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May 10, 2017
8/10

"episode 39 spoilers ahead"

Spoilers Ahead

1. Before making his choice, Li Mu tells the emperor that he has confirmed what he has known all along: that he does not love her. He asks that should Meniang live, he wants the emperor to allow her to choose to stay or not. The emperor agrees. He drinks both cups of wine (called it!). And dies.

2.Elsewhere, the emperor summons Meniang to his candle room and lights a read more candle. Again he asks her what she wants. She tells him the same thing as last episode. He embraces her and tells her that because of Li Mu's traitor parents and plot to kill him, he had to kill him. He did it secretly. She breaks down in tears and tries to kill herself but he stops her, embraces her, and states that he owns her and decides when she dies. She begs for death. He gives her poisoned wine, she passes out.

3.She awakens in a cottage outside the city, dressed as a boy. Li Mu is there. First he states that Prince Jin saved them, but then he reveals the truth: the emperor staged his death because Chancllor Zhangsun would have had him killed. The emperor had a candid conversation with him and revealed that he was right, he could not love appropriately, but he admits he loves her enough that he doesn't want to see her condemned to Gonye Hall (where consorts without children go when the emperor dies, to live as nuns). He wants her to be free. And he believes that he will likely die during this expedition but has no regrets. He makes Li Mu swear to protect her for the rest of her life.

4.Li Mu then releases a very emotional Meniang from their childhood marriage promise and explains to her that he wants her to be happy, she can go her own way. She embraces him and promises to love him in their next life.

5.Elsewhere, the emperor leaves for war. He and his soldiers clash with the enemy on the battle field it is bloody. Meniang is racing to see him. She is attacked by men, but Li Mu appears and admits he has been protecting her from the shadows this whole time (he has an oath to the emperor). Together they plan to see the emperor.

6.Back at the palace, Li Zhi continues to avoid his wife. Concubines are chosen , and he seems to like one, much to the discomfort of his wife. Elsewhere, Xu Hui, who was named Able Consort for saving Meniang's life, is selecting concubines for the emperor. At first she seems nice but then she dismisses each one because of crimes she discovered their families had committed (not sure if she actually had them killed). While walking around the palace, she overhears some maids gossiping about her and one plans to ask for retirement. She has the women locked up in Yeting and their tongues removed. She explains she must use the harsh ways of Consort Wei to everyone watching to ensure she can control the harem.

7.(she seems to be a little crazy) She then lovingly talks to the candle holder used to kill Wenniang, her personal attendant, and asks her if she knows if the emperor can see how she is taking care of the harem for him. She wonders if she should plan for her future, since she is childless and does not want to go to Gonye hall.

Comments:I think that the plot is being developed in certain ways to account for a few historical things:
1)Wang, the crown princess, never bore the crown prince any sons even though he had children with other concubines. Perhaps him not sleeping with her can attest to this (as in he did not like her)
2)Wang had a famous rivalry with another concubine (other than Wu)
3)Meniang was said to be extremely good and fair in developing her friendships and was said to have befriended everyone in the harem, ensuring her control, while others were rude or used harsh methods. In this way she seized power not by being a tyrant or disdainful but by respecting others.
4)Multiple times in the series, the emperor is seen to have his consorts remembered well and events are framed a certain way. Even Consort Yang reports that the history of the emperor was washed down to make him seem not so evil. In this manner, the story tellers can effectively reframe Wu Meniang since her story could easily have been doctored, historically making her look far worse than she was. While this is likely true, I think the show makes her seem more innocent than she should be and I also think that as a woman, her actions are simply viewed as worse because were she a man, no one would care. But I do agree that history probably made her seem worse than she actually is. The biggest challenge to this statement is the fact that accounts of her fairness and kindness have survived, but I am not sure if that is all taken from the same source.

This episode was much less interesting than other episodes. It gets a an 8 still because they are clearly transitioning into new plot lines and it is difficult to do that effortlessly/seamlessly.
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May 10, 2017
10/10

"Get your tissues ready!"

This whole drama is an up and down with emotions, but this episodes is the top of the top this far!
The plot was so intense and you can feel the tension between all the people. My heart bleeds now, because I am so in love with all those brothers together, they are so cute and precious and the fight to win the throne made me really sad. That's what power can read more do to brothers...

But seriously, that episode was amazing! I watched it two times now and it was even better the second time.
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May 10, 2017
8.5/10

"episode 38 review"

spoilers ahead

--this episode ties up a lot of loose ends--

1.The emperor is told that Prince Wei's followers tried to rescue him and he was stabbed. He visits him. He takes note of Li Mu, who is there. Beneath the blanket is not Wei, but an assassin. Several men try to kill the emperor. Li Mu watches for many minutes before raising his sword and helping the emperor. After the traitors read more are killed, he learns from Li Mu (who confirms his identity) that while he hates him and blames him for his parents death, he could not kill him and face his parents. The emperor agrees to clear him of any and all wrongdoing. But Li Mu requests that the emperor give him Ru Yi (Wu Meniang). This enrages the emperor, who is about to kill him, but consort Meniang appears at the right time and jumps in front of his sword, saving him. She pleads with the emperor to spare him and takes full responsibility for everything. The emperor has her imprisoned and Li Mu exiled.

2.The emperor meets with his advisors who report that the Northern rebel leader has stopped pillaging once he learned that the emperor was seeking to make peace and sent an envoy offering a truce. The emperor refuses. He has the envoy arrested and states it is too late for this rebel leader. He plans to launch a rebellion before winter. Next he officially names Li Zhi crown prince and Fang Xuanling and Lhu Suiliang (advisors of the emperor) are to remain in the city and assist Li Zhi in managing the nation while he leads the military expedition. Consort Yang is given a proper burial because of her sons actions in defending the crown.

3. The emperor angrily defends his actions for not having his sons killed because it is punishment enough that he can never see them again. They can live their lives in exile, because after all, he is still a father. Next Wang Yoyou is to be his crown princess.

4.During the official ceremony of Li Zhi, we see that the marriage to Wang Yoyou has also occurred. He declared a general amnesty in honor of this, deliberately done to have Meniang released. The emperor agreed/permitted this declaration. Prior to this ceremony, Li Zhi had met with Meniang and his inner monologue reveals he is desperately in love with her and trying to get her to see him as a man however nothing he does seems to work. In addition to this, he is in no way excited for this marriage.

5.After his ceremony, Li Zhi meets up with the deposed crown prince and the former Prince of Wei outside of the city, stops their caravan, and has a tearful farewell with his brothers. It seems that in spite of all the plotting the brothers can sit down and have wine and say goodbye since they will probably never see one another again. Unfortunately, Prince Wei is unable to drink the wine out of paranoia but Li Zhi tells him it is okay and he understands.

6.Meanwhile, Wu Meniang kneels outside of the emperor's palace. She is worried he will have Li Mu executed (her audacity knows no limits). The emperor listens to her explain that she saved him in order to repay him for saving her and that he is like a brother to her. He essentially tells her 1)I still cannot figure you out and 2)you are no different from all the other schemers and I knew when I chose the state I would be alone.

7. Li Zhi abandons his wife on their marriage night. That evening, Li Zhi visits her and she scolds him, telling him that now that he is a man and married they cannot be friends. His visits will only promote gossip and ridicule. This angers and upsets him and he tells her he has tried for so long (he does not say he is in love with her, but it is somewhat implied) but he sees he sees he is only a bother. She angrily insists he isn't and she is doing this to protect him. He replies that she is a fool, kneeling because his father has no desire to kill Li Mu. He asks her if she ever considered if by kneeling she makes the emperor angry--and states she might get him killed because of her actions.

8.The emperor visits Li mu in his cell. There are two wine cups in front of him. He explains to Li Mu that because Meniang has been kneeling for him his anger was aroused. So he can only allow one of them to live. One of the goblets is poisoned. If Li Mu is not killed, he will personally escort him out of the city and she will die. If he dies, she will be allowed to live but will be condemned to live alone in the Imperial palace. He states he has to do this because she belongs to him, no other.

(did anyone think: so clearly I cannot pick the wine in front of you a.k.a. princess bride??)

--What will happen? I think Meniang will drink both.--
--also, it is nice to see Li Zhi begin to develop some backbone--
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May 10, 2017
9.5/10

"episode 37 spoilers ahead"

Spoilers Ahead

1. As Prince Wei parades through the city, headed towards the palace, with the new crown prince, Prince Wu (Ke) visits his mother, Consort Yang. (In a very deliberate move by the writers, she has no make up on). Consort Yang reveals to her son that she has plotted for revenge her entire life, in order to avenge her family (the Sui) but most importantly, to avenge her husband Yuanji, read more one of Li Shimin's brothers who was murdered in his attempt to seize the throne. She explains she has carefully bowed her head in humility and raised him to be honest to slide under the radar of the emperor , waiting for this moment. She explains to her son that he must avenge his birth father (yes, she was pregnant it seems when Li Shimin made her his concubine) and be prepared to commit both fratricide and patricide to take over the throne that was stolen.

2.Prince Wu is horrified by this command and shocked by his mother whom he has never known, it seemed. He accuses her of being the most treacherous and malicious woman in the harem, farm worse than Consort Wei. He refuses to do it multiple times, but the admission that his real father is not the emperor seems to give him the strength to do this for her.

3.Elsewhere, Meniang is dressed as eunuch and enters Li Mu's rooms only to find a bunch of dead bodies and a note: this note warns her about Consort Yang, reveals her treachery and plot for revenge, and tells her to stay put until the violence passes. Never being one to sit on the side, she rushes to prevent a tragedy.

4.Prince Wu agrees to see her and they have an intense confrontation. Meniang not only calls him out on his indecisive behavior, but explains to him that he has no way of knowing if the emperor is aware of Consort Yang's treachery. She uses the former crown prince's rebellion as a way to impart some advise: the crown prince believed that all the men beneath him were loyal but some weren't. He was betrayed by Chengji. The emperor was notified 2 weeks before the rebellion occurred, how does he not know that now? Regardless, if he opens the gate, it will appear as if he is assisting in the rebellion of Prince Wei. She gives him the advice that the departed Chancellor Wei gave her: when the curtains fall, make sure you have no regrets. And he clearly has regrets. Prince Wu thanks her, explaining he was probably looking for a reason to change his mind. He orders the gates closed.

5.Meniang uses this opportunity to explain Prince Wei's treachery, how he instigated the crown prince and Prince Wu is shocked by the extent of his brothers duplicity (I imagine it makes it easier to confront him too). Meniang suggests that he send troops led by Fang (the head of the guard) to corner him from the rear that way he will be surrounded, and the prince agrees that is a good idea.

6.Elsehwere, the Emperor is updated on the situation. When he learns that Prince Wu is confronting the Prince of Wei (but did not notify him, as would be appropriate) he suspects that he may have a plot too. He tells his attendant to have General Li wait. Which ever one of his sons survives this confrontation and heads to his palace will be apprehended by him for treason. He says the children should fight it and if they cannot survive this then they cannot be emperor.

7.Meanwhile, the new Crown Prince is busy working over Li Jifu, a scholar who has a knife at his throat. He explains to him that he should assist him because Prince Wei is not going to win. His odds are worse than the crown prince, who at least had a general and an army to back him. This convinces the man, who cuts his ties and then runs screaming 'I am sorry I cannot go along with your plot Prince Wei forgive me' while Zhinu runs for safety. Prince Wei's close attendant and friend, Du tries to charge an attack but Meniang kills him with an arrow. She orders everyone else to lower their weapons, while Prince Wei is surrounded, unless they too wish to die. They obey. Prince Wei laughs and says while his older brother could not be crown prince because of bad timing, he could not be crown prince for having no support. Prince Wu states it is more than that, it is destiny and neither he nor himself is fated to be the crown prince. He laughs in derision and then Prince Wei insists Meniang will bring down the dynasty of allowed to live.

8.The emperor is notified that Prince Wu and Meniang managed to end the rebellion without any bloodshed and that Prince Wei is currently under arrest. however, a prince has been injured (stabbed) and the emperor rushes to see him...

9.In a stunning end, Prince Wu visits his mother with Meniang. She is livid that her son has failed to follow through with his plans. She blames meniang for persuading him but he insists it was his choice, that he could not live with the murders of his family on his conscience. She drinks poison (prepared in case they failed) and curses her son and disowns him, all the while insisting she hates the emperor and expresses hate that fate has allowed him to go unpunished for his evil deeds. She blames herself for raising her son to be honest. She also tells Meniang that the reason she has allowed her to live so long was because she has always believed she is indeed the calamity Wu and believes if she failed, at least Meniang would ruin the Tang dynasty. Just before dying she tells her that at least she will have some satisfaction since Li Mu is going to kill Li Shimin....

Comments: Another EXPLOSIVE episode! I never thought consort Yang would die like this; I thought she would stick around to cause some problems for Meniang. I respect her position: in her eyes, she has merely been surviving, bidding the time until she can have her revenge. In her eyes, Li Shimin is a cruel monster no matter how kind he may have become. He is only able to do so because he wiped out his enemies. She hates that he wins. She has the same respect that I had for Consort Wei, although Consort Wei's death had a bigger impact if only because she had more screen time.
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May 10, 2017
9/10

"episode 36 review spoilers ahead"

spoilers ahead--Naming of Crown Prince--
WOW a lot happens in this episode.

1. Meniang strolls with Xu Hui and in her short conversation her she 1)Thanks her for saving her life 2)Begs her forgiveness for suspecting her of colluding with the Prince of Wei (yes, she tells her this) and 3)Explains that she trusts her now, more than ever (this just about made Xu Hui's day)

2.Meanwhile, Li Mu goes through Menaing's read more bag of belongings that she will take when she leaves, at the urging of the maid serving Consort Yang, and discovers that in the belongs is a box, and in that box is a wilted flower (guess who have that to her? uh-huh). He breaks down in tears.

3.Elsewhere, Prince Wei visits his father and directly confronts him over the issue of who will become crown prince. His father asks him to recommend a candidate. Wei bites the bullet and tells him that he should be emperor because 1)He is a skilled strategist 2)he knows a great deal about the kingdom because of his work on Geography of the land 3)He wishes to see the legacy of Tang endure and wants to expand their territory 4)He makes a blood oath, insisting that he will not harm his brothers and will kill his own sons and make the prince of Jin his crown prince. The emperor applauds his honesty and explains to him that the courtiers believe he is narrow minded and would kill anyone who goes against him but today he disproved that. However, he tells him not to kill his children as they are his grandchildren. He dismisses him and tells him he will send him a message (it strongly implies he will be named crown prince). Prince Wei leaves, and we learn he essentially read his father and told him all the things he believed he wanted to hear.

4.Wang De summons the chancellors, and the Emperor explains to them his conversation with Prince Wei, including the blood oath he made. He asks them their advice. The chancellors are shocked, and explain there has never been a precedent of an emperor killing his own children in order to make a brother his crown prince. Another states that whoever made this statement is either a lunatic or a treacherous hypocrite. They all believe he should not be made crown prince (keep in mind, they are also thinking that if this guy could so readily kill his sons for power, what's stopping him from killing nobles who challenge him?)

5.Prince Jin is made the crown prince. Elsewhere, Prince Wei excitedly awaits the edict sent to him by his father and is shocked to learn that it is a command to stay away from the morning assembly for a month to rest. He knows that this means his little brother was crowned prince. Wei is so shocked he cries and then faints.

6. Elsewhere, Consort Yang's personal attendant congratulates Zhinu and she listens to him excitedly explain that now his brother are safe. The attendant passes on a message: she believes that he should directly visit the prince of wei and warn him to stop pursuing the throne because courtiers are planning to impeach him with evidence that he essentially instigated the previous crown prince's rebellion (there is nothing to confirm this, other than her word). Zhinu readily decides to visit his brother (if he knew his brother he would know that this kind of information would trigger him to do something stupid because the fate awaiting him is permanent exile).

7.Meanwhile, Meniang meets with Consort Yang and confirms that she will still leave with Li Mu and wishes her luck. We go to Li Mu who has a guard of Yang's people suddenly in his room, assuring him that they are there to ensure that the two get away safely (yea right! they will probably murder them once they are outside of the city!) Li Mu, not being an idiot, chooses to kill them all.

8.Meanwhile, Prince Wei shows he has truly snapped and decides to kill his sons in order to prove to his father that he is indeed a man of his word (he believes that his father chose to give the crown to another because he did not believe him. not because he thought he was too ruthless.) He grabs his sword and nearly kills his sons however Zhinu arrives and yells at him, calling him crazy. He tells him he came to warn him about the impending impeachment and urges him to kneel before their father and ask for forgiveness to avoid the fate of their older brother. He also reveals he only wanted to be crown prince to protect his brothers. This makes Wei laugh, as he truly cannot believe he lost to this kind of weak person. He takes Zhinu hostage and plans to drag him to his father, have Zhinu confess his reasons for wanting the crown, in order that the emperor will see who is better suited for the throne. (Yes, he has lost it. and also, I am more than certain this is not historically accurate. but it is very interesting)

9. Meanwhile, Consort Yang summons her son and explains to him that Prince Wei has basically lost his mind over this and is essentially staging an insurrection. Her son wants to intervene but she forbids it. She takes out a relic of the Sui dynasty and orders him to give it to the head of the royal guard. Once he sees it, he will follow any order that he has. She explains that with the royal guard he can both Wei (for treason) the crown prince (make it look like Zhinu did it) and then go to the emperor with Wei's head. He will be the hero, and the emperor will have no choice but to make him crown prince. Wu is shocked because she is insisting he rebel. His mother tells him that now is his chance, she knows he wants to be crown prince, and she has swallowed her pride for years for this moment. She also encourages him to kill the emperor if he refuses and blame it on Wei (ambitious). (In her defense, it is highly unlikely that she or her son will survive whoever becomes the next king.)

--So stuff got REAL--
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Song of Phoenix Episode 18
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May 9, 2017
8/10

"episode 18 spoilers ahead "

spoilers ahead

1.Chou Nu is prepare to fight with her pitch fork. Qu Yuan fights with a sword. Lord Cheng watches creepily from the trees. The 'ghost' appears and flies through the air and claws these guys apart before chasing them off. The ghost knows Mo Chou. It is Lan Niang (I CALLED IT)

2.They go to the cave, and learn that the family of Lan Niang has been surviving in the read more wilderness, apart from the village, with the first 'ghost', a man who could not live in Quan County. This old man saved her and her family. They choose to live away from the nobles because of the cost to rent land from nobles, and then you must give them almost all of your food. Chou Mou defends Qu Yuan,who is trying to change things. Ultimately, they return, and Qu Yuan feels like he has been taken down a notch--he thought he was taking care of everyone but people must survive this way.

3.Again, his attendant warns him to be wary since again he was attacked but Qu Yuan won't stop! He is going to report directly to the emperor--to the point of dragging him out of the bed of his consort. He arrives with a 'ghost' to prove to the king they exist--he brings in the old man from the mountain, (OMG he even scares the emperor!). He explains he is a 60 year old man appearing like this/ He is very direct with the king and accuses him of not knowing the pain of his people. He explains essentially the situation with the old man.

4.Meanwhile, the queen dowager receives a report on the current situation. The reporter explains it is bad for the nobles, the state of chu does not belong to commoners. She reasons that it may be good for the state if the lives of the commoners are improved (most of this untranslated) but she accuses him of pretending to act poor in front of her. However, Qu Yuan is destabilizing the balance with the nobles. At last, the queen dowager is going to start plotting...

5.When Qu Yuan mentions that some people have even fled Chu because of the conditions, that seems to capture the emperor's attention. (I wish this was translated).

6.The emperor counters that the land belongs to the nobles. Qu Yuan reminds him that he once said all the people in Chu are his people. How can he only care about nobles? The site of the old man eating like a dog is enough to arouse his disgust. The emperor accuses him of forcing him but he states it his conscience. He agrees to whatever it is that he suggested (I wish this argument was translated)

7.Essentially the emperor is worried that the nobles will revolt. That is a pretty big concern, especially since this is, you know, the warring states period....

8.Elsewhere, Xia'er continues to mourn and miss Cang Yun while Cai Wei tells her to get over it...


9.The emperor visits with the Queen Mother and argues with her over the future of their state. He blames the nobles, but she points out these families work for him. (valid point).

10.Xia'er believes she has found Cang Yun (how the heck is she able to get around so easily? her parents are so liberal!) Meanwhile, Qu Yuan returns back and he admits to some success. The Mo family helps the Niang family get back to 'normal' with fresh clothes and hair cuts. Even their old house is fixed up. Lord Jing and his guys are mad about this newest edict.

11.Cang Yun appears! He is being beat for gambling and paying them back. Qu Yuan pays the debt. He recognizes him, but the man denies it and walks off. (Qu Yuan is partly responsible for this. Cang Yun worked real hard to improve his life). Finally he admits it. Reports that Xia'er misses him. Cang Yun is extremely scathing in his criticism of him, essentially stating their differences and that he has all the power while he has none. YES! he takes some responsibility!

Comments; Okay fine so we needed the awful last episode to build more plot, okay, but they could have done it better.
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Song of Phoenix Episode 17
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May 9, 2017
7/10

"ep 17 spoilers ahead"

spoilers ahead

1.While Tian Ji acknowledges that the Queen has her reasons for doing this, this is an important chance to forge an alliance within the harem and gain access to the king. Elsewhere, the king tells his mother an extravagant celebration will be ordered to celebrate her birthday; all of Chu wil celebrate. Again he mentions Sister Bazi (the girl her married the foreign king of Qin) however his mother reminds read more him that is the fate of royal woman (tell Bazi that; she is pretty angry about the whole thing)

2.Meanwhile, Bazi and the king of Qin play chess together (I really dislike his facial hair). Li Ji storms in, drinks their wine, spills it on himself, and reports some bad news: Zhan and Yan have crowned kings; soon Song will (essentially a number of clans are rebelling and declaring their own state....it is the warring period). As a result of this meeting, his brother receives permission to draft more soldiers. Qin's military success has made every state their enemy (not to mention their desire to expand). Zhang Yi believes they should not force people into the military because they will make poor soldiers. Thus, he offers rewards to those who agree to fight and those who die will be rewarded. Every family must give one person, and somehow they must keep it secret.

3.Meanwhile, Master Liu continues to extort grain from the farmers, who are bordering on starving. They .earn Qu Yuan is returning. It seems the superstitions of the commoners have them very afraid. They give up food to a spirit these lords fear, and the following day the shrine is a mess (it killed the puppers!) they believe demons are responsible.

4.Elsewhere, we go to Qu Yuan, Chou Nu, and Yi'er During this kite scene, you could cut the sexual tension with a knife. I swear, I am pretty sure if that kid wasn't there, those two would, (*cough*) anyways, you get the idea. While fetching his kite in the woods, Yi'er investigates and finds an old man with white hair eating raw animal meat. He insists it is a ghost (I wouldn't explore I would run away from the shaking bush I think given the time period, he would to). The three return and Qu Yuan turns this into an episode of Criminal Minds as he examines the remains....animal remains....(given how strict China is about the mention/portrayal of ghosts it is interesting to see it)

5.After returning home, they relate what they saw. Father Mo explains...via flashback....that a family fleeing some thugs were about to be beaten to death when from the trees (like a tiger)(this scene is funny)a white haired demon with claws appeared and got rid of them. One thug fell to his death...the other went mad....(how do they know this happened). To further persuade Qu Yuan, he speaks of this ghost demon breaking into peoples homes and devouring live animals...It seemed it ate the entire Lan Niang family (the ones being bullied)....and he warns Qu Yuan to stay the night to avoid this terrible calamity.....(I think he stayed just to sleep in the same room as Chou Nu...)

6. Meanwhile, Xia'er searches the gambling houses for Cang Yun (she should have a servant with her, at least. These are not places a lady should be, if we are shooting for historical accuracy). Poor Xia'er. I wish Cang Yun hadn't run off like that.

7.Meanwhile, Father Mo relates that every magistrate has tried to gt rid of this ghost. However, during his investigations, Qu Yuan discovers a hand print. They locate someone who once worked for Lord Jing but he is ruled out. Chou Nu thinks they should just ignore this case. Qu Yuan thinks they should take the initiative, lure it out, and capture it.

8.Master Liu is summoned by Qu Yuan. They get him to donate food to lure the 'ghost' out. He is reminded by his biddies to be patient (they should just give up this plotting). They believe he will die. (I have no idea why Chou Nu is there; Father Mo is arguably the most liberal father on the planet to let his daughter out to hunt a ghost with a bunch of men, none of who are her husband. Historical inaccuracy, I think).Unfortunately, they make noise, scaring him off, and they wait until he has at least a full minute head start before chasing it down (really?!) Chou Nu uses a pitch fork and they learn it bleeds, meaning it must be human. they follow the blood (Is this the Li Niang family?) They wind up in a cemetery
and there is some necessary screaming.....and Qu Yuan gets blood thrown in his face (I am not even going to ask why he did this......everyone think she is the ghost.......this makes no sense.....and now some men appear (working for Lord Cheng, etc.) to kill them....

Comments:
I did not like this episode because it felt a lot like filler. other than little bits of into (for instance, that more states are declaring independent/crowning kings/rebelling) not a whole lot happened.

I wish the show could afford to invest in more side actors. I think I was spoiled by Eternal Love, where there were so many side characters written in that were well acted.

It should be noted that everything in this plot is being filmed to establish emotion. For instance, these two are filmed side by side, like two young lovers. Together. No obstacles. We know that won't last.

Also, the other plot line, with the harem, is being slowly built, and the plot line with Qin. Eventually, these plot lines are going to cross paths, and it can't be good for our lovers :D
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Good Morning Call Episode 10
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May 9, 2017
9.5/10

"Perfection "

Okay, I could watch a series about Yuri’s and Takuya's love story. I think it would be very entertaining.
I think the one thing that Japanese Dramas are really good at, especially the school ones, is the feelings of deeper meaning in the characterization, the double meaning behind words. Not all of them are good at it, but when they talk about Nao moving out, you can feel that she wants to read more know but she doesn’t believe she can handle it. That kind of double meaning, if you know what I am talking about, or if I am even getting it across correctly.
Everything is right in the wor-...parents. But that moms smile though.
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Good Morning Call Episode 9
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May 9, 2017
9.5/10

"Panda "

It's clear throughout this episode even, he has stated that he does like her, her insecurities show through. Which I think is a wonderful job by the actress with just the slight angle of her smiles and her eyes (my heart!). In her mind she keeps comparing herself to his first love, I think this is because of the jealousy she has for as well as the admiration for the older woman. read more This also shows the struggles of a girl and society where she will go on diet because she might be perceived to have gain some weight. I like how the insecurities of a girl in love are shown throughout this episode just because I’ve felt these two, and It's nice being able to connect with these feelings. It also shows the struggles one goes through in learning to let your first love go, in order to really love someone else.

On an unrelated note, I do love how their school mascot is a panda.
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Man to Man Episode 6
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May 9, 2017
10/10

"I SPY, YOU SPY, WE ALL SPY!"

WELL NOW THINGS ARE PICKING UP.
ALTHOUGH MANY THINGS ARE PREDICTABLE,

THE STIFF COOL MANNER OF AGENT K IS
ENTERTAINING. HE KEEPS REPEATING.. THIS
MISSION IS DIFFERENT. I THINK WE ALL KNOW
WHY. LOVE THE WAY HE ACTS, MR. ICE.
WILL HE SOON MELT?

I REALLY DON'T LIKE THE FEMALE LEAD

THE VIP IS SO FULL OF HIMSELF BUT KNOWS
THE VALUE OF HIS MANAGER. HE IS FUNNY
WITH HIS TANTRUMS. LOVE THE GUY.
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May 9, 2017
8.5/10

"episode 35 spoilers ahead"

spoilers ahead

1.Xiao Q continues to recover but the royal medics report to the emperor that she can never bear a child again. In addition to this, her entire family was banished. The emperor chooses to let her stay because he pities her.

2.In the next scene, Meniang is feeding Xiao Q tangerines. Ru'ian discusses how pitiful she is, since her family was banished and she can't have children. It is very read more obvious to the viewer that Xiao Q is faking. She takes the time to run off and cries silently. For reasons that make no sense she blames her situation on Meniang as well and vows revenge. Worse, Xia Hui discovers her and essentially blackmails her (she knew, for reasons unknown, that she was faking).

3.Later, Xiao Q's old friends arrive under the guise of feeding her food but they really use it as a chance to mock her. Xiao Q then hears that her family was executed (not true) from them. Later, she has a nightmare about her child and can't unhear its cries. (I pity her).

4.Meanwhile, Xu HUi and Meniang visit Xiao Q in her palace. She confronts them and confesses she faked being ill (surprising Meniang). She then starts a fire and tells them to burn with her, that she has nothing to live for, and can't go through life watching them have the emperor's love. She dies, while Meniang tries to rescue her but Xu Hui pulls her away.

5.Xu hui risks her life to save Meniang because she can't allow her to die and have the emperor miss her for the remainder of his life. Later, Xu Hui wakes to the emperor by her bedside and he is all sweet words. She milks the 'saving Meniang' (I would to if I were her)

6.Elsewhere, Meniang awakens to Consort Yang by her side.

7.Li Mu is approached by Consort Yang's attendant who tries to persuade him to essentially do things for them. He explains he has no desire to do anything like harm the king because his parents made him promise not to seek revenge. He also confirms that he and Meniang are leaving. But she states that even if he has her physically, her heart will always be with the emperor....

Comments: This episode was well executed and it was kind of interesting to see Xiao Q leave so dramatically. I am not surprised if only because your value as a woman was determined by your ability to conceive. With no family, and not even that, she only had a future of people mistreating her to look forward to. Unless she swallowed her pried and toadied up to someone, but then she would be use and maybe disposed. It was a pretty bleak future. I didn't like how Meniang was painted as exceptionally nice (If someone tried to kill me I would not be trying to save them) and how people seemed to know things. I am also losing my patience with this Li Mu subplot and am getting tired of Consort Yang.
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May 9, 2017
9.5/10

"Great Story "

This series is dark and more of comedy. I just loved the cinematography and the character plots. It's sad that there is only two episodes .
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Sealed With A Kiss Episode 1
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May 8, 2017
7/10

"episode 1 spoilers ahead"

Spoilers Ahead!

1.In the opening scene, Tong Xue has a nightmare in which she is a high school student and enters a room where an attractive man orders her to strip. This man, we learn, is Mo Shao Quian, or Master Mo/Master. She awakens and heads out, and the maid there reminds her to return before Master returns in the evening because he will be angry if she spends too much time read more out of the home. Meanwhile, Master follows her in his car all the way to a cemetary where she lays flowers at the grave of her parents (in another flashback, we see her parents died in a car accident, and she saw the whole thing happen). 'Someone' supports her, we know he is male, and it isn't Master based on her memories. Master sees everything and then calls her. She says she is at the mall with a friend. Now she has to rush to the mall. Her girlfriend buys her a skirt, then crashes with Master Mo who seems to be extremely kind and polite and helpful (little does the world know, he is a psycho). He allows a photographer to capture them on camera because he wants the world to think her friend is his secret lover.

2.She admits to her friend that her boyfriend doesn't like people at home. But she can't dump him. When she arrives home, the maid tells her that he went upstairs and is not happy she isn't home. She immediately changes (flashback: he seems to like to hear her admit she is his a lot). She enters wearing his shirt and brings his slippers. She puts his slippers on and we learn he has been training her for two years (he seems to be a hurt/comfort kind of guy). He tells her that her parents would be ashamed if they saw her, reminds her they are dead, and tells her to remember her place: that she is there to serve him and he pays for her i.e. you are my whore. He tries to intimidate her. He accuses her of being a fake.He reminds her to be professional and calls her father greedy--she defends him. It seems she was forced to sell herself to him. She runs off.

3.He gives her a gift and she thanks him without opening it. Its a ring. (Big time hurt/comfort relationship. He is very abusive and then tries to get back in her good graces with gifts and sweet words but she's known him long enough that this doesn't work. )

4.Elsewhere, Yue Ying and Tong argue with the manager over a project. Manager Kim admits he has no choice but to fire her because a major investor threatened to no longer invest in the company. Guess who? yes, it was Master Mo. She threatens to leave him. We learn he is at there grave, and it seems he has had a plant to torment her (revenge?) It seems tong Wan Ba was corrupted, her father, betrayed his father. His investigator has found the source.....

5. Master Mo has a powerful persona non grata and it seems he is more than a little shady and willing to engage in questionable practices. He uses his money and influence to get just about what ever he wants. He easily gets rid of the reporter. Meanwhile, Tong vists her uncle and cousins (her only living family). She gives them some money each time she visits (so she is sleeping with this guy to help take care of her family, who took her in when her father died?)

6.It seems her relationship with her Aunt is awkward. I think she is using her for money. But her uncle explains it is because for 6 months after they brought her home, she did not speak a word and her aunt did not know what to do with her.

7.Uh-oh. Master Mo arrives, looking for Tong Xue, an extremely kind, satisfied smile oon his face. He greets her uncle (it feels like he recognizes him...)They invite him to dinner, and her aunt teases her for not reminding them about the b.f.....Tong Xue goes along with the act and cuddles up next to Master Mo who expresses gentle concern. She tries to leave with him but her aunt insists he stay. (oddly, his uncle says that to a businessman you need to 'stick to your words' hmmm?) He gives them the ring that he originally intended to give to Tong Xue to her aunt. She takes it.(I don't really watch anime but I googled it and he reminds me of Gin Ichimaru from Bleach)

8.He takes her to the metro cafe, and this triggers her. He seems to really want to make her hate him. Apparently the thought of going inside terrifies her. Only when she begs the driver, Mr. Ma, does he relent and go home. (Apparently this bedroom is were he essentially raped her although you could argue it was consensual because she was there for money but she cried the entire time.) He reminds her of that night and regrets he can't seem to make her like him.....(is that sarcasm) it must be because he reminds her that she is just here to repay a debt and doesn't even compare to the housekeepers. (In romance novel fashion this is when the guy wants revenge, falls for the girl, and is cruel to make her hate him but still falls in love with her, I bet)

9.He wants to know if there is another man in her heart. She says no (but in her mind, there clearly is). She won't reveal who this unknown guy is, apparently he knows about her hobby of folding paper cranes because he gave her once (mystery guy). (don't let him know!)She is planning to disappear soon.

10.His Uncle Chen calls to report that his father in law is interrupting his projects (so he is married?). She goes to work (the maid notifies him that she has left for work) and his sister calls to announce President Mu dismissed his Uncle and is trying to replace men. Unfortunately, Uncle Chen let his temper show and was dismissed. He is also threatening to kill himself. Chang He, he announces, has destroyed lives of many people and he announces it all on t.v. He accuses President Mu of selling his daughter in a marriage to Master Mo and of causing the untimely death of Mo's father. Mo now has to go de-esculate the situation (F.Y.I. Mo is the general manager)

11.Master Mo says he will help him and (this feels like Lethal Weapon) he tells him to jump. He tells him how dangerous this is. He calls him a coward.And he saves him. Master Mo visits the president, his father in law, and asks him while the hospital projects are postponed. He appears to be unconcerned about Chen. He admits he should have discussed the firing of chen first but covers it up lightly. Mo lectures chen for his lack of control--they've waited 10 years. Chen points out that his father's business was growing well and that Mu took advantage of his death to take over--they are trying to get back what they lost and now Mo must do it alone (this reads like a romance novel)

12.At the board meeting, it seems that Mo has dirt on every single member. He is using them to show that Supervisor Chen should not be forced out because of their behavior. He personally vouches for him. (all these guys look so shady!). They say they have to fire him because of his near suicide.


--this feels like a daytime soap/telonovella, especially in terms of his treatment of her and verbal abuse
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Song of Phoenix Episode 16
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May 8, 2017
8.5/10

"episode 16 review"

Spoilers Ahead

Qiu Lu: the queen's personal servant

1.The queen wakes the king up personally every morning (they seem to have a solid partnership). Qiu Lu, her personal servant, reports that Tian Ji knelt for more than an hour but expresses concern that they should guard against her. Tian Ji meanwhile expresses frustration with her attendant who ignores her orders to expand her mind. She tries to passive aggressively learn her plans read more but isn't very successful. 100 days since Qin'er died, Yin burns incense for him. Tian Ji arrives to visit her, entering without permission, and greets her. Tian Ji want to know if she is afraid she will break palace rules, but Yin answers that the rules are dead :/ Tian Ji returns and basically reports that Yin is not someone whom they can look to for help. So the only person is Nan Hou (the Queen). She visits her and extends an olive branch. The queen essentially tells her not to play any games with her because she has seen it all (but it seems to be a successful meeting)

2. Xia'er explains a little bit about the powerful families (her father sent the jade, Jing sent the best food, qu sent the best poem). We learn that he fails people every year. But the emperor happened to walk by for the last poem, Ode to Orchid, and wants to pass him. (I thought he had it set up) Qu Yuan is very critical of the poem believing that poem is about himself (OMG HE PISSES ME OFF) and fails him (MY PITY HAS GONE OUT THE WINDOW) He returns in defeat.

3.He blames Qu Yuan (the king liked his poem) but Qu Yuan made things harder. This is because Qu Yuan does not understand human nature. He blames his life being ruined by Qu Yuan (I don't blame him the emperor really did like it). Anyways, a feast is held to send Qu Yuan off but Tian Ji is not invited. At the festival (most of this is unsubbed). Lord Zhao uses this as an opportunity to set up a marriage with Qu Yuan, and he cannot get out of it because the emperor himself agrees to it (YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW)(HE WAS SO COCKY--)

4.Chou Nu arrives to see Qu Yuan and waits for him while he is at the palace (awww). The empress takes this opportunity to mention Tian Ji and have her summoned (oh...Consort Zheng is about to be showed up). Lord Zheng tries to insinuate she smells to keep her from being summoned. Meanwhile, Xia'er goes to confront Qu Yuan (I would to). The emperor explains that he is very naive and that this union is a mind blowing accomplishment since their families are so powerful (I really, really need this guy to grow up).

5.Chou Nu observes him walking off with a beautiful woman, Xia'er. Naturally thi will make her insecure. He follows her to Cang Yun's home and tells him that this is where Cang Yun lives. He states what does this have to do with me. It seems he left without saying goodbye and she tells him this is his fault for making things hard. Her criticism is spot on: are you the only ne in the world who is worthy. She says she won't marry him and storms off. Chou Nu overhears and he stops her before she can also storm off to explain what is going on. (I do feel bad for Xia'er).

6.Elsewhere he explains the engagement dilemma to Chou Nu. He confesses he can't marry her because he loves her. She wants to know what he will do about it, and he says he will go home and immediately tell them who he will marry. Even though it is apparent she likes him she hasn't said those three words. They return to Quan county. Tian Ji practices her dancing for the empress and we know what she will plant: she will use her to exercise control 100% in the harem. She will dance at Queen Mother's birthday. This is her chance.

Comments: We finally begin to see all the little seeds for the harem subplot begin to expand. Up to now, everything has been set up. But finally Tian Ji has arrived and is getting an ally in the queen. And hopefully Qu Yuan realizes how his actions can really hurt people.
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Song of Phoenix Episode 15
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May 8, 2017
8/10

"ep 15 review spoilers ahead"

Spoilers Ahead

1.Lord Jing essentially rejects Qu Yuan's argument (mainly because he has ulterior motives) and counters that a serf has no freedom and is a thing that can be sold. In this regard, the man that Yu'er killed, his life is inherently more valuable, and a nobles even more so. Qu Yuan shamelessly continues and insists that the law of Chu is wrong and that he and and his family should read more not kneel before such laws.

2.Lord Jing maintains that he is insulting the emperor since he sets the law and Qu Yuan addresses the king: will he allow Chu to ignore equality. His father tries to get him to stop and insists that he has not taught him well.Some ministers support Qu Yuan others maintain he is guilty. In a historic moment, the law is changed, and a servant's life has the same value as a commoner (think of it this way:

3.In the next scene, the king and Qu Yuan walk. Here he explains that a poem has three phases (history) The king clearly holds him in high regard. On the other hand, this may have just been the only way to avoid executing him. The king reminds him that he is his eyes and ears. He reminds him that next time he may not be able to say him; Qu Yuan insists he was not wrong and the king uses that same logic to remind him that he should have arrested him and dealt with him appropriately (if everyone took the law into their hands there would be chaos).

4. Meanwhile, Lord Zhao realizes he underestimated Qu Yuan and that he picked the best match for his daughter. He tasks his wife to prepare her for marriage. Unfortunately, she isn't home and they suspect she ran off to see Cang Yun (this is a big deal; however her mother is worried her daughter is stubborn enough to hurt herself). WHOA she is alone with a man?. That can't be. She is doing her best to support him, together with Cai Wei, to study. He tries to rape her, and she slaps him. He explains that this way if they are together then her father cannot object, she explains not like this, (man I wish the rest of this was translated....)

5.Lord Qu tells his son he should be grateful the Zhao family is still willing to marry their daughter to him but he continues to refuse (I sincerely don't understand why he does not take her as a concubine). His brother tells him again to marry them both (the voice of reason). He urges him to acknowledge that their father has reasons as well (he is so naive...) however Yuan does not want to be a chess piece (I can't wait for him to be the cynical one playing the game....He is lucky he hasn't had to get his hands dirty because people protect him.

6.Meanwhile, Chou Nu is hanging out with the dolls of her and Qu Yuan, everyone teases her. She and Qing'er discuss Yuan. Qing'er teases her a bit before reporting to her that he is safe and managed to change the law.

7.Cai Wei and Xia'er return (is she still a virgin?) and she lies, stating she went to buy make up (typical teenager excuse. like, we were at the mall, not with a guy). Her mother confronts her and makes it clear that she knows abut Cang Yun. She tries to impress upon her that Qu Yuan is the best thing since sliced bread and she should jump on this gravy train. Xia'er tells her mother not to worry (is that a rejection or an agreement? Her mother is unusually passive or perhaps she is just very concerned)

8. She has her servant send a note to Qu Yuan. They meet for the first time. He sizes her up rudely and attempts to act like a jerk to drive her off (oh boy). He admits he won't treat her poorly but will marry others if he has to marry her because he loves another, and she admits she loves another, making him very happy. They plan to work together to dissolve the engagement (this is strangely refreshing). He admits he has hit a wall but they promise to not marry one another. He acknowledges she is different because every girl wants him. She asks him to favor a little in order to improve him in the eyes of her father he (Qu Yuan really is a hypocrite).

9.Elsewhere, Concubine Zheng visits princess Yin (alas, most of this is unsubbed). Zheng essentially states they are sisters and Yin agrees with her (Yin needs to get better and get some revenge). Xiao Quiao, her attendant, gifts her with a jade bracelet, a gift from the empress dowager....after she leaves she gets rid of the bracelet and gives it to her servant. She believes that she is her biggest enemy and she came there to test her. Zheng knows she underestimated her because she wasn't moved by the gift.

10.Meanwhile, Cang Yun is studying in his tree house and Xia'er visits him again. She tells him that the judge at his exam is Qu Yuan and he should rest easy because this should smooth the way. He blows up because his poetry was the one thing he was good at and now he feels like there is no moral integrity. Cai Wei throws in his face that he has lived without moral integrity, gambling and drinking (ahem, and nearly raping her, but she doesn't know about that). She makes it clear to him that even if he fails she will be with him. He apologizes.

11. Tian Ji plays a flute, hoping to get the emperor's attention. It gets the queen's attention. She learns she is the girl from Qi. She basically tells her that whatever her plans are, she shouldn't play music this late and then sends her back. The empress allows her to kneel for an hour, as she requests. The empress decides she wishes to cultivate Tian Ji (I suppose because Yin is supposedly crazy and Zheng is causing problems) (her upstart servant is growing on me)--I misread I thought she wanted to lure the emperor here she wanted to lure the queen.


Comments: This bit about the law isn't exactly subtle and is a little over dramatic for my liking. In addition to this, I am becoming bored with Xia'er and Qu Yuan insisting again and again that they don't want to marry each other. I am satisfied that the plot moved forward in that 1)Xia'er and Qu Yuan meet 2)Xia'er did not fall in love with him 3)Qu Yuan really shows signs of being a hypocrite
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