Bu Bu Jing Xin: Ep 34
I know this recap is way overdue so here it finally is. I put off recapping this for a long time for a few reasons. First off I really needed a break from BBJX because it’s just so sad and I don’t even want it to be over. Also this is THE episode where everything literally ENDS so I didn’t quite have the heart to recap it just yet. Annnd I’ve also watched this episode so many times that I can recite it to you like the back of my hand. I’ve literally watched it at least 10 times. That being said, this is a heartwrenching episode, especially because it involves my favorite couple, 14th & Ruo Xi.
Ruo Xi finally leaves the palace and enters 14th’s household. She and Qiao Hui notice that the household is nicely decorated for the wedding, but there don’t seem to be any celebrations or “Xi” signs. (this is a special Chinese character that’s for weddings) Qiao Hui comments that she shouldn’t have been so quick to praise 14th. Right then 14th enters and overhears Qiao Hui’s words. He helps Ruo Xi sit down at the table. 14th clarifies that the emperor ordered them not to have a large wedding ceremony or have the word Xi around the house. Ruo Xi asks why the house is decorated if the Emperor ordered him not to. 14th replies that he didn’t want Ruo Xi to think it was gloomy, so he just decorated it simply for her. Ruo Xi gently tells him not to fight with the emperor, but 14th cutely says that there’s nothing to be afraid of when he has the past emperor’s decree.
Back at the palace, 4th chuckles over a secret report from a spy in 14th’s estate. It says that Ruo Xi didn’t wait for 14th’s other wives to finish eating at meals. 4th sounds like a proud parent as he talks about how strong-headed Ruo Xi is. He offhandedly mentions that there’s no way she has feelings for 14th. LOL, 4th!
Ruo Xi lives her days in peace and relaxation in 14th’s household. It’s the first time she can finally let go of her worries and just live quietly, like she’s always wanted. But her love for 4th is still as strong as ever, if not stronger. While she drinks tea outside, Ruo Xi imagines 4th next to her. She thinks to herself,
“In my heart, there’s only him and me left…I selfishly put everyone else aside and forget them. All that’s left behind is everything he and I shared. For the first time, no one can bother us. The first time where I don’t have any worries and can start to love him again.”
Meanwhile 4th goes in Ruo Xi’s old quarters and reminisces about all the happy times they shared there together. He sadly holds his cherished magnolia teacup as he sits there all alone, no longer with Ruo Xi by his side.
14th intensely practices his swordsmanship while one of his wife plays the zither. Ruo Xi and Qiao Hui watch him without him knowing. His wife plays the song over and over, faster and faster, as 14th does his super cool moves. Eventually a string on the zither breaks, interrupting 14th’s momentum. He doesn’t blame his wife, and instead orders whoever’s watching in secret to come out.
Ruo Xi and Qiao Hui appear, and 14th tells her she should just watch out in the open rather than standing off to the side. Ruo Xi offers him a handkerchief. Instead of taking it, 14th cutely leans his face forward. Ruo Xi only smiles to herself and obliges, patting his face with the handkerchief while 14th grins like a little kid. Ruo Xi advises him to stay warm since it’s the wintertime. 14th takes her hand and asks who’s colder. Ruo Xi admits that she’s colder than he is. The two of them head indoors, hand in hand.
Things are not so happy over with 4th…because he receives the secret spy report informing him about Ruo Xi and 14th’s good relationship. 4th is shaken by the news and assumes that they’re in a husband-wife relationship, not just a platonic one. 13th quickly advises 4th that they’re really NOT in a relationship. 4th isn’t convinced at all, saying that with two people under one roof at night, what else could they be talking about? OMGGGGGGGGGGGG 4TH, SERIOUSLY? 13th hits it right on the nail when he asks if 4th doesn’t even trust Ruo Xi. 4th throws a fit and orders that he will no longer read 14th’s letters or receive the secret reports.
At night time, a very drunk 14th comes stumbling into Ruo Xi’s room. He pours out his frustration and sorrow over losing the throne and having to witness the other princes’ suffering:
“I know I shouldn’t think this way, but I don’t feel it’s fair. If Imperial Father did give me the throne back then, today, the person in control of the country would be me. The endings of a few of my brothers definitely wouldn’t turn out this way.”
While 14th talks, Ruo Xi calmly pours tea and sits down to listen to him. She quietly tells him that the emperor’s decision wasn’t made on the spur of the moment. 14th agrees and takes a few more drinks.
Ruo Xi gives him the SADDEST LOOK EVER as he wistfully begins to recite a poem. Just to make it even sadder, the poem is about honor and bravery. OMGGGG. 14th lays down to cry himself to sleep. He asks “What did I do wrong? Why? What did I do wrong in the end?” Ruo Xi can only continue to sit there and look forward as she listens to 14th’s painful words. She covers him with a blanket as he cries tiredly. She turns away as she sheds a tear and quietly whispers “I’m sorry”.
Ruo Xi reminisces about the old days when she, Ming Hui, and Ming Yu used to be energetic and well. She dozes off while still sitting at the table. Qiao Hui tells her to lay down instead, but Ruo Xi barely takes two steps before she collapses on the ground.
14th angrily yells at the doctor to go away, and orders his servants to go find another doctor. He assures Ruo Xi that he’ll definitely find her an even better doctor. Ruo Xi tells him that all the doctors have already said it’s almost the end of the rope for her. 14th says that it’s just that they have limited knowledge, this can’t be the end! (When he said this, I thought of how much more advanced doctors’ knowledge is in Ruo Xi’s REAL modern time…kinda ironic that 14th mentioned that)
Ruo Xi slips into unconsciousness. She imagines that she’s at the Forbidden City. But she can’t hug 4th even though he’s right before her eyes. Ruo Xi wakes up and decides to write a letter to 4th.
14th tries to give Ruo Xi the best last days he can. He gets her her favorite food and music teacher to try to cheer her up. The look on Ruo Xi’s face isn’t super excited, probably because she knows what a blow her next request will be to 14th…she hands him a letter addressed to the emperor. She asks him to pass it on to the emperor. 14th’s look turns serious, and he reaches to take the letter. But Ruo Xi grabs his hand, and implores him to rush quickly. OMG THE LOOK OF HOPE IN HER EYES!!!!! She hopefully says that the emperor will be able to read the letter a couple days after it’s delivered. You can tell that Ruo Xi wants to see 4th so badly, and she’s hinging all her hope on this letter.
14th puts on a warm smile, clasps Ruo Xi’s hand, and reassures her that he’ll deliver the letter right away. He walks away, no longer with a smile on his face. AUGHHH it’s so sad because you know he’ll do anything for Ruo Xi, but it still hurts to have to deliver her letter to another man. Ruo Xi looks after him a bit sadly as he walks away.
As 14th prepares to go to court, he notices that Ruo Xi’s writing is really similar to the emperor’s. He reasons that it wouldn’t be good if other people noticed it, so he decides to put her letter in a new envelope just in case. 4th receives the letter but doesn’t read it because he thinks it’ll be a waste of time reading something from 14th.
Ruo Xi continues to dress up nicely in hopes of 4th’s visit. Ruo Xi waits all day for 4th, even into the night, but he still doesn’t come yet. She begins to cry and imagines the worst:
“He doesn’t want to meet me, doens’t want to forgive me. He must really hate me so much to refuse to see me this last time…He must not even hate me at all. He just feels unconcerned and doesn’t care.”
Qiao Hui comforts Ruo Xi and confidently says that 4th will definitely come. Ruo Xi gives her this heartbreaking look of hope and asks if he’ll really come. This is sad because you know that Ruo Xi wants to hold onto that one bit of hope that maybe 4th really will come.
Ruo Xi entrusts Qiao Hui with her last wishes. She gives her Yu Tan’s letter and a letter for 13th. She also confides in Qiao Hui about the truth of Lu Wu’s death.
At the palace, 4th tiredly works through the night. He dozes off and dreams that Ruo Xi is right before his eyes. He wakes up right when he hugs her. HINT HINT, IT’S A PREMONITION!
Ruo Xi gets ready again in her finest outfit. She’s even weaker than before, and Qiao Hui knows that Ruo Xi is even closer to the end of the rope. Ruo Xi rests against Qiao Hui while waiting again for 4th. 14th comes to visit Ruo Xi. He strokes her cheek…and Ruo Xi murmers “4th prince”. OUCHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. THAT HAS TO HURT!!! 14th recovers quickly and suggests that Ruo Xi go outside to look at the flower blossoms and listen to her favorite music teacher.
Ruo Xi sits in 14th’s arms as she gazes at the flower blossoms. She holds a flower in her hand as she barely holds onto what’s left of her life. Ruo Xi comments that the flowers are beautiful. 14th replies that they’ll both come here again to see them next year. AUGH AUGH AUGH!!!!!!!!! Both of them know it’s wishful thinking, which just makes it even sadder.
Ruo Xi asks 14th to promise to fulfill her last request: she wants to be cremated. 14th is shocked that she wants to be cremated, so Ruo Xi explains why…
“I’ve always wanted to be free, but was stuck in the Forbidden City for life. After I die, I don’t want to be held back anymore. I want to be like the wind. Isn’t that more lovely? Being buried in the ground, what’s so great?…”
14th agrees to her request as he sheds a tear. Ruo Xi leans her head on 14th’s shoulder as 14th leans his head on hers. 14th wistfully asks,
“Ruo Xi, if there’s a next life, will you remember me?”
Ruo Xi replies that she wants to forget them all. (SO SAAAAAAAAAAD) She begins to cry, and we see 14th’s tears run down her face. Qiao Hui cries from a distance as Ruo Xi gives 14th her last words.
“14th Prince, live well. Let all that’s in the past be forgotten.”
Ruo Xi breathes her last and drops the flower. Qiao Hui and 14th sob over Ruo Xi after her death.
4th receives news of Ruo Xi’s death. He throws down the letter and says, “Without my permission, you can’t die.” 13th comes in and reads the news. 4th, still in shock, desperately looks for the letter from 14th. He finally finds it and opens the envelope, only to find the letter inside with Ruo Xi’s writing. AUGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! IT’S TOO LATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
To me, this episode really belongs to 14th and Ruo Xi. All their scenes together were so melancholy and poignant. :'( Of course, Ruo Xi loved 4th til the very end. Ironically she was able to love him the most when she was apart from him, and perhaps the least when she was with him. Without the pressures of the palace, family, and politics, Ruo Xi finally gets to take a break and just LIVE without worries. I think this was a much needed break that was long overdue. Ruo Xi remained in the palace too long and it ended up taking a huge toll on her health.
There were SOO many sad scenes with Ruo Xi and 14th. The scene where 14th was drunk got to me because for one, he didn’t force himself on Ruo Xi or complain about his love woes. Instead he lamented the outcome of not gaining the throne–his dear brothers were suffering because of his not becoming emperor. That’s really gotta hurt. It’s one thing to be sad because you didn’t get something, but it’s another to be sad because that resulted in the pain of people dear to you. It was really sad seeing Ruo Xi’s reaction to 14th’s drunken rambling. She looked like she was bracing herself to hear the worst, and I’m sure it hurt her to have to hear her old friend going through such pain…and to know that part of his pain was caused by her.
AND THE LETTER SCENE. AUGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Again, it was so sad to see how Ruo Xi looked like she knew she was hurting 14th, but she had to ask him for this request anyway. And 14th was hurt time and time again, but everytime he put on a smile and tried to cheer Ruo Xi up. SO SAD. I love the dynamic between Ruo Xi and 14th. AUGHHHHHHHHHHHH. The letter scene was so sad because Ruo Xi has this look of hopeful longing to see 4th one more time. :'(
AND I LOVEEEEEEEEEE 14TH’S LINE “RUO XI, IF THERE’S ANOTHER LIFE, WILL YOU REMEMBER ME?” OMGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG. *FLAIL FLAIL FLAIL* SO SAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And Ruo Xi’s reply is even sadder. :'(
I think that 4th regrets pushing Ruo Xi away, now that he is truly alone with only 13th by his side. No one can blame anyone for the whole letter deal. 14th’s action was justifiable because back in the day having writing like the emperor’s was taboo. He did it to protect Ruo Xi, but unfortunately it only ended up hurting her. I do believe that if Ruo Xi had asked 14th to directly ask 4th to come visit her, he would’ve. (like when 8th asked 4th to let Ruo Xi visit Ruo Lan) But I don’t think she wanted him to because she was unsure if 4th was still angry at her or not. She wanted to play it safe by sending the letter. On the other hand, 4th had the choice to read the letter, but he was all anti-14th and angry over 14th’s previous letter. All in all, it can’t be helped.
As much as I would’ve liked Ruo Xi to see 13th & 4th for the last time, in the end this is the whole message of BBJX: IT’S FATE. BBJX would not be the same if fate had not played this final twist on Ruo Xi. Perhaps the real tragedy is not that Ruo Xi didn’t get to see 4th one last time, but that she died believing that he still hated her and didn’t want to see her ever again. But as someone pointed out in one of the comments, Ruo Xi is still lucky to have died in the arms of man that truly loved her, and with Qiao Hui by her side. There’s something really poignant about the fact that 4th can gain the throne and control of an entire country, but he cannot even be with the one he loves….while 14th cannot be emperor, but he gets to be with his loved one in her very last moments.