A Positive Recap: Joy of Life Ep 31-35

We have a KISS!!! Beautiful landscape, sunny day, and two lovebirds saying goodbye to one another. It was a picture-perfect scene and the love affirming words that came out of our bold heroines heart made these fangirls super happy.

Mother Daughter Talk

Wan’er really gets to shine this episode. Everyone keeps talking about how Fan Xian should consider Wan’er and how she feels about his treatment of her family, but they haven’t had Wan’er address her family about their part in all of this. After Fan Xian does NOT plead for the Princess’s life, Wan’er guilts her mom into talking to her before she is banished. Wan’er calls her mom out on all the devious things she’s done, and Mom owns everything she’s done. Wan’er over and over throughout the conversation makes it very clear to mom that no matter what dangers await Fan Xian, she is sticking by her man.

Kmuse: I was so glad that we got this moment. The relationship between mother and daughter has been very confusing. I was also starting to get cranky that everyone kept asking Fan Xian why he wasn’t considering Wan’er’s feelings. When, really, everyone in her family has tried to kill him at various times in the show. If anything, she kind of needs to stand up and say that this isn’t OK. So to see Wan’er finally address the giant elephant in the room was appreciated.

Drama Geek: I totally agree. I was happy that Wan’er stood up for her man, and let her mom know that she was totally wrong, and she needed to stop. She makes it clear that up until now the princess hasn’t been a good mom, but she tried to understand. Now, she knows she’s just not a good person only out for herself.

Family (?) Dinner

The Prime Minister calls Fan Xian over to make sure he knows that the Emperor will unofficially ask Fan Xian to do something, and he should decline. Just as their conversation is ending, sure enough, Fan Xian is summoned to the palace. When he arrives, the 2nd Prince and Crown Prince are already there. The Emperor says it’s a “family” dinner, and that they should relax and eat. Fan Xian is confused about why he’s being included in this but soon realizes the Emperor is testing all three boys. The Emperor pits them against each other and seems to delight in seeing who is smart, and who gives the same old boring answers. He finally gets to the point of this little meal, he unofficially requests that Fan Xian escort their prisoner to Northern Qi to exchange for their man. Fan Xian clarifies if he can turn this request down, and is told yes. Except… if he doesn’t do it, then the Emperor will just have to find another man to marry Wan’er. Of course, Fan Xian agrees right away.

Kmuse: This awkward family dinner was so delightful. I really enjoy Fan Xian’s interaction with both the princes and how the Emperor plays everyone. Even though they see what he is doing, there is nothing they can do about it because he is, after all, the Emperor.

Drama Geek: Can we do lots of family dinners? When you see all four men together you get the full dynamic of their relationships and personalities. It feels like Fan Xian is made to stir things up with all of them. I also love 2nd Prince and Fan Xian’s relationship. I will be super sad if betrayal lies ahead for them.

THE KISS and Wan’er’s Badassery

Fan Xian takes Wan’er out before he leaves on his journey, and they go into a really pretty field. He lets her know he’s leaving for Northern Qi and she finds out he is doing it so they can still marry. She declares that she’ll elope with him, and they can run off and just live as happy poor people. Fan Xian appreciates her gesture, but promises he’ll come back alive, and they’ll get married. He gives her a peck on the forehead and they act all bashful, but then Wan’er kisses him back. It’s a small kiss and they banter for a little longer, and then Fan Xian properly says goodbye to her.

Kmuse: Excuse me while I sit back and fan myself. For such a sweet kiss, this moment sure was chock full of steamy context. They were so adorable and the inner me that loves pretty backgrounds was jumping for joy. The yellow flowers complimented this moment and made our OTP even more beautiful than normal.

Drama Geek: I LOVE when a director lets the actors play off of each other and their chemistry. Sometimes during a kiss, you really can feel the director saying action. This time it was such a sexy lead-up, and a very sweet send-off. I am a huge fan of this OTP.

The Longest Goodbye

The day before Fan Xian is set to leave to Northern Qi, up pops his poisons master all ready to kidnap him. All, so he can save him from the sure death that awaits him on his quest. Fan Xian is having none of that and declares that a person was imprisoned because of him so he needs to see this through. His mentor is sad but resigned.

Chen Ping Ping and Fan Xian’s teacher give him the rundown of all the different advisories he’s going to run into and go up against. That’s on top of the chained up prisoner who is responsible for crippling Chen Ping Ping. I promise as they become important I’ll use names or nicknames, but for now, just know that the journey will not be easy, and there will be lots of people trying to either rescue their prisoner or kill him.

On the way out of the city, Fan Xian is taken to a house where the Emperor awaits. He tells him that he wants the prisoner killed after he is exchanged for their man. Oh, and if Fan Xian could make sure a few other Northern Qi people are also taken care of, he’d much appreciate it.

Then Fan Xian says goodbye to his family, and his adopted dad provides him with guards to accompany him, one being the latest bromance candidate. Fan Xian also stops to check in with Uncle Wu. He’s going on ahead of him because there is some grandmaster he needs to take care of. He also lets Fan Xian know that he went to his mom’s house and there was a rock in the middle of the lake that served as a key to the underground area his mom talked about in the letter. But once he got down there, he sensed only Fan Xian would know how to open the door.

Kmuse: Since I am a huge fan of Fan Xian and all his many great relationships, I enjoyed watching all these MANY goodbyes. It was sweet and gave me a ton of feels.

Drama Geek: I too loved all the goodbyes, but kept wondering if someone would just take the prisoner while Fan Xian was off visiting the entire city. LOL. So… the rock that was a key had a very interesting shape. Anyone else see what it resembled? No, just me? Okay, I’ll pull my mind out of the gutter.

Friendly Fighting

Fan Xian journeys toward the north and seems to have an easy time of it. He poisons his prisoner, and Si Lili is also poisoned so she shouldn’t be a problem. But Fan Xian doesn’t know he has Archer Hottie and Guo Bao Kun plotting to meet him on the trail and kill him. There is also the foster son of their prisoner, who rides with his troops to rescue his dad.

As Uncle Wu approaches the grandmaster he’s searching for, Haitang Duo Duo confronts him. They have a little battle and she soon realizes she’s a little outmatched. She’s the student of the grandmaster, and one of the people Fan Xian was warned about. The grandmaster dispatches her to take out Fan Xian’s prisoner, while he battles Uncle Wu. Uncle Wu is fine with her going to fight Fan Xian after she confirms she’s not a grandmaster.

Fan Xian finds out their prisoner might be one of the original unfrozen people his mom talked about, so he devises a plan to let the prisoner go (I think his name is Xiao’En, I need to go back and look) so he can ask him questions away from the palace guards. They chase him to this really pretty area and proceed to fight. Fan Xian wins, but it’s with the help of Haitang Duo Duo. Once he knows who she is, he goads her into their own fight. He kind of cheats and throws one of the fun new weapons he got on the ground. He tells her it’s an aphrodisiac, which sends her running to the lake.

While she’s gone, the adopted son of their prisoner shows up and turns the tides so that Fan Xian becomes their prisoner. Xiao’En says he doesn’t want to kill Fan Xian and it’s because he knows where he grew up. They’re headed out, but decide they only need Fan Xian, his men can die. That’s about the time Archer Hottie shows up and tries to kill Fan Xian himself. Guo Bao Kun and his ragtag crew have been watching this entire time, and when he runs out the try to kill Fan Xian, he is almost killed by Archer Hottie. Fan Xian ends up saving both their prisoner and Gun Bao Gun.

Kmuse: There are some really great action sequences in ep 35. I loved that this was a unique location for the multiple fights and the large rocky outcrops were really well used.

Drama Geek: There is a lot of very acrobatic fighting in this show, and the location really lent to that style of fighting. I really enjoyed our new fighter girl, and I look forward to her in the future. Guo Bao Kun and his men were a funny backdrop to everything else that was going on. They do look like imbeciles but Mr. Drama Geek called it that they would know how to fight.

Can Chen Pingping Be Trusted?

After they defeat the foster son and his people, they go back to their camp. They’re not on the guard, and Archie Hottie surprises them and shoots an arrow at Fan Xian, but Si Li Li steps in front of him, and gets the arrow instead. Thankfully, it wasn’t that bad and Fan Xian is able to stabilize her in her cart. Haitang returns and Fan Xian goes to talk with her by the river.

Kmuse: I kind of want a new drama with Haitang as the main character. She is a hoot and total badass. I also like that Si Li Li still has small snippets of plot. I don’t hate her character and would like for her to eventually have a happy ending (and hopefully not a death saving Fan Xian.)

Drama Geek: Does Fan Xian carry around his new aphrodisiac? Seriously, even the prisoner tries to help him by warning him against Chen Ping Ping. Who really did have the blackguards pull away and left Fan Xian to his own devices. Now, I do think he’s doing it to make Fan Xian prove to everyone he’s worthy of taking over for him. I’m curious about what it is about the place Fan Xian grew up that is important to this man who is supposed to be like his mom. I also thought it was pretty smart of Fan Xian to listen to his advice and get Guo Bao Kun on his side. Almost everyone likes him, but those who don’t, really want him dead.

Final Thoughts

Kmuse: I literally am so sad that we are getting toward the end of this season. There is still so much that I want to be explained, not to mention all the great bromantic moments that could happen in the future.

Drama Geek: I have to admit that those of you commenting on the posts are making me want to binge watch all 11 episodes and get to the end. Which sounds like it could leave me just wanting season 2 immediately. I will prepare my heart that Fan Xian’s journey is only beginning and we have a lot more story to tell.

Until the Next Drumstick Yummy Kiss,

Kmuse and Drama Geek

Dramas With a Side of Kimchi

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One thought on “A Positive Recap: Joy of Life Ep 31-35

  1. I’m going to sound like a broken record here, but I’m so impressed with the way they’ve adapted the novel for the screen, keeping many things exactly the same, keeping the feel of the story, but changing up the action and some key timings to make a very dynamic and action-oriented plot. The transfer of Xiao En to Northern Qi has a lot going on in the action category, with the introduction of important new characters to visits from antagonists of old. It’s funny the way you describe Wu Zhu fighting Doudou; it really is as if he is evaluating her skills first to see if she poses a threat to Fan Xian. I originally saw it as just a way to get past the gatekeeper who is in the way of his assigned task, but this works too!

    As an aside, those yellow flowers are the blooms of rapeseed, which is the plant source for Canola or rapeseed oil! They are incredibly vivid in real life too, and one of my favorite experiences while traveling was to drive around the countryside in England in late May/early June while the fields are in bloom.

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