The Pursuit of Happiness Ep5 Rewatch

This is an episode I felt less engaged with watching the first time, but its beauty is even subtler and touches me deeper looking closer in a second try.   At first glance, plot-wise, it is crucial in laying another brick, prepping them yet again for more…Change.  Now they can appreciate rays of sunshine peeking through the shadows as slivers of hope.

After the curve ball hit, they have done some soul-searching and made an educated decision where we left off last episode … mind sternly on their own game plans, now set to put them in action.

Alas, plans so thorough and certain in life seldom unfold exactly as expected.  LL, our aspiring tigress, wishes to attack and seize the piece of WT meat…but does she still want it that very badly?  YK , very sure he is contented in being the harmless adoring antelope cheering on the side line, has to witness his fellow beloved antelope caging herself with a crazy roaming donkey, who in his/her right mind can sit still, especially when you care about that darling antelope?!  He has caught himself inching closer to the ring, putting himself squarely in ‘harm’s way’ working for Helen, seeing her constantly.  He knew he is not immune to his own desires, he has been aware the sideline is not where his heart is at, yet he has also drawn the bottom line he is not going to cross.

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Day8 of their comradeship, it is lovely watching how easy and comfortable they have gotten under each others’ skins.  Last scene of the last episode we saw YK  giving LL a ride for a checkup in a borrowed motorbike, here we start with LL back for another checkup a week later, and YK on his bike.  We are not shown whether he has made a sweet habit of chauffeuring LL around on his way to charmingly smile at work with her arm still bandaged,  he would not make a fuss about it, as if it is the most natural thing to do, he see no otherwise, practicing human kindness every waking moment.  Nobody would be surprised he dropped LL off before work.

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Waiting for me?

Awww, poor lovely thing, she is not, waiting for her donkey instead, but WE ARE!

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It is good to have you as a friend!

Poor thing. Friend-zoned and not for the first time.

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Lets not talk about WT at all.  He is as annoying as ciphers go.   Helen is not amused he is so easily frayed.  And for a grown human being to be knocked down completely, more so to be a whiny useless infantile and refuses to follow through a simple obligation he promised and all the drama is caused by a few very awful words from a concerned Dad at that…well, Dad has a point to be very concerned.   You are asked to say a few words on your travels, what you are an expert at, author and all, not explaining in Swahili how to defuse a bomb to the TW Taitais.

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YiKang to the rescue!

With that Smile even when he is reluctant to be put on the spot and speak~  ie worst than what WT was begged to do by his gf and bff LL!  AWWWW

And what a simple sweet little speech tying in romance and travels:  bring the omamori luggage tag as a lucky charm like using this line of cosmetics, along with your feelings, your romance with you as you travel.  Make it a new experience, new inspiration to see the world through his/her eyes.  Talking from his own experience, falling for a girl is a heightened perception of her everything, you want to know what she is thinking, what she is seeing, is liking, is worrying and you would want to connect with her sharing the same experience.  What she is loving, you want to change yourself into loving it too.  And the slightest smile from her is inspiration, the fleeting komorebi, serene interplay of sunlight through the leaves. Take a moment from all the mangling thoughts we are preoccupied with and something as simple as putting on a mask, traveling, raising our head, opening our eyes and we can bask in, even under all the branches blocking, the inspiration of simplest beauty nature and life can offer.

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This is why a YK is lethal to the rest of the world but very frustrating to himself.  Even if he was short on time to be effortlessly swoonworthy dropping her off at the hospital in the very first scene of the ep, he comes to check on her right after his work is done.    It is a little hug of a sweet caring gesture, and their rapport is so natural now he is cutely mugging if she is moved by his awesomeness..which he knows she is, just a little, under that joking exasperation as a fellow human being, but nothing more.   What YK is not aware of is this is indeed very touching in a tiny realest unconscious way, he never goes out of his way nor put too much effort, but it is more indicative of how perfect a man he genuinely is, and these perfect little friendly gestures keep coming in small morsels constantly adding up to an impressive mount.  It must be frustrating to be a YK though because when he wants to impress that special someone, he over-thinks and he hesitates, tripping himself at the starting line.

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It is always better to have someone keeping you company when not feeling the best.

(Let me be that friend).

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Let me cook.

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Lets chat while we eat.

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Every line coming out of YK’s mouth…DROOLZWORTHY.   A LL’s secret is reveal, she hates carrots.  She is not a rabbit ‘but a tigress‘.  It is adorable when she pouts he is silly and he smiles at her friendly jab.

And everything he cooks, is not giving us a break from more droolzing! ><

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Homecooking, is a bit of simple love from the heart to cause a most direct happy sensation.  And the thought YK puts into the effort, with so many aspects of LL in mind, on top of him being a terrific cook is what dreamboat is made of.  If I am to witness a gf with this experience with a guy, I would have hollered at her to hurry up and snatch and marry him.  He has so much to say with this simple perfection of a meal.

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Nothing speaks I care more than a lovely meal.  She does not like carrots, but he keeps in mind the result of her checkup, he is nosy like that but subconsciously, he is starting to notice and care about minute details of his landlady.  To borrow his words, he is worrying about her well-being even when she has not start her own worrying.  He makes something she hates the taste of but good for her, palatable, just as she wormed him a plan of action he thought was deploring not long ago… and opened his mind to perceive it as palatable.  Without LL planting the idea, he would be too proud and obsessed with being this honorable gentleman to take care of his own happiness first.  With his respect of LL as a person through his own observations, what she sets to do, has a logic he can freshly understand and must not be as wretched as he naively assumed.  He is knocked down from his high horse by accepting Helen’s offer out of his own desire and free will and is miserable with every little mindless whims of Helen nudging he is nothing more than a good friend, being the noble idiot.  He hates or fears being a bad guy by any definition, but those sweet smiles Helen is throwing his way… who is to say he can’t make Helen happier than she is now and if he can do so,who cares about the bad guy tag.  LL is tasting yummy food, the fruit of his lovely thought and labor that is good for her, if he did not mention it, there is no need to label the carrots in the ingredients as well.

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 photo ThePursuitofHappinessEp05HDTV720px264Chi03-08-33_zps358d7844.jpgThis is how I am changing you. 

Do not stop me thinking too much into it as echoing back to the theme of the episode:  Change is LOVE.  This is how he acts upon being grateful with LL being subconsciously generous and kind to him.   She takes him in in an impossibly bumpy time, he is butting in with his sheer presence, with his mindlessly hurtful constant quipping and opinions and judging her when she did not ask for…but she lets him in.   She lets him truly be friends with her even when she stated otherwise…yet she lets him change her.  He was sure his opinions are very right, but she instill a harsher, realistic side of what love truly is: at the core of it, there is this nagging self-serving desire to obsess no mortal is immune to.  As he put it himself, Helen is in his every fiber of thought, care, worry, likes, dislikes.  A tiny smile from her changes his world.  In LL’s way, she rescues him from his delusions.  That is probably me reading too much in what I assumed was YiKang’s id.

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I want to change.  I hope she will change as well.

And we have a flashback to the proper trigger. The writer must love Infernal Affairs VERY much. photo ThePursuitofHappinessEp05HDTV720px264Chi03-11-12_zps7597c5ec.jpg

Helen:  How am I supposed to take care of (/babying) you more than I am already? 


For once, I actually feel sorry WT has to be this useless insufferable douche serving the story.  Just for a split second.

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Why is it this hard loving someone?

Sweetie, needs not be.  Just do not fall for useless childish egomaniac.  I think Aggie is wonderful in this scene.  It takes true dedication for someone as pretty as she is to cryugly from the heart.

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YK: From that moment on, my head keeps spinning how weak/cowardly I have been.

I do not think YK is weak, he is just ignorant to his own humanness.  And as humans we feel before we think.

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Lets join forces in fighting for our happiness!

This is the face of a changed YiKang.

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Often, a moment of happiness needs not be pursued, it can be as simple as having a companion, a comrade.  Although happy receptors in our brains are not wired to categorize…a perfectly friendly innocent smile is just that, but if that certain someone, a stranger mere days ago can disarm you to all this smiling, it is not far from the condition we call love.

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This ease…

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…Everyone needs company.

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Here I am washing the dishes, why are you giggling over there?

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In LL’s own words, this companion of hers gives her an ease of mind, a security, a comrade to fight battles alongside, an ally to pursue happiness with…and the pillar of support for her to change for the better.  And she reaches a new epiphany: loneliness should not be a human feeling.   That is, she has already written her wedding vows waxing poetic about her husband right here.

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Just throwing in some passing OTP couplish glances.

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Ji An Lei, you can’t be serious…

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We have to pretend we do not know each other well!

YK’s face is all:   No!  HOW?! We know each other very well, we are buddies, we are fond of each other, I like you Ji AnLEI!

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LL urges they have to be strictly business at work.

So what can I do for you, manager? YK snickers.

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YK wants nothing to do with LL’s charade.  He is sure of his capabilities of coming up with his own strategies.  LL is impatient with YK’s languidness.  She has already set the wheels turning for him giving Helen a romantic present in his name.

Guys, we have a wristgrab!  By our heroine towards the guy!

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Yup.  Good instincts.

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Did LL write the note too?  If so, how can Helen not recognize the writing?   I can let it slide after the ‘tryst’ YK went with LL’s plan and wrote his note in his handwriting with a lot of LL’s contribution.  HAHA is LL implying she is the Evil Queen feeding a bite of sweet apple/pavlova to an unsuspecting SnowWhite?

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I can not think of another word describing the glances YK is so used to throwing at LL since last episode.

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Just as LL is having the thought: If we have to wait for the rescue by the prince in our lives…

we are served this timely screen of YK texting a message to ‘rescue’ a LL from overworking.

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(Lets leave together?!)

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(You are very welcome to be the very first passenger on my new bike.)

I hope you feel a burn and an ouch, WT.  Here is a guy who knows LL for barely a few weeks and already she is respected with the ‘girlfriend’ status of leaving her scent on the guy’s fresh machine.

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(I am not a princess), but I have my own happiness.

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And my knight in shining armor.

Yes, rub it in LL, luckylucky you!

LL and her knight in a brand new motorcycle are caught red-handed at the door nudging cute nothings by their precious coworkers:

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YK: We are living together.

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(simultaneously) LL:  I want to go to bed   YK: I will take a shower.

Lolz and that does the trick hurrying the nosy bodies off their love den:

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LL consults her strategist Tiffany.  She is worried about WT, who is ignoring her calls. Tiffany is sure he will break up with little Princess Helen very soon. Hm.  That is not a look of much excitement.  I see a lot of lesigh can I just get over with pining over that WT?!?!

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Tiffany’s advice of the night: throw yourself at him (at his most vulnerable) is also a killer move!

Always true to her words.

YiKang puts on his move which consists of asking Helen how WT is doing, how Helen is doing, incessantly.  I think he is getting on Helen’s nerves a very tiny bit even with his rainbows of lovely smiles on her praises of his design and a sincere thank you for his sweet thoughtful gift LL masterminded.

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Team YK has his first taste of success on the Helen front. His first priority:  asking LL out for lunch throwing in a tease if he uses the product LL is promoting, will he be (as beautiful as) her.  I call it flirting even though they are innocent.

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I can make my own moves impressing Helen.

The lunch is to set boundaries, yes, they are joining hands (haha) but she should not be meddling.  He set his own pace in his own relationships.  Perhaps LL is just paying him back the WT necklace YK retrieved from her trash, which YK does not miss a beat to tease her a little.   LL half-jokingly makes it a competition:  she is going to make her advances tonight, necklace in tow.  Game’s on!

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While LL shows up at WT babysitting him, YK takes Helen for a drive to let off some steam darting paint balloons:
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Actually you are very pretty when you smile.

His moves, his words are quite cute, but it is too tame for someone who is friend-zoned and not liking it.

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I do not think it is the right approach to always emphasizing how much you are worrying about her and her boyfriend, the one she is terribly missing.  Imo, Helen is never stupid nor slow, if she has listened to YK’s speech for the event earlier closely, she should know what he is hinting on with this whole business of worrying her worries.  But then, this is more suitable coming from a good friend than a guy trying to vie for affection.

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  Why don’t you take an easier way out?

Why don’t YOU take an easier way out, LL?!?!

WT is inebriated, that gives him and writer the excuse to be more annoying I just can’t deal with a word he is saying.  LL tries to talk ‘sense’ into him of not being a child and stuck up with his stupid pride and principles.   He calls her a party pooper.   After he notices the necklace, LL clearly needs a moment to deal with her emotions telling him she keeps everything he has ever gifted him, all he can come up with is something in the tune of, ‘consider yourself very lucky. I get too lazy nowadays with Helen.’   GEEZZZ.  I think LL chooses to hear what she wants:  WT took the time and dedication to make necklaces for her and her only.   She seizes the moment as time to profess.

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Take a look into your past, perhaps you will see things clearer.

It falls into deaf ears.

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WT thanks LL for keeping him company, being a best friend with a suffocating hug, as if dumping his angst on her.  LL muses she is more miserable than him.  I see a slight shift in LL, she still gets her point across but there is a fatigue in her pining for WT.   She still loves him, it has been a habit, but she is aware the habit is getting very tiresome.  I see it as, if this very moment she wants WT very badly and he is this vulnerable, she would not let go of his hug, she would attack with dropping a bomb…they were and are better fit in her eyes, no need for the awash of bruised pride/principles he is so not good enough for Helen.  But she does not.  She turns around and goes on her way home, during which she keeps texting a YK.

Helen notices the texting and quickly jumps to the conclusion he has a secret gf, possibly an office romance.   Again,  I like Helen, one of the reasons is she is never dumb.

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Helen goes on singing praises how good a guy YK is and his girlfriend must be the luckiest girl.  YK smiles, fleetingly, asking her to repeat her praises of him.  He insists he can be bad by growling, with cute handclaws.  Yes, I did pause and repeat and go batshit for a while.

And he is at it again, hinting on a WT in the conversation. Lesigh.
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All girls want bad boys.

Helen gets the hint.  WT is not a badboy to her.  She will stand staunchly defending her love for the guy and won’t be defeated.

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I guess this is as close to a Tony Yang’s Forever Alone face as we will ever get. Not saying it is a good believable meme, but it is beautiful to look at.

Back home, he flops himself on the couch defeated.   Isn’t it a bit odd and telling LL is almost chirpy and in a relaxed mood after her time with a very dour WT she claims she is more miserable?!  She even has the time and care to be concerned about YK’s defeated mood first and foremost.

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It is always lovely to have someone there to commiserate and laugh misery off.

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Their giggly moment is interrupted by a call for help from Tiffany.  She needs YK to be her boyfriend (DONT WE ALL!) to vend off a moving too fast too serious suitor.

We are sure from the flow of the scene LL is just outside on YK’s bike as we cut to a lovely scene between the ladies right after.  Tiffany is scared, very shaken, of herself.  Because she almost said yes to the huge bouquet, to love…true, serious, binding, love.

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Tiffany:  He said…
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This bouquet I am giving you is what I like… but if you are willing to tell me…

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 What you like…

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In the days ahead of us…lets like it together.

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I covet this face of Sonia telling us her LL is beyond moved and happy for her bff she is at the bout of happy tears but she is holding it in, keeping calm.  It is not the moment for LL to get overemotional listening to her bestie.  So Good. :~)

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I am happy I am a princess to all the guys catering to my every whim, but nothing feels real. 

He does not see me a princess, he just treat me genuinely for who I am (a woman he loves).

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If you want to love, go for it!

LL is giving Tiffany back her own words along with the loveliest bff glances I have witnessed.

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But is this love?

Never as certain.  What else can throw a Tiffany off to doubt herself and shaking in FEAR she is losing her tight rein of control over every fiber of herself and her life?!

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You never know till you try.  Take this as a gamble!

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I risked my life riding on a motorbike just to see you.

Oh did you really risk your life, LL??! 😉  You seems to make an easy, comfortable habit taking that intimate backseat to your knight, a nick you coin it yourself.

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I can droolz at a blurry backside of Huang YiKang being ridiculously sweet and dreamy forever.

LL: We are not fragile/soft/weak, we are just women (in love).

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If you look up, this should be the moment there are fireworks and rainbows above your head.

LL is not aware of this beautiful scenery waiting for her outside a nondescript 7-eleven and it is convincing LL is too engrossed with her girl talk with Tiffany, because that was a perfect scene, one of many throughout this drama.  We can not ask too much from our LL.

Not that this following scene is any less effortlessly charming:

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LL:  Why are you still here?  There are so many mosquitoes.

YK:  It is too late, you won’t have a ride.

LL:  I can call a taxi.

YK: I assume I am more convenient than hailing a taxi.  Or I can call a taxi for you right now~!

LL:  *Roll eyes at his lame tease* Let’s go!

From my experience it is not typical for a guy friend to wait in a mosquito infested balmy Taipei night while you are having an obviously emotional and serious girl talk that can take forever and a day at a 7-eleven.  A typical Asian 7-eleven still has a useable phone, or there is the cashier who would not mind calling a cab for you even if you have no cell.    This is above a guyfriend/gentleman’s duty.  Let alone a HYK would pout cutely he could call a cab for LL if so she wishes more than riding on his bike.  Let us do a mental note, of the few days YK got his new ride, he has been predominately occupied with giving LL rides.   Of course what YK is aware of is he needs a ride now he has decided to settle down in TP, but without that extra incentive of what he felt like as natural as breathing, the duty of chauffeuring LL.  He is not the type of guy who would make an impulse buy, or do anything on a whim.

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Having someone to wait for me, heading home together…it is warm and fuzzy.

7 thoughts on “The Pursuit of Happiness Ep5 Rewatch

        1. And also it was brilliant in putting a notion in LL love hits everyone when least expected. Tiffany is as ‘immune’ to love building all her walls and fortresses around her heart but she still succumbs. Because as we know soon, LL gets over WT swiftly and wisely, but it is still a curveball for her to jump into a new relationship, so not the style of a LL who is mostly careful and levelheaded with all aspects of her life and she handles her trails and tribulations with as much logic and practicality as possible.

  1. Well noted! I kinda mentally paused at that scene as well, thinking, well why didn’t she take advantage of an emotionally bruised WT and strike at his most vulnerable moment? A part of me feels that maybe (low chance) she sees no value in attacking an injured animal whose reciprocation will not be genuine, just a reflex as humans all need. LL isn’t dumb I guess (but a little blind, yes!) and for her to win WT back, she would want him to come back to her unconditionally. Not because Helen’s dad’s head is screwed on properly and can’t acknowledge the backpacking, not because Helen woke up from a coma and ran away with a German hottie, and not because LL is the last woman on the face of this earth. But because he himself sees the light and realises that he actually loves LL. For a guy like WT that’s as emotionally weak and in need of support (and a reality check) as they come, somebody close by whether that be LL or even LL’s sister for god’s sake will do. And maybe she knows this. It takes time and a lot of planning I reckon to make up for lost time and if you’re trying to re-claim the number 1 spot in someone’s heart, even harder.

    Another part of me feels that maybe she knew it wouldn’t be effective anyway going by WT’s stubborn insistence on their friendship and with him just being a wimpy mess at the time, mind completely occupied by trying to repair his ego meltdown, justifying his principles, or understanding his own miserable existence, that returning home to a hottie for a report exchange would seem like a slightly more enticing alternative.

    Either way, I really appreciated how she walked away. Even though she has a determined will to fight for what she wants regardless of the consequences, she never actually does anything that warrants her a demerit point in respect to her character. (well not thus far anyway).

    So lame but loved how u screencapped that couple-ish glare at the office where she’s intro-ing him to everyone. I can’t believe I missed that. I liked this scene because they show her presenting herself as professional in the workplace but at the same time YK (and the audience) is in on her devilish scheme to break apart her ex who is currently in a pretty solid relationship (by his and Helen’s standards anyway) which makes the emphasis on her role as a respectable senior with great work ethic at the office seem more laughable. Wish they played up LL’s professionalism and exaggerate the following scene at the rooftop. That would have been gold! (But I guess YK’s expression was gold anyway) lol

    1. This is so nicely written dear! Thank you~!

      I do agree ideally LL is showing WT how she is every bit more worthy in hope he will realize she is the one for him, but I doubt she absolutely needed him to figure it all out exactly and earn her back unconditionally…I think she is past the stage to not be very practical. She will take WT back, in her mind and logic, if he is willing, any shape and form, beggars are no choosers, or else she won’t be going against her grain with this mode of attack she did struggle to set her mind on.

      In my mind what hit LL is she realize WT and Helen is much more serious than she thought. If this is just a spur of the moment, a lapse for WT, he would not be as hurt, his ego won’t be as bruised, it is exactly because he truly loves Helen that it matters so much, especially when he feels inferior, and Helen deserves better than him. If he is just on a selfish whim, he won’t even consider what is best for Helen. And I think subconsciously it hit a chord in LL. She is still in love with WT, not ready to let him go and because in her pov she is the best fit for him, it is one of the triggers why she is scheming to pursue him relentlessly. However, now that she knows Helen better, she can’t be sure anymore, and with Dad’s reluctantly compromising, their obstacle easing, she must have an inner irking Helen perhaps is what will make WT truly happy. And it is frustrating to the max when she is so sure she is doing the ‘right’ thing for the best of everyone concerned but now her gut is not exactly telling her so, but her inner turmoil is she still wants this guy, but if she truly loves him, she should want the best for him and if a WT is self-doubting himself this miserably for Helen’s sake first and foremost, it must rubs off on her when she is not exactly undergoing the most honorable operation. It was very subtly put and LL is still trying to push that conscience way back and stick to her plan of attack, but her heart is not as enthusiastic even when she is not totally aware of it.

      There is also that aspect of how simple humans can function…when you spend time with someone and it is unwittingly enjoyable more and more often, as YK snuffed LL out her is showering him compliments more frequently these days…as opposed to LL spending time in the expense of reminiscing a love long gone she wants to cherish, to hold on, but it is all but memories. Reality is spending time with that person she labeled as her love is no longer fun and ecstatic, there is no rushing of adrenaline, serotonin, no brain chemistry prompting happy cascades and when it happens often enough, a ‘new’ inertia is built on the old memory and chipping it bit by bit…taking over…and we change, we are finicky like that. So what is love when it is not happily satisfying? It becomes an old habit, a sad habit and we quit when we can’t take it anymore. Echoing back to the very first scene: LL is now served a choice to take a reasonable turn and she is not fully aware where this will lead to, and was gambling this will take her back to her old destination…but it is actually leading her to greener pasture of a HYK. She keeps taking turn after turn, lost but her destiny is actually right in front of her a flight of steps up.

  2. Omg THAT was nicely analyzed Mookie! lol n yes! I agree with u more than i do with myself. That Helen does have a more important presence than LL acknowledges at first and now that shes feeling the toll its taking on WT who cares so much about her, shes realising that this fight is going to be much harder close to impossible if you must.

    You keep reminding me things that I’ve already forgotten! My heart actually skipped a beat when YK made that remark on how these days shes been showering him with compliments! The chemistry is too real!!!!?!!

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