The Battle of ChangSha Watch Along ep6

This is not my favorite episode, but a lesser episode is still effective and essential in building up what’s to come.  And a transitional episode of Battle of ChangSha is still terrific, serving wit, humor (yes in a war drama) and tension, leaving you with a lump in your throat, characters you want to hit, a freaky hot WH you must hit on, prompting a lot of silly giggles with his zapping chemistry with his love-hate antagonist, his neck-to-neck sparring partner in brilliant mindgames,  XJS/BiL, who often is more charismatic than a WH in uniform being a shameless thug.

  • When did I have an engagement with your XiangXiang?  First question he asks BiL as Gu is making the arrest, in front of  XX’s future DiL.   Cute.  Cuter is this is the first time he mentions her by just her given name. Not ‘that young lady’ or an exasperated ‘Hu XiangXiang’.
  • You did have a blind date with my SiL, right?  

  • Fate/yuanfen has not aligned therefore the marriage has not happened.   Everyone assumes the marriage is on, it is impossible for me to go around explaining.  What am I supposed to do?  BiL never ceases to amuse me with his clarity in twisted logic, and obviously Gu shares my sentiments. Yuanfen should never be in XJS’ lexicon unless the predestination is his own doing, playing god.
  • Official business is to arrest BiL. Gu’s first priority concerns his false engagement with XX.  It is always fascinating to hear how BiL cajoles his way out of a blatant lie but more amusing for me, Gu shows no animosity, perhaps a Freudian slip this is something he has no problem with when he smiles at BiL’s eloquence.  Tarnishing his reputation being involved in abusing power, corruption, swindling should be graver than a single officer dallying with a young lady. I do not know how else we should interpret him focusing on the engagement more…unless he has the honor of XX in consideration learning she is engaged to a boy, she said to his face.
  • I am the city’s security guard, to secure and safeguard citizen’s property is my job.  Government orders evacuation, I am helping out.  I did not ask for fees! *wink* 
  • You can quibble, sweet-talk all you want in jail… -Fine, I’ll go with you, tell your BigSis I will be back home for lunch.  BiL is still taunting Gu.  Hmm, so what BiL said is sweet to your ears?! (Just let me XD)  Gu has a Hu family bias, can you imagine him giving any other swindler using his name the time and play along smiling/smirking?

  • Why is Gu ChingMing sticking his nose in everything?  Valid, if the everything is concerning you and your family.
  • Commander Gu hands XJS over to his boss, his partner in crime, Gu’s uncle, expecting reprimand.  Their charade is very good, Gu seems to fall prey XJS will be prosecuted with him willing to testify to his crimes.

  • The biggest problem in ChangSha is to halt the advances of the jap down south. Everything else (including Gu ChingMing) is nothing.  I keep agreeing to BiL’s logic, even when it is always self-serving. Always shrewd, even though Gu is relentless, there is no proof.  BiL only waves the document with Boss’ signature for show, station master has no paper trail to be found.  He will not snuff them, damning himself. The businessmen will be smoothed out by BiL’s underlings.   Their plan is to lock BiL up for a few days, make an excuse and let him redeem himself with good behavior.

  • the whole family is worried sick learning of his arrest, he said he will come home for lunch and here he is.  BiL is only mollifying Boss earlier on, he is cautious of Gu, if not he won’t be in such a hurry to pack some necessities and head back.
  • lol Gu did trust his uncle will lock up Xue.  Mookie tells him he saw XJS with his 2 underlings out and about.  He grabs the wheels, leaving the urgent business of finding shelter for the wounded soldiers at the station.

  • He must be expecting Gu, perhaps not as prompt.  You miss me after just a few hours apart?!  Such a tease you are, BiL. *g*  I was just home grabbing my belongings… I won’t be inviting you in, huh. lol.

  •  XJS is smugly having tea served by cutiepie XiaoDi as Gu invites himself into his cell.  Quickly aligning himself,  BiL wheedles he believes Gu’s threat he could and would report him to Chairman Zhang.  We and Gu know he is just appeasing Gu.  But BiL picked up the hint on Gu’s peculiar fixation on his attachment with XX as well.
  • I believe you.  I believe you could indict me and keep me in jail, however I have a big family to feed, are you going to support them for me?!  lol why is it Gu’s business to take care of your family for you?  But it is exactly BiL’s playbook to gamble at the improbable, haha what if Gu is provoked and irrational to say “fine, I will take care of them while justice is served!” XiaoDi and XiaoHe can not hide the amusement, eyes darting back and forth the two of them. BiL goes further with the joshing: ( You must take care of,  in my absence) My SiL you hate so much, XiangXiang.   Subconscious prompting is more powerful than our conscious mind, BiL is like a viral infomercial for XX. HAHAHA Ren ChingWei’s shameless thinly veiled goading face is perfectly priceless

  • Fine, take a good rest. Ok what exactly is fine commander Gu?  You will take care of his family, especially his SiL?!  Fine, keep on poking fun at me having the hots for your little pepper sister against my pride because I enjoy it?!  They can’t hold the giggles as Gu leaves.  I am giggling along, pretty sure SiL has got Gu by his heart string, mentioning XX he is sure has a place on Gu’s mind.  Not sure if BiL can still laugh if he knows Gu is really paying a visit to Chairman Zhang. XJS imposes his game on everyone slyly and shamelessly, one moment he will wrestle with you in filth to get whatever he wants if soft sweettalking won’t work, but he could wash it all the off his conscience the next and deep within, the intention was never nefarious but fiercely, ruthlessly enforcing his credo:  surviving, protecting his family by all means necessary.  It is obvious Gu has feelings for XX, but as much as I tease him, BiL pokes fun at him, he is so stern on his principles, never wavering.  He is aware of his fluttering I can assume, and he has subconsciously shown his emotions, but he is genuinely not considering giving into his desires, his pride is fixated on upholding his honor and principles, even when it may affect the bigger picture.  Is it smartest to leave organizing the sheltering for the wounded, dying on the streets, in the train station behind for indicting one slick fox?   He is nothing but a man of his words, with his upbringing in military school he attacks all human frailties with the strictest discipline whereas BiL will indulge in every darker wimps and backpaddle, as we saw last episode, as with how he forced XJ into marrying him.  Gu is meticulous, upstanding in every action he takes, even when he has to step outside his box, it is never far, with honorble due cause. BiL only focuses on the outcome and intention above his moral scruples, if he sees a need for a greater good for his family, which he weighs much more than his personal honor, anything goes, the journey does not matter, compunction is not in his vocab.
  •  At Chairman’s Zhang’s mansion, Gu is suspicious, the governor, the mayor, department heads are all here, he spotted their parked cars.  He is determined to find his way in.

  • lol at mookie’s fanboy face.  ^  haha and WH, night and day from your Perfect Couple YuanBo days! Bravo and sooo sooo shuai!!!
  • Gu overheard the big guns have decided on burning ChangSha to the ground as they are losing hold.

screengrab is here because I am very weak for any pretty side profile of a prettier when serious WH.

  • He grabs his uncle as the heated meeting is adjourned to confirm their shocking decision.   A lot of resources are stored up in ChangSha, they can not repeat the misstep of Wuhan where supplies left behind fueled the enemy advances l after they lost hold of the city.
  • Changsha is a town with thousands of years of history, how can they burn it down?  – Nanjing was the capital for 6 dynasties, that did not stop it from being massacred.   T___T
  • He drove back to check on the progress of securing shelter for the wounded, knowing all the effort means nothing now as the highly confidential daunting news weigh in.  He lets mookie have some time off visiting his family, his family of only his mother in ChangSha, she made Gu some steamed buns. 

  • It is delicious, but hard to swallow with the lump in his throat.  He nudges mookie to make provision sending his Mom out of town.  All he can say is, ChangSha is not safe, evacuate by all means.
  • XM continues his lost cause, accusing JF of not keeping her promise of marrying him IF he fulfilled the goals. She has left along with the hospital relocation.  It is easy to be impatient with XM, but he is a 16 year old boy at a loss, not as smart, perceptive and intuitive as XX, it is just hitting him hard things are falling apart in his world and he has no agency to digest it.   XX is going to get married, ‘you have no time for me’ , dissing XX.  I do not know why XM is sizing himself up with her fiance.  I do, he is feeling his most insecure, inadequate and he is picking on XX’s fiance thinking it can boost his ego.  Life has got too complicated, pushing and pulling him in all directions and he is stumbling.   His old comforts, all the constants in his life are vanishing.  After her wedding, XX will no longer live with him under the same Hu house.  He has his first blow being turned down by JF, for years he must’ve thought all it takes was a kneeling, a rose, words of a proposal and the good life with JF will fall on his lap, like everything else in his life thus far, never crosses his mind she would be so determined to refuse his advances.  The family is also urging him to marry XiuXiu constantly.  Everyone is fleeing CS, he was set to leave, but he can’t leave JF behind I suppose, that is why he suddenly decides he wants to start a business, make himself of some use. As he is as useless as being a soldier as XX’s fiance, the simplest way of making himself worthy is follow his path, be a businessman, claim his inheritance in XiangTan, grandpa has set up a storefront for him to takeover Hu’s rice business. ‘Shoo!  Go ahead!  Head to XiangTan now and claim your shop.  See if Grandmama will still recognize you as her grandson.  If she does, I will write my name backwards forever. Go!’
  • And he does.  He brings his ridiculous idea of leaving for XiangTan to start his business to Grandma and Sis.  For the first time he decides to do something worthy, he is shot down furiously immediately.  He dumped his frustration on XiuXiu, which leads to a further scolding from Xiangxiang and Grandmama.

  • We all agree XM is hotheaded, childish, useless and silly at this point it is no fun shaking our heads, seeing him making a fool of himself over and over again, the price of being ignorant and kind at heart.  We all earn our way growing into an adult, through mistakes and falls that lessons are learned.
  • lol the whole family is worried reading XM’s note he is running away from home to XiangTan, except BiL, eating his breakfast without even a pause raising a brow.  He is not worried, XM can not go far, he is not half as savvy as XX, he won’t be able to get on a boat in days.

  • XiaoDi is fetching BiL for an urgent meeting with Boss.  Back to work, BiL does not miss a beat, something is brewing when Boss himself is summoned to an impromptu meeting with all the powerful men.  News is Japs are advancing to the river banks, YueYang is lost.  BiL immediately asks what else, there must be more trouble, he dictates his orders covering the (shady) business and home fronts. Boss is back, BiL takes a serious guess as Boss is sternly summoning a meeting, are they asked to fight in combat?!  It is better to be able to fight…Boss breaks the news even a worldly XJS is agape, they are assigning them to the ignominious task: arsonists of the town.

  • A very pathetic XM, with all his money spent being charitable but silly and congee all over his nice coat is rescued by commander Gu. ‘Running away from home, you children of the Hu family are full of tricks up your sleeves.’  Let me guess, seeing one of the twins, prompts you to immediately think of the other one.   Or…she is always on your mind?!?! kekeke

mookie-ah…

  • Argh. In RL I will never fall for a smoker, but y u so very fine smoking?!?!?!  Every time the smoke is swirling around his face it makes him more dreamy it is sinful. Fact.
  • XM refuses to go home, he wants to make a living, realizing he most probably will freeze and starve to death before making it to XiangTan, he opts for enlisting under Gu as a soldier, to check off his goal…killing off 100 japs.
  • I love all the secret nods between Gu and mookie.  It is in tiniest details that this drama marvels.  The plot can allow substantial arc for individual character flourishes and we all have gathered enough colorful attributes from the words and actions of both Gu and XJS but it is also in how their suboridinates truly are in sync with them, the devotion, comradararie and brotherhood in every scene, every moment it reflects on these men being worthy.   Gu orders mookie to check on whether there is a spot for XM, but we see mookie prepping for ‘the big gun’

  • He said he is not interested in coaching young ladies, I doubt he would say his passion is teaching dumbos like XM a lesson he has not earned, but once Gu sees a chance to instill some good in the boy unaware he is in dire need of a wake up call, he attacks it with perfection.  His voice is still gentle as he pierces into XM’s eyes, asking frank, non-judgmental, rhetorical, provoking questions, and expecting XM to be stark honest with him, in figuring out what XM should really do with his life.  This should be the job of XM’s father, and XM should consider himself lucky he has BiL all along, and now Gu ChingMing taking up tge responsibilities.
  • Gu asks if XM is afraid to die, bullets will fly over his head, between his legs, a careless swing of the sword can spill his guts, but not promising an instant death.  XM pee’d his pants as test shots are fired outside.
  • Admitting fear is not a shame, lying is not a shame, what is shameful is lying and refusing to admit you lied.

  • Commander Gu could’ve minor in Education in military school His lesson plan is all-rounded.  Questions provoking the child to think for himself, sensory reminders for the abstract concept, and a succinct summary of the lesson of the day.
  • Boss reads out the written order: All government buildings, all supplies unable to be transported has to be incinerated.  The police is responsible for setting the fire, the guards are to prepare the fuel.

On the far right that is PD 孔笙 making one of his several cameos

I have not seen such a 悲天憫人/compassionate expression on XJS’s face.  We learn new things of this most interesting complicated man of many facets every new day, humanity and dignity are in muskier corners of his being he is airing out, when facing paramount battle of right and wrong.

 

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