Love Forward: Ep 9
Episode 9 went into darker waters but still satisfied me because there were major developments in Jing Jing’s character and in Tian Ze/Jing Jing/Ren Wei’s relationships. I’m still a bit iffy on whether Love Forward can handle being more angsty and less humorous, but so far it’s been alright. The thing is that everyone knew the breakup was coming so when it actually happened it didn’t have as much impact as it could’ve.
Before we get into the meat of the episode, why not show Tian Ze and Jing Jing literally acting like newly weds in their new apartment? Just to make us feel even worse when they break up, you know. There’s something really poignant about seeing the two of them so blissfully in love when you know that even their determination and youth will not keep their relationship together. It’s almost time to get past the newly wed stage and move into the real trials.
And of course the obligatory Tian Ze/Ai Xing scene to boost our spirits. It always works. I feel pretty bad for Yanan who’s clearly smitten with Ai Xing. I think it’d actually be cute to have a side story with him and Lun Li. Anyway Tian Ze suggests that Yanan move in with Ai Xing to become her new tenant. He jokes that he’s afraid Ai Xing will be lonely without him, and then asks why Yanan can’t stay with Ai Xing when he can. Part of me wonders if Tian Ze really does want to know why Ai Xing dotes on him. This creates an awkward moment as Ai Xing tries to think up of a reason, but is at a loss for words. She explains it by saying that Tian Ze isn’t a man and then escapes.
I think they’re totally hinting at Ai Xing’s true feelings ever since Ai Xing rejected Ren Wei. She always says she loves money but in fact, money itself isn’t enough to make her go for a jerk. I think the real character growth for her will be when she realizes that she doesn’t completely love money. Love Forward will be way too predictable if Ai Xing ends up choosing a rich guy and Jing Jing chooses a poor guy. It would be way better to change their perspectives on love and have them choose the opposite of what they wanted at first.
Jing Jing & Ai Xing remain the best of friends, but Jing Jing has an underlying feeling of anxiety as she realizes that maybe something is going wrong in her dad’s company. As much as Jing Jing depends on Ai Xing and Tian Ze, she doesn’t go to them for help when everything falls down. There’s a certain divide between Jing Jing and her two best friends, possibly because she thinks that they can’t do anything about it or that they can’t understand the full scale of her situation.
Jing Jing is really the one who shone in this episode. FINALLY she realizes everything she needed to realize. All her life she’s blamed her parents for restricting her, for not trying to make a true family, and for being too materialistic. Jing Jing has always been in teenager mode with her parents as she never truly understood how much effort they went through to give her the life she has today. When her parents finally tell her the truth–that dad’s company is on the brink of bankruptcy and they could go into billions of dollars of debt–everything begins to fall into place.
Jing Jing’s dad is pretty chill. He hasn’t supported his wife’s meddling in Jing Jing’s affairs and even supported her going into the outside world. I love the father-daughter relationship between these two. Even though Jing Jing hates her mom’s guts you can tell she still has a soft spot in her heart for her dad.
“I don’t want this obstacle to change the path you want to take, you understand?”
Misunderstandings are cleared as Jing Jing sees just how selfish and narrowminded she’s been..she sees how much weight her dad bears upon his shoulders for the sake of his family.
“You’ve given so much for this family, I’ve realized it just now. But I can’t do anything for this family. I can only do so little.”
Through this experience Jing Jing has definitely matured and taken that first step to reestablish her bonds with her dad. Jing Jing has complained enough about not having a true family, and now she’s finally stepping up to take the responsibility of preserving her family’s ties. Also, how could Jing Jing bear to see her dad lose face?
Unfortunately Jing Jing’s decision will inevitably break Tian Ze and Ai Xing’s hearts. You have to admire how great friends these two are to Jing Jing. I mean…who would be willing to seduce a guy for the sake of a friend?
Ai Xing wonders how to keep Ren Wei from meddling in Jing Jing’s love life. She decides that seducing Ren Wei to distract him will definitely do the trick. Oh, Ai Xing. Please no.
I found it funny that even when Ai Xing is trying to seduce a guy, her attempts are very innocent. I cringed for her in this scene because I felt so embarrassed for her!!! Especially since Lun Li witnessed it all! All in all, her seduction plan fails and she ends up getting cross examined by Tian Ze. The two of them find out about Jing Jing’s true situation from Lun Li.
On a side note, I actually like Lun Li’s character a lot. At first she seemed too overbearing because she was clearly throwing herself at Ren Wei. But now we see she wants to get married just like anyone else.
Finally for the breakup scene. Ai Xing & Tian Ze confront a very drunk Jing Jing about her family’s situation. In the beginning I was all, REALLY? A DRUNK BREAKUP?? A sober breakup obviously holds much more weight, unless Jing Jing is pretending to be drunk to make it less painful. However in the end she reveals that she’s actually completely sober. Thankfully that gives her breakup more impact, since she’s purposely being harsher to make them let her go. The thing that hurt was that it almost felt like she was also lashing out at Tian Ze & Ai Xing.
I think Tian Ze is the one who really made this scene. Poor Tian Ze looks crushed when he sees his goddess Jing Jing drunk. He looks even more hurt when she takes it out on Ai Xing.
“Ai Xing and I are the two people that would never leave you or look down on you.”
And then when he starts crying after Jing Jing tells him to his face she’s breaking up with him….:'((((((( AUGHHHHHH WHY?????
My favorite part of this scene was the very end. Right when Jing Jing is about to walk out strong, Ai Xing stops her and we see her holding back her tears. Obviously this is tearing Jing Jing apart. Ai Xing implores Jing Jing to rethink her decision, earnestly talking about how Tian Ze is “the one”.
“I love money more.”
“I’m sorry Tian Ze, I have to break up with you to save my dad…to save my family. I’m sorry.”
I think this is the conflict Jing Jing needed to reevaluate what’s really important to her. Maybe her decision to break up with Tian Ze doesn’t seem very rational to some but I respect her decision because she’s finally taking action to save her family. She’s always wanted to have a true family and yet she never really put in the effort for it because she thought it was impossible. Now that she knows it’s possible, and that she could possibly fix everything, she’s redefined her priorities. Also instead of making her parents go through this alone, she wants to be their support and encouragement.
As for Tian Ze & Ai Xing, I doubt that they will ever be willing to let Jing Jing go. Tian Ze will probably feel inadequate and powerless yet again.
The previews have me both excited and scared for episode 10. I’m seriously scared for Jing Jing’s safety now that she’s subject to Ren Wei’s possessive and controlling nature. On the other hand…
WHY give me a 30 second preview of Ren Wei giving Tian Ze a MAN SLAP when we could have 30 seconds more of THIS???