Xiao’En is at the house cleaning as episode 5 of Lost Romance begins. He’s making ramen and wishing she had something better to eat. Qingfeng calls at just the right moment to invite her out.
She gorges, insulting Aoran all the way but thinking that Qingfeng must have a motive. He claims he was worried about her so she takes the opportunity to ask if Aoran has any food allergies. She’s hoping there’s something that will make him itch horribly, but unfortunately he’s very healthy.
At her disappointed face, Qingfeng wonders if she really does want to poison Aoran. She reminds herself that she’s in a romance novel and promises her Supreme Master to treat Aoran well. She asks why he doesn’t turn off the lights but Qingfeng says she’ll need to ask the man himself.
In the real world, Tianjiang employees go on strike in response to Mingli’s announcement of layoffs. Forgot about that, did you? Uncle He confirms it’s the first strike they’ve ever had.
Mingli decides to call a press conference, claiming the workers are greedy and never satisfied. She intends to bribe a few workers to make it so. Tianjian disagrees and talks with Uncle He about alternatives.
After work, Qingfeng invites Aoran to dinner but he says he’d rather go home, and with an evil smile indicates there’s something he needs to do there. He also tells Qingfeng that he doesn’t need to join him on the business trip.
In marketing, Susan informs Chuchu that she will be going a business trip with the CEO. Chuchu worries that she’s not qualified enough but then jumps to prepare. Susan and Qiutian are in pain and think maybe they should learn to bake cookies too.
At home, Xiao’En makes dinner while Aoran waits, criticizing her cooking methods. She eventually tosses him out of the kitchen. Once it’s served, Aoran glares at her as she tries to join him, demarking a line between employer and ‘the help.’ He really is enjoying this.
He gives her the following day off but won’t say why. She suspects it has to do with White Lotus Chuchu. Xiao’En races to check in with Qingfeng only to hear her suspicions are spot on. She tries to convince him to tag along on the trip or miss his chance.
The doorbell rings and Aoran waits for Xiao’En to answer it. As she descends the stairs, he receives a text saying that Chuchu will be dropping off some papers. He blocks Xiao’En with an overbearing CEO move and tries to send her back to her room. She was hopeful for a second there.
She realizes it must be Chuchu and uses it as a bargaining chip, requesting a place at the table during meals. He agrees but she still makes it dicey for him, opening the door while standing behind it.
Chuchu is rain-soaked having waited at the door. As Xiao’En watches from the stairs, Chuchu daintily sneezes and Aoran suggests a hot shower. Xiao’En offers to move outside so they can have some privacy. His face says ‘how indecent.’ She hands over a hairdryer and towel.
Aoran asks her to loan dry clothes to Chuchu but Xiao’En points out that even she wouldn’t be dumb enough to miss that he has women’s clothes at home. She suggests choosing something from his closet and seeks the most unappealing options.
Noticing vitamins in Aoran’s drawer, Xiao’En wonders if this is the source of his energy. She ponders the added zinc and then stops herself from thinking any further. She quickly hides the vitamins under the cabinet.
Sorting through each clothing option and imaging the result, she lands on grandpa clothes as the perfect solution. Aoran says that such things would never be allowed in his wardrobe. He sends Xiao’En to make a warming ginger soup.
When Chuchu comes downstairs, Aoran stuffs Xiao’En under the counter. She then hides in the laundry room where she can keep a watchful eye. Chuchu praises him for whipping up ginger soup. He works on the contract while Chuchu delicately sips. Xiao’En meows from the doorway.
Xiao’En giggles as Aoran makes excuses about a neighbouring cat. As Aoran gets back to the contract, Chuchu leans in to see if she can assist. Aoran nearly chokes at her nearness and Xiao’En makes more distracting noises. Aoran tries to cover it with a cough.
As Chuchu gets him a bowl of soup to sort that cough, Aoran and Xiao’En make hand signals to each other. She heads back in to check on Chuchu’s laundry, remarking on how many romantic lines have already have passed between the protagonists. She shouts at the laundry to hurry up.
At Tianjiang, Tianjian ponders how to end the strike. Uncle He suggests that if someone listens to the strikers, things will calm down. He claims that Tianjian is the only one who can settle things.
At their home, Mingli avoids her mother’s questions about the strike who notes that Mingli shouldn’t do anything but clear the way for Tianjian. Her mother believes that only sons take over family businesses and Mingli appears genuinely hurt.
Aoran finishes the contract edits and offers Chuchu a ride home. Xiao’En tries to block their alone time by stealing Aoran’s windshield wipers. It’s a typhoon so cabs aren’t running and Aoran suggests she stay the night. Qingfeng, called by Xiao’En, magically pulls up to give Chuchu a lift.
Chuchu poutily leaves with Qingfeng and Xiao’En dances up the stairs. Suddenly the lights go out. She laughs to herself that she managed to divert Chuchu before the classic extended power outage scenario could throw her together with Aoran.
Then she remembers Aoran isn’t keen on darkness. He tells her to fix it and she reminds him how lucky he is to have her, a sweetheart electrician. He grabs her shirttail as she walks past and makes an excuse about going along to supervise.
She checks the breaker panel and delivers good and bad news. The breaker is fine – the power is out. She says she’ll light a candle and he hates that idea. She ponders to herself that all romance novel male leads have childhood trauma.
With that in mind, she fires questions covering all the things that could have possibly happened to him as a kid, including a reference to Hyun Bin’s character’s ordeal in Secret Garden. He’s not amused and rather agitated.
She decides to make dinner and he’s at her side. He insults her popcorn chicken saying it’s ugly. It looks really good, actually – fried with fresh basil leaves and served with a beer. He sneaks a mouthful when she gets up and she lists how it will make you fat, get acne, etc, etc. He grabs another bite.
In the shower, he makes her hold up her phone torch from outside the door but reminds her not to peek. She complains that he’s too much. Then is told to hold her phone over him as he sleeps. He complains about the angle of light and she argues about labour laws. So he lets her prop up the phone and sit on the floor instead.
By now she’s annoyed and when he tries to talk to her she responds sarcastically, saying that she’ll tell him a story if he can’t sleep. Turning to face her, he’s ready. She starts with a story about a poor housekeeper during a power outage. That’s doesn’t go down well.
Then she begins Cinderella and he complains that he’s not three. She starts a murder-mystery tale but he laughs at her dramatics. Any other stories? He gives up at her complaint but tells her not to sneak away once he falls asleep.
She grabs his pointing finger but continues to hold it, promising not to leave. On the floor next to his bed, she tucks up for the night. As she falls asleep, she lets go of his hand but he’s awake in an instant, grabbing it back.
The next morning, she wakes on the floor feeling rough but notices he’s gone and complains that he made her sleep sitting on the floor rather than sharing his huge bed.
She’s ranting about the conscience of Capitalists when he walks back in dressed for work. He says he’ll have something with a conscience for breakfast. Further grumbling she spots his blanket on the floor next to her. She pictures him placing it gently over her shoulders then rethinks – she probably pulled it away from him in her sleep.
Breakfast is a bunch of random foods from tins and hot broth over rice. She claims all five essential nutrients are present. They sit down together and proceed to stab at the same side dishes at the same time and it quickly becomes a battle. She notes he’s smiling on his way to see White Lotus.
Aoran picks up Chuchu at the office while Susan and Qiutian katterwall about not being jealous. Xiao’En stops to visit, telling them she’s a nanny. She carries on about looking after a giant baby and his bad temper while the girls dispense sympathy.
Xiao’En asks where Chuchu is and they show her a brochure of the spa where Chuchu has accompanied Aoran. Xiao’En tries to contain herself as Susan describes all the fabulous things they’ll be sampling before giving final approval.
Mingli is enraged to hear that Tianjian is distributing lunch to the strikers and has promised to talk through their issues with her. His phone goes to voicemail.
The strikers list their complaints to Tianjian and he says employees are the most valuable asset. He claims he’ll help them and they cheer for him just as Mingli joins them outside.
Put on the spot, Tianjian explains the striker’s needs are simple and offers to talk them through in the office. She turns to the strikers and calls them traitors for sullying the company name. She tells them that she’ll forget everything for anyone willing to write a letter of apology. When no one moves, she fires them all.
The Episode Review
Lots of conflict this chapter as Xiao’En clashes with Aoran as well as fighting with herself over whether she likes him or wants to kill him. Bit of both I think, though certainly leaning toward kill or at least maim. I will point out that it seems fair enough for Aoran to be a little overbearing in his own home if he wishes. At that same time, he’s her boss and should trust her a little. If you were her boss, would you?
In the real world, there’s conflict too with Tianxing’s employees going head-to-head with the new management over Mingli’s profit-making layoffs. Tianjian is an interesting one – he plays the dummy but seems cannily sympathetic to the employees’ needs, connecting it to their loyalty for Tianxing.
Chuchu continues to embody the innocent white lotus, making Xiao’En cringe with every drawn out apology. They couldn’t be more opposite as Xiao’En apologizes for nothing unless she absolutely has no other way, choosing to make excuses instead.
And poor Qingfeng seems as oblivious as Chuchu at some points but sharp as a tack at others. If Xiao’En keeps talking to him about the novel world, surely he’ll eventually catch on. No? I guess that’s down to the author.
I love the pace of this drama as it uses every turn, every line, to take us swiftly to the next piece, nothing wasted. Even the quietest characters deliver with energy. It must have been a blast to film. As ever, can’t wait to see what trouble Xiao’En gets into next.