Mother is tucking her into bed, handing her a sedative for sleep. Xiang Jun sees it all, with a wistful longing in her eyes, she has been showered by the love of her parents, her Grandmama, her twin younger siblings and her doting Husband but now when part of her luck has run out, she is falling apart inside. She is Mother’s firstborn after childless for many years, the godsend miracle Grandmama bowed her way to beg from GuanYin, and that was ever the only worry the matron had for her granddaughter, holding the family together like a silent glue in her gentile yet stately way like the greatest blessing, a GuanYin personified anyone can only wish upon, tiding them as the most comforting support through adversities. She has always been the best daughter, granddaughter anyone can pray for. Time and time again, she has thanked them for taking care of her only son, ‘PingOn’ in her place. Her family never had to worry about her, until these last years under the wrath of war. What is it doing to her child, Mother, Grandmama must have asked the power above many many times. Why?
Half our screens are filled with scarier fiery explosions with each front line confrontation as the war escalates. This is hard to watch. Hard is an understatement.
Still life and Landscapes witness the wax and wane of days. We fish for poetry and meaning as we are hanging on a thread, a red one, or the one on a kite. The leaves on the bonsai are the same shade of jade green on a sturdier trunk. A plane in the sky speeding by and gone like the clouds gathering and dispersing with the sun peeking through…is where their hearts belong. The same sky, the same clouds, the same field of tall grasses…are never exactly the same. A moving speech as the sun is setting, soldiers in the trenches surviving another day which could be the prelude to a dusk of darkest hour.
I did not grow up fascinated with having a meadow all by myself like a day at amusement park, but it must be a wonderland for a child a certain era bygone. XJS’ childhood would be in the 1910s in poor rural China, orphaned quite young. We saw how it was a favorite pastime for even the ‘city slickers’ XX and XM visiting XiangTan a decade+ later. XJS’ idea of utopia must still be that pasture of rice field in his dream where his PingOn can giggle and run around without a care…putting his mind at ease, however little.
This episode does not start out terribly exciting for me, but after plodding through the necessary storytelling and prepping of future tangents for a half an episode, I giggled and giggled and giggled nonstop while my heartstrings got tugged by BiL (THE WHOLE WORLD MISSES YOU!) And, I have hundreds of smiling YangZi and WH caps! GCM is smiling or can not contain a smile, or they can not take eyes off each other more than half the time in this ep. YAY! Poignancy back in full force in the last scene, a very winning episode, no?!
Since the beginning of last episode, after he said a heartbreaking goodbye to his wife in an intense embrace, BiL is busy playing ‘hide and seek’ with the japs as XiaoHe puts it. He is mentioned constantly by XX and XM. When XX pondered how they have grown, she is quoting the lessons from BiL in her mind; when she is taking up more responsibilities she has never thought she could, but BiL has faith in her before herself. When XM carried GCM back home in a stretcher, he taught back GCM the lesson how pride/shame means nothing to their family compared to coming back home, that is not what Dad could ever say out loud, that is 99% BiL, and GCM was at the receiving end of one such colorful speeches. XM is quick to show he is a smartypants injecting a wink of what GCM taught him when he peed his pants. XJS’s omnipresence is in this episode the same.
Continue reading “The Battle of ChangSha Watch Along ep20”
XiangJun, smiling at her husband JunShan, they have just bought new clothes for their 3 year old son, a visual of bliss…
I lost count how many of my favorite scenes are packed in 40 some odd minutes. We can not escape falling deeper, madder in love with them some more.
I do not think this episode needs commentary.
To Xue JunShan, life is like his chess playing, gather his boys, pop an addictive stimulating betel nut like it is harmless chewing gum, have some mindless fun, take it as easy as can be but never not on the alert of planning and thinking all the next steps in the life he has a clarity of designing for himself and his family. Most of the time XJS wins, having faith with his bff: luck, if it does not go his way, shamelessly badgers and smiles and fights for another chance… let luck strikes again on top of spinning his shrewdest mind harder.