The Legend of Zhen Huan: Eps 53-56
Zhen Huan reenters the palace, this time as the highest rank in the harem and the emperor’s ENEMY!!
First off I want to say that Zhen Huan is incredibly lucky to have Huan Bi and Jin Xi as her loyal servants. They are the ones who support her every step of the way so that she can enter the palace again, and they are also the ones who are willing to suffer alongside her. Jin Xi in particular really wowed me because she reveals her more calculating and determined side. She ‘seduces’ Eunuch Su (maybe seduce is too strong of a word? More like she takes advantage of his feelings for her, and his loneliness) to secure Zhen Huan a way to recapture the emperor’s attention. It was pretty weird and sorta awesome to see Jin Xi pulling a total charming-Zhen-Huan-act on Eunuch Su because I never knew she had it in her! Also, when Zhen Huan finds out that 17th is still alive, Jin Xi gives her a warning that she can no longer turn back now even though her heart is wavering. GO JIN XI!
Anyways, just for a refresher, Zhen Huan is determined to avenge 17th by going back to the Forbidden City and protecting her child. (she’s pregnant with 17th’s kid) The Emperor was probably just waiting for this all along, because he’s totally taken in by Zhen Huan’s claim that she missed him everyday, blah blah blah. The thing that annoys me is when he tells Zhen Huan that she hurt HIM. The emperor still doesn’t have a clue, seriously. But I think it’s even funnier when he tells the empress his oh-so-smart plan to bring back Zhen Huan: He will make up a story that Zhen Huan is actually Xi Fei, (a much higher ranking consort) is 10 years older than she really is, and had left the Inner Palace to go pray for the country in a temple. He also claims that Zhen Huan is the biological mother of 4th prince (if you recall, the kid prince that Zhen Huan dotes on in the very early episodes). When the emperor explains his plan to the empress, he’s all proud of himself while the empress is just like, “…………that’s…very…..smart of you..”. *facepalm*
^Included some of these especially to show where Huan Bi is clearly the third wheel. I feel so bad for her.
“The happiest moments of my life are in this dream. It’s you who gave them to me.”
I think the thing is that, Zhen Huan is more of a realist while 17th is a total romantic idealist. 17th STILL wants to run away and live happily ever after. He just doesn’t understand the consequences of his actions. I didn’t want to get into the whole gender roles debate, but let’s face it–17th doesn’t have that much to lose. He’s a prince with few family obligations and he has lived a relatively free life. Also, he has never married anyone before, so he can’t understand why Zhen Huan would get back together with the emperor again.
“Yun Li, love isn’t the only thing in our life…everyone around us will be in trouble if we leave. We can’t be so selfish by sacrificing it. I can’t do it. You too can’t do it.”
On the other hand, Zhen Huan has a very strong sense of responsibility towards her family and she knows what it’s like to be married to someone she doesn’t love. She lives for her family, not for herself. There is just no way she would sacrifice her entire family for the sake of her selfish desire to be with 17th. Of course, Zhen Huan has the right to happiness just as much as 17th does, but she cannot be happy if she knows that she herself is implicating her parents. I’d actually be surprised if she did run away with 17th because that would be very out of character for her.
“I have to learn how to protect myself and those I love.”
These few episodes have been SO GORGEOUS, especially the scene of Zhen Huan entering the palace! It is epic!!!!!! My favorite moment is when she walks towards the emperor and his concubines, while flashing back to the time when she first entered the harem. I guess I didn’t really realize just how much Zhen Huan has changed from the time that she entered the palace. Back then she was innocent and a bit fearful of the harem & emperor, but now you can see that she’s not scared of anything and is only trying to survive.
On a side note, even though Zhen Huan’s return is sorta bleak and depressing, (with the whole 17th issue, I mean) she can also do a lot of good with her powerful status. For example she leaves the temple but puts a righteous nun in charge and gets back at the nuns that bullied her. She can also rescue 4th prince from his humiliation of his low status. Just little things like that can actually make a difference…I’d say that Zhen Huan’s becoming Xi Fei is not all in vain because she can still have a positive influence on the people around her.
^I LOVE Zhen Huan’s new hairstyle, it’s absolutely gorgeous. I like the asymmetrical look.
“None of us live for ourselves. Family is always our burden.”
Of course, I was very excited with Zhen Huan’s reunion with Mei Zhuang. I just realized that you can see glimpses of Zhen Huan’s past self whenever she’s with Mei Zhuang, probably because that’s one of the only times when she can genuinely smile. Mei Zhuang is one of the only constant (consistent?) people in her life who has remained by her side despite all the changes in the harem. Duan Fei & Jing Fei are also nice additions to Zhen Huan’s entourage because they are very graceful and kind. I’d say that Mei Zhuang is like the older sister, while Duan Fei & Jing Fei are like the aunts of Zhen Huan.
^bottom right pic: Zhen Huan’s EPIC look of “how dare they try to harm my baby!”
Currently Empress & Co. don’t pose AS much of a threat. It’s more like, they were all freaking out and trembling in their shoes when they heard that Zhen Huan was coming back. I think it’s kinda funny to see the Empress & Zhen Huan interacting because you know that they both hate each other to the core. Zhen Huan is truly becoming the next Hua Fei just as the Empress predicted. BWAHAHAHA.
The episodes where Zhen Huan woos back the emperor are a bit slow because they are pretty much just plotting & waiting around for their plan to set into motion. However I do like how Zhen Huan is teaming up with Eunuch Su, who is actually a really kindhearted guy. It’s also fun to see Zhen Huan being at the very top of the harem, she really deserves it.
(I really couldn’t decide on the featured image for this post, but I figure it’s high time we get to see a picture of the full harem!)
*edit: At first I referred to Zhen Huan as Xi Gui Fei, but I made a mistake..she enters the palace as Xi Fei and later on she will be promoted to Xi Gui Fei.