A Good Wife: Eps 7-10
Up until now, A Good Wife has been a very exceptional tw-drama but I could not really declare it as a drama that leaves me totally speechless. It has many solid scenes but I can also see why some people might’ve given up somewhere within the first 6 episodes due to the very slow pace. But looking back, I now see that going through those first 6 episodes were worth it because episodes 7-10 DEFINITELY left me speechless. There are lots of big developments & revelations and even my perception of some of the main characters has turned around a complete 360!!
There has been a lot of build-up leading up to the moment when Sheng En and Yi Zhen finally realize that they are falling in love with each other. Sure, there has been some tension before but never anything where they felt the urge to become something more than just friends. Sheng En seems to fall for Yi Zhen first; I think he is well aware of his feelings but tries to remain a friend so that he and Yi Zhen can still see each other. Sheng En is such a romanticist, I mean he gives Yi Zhen a ROCK as a present and cheesily ‘listens to the walls’ while telling Yi Zhen the sweetest encouraging words ever. (you know the saying ‘if walls could speak’) AHAHA.
And even though the wall-listening thing is cheesy…this is actually when Yi Zhen and Sheng En take one tiny yet huge step towards admitting their feelings for each other! So it is kinda romantic, LOL. The two of them lean against the wall attempting to listen to the wall (LOL don’t even ask) and then their hands inch closer and closer together until their pinky fingers intertwine and OMGGGGGGG. They didn’t even say anything, there is no confession at all and just in that moment you can tell that they both understand–they’ve fallen for each other.
I think the way A Good Wife is interpreted depends on cheating is defined. This is not at ALL what I imagined would happen between Sheng En & Yi Zhen when I first read the synopsis..I mean I guess I imagined them having some steamy scandalous affair. Actually, they’ve pretty much done nothing except secretly hanging out with each other. The only affectionate physical contact they’ve had is touching their pinky fingers together & hugging. That is it!! They just seem so..innocent! I realized that I had this ambiguous idea of what cheating is; basically I thought of it as dating when you already have a spouse/partner or having a physical relationship with someone who is not your partner. By that definition, Sheng En & Yi Zhen aren’t really cheating. But do their feelings of love count as cheating/infidelity already?
For Yi Zhen, the answer to this question is already clear–even though she and Sheng En haven’t gotten into a relationship, the feelings are there and just those feelings alone make Yi Zhe unfaithful in her heart. Yi Zhen knows that she and Sheng En cannot see each other any longer so they mutually agree to cut off all ties. I like this development because it shows that Yi Zhen is not impulsively acting on her desires or selfishly hurting Shao Wen–she is really trying to consider what is best for herself and her loved ones. She chooses her marriage because she believes that even if she is unhappy, her marriage is a promise so she cannot break it by being with Sheng En.
In the beginning of the drama, I was rooting for Shao Wen and Yi Zhen because I thought that despite their problems, they still love each other and they can work things out in their marriage. Eps 4-6 left me more unsure about whether I should support Shao Wen & Yi Zhen or not because it is becoming clearer and clearer that things are not getting any better and that they really have major trust issues with each other. Well these few episodes ALSO left me more divided because Shao Wen is finally putting in an effort to change but Yi Zhen doesn’t love him anymore.
Shao Wen catches on to Yi Zhen’s possible growing feelings for Sheng En and decides that he must woo Yi Zhen to prevent her from loving another man. Granted, he does A LOT of sweet things and I was definitely being swayed towards his side..but then I also realized that although he loves Yi Zhen, he is also very controlling, possessive and super scary when angry. Sure, it’s understandable that he is mad over Yi Zhen & Sheng En’s friendship/almost-relationship. But this is too much. It’s almost like he’s trying to manipulate Yi Zhen into loving him again and he only wants reassurance that Yi Zhen will not slip out of his control. The largest warning sign though, is when he gets too physical with Yi Zhen–out of his anger he grabs her by her arms and forces her to look at him, all the while telling her that only he can be her #1. If you watch the scene you can see the look of fear in Yi Zhen’s eyes, she really was scared that he might lose his temper. This is when I decided I can no longer support Shao Wen because he made Yi Zhen feel physically threatened. Not cool Shao Wen!
^Shao Fen is actually pretty awesome!
I liked Xiang Qi in eps 1-6 but now she is going into evil-meddling-2nd-lead territory. T_T There are tons of warning signs that she is not as cheery and happy-go-lucky as she seems. She is calculating, has her way with words, sucks up to Shao Wen’s mom, and steps over her own colleagues. For example, Xiang Qi purposely doesn’t tell Shao Wen’s little sis (Shao Fen) about Yi Zhen’s phonecall which only leads to a bigger fall out with Shao Wen & Yi Zhen later on. (it’s complicated, the main point here is that Xiang Qi made things worse ON PURPOSE) Yi Zhen confronts her about it and Xiang Qi just goes, ‘well even if I had told Shao Fen about the phonecall, you and your husband still would’ve fought and you love Sheng En so you’re the bad one..HARDY HAR HAR!’ No, Xiang Qi, just because things are already ‘bad enough’ doesn’t mean you add more oil to the flame. And the final warning sign?!?!?! XIANG QI HITS ON SHAO WEN. Where the heck did this come from?!?!?
So long story short, Yi Zhen ‘shirks her duty’ on a family event once again, except this time it’s because of a big misunderstanding. The main problem (in Xiang Qi & Shao Wen’s opinion) isn’t that she misses the event though, it’s that she spends her time with Sheng En during the event. It starts out innocently enough–Yi Zhen just wants to say goodbye to Sheng En’s dog Lucky. But it turns into another sorta-confession scene when Sheng En tries to say his final farewell to Yi Zhen. I love his lines quoted below:
“…Knowing you gave me a lot of pain, a lot of regret. Because I can’t help but think, why didn’t I meet you first?”
That is probably my favorite part of the scene because these are Sheng En’s true feelings, no more pretending to be just a best-friend or restraining himself. Yi Zhen too, she breaks down and cries out that she doesn’t want him to leave her and that she can’t go back to her broken home. Omg. Not much I can say to describe this moment! Love the way this was filmed because the park background & the lighting of the sun is just gorgeous!
If there is one scene you have to watch out of episode 10, it would definitely be the scene when Yi Zhen confesses to Shao Wen that she is in love with Sheng En. Omg. All I can say is that this scene is the most intense scene yet and it’s also very heartbreaking. Tian Xin totally nailed this scene with the way she breaks down crying as she tries to say “I’m sorry” over and over. Yi Zhen just pours out whatever she can because she is an emotional wreck, omg and Shao Wen is just super scary yet also pitiful at the same time.
Shao Wen: “Why do you need to love another man?”
Yi Zhen: “Because when I’m with him, I can feel my own existence. I don’t understand why in this family, I can only be Li Shao Wen’s wife or the Li family’s daughter in law. Why…why can’t I be myself?”
The best part of this scene is when Shao Wen asks Yi Zhen why she loves another man and she replies that she can be herself with Sheng En. OUCH. I think that’s the best way to describe why she fell for Sheng En, it’s because she has her own identity and she actually feels like she is worth something when she’s with him..whereas when she is with Shao Wen, she is always in the shadow of him and his family. This is also the moment when I realized that Shao Wen still doesn’t understand Yi Zhen’s point of view. I get that he has done a lot for their marriage and he’s tried to protect her from his parents..but he still doesn’t understand why Yi Zhen feels so suffocated in this marriage and why it’s so important for her to have her own identity. When Yi Zhen tells him all this, (quoted above) he’s just incredulous and acts as though it’s a given that she should want to be known as his wife and not as her own self. If Shao Wen & Yi Zhen are going to reconcile I’d say that Shao Wen really has a long way to go before he can fully understand Yi Zhen again.
As I said before, episodes 7-10 are the must-watch episodes of A Good Wife. If you dropped the drama somewhere in the beginning but are still curious about what happens later on, I’d suggest you watch these few episodes because A LOT of major developments happen and there are plenty of memorable scenes. Tian Xin & Christopher Lee were great in the big scene of ep10 and I think it will stick in my mind for a really long time. Darren Qiu is also doing well although his acting does not make me feel as much as Tian Xin/Christopher Lee’s acting does.
Oh, and I wanted to talk about the side characters-Shao Wen’s mom & his sister Shao Fen. I think it would be great if both or one of these two would be supportive of Yi Zhen…although my guess is that they will be on Shao Wen’s side. (since they are his family after all) Shao Wen’s mom is actually the one who will be able to understand Yi Zhen’s feelings the most because she has been living Yi Zhen’s life for decades now. She has always played the role of the good wife and you can tell that although she pretends it’s ok she is actually very lonely. Perhaps she even has it worse because her husband is super sexist and BLEGH.