Episode 03 Recap
Zhong Yu Tang does anything to get Mei Mei back on the shelves, fuelled by Huang Jia Yin’s situation of an abusive ex-husband wishing to gain custody of her child.
At the hospital, Zhong Yu Tang witnesses and hears Huang Jia Yin’s ex-husband tell Huang Jia Yin he will battle her for custody of their child after he appears to suggest himself of having a case against her being an unfit mother with putting her child in ICU. When Huang Jia Yin’s ex-husband leaves, Huang Jia Yin tells Zhong Yu Tang of his ex-husband’s violent ways every time he drank, that he had hit her whilst pregnant and it took her a long time to convince him to agree to sign the divorce papers and give custody of their child to her. Huang Jia Yin remember the words Miao Ai Sha said to her back at Tianxi. She now worries about Sales Team 3 having the possibility of being removed from the organisation with the threat of her abusive ex-husband wishing to fight for the custody of their child. Zhong Yu Tang tells Huang Jia Yin to not worry. They can work together to find a solution.
Zhong Yu Tang meets up with Vice General Manager Wu of Di Shi Kang after Huang Jia Yin helps her arrange a meeting. Zhong Yu Tang manages to obtain a meeting with Vice General Manager Wu, but it doesn’t result in a renewal of the contract for Mei Mei.
Mei Mei’s declining sales figures for the past few years is what Zhong Yu Tang uses to convince Vice General Manager to give Mei Mei soap another chance. She says: though the sales figures are declining, they aren’t declining particularly badly. Vice General Manager expresses the sales figures should have been worse: he tells Zhong Yu Tang that the sales figures of Mei Mei that she speaks of declining, but not declining particularly badly is due to Di Shi Kang’s—or rather—his charitable efforts. It’s with his help of giving Mei Mei to nursing homes that has brought these figures to a declining trend that isn’t too bad. And it’s the good and close business relationship Huang Jia Yin has with him that prevented Mei Mei from being removed from the shelves for two years as he speaks of time and again bailing her out of problems. Zhong Yu Tang asks for a chance. She expresses her determination with promising to be there whenever he needs her to be there and will be on call 24/7 at the store if need be. But, it’s no use. Vice General Manager Wu seems to speak of the importance of building a great rapport with their business partners for things to be fruitful—just as Huang Jia Yin had said to Zhong Yu Tang after she gave Vice General Manager Wu a message if he had time to meet with her so Zhong Yu Tang could speak to him—when he asks why this seemingly important matter about Mei Mei had not gotten Huang Jia Yin to come to the meeting to handle herself—why a rookie like Zhong Yu Tang was present in this meeting with him, instead. He tells Zhong Yu Tang they will have to fend for themselves then leaves.
Zhong Yu Tang goes to Di Shi Kang with the hope of having a meeting with Director Cai. The trip only sees Ji Wen Kai tell her off for not using her brain.
After the unsuccessful meeting with Vice General Manager Wu, Zhong Yu Tang goes to Di Shi Kang to see Director Cai. She comes across the obstacle of his secretary who uses methods well-known to her to brush her off. The secretary asks Zhong Tang to just leave her business card and the director will get in contact with her if he wishes to. Zhong Yu Tang doesn’t do so, knowing that doing so will only see her business card thrown out and her chance to save Huang Jia Yin and Sales Team 3 will be gone. She uses trickery to get past the secretary: she pretends one of her contacts has popped out. She asks the secretary to help her look for it. The secretary begins to help look for her contacts. Meanwhile, Zhong Yu Tang slowly breaks away from her. But it doesn’t work. The secretary catches Zhong Yu Tang and threatens to call security if she doesn’t leave. Zhong Yu Tang agrees to do so.
Zhong Yu Tang doesn’t leave, though. She hides herself behind a cleaning trolley and wheels it to get to where she needs to go. She doesn’t get anywhere when Ji Wen Kai finds the cleaning trolley oddly moving and puts a hand on the hand rail to stop it. Zhong Yu Tang thinks the secretary has found her. She utters amazement of the secretary being able to find her out before saying she will leave. Both Zhong Yu Tang and Ji Wen Kai are surprised to find each other there when Zhong Yu Tang pops up from behind the cleaning trolley.
Ji Wen Kai takes Zhong Yu Tang aside. Her methods are brainless, Ji Wen Kai expresses. He pleads her to use her brain before acting. She’s a mere salesperson who can only hold Director Cai back to have a face-to-face meeting unlike him who is able to directly meet up with him was Zhong Yu Tang’s defense for her actions. Ji Wen Kai only finds it to be an excuse and exits, unimpressed.
Zhong Yu Tang gets informed by Director Cai’s secretary that Ji Wen Kai hadn’t made a mention of Mei Mei and only talked about the company’s new revitalising mask product. Zhong Yu Tang sees this as Ji Wen Kai’s lack of regard for Mei Mei soap. Angered, she steps in front of the car Ji Wen Kai rides in to stop it.
Zhong Yu Tang is unharmed, but pretends to be. Seemingly, she wishes to see if Ji Wen Kai is human and possesses a heart: she lays herself down onto the ground, closes her eyes and waits for Ji Wen Kai to get to her. He is human and does possess a heart: he says for Zhong Yu Tang to not joke around as he brings her head up to lean against his arm. He says Zhong Yu Tang’s name many times to the limp and unresponsive Zhong Yu Tang. He barks at Miao Ai Sha to quickly call for an ambulance. When Ji Wen Kai returns back to look at Zhong Yu Tang, he finds Zhong Yu Tang’s deathly cold glare looking up at him.
“You cold-blooded monster,” Zhong Yu Tang says to Ji Wen Kai. “You actually have a heart.” Zhong Yu Tang gets up and out of Ji Wen Kai’s arms. Angrily, she asks him why he didn’t help Mei Mei get a second chance when he could have in the meeting with Director Cai. Ji Wen Kai only tells her off for playing the terrible joke she played on him and says she will regret knowing him if she does it again. Being fired seems to be what Zhong Yu Tang reads from Ji Wen Kai’s words. “You can fire me if you want to fire me. There’s no need for so much nonsense!” Zhong Yu Tang retorts. However, Ji Wen Kai reminds her that it’s not only her alone that he can fire. He can also fire the rest of her colleagues in Sales Team 3. Remembering Huang Jia Yin’s situation, this has Zhong Yu Tang thinking how to respond to Ji Wen Kai’s threat. Determination then sets in. “The one who’s not afraid of death is the strongest. I will not let you have the chance to fire Jia Yin. Never.”
Zhong Yu Tang lets go of her pride. She goes to Ji Wen Kai for his help. Ji Wen Kai offers Zhong Yu Tang sales training. When Ji Wen Kai has Zhong Yu Tang come up with a way to reach a sales figure and Zhong Yu Tang uses her sex appeal as the method, Ji Wen Kai calls her effort terrible and brainless. Zhong Yu Tang gets fed up and gives up playing the game he’s controlling.
Zhong Yu Tang lets off steam at a food and drink restaurant with her best friend, Wang Hai Di. Here, Wang Hai Di, convinces Zhong Yu Tang that the pride Zhong Yu Tang says she can’t let go of has no where to go and it’s just the better move to go to Ji Wen Kai’s place, ring his doorbell and satisfy his childish ways to save Mei Mei. Zhong Yu Tang does. Drunk, she rings Ji Wen Kai’s doorbell and offers to allow Ji Wen Kai to order her around for seven days to save Mei Mei. This trip doesn’t bring any results. Her drunken state only has Ji Wen Kai water her down in the shower—clothed, and her returning back to her home in his clothes without any progress. But some time after she gets home from Ji Wen Kai’s place, she gets a message from Ji Wen Kai: accept training from him, dress appropriately and report at his place at 6 am the next day with the products.
The training brings Zhong Yu Tang to first clear leaves from his swimming pool—a task Zhong Yu Tang isn’t happy about doing. She thinks Ji Wen Kai is petty again. It is something she had supervised Ji Wen Kai doing back in high school. The training begins. He brings her to sell the Mei Mei soaps on the street. This ends up with her and Ji Wen Kai making a run and hiding from the police from being caught doing this illegal activity. A short time of this help hands-off help from Ji Wen Kai, Zhong Yu Tang is let off the leash to, again, go think on her own on how to sell the Mei Mei soaps—only now, she has an unreasonable sales figure target to meet as Ji Wen Kai gives her one and it has to be meet by the next day.
An opportunity arises for Zhong Yu Tang in the evening when Wang Hai Di tells her she has a social gathering at a drinking and eating place. A products manager for a department store is there. Zhong Yu Tang promotes the Mei Mei soaps to the products manager of his department store with her childhood story of using the product. The hope is to have the products manager agree to stock it on their shelves. But, he’s only looking to have a drink and fun. Zhong Yu Tang doesn’t give up. Remembering Chen You Rui’s example of a good sales method and the products manager agreeing to stock the item on his store’s shelves if she could convince him, Zhong Yu Tang heads to the bathroom. She unbuttons some buttons on her shirt and reapplies lip gloss. Her method to open up the manager’s wallet to buy Mei Mei soap is by attracting him with her sex appeal. The friends accompanying the products manager immediately offer to buy when Zhong Yu Tang returns with her more attractive look. The products manager, however, asks for a bit more from Zhong Yu Tang: he wants a kiss on the cheek before he agrees to buy.
Zhong Yu Tang hesitates. She doesn’t reach to the point of carrying out the request when Ji Wen Kai—who had been with Miao Ai Sha in another area of the eating and drinking place in a meeting with some businessmen—calls out to Zhong Yu Tang and asks her what she was doing. Ji Wen Kai doesn’t wait for Zhong Yu Tang’s answer. He takes her outside and asks what possessed her; was she selling sex or products? She’s promoting Mei Mei to the department store products manager who, through her effort, may agree to stock Mei Mei, Zhong Yu Tang says. Ji Wen Kai sees no greatness in her effort. He explains to her that the department store of the products manager she’s managed to sell Mei Mei soaps to has only two stores nationwide. Di Shi Kang has over two thousand. The best that they can do is place it at a kiosk. As long as I can sell the products—it’s okay, Zhong Yu Tang says then adds that the method she used just then was no higher class than selling on the street.
Ji Wen Kai’s words become harsh. He realises he has gone too far with them after he sees Zhong Yu Tang’s eyes well up with tears: he attacks her with a rhetorical question of whether being flirtatious and allowing perverted men to feel her up was the sort of thing she was interested in and habitually did. He averts his eyes and tries to stand firm as he simply waits for a response from Zhong Yu Tang.
“Working so hard, trying my best to come up with a way to meet your unreasonable demands and trying my best to come up with ways to sell Mei Mei better, what exactly did I do that was wrong?” Zhong Yu Tang says. Though Ji Wen Kai still can’t look at Zhong Yu Tang’s eyes, Ji Wen Kai is tough enough to again direct harsh words at Zhong Yu Tang: “When the method is wrong, it’s wrong. All the products you’ve sold today will not be counted. Tomorrow, you will go back on the street to sell.” Why do I have to? Zhong Yu Tang asks. “Because you have no choice,” Ji Wen Kai says, eyes now able to look directly at Zhong Yu Tang. The contract and the million dollar penalty fee seem to go through Zhong Yu Tang’s mind. With tears streaming, she tells Ji Wen Kai to not use the fact of her selling herself to him as a threat. “It’s just a million dollars. There’s no need for me to allow you to insult me like this. I’m not playing anymore.”
The events that took place in the evening makes Zhong Yu Tang realise she is a ‘Refresh Man’—but only for a short while. This frame of mind is replaced by determination very quickly. She succeeds in getting Di Shi Kang to renew the contract for Mei Mei.
While Ji Wen Kai reflects on what he said to Zhong Yu Tang, remember the events of the past couple of days and have Zhong Yu Tang’s expression full of hurt fill his mind, Zhong Yu Tang seem to think about resigning when we see her look at the amounts on her bank account book after coming home. The next day we see Zhong Yu Tang take out a cheque for the penalty fee for resigning of one million dollars. However, it seems after a call from Huang Jia Yin where she tells her that her son is doing better and saying that her leaving Di Shi Kang all to Zhong Yu Tang to solve caused her to not be able to sleep the previous night, Zhong Yu Tang has a change of heart. Coming into the office a little late, at a time when Ji Wen Kai is present (he’s come to the office to look for Zhong Yu Tang, concerned she’s given up and wanted to remind her she has five days of training with him left), Zhong Yu Tang tells Ji Wen Kai she no longer requires his training. She tells him she’s got the contract for renewal signed. Ji Wen Kai is surprised and asks Zhong Yu Tang how she did it. Zhong Yu Tang only tells him she has her ways. A call with Director Cai, Ji Wen Kai is informed of a buyer having bought a million dollars worth of Mei Mei soap all at once (~ US$31,000).
Hmm, Ji Wen Kai does look like he’s having a little fun with Zhong Yu Tang—at least a little bit. He says he’s going to train her, but what we see him getting Zhong Yu Tang to do first is clear leaves from his swimming pool. Of course, he does end up training her, but that swimming pool one is just playing around with her. He’s got a bit of that grudge he just need to get off his chest, we guess!
We can see that Ji Wen Kai is giving her a helping hand, though. It’s just that the helping hand he gives is extremely in the background that it appears insignificant. Zhong Yu Tang successfully getting a renewal of contract for Mei Mei for instance—we imagine Zhong Yu Tang would have a repeat of not being able to meet with Director Cai if it weren’t for that little help from Ji Wen Kai. That scene where Ji Wen Kai was in a meeting with Director Cai to talk about the new revitalising mask product, at the end of the meeting Director Cai said, “I understand. If someone looks for me, I will definitely give them an opportunity.” This was after Ji Wen Kai reminded Director Cai of the thing he wanted to trouble him with. Going by what the episode seems to say about how anyone who isn’t important (like a CEO of a company, like Ji Wen Kai) will find it difficult to meet with high and important people, Zhong Yu Tang would most likely have no chance of getting that meeting with Director Cai to renew the contract if it wasn’t for Ji Wen Kai asking Director Cai for that favour. There’s the help. But, it was so small. It was in an extremely shadowy way. It’s too shadowy, we say. Big gestures! Huge help. :oP :oP. Haha. No. This is okay. It makes the Zhong Yu Tang and Ji Wen Kai relationship interesting. Zhong Yu Tang continuing to think Ji Wen Kai is mean and Ji Wen Kai looking to be acting really unreasonable towards Zhong Yu Tang, but actually cares is interesting and entertaining to watch. It’s Episode 3 only. We can handle more butting heads between them and subtle gestures of kindness and care! It’ll make all the big ones that we expect to come later on in the series all the sweeter and grand. :oD :oD.
Wow, wasn’t this episode generous with Zhong Yu Tang and Ji Wen Kai moments?! There was a lot of physical contact between them! Actually, Refresh Man so far has been generous with these kind of close and physical contact between Zhong Yu Tang and Ji Wen Kai. We do feel they come in out of nowhere, though. It’s not the most natural way.
But we do like the scene where Ji Wen Kai was holding the ‘unconscious’ Zhong Yu Tang in his arm. That one was good. We got to see that maybe Ji Wen Kai has a deeper like towards Zhong Yu Tang than what he’s been showing so far. He was rather panicky and frantic when he called Zhong Yu Tang’s name. A really good scene, definitely! We also love how smooth Ji Wen Kai’s expression transitioned from being panicked to unimpressed when he realised Zhong Yu Tang tricked him. Zhong Yu Tang’s glare was really good, too. That flip of the eyes from Zhong Yu Tang to glare at Ji Wen Kai was full-on fury! Change the setting to night and her glare would be incredibly frightening! Yup, Zhong Yu Tang got Ji Wen Kai good there!
The one where Zhong Yu Tang is pressed against Ji Wen Kai’s chest as they hide from the police—it was a little forced, but it wasn’t too bad. It was kind of cute. We like that Zhong Yu Tang was in a trance from the close contact and that her heart was beating loudly from it. We wonder: will it be Zhong Yu Tang who will be the first to show clear signs of liking Ji Wen Kai??? In these dramas, it’s usually the girl who falls—or rather show signs of falling for the guy first and not the other way round, right? We can’t name a series where the guy falls for the girl first.
And the ones at Ji Wen Kai’s apartment, we had to shut an eye to it. Those ones came at us so suddenly. We cringed when Ji Wen Kai carried Zhong Yu Tang to the bathroom to shower her down. And we cringed more when Ji Wen Kai backed Zhong Yu Tang into the shower wall behind her and restrained her by the wrist. It felt too forced and very unnatural. The one following where Ji Wen Kai pushes Zhong Yu Tang into the couch, hovers over her and moves in for a kiss to show her what he could cover her mouth with to stop her from speaking—forced as well, but a little more watchable than the shower one.
The atmosphere in Refresh Man feels different from the Taiwanese dramas we’ve come across. It’s got some dramatic moments, but also the typical Taiwanese romance-comedy ones mixed in. It’s interesting. Let’s see what Episode 4 brings.