Han Xue finally gets together with Lin Hu Sheng which is great news for her, though there’s still the question of whether she’s gotten her an heir to the company or just an average working man.
Xia Qiao and Li Hui Zhen’s friendship is rocky. Xia Qiao just won’t talk to Li Hui Zhen, at least not initially. When Xia Qiao gets frustrated over Li Hui Zhen’s lack of anger towards her, it has Xia Qiao reveal her thoughts and feelings. The friendship remains fragile after the talk, causing Li Hui Zhen to temporarily stay at her parents’ place.
Meanwhile, Bai Hao Yu’s completely confused to why Li Hui Zhen is keeping a distance. He finally learns that Xia Qiao is the reason when he pays an unplanned visit to her parents’ place after receiving an invitation from Li Hui Lin, after which, he tells Li Hui Zhen, he will wait for her no matter what.
Pretty Li Hui Zhen Episode 31 Recap
Han Xue finally finds out Lin Hu Sheng likes her. The two go out for hot pot this episode. Lin Hu Sheng has no qualms drinking from the same glass as Han Xue nor shy away from helping her wipe clean her mouth. His actions are all very couple-like, and it has Han Xue confused by what it all means:
“Just now, what was the meaning of that?”
Lin Hu Sheng is clueless to what she is referring. Han Xue comes right out and asks him:
“Do you like me?”
Just as straightforward, Lin Hu Sheng confesses simply:
Lin Hu Sheng:
She asks him when he had started liking to her, which has him tell her it started when they were at the business trip (Episode 17 and Episode 18). She goes on to have him confirm the were now dating, which he does. She then asks him to hold her hand, which he does—to her delight—and they go home together.
“My lie just got exposed, what’s the big deal?”
“You’ve reconciled with Bai Hao Yu now. Can’t you let me go?”
Xia Qiao still won’t talk to Li Hui Zhen about what had happened between her and Bai Hao Yu. Meeting with Li Hui Zhen outside their apartment has Xia Qiao step into the car of a man. Rather than go into the apartment to talk to Li Hui Zhen, Xia Qiao chooses to leave with this sleazy-looking man she rejected only a moment ago. Anger in her voice, she points out to Li Hui Zhen that things already ended off well: it’s true her lie got exposed, but it’s no big deal. Li Hui Zhen is with Bai Hao Yu already. Now she just wants Li Hui Zhen to let her go.
The ride with the man Xia Qiao leaves with doesn’t last long. She had no intention of going with him. He was only her escape route. She tells him to stop the car and let her out. It takes her a couple demands for him to pull over to the side of the road, but he does, right after calling her a crazy woman before telling her she deserved to be dumped. (Great guy, isn’t he? Not.)
Xia Qiao stops by Lin Yi Mu’s place to ask if he’d like to join her out on a drive to vent her emotions. The most interesting part is not that Lin Yi Mu joins her in the passenger seat and watch her speed down the road like a maniac, but that Lin Yi Mu’s suitcases were all packed and sitting by the door when he greeted her. It looks like Lin Yi Mu is moving out of his hotel room and possibly leaving Immortal.
“Let’s maintain some distance. It’ll be good for us.”
Xia Qiao returns home to another attempt from Li Hui Zhen to have Xia Qiao talk things through, which has Xia Qiao suggest they keep a distance from each other. Li Hui Zhen doesn’t understand why things have become like this:
Li Hui Zhen:
“We’ve been through things together for so many years. Why can’t we get past Bai Hao Yu?”
Xia Qiao retorts with how it’s not her who can’t move past it. It’s Li Hui Zhen who can’t. Li Hui Zhen repeats herself again, telling her that she just wants her to talk through it properly because she knows Xia Qiao has things to say.
This has Xia Qiao ask how she knows she has something to say since she’s still not aware Li Hui Zhen had picked up her torn letter to Bai Hao Yu and read it. Li Hui Zhen hides this fact and just says that Xia Qiao wouldn’t have spent two months with Bai Hao Yu if there was nothing to say.
This sets off Xia Qiao. She asks whether Li Hui Zhen was pointing the finger of blame. Li Hui Zhen denies doing such a thing. Quite the opposite. She hurts for her. This is yet another incorrect response. Li Hui Zhen’s sympathy frustrates Xia Qiao. She tells her to be more normal, have a reaction and say something like ‘I must have had the worst luck in my past life to meet a friend like you!’
Still, Li Hui Zhen’s ways seem to get Xia Qiao to speak some of her thoughts in the end:
“You know what? You’re so kindhearted. You’re always finding excuses for others. That’s why Bai Hao Yu likes you so much and hates me so much!”
Xia Qiao reveals how Bai Hao Yu’s cold response to her not being the real Li Hui Zhen had her realise her non-existent position in Bai Hao Yu’s heart:
“Compared to disgust, disregard is harder for one to accept. Did you know, when Bai Hao Yu knew I wasn’t Li Hui Zhen, he didn’t turn around. He wasn’t willing to listen to even a word! He just turned and left. The one who spent two months with him is me. But in his heart, I don’t exist even a tiny bit.”
This whole outcome also had her realise her role of a joke in this love of theirs:
“If I had known him since childhood, he might not fall in love with me. This is what fate is. This is set by destiny. And I am destined to be a joke in love.”
Their talk ends with Li Hui Zhen sobbing at the bottom of the staircase as Xia Qiao hurts over how easily forgotten following Bai Hao Yu’s discovery of her real identity.
Li Hui Zhen packs her bags and goes home to her parents as she’s gone and listened to Xia Qiao’s request of keeping some distance between them. The unexpected return home has her little sister reminding her how good Xia Qiao has been to her (she and the family automatically thinks the return is because the two had a fight).
Without knowing the situation, Li Hui Lin reminds her during dinnertime the next night that it was Xia Qiao who had supported her when she didn’t have a job and provided her things that were better than what their family had. Xia Qiao never looked down on her all this time, too. Her sister then blindly hit the target with exactly what was troubling Li Hui Zhen by suggesting that if Li Hui Zhen were to write her problem out on social media, there would be few who would side with her—or at the very least, people might not be so quick to disregard her part in this like Bai Hao Yu has.
Over on Bai Hao Yu’s side, he’s confused to why Li Hui Zhen has been keeping a distance between them. He thinks maybe it’s simply Li Hui Zhen not wanting to be with him. But, as he thinks back to the night of their reunion and all the words she said about having fallen in love with him long ago, having waited for him to return, he looks to go back to Li Hui Zhen to get her to talk to him.
He gets her little sister when he calls. Having left the house after Li Hui Lin’s comments at the dinner table, Li Hui Zhen left her cellphone behind. With Li Hui Lin on the phone, Bai Hao Yu is invited over. A brand new TV is brought over as a gift and warm welcomes are given when Bai Hao Yu arrives. He gets himself prodded with questions shortly after Li Hui Zhen returns: does he have a house, a car, a girlfriend? Bai Hao Yu skips the first two and goes straight to answering third one about having a girlfriend. With his gaze directed towards Li Hui Zhen, he tells them he has a girlfriend, but he’s waiting for her to agree to the matter.
Bai Hao Yu is then invited by Li Hui Zhen’s father to join him in a drink. Despite being an extremely poor drinker and Li Hui Zhen’s advice to not drink, Bai Hao Yu downs the drink. He can’t possibly refuse the father-in-laws-to-be. (Li Hui Zhen’s father has gone and addressed Bai Hao Yu as son-in-law already!) Handful of seconds later, he’s out like a light.
The episode takes a short break from Bai Hao Yu and Li Hui Zhen to deal with the mystery caller who’s been calling Xia Qiao’s hotel and hanging up. This mystery caller turns out to be Xia Qiao’s mother. She’s come back after 15 years wanting Xia Qiao to go back to France with her now that she has the ability to support her.
Xia Qiao’s response is sarcasm. She makes a remark about how so simple and easy the adult world is that she could return after 15 years and pretend like nothing happened. She tells her mother that she had lived horribly all these years: just recently she had lost the one she loves and hurt the one that loves her, so it’s not she had lived horribly, she’s living quite horrible now.
But, despite all this, despite her mother leaving her, she tells her that she wants to try and let go of the pain slowly because that is what growing up is. It’s to face life bravely and undo the knots in her heart. Only then can she live with her well.
Her mother thinks this means Xia Qiao’s agreeing to go back to France with her, but that’s not what she’s saying. Xia Qiao’s saying she needs time. After some time, she might start thinking about returning to her side. This is not the exact result her mother had hoped, but she is still very happy to hear that with time, Xia Qiao will return to her side. Xia Qiao’s mother tells her that she will wait for her.
Back at Li Hui Zhen’s family home, the passed-out Bai Hao Yu has been taken to a couch to recover. Li Hui Zhen’s parents stand over him, admiring him and talking amongst themselves about how he is exactly the kind of man they want to marry Li Hui Zhen. It takes Li Hui Zhen to come out from her room to usher them both away for them to stop staring and leave him.
Seeing Bai Hao Yu asleep with his tie on, Li Hui Zhen goes to try remove it. It surprises him when Bai Hao Yu sees Li Hui Zhen’s face hovering over him, and demands to know what she was doing. She explains to him she was just untying his tie before telling him he had fallen asleep after forcing himself to drink. He thinks he’s failed to perform well in front of her parents, so it has him feeling horrible.
After Li Hui Zhen reassures Bai Hao Yu that he has nothing to worry about (since her parents are forgetful like her and won’t remember what happened), Bai Hao Yu takes this chance to try get her to open up about what’s wrong:
Bai Hao Yu:
“You really can’t tell me what happened? You know, if you keep refusing to say anything, you’ll continue to make me think nonsense.”
Li Hui Zhen’s sudden distance had him thinking Lin Yi Mu might have been a reason. Even though he knows he isn’t, he continued to think that because she wasn’t clearing anything up. He pleads her to him what her reason is and not hide things from her anymore; they’ve already lost so much time. He then wonders if it was because she wasn’t willing to trust him.
Li Hui Zhen decided then that she will show him the letter Xia Qiao had written to him.
Li Hui Zhen:
“This is the letter Xia Qiao wrote to you. She ripped it apart and glued it back together after writing it.”
She leaves Bai Hao Yu temporarily to read the letter which was supposed to explain everything and help Xia Qiao leave him. In her letter, she explains how it all started as a favour for Li Hui Zhen and how it was supposed to end with her telling him she’d be studying abroad. She had considered the story a short side chapter. But then he came to see her off at the airport. This actions of his had surprised her and touched her, and the short side chapter became a part of a story where she was the first chapter in their story.
She tells Bai Hao Yu that he had showed up in front of her at times when she needed him most, and so she had thought these meetings were coincidences set by fate. She thought that maybe he was sent by God to comfort her. But now she knows that all these coincidences weren’t to bring him to her, but to bring him and Li Hui Zhen together. She understands that she was just his supporting character in this first chapter in a story which takes place after the prince and princess grew up. Since the first chapter has come to an end, it means she must now take her leave.
Li Hui Zhen:
“All of this was because of me. If I didn’t have Xia Qiao do that at the start, all of this wouldn’t have happened.”
“I was also lying to you. I could see you every day. But, I never told you the truth. Even if it’s like that, you still only blamed her and not me.”
Li Hui Zhen returns from the kitchen with honey water just after Bai Hao Yu finishes reading the letter. She gets him thinking how she was as much to blame as Xia Qiao was because she started it all. She, too, was lying to him, but he only blamed Xia Qiao and not her.
Bai Hao Yu explains that it’s because he’s biased. He’ll always blame the other and not her because she’s the one he loves. Li Hui Zhen looks to reject being together with him if this is how he will be, but she doesn’t get a chance to say it as Bai Hao Yu seems to already know this is what she was going to say. He tells her that he knows now that she wants to wait for Xia Qiao to move on before she’s willing to be with him, but what if Xia Qiao can’t? Does she expect him to continue waiting?
If Bai Hao Yu had hoped Li Hui Zhen would see his point and turn back on her decision to wait for Xia Qiao, his hopes were dashed. Li Hui Zhen apologises and tells him that she can’t be so selfish and must wait because Xia Qiao is her most important person as well as that this is all her fault.
Bai Hao Yu tells her then that he will wait for her, but she must promise him that she won’t hide anymore.
This episode was a bit slow. There are a number of things going on in this episode like Han Xue and Lin Hu Sheng’s relationship progressing, Li Hui Zhen and Xia Qiao’s fallout, the brief hint that Lin Yi Mu’s leaving, Bai Hao Yu first visit to Li Hui Zhen’s family and then the talk at the end episode that has Li Hui Zhen clear things up between her and Bai Hao Yu. It’s basically how She Was Pretty went, but somehow it feels like it’s not as interesting as She Was Pretty. Probably from about when Li Hui Zhen received a make-over in Episode 24 the drama started slowing down and hasn’t really picked up too much since. The only exception is Episode 29 which did really well with giving Lin Yi Mu some focus.
She Was Pretty vs. Pretty Li Hui Zhen
This had us wondering where exactly Pretty Li Hui Zhen was in terms of the episode in She Was Pretty. So, we did a bit of a search for the scenes in She Was Pretty and found that Pretty Li Hui Zhen Episode 31 is the last 15 minutes of She Was Pretty Episode 10 and the first 43 minutes of She Was Pretty Episode 11 put together. We definitely remember being super antsy about seeing the developments for at least another episode for She Was Pretty. As we mentioned in our earlier recaps, excitement didn’t dip until She Was Pretty Episode 13.
Having gone and rewatched She Was Pretty Episodes 10 and 11, we can see why Pretty Li Hui Zhen feels so slow. In these two episodes, She Was Pretty covers from the part where Kim Hye Jin (Li Hui Zhen) is on the road in Joo Ah Reum’s broken car (Ya Ling’s broken car) to the scene where Ji Sung Joon (Bai Hao Yu) finally learns the reason Kim Hye Jin wants to remain friends plus more.
The amount of episodes Pretty Li Hui Zhen took to cover these two episodes is four plus a bit episodes, from the last 4 minutes of Episode 27 to Episode 31. Since Pretty Li Hui Zhen’s episodes are shorter, it probably doesn’t give too much of an idea of how much longer Pretty Li Hui Zhen is. So, we’ve gone and worked out the amount of time spent to cover the same amount of story: 2 hours 51 minutes for Pretty Li Hui Zhen vs. 1 hour 42 minutes for She Was Pretty! There was not a lot of new material in Pretty Li Hui Zhen either, just longer scenes. So, no wonder Pretty Li Hui Zhen feels slower.
There’s also the slightest difference to the sequence of events which made She Was Pretty feel livelier, more interesting for us; and the slightest difference in dialogue and reactions made characters more likable in She Was Pretty.
One of the relationships we loved so much is the Ji Sung Joon-Kim Shin Hyuk relationship. The humorous antics Kim Shin Hyuk get up to around Ji Sung Joon; their love rivals status; and how despite that, in some strange way, they kind of get along; makes these scenes so interesting to us. In Episode 11, the two end up working together and is actually seen to complete each other’s sentences during a team meeting. (This happens after Ji Sung Joon personally goes to Kim Shin Hyuk to get him back to The Most. Ji Sung Joon personally tells Kim Shin Hyuk that The Most was in danger of shutting down and he really needs him and his skills at The Most.)
We thought this was a great way to keep Kim Shin Hyuk useful in the story, and it was a great way to show just how great of a writer Kim Shin Hyuk is. The moment Ji Sung Joon found out Kim Shin Hyuk might actually get poached, he personally went and got him back. It shows just how much Ji Sung Joon valued Kim Shin Hyuk in his team. Then to see them late at night going over staff profiles together to work out how best to utilise the skills of the team shows how much Ji Sung Joon respects Kim Shin Hyuk’s input, too.
With Pretty Li Hui Zhen, it was Li Hui Zhen who told Lin Yi Mu about the possible closure of Immortal. It was also Li Hui Zhen who went to Lin Yi Mu to ask him to return to Immortal to help Bai Hao Yu when he left in protest of Bai Hao Yu’s unjustified scolding of Li Hui Zhen. Having Li Hui Zhen let Lin Yi Mu in on the secret develops a nice trust as well as a closeness between the two, but for us it would have been more interesting to see the love rivals work together and show their respect for each others’ skills. It would have given Pretty Li Hui Zhen something extra, something new and a different relationship to develop.
There’s still a chance to have Bai Hao Yu ask Lin Yi Mu to come back and express his need for Lin Yi Mu’s skills, but it feels like they’ve already gone and done that with Li Hui Zhen. We’re kind of interested in seeing how this will play out: Lin Yi Mu’s packed his bags in this episode, so we could be seeing his reveal soon which might mean his departure after that and we won’t see Lin Yi Mu and Bai Hao Yu working together.
Not being able to connect with the Bai Hao Yu character is probably making things come off quite slow, too. He is the lead character. He’s supposed to win our focus, attention and hearts, but instead, we find Lin Yi Mu winning all that in Pretty Li Hui Zhen. With Lin Yi Mu falling more and more into the background now that he’s not featuring in the romance arc, we’re left with a male lead character who doesn’t capture our attention.
We’re thinking a reason for that might actually have to do with how the character is written, the thoughts and the dialogue that comes from Bai Hao Yu. Before, we thought it might be how Bai Hao Yu is portrayed by Peter Shen Yi Lun, but we don’t think it’s just that.
For example, in this episode, Bai Hao Yu admitted he’s biased and will only blame everyone else but Li Hui Zhen, just because she’s the one he loves. It’s not a very likable kind of response. Add this response to how he wouldn’t hear out Xia Qiao when he found out her identity and it makes him have this very stubborn, close-minded, unforgiving kind of personality.
Compare Bai Hao Yu to Ji Sung Joon’s response. We’ll go right back to when Ji Sung Joon discovered Min Ha Ri’s real identity. Though the reaction was similar, Ji Sung Joon was not as harsh nor strong about not hearing out Min Ha Ri’s explanation. She actually was allowed to apologise and briefly explain how it started before he left her.
When Ji Sung Joon finally manages to get Kim Hye Jin to talk about why her attitude towards Ji Sung Joon changed overnight, the reason was said to be because Min Ha Ri likes him and she can’t possibly go to him, because Min Ha Ri (who is as precious as he and her family is to her) will get hurt:
Kim Hye Jin:
“Ha Ri, she… Ha Ri likes you a lot. She liked you enough to suffer alone and continue to act like me in order to meet with you. Ha Ri’s more than just a friend to me. She’s precious to me, like my family and you. But if I go to you now, Ha Ri will get hurt.”
Ji Sung Joon’s response is as follows:
Ji Sung Joon:
“The person I like is you. It was you in the past, and it was you before I realised it. It’s you now, and it will always be you. I won’t pressure you. I don’t expect anything from you. Just don’t run away from me.”
Ji Sung Joon’s response minuses the part about always being biased towards Li Hui Zhen and wanting to know what Li Hui Zhen would do if Xia Qiao can’t move on. He only makes sure Kim Hye Jin knows that whether it’s past, present or future, Kim Hye Jin will always be the one Ji Sung Joon will love and he won’t be pressuring her or expecting anything from her. He doesn’t say anything about waiting for Kim Hye Jin, but it’s implied with how he says he won’t pressure her or expect anything from her despite his feelings for her.
Ji Sung Joon hanging around to hear Min Ha Ri out for a brief moment, not saying the additional things Bai Hao Yu said actually made a big difference in how Ji Sung Joon comes off as a person. Ji Sung Joon comes off as reasonable and understanding.
So, this kind of change to reactions, dialogue, and scene (though minor in a general sense, and probably quite unnoticeable if we didn’t compare the Korean and Chinese versions side by side), actually made quite a difference in how we viewed the male lead character. Bai Hao Yu had come off as being nicer than Ji Sung Joon back in Episode 17 because he never put down Li Hui Zhen the way Ji Sung Joon did to Kim Hye Jin. But, the way Bai Hao Yu refused to hear anything but a confirmation from Xia Qiao, the way he said he’ll always be biased towards Li Hui Zhen made Bai Hao Yu take on the less likable traits, making him harder to like and connect with, which doesn’t help in creating a drama which holds our attention.
We’ll slip in that we found Bai Hao Yu’s angry tone when he woke to Li Hui Zhen undoing his tie at the end of the episode an interesting change from how She Was Pretty did this scene. We prefer She Was Pretty’s version of the scene: Kim Hye Jin just stared at Ji Sung Joon asleep before she looked away as Ji Sung Joon started waking. Ji Sung Joon then bolted up, looked at his surrounding and wondered what he was doing at Kim Hye Jin’s parents’ place. Ji Sung Joon came off quite adorable, while Bai Hao Yu came off… well… angry. Again, it doesn’t win any likability points from us.
We’re still holding onto hope that Pretty Li Hui Zhen will do something with the last quarter of the drama and pick the drama up, though. However it goes, we’ll be sticking around as we’re still up for seeing the part when Lin Yi Mu, Lin Hao and Lin Hu Sheng reveal their true identities!