Love Forward: Ep 22 (Finale) Updated
*Updated* I know I wasn’t very in depth in my first draft because I was so caught up in my disappointment and BITTERNESS. So I pretty much rewrote it and added on some more analysis for you guys.
Always follow these rules for a perfect finale:
- Be as confusing as possible.
- Fill up the episode with unneeded scenes, and stick on a few important ones on the end.
- Add in corny dialogue.
- Whatever you do, be sure to make no sense whatsoever.
- Tease us with what could’ve been.
- Use a time jump to infuriate viewers even more.
- Waste as much time as possible.
WARNING: Bitterness ahead.
….oh, how did this all happen? DON’T EVEN ASK. JUST ACCEPT THIS AS THE HAPPY HAPPY ENDING BECAUSE YOU’RE BETTER OFF NOT KNOWING.
And no one, I mean NO ONE, knows how THIS happened. And I assure you, this is just the beginning of this finale’s problems.
Even though Love Forward screwed up the main characters’ love stories, at least it managed to do Ling Li some justice. Ling Li is probably the most well-written character as well as the most mature one. Even though Ling Li isn’t the focus of the drama, I can empathize with her much more. She’s going through the NORMAL struggles of life–finding love when she’s getting older, balancing a love life and her work, etc. whereas I cannot relate to the love square’s conflicts AT ALL. I really wanted Ling Li to get together with Ren Wei (he’s a changed man now!) but we all know he’s already a goner for Jing Jing. So let’s just say I’m very pleased by Ling Li’s happy ending with Yan Nan. It’s left open-ended but it’s implied that this is just the beginning of their new relationship.
“It will still be there today, tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow.”
I really do not know why Love Forward wasted so much time on the whole family/Zhi Xing conflict. Was I the only one going, “COME ON, WE DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THIS, LET’S GET MOVING!” the entire time? So, the dramatic scene with Zhi Xing bidding Ai Xing goodbye is an utter waste of time. It tries too hard to go for a heartwarming family scene, so it ends up seeming corny. All LF needed to do was show the scene with Grandpa tearing up at the supermarket. That’s enough to show the bond between the threesome, as well as the bittersweet feelings they all have over their separation.
I know I complained about this sidestory earlier on, but now I’m glad that Da Chuan is in the picture! His wisdom is on par with Ling Li’s–he tells people what they need to hear even if they don’t really want to face up to it. He doesn’t cut corners or let people down gently. I love it when Tian Ze goes “I know I’m being selfish” and then Da Chuan looks to the side and makes this expression like “DARN RIGHT YOU ARE”. AHAHAHA.
“No one is hurting me.”
So of course Ai Xing completely ignores both Mrs. Meng AND Da Chuan’s advice. Ai Xing jumps to conclusions that Tian Ze’s heart is still with Jing Jing. So she decides to LIE to Tian Ze that she was only pretending to love him in Jing Jing’s place. AUGH this scene really got me in the gut because of Tian Ze’s heartbroken reaction. But at the same time I was going, “YOU HAD IT COMING, TIAN ZE” and “STOP IT, AI XING!!!”
Ren Wei, on the other hand, ALSO bases his decision on a misunderstanding. He sees the breakup marriage ceremony in the church, and deduces it’s a sign that Jing Jing & Tian Ze are getting back together. Who could blame him? It clearly seemed like they were getting together. So Ren Wei with his HEART OF GOLD graciously lets off Jing Jing. The thing that I don’t get is Jing Jing’s shocked reaction. Maybe she should have TOLD HIM that she’s seriously considering being a real relationship with him rather than being all ambiguous and confusing. But Jing Jing has always been giving him mixed signals so how can she be surprised he wants to break it off now?
Oh, WHY did they tease us with Ai Xing x Ren Wei? I know they really aren’t in a relationship since they just put on an act but…STILL. THEY LOOK SO GOOD TOGETHER. They have great chemistry! Why oh why didn’t they at least temporarily get together earlier on? It would’ve been so much funner and the plot would’ve been a lot more interesting!
What I really don’t get is Jing Jing & Tian Ze’s responses to their breakups. Like, “Oh that must be what they really want, we should let them go then!” NO. NO!!!!!! In Jing Jing’s case I understand her letting go of Ren Wei because it’s not like they were really romantically involved. But with TIAN ZE?????? It’s so obvious that Ai Xing was pretending!!!!!!!!!!!!! HOW CAN HE NOT KNOW!?!?!?!? The scene where Jing Jing and Tian Ze talk about how Ren Wei and Ai Xing should be happy makes NO SENSE AT ALL.
AND THEN THE TIME LAPSE. This is probably the biggest blunder of all in this episode. It’s pretty much admitting, “hey we screwed up, nothing makes sense, and we’re too lazy to try to fix it so HERE, have a time jump!” UGH! It’s just so obvious that there was no effort put into making the ending at least a bit believable. First off, how are Jing Jing and Ai Xing still such great friends after hardly keeping in touch for THREE YEARS? It would make sense if Ai Xing and Ling Li became new best friends and Ai Xing found a new boyfriend. (this should’ve happened like halfway into the series or something) AND!!! AND!!! It doesn’t make sense when Jing Jing and Ren Wei are just magically married! THIS IS PUSHING IT. The least they could do is show Jing Jing confessing her feelings for Ren Wei. THAT’S THE LEAST THEY COULD DO. BUT NO!!!!!
And although I was giddy over the Ai Xing x Tian Ze marriage, I was also scratching my head thinking, “HOW?” Tian Ze didn’t go after Ai Xing for THREE YEARS? He’s just gonna WAIT like a sitting duck and do nothing? WHAT THE HECK? Why is there no sense of urgency? Does he really think she’s not gonna find a better guy over in Shanghai? *does not compute* The marriage scene was way too abrupt and rushed. It was the ending I wanted but it was so anticlimatic and confusing that I found myself not as excited as I thought I would be.
Wow, what a journey. Love Forward is a drama that tried. It tried really hard to be mature and grown up and thought-provoking. Obviously it failed. I think the problem with Love Forward is that it didn’t have a set direction. It didn’t know if it wanted to be a rom-com, or a family drama, or a melodrama. It had its strengths–a great cast, great chemistry between the leads, awesome characters, and the potential for an engaging plot. Unfortunately it didn’t draw upon its strengths..instead it sorta flailed around and ended up sinking.
Obviously the script was a huge problem. Towards the end it’s like the writer threw up his hands in the air and went, HECK, I’m not gonna try anymore! The writer tries to get across all of these huge life lessons but it’s way too in-your-face and simplistic. We don’t need them to spell out every lesson for us in huge neon letters. More of the life lessons should’ve gone unsaid–we should be able to figure them out on our own. So of course the characters also suffered because of the stupid script. They had to deliver really elementary lines that only made them go around in circles. AUGH AND THE PLOT. AUGH AUGH AUGH. I don’t even want to think of what could’ve been!
But of course despite my negative comments, all of you know how utterly ADDICTED and LF-crazed I am! LF always had that must-watch feel because of the great chemistry between Ai Xing and Tian Ze. I have to hand it to Tony and Tammy for making their OTP so lively and enjoyable. The humor in Ai Xing and Tian Ze’s scenes is just too good to pass up.
So you all know that this was my favorite character throughout the drama. She is such a great heroine. However towards the end I found myself getting more and more frustrated with her. My main problem is that Ai Xing remained a static character all the way toward the end. There’s a short glimpse of her changing–i.e. when she stands up to Jing Jing, when she accepts her feelings for Tian Ze–but then she switches right back to “sacrifice” mode. So in the end she really doesn’t change. I really wanted Ai Xing to learn how to live for her own happiness, not the happiness of the people around her. However she stubbornly tried to live for Jing Jing and Tian Ze’s happiness and ended up suffering for it.
Ironically Ai Xing ends up being just like Jing Jing–she tries to make a sacrifice for the greater good of everyone else when in fact she’s only hurting everyone around her. I felt like Ai Xing’s breakup was, in a way, selfish and a bit cowardly. If you think about it, she jumps to conclusions way too quickly and it’s possible she was waiting for some sort of excuse to back out of her relationship with Tian Ze. Ai Xing is so scared of getting hurt by Tian Ze that maybe her going overseas was just an escape for her. Like Da Chuan says, even if Ai Xing tries to run from it, it’s not like the problem is gonna disappear.
I’ve deemed Tian Ze the most pitiful character of LF. He went through 2 stupid sacrificial breakups, lost his memory, was infatuated with Jing Jing, waited for 2 girls to come back, got false memories implanted by Grandpa, etc. etc. Poor poor Tian Ze. The problem with him is that he’s really indecisive and, up until amnesia-state, he took Ai Xing for granted. I really wanted him to get his memory back but honestly I think the drama just didn’t want to deal with it.
If I had to choose between Ren Wei and Tian Ze, I WOULD CHOOSE REN WEI. This guy is without a doubt, the most surprising character of all. I love how he redeemed himself and learned to put others first. I think he truly wants Jing Jing to be happy, even if that means she won’t be with him. Who knew that Ren Wei could be such a selfless, caring guy!
Quite frankly, Jing Jing and I did not have a very good relationship. I think she’s the most misunderstood character of all, as she really is a victim of the stupid script and she didn’t get to redeem herself as well as Ren Wei did. I really thought she had redeemed herself after she decided to live for her family, BUT THEN…….I just don’t know what happened from there. I wish they had shown her falling for Ren Wei more than her family and Tian Ze issues.