The Pursuit of Happiness: Ep 8

Drama ReviewsTaiwanese Dramas

Perhaps you remember that I thought episode 7 was a total flop.  I wasn’t too nervous about ep8 following in its predecessor’s footsteps since I have great faith that POH can make it, even though its direction may seem a bit iffy for now.  Well as expected, ep 8 does greatly improve from ep7 but I wouldn’t go so far as to say it is on par with the previous episodes.  I think ep7 was a detour and now ep8 is where the drama is recovering & recollecting itself.  It’s where we’re getting back into the groove of POH, slowly but surely.

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I’m sure all Yi Kang fans will be very pleased to know that episode 8 is where Yi Kang finally has a change of heart and transitions from being friendly-cuddly-bear Yi Kang to ~ROMANTIC~ YI KANG.  😛  (He’s still a cuddly teddy bear in romantic-mode though!)  I don’t think he has totally fallen for Lei Lei yet, but he is in the middle of questioning what their relationship really is.  Doubt! Yes, doubt is the beginning of everything!  Yi Kang wonders what he should talk about with Lei Lei and then realizes that everything they talk about is like…what a couple would talk about.  And you know, they’re living with each other so they’re basically like A MARRIED COUPLE.  I love the part when Jia Yi/Tiffany comment to Lei Lei that surely it must be a nice feeling to have a companion around the house.  I think that’s the way Yi Kang feels, he knows Lei Lei is a great companion but he wonders if it could be something more than that.

Perhaps the thing I love most about Yi Kang though, is that he sees Lei Lei for who she really is and he still views her as a beautiful person.  He has seen her worst and weakest moments and I think he is well-aware that he is one of the few people who has gotten to see those other sides of her.  Also this may sound weird, but I think Lei Lei is sometimes the most beautiful in times of adversity. O_O  It’s hard to describe, but I feel like when she is struggling, we see her weakness but we can also see her strengths.  I don’t know, maybe it’s just me?  And I’m just guessing here, but maybe Yi Kang also feels the same way.

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As for Lei Lei, she is also making a big transition in ep8 as she finally decides once and for all to let go of Wei Ting.  Sure she already told Wei Ting she would forget him in ep7 but we all know that in her heart she still could not let go of him.  I think what it boils down to is that she is really fearful of moving on because she doesn’t know what’s ahead for her.  She is so scared of her future and so fearful of not being able to return to her past.  I think Wei Ting is a large part of her life & a big part of her identity..and now that she has to let go of him, what is left?  Who is she without Wei Ting? I’m not saying that Wei Ting defines her identity or anything, but I think he is such a big part of her life that she doesn’t know what it would be like if she doesn’t love him anymore.  Anyways I think the drama kinda overemphasized the whole Wei Ting’s-post-cards thing but I really love that part when Lei Lei just stands there and rests her head against the wall where the post-cards are.  Nothing is really said but I think that’s where I feel like Lei Lei knows she’s reached the impasse & that Wei Ting has got to go.

“I can’t let go of He Wei Ting because I want to find the way I used to be.”

Well you may be very surprised but..one of my favorite scenes of this episode is actually WITH WEI TING.  There are other favorite scenes that have Wei Ting in them (i.e. Lei Lei’s confession scene) but for the most part, I just ignored his presence (AHAHA).  Here though he actually wasn’t annoying and he ACTUALLY HELPS LEI LEI GET OVER HIM.  OMG THANK YOU WEI TING.  My favorite part of this scene is when Lei Lei tells Wei Ting that she’ll ‘show’ him that she can be happy.  Wei Ting replies that it doesn’t matter about ‘showing’ him if she’s not genuinely happy inside.  That line definitely hit me, both for Lei Lei & myself.  Lei Lei is trying so hard to prove to everyone that she’s okay and that her life is fine..but that doesn’t really matter when she is actually miserable inside.  Personally I think we’ve all had that feeling where we’re all “well I’ll show YOU I can be happy & successful!” and then we do a double take and think “wait..what’s the point if I’m not actually happy then?”.

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“I’ve decided.  I can start to forget.”

I don’t know how this episode is different from the previous ones but for some reason, this is when I saw Lei Lei in a bit of a different light & realized that she is extremely fearful.  In fact she is paralyzed by her fear.  We have seen her vulnerability over and over again but something about this time is different. I suppose it’s because she is finally facing her greatest fear of moving on.  That being said, Lei Lei really surprised me in this episode as I think this is actually where I could relate to her the most.  There are tons of other moments when I could relate to her, but this one where she is paralyzed by her fear is where I was all “I totally get that!”.  Lei Lei is really scared to take a big leap, let alone take one tiny step forward.  I find myself rooting for her more and more to jump into Yi Kang’s arms  summon the courage to be able to make the first step!

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Well I’m pretty sure that this is the favorite scene for everyone because it is so beautifully filmed (that lighting! omg!), Yi Kang and Lei Lei are INCHES APART the entire time, AND THERE’S AN ATTEMPTED KISS AT THE END.  OMGAWD.  I don’t really know what to say about this scene because the whole time I was just GAWKING at Yi Kang..so sorry, not much analysis here.  HEHEHEHEHEHE~~~  Also I’m not sure if I should mention this because it is so obvious that the ferris wheel ride is like a ‘metaphor’ (if we can even call it that) for how Lei Lei is moving on with her life & facing her fears.  She STEPS onto the ferris wheel = taking the first step.  She HOLDS YI KANG’S HAND = moving on with Yi Kang.  She LOOKS OUTSIDE = facing her fears.  OH yes, it is SO symbolic. 😛

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Anyways, actually the pacing for this episode is slower than usual but MAN.  The moment when that one song starts playing towards the end…(I don’t know the title but it’s that catchy song that is so PERFECT for this scene)  I feel like the intensity suddenly amped up a notch and I immediately started going ‘MOREEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!! MOREEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!’ at the screen.

“Ji An Lei, do you remember that I told you when the sun shines on your face, you really look very pretty.”

And it didn’t help when Yi Kang says the most SWOONY THING EVER and then MOVES IN FOR A KISS AND OMG OMG OMG OMG.  AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!   *breaks out into giggling laughter*  TALK ABOUT A FREAKING CLIFF HANGER!!!  Well *spoiler spoiler* I couldn’t help myself, I went ahead and watched the very beginning of episode 9 and…..[highlight spoiler to read: *SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER*  THEY DON’T KISS.  DARN YOU DRAMA!!!!!!!!!!!! *SHAKES FIST*  I THOUGHT THEY WERE GONNA KISS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  DARN YOUUUU!!!!!!!!!!!  ]

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So as I mentioned just now, the episode is going at a slow pace and there are still some awkward parts in the episode.  i.e.  the whole bit about Simon hitting on Yi Kang.  Amusing yes but not really necessary.  Another odd part would be Tiffany’s whole making out with her new boyfriend in the elevator..um I think it was supposed to be funny/steaming hot but instead it looked awkward. O__O” There are some other parts that feel a bit off, or could’ve flowed more smoothly in the episode..but I think they don’t really stand out in my mind compared to the better parts of the episode so oh well.

Anyways the ending scene totally changed my view of the slow pacing….I realized it makes me get this feeling, where I feel like the drama is dangling a carrot in front of me BUT NOT GIVING ME THE CARROT.  This whole time the drama is all “OH LOOK..YI KANG AND LEI LEI COULD KISS…” *They almost kiss* “…….BUT NO…NOT YET.”  Me: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO JUST GIVE IT TO ME ALREADY!!!!!  I think POH is not the kind of drama where I am anxiously awaiting the latest episode but wow, it really does build up the anticipation so that before I even know it, I just want Lei Lei & Yi Kang to be together so badly!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Overall

This episode was not perfect, but I am definitely glad that Lei Lei is finally moving on from Wei Ting.  I have no idea what purpose Wei Ting & Hai Lun will serve now that Lei Lei & Yi Kang are over them..but hopefully they will play less of a role now. (LOL)  Or maybe they will just be the cupids that help bring together Lei Lei & Yi Kang? I will be really happy if we can focus more on our OTP and less on the love square!  Also from the preview for ep9, it sounds like maybe Lei Lei will friend-zone Yi Kang?? Augh I hope he doesn’t get forever friend-zoned! >__<

I will leave you with one of the songs from the OST, sung by TONY HIMSELF!! I’ve been looking for this for so long, omg!

Empty (空蕩) by Tony Yang

Source: Quote Translation Credit: Viki Channel

heisui

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!
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  • Yes to the romantic side of Yi Kang! He is such a hearty guy! He always thinks of An Lei before himself! I love that he doesn’t throw what he is feeling towards her. He knows that she still isn’t over Wei Ting yet so he doesn’t want to force anything on her. An Lei isn’t really over Wei Ting yet. She is still learning to move on while Yi Kang has completely moved on from Helen. It was really nice to see the progress that Yi Kang has made. It was all really swift from how he moved on from Helen to falling for An Lei.

    Wei Ting is apart of who An Lei is. Without Wei Ting who is she? For 15 years, she has lived her life with him but now she is without him. This is a journey for her to rediscover herself and realise that she can do without Wei Ting. It will also get her to see that Wei Ting was never the one for her and never will be.

    LOL, now that you mention the ferris wheel ride, it is really symbolic. Actually, everything that An Lei and Yi Kang does in the drama are all very symbolic!

    • I just hope that Lei Lei will not get with Yi Kang just as a way to forget Wei Ting..I hope she gets together with him because she truly likes him! Hmm well yes, Wei Ting is separate from who Lei Lei is..but like you said, she will have to do some soul-searching for who she is without him now.

      I wasn’t expecting WT & HL to bring together LL and YK like this, it was a pleasant surprise!

    • I struggle a little with Lei Lei not knowing who she is without Wei Ting. She has known him for a long time, and he’s always been part of her life, but at the same time it’s not like they have been TOGETHER for 15 years. They broke up, got back together and broke up. He’s spent years away from Taiwan, so, in fact, Lei Lei in fact knows how to live without him. She’s got a functioning life without him – a job, friends, family. So while I can see some degree of identity crisis, if she’s honest with herself, she actually has been perfectly able to live without him already. I guess she always had hope of a happy-ever-after with him, and that’s the part that needs readjusting, but she in fact has many things in place already that indicate that she’s doing just fine.

      Again, this is a point where I wish Lei Lei would accept that she’s just fine by herself, before ending up with Yi Kang, because going from one to the other (idea that happiness is only possible if you have a man), the same might repeat in 10 years time when she gets divorced (we know that’s not going to happen of course, but in real life it could).

      • Ok maybe LL is not having a full on “WHO AM I NOW” identity crisis..but I was kinda thinking of how in ep7, she mentioned she doesn’t even know what she wants anymore…I think that without Wei Ting who filled up so much of her heart, she now has to redefine herself without him…or something..ugh idk..

  • Ohh! Finally. 🙂

    Ep 8 was better than Ep 7, although I did have some issues with it. I still don’t get the logic behind why Lei Lei and Yi Kang slept on the street, given that Yi Kang was 100% sober. I guess the writers thought it would be romantic, but I think they’ve never actually slept on the street to know that’s something you don’t do just for the fun of it (I’ve slept in airports and in a hallway once, I don’t want even think about sleeping outside on the street).

    Other than that, the girlfriends bug me! Lei Lei is finally ready to move on and they bring up again the ‘win back WT, he’s got a spark of jealousy in his eye’. LL is ready to move on! WT isn’t interested in her AND he has a girlfriend that he is HAPPY with and that is actually a NICE person. What’s with this attitude of it’s okay to steal a guy? I can see it from Tiffany because her life is sort of like that, but the married girlfriend? How would she feel? Anyhow… I’m fairly certain that Lei Lei is going to ignore them on this and finally start moving on, the preview hints at that in any case.

    THey might use the friendzoning as a narrative thread for a while, and then possibly they might just reverse things, i.e. WT and HL getting jealous and not being quite over their exes (which I think would be lame). We’ll see. I hope we don’t get too much friendzoning either…

    • YEAH it makes NO sense why they slept on the street. Maybe LL was too drunk to stay on the motorcycle but even then, call a cab….there is no point in sleeping on the street. T__T Agree 100% about Tiffany & Jia Yi..I think it’s funny when they’re spazzing over YK but come on, it’s time to stop pushing the whole chase-after-WT thing already. I wish they would gently help LL move on with her life rather than teasing her about winning back WT.

      • Spazzing over YK is one thing, but seriously trying to convince LL to chase after WT yet again… I felt like it’s just going in circle. Watched Ep 9, which didn’t help. Just made me wonder, is that all people do? Constantly try to pretend about their relationship status and deceive someone? (Won’t say too much since I don’t want to spoil it for you.)

          • Are you watching In a Good Way? My problem is, increasingly, that In a Good Way is so good and real that I find certain things that happen in PoH that just don’t seem like they would happen in real life even more difficult to swallow. I get it’s supposed to be funny, but this repeat-cycle of “let’s pretend for the sake of a) making someone jealous b) winning the ex back c) deceiving someone because we can’t just ignore stupid gossip d) making someone happy because we can’t be honest about the state of our own lives” is just getting a bit too much. Especially since the characters are 35 and should be grown-up enough to actually feel confident in their life and choices. I still like the characters, but I may have to stop watching…

            • No I’m not and I probably won’t anytime soon. I don’t really feel like watching it for some reason. >_<

              At this point I think that whole plotline is already over. LL's BFF's might be still trying to push it but that time has passed and LL knows it. Now I think YK will be wooing LL hehe

              • Probably not a bad idea to hold off, as it might go down the drain just yet. We are only 5 episodes in after all, and though they are the best I’ve seen as yet with any TW drama I’ve watched, I’ve been disappointed half-way through too many times!

  • Excellent, was looking forward to your review and screencaps. I’m also with you on the ending and what happens in the next ep.

    I can get it being hard for her to move on so quickly, not really that she needs WT but I could understand it being hard to accept that she spent so long pining for something that will ultimately not come to pass. It reminds me of some people I know who would be better off apart but are determined to make it work because they don’t want to have “wasted that time”. Maybe that’s why she hasn’t moved on from her job even though her career seems stagnated there.

    I do think though that she will take her time and refocus on her…obviously there is a lot of stuff she needs to think about. Friendship wise, she has great friends and money-wise she seems stable. But she is going to have to figure out what to do about her job too, since it doesn’t seem like there are any other openings she can move up into. She has decided to deal with it for now which was mature, but I would be planning my way out to a company with more growth.

    • Good point about her job. I doubt she will switch jobs since all of her coworkers are side characters in the story. Maybe she’s not as miserable seeing HL now but still has she forgotten about the lost promotion? :/

      • Agreed : Thematically, it would make sense for her to move on past the title she was thinking of getting for years and find something new to strive for (just like with her relationship)… maybe a new department will open or something that needs a leader 🙂

        • Yes I wish that POH would focus on all aspects of LL’s life and not just her love life. >_< Lately it feels like her work scenes are only for humor/to show how she & YK are together at work. Hopefully there will be more progress in the upcoming work scenes!

  • Girl! It’s me~ Sorry I haven’t been here lately. Final week. 4 down, 2 more to go~
    I gotta leave this ……… ‘WHAT?’
    I had to look twice when scroll down and saw “Empty (空蕩) by Tony Yang” because I thought Tony can’t sing! I go watch it now~ I didn’t know he sings a track in the drama~ Interesting.
    And besides PoH, I’m also following Heirs. It’s a good time to start since it’s ending tomorrow. TBH, the drama is a huge joke but I’m glad I pick it up because of
    Kim.
    Woo.
    Bin!
    <3

    • OMG! Tony, TONY, T-O-N-Y sang this song~? I’m impressed! keke!
      But I can’t help to think how similar this track was to a fav of mine.
      It’s a movie track. I recommend this HKmovie too. Too Young (with Jaycee Chan and Fiona Sit).

    • Yah you were MIA, Ah Man!!!! That’s ok I think we are all busy with finals >__<" HEHEH yup I really like Tony's song in this drama..although it's not played very often =_=

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