Episode 18 of Lost Romance commences with Uncle He discovering that Tianjian hasn’t been in the office for a few days and that he’s been questioned by the police. Tianjian’s Mother believes he may have left the country. The news covers more strife for Tianliang Group.
Tianxing decides it’s time to join forces with Mingli and poses a compelling argument. Tianjian may have been thinking the same thing but when he spots Mingli with Tianxing, he hides to avoid them both.
After meeting with Mingli, Tianxing speeds to his appointment with Xiao’En. Only, it’s Chuntian waiting to interview him. He asks where Xiao’En is right now in exactly the tone you’re imagining – like your disapproving mother.
At the office, Xiao’En tries not to think about Tianxing but she’s having such difficulty that she thinks it’s an auditory hallucination when she hears his voice. But that’s not it.
Showing his disappointment, Tianxing scolds Xiao’En while Editor Yao is thrilled to have their new star at the office. They berate Xiao’En together and Tianxing notes that he agreed to the interview because she’d personally convinced him.
Whilst she waits, Shanna has a peek around the editorial office, deriding the romance novels filling the shelves. Chuntian calls her number and in the name of romance novels, accuses Shanna of secretly being in love with Tianxing, claiming the drone observations as evidence.
In continued overbearing style, Tianxing tells Xiao’En that she will pick up the interviews again and her boss agrees on her behalf. Chuntian gifts Shanna a pile of romance novels so she can learn how to attract other overbearing CEOs.
Surprised that Tianxing seems to be the one who can help Tianliang Group, Mingli wonders if she can trust him. Her mother arrives, worried about Tianjian’s police investigation. Mingli confirms that Tianjian did push Tianxing but her mother refuses to believe it, blaming Mingli instead.
Chuntian and Xiao’En have a girl’s night in. Xiao’En claims she’ll be fine with Tianxing the following day and will treat it as ‘just business.’ Chuntian doesn’t buy it claiming Xiao’En will manage to cuckold both Aoran and Tianxing with each other. She continues to tease her.
Mingli is back in the driver seat at Tianliang Group, surprising Uncle He. She begins setting the trap as its announced that Tianxing will return.
Greeted by a team of waiting employees and interviewer Xiao’En, Tianxing returns to Tianliang. He and Mingli put on a show of animosity for Uncle He. Tianxing says he’s there to exercise his right of inspection as a board director, checking the company financials.
Spotting Xiao’En, Mingli recognises her as the person whose hand Tianxing grabbed when he was in a coma. Tianxing is shocked by the revelation but Xiao’En avoids comment.
In Tianxing’s office, Xiao’En discovers the same diffuser scent that Aoran had in his home. Tianxing wonders why he would grab her hand while in a coma. Xiao’En throws it back – yes, why would he grab her hand?
He continues to ponder that they were both comatose for three months. It can’t be a coincidence. She plays along, saying it must be fate. He’s uncertain but doesn’t disagree.
They get back to interviewing and he claims the same rules – questions one for one. Just as they’re about to begin, Chuchu arrives to suggest a team dinner to welcome back the CEO. He agrees and Chuchu awkwardly invites Xiao’En to join them, but she declines.
Shanna and Jason share findings on Uncle He’s projects since starting at Tianliang. They assist in forcing him to panic his way into the snare.
Chuntian is disappointed that Xiao’En didn’t take the obvious opportunity to get between White Lotus Chuchu and Tianxing. She offers to gate-crash the dinner with her just as the teams happens to arrive at the same restaurant.
Xiao’En tries to sneak away but Tianxing spots her outside and invites the girls to join them. They sit by themselves at the end, Xiao’En feeling awkward and Chuntian ready to make the most of the evening.
After dinner, they join in the restaurant’s drinking games. Chuchu suggests an added prize of the CEO’s cufflinks to whoever wins, so the ladies go head-to-head – Chuchu, Shanna and Xiao’En with Chuntian at her side.
They down beer and car bombs until Tianxing decides to play knight so the team is able to show up at work the next day. Tianxing drinks for each of the four but they still wobble. The last woman standing is Xiao’En, who wins the cufflinks.
After Tianxing sees off the employees, he confesses that he’s had too much and puts his head on Xiao’En’s shoulder. She grabs them a cab and even in his stupor, he’s jumpy. She wonders what kind of life he’s had.
He’s ill when they arrive, and she takes care of him before sending him off ready for bed, saying she’ll stick around to make sure he’s okay. On second thought, she thinks maybe she shouldn’t be there and disappears before Tianxing emerges. But to his surprise, she rings the doorbell having just gone out for snacks.
She introduces him to ramen as if – as a CEO from a rich family – he’s never seen it before. He claims to have eaten it a lot in his younger days. They chat casually, finding they both had silly part-time jobs wearing costumes in their youth. Xiao’En admits they’re more alike than she’d thought.
Then she realizes he has a fever and sends him to bed, continuing to look after him through the night. When she steps away he grabs her arm in his sleep saying – as Aoran had – ‘Didn’t I say that as long as I reach out my hand, I must be able to touch you? This is the farthest distance you can be away from me.’
Xiao’En panics and wakes him asking to repeat what he’d said but he doesn’t remember, falling asleep again. Xiao’En decides she must be overthinking. Tianxing wakes to an empty house but the doorbell rings. This time it’s not Xiao’En.
Mingli and Tianxing progress their plan to trap Uncle He while Shanna, Jason and Qiaozhi assist by picking through his office. In a private meeting with Uncle He, Mingli (and Tianxing via headset) dig to figure out his game.
The Episode Review
Oh, that old trope – the male of the species proving his cave-manliness via his capacity to drink. Loving how the Lost Romance team plays with these stereotypical situations and turn them into something a bit more meaningful. At least they didn’t make her piggyback him home. Oh, but that Chuchu playing to type – she’s annoying in any context it seems. Cufflinks, I ask you…
An odd observation but one that’s been niggling. What’s going on with Tianxing’s apartment? Doesn’t it seem incredibly dark – for a rich young CEO – and with an ‘old lady’ aesthetic? Maybe it’s me – please, someone, fix my view. Tell me it’s all the rage in Taipei and that I’ll be redecorating shortly…
Anyway, back to the thrust of the chapter. While Xiao’En’s circumstances are confusing her loyalties, Chuntian, in best friend mode, is keeping it real. Her over the top assessment of Xiao’En primed to cuckold both Aoran and Tianxing with each other points out the silly. Hopefully, it will help Xiao’En make some choices of her own rather than being driven by someone else, real or novel.
Meanwhile at Tianliang Group, Tianxing and Mingli teaming up won’t last forever. But it may be long enough for them to save the company, hopefully. Not quite sure how Tianxing’s return necessitates a tuxedo, but maybe I’m missing the significance of his triumphant recovery.
Either way, with the two in place, surely it won’t take long for Tianjian to emerge from the woodwork too. As Tianxing pointed out, they need to work together to save the company, otherwise the family and all they’ve worked for will be going down the tubes.
As a quick aside, I love that Chuntian called Shanna out on having a crush on the CEO, just as the girls suspected when they were spying with the drone. I’m counting on a clip of Shanna intently reading those novels sometime over the next two – last two – episodes. Last two!
Which reminds me – Qingfeng hasn’t reappeared yet. Think he’s on his way? Ah, I’ll be sad to see this one finish. Although I can’t wait to see what happens next. Who’s with me?
Do chime in with your thoughts and projections if you’re watching. Feel free to jot them below – you know how we roll!