Recap and Thoughts

A bit more background of the unknown individual following Fang Xiao Rou is revealed when Fang Xiao Rou and this unknown individual finally meet face-to-face during Fang Xiao Rou and Jiang Pei Ying’s morning trip to the supermarket looking for ingredients for training.

Han Jie, Chris and Fang Xiao Rou

Love Cuisine Ep 18 Screenshot
Love Cuisine Ep 18 Screenshot

This first meeting between Fang Xiao Rou and this unknown individual is worthy of jealousy from Han Jie if he were there to see it: a careless worker towing a stack of boxes on an inventory tow trolley almost sends a display unit of potatoes onto Fang Xiao Rou when it clips a wheel to a part of the display unit Fang Xiao Rou is bent over looking at onions placed a level below. The unknown individual comes in swooping Fang Xiao Rou out of harm’s way and into his safe arms. The saving doesn’t only happen once. He saves Fang Xiao Rou a second time when, backing away from him after a short time being lost in the moment, Fang Xiao Rou steps on a potato on the floor and becomes unsteady. The unknown individual immediately grabs onto Fang Xiao Rou’s wrist and brings Fang Xiao Rou back to him.

This unknown individual is simply known as Chris (played by Chris Wang) and though Fang Xiao Rou doesn’t remember him, these two have known each other for some ten years, are former classmates, they shared their first kisses with each other and Fang Xiao Rou is his first love. It also seems Fang Xiao Rou has made a promise—one that Fang Xiao Rou doesn’t remember. We hear this through their second chance meeting at a place selling books.

Chris continues to make known of his interest in Fang Xiao Rou to her at this second chance meeting. Chris brings his face up close to Fang Xiao Rou’s and he asks her to spend a day going on a date with him. Fang Xiao Rou rejects him, of course. She has a boyfriend. As that is, Chris seems to be only playing around with her. He soon reveals to Fang Xiao Rou that he only wishes to be good friends with her because it’s men he likes and the reason he had liked Fang Xiao Rou back then was that he had mistaken her for a boy with her short hair.

Love Cuisine Ep 18 Screenshot
Love Cuisine Ep 18 Screenshot

It’s Han Jie who he has in his sights. With the fun-loving personality that Chris shows to have, it can be difficult to differentiate playfulness from affection. Grinding his behind against Han Jie’s body, getting Han Jie to touch his behind, slapping Han Jie’s behind, touching Han Jie’s body and words declaring his love towards Han Jie—all these only has Han Jie finding it annoying and clingy and not moves on him that repel him.

This fact of liking Han Jie, Chris only reveals it to Fang Xiao Rou and he also asks her to keep it a secret. It seems he’s uncomfortable with Han Jie knowing this about him or it could be that it’s something else he’s wanting to hide. It could be that all of this is Chris way of fuelling the love he has for competiting against Han Jie.

"You’re the only person who can stimulate my passion and determination," Chris says to Han Jie when they prepare ingredients for some dishes during Han Jie and Fang Xiao Rou’s visit to Fang Xiao Rou’s father’s restaurant. This follows off from understanding the reason to why Chris had contacted Han Jie and stalked Fang Xiao Rou.

In a scene earlier, a scene where Li Zhi Chao informs Han Jie Shi Wen High School is the school they are going up against and they will be led by someone going by the name of ‘Christmas’, Han Jie recalls the conversation he had with Chris after the pursuit in the seafood market (previous episode). In this conversation that Han Jie recalls, we find out that Chris had come back for the purpose of continuing competition with Han Jie. Chris seems to have the curiosity of seeing how much more quickly he can defeat Han Jie. This is indicated by when Chris asks Han Jie if Han Jie is curious about whether or not he is able to defeat him in one second. When Han Jie tells Chris he doesn’t want to compete against him and no one other than himself is his competitor, Chris says he knows a way to change this: use the person who changed him—Fang Xiao Rou. Using Fang Xiao Rou will bring about the Han Jie he likes—one that competes with him.

Love Cuisine Ep 18 Screenshot
Love Cuisine Ep 18 Screenshot

Chris‘ attempts to have Han Jie compete with him brings Han Jie to offer Chris one. Disliking the feeling of waiting for people to make the move, Han Jie allows Chris to set the topic to a challenge he invites Chris to have with him at Suiyi Restaurant (we believe this is Fang Xiao Rou’s father’s restaurant). This offer of a competition is Han Jie’s hope to stop further challenges coming from Chris—ones that Han Jie have expressed as always seeing the things he values taken away from him. Chris isn’t interested in this challenge Han Jie has offered him and wishes to continue competing in the challenge worth much more to Han Jie. This seems to be the national high school cooking competition. The importance of the national high school cooking competition to Han Jie seem to be more about fulfilling the dream Fang Xiao Rou has of winning it, hinted through when Han Jie mentions Fang Xiao Rou as being the person who holds his heart and he’d worry that she’d be (more) upset if they lost it. When Han Jie tells Chris to accept this competition or not at all and warns him not to mess around with Fang Xiao Rou or cooking and walks away from him, Chris heeds to the warning and takes up the offer.

Wang Mai Zhi and Wei Qi Zhen

Love Cuisine Ep 18 Screenshot
Love Cuisine Ep 18 Screenshot

Wang Mai Zhi arrives back to the meeting place too late. The following day before school, Wang Mai Zhi goes around the block trying to catch sight of Wei Qi Zhen. It’s eight times around the block, but still no Wei Qi Zhen in sight.

Wei Qi Zhen eventually appears, but it’s at a time when Wang Mai Zhi agrees to give Liu Xuan and Ma Chong Sheng a ride after Ma Chong Sheng stops his car to request giving Liu Xuan a ride because of her injured foot. The moment Wang Mai Zhi spots Wei Qi Zhen and calls to Wei Qi Zhen, it’s when Liu Xuan pops her head up from the car. Wang Mai Zhi is made to run to catch up with Wei Qi Zhen, but she disappears from him much too quickly.

There is a chance for Wang Mai Zhi to talk to Wei Qi Zhen during a practical lesson on using potatoes in a dessert dish in the kitchen classroom when Han Jie tells him and the students to work in pairs. Wang Mai Zhi immediately asks Wei Qi Zhen to partner up with him. However, Han Jie decides to follow it up with an additional instruction of working with another of the same gender and the chance is gone. Wang Mai Zhi ends up waiting until break time to have the chance to talk to Wei Qi Zhen to explain himself to why he hadn’t shown up to their meetup yesterday evening.

Love Cuisine Ep 18 Screenshot
Love Cuisine Ep 18 Screenshot

When Wang Mai Zhi begins, Wei Qi Zhen interjects. She already knows the reason to why he hadn’t shown up. When she was partnered up with Liu Xuan for the potato dessert lesson and Liu Xuan expressed pain in the leg, she heard he helped her to the hospital. Wang Mai Zhi asks if she was okay about it. She is. She isn’t angry, either, because she knows he’s just a nice guy.

Wang Mai Zhi reveals to Wei Qi Zhen the place he had intended to take her to for yesterday evening’s practice lesson. It is his family restaurant. The reason for wanting to take her to his family restaurant is to expose her to fine foods so she can increase her knowledge and bring her culinary skill level up to match his. This is what Wang Mai Zhi tells Wei Qi Zhen. However, it seems it may just be a want of his to bring Wei Qi Zhen to his family restaurant: when Wei Qi Zhen declines Wang Mai Zhi’s invitation to go there in the weekends with the reason of being unable to afford the food at such an upper-class restaurant and leaves, Wang Mai Zhi angrily calls Wei Qi Zhen an idiot before he shouts aloud to the air that it’s the first time he’s asked a friend to go there and he isn’t expecting her to pay.

Love Cuisine Ep 18 Screenshot
Love Cuisine Ep 18 Screenshot

In the two times Wang Mai Zhi is face-to-face with Wei Qi Zhen, he doesn’t notice the red nose that gives clue to Wei Qi Zhen being sick. It’s when he bumps into Jiang Pei Ying and being informed by her that Wei Qi Zhen had in actual fact waited two hours after the meeting time instead of having gone home as soon as it started raining as Wei Qi Zhen had told him she did during their talk earlier that Wang Mai Zhi goes finding Wei Qi Zhen again. After he finds her and asks her about it why she lied and tells her off for being so foolish, he feels her body and forehead hot. He immediately scoops her into his arms and carries her to the kitchen classroom where he makes Wei Qi Zhen a remedy for her flu.

Love Cuisine Ep 18 Screenshot
Love Cuisine Ep 18 Screenshot

It’s here where Wang Mai Zhi makes Wei Qi Zhen a flu remedy for her to drink that Wei Qi Zhen is able to collect another item he promised to give her for doing well—the mug she drinks from is one of those items. Wei Qi Zhen’s happiness in obtaining another item, she asks Wang Mai Zhi why he’s being nice to her. It’s that he’s nice to his friends and even nicer to his good friends, he explains. “Am I the only one in the world who has an autographed picture of him and a mug? she asks. When Wang Mai Zhi confirms she is, she asks him how he’d feel if she treated him nicer than a good friend. Wang Mai Zhi seems to not understand the real question Wei Qi Zhen is asking him. She seems to be asking how he’d feel if she treated him nicer like a boyfriend when he simply redefines their friendship to be super-good friends. Wei Qi Zhen could only respond with saying she will do her best in being his super-good friend.

But Wang Mai Zhi might understand a bit of what had been meant by Wei Qi Zhen’s question when Wei Qi Zhen boldly kisses him on the cheek to answer his question of what things good friends can’t do. This comes about from his initial question of asking what she had meant by ‘she will do her best’ and Wei Qi Zhen responds with telling Wang Mai Zhi she would list out all the things good friends can and can’t do and says to do only what good friends can do in the future. After telling off Wei Qi Zhen for being so bold as to tell him what he can do and can’t do, Wang Mai Zhi challenging Wei Qi Zhen to tell him some of things good friends can’t do brings her to boldly show him with a kiss on the cheek. "Good friends can’t do this," Wei Qi Zhen says before runs away. Wang Mai Zhi brushes the place Wei Qi Zhen had kissed him with a knuckle and smirks at Wei Qi Zhen’s boldness.

Final Thoughts

It feels like we’re constantly running around and trying to catch up with plots, recently. The writer seems to like to take you in one direction, make you expect it to develop then takes you to another. It feels like episodes are filled with plots that are always— ‘it’s not what it seems’. And what results from them aren’t worth the deception. The actual end point always turn out feeling weak and anti-climatic.

Making Fang Xiao Rou appear like she has a love rival when this love rival character is merely a playful character who loves to compete with Han Jie isn’t something all that interesting. The purpose of Chris is (so far) looking to be to ruffle Han Jie. The purpose of chasing Fang Xiao Rou is also for this reason: it’s so to make Han Jie worry that Chris will take away from him everything he values and make Han Jie compete against him. This seems to be the reason for Chris being so stalker-like to Fang Xiao Rou and not because he’s actually interested in Fang Xiao Rou.

The developments show another layer. Han Jie is yet again a heavenly dish for another—Han Jie is Chris’ cup of tea. Chris likes men not women. Fang Xiao Rou is let in on this, but not Han Jie. For once, Fang Xiao Rou seems to know something Han Jie doesn’t. But Fang Xiao Rou may not be let in on any useful fact when we can’t help think this is part of his game to make Han Jie compete with him. He’s not really interested in men. It’s just part of his game. Saying that though, it doesn’t make sense to have Chris lie about his preference to Fang Xiao Rou. So, maybe Chris really does like men. Don’t know. This part really confuses us. Right now, evidence shows Chris does like men. Fang Xiao Rou believes it. We can also only believe it since there isn’t anything suggesting it’s a trick. Only the writers know and we’d imagine Han Jie could tell us if Chris is lying and tell us if this is possibly a way of ruffling and frustrating his opponents.

We find it so strange how Fang Xiao Rou doesn’t remember the person she gave her first kiss to. It’s really odd. Chris says he’s kept her in his heart for 10 years, so Fang Xiao Rou would have been 16 years old (we think Fang Xiao Rou is noted down as being 25). She should remember. We can only think that maybe she isn’t able to remember him is because he’s playing around—again. Fang Xiao Rou did ask herself if he was being real or fake after he left. Fake—that’s what we think. There was a scene that seem to suggest it could be fake. It’s the one where Chris went to prove to Fang Xiao Rou that they know each other from 10 years ago with showing a picture, but he quickly retracts it when Fang Xiao Rou goes to have a look. If believing it as fake is correct, then that entire scene was really pointless—well, actually, maybe not pointless since it helps show that Chris is competitive to the point of making things up!

Because of the uncertainty of a lot of things, we aren’t sure what we’re supposed to look forward to in this main plot. Being uncertain about how important Chris is in the national high school cooking competition, not being told crisp clear that he is participating, not entirely sure if any of what he said about liking men is true—we’re lost in where and what to be excited about with so many things we’re in the dark about.

Even if we put Chris as being Han Jie’s competitor in cooking like in the national high school cooking competition (this is the plot point we’d be most interested in), it still doesn’t do anything to make us feel excited to watch this part of the story. We’ve been shown Chris is strong and unbeatable because Han Jie shows he is ruffled, frustrated and losing his cool over his ways—but, there’s nothing that makes us wish to see Han Jie win. There’s nothing that makes us worry about seeing Han Jie lose, either.

On sort of a tangent, but related, why is the camera also constantly focusing on that double ring that Chris has? Is it just to show character and it’s nothing significant? This is like Han Jie and his arm and not liking it being hit. From Episode 2, we thought Han Jie and his arm was going to be used in the future. The future has come and nothing. What is this focus on the ring?

Back to Han Jie and why we’re indifferent to him losing or winning. Han Jie said Fang Xiao Rou had his heart at that end scene of the episode. He worries she will be more upset over losing the national high school cooking competition. It’ll make him sad. This is nothing major. He’s not going to lose Fang Xiao Rou. She won’t be so upset that she leaves him for losing the competition. She will be sad Han Jie couldn’t make her dream of winning a cooking competition that she’s also supervising in come true and we can see how he would be sad that he couldn’t make her dreams come true. But, it isn’t do or die. Han Jie is made to act like it’s do or die when it isn’t because he won’t be losing Fang Xiao Rou and there’s next year.

We also haven’t been shown how losing another battle to Chris will affect Han Jie and Chris hasn’t shown how strong he is. We guess that’s what’s to come in the next episode. Still, even if Chris is strong, there is nothing to root for with nothing shown to be truly at stake.

No, we aren’t at all enjoying how things have developed in the main plot and we aren’t enjoying the writing style. There needs to be an ounce of predictability in the direction of the story to make a story interesting and entertaining. We don’t know what we should believe and take seriously, either. If we see this plot suddenly move in another direction, we’ll be hitting the screen!

The only stable and predictable plot (the good kind of predictable) now is Wang Mai Zhi and Wei Qi Zhen. The result of the cliffhanger was good. We didn’t expect Wang Mai Zhi to catch up with Wei Qi Zhen. We did feel the smile Wang Mai Zhi had found someone who looked like Wei Qi Zhen. We didn’t expect anything else. We did wish that Wang Mai Zhi did make it in time. That would have been nice. But we definitely think the outcome that did eventuate to be the more likely one and correct when this relationship has to last to the last episode or at least to the competition and have all the sweet stuff happen around when the competition comes around.

There’s one thing in this relationship plot we’re wondering about, though. Is Kong Meng Zhe already exiting as a love rival? In this episode, with a very insightful reason, Kong Meng Zhe reveals that he knows Wei Qi Zhen likes Wang Mai Zhi after he takes her to the sickbay. He can see it because when you like someone you tend to observe them closely. He concludes that it’s a wonderful thing to like someone because it’s a secret that makes you smile. And though he will continue to chase after the girl he likes, he wishes Wei Qi Zhen the best of luck. Is this the writer’s way of saying there will be no more rivalling activity from Kong Meng Zhe and this is his send off? Are they saying a big love rival action has already taken place?—that being Kong Meng Zhe carrying Wei Qi Zhen to the sickbay. This is it. We’re wrapping this up simply with Kong Meng Zhe being understanding.

Aside from that, the Wang Mai Zhi and Wei Qi Zhen plot is cute and still has potential for good things to come. We hope this plot doesn’t get the same treatment as the main plot with extremely unpredictable directions that change constantly.

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