a serene look on her face as she prays and he yells at her, where is she, and her answer is: you should just get over her. Eventually, he learns the truth (I assume) because in the next scene he is running like a madman to catch Ellie, who is about to get in a car to go.

4. He is able to catch them, by taking a shortcut, and since he won't move she goes to talk to him and tells him that his mother loves him so much, and she understands, and that her only regret is that she left her home without her mother's approval and she doesn't want that for Masaharu.

5.His response is SO GREAT. He basically yells : Japan is a country of domineering husbands and wives are quiet and obedient and so you can't leave because I said so! (it's like really immature but at the same time just really speaks to how much he loves her because he has never talked to her like that)

6.Essentially they reaffirm their love and she decides to stay.

Awwww!

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Sep 7, 2017

Episode 5: Let's Leave

-Following the ceremony, the household goes back to its regular routine, except Ellie is still an issue. In another meeting with his mother, she points out yet again that Ellie is far from ideal, and with a smile on her face, she implores her son to make Ellie a concubine

-Masaharu is so furious with this, perhaps even more so because Ellie does not have a full grasp of the language so she is grinning, think she may finally be accepted, and Masaharu angrily leaves, dragging her with him. He yells he is leaving for Osaka and his mother says she will disinherit him and he says I don't care

-Upstairs, as he packs, Ellie tells him to explain to her what is happening, and he yells at her to pack, and she yells at him to not yell at her and tells him to calm down and reminds him that he loves his family and he shouldn't leave

-In the next scene Masaharu is talking to his father at the rice paddies and tells his father he has no desire to inherit the sake distillery and will make good whiskey. in the next scene they are in the sake room and he gives his father whiskey, who grimaces, and his son explains its because of peat. he tells his father his dream again but his father just sits there and frowns and Masaharu begs him to say something, then gets up to go.

-Ellie watches from the shadows...

-his father challenges him to a judo match, and as he pushes him he tells him to win, to make whiskey, but he wins the judo match and Masaharu cries on the floor and says I don't know why I am like this or what's wrong with me and his father keeps pushing him to fight him and then finally he wins, and this is like his fathers way of saying I approve, I support you, just do your best

-Ellie is in tears but won't let her presence be known; she borrows chopsticks from Sumire and plans to learn to use them

-while practicing, his mother demonstrates how to use them, surprising her (and me) and THEN she starts to beg her in tears and says if you care about my son please go home (that is such a low shot; it will make Ellie feel like she is stealing her son and she's not)

what will Ellie do?

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Episode 19: A GREAT EPISODE AFTER MANY BAD ONES

In this episode we are treated a LOT OF sexual tension and an extremely interesting end

1.Jing cuts his hair and returns, both symbolically and literally ready to return to his initial goal. He promises both his mentor--gramps--and Li'er that he will not disappoint them (he basically realizes that everyone, including Li'er, believes he is capable of doing great things)

2.Meanwhile, Lan'er and her father are talking about Jing. He advises his daughter to let Jing go, that he is walking down a path of no return (he knows that Jing is going to do great things but it is not going to be a sunshine and rainbows path) however Lan'er is stubborn and refuses

3.JIng decides to continue to figure out what the secret technique is that gramps left for him, and Lan'er gains permission to go. Her father is reluctant to agree, but he knows she will probably go either way.

4.Elsewhere, the grand dowager hosts yet another 'party' of the concubines, which is more like a meeting fraught with tension as they carefully use language to passively make plans--and the makers of these plans are the Grand Dowager and Ru'er, her favorite. Ru'er believes that Li'er is toxic, having broken the rules multiple times, and is bad for the harem. The Grand Dowager basically says that Li'er has broken the rules and that will be addressed appropriately, and everyone else should shun her (this basically means rest assured, I will kill her). The other ladies present are clearly uncomfortable because they know that this is a meeting to discuss killing another concubine.

5.In a scene fraught with sexual tension, the emperor sits on her bed, and I think this is important because it is almost like he is baiting her or taunting her because he knows how uncomfortable she is when he is alone with her. He tells her very directly: I have waited a year, I want you, and I have waited out of respect. He then forces kisses on her but backs off, but his message is clear: I am waiting out of respect, I am impatient, hurry up and come willingly because I can do whatever I want and maybe one day I will force you so instead of making this an awful experience try to think differently.

Scary, right? But realistic in what women faced--and unrealistic in that he was being so 'patient'. That is one of the most inconsistent things about his character, the fact that he cares so much about one person. And I know care here is complicated but he is showing her a great deal of courtesy by making so many allowances for her.

I really like this scene:
6.The emperor visits Madame Min to play chess (a version that makes no sense to me) and they have a really interesting conversation about the harem and politics, and it clearly shows the roles they both bear, and is a clever dance with words. He basically tells her, and she confirms this to him, that she is neither his favorite nor someone who gives him any problems. She says this is a compliment because she has grown up in the harem and has seen women hope for the king's attention and seen how destructive it can be.
His response: But not fighting is a fighting tactic, and this catches her off guard. He points out how he has used other people to fight his battles and says she is really no different from him. And that's true.
Her response: It isn't my place to discuss politics with you
He says: you are very smart, you know I always thought that Jia would be the next leader on Zhao because Zhao Qian isn't the brightest, but his mother was favored by the king. (the message is that even if you are more qualified, sometimes you just aren't fated to be the one) and then he goes on to say that he was surprised she came to Qin because Zhao loved her so much (implying she could have had great power through him)
Her reply: I thought he was weak, but what I think really doesn't matter because whether it's you or Zhao I am still in the same position (they aren't talking about her anymore, they are talking about women, and for him, he is just reaffirming Li'er's position: that she is his, and what she wants at the end of the doesn't matter because she only has what he allows her to have. because Lady min could have stayed behind and been with Zhao, but even if he loved her, so what, she was still just a concubine. in this way, the emperor sort of gets to justify his behavior because she is his possession and it gives him that feeling of control he loves so much)

MAYBE I OVERANYLZED I:M SORRY

And then comes another charged scene:
-Li'er is with Qing'er, brushing her hair, and Qing'er tells her to just accept the emperor because she is fighting a battle that she cannot win. he owns her. (I interpreted it as this is like a game to him and when he gets tired of it he will do what he wants so just stop it already and accept that you are his possession)
-Li'er agrees (suspicious, righgt?) and then she places a hair pin in her sleeve (I thought OMG not another stupid scene but this is a great scene)

-the emperor sits on her bed, looking smug like always, and she walks towards him, hands behind her back, smiling almost coyly.

-he asks her if tonight is the night she will sleep with him or not? and before she can answer he says: I think you are going to kill me and then yourself, but what about Tian ming?

-and her face just crumbles--he won this round--he stands and gently takes the pin from her and then he says he prepared for this just in case and tells her Tian Ming was sent out of the palace

-she accuses him of using her son again, because she could never leave if she can't find him, and he says yes I am using him, but it's (basically) to protect you from doing something stupid, like killing me, and it also protects him in case you kill me or someone wants to hurt him. she says that I am just like a country you are at war with, and you want to conquer me, and he says he wants her as much as he desires the six states (they are one and the same to him) he then hands her the hair pin and reminds her that it is used for hair only and leaves, promising to return.

WOW
AND IT GETS BETTER

-In a private meeting with the Grand Dowager, the Queen essentially says she has a plan to deal with Li'er. I do think the queen is a bit conflicted because she has to know how her grandson feels about Li'er so she can't mess this up.

-The Queen meets with li'er, who begs for punishment. Now begins another dance with words. The Queen says that the emperor's birthday is coming up and as a rule, concubines give him a gift. she requests that Li'er perform a dance. Li'er says she can't dance and it might make others uncomfortable if she is there, and the queen suggests that she sword dance. Li'er, showing some smarts for the first time in a long time, tells her that she will do this, but if she should die in the future, please take care of my son, and the queen promises

-Li'er practices with Han, who tells her that this is a trap, and she says even so, I have the Queen's word that Tian Ming will be safe. Han says, yea, but what about you.

-Now we go to the ceremony, and Li'er performs a visually pretty dance. Now the Queen Dowager summoned extra guards--she plans to have them kill li'er once it looks like she will harm the emperor. Now how could that happen? Well, at the every end of her dance, Li'er splits open a piñata like thing and all these flower petals fall around her.....
and so does a sword. Her reflex is to catch it. Now to everyone else, it looks like she planned this. The guards attack, and at the same time, Prince Yan gives a signal to a woman behind the emperor's throne (this would never happen) and she moves to kill him!
Li'er fights through a dozen guards, it looks like she is about to kill him, Han is injured trying to help keep her safe, and li Zong stabs her, and she throws her sword and kills the assassin.

everyone is surprised.
the emperor freaks out, runs with her body and screams for a doctor. while she is being tended to he yells at li zhong (poor guy) 1)why do my guards suck 2)who was that assassin 3) where did all those guards come from and 4)you only stabbed her because you thought she was going to hurt me,right?

Conclusion:
this episode made up for so many episodes where I just kept facepalming. the pacing was good, dialogue was good, they balanced out the controversial scenes where he is really not nice to her and yea, I liked it. a lot. keep these ones coming

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Sep 7, 2017

Episode 18: All About Han

Everyone says that Li'er smartens up so maybe this is her last 'dumb' episode

1.Zheng discusses Li'er with Zhao Gao and Li Zong, his closest retainers. The issue is the conflict between her and Han's stories. Li Zong believes that the two have a relationship that is deeper than just that of servant and master because most would not go to such an extent to protect someone.

2.THEN guards arrive to report 'hey, you know we just saw Madame Li sneaking into Han's cell disguised as a maid' ROFL

3.Meanwhile, Li'er confronts Han. She accuses him of making an extraordinarily stupid choice (pot meet kettle) but she apologizes that he has suffered on her behalf (she gave Qing'er like no real apology) and she tells him she knew she would be safe because she is certain the Emperor would never hurt her.

THIS IS IMPORTANT

4. Han points out that she is wrong because she was imprisoned. But she says no, he just did this to make me reflect (HER THINKING HAS CHANGED BECAUSE SHE IS DEFENDING THE EMPEROR VERY CLEARLY)

5.Han points out that the harem is a dangerous place and anyone could use her time in here to hurt her. Instead of addressing this valid point she changes the subject and focus back to him and starts to cry about how awful it is that he is in this situation

6.At this point, the emperor has arrived and is so slowly walking towards the cell, watching the two of them...

7.Han tells her that he was ready to die the moment he entered the palace so its okay (OMG these too are so similar in their desire to die for love) just as she is promising to save him the emperor interrupts them with a 'what's going on here?'

8.he orders her to not bother leaving and has the door locked and then she admits to him the 'truth' that Han is her senior brother and that they grew up together, so she didn't consider it abduction when she left with him (semantics) . Everyone doubts this, because she has lied so much, so she suggests that a master be brought in to watch senior brother train--he would know they trained together. the emperor agrees why not, he can duel the same guy you fought, and she says he's injured but the emperor says it doesn't matter your fighting stances would be the important part

9.Zhao Gao periodically jumps in to give his little digs, but he also raises some valid points, mainly he asks why she didn't ask to visit her family the palace isn't a dungeon and she says palace law forbids her to leave the harem; Gao then says that she doesn't sound very apologetic even though a lot of people died because of her actions--or almost died (so this is personal he is mad because he almost died for her) and she doesn't answer this

10.For reasons unknown, she is released from the cell even though he said she would remain there, and he confronts her in private. he wants to know if she is actually telling the truth and she admits half of it is true and half is a lie. she admits she left the palace not to see her family, but to see Jing (she is smart enough not to say his name). the emperor is sort of so blown away by her audacity that he can't even get mad. he quietly accuses her of treating him like a joke and basically cheating on him. she informs him that she planned to come back because she knew he would never let her go, and she wanted her child to have a happy life, so she told Jing that Tian Ming is his child. At first this makes him happy, but when he realizes the reason--that it is all for Jing to be protected--he becomes upset

11.the day of the duel arrives and Jing is such a bloody mess. he duels the general and loses easily, like she predicted, and everyone is convinced that he is not a childhood friend and the king orders him to be executed. she steals his sword, jumps onto the field, and says something her grandpa said that resonates within jing. they duel--and beat the general together--but their movements are so coordinated it is obvious

12.Zhao gao still has negative words and focuses on her taking the sword but the emperor yells at him to stop already, that she did it to make a point and he promises her not to hurt him

13.alone with han, he questions him. he tells him that he knows she is not in love with him and basically implies that he thinks that Han is in love with her. he allows han to remain as a guard, to protect her, so long as he swears fealty to her. what convinced him to allow this is the fact that han asks him if he could give up his life for her--and states he knows he can't because he is the emperor and has to put the state first in the end, but he can do what the emperor can't, and that is to die for her if necessary.

14.elsewhere, jing is basically drinking himself into a grave. lan'er remains by his side even though his father tells her to let him go because he is not in a place to acknowledge her but she is patient. jing constantly has memories of her bombard her, and it is interesting because he always sees her as he remembers her, sweet and kind, not the somewhat reserved woman she has become, who looks and talks differently

15.Jing finally addresses his internal conflict--his love for her or his desire to do great things and he decides to let her go and be a sword, but not just any sword, it's like he is resigned to do whatever necessary, even if it means he dies....

16.the king visits Li'er who still looks at the scarf sometimes and she thanks him for sparing han but asks him why he isn't angry. he says he isn't mad that she has a fellowship with han, but he is annoyed that it's been a year and she still won't open her heart to him....

Thoughts:
So like everyone thought, they used the interlude with Jing to illustrate that she will never try to leave Zheng, even if given the opportunity, and it shows a shift in her thinking of him--in the palace everyone loves the emperor but back at home, when others insult him, she defends him since she knows him better--and while she doesn't perceive it as change it really is because prior to this she never would have thought that about him. it shows the beginning of her opening up.

And the stupid choice to see han, well, they needed to have a plot opening for him to stay. there you go.
I hope the show starts to improve now that they have laid the foundation for her falling in love with him, as she has 100 percent decided to stay and the revenge storyline, as Jing has decided to focus completely on the sword, not on matters of the heart.

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Sep 7, 2017

Episode 4: The Memorial Ceremony

-The episode opens up with the extended family gathering to honor the deathday of the Kameyama grandfather. This is the 17th one. All conversation stops when she is introduced and you can actually here birds chirping, its so silent.

-The family gossips about her before the ceremony commence. Some remark on how pretty she is. Others wonder if it is true that all foreigners eat meat only and are violent. Masaharu tells her to ignore them but she turns and introduces herself--making it clear she speaks Japanese and everyone is surprised about this.

-The priest comes in and he tries to introduce Ellie but he looks at her and laughs and says 'I see you brought back a souvenir' LOL I thought it was a witty insult

-The ceremony commences and Masaharu walks her through what to do. She embarrasses herself a few times and then her legs start to get numb. So Masaharu helps her up to walk it off and she falls--onto the priest--and she just greets him and says good afternoon! (I laughed so hard)

-After the ceremony Masaharu tries to get the priest to acknowledge her. At first he seems friendly, but then he tests her by having her use chopsticks, and she can't use them. He says you can't even hope to be accepted if you can't even do this, basically.

-Children playing cause Sumire to drop a Sake bottle, it breaks, and the little girl is hurt. Ellie immediately moves to help, and the boy is sent away but Ellie tells him to apologize and this impresses the priest who remarks that she has heart and that's all she needs to be a good wife. Everyone applauds but Masaharu's mother screams she will never accept her and leaves the room.

-Sitting alone, Ellie is very sad and upset by what was sad. Masaharu watches her and thinks back to his own experiences with her family. We learn that he begged for her hand in marriage and her mother was screaming at him and her Uncle was extremely rude and said that he could never make whiskey because it is a Scottish tradition and he is merely an Asian barbarian. He then literally dragged him out of the house. So he can empathize with her.

-Elsewhere his mother sits alone in a room and cries. I imagine she feels like everyone is against her, and frustrated because she wants to do the right thing and feels cornered.

-The kids come over and start to sing a song that is actually a song she knows. They ask her to sing it in English, and she does, but then the mother comes up and just shuts her down with a look.

What will Ellie do?

So the show continues to highlight some of the issues that Ellie might encounter--like how to use chopsticks. not to surprising. but it also had some really funny parts, for instance when the priest was singing she asked him what he was saying and Masaharu was like I don't actually know just look serious which is something that I think everyone experiences at some point in their life--

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