Bu Bu Jing Xin: Ep 35 (Finale)
Yes, it’s finally here. Part of me really didn’t want to write this because I didn’t want it to end. But part of me also knows that I have to get this out into writing eventually. Let’s finally tie up the loose ends of BBJX and try to say goodbye to the characters we all grew to love.
If you have stayed with me through til the end by reading all of my BBJX recaps, I just want to thank you for your support. A shoutout to a reader Joyful Song whose comment really encouraged me and made me feel like all of this effort was worth it. I hope you all enjoyed my recaps~
4th finds the letter, originally with 14th’s prince writing on the envelope. He’s stunned when he finds another envelope, this one bearing Ruo Xi’s writing. He reads the letter as he cries to himself. We hear Ruo Xi’s voice narrating the letter, and a flashback to when Ruo Xi wrote it.
“4th prince, Life is like a dream, continuously changing…But the days pass soundlessly…It’s hard to forget one’s foolish longings.
When someone told me very calmly that he wanted the throne, he already held the key to my heart. When he threw away the umbrella and endured and suffered the rain with me, I had opened the door to my heart for him. When he protected me by using his own body to block the arrow, I would never forget him in this life.
Everything that happened after that only drew me in deeper…If there is love, there is anger. If there is love, there is hate. If there is love, there is obsession. If there is love, there is longing. Since we parted, there has been nothing but hate, anger, and longing transforming into inches of memories. I don’t know if you still resent me…
…in Ruo Xi’s heart, there is no emperor, only the 4th Prince who has stolen my soul. We love, we miss, we don’t meet…Everyday, I wait for your arrival.”
After finishing the letter, 4th stays seated on the ground as he breaks down in sobs. 13th kneels beside 4th, and the brothers clasp each other’s hands. 13th also cries for Ruo Xi, but he’s more contained than 4th is.
Little do they know that Qiao Hui and 14th are already fulfilling Ruo Xi’s last wish. They both stand before Ruo Xi’s corpse, all ready for the cremation. 14th slowly lights the wood around Ruo Xi and then turns away, probably because he can’t bear to see Ruo Xi going away for good. Qiao Hui keeps on calling out “Second Miss” while crying the whole time. What REALLY gets me is when 14th longingly looks back one last time, almost like he’s hoping that Ruo Xi will miraculously spring back to life.
4th visits 14th’s estate to see Ruo Xi. 14th has been drinking away his sorrows, all the while holding the box that contains Ruo Xi’s ashes. When he hears that 4th came, he says out loud, “Ruo Xi, he finally came.”
4th & 13th enter the room and look in disbelief at Ruo Xi’s altar. Suddenly 13th realizes that there’s no coffin. 4th freaks out and hopefully says that maybe Ruo Xi isn’t really dead, she’s just pretending. He calls out to 14th, who stumbles out holding Ruo Xi’s ashes.
13th asks where Ruo Xi is, and 14th replies that she’s right here–he cremated her. 13th takes a step back in shock, and 4th charges forward while screaming that he’ll kill 14th. 13th keeps 4th away from 14th.
14th replies with equal ferocity at 4th, asking why he only came at this time. 4th charges at 14th again, and 13th breaks them apart. 13th explains why 4th didn’t end up with the letter. 14th points out that even if he didn’t get the letter, 4th’s spies could’ve informed him. 13th says that 4th didn’t want to hear any more news of them after the whole “intimacy” between 14th/Ruo Xi.
14th realizes that he too was partly at fault. He says that that one day (in ep 34) he did have Ruo Xi show a few affectionate gestures toward him to get rid of the spies. IMO, who can blame him…no one wants to be spied on in their own household.
“It was only because my heart was hurt and suffocating, and I wanted to anger you. But I found out that I really do like speaking with Ruo Xi. It was like returning to the past…”
14th holds the box and tells Ruo Xi that he didn’t mean for this to happen.
14th reveals that cremation was her wish. He can barely say why she wants to be cremated since he’s crying so much. 4th tries to take the box of ashes, but 14th stops him and says that she’s his wife. 4th replies that he never put her name on the records and they didn’t have a marriage ceremony.
14th tells him not to go so far in his bullying. 4th yells back that it IS to bully him. 13th quietly tells 14th to let it go, because he believes Ruo Xi is willing to go with 4th. Qiao Hui also speaks up and affirms that it’s Ruo Xi’s wish. 4th leaves with the ashes, leaving behind 13th and 14th.
13th tells 14th that part of Ruo Xi’s troubles were for the sake of 14th himself. He asks 14th not to make it difficult for her.
Qiao Hui gives Ruo Xi’s belongings to 4th. 4th breaks down in tears as he goes through all of the memories attached to Ruo Xi’s keepsakes–the magnolia hair pin, the perfume bottle (is that what it is?) with the dogs painted on it, the arrow.
Qiao Hui also carries out Ruo Xi’s wishes by passing on her words to 13th. 13th agrees to do as Ruo Xi wished and agrees to let Qiao Hui serve his daughter.
Afterward, 4th remains desolate in his palace. 13th tries to make 4th wake up and get it together, but 4th just sits there holding Ruo Xi’s ashes.
Time for an epic visit from 8th. 13th explains why Ruo Xi was cremated. 4th tells him to go, but 8th isn’t having it. He simply laughs and says some of the most epic lines ever…
“Back then I gave up on Ruo Xi because of power, abandoned the vows we made to never leave each other. Now imperial brother, for the Qing Empire, and the past grievances has also given up the chance to be together forever. You’re the same as me. The things you once had are all gone in the end. With Ruo Xi, you’re the same as me. A failure. “
In a whisper, 4th tells 8th to go. He attempts to use his death glare and his emperor status on 8th. 8th just laughs in reply and delivers a great comeback before he leaves.
“Correct, you’re the superior emperor. But I am still me after all.”
This was one of my favorite scenes because 8th was just awesome. I am a renewed 8th fan.
4th and 13th finally officially say goodbye to Ruo Xi by throwing her ashes in the mountains. 13th comments that maybe Ruo Xi will be taken to the future world. Later on we see 4th thinking about 13th’s words…he reveals that maybe Ruo Xi was from the future. (I thought we already established this when she left the Forbidden City..)
FINALLY connecting the dots, 4th recalls all the times when Ruo Xi said some wacky stuff that point to her being a time traveler. He says he hopes she can return to her own time period.
So of course, we see Ruo Xi waking up in the future/present. After she recovers, Ruo Xi does an internet search to find out what happened after she died. I thought it was interesting that she basically does this search in the order of importance of the princes.
First up is 9th prince since he’s not that important to Ruo Xi. 13th visits 9th in solitary confinement. He delivers Yu Tan’s last letter and some poison. 9th read the words that Yu Tan has no hate. He begins tearing up and asks in despair,
“Why is it not hate? Why?”
Omg. At this point I really regretted that 9th did not have a bigger part in the drama. This scene was short but chilling.
9th takes the poison, and in his last moments, he thinks of Ruo Xi…
“Rou Xi, you deserve to be 4th’s woman. No, you’re more cruel than he is…you won’t let me die in peace, making me feel regret and sadness.”
Back in the present, Ruo Xi smirks ever so slightly.
Ruo Xi searches 10th next. Ming Yu is pregnant. 10th is angry at 4th but still very optimistic. 10th and Ming Yu (aside from 14th) have the happiest ending in BBJX. They are still a loving couple, all thanks to Ruo Xi’s help.
Next, to 14th!!!!! 14th and 13th relax over tea and a game of chess. 13th comments that 14th seems to be at such ease. 14th agrees and says that being imprisoned in his mom’s former palace has helped him a lot. Now he lives without worry. I think it’s cute that he mentions that there’s always 13th bro to play chess with and talk with. I love the 14th/13th bromance. They are so cute together. :3
13th observes that maybe 14th is the happiest prince out of all the brothers. 14th agrees..
“Now that I think about it, the throne that I spent half my life fighting for, doesn’t compare to these comfortable days.”
Now 8th. 13th delivers the poison to 8th and assures him that his son will be fine. 8th thanks 13th and requests that he be buried near or with Ming Hui’s ashes.
“In this life, I cannot repay back all that 13th brother has done for me. “
The two brothers bow to one another (LOVE THIS PART) before 13th departs. I love this sign of mutual respect and brotherhood. Although they were on separate sides, and 8th’s plan implicated 13th, they are still on relatively good terms. They are the ultimate example of forgive and forget.
Well just to ruin that wonderful part, the rest of the scene is horrible. 8th thanks Ruo Xi before he drinks the poison. REALLY what ruined this scene was the upbeat music that played while 8th died. WHAT THE HECK!??!? I get that he’s eager to reunite with Ming Hui, but that music DID NOT go well with the scene at all.
Down to the final two. 13th lies on his deathbed and gives his last words to Cheng Huan, Qiao Hui, and 4th. He mentions that no one forgot Ruo Xi after she died. REALLY, 13th? You’re going to bring up Ruo Xi NOW? And then he says that he’ll see 4th in the next life. *shakes head* how many references to the “next life” must there be in BBJX…
4th silently remains by 13th’s side, and doesn’t cry out loud when 13th breathes his last breath.
Finally, 4th. After 13th’s death, 4th overlooks the Forbidden City, all alone.
“They’ve all left. There’s only me.”
I love this scene because it connected to the scene when 4th overlooked the Forbidden City when he first became emperor. Instead of 4th basking in his power (like he did in the first scene), he now has to face all the problems of ruling his empire..alone.
Now fully grounded in the present day, Ruo Xi, or should I say Zhang Xiao, strolls along in the city. She narrates that she couldn’t find anything about Mertai Ruo Xi in the historical records. She thinks that it’s almost as though Ruo Xi never existed, and questions whether everything that happened is just a dream. A flier for a Qing Dynasty museum exhibit catches her eye. PURELY coincidental, you know. She decides to venture in and take a look.
It’s almost like she’s visiting her past as she looks at all of the ancient artifacts that she once knew so well. She stops to gaze at a painting of the emperor and the princes. It was of that particular summer day when Ruo Xi served everyone desserts. She notices a palace maid (*cough* HER) wearing a magnolia hairpin and the special bracelet from 8th. She shed a tear as she reaffirms that she really did exist.
And now for the moment we’ve all been waiting for…we see a certain someone come walking into the museum. Zhang Xiao seems to hear his footsteps and she turns around to look. The guy also turns around…and SURPRISE SURPRISE, it’s none other than our 4th, except a reincarnated modern version that has a full head of hair.
Zhang Xiao continues to shed more tears in the usual Ruo Xi style as she stares at him in disbelief. He walks over and asks her if they know each other. When she doesn’t reply and just stands there tearing up, he awkwardly checks his pockets to see if he has a tissue for her. He doesn’t, so he walks away.
As he’s just about to walk out of the museum, Zhang Xiao takes off her glasses so that all she can see is the blur of modern 4th’s back. The camera focuses on the painting behind Zhang Xiao.
There’s still so much to say about BBJX even after it’s over. It’s been a few months since I last watched ep 35 but it still leaves me with this hollow sort of feeling. When it ends you find yourself wondering…is it really over? How can this even be considered the ending when this is just the start of the “next life” that the characters have always been referring to?
Anyway, I wasn’t quite satisfied by this ending episode..not because of the open-ended ending, but because I feel like they rushed way too much. They crammed all of these bits and pieces into the ending but hardly gave enough time to making these ending pieces complete. Scenes that were supposed to be a lot more important, and focused on very MAJOR CHARACTERS just fell short for me. The deaths of 8th, 13th, and 4th didn’t have the huge emotional impact I thought they would. You know something is wrong when the death of 9th was more emotionally charged than the deaths of all the other major princes.
Although I don’t quite agree with Ruo Xi going back to the present, I think they pulled off the very last scene quite well. One SUPER SMART commenter commented that Zhang Xiao taking off her glasses signifies her desire to see the past 4th prince, not the current reincarnation. Great symbol right there. I also like the way they showed the painting as the final image of the drama. Although Zhang Xiao is now in the present, her heart truly remains in the past, and that painting is proof of her past self.
I believe that Ruo Xi is one of the most tragic characters in BBJX. Even though she got a new beginning, she also has to deal with all of the guilt and pain from her times in the Qing Dynasty for a whole OTHER life time. Sure she has a chance with the other modern 4th, but will she ever be able to let go of the ancient 4th? I highly doubt it. Her heart truly belonged to ancient 4th and I couldn’t imagine it any other way else.
Zhang Xiao went to the past as a modern woman and eventually became Ruo Xi. When she went back to the future, she went back as a woman of the Qing Dynasty (Ruo Xi), not as Zhang Xiao. She has a new identity aside from her former modern self and I think it would be an extreme struggle to reconcile the two. Really I wonder how she could even cope mentally with all of this change in her life. By now Zhang Xiao is a weathered soul and if I were her I’d be way too tired to handle it all.
HOWEVER…with all of the not so subtle hints towards the ‘next life,’ I’m pretty sure Zhang Xiao didn’t just time travel by accident. There was a purpose, probably to get her to go to the museum exhibit to bump into modern 4th once again. If you recall back to when Zhang Xiao was electrocuted, I remember there was a billboard nearby with an ad with a silhouette of a woman from the Qing Dynasty. (I’m pretty sure but don’t take my word for it.) Since the exhibit was still there, this shows that the time slip most likely didn’t affect the time flow of the modern world/present day.
Anyway back to Ruo Xi…I think the order in which she internet searched the princes is pretty accurate to how she felt towards each one. 9th, obviously that needs no explanation. Then 10th, who was like a sibling to her. Then 14th, the man who loved her and did his best to accept her no matter what, even if he knew she could never love him back romantically. Then 8th, her first love. Then 13th, her best friend. Lastly 4th, the man who stole her heart. It all fits in so perfectly. I really think it goes without saying that Ruo Xi cared so much about all the princes that she was willing to sacrifice everything for them. Perhaps this is her way of thanking them for all they’ve done for her. Although 4th & 8th were unwilling to give up power for her, Ruo Xi was willing to give up her happiness for them. The main tragedy is that Ruo Xi died believing that 4th still hated her. If there’s anything I would want resolved in Zhang Xiao’s new life, it’s this misunderstanding.
For those of you that read ALL of my recaps, you might remember that I was a zealous 4th fan in the beginning of the drama. Unfortunately that passion for 4th sorta gradually died off in the second half. (Not just because of 14th’s awesomeness.) While I still love 4th I can no longer say that he’s my absolute favorite prince.
The ironic thing is that 4th, who seemed to have it all in terms of power, wealth, and love (in that he won Ruo Xi’s heart) ended up alone in the end. I felt like a lot of people cut 4th way too much slack and made lots of excuses for him whenever he did something questionable. Truth is, he had the CHOICE. He CHOSE between mercy and revenge, obsessively ‘protecting Ruo Xi’ and listening to Ruo Xi, forgiveness and hate, power and love. It was not just “Oh, well, society was like that at the time.” or “HE HAD TO DO IT!” or “IT WAS 8TH GROUP’S FAULT ANYWAYS” or “YU TAN WENT AGAINST HIS WARNINGS” or “HE’S DOING IT FOR RUO XI’S GOOD.” He made his decisions to not let off 8th’s group, and this is the outcome. While fate played a part in not letting Ruo Xi see 4th for the last time, it was partly also 4th’s doing. Maybe if he had just listened to Ruo Xi and 13th’s pleas for forgiveness, Ruo Xi would not have left the Forbidden City. I’m not trying to say that it’s entirely 4th’s fault, but 4th certainly had a part in Ruo Xi’s decision to leave the palace. Just like 8th said in this episode, 4th also couldn’t give up his lust for power and revenge for the sake of Ruo Xi. Also 4th didn’t trust Ruo Xi with 14th. In that sense, 4th was just like 8th. The only difference is that 4th won her heart completely.
All in all, 4th ended up quite the tragic character. I think the last scene where he stands alone overlooking the Forbidden City just says it all. That there was one of the most powerful scenes in this episode. It was short, and could’ve even gone without any words, but it was perfect. It shows all the weight bearing on 4th’s shoulders. It’s almost as though he realizes the sacrifices he has made…although he’s emperor, he’s now without his lover and his best friend.
My experience with 8th is quite the opposite of 4th prince. 8th started out powerful and ended up the underdog. At first I didn’t like him that much. It wasn’t until more in the last third of the drama that I really began respecting 8th prince. Now he’s one of my favorite princes and I consider him to be the “noble 8th prince”. Also acting wise, Kevin Cheng is my favorite. His crying scenes moved me like no other. His scenes where he laughs at 4th are chilling. I love 8th!!!!!!
Although 8th was first portrayed as a ideal guy, we now know that he was not all that perfect. 8th had his faults, but the important thing is that he grew from them. He acknowledged his past mistakes and changed himself, whereas 4th refused to admit that he did anything wrong. 8th’s relationship with Ruo Xi was a stepping stone for him to eventually realize all that he has done wrong. Without Ruo Xi, maybe 8th would not have realized how precious Ming Hui was. I think 8th loved Ruo Xi both during and after their romantic relationship. Sure his feelings changed after they put an end to their relationship, but he still loved her (perhaps more as an old friend than a lover).
Too bad his dying scene was HORRIBLE. It did not serve him justice at all. The music just ruined it. AUGHHH.
14th, one of my favorite favorite princes. *sigh* First off, 14th was supposed to be a much more complex character than we give him credit for. The drama interpretation made 14th into a very happy go lucky guy. There are moments where you see some darker sides of 14th, but for the most part he remains a very pure and puppy like prince. Sure he had his fights with 4th, and there were times when he also had some underlying intentions of angering 4th since he has Ruo Xi as his wife, but overall I think 14th loved Ruo Xi with all his heart. 14th has a big heart and you could tell how eager he was to show his love for Ruo Xi. However he wasn’t overbearing in his love, instead he supported her from afar and tried his best to be accepting the way 13th is. I wish they showed more of his conflict during his marriage with Ruo Xi because we only caught a glimpse of it in the last two episodes. Obviously being the husband in name only of his unrequited love is hard to do, but because he loves her so much he’s willing to help her.
I’m pretty sure that if Ruo Xi had plainly asked 14th to get 4th to come over, he would’ve done it in a heartbeat. If that’s Ruo Xi’s true heartfelt wish, then 14th would do his best to fulfill it. However Ruo Xi thought it would be better through a letter since she didn’t know if 4th hated her or not. AUGHHHHHHHHHHHH!
But 14th rebounds quite well in his very last scene. He has finally found peace with himself and is satisfied without power and prestige. I’m pretty satisfied with 14th’s ending except I WISH THEY LET HIM KISS RUO XI ON THE FOREHEAD IN HER DYING SCENE.
That’s pretty much all I have to say…FOR NOW. HAHAHA expect a few more random posts in the future…
BBJX is not a perfect drama but it’s a big improvement from your usual typical C-drama. It was impressive because it had a lot of heart, a strong cast, and great characters. Everything worked together quite well to pull it off. While I did talk about BBJX being more realistic (in terms of costumes, set) I want to point out that’s in comparison to other typical C-dramas. Even with all the angst and back stabbing, BBJX still has a very fairy-tale like feeling to it. It makes you want to go to the Qing Dynasty because everything is so beautiful and all the princes are gorgeous. In actuality..things were not so. I think the reality of the Qing Dynasty was much more grim than the one presented in BBJX. However I believe BBJX will remain as some sort of fairy tale in my own heart..so I think that’s ok.