The Legend of Zhen Huan: Eps 41-44

Chinese DramasDrama Reviews

So, I have seen the “major scenes” of these episodes before, and although I knew they were sad somehow they didn’t quite register with me.  I think I was in denial or something.  But for some reason, when I rewatched them, I just lost it.  Every freaking thing that happened, I was tearing up and crying.  Omg.  There are some parts that are slow, like the scenes about the emperor & his political ministers, but overall a lot of crap goes down in these episodes.  Definitely tons of must-watch scenes.

“You are the only one that’s still following me, even though I’ve brought trouble to you.”

Omg.  Hua Fei, Hua Fei.  COME BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Out of these few episodes, I have to say that the main highlight is Hua Fei.  Perhaps Hua Fei is defeated and hopeless, but I also feel that she’s even more fearless than before because she’s seen it all.  She doesn’t care about what’s to come because she thinks the worst has already happened.  She’s bracing herself for the worst, so it’s almost like she has nothing to fear anymore.  It’s also really sad when she realizes that the only one who remained loyal to her is her trusty servant, Song Zhi, who she used to treat badly.

Unfortunately for Hua Fei, pretty much no one else can save her..and no one wants to save her.  It’s rather ironic that Zhen Huan & Mei Zhuang are so hurt over Hua Fei’s wrongdoings that they are willing to resort to revenge.  Also, the other concubines who never dared to speak out against Hua Fei are actually the ones that help secure Hua Fei’s fate.  It is almost weird to see even the Empress finally getting the upper hand in the harem, THAT is how messed up things were when Hua Fei was the leader. O_O

“He said he only loved me in the world. But there are a lot of women in the palace.  He’s staying here today, and tomorrow he stays over there.  What I can do is wait.  I wait for him until dawn, but he never came.”

Anyways, on to the most awesome and tragic scene ever in episode 42.  I have to say that this scene is freaking genius.  The spotlight is all on Hua Fei, and Jiang Xin’s acting is SPOT ON.  It’s so heartbreaking when Hua Fei starts to tear up as she demands a command from the emperor, because then she will willingly obey.  All she wants is for the emperor to remember her, but the freaking emperor doesn’t even care enough to hear about her suicide order.  :'(  I also love the part when she tells Zhen Huan about the good old days, when she used to be the emperor’s favorite Second Wife.  There is a change in Zhen Huan’s expression, almost as though she realizes that there is so much that she doesn’t know about the emperor’s past, and that there really was a time when the emperor was happy without her.  And that there was a time when Hua Fei never had to share the emperor with other women, which is why she is so jealous of Zhen Huan. 

“His Majesty hated me this much?”

But the real clincher of the scene is when Zhen Huan reveals that the emperor actually caused Hua Fei’s miscarriage and infertility with the Huan Yi perfume.  It is like every single word punches Hua Fei straight in the gut.  You can just see her mind shutting down as she crumbles in her disbelief.  She’s pretty much realizing that the person she loves and trusts the most, is actually the one who never loved her and was willing to kill her baby.  I don’t even know how to describe it, but let’s just say that Hua Fei’s entire UNIVERSE is crumbling down.  Jiang Xin is also genius in her acting because the last thing Hua Fei does is laugh crazily since she can’t handle the pain.  :'((((((((((   In the end, Hua Fei commits suicide.  What a tragic ending 🙁  I really wanted her to go and spite the emperor or something, but of course even then she still loves him too much to do so. 

Things feel really empty after Hua Fei’s passing.  The harem is just not the same without her.  BUT NOW THE EMPRESS IS IN THE PLAYING FIELD.  OMG.  The freaking empress pulls a fast one on Zhen Huan by making her accidentally wear the late empress’ dress.  But the problem is that Zhen Huan isn’t to fault!  The freaking EMPEROR is gullible enough to think that Zhen Huan is actually Empress Chun Yuan’s ghost or something!  And then he flips out when he finds out it’s Zhen Huan, and tells her to go REFLECT ON HER MISTAKE.  *FACE PALM*  He places her under HOUSE ARREST and doesn’t even budge when she finds out she’s pregnant.  Childish much, emperor?

“Huan Huan? In his majesty’s heart, I’m just a replacement for Empress Chun Yuan.”

Zhen Huan was scared that she would have the same fate as Hua Fei, who was just an unloved and forgotten pawn of the emperor’s.  Turns out her fears are answered, and it’s strikingly similar to Hua Fei’s situation.  She knows now that the emperor only used her as a replacement for the person he actually loves the most–Empress Chun Yuan.  All this time, she thought the emperor truly loved her for who she was, but now she knows he only loves her for who she looks like.  In other words, all the feelings that she thought were genuine were actually not even directed towards her.  It’s heartbreaking to see her crumble so easily, all because of the emperor’s heart. 

OMG.  THE EMPRESS AND LING RONG ARE SUCH OPPORTUNISTS.  I was totally caught off guard!!!!!!  I knew the Empress would be a threat later on (because of spoilers) but if I had been watching with no background knowledge, then I probably wouldn’t suspect her.  Turns out she is like a hidden tigress in disguise.  In a way she is scarier than Hua Fei because she knows when to strike, and when to lay low.  She also has all the resources and power to pull things off.  Even though she isn’t really loved by the emperor, she is still the empress no matter what and she undoubtedly has some sort of influence over him.

 OH, AND LING RONG DOESN’T DO NOTHING.  Not that I was expecting her to.  But the real kicker is that she even suggests that Zhen Huan should have a miscarriage.  OMG.  The really pathetic thing is that Ling Rong is pretty much the Empress’ minion that doesn’t do anything.  She wants to act like she’s all powerful and smart because she’s on the empress’ side, but really, the empress views her as a pawn. 

“I don’t know who will be my enemy after Nian Shi Lan is dead.”

It’s rather ironic that Mei Zhuang & Zhen Huan aren’t even happy after Hua Fei’s demise.  More like, they don’t even know what to do with this because they are so used to having Hua Fei around.  Also, both of them are quickly brought back to reality when Zhen Huan falls from the emperor’s favor.  Unfortunately Mei Zhuang tries to help Zhen Huan, but she has no influence over the emperor so she can only watch by the sidelines. 

On a final note…….the emperor and the Empress Dowager kill off Cao Pin.  (promoted to a Pin)  Literally.  Cao Pin is cruel and calculating, but it turns out that the emperor/empress dowager are even moreso.  Cao Pin was really the character I was going to fall back on after Hua Fei’s death, because we all know she has the capability to be Zhen Huan’s opponent.  And yet she’s easily killed off by the emperor.  Darn it.

These few episodes were brilliant.  Hua Fei’s final scene and Zhen Huan’s scenes after she realizes the emperor’s true intentions are gold.  Even in her final moments, I’d say that Hua Fei was really shining and pitiful, and definitely a character to remember.  I will miss Hua Fei, but am curious to see more of the empress’ dark side.


I'm heisui, an Asian drama blogger and the creator of My Drama Tea. I love stories and writing, so I watch dramas and blog. I especially have a penchant for Japanese and Chinese dramas, and those hidden gems that are waiting to be discovered. Oh, and I'm Legend of Zhen Huan-obsessed!
The Legend of Zhen Huan: Eps 36-40
Rurouni Kenshin Movie (Overall)
  • Ah, it’s been so long since I last watched this drama. I can’t grasp the feelings I had for Hua Fei during her death scene. I think I was sad for her too. It erased all the hate I had for her.

    I don’t know how far you are right now, but more tragedies follow this. Then the drama kinda enters a period of calmness and fluff, and I think the happiest days of ZH’s life. Of course, that just sets her up for more heartbreak and tragedy.

  • Thank you so much for the recaps….
    I have problem with the server so I can’t watch the drama directly. your recaps are the only consolation.
    Hopefully you’ll keep fighting till the end

  • hi i was wondering if you have any full length shots of zhen huan in the empress’s sisters dress, its my favourite, i know hui fei wore it before but i love it on zhen huan !

  • i think your right all i saw was a head shot of the two of them side by side and Hua fei has a orange color under neath the neck cloth and huan does not have that bight orange.

  • I still don’t like the ‘reason’ they had for killing off Cao Pin. Yeah, so she is ‘cruel and calculating’ but come on, Hua Fei was much worse. I really think they only said it as an excuse to kill her because she ratted Hua Fei out. Gonna be honest; If it had been me to state my opinion as to what should happen to Hua Fei then I would have said the same thing as Cao Pin: Let her die. It is not a crime to uphold justice on someone who has literally bribed and forced illness and death on others for personal gain.

    Even if she was saying it just to fulfill her desire to see Hua Fei punished, it technically wouldn’t be ‘wrong’ because it still would have been the correct thing to do, everyone was leaning that way in the first place and Cao Pin would not have kept the death on her conscious. It’s like they were thinking: ‘She wants Hua Fei to die because she committed crimes and nearly caused the death of her daughter?! Outrageous! After we kill Hua Fei, let’s kill her too…’ “Yeah, alright.’

    Final note: Sorry for the ranting and I like your reviews on the show. x3

    • I know I’m still not quite sure why they killed her off so easily..especially when there are other concubines that are just as calculating as she is. Some of the other concubines were also destroyed by the emperor, but he didn’t do it in such a direct way. I think that maybe her family wasn’t of a very high status, so the emperor had no political benefit to being with her?

      Overall, I feel sad for Cao Pin because she was separated from her daughter whom she loved so much. She did all this for her daughter’s survival and yet she was killed because of it. 🙁

      • Yeah, I agree; I’m a mother myself so I can totally see where she’s coming from, there’s a lot you need to think about to keep your children and yourself safe especially back in those times. And also I agree with you that she could have been a real asset because she was smart and careful, I liked her a lot because she had the ability to keep herself out of trouble no matter what her roles were in any situation.

        It would make sense if they felt she had no real benefit. Or I just thought, it could have been that the Emperor’s feeling’s for Hua Fei felt attacked by the suggestion she gave and that was why they said she was ‘cruel and calculating’. But still, that’s kind of a big temper tantrum to give in that situation. Ha, but who’s to say no one, especially in history, has taken their emotions out with a hot head? XD Ah well. I’m still working on the series, but I still the like the interlocking dramas so far, I think the writers did very well weaving it all though.

      • From my understanding, the Emperor and Empress Dowager felt that Hua Fei was manipulative because of her family standing in the court. However, they decided to kill off Cao Pin because they felt she was a more evil mastermind than Hua Fei. Kudos to Hua Fei, she took the blame/fall upon herself when she realised things were not going her way but Cao Pin was very quick to pin the blame on others and they felt that when she ratted out everything that Hua Fei did/forced Cao Pin to conspire with her, they felt that she was too dangerous to keep alive.

      • Thank you.

        You know, it was your post that made me to watch Zhen Huan. I was googling about Chinese period drama when I found your site. And the story is really interesting. So I bought the DVD.

        I’m from Indonesia by the way but Chinese descent so I can’t speak Mandarin.

        I usually watched crime drama. The last one I watched is ‘Sherlock’ by BBC. I’m obsessed about Sherlock.

  • OMG…. I hadn’t read any spoilers so yea, the Empress is such a shocker to me. But these episodes made me truly hate the selfish Emperor so much. UGH what a jerk. How could he be so stupid as to think that she knew whose dress she was wearing if she didn’t even KNOW she resembled the late Empress??? DUH moment, just really annoying. I so enjoyed watching the scene where Hua Fei and Zhen Huan chatted before the suicide. Oh, stellar acting! Love love loved to hate Hua Fei… gonna really miss her. I am hoping that Zhen Huan is about to fall for the doctor who loves her, or anyone besides that selfish self serving Emperor! If only I had time to watch it 24 hours a day! ha ha

    • I KNOW RIGHT!?!?!? I mean, it was a sign of disrespect towards the late empress but it’s all..HOW WAS SHE SUPPOSED TO KNOW?? Cut her some slack!!!!!!!!!!! And wow, the moment when Zhen Huan realizes that the emperor thought she was the late empress…it was like I could hear her heart breaking. 🙁

      Yes yes Hua Fei’s ending scene was SOOO GOOD, I can rewatch it over and over again and it is epic every time!

  • I know you posted this a long time ago, but I felt like I still had to say something. I know that Hua Fei is supposed to be this really strong character that ultimately is broken down until she can’t take it any more, but I have to give her props for dying her own way. I felt bad for her, but not as much as I probably should have. I still felt that even though she did what she had to out of necessity, and even though the EMPEROR (UGH HATE HIM) is the one who’s really at fault, I don’t think that it justified all of the crap she pulled on everyone else. She had people killed, lives ruined, all because Hua Fei couldn’t keep her feelings in check. If you think about it, her brother was a gigantic jerk, but she knew what she was getting into when she joined the palace. She had to have heard stories. Nian Geng Yao was a real person, and he and his family were really punished in the way described in the show. If she or her brother didn’t take their power for granted, bossing everyone around, and generally acting like they were better than the Emperor and Empress themselves, (not that they’re totally innocent because they aren’t), but things may have turned out differently.

    Despite everything that Hua Fei has gone through, I can’t REALLY feel sorry for her when I go back and look at what she’s done.

    • I agree, I sympathize a lot with Hua Fei…but her circumstances don’t necessarily justify all of her cruel actions. I think Hua Fei was actually one of the emperor’s wives (not the 1st wife, I think she was maybe the 2nd wife?) when he was still a prince. So she probably didn’t know that he would become emperor when she first married him.

  • I hate what hua fei has done to the other woman in the palce during that time she is a bad person i don’t feel sorry for her she should have not done what she has done. She was jelous alot of times because of wan ping got favored alot of times during that time and because other people got children and she does not . It was shocking to see her tell somebody to push one of the consorts to the water. What she did was out of jelousy. If i was her i would know what i have done wrong and stopped before i kill somebody or before the empress finds out. I must say that the actress who played her was very good.

  • i enjoy reading yr synopsis of zhen huan. The little remarks you made, made me chuckle, e.g. “Childish much, emperor?” U added that much fun and common sentiments with your comments. thank you xx

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