The end comes closer as Wen Kexing must take responsibility for all the events he set in motion. Is there any hope for our OTP or will everything go up in flames as our Ghost Valley King faces off against the pugilist hero convention?Continue reading
We included Word of Honor in our Chinese first impression podcast a little while ago, but now that we’ve finished the series, we have ALL the things we need to discuss, and what better place to chat about them than with our patrons. Join us as we decide who has the best guyliner Wen Kexing or the Scorpion King, what soulmate really means, and if we think the Glazed Donut of Armor was really worth all the killing.Continue reading
Reality is starting to hit our sweet soulmates as enemies start to get closer and closer to Wen Kexing’s secret identity. Not to mention Zhou Zishu’s quickly diminishing health. Will they be able to overcome their tragic fate? Let’s find out.Continue reading
This week we learn that there is no time to waste when being with the one you love. Especially if you want to avoid regrets later on. Oh, also, everyone is plotting and greedy.
Cinnamon Roll in training
Following the Hero Convention that turned out to not be very heroic, Chengling officially starts training as Zhou Zishu’s disciple. We then get multiple cute training sequences where Zhou Zishu tries to be the stern master, and Wen Kexing tries to coddle him and teach him different techniques behind his “soulmate’s” back. Add in Ye Baiyi, snarking on the sidelines, and you have the most adorable found family.
But it is not all flowers and sausages for our heroes! They are on a quest to find the truth behind what happened with Rong Xuan twenty-plus years ago. They decide to go find Long Que (The father of the guy in the wheelchair that they now have as a hostage and are carrying in a basket… which is messed up, but we are just chatting about the positives.) They assume that if they can find his Dragon Pool Cabinet (a hidden fortress) that they can discover the secrets of what really happened. And, it is obvious that Zhou Zishu is hoping that this will give his love some closure.
Kmuse: Watching these guys be all cute and parenting little Chengling is adorable. Not to mention, I totally had to laugh at the nuts PPL. I’m also excited that we are leaving the five lakes alliance in the background for a while. We need new foes to fight and new adventures and trails for our soulmates to overcome.
Drama Geek: The NUTS!!! I love when a show can work stuff in and make it amusing and not too in your face. I agree that I’m happy we are away from the five lakes peeps for now. I really enjoy these four together. Their dynamic is a lot of fun. I know we’re being positive but I can’t not talk about the shows treatment of the son in the wheelchair. He may be a bad guy but carrying him around, first in the basket then under their arms, is just messed up and disrespectful.
Plotting plotting and more plotting
While our heroes are out doing Hero type stuff, the evil assassins and the Evil Brother of the Five Lake Alliance are doing evil shenanigans. Pretty much Evil Brother is flexing his muscles and forcing everyone to fall in line. Mostly, by The Scorpion King killing people that disagree. And while we don’t really love Evil Brother much here at DWASOK, the sexy Scorpion King is another matter. (At least for Kmuse, and since I am writing the outline, Sexy Scorpion King is in favor!)
Kmuse: I’m going sit here in the corner and appreciate how hot The Scorpion King is as he stabs someone in the back and then tries to look innocent. You have to love a well-done psychopath.
Drama Geek: I actually really like Scorpion King’s addition to the cast and find him way more entertaining than the other bad guys. A bonus is that he looks super hot when he’s killing people. (MDL says he was in Cinderella Chef and that’s one I contemplated trying so if you’ve watched it and it was good, leave a comment!)
Slowly but surely, Wen Kexing and Ye Baiyi are growing to tolerate each other. They for sure are not necessarily friends, but I would say they are definitely frenemies. And because their cantankerous banter is amusing, it is getting added to the positive list.
Kmuse: I could watch Wen Kexing call Baiyi “ancient” all day long. The best was when he pretended to find some white hair among Ye Baiyi’s well-preserved mane of glory. Could not stop laughing.
Drama Geek: I really liked their development throughout these episodes and felt Baiyi finally saw a different side of Kexing when they found Uncle Long. Their prickliness toward each other gives us a lot of laughs and provides Zishu with plenty of opportunities to defend his love.
Deep Drunken Thoughts
Wen Kexing gets super drunk once again, and this time gets a case of the mopes. He is taken to his bed by Zhou Zishu (sadly, not the same bed), and Zhou Zishu tells him that nothing Wen Kexing has done would change how he feels about him. As Zhou Zishu leaves the room, Wen Kexing murmurs that he doesn’t know what he has done and that he is scared of losing his soulmate when he finds out.
Kmuse: Wen Kexing’s lost expression just kills me every time. It makes it so that no matter what he has done, I am willing to forgive him. Of course, I am pro killer, so that is not saying much.
Drama Geek: Pro killer. Hahahahahahaha. Okay, for real though. The actor playing Kexing does sad kicked puppy so well. We all know he’s done horrible things, but I’m pretty sure everyone on this show has. So… maybe he skinned someone alive just to take their spot as leader. Play your flute and I’ll forgive you.
Our heroes find Dragon Pool Cabinet and cross a bridge to the main building, only to be tricked by the Wheelchair Guy. He separates all our heroes, and they go through various traps and trials before coming back together. They finally discover Long Que, chained with his legs cut off by his son. His son blamed him for not healing the affliction that had crippled him and kept him in the body of a child his whole life. To say this family has issues would be an understatement.
Kmuse: While these trials were not overly complex while filmed, the narrative was really well done, so it deserves to be added to the list. I really love how this did end up feeling like a quest for all the various characters. Our soulmates became closer together, Chengling got to use his newly developed martial arts skills, and Yi Baiyi is… well, he is the same as always but still pretty badass.
Drama Geek: I enjoyed this section and liked how each group worked together. Oh, and Zishu holding Kexing at the bottom of that long fall.
Long Que found and truths discovered
They discover Long Que, who has been imprisoned for a very long time. His son killed all his servants, his family, pretty much anyone he could to try and get his father to confess where the Glazed Armor key was hidden. Even when the father confessed that he didn’t have it, the son didn’t believe him. Long Que is thrilled to see his friend’s disciple, although saddened to hear about all the people who had died. It is Ye Baiyi that brings up the reason for their quest. It turns out that he was actually Rong Xuon’s master before he went crazy and stole the secret to eternal life from Ye Baiyi. Along with everything else, that secret was thrust into the vault and locked with the Glazed Armor and key.
Long Que explains that they were all the best of friends until Long Que was accidentally stabbed with a poisoned sword. It was Gao Chong’s sword, but he claimed to have no knowledge of the poison (anyone else suspecting that Evil Uncle is behind this?) Rong Xuan is dying, but his wife uses a forbidden healing technique from the Miracle Healer Valley to save his life. This technique requires a life for a life… hence the forbidden aspect of it. Rong Xuan doesn’t come back normal, though, and attempts to kill everyone, including his wife, in his insanity.
At this point, we learn about Rong Xuan’s friend from the Miracle Healer Valley who tries to save him but is stabbed in the back by his insane bestie. The supposed good guys who take down Rong Xuan are obsessed with finding the key to open the glazed armor lock. In their quest, they break all of Rong Xuan’s friend’s limbs and drag him back to the Miracle Healer Valley in search of the key. The Zhen Family (the newly crippled bestie, his wife, and their son) escape from the mob but are in hiding. They end up at the house of Zhou Zishu’s master and get new disguises to start their lives in hiding.
Kmuse: I actually like that we got the story of Rong Xuan in one huge lump of narrative. Also, Wen Kexing’s lost puppy face is back, and you can’t help but feel for the poor guy. He is learning that there was more to the story than he thought, and some of his revenge might have been misplaced. We also discover that he isn’t related to Rong Xuon but was the son of the Miracle Healer Valley friend. Such good storytelling.
Drama Geek: I have to say I didn’t think he was the son of Rong Xuan’s son. Kexing always showed too much distain when his name was mentioned. I think Zishu took that for being upset.
Soulmates from birth
Que cute soulmate flashback scenes! When the Zhen family came to Zhou Zishu’s house when they were hiding, Zhou Zishu and Wen Kexing became adorable besties. We get so many cute moments of the two boys playing together, and we find out where Wen Kexing’s feelings first began.
Kmuse: They did such a good job of casting for the young version of our OTP. They are spot on in temperament, and I love watching their childhood connection scenes. Usually, I roll my eyes when we have fated love from such a young age, but this time it totally worked for me.
Drama Geek: I loved seeing Zishu realize who his soulmate really was and how it increased his love and feelings of protectiveness toward him. The flashback scenes were so cute, and it’s a bit sad they didn’t grow up together though I like that better for the love story aspect.
Kmuse: I was very invested in the story this week. It was so well written that I kind of wish the budget had been a bit bigger so the special effects could have brought it all to life. That said, I am very tempted to go hunt down the story and see if I like the novel as much as the drama.
Drama Geek: I agree. The character development and story were very intriguing this week and a bigger budget could have made these scenes really pop. I am excited about the next part of the journey. Bring on the closeness!
Til the next flirty moment,
Dramas With a Side of Kimchi
Secrets are revealed (or are they) in this week’s episodes of Word of Honor. Come find out if we have any satisfaction with our OTP (one true pairing) development or if we are left wanting more.Continue reading
Outside factors put in motion by Wen Kexing start to inflict damage on our OTP’s relationship. Come find out if their feelings can overcome Wen Kexing’s need for revenge. Or if they are doomed to be separated because of everyone’s greed.Continue reading
Politicking and ghosts
There is a lot of politicking going on between the various sects. However, we are not going to really focus too much on that at this time. Because this recap is about our favorite things, and none of us are watching because of the great political story arcs. What we do enjoy is the various ghost leaders causing havoc. There is something so entertaining about the various pompous sect leaders running around, scared as the ghost leaders scatter their calling card confetti and murder people.
Kmuse: I am watching through the episodes a second time, and I have to admit that the political stuff makes so much more sense the second time around. In the first six or so episodes, I was totally lost over who was who and connected to which group. It makes the story much more well rounded narrative-wise
Kdrama Jen: Wait! There is a plot and political maneuvering? I have been completely distracted by the swoony bromance with a capital “R” that we have brewing. This is my first time through, so I still don’t know who is who.
Drama Geek: I’m with Kdrama Jen, I skipped a lot of the politics and even some of the ghost stuff. The only person I have paid attention to is the ghost leader with the white hair. She is gorgeous and catches my eye every time she does something E-vil.
Detectives Zhou Zishu and Wen Kexing
With everyone scheming and dying in the fifth brother’s manor, it is only logical that Zhou Zishu and Wen Kexing want to discover what is happening and make sure that Chengling is safe. Or more aptly, Zhou Zishu is trying to figure everything out, and Wen Kexing is following along, flirting and spouting out metaphors right and left. We also get the sense that Wen Kexing knows more than he is letting on about all the various political players.
Kmuse: Wen Kexing totally knows more than he is letting on, and our stoic ex-assassin totally knows that he knows. At least, that is how I am interpreting all those leading questions and knowing looks.
Kdrama Jen: The knowing looks and flirty comments are just epic. I don’t really know what is going on, but I like it!
Drama Geek: I love the back and forth between them. Neither of them is who they say they are, and they both know it about the other person. Wen Kexing desperately wants his new friend to see him as a good person. Maybe he’s hoping if someone like Zishu believes he’s trustworthy, then it could actually be true.
Hallucinations and discoveries
Zhou Zishu and Kexing’s detecting leads them to a booby-trapped temple that has coffins lining the pathway. As they enter, an incense burner affects both men until they fall into a hallucinate invoked dream from the past. Zhou Zishu dreams of better days with his mentor alive and frolicking in the snow. Wen Kexing’s hallucination begins with him seeing his father. After that, we have to deduct that he is reliving something from a young age since his mannerisms become juvenile. Amusingly enough, he is even able to flirt in that state, talking about Zhou Zishu’s beautiful shoulder blades.
Zhou Zishu realizes first that he is being drugged and comes out of his stupor. He tries to wake up Wen Kexing but to no avail, and we even have a moment where Wen Kexing calls Zhou Zishu by his real name, declaring that he will go tell his mother on him. Finally, Wen Kexing comes out of his fog just in time to save Zhou Zishu from being killed by a horde of zombie creatures who were controlled by one of the ten demon ghost leaders. The bad guy flees, and our hotties live to fight another day.
Kmuse: Gasp! Do we have a childhood backstory with these two? While that isn’t always my favorite trope, I think I would be ok with it in this case.
Kdrama Jen: I feel like these two have some kind of fated relationship, so I would not be surprise if they have a long and secret history.
Drama Geek: When I watched this scene, I’ll confess that I didn’t catch that, but now that you point it out, I feel like it’s a very real possibility. I wonder if when they learn of each other as children, it will bring their causes closer in line. There is no way they don’t have a personal stake in the different secs and what happened in the past.
Please suck out the poison
Zhou Zishu had been bitten several times by the zombies and had poison running through his body. He can deal with one of the bites himself, but even the talented Zhou Zishu can’t suck on his own neck. So instead, we have the always helpful Wen Kexing offering to do the honors.
This leads to another fight about Zhou Zishu’s fake face, at which time they have a fight that ended up with Zhou Zishu taking a tumble into the water, erasing his fake facade. While their clothes are drying, our OTP discusses what is important in life. Zhou Zishu easily gives Wen Kexing a piece of the glazed armor. Saying that this kind of thing, and the power it represents, is not that important in the long term. You can tell that Wen Kexing doesn’t really know how to take this kind of outlook.
Kmuse: Yay for skinship… Boo that it is sucking the poison out of a wound, but I guess I will take what I can get. Also, am I the only one that got really startled at having the original Zhou Zishu’s visage back? Even knowing that it was coming, I was still startled.
Kdrama Jen: Wow! Just… wow! How is this show getting through the censors? I am not complaining, but just genuinely curious.
Drama Geek: Do we have BL lovers among the censors over there? LOL. The fight scene was so beautiful between them. Like I said last time, it’s always this intricate dance when these two face off. I was excited when Zishu finally showed his real face to Kexing, mostly because of how happy it made our flirty fanboy. I didn’t mind that he was sucking out poison, it was still HOT.
Glaze Armor fakes
Having received one of the five pieces of glazed armor (for those curious, it is a set of jade puzzle pieces that connect to make a key for a cavern full of martial arts texts.) Wen Kexing promptly goes and has a glassmaker create 30 fake copies and spreads them out among the pugilists that are arriving for the hero conference. In true greedy fashion, everyone starts killing each other in an attempt to own the glazed armor, not realizing that they are fakes. Wen Kexing watches from the sidelines, amused at how they are all getting what they deserve.
Kmuse: I am really interested to find out why he has so much hatred towards this specific sect.
Kdrama Jen: I am kind of hoping this glazed armor (that looks like a piece of glass?) will somehow allow Zhou Zishu to survive longer!
Drama Geek: I’m with Wen Kexing, if everyone is going to fight over it, why not speed up the process and let them get rid of each other. Then Zishu won’t have to expend any of his precious energy. I never thought of the armor saving Zishu, but I’m all for that!
The start of a second romance?
Gu Xiang continues to be the awesome female badass of the drama as she protects some woman that is tormented by entitled men at a local tavern. She kicks their butts and earns the adoration of a young sect member Cao Weining. Cao Weining buys our plucky heroine a meal and sits there with a gaze of adoration as she eats with gusto. What ended up being extra amusing was when Wen Kexing observes the two, he becomes a bit protective of his protege. That turns to jealousy when he thinks the young pugilist is flirting with Zhou Zishu. It was just amusing all around.
Kmuse: Cao Weining is such a little bit of perky fluff. He will be perfect for our prickly ghost warrior.
Kdrama Jen: l really like their interactions and I loved Wen Kexing’s jealousy. It made me laugh to see how he manipulated Cao Weining into leaving on an errand.
Drama Geek: I just love every time this character is on my screen. She’s really fun to watch, and I may need to see what else she’s in. I was happy when they brought Weining into the story and really enjoy these two together.
A meeting between old friends
Our OTP has been hanging around the area to ensure that Chengling settles in well with his uncle. It is a good thing they did because things are not going well for our sweet boy. Everyone suspects that he is hiding a part of the Glazed Armor, including Zhou Zishu’s ex-sect, the Window of Heaven. Chengling and his uncle are beset by a heavily armored group from the Window of Heaven while on the road to the family’s sacred pillar. The WOH group demands that Uncle hand over his nephew and leave. Uncle refuses, and it looks like all is lost. That is until a masked Zhou Zishu and Wen Kexing rush in to save the day. They capture the head of the WOH group and hold a knife to his throat until Chengling and his entourage can run away.
After Chengling escapes, the leader of the WOH group tells his own men to go away. He will be fine and join them in just a while. They leave, and Zhou Zishu takes off his mask and apologizes for his actions. His WOH friend is happy to see him and worries about his health, as well as his lack of a disguise. He reaffirms his loyalty to his ex-assassin commander and leaves.
Kmuse: I love that Zhou Zishu is starting to become emotionally connected and live life again. His feelings for Chengling, as well as his trust in Wen Kexing are obvious in this scene as well as his decision that people are more important than being outed as being alive. I like this more proactive Zhou Zishu.
Kdrama Jen: Ooh! We are starting to see his worlds collide. I loved the interaction between our leads when they basically had a brief argument over who should draw the fire and who should capture the leader. They were both willing to sacrifice for the other. So swoony!
Drama Geek: I agree with Kmuse. I love that Zishu seems to be all in now. He wants to protect Chengling and figure out what is going on. It was also interesting to see how loyal is old friend was, and makes me wonder how many more people in the Window of Heaven group would like to leave and follow Zishu instead.
You are my soulmate
We finish episode eight with our OTP having a serious conversation about trust, Wen Kexing’s motives, and the all-important defining of the relationship. When pressured, Zhou Zishu is willing to admit that they are close but attempts to keep somewhat distanced by friend-zoning Wen Kexing. As Zhou Zishu walks away towards the fire, Wen Kexing stares after him with a saddened expression as he says he doesn’t see him as a friend but as his soulmate.
Kmuse: Squeeeeee!!! This scene was so swoony. The visuals, the angst, Wen Kexing’s openness in admitting his feelings. It was perfect.
Kdrama Jen: Oh my heart! This was perfection. I just love these two.
Drama Geek: I loved that no matter what words were being used, you could glean every subtext meaning of this conversation between these two. I’m not sure either know how to define their relationship, but they both have grown to care for each other. Most importantly, they just want the other to know that they feel something for the other.
Kmuse: I like all the political stories much more the second time through. It is making so much more sense, and it is easier to know who is who. But it is really the OTP and their growing closeness that continues to keep me glued to my screen. I am very invested in our OTPs story and am starting to expect some angst coming our way sooner than later.
Kdrama Jen: I am doing my best to watch only the 4 episodes per week because I want to make sure I am only talking about the relevant scenes and plot points, but this is hard to resist. I can’t wait to see where this goes. This soulmate couple is making me grin with delight.
Drama Geek: It has been hard to put a hold on watching more episodes and wait to watch until we start talking about it. Even this recap, I almost talked about issues that came up in the next four episodes. I’m excited that after the next recap I can happily jump in and enjoy more of this OTP because let’s be real with each other, it’s ALL about them.
Til the next flirty moment,
Dramas With a Side of Kimchi
We discuss several of the newest popular Chinese dramas and try to help you decide which ones you need to be watching. Do you want soulmates? A sweet OTP? Beautiful cinematography? Come find out all our thoughts in this week’s DWASOK podcast!Continue reading
The Fangirls are geared up to start our next positive recap, and this time it is a swoon doozy of a show. Come join us as we discuss soulmates, revenge, and a ton of eye candy visuals as we chat about the Chinese drama Word of Honor.Continue reading