The Battle of ChangSha Watch Along ep11

 photo 1103-55-20_zps79bbef97.jpgI thought I could enjoy the childish XM scenes more in rewatch…but not really.  I was wishing CCTV would tighten the storyline of him and JF.   Still the episode offers OTP fluff, and Mookie is my boy, scene stealing and cracking me up.  Most importantly for progression of plot: hatching of the Bromance between cold nonchalant prince Gu and the bubbly busybody BiL which is GOLD!   If we are watching this episode on its own as an entity, their meetcute is very typical construct in shoujo: another Itakiss OTP if we insert a super slick Kotoko in BiL’s place.

I do feel horrible saying, but the actress for JF is my weak link and adds nothing much to scene, Cousin MH is another actor I find lacking in this lovely ensemble and I care less about their arcs.

In screengrabbing, I cherish any scene of the round dinner table, half of the family members have backs to us as the entire table is utilized.  You get my drift.  T___T

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You are calling me a promiscuous widow! 

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…and I am not bad looking…and I have a sweet temper.

Niu JunFeng in real life is a hottie, but haha from XX’s face she is with us not finding XM attractive at all as he claims.

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lol Sis is biting back a giggle when Dad is scolding XM where does he get the silly from, Mom jabs XM is the exact likeness of Dad.

On one hand, it is understandable Mom and Dad would ask MingHan to move in.  In subtlety this drama rules, life is drastically harder after the ravaging fire.  Boys have to steal to feed their sick moms, epidemics have sprung out, Dr MH has been working so feverishly this is the first time he sees the family by chance after the fire.  OTOH, it is tacky, I think Mom and Dad are innocent, however I doubt they would be against something bonding between Sis and MH down the road now that XJS is enlisted, they still live in feudal social values: they need a man under the roof.  Sis must have the same thought of they are being careless and tacky.  It is still not a time remarriage in a reputable well-read family is not scoffed upon, ignorantly Mom and Dad must’ve thought it is the best of both worlds with Cousin as Man of family and they can take care of him.   If we have seen Sis and Cousin MH exchanging loaded glances before even when innocent, Sis is no longer encouraging any innuendo. Cousin MH is still at it fishing for her approval to accept the offer(argh…I do not like it). Imo a truly honorable man should be aware of the boundaries and never consider moving into the house of XJS. I guess cousin MH is far from perfect afterall, overrated by silly Dad. XJ realized after what transpired, her heart belongs solely to her husband, she has learned her lesson and is being much more cautious and considerate of JunShan’s feelings first and foremost.

The conversation jumps to the upcoming marriage of XM and XiuXiu, XM is being a douche in rebelling against the arrangement, hurting XiuXiu’s feelings with his every word.  He keeps making up how attracted his friends are to XiuXiu, saying one of them is comparing her to 梨娘* of a very popular melo-novella at the time 玉梨魂, it has the reputation of say the Notebook back then (mass popular, never considered worthy literature) mimicking Dream of Red Chamber.  *梨娘 is the widowed mother who fell for the private tutor of her son, can not overcome the social pressure, lots of unwarranted angsts and novel ends in BE, she has since hang herself when hero was back looking for her, in his grief he joined the uprising revolutionary New Army, fighting for new China.   What XiuXiu says: XM name-calling her a promiscuous widow, is not exactly true by our standards, but the educated class of old China is still adhering to widow chastity as a woman’s virtue and XiuXiu is a child of the dated traditional values.  Not a nice thing to say on the bad luck alone, XM.

XiuXiu is so furious she decides to live with her brother at the hospital, moving out of the house.  Everyone is fuming, Grandmama threatens if he does not beg XiuXiu to come home with him…

Don’t come back!
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This is why I am not too fond of JF, grabby hands, asking XM to do favors are all signs of leading the poor boy on.   XX must be thinking, ‘geez you could ask for my help stirring congee.’

Of course XM is a troublemaker, he cracks jokes and sings army songs so off key a soldier split his wound open, needing new stitches.
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When JF and everyone is breathing down XM’s neck, XiuXiu has nothing but kind words to his defense.  I love XiuXiu, not exactly I worship the character, but I love this authentic addition of an old school traditional girl very realistic to the family construct of the time when China is still in transition.  She is a model of the old, living in a new society on very shaky grounds.  The young actress is also very understatedly awesome, XiuXiu has very little lines, all her acting is internalized and often she is scenery filling up a scene, but we still get a very good read this is a young lady very kind, gentle, filial but smarter than we think, many IQ points higher than XM but will never boast any of her strengths. She is made of the softest threads of silk, weaving up a tensile tapestry with the Hu’s name on it. It is her unconditional silent supportive role in the Hu family that…life goes on.

The next day, instead of even trying to ask XiuXiu back, he wanders along the river bank.

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This is just set p0rn.

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With a photograph, we have a visual proof our XX is growing up.
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XM has run away from home AGAIN.  In his note, he said he is enlisting. XX’s premonition is he is no longer in the city.
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He hikes a ride heading north, towards where the army is based. Midway, he takes a break, asking for water from a nice village auntie packing up.  She is fleeing, japs are pushing down, her village is unsafe to live.
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And japs are here, faking as refugees.

At the north checkpoint, Gu and Mookie almost run over a girl leaping in their way. I suspect it is a checkpoint not existing when XX was roaming around town just a year ago before war hits CS.  Of course the girl without a care for her life according to mookie is XX.
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In the past, we would expect Gu to order Mookie to deal with the nuisance.  Now we see him jumping off his vehicle without hesitation, concerned, he immediately asks, ‘What are you up to?’  Is this the first time GCM is initiating conversation, asking with worry on his face what is on XX’s mind and her plans?! What trouble is she in again?!
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Hu XianMan is enlisting?!  Huh.

Mookie must have sensed XX is testing his commander Gu’s patience.  He tries to talk some sense into Miss XX.  They have a convoy of supplies to transport urgently to the army base by nightfall.  They have no time to waste on giving her a ride, moreover it is extremely dangerous, the jap can break their line of defense anytime, needless to say, no civilian is allowed.
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I won’t be your liability, just let me hike a ride!  I will sign a no fault agreement on paper.

-How come we bump into you wherever we go?!  (And why are you so clingy, he uses a simile of a damaged pair of pants clinging to legs)

What are you saying?  Yes I am a clingy piece of rag, I am clinging onto you.  What is wrong with me looking for my brother?

GCM gives an order to take her away from the checkpoint.
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haha and old habits are hard to break, just like old days, XX has a loud mouthful for him in front of his minions: heartless, hypocrite, coward… He is NOT amused.  But let me say, it is lovely they put that traumatic incident behind and back to their bickering way…or more like him reluctantly on the receiving end of her public humiliating torrents but the formidable commander everyone is scared of can do nothing about the mouth of this young lady . *kekeke from my doctorate on shoujo manga, this is where the old trick of kissing her to shush is very effective, but of course GCM is very uneducated in that dept. *

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Gu hears strange noises coming from the truck behind and this is what is greeting him. 

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If you need to execute anyone at fault, shoot me.

I know my brother is up north, can’t go wrong following you, we have ESP.

haha she is not done spatting, when he calls out her ESP is a load of crap, she throws it back at him he is the one full of crap himself.  Mookie is here to break the lover’s spat, reminding Gu they have more urgent army business than squabbling *coughflirtingcough* with a young lady with a loose screw.  And yup, XX is throwing the loose screws back at you too mookie!

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Is XX really funny?  I don’t think so, I mean XM’s incident was funnier when he tries to light the mood and split the stitches of soldiers instead but JF did not laugh AT ALL.   And here a scary cold face GCM is giggling up a face of laugh lines.  Since she likes /following/ him so much, he will let her, GCM teases.

GCM sees the same hut XM saw, he is asking the auntie to take in XX for the time being, they will fetch her on the way back.  She is tied up because she is naughty, a runaway bride, he knows her BiL well…or else he won’t give a care (oh really), so he is just giving her a lesson.  Oh the meta. It is cute seeing GCM having fun with poking at XX referencing their own story.

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haha I enjoy picking up mookie’s smirking amused face too much.  I love him.

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Just put her in a corner with bits of food and water. 

*Hm, why do you have to grab her close to you?!

He senses something is off with the auntie.  Shots are fired from the house, XX hears XM’s screams from within. GCM shielding her from the ricochets, is graced by one himself.  XX begs him to save XM, even if he is unwilling, there is no way he can refuse when those eyes are pleading.
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Shut up if you do not want to die!

And lemme push your heads together…

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An emo GCM:  this is his first hands-on fight with the japs no matter the circumstances.  He must be bleeding inside of all the efforts all the lives lost, japs are advancing infiltrating daily lives of innocents. He is not proud of it, he made careless mistakes and a good villager is dead.   He must also be overwhelmed he almost killed HXX and XM by not being extremely cautious. XX could have been gangraped.  There is also tenderness, relief seeing the twins safe and loving each other so much.

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XX notices GCM’s wrist is bleeding, she wants to tend to his wound as token of gratitude, asking if they have bandage.  GCM sees no need, yet again initiating conversation, he is curious how come HXX knows how to bandage.  haha she doesn’t, but she has seen it done and it is simple.  She uses a saying, ‘ Even if you have not eaten pork, you must have seen a pig running around.’  Cute.

Mookie time (LOL):
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Miss XiangXiang, if you are going to repay the gratitude, from operettas and novellas, this is the trope of the hero rescuing the pretty damsel, and it always ends with the lady betrothing to the hero.  What is the use of just offering a hand bandaging (a wound).

(the term in Chinese 以身相许 is more…literal along the line promising her body to her beloved)

LOL mookie I am sure you have two new holes stared off your giggling face.

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XX offers again to tend his wound for him.  She feels guilty and grateful and genuinely concerned, but more so it will not sit with her well she is owing him another favor of too many to count already.  He refuses, he would ask for a medical staff instead.  It’s been a very unexpected long day for our commander Gu, as much as HXX is amusing, he has had enough, especially he is brooding about how pathetic he is, freshly reminded this could be his only chance in action, not able to fight in any real battlefield… especially bumped when the unit stationed at the base just fought a bloody hard battle today he has no part in.

GCM informs their BiL, XiaoDi and XiaoHe are here to escort them back home.  They are afraid of a beating from BiL, especially XM.  BiL has no time for them, he was injured in the line of duty today.  The twins are more worried with BiL than their behinds right away it is precious.  BiL covers the most important ground, they are to downplay his injury to his wife their Sis.
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haha GCM’s lucky unlucky day is not done, he wants to hide and mope alone, but the person he must be dreading most because his headache will just grow several sizes with him around is also being treated, injured in real battle a curtain apart.  BiL offers him Areca to chew.  WH here is perfectly illustrating what is ‘not even batting an eyelash of care’ or the pretense of such. /
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BiL is firing all cylinders of chatty.  He probed from mookie what heroic deed caused GCM his injury.

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I have to thank you for saving my brother and sister in law.
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Are you seriously hurt?

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I am marveling at how perceptive BiL is.  I suspect he has gathered all there is to know about the infamous cold face ‘Hades’ commander, no way missing the fact he will never be allowed to fight in the front line per his dad’s omnipresent influence.   Seeing him moping, it must be bruising GCM’s ego he got hurt in a minor accidental infraction, his first time in line of fire is a joke, when he is one of the finest student from a top-notch academy… while a thug like XJS has a medal on honor of a scar branded on battlefield.

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BiL did not fight gallantly today, he made his escape but still come back a hero.  Gu stabs at him he does not look like a GuanGong*, he looks like a clown instead.  *He is implying a very famous episode in Romance of 3 Kingdoms 关公战长沙  GuanYu, synonymous to bravery, the mighty general working for LiuBei took the city of ChangSha without a bloody battle.

BiL teases him being stuck up, winning a battle is not just based on prowess, luck plays a role, just like how lucky Gu was, the pride of the well-educated man is his Achilles’ heel.  ‘I know what you want to do…’

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You want to fight in battlefield.

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haha BiL really is practicing what he preaches.  Acting all cute and bumbling,  XJS was going to repay GCM for saving the life of his sister in law (fyi GCM also saved the life of your BiL, and this is the second/third time u r dropping in a mention of her) by brainstorming for him, but since GCM is so well-educated they are not of the same wavelength, he should scoot along thinking up his useless mischief.  How is it different from smiling gently all nice, drawing his attention then ignoring, step #1 of how to trap a GCM by a pretty HXX XJS

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hahaha and GCM really listens to him like gospel.

The loyal puppy duty of mookie requires him to try his mightiest to separate Commander Gu from any hustling from XJS.
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Cry first, holler next, then threats of hurting herself.. are the MO of the ladies’ manipulation.  It is not suitable for you. Please reconsider, commander!

Gu listens, shoots down the plan, plan A.  There is plan B!

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Well, I must say the Hu babies deserve a good beating, yes directly on the butt of XianMan and it is fine by me XX gets a bit of indirect punishment feeling XM’s pain literally for being so bullheaded.    She should not go alone, but then the more I think about it…who else she knows of is competent to rescue XM in her place and will be guaranteed unscathed at this stage of the war?!  No one.  Not even GCM.
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4 thoughts on “The Battle of ChangSha Watch Along ep11

  1. Yup, right there with you regarding Xiao Man’s antics. I know he’s still a teen and boys mature later than girls, but by the nth time he does something so brash, I’m rolling my eyes saying, “really?!?!?”

    JF…she’s not the strongest character for sure and I wonder why she promised to marry XM in the first place if she has no intention of doing so now, but I truly empathize with her plight. Also, *SPOILER ALERT* I was touched by her demise as well. I could see how being face to face with the enemy that took the lives dearest to her would spur her to go down that path.

    Wallace is eye candy for sure but why so skinny?! Eat up, GQM! I think he mentioned that this drama didn’t rush the filming as much as Swordsman/Xiao Ao Jiang Hu did, but I do wonder how drama filming treats him. Anywhoots, just me being a caring 粉丝, hehe XD

    AND BiL + GQM = match made in heaven. Bromance is THE word to describe this marvelous pair. Can’t wait to see more of them, especially once my favorite scene of the two comes along 😀

    1. Yeah, the beauty of lovely writing, directing bringing the best out of an actor when in a terrific scene, even though there r better actors out there for JF, MH is doesnt damper the effectiveness of the scene when matters.

      I am a horrible fan, i lurve him emaciated here, i bet it is his design for the character. It is perfect for a GCM. That is also why i had a slight glib on Cousin, it is unrealistic a doc, with his workload and all the hardship be exactly the same still pudgy cheeks all through the 6,7 yrs of war. What i applaud WH in RL is he is extremely hard on himself and his work ethics is ruthless. What he lacks in natural talent he will put in whatever effort to compensate, sometimes he still falls short (he is a horrible miscast for LingHu Chung) but here everything clicks. He said in a clip yesterday he had so much fun on set, they r fam, playing bball tog and he would walk to hotpot w XX and XM at the spur of moment. Precious.

  2. I love all your picture caps especially the one where GQM is smiling a bit (when XX was hiding in the military truck). I watch this EP a couple of times and yet I didn’t even notice that little smile of his.

    1. All the little touches r so amazing. WH did put a lot of work on his nuances and most of the time it works brilliantly.

      When i first watched the scene ar the clinic i thought it was straight he is annoyed of all the trouble the Hu clan gave him that day, didnt connect the bigger the dots he was frustrated he didnt get hurt like even a XJS on battlefield whom he does not respect much.

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