Episode 13 of Lost Romance begins with Xiao’En making breakfast after her night with Aoran but can’t stop thinking about the link with Tianxing. He isn’t ready to go there though.
Finally, he asks why she’s hung up on the dreams. She wonders if they’re actually about both Aoran and Tianxing and perhaps a vision of their future. He describes the dream in detail but is called away and asks her to wait.
At the gravesite, he apologises to his family but says this time Moran needs to take responsibility for his actions. Qingfeng confirms the arrest of Moran and Chuchu. Aoran pays for Chuchu’s bail but she needs to resign quietly.
Qingfeng takes the orders but then punches Aoran for putting Xiao’En in danger. He says he backed off from Xiao’En because she likes Aoran, not because they’re friends. Aoran talks about their long-lasting friendship. Qingfeng says his biggest mistake was sending Xiao’En to fix Aoran’s toilet. They part as friends.
Xiao’En tries to figure out the link between the two men. She lands that Tianxing must still be unconscious if Aoran is dreaming of him – but if wakes up…what happens to Aoran? And if Aoran lives on, what happens to Tianxing?
Mingli is drinking away her troubles in the office. Qiaozhi confirms that the sibling fight video has been leaked online. He suggests she head home for a rest.
She hallucinates again and Qiaozhi tries to get her out of the building but she continues to shout at the other Mingli. Tianjian is ready with men to take her away, telling her she’s sick. They bundle her into an ambulance, family only.
Flashback to Tianjian dialing himself and Uncle He from Mingli’s phone, to ensure his return to the company. He and Uncle He deposit a straight-jacketed Mingli into a facility. Now ready to go after Tianxing, he guesses that Shanna and Jason are sheltering him.
The news reports that Mingli has left the company due to illness, mentioning sleeping pills. Shanna and Jason anticipate doom for Tianliang without Tianxing.
Tianxing’s doctor says his willpower is strong but physically he’s deteriorating, his organs starting to exhibit signs of failure. They don’t know the reason. Shanna pleads with an unconscious Tianxing to wake up before the company fails or someone kills him.
Aoran stops at a flower shop to select a treat for Xiao’En – he chooses pink hydrangeas, enjoying their meaning of ‘teenage girl’s dream.’ He plans cool ways he’ll hand them over, but when he gets home Xiao’En has already left. Disappointed, he asks her to wait at her place.
She realises she’s not guest-ready and runs to slap on a face mask and foot treatments. She rifles through her wardrobe, tossing aside outfits that don’t suit. Finally made up, she notices her apartment is a mess. As the bell rings she shoves clothes, trash, groceries, etc., underneath furniture and into cupboards.
Aoran presents flowers to a pleased Xiao’En, quoting Meteor Garden about whether people can live in such small spaces. He’s impressed, however, with the tidiness until sitting and finding all sorts tucked under the sofa cushion.
He opens a cupboard to find tea and gets hit with snacks, then spots a sink full of dishes. She deters him from checking the fridge and he looks a little scared. In the end, he admits he’s there because he misses her, charming her completely.
With all seriousness, he suggests she move in with him but she declines and instead introduces him to the convenience of her place, with everything one could need within arm’s or foot’s reach. Incredibly disconcerted (until he learns how to bank rubbish from the corner of the TV), they eventually get a moment to talk about their feelings.
As Aoran steps away to take a call, Xiao’En notices him flicker and is relieved to see him return. He offers her an upgraded version of her convenience lifestyle and sets out a spread on his living room floor, everything beautifully within reach. He even hides ‘one more free’ tokens for her to find. They agree a date for the following evening.
Qingfeng bails Chuchu out of jail and offers her a chance to resign. Chuchu calls him out about his feelings for Xiao’En and goads him to come clean with her about it while there’s still a chance. He ducks away to think things through.
Aoran wakes to nightmares so Xiao’En offers to tell him a bit about Tianxing. Hearing what she knows, Aoran suggests perhaps Tianxing simply doesn’t want to wake up, that his life is too hard and meaningless. Xiao’En wonders if Aoran’s words are Tianxing’s feelings.
Outside the office, Xiao’En tries to avoid entering with Aoran, knowing it will cause an uproar. The ladies watch Qingfeng walk in without Aoran and wonder if the ‘couple’ fought. He’s befuddled by their sympathetic gazes.
Xiao’En isn’t wrong about her reception. Aoran says he’ll kiss her if she doesn’t behave. She anticipates her funeral as he does. Everyone is riveted as Aoran, Xiao’En and Qingfeng greet each other.
The girls pounce in the breakroom telling Xiao’En all the stories circulating about her super-hero-like save of Aoran. She tries to explain and hears that Chuchu resigned. They tell Xiao’En not to feel any stress about dating Aoran.
Susan and Qiutian are called to meet with Aoran. He asks for their advice on proposing and thinking it’s awfully soon, they try to get out of it. But he won’t be put off. The girls check his ideas and try to help come up with something a little more Xiao’En-like.
Xiao’En asks Qingfeng if he’s upset about Chuchu and he honestly says yes. He asks her to hang out that evening but she already has plans with Aoran. She feels guilty leaving him to himself so says she’ll see him instead.
Aoran ring shops and starts by asking for the most expensive, but adjusts to choosing one popular with women her age. Xiao’En meets him to try to rearrange their date but he refuses, saying he’ll wait as long as it takes. Later, he waits impatiently at the restaurant before a beautiful spread.
The Episode Review
Proposal? What? We just got here! Well, points Aoran for knowing your paper-backed little heart. However, the flickering thing can’t be a good sign. A signal of the end? We’ve still got seven more delightful episodes to go.
Xiao’En is clearly still tied to Tianxing, even with her romance with Aoran. Of course, she knows she’s inside the novel world and now enjoying the position of lead. But doesn’t let go of realising there’s a real world and Tianxing exists there. She still seems pretty protective of him. From a character perspective, this conflict between Xiao’En’s reality and currently more realistic fantasy (13 instalments in) is what makes her so relatable. Wouldn’t we all love to ignore the crap and exist in our own fantasies?
Aoran’s insight of Tianxing not wanting to wake is compelling too – perhaps he’s having a lovely dream of Xiao’En? His thoughts that maybe Tianxing’s life isn’t very pleasant seems plausible as well, playing in to Xiao’En’s life in the real world – also not that great. For Tainxing, even Shanna and his team want him there for the success of the company. For Xiao’En she’s a corporate slave with no hope of anything more than spying on the man of whom she dreams.
I liked Aoran’s thinking: ‘If you spend your life working only toward a goal for others, what’s the purpose of your existence?’ Indeed. That could well be the message of the whole show and the encouragement they both need to rethink.
And speaking of questioning your existence, Qingfeng is not only heartbroken but now totally dusted, with about a quarter of his typical screen-time. Such is the fate of the second lead once the main couple finds their way to each other, in keeping with the theme of romance content.
Chuchu too seems to be done. Unless she does an army crawl back into the drama to deliver another hammer drop. Maybe now that her bail has been paid she’ll regain her momentum.
On the other side, Mingli’s incarceration – yikes. Hostile takeover. Early in the series, Tianjian seemed like an easy-going guy. But between the nurture of Mingli and Uncle He plus the vacuum left behind by Tianxing, I guess he just couldn’t help but want to take a serious punt.
And with Tianxing’s organ trouble, that open space is becoming wider. Whoa, this isn’t just a pleasant dream anymore, is it? Coupled with Aoran’s flickering, it’s not looking great for either of them. Could Tianxing’s deterioration be killing them both? Originally Xiao’En’s theory seemed to be one or the other of them will thrive. But this looks more like they’re tied together and both potentially sinking.
So, on an odd note – have you noticed sounds in the background that don’t seem part of the script? It’s like a breathing machine, quite rhythmic. The sound is particularly disruptive during the outdoor scene with Aoran and Qingfeng at the graveside. How odd. It could be a sound-editing mistake – or it could be an indication that it’s Tianxing’s dream. Anything can happen in this collided-world fantasy, so let’s see. Please do cast your thoughts below.
*If you’re watching on Viki have you spotted the shout out to fans video? Super cute messages from key cast members and Marcus does his in English. Catch it tucked in with the trailers. Enjoy!