I ‘d forgotten how much I LOVE episode 3. This is the episode that I believe Gao Zhan falls in love with the spitfire that is Lu Zhen. She schooled him and awed him. She basically told him to heel and yes, he did.
So the beginning of this episode isn’t really what I got excited about. Lu Zhen, got caught by her fiance (ex) and was brought back to her stepmom’s place where she’s forced into the wedding gown, bound by the hands and feet, and told that she will marry an old man as his fourth concubine. Her ex-fiance will marry her sister, who is now the sole heir to the family $$.
Lu Zhen’s nanny gives her a piece of pottery and Lu Zhen escapes from the wedding party. She is chased by henchmen and luckily for her, she runs into Gao Zhan. Literally, runs into his horse, he jumps and scoops her up from the horse’s hoofs. Which gives us a mo to watch the couple spin in one spot, because for some reason, that is the Period Drama’s way of saying they are gonna have a romance line (akin to American Romantic Comedy where there is a Grand Gesture at the Airport). She grabs his cloak and orders him to cut her loose.
Lu Zhen escapes and manages to buy new clothes with the money she got selling her wedding gown. She sees a notice calling for girls to come and become palace maids. Not only would this be a good way for her to survive, but also for her to be protected from her stepmother. Only there’s one problem. To become a palace maid she has to have an Identification scroll which proves that she isn’t part of the lower class. She gets turned away at the palace gates and now has to find a scroll, since the last one is at her house, where her evil stepmother lives. She finds a forger and gives him her mother’s old hair pin (it’s huge and gold and very important to the plot later on). He forges her a new ID and tries to rape her. She smashes his head with a mallet in panic and runs away.
Lu Zhen comes back to the palace and gets admitted with her fake scroll. She meets two girls who dislike her from the start, one of them being Shen Bi (another major character later on). Lu Zhen and the other girls are told that there are 3 tests which if passed, will allow them to become palace maids. The first is to bow properly, and Lu Zhen passes. The second is a question and answer. The lady official asks Lu Zhen, “If your mistress gifts you a plate of cookies that you know will give you a rash, what would you do” Lu Zhen, replies that “Anything my mistress gives me will be precious to me, I will put it as a part of my shrine and pray for her health every day” She passes the second round. The third round is where Lu Zhen and the girls have to copy a page out of a book. Shen Bi, being the jealous one, tips water onto Lu Zhen’s paper. Lu Zhen can’t write on the table which is full of water and Shen Bi smiles. Lu Zhen comes up with the idea of writing on a cabinet, where she sticks the slightly wet paper.
Her writing impresses the Lady Official, but Wang Shang Yi enters at this point and she, having seen that Lu Zhen’s writing was beautiful, asks where Lu Zhen is from. Lu Zhen is still unfamiliar with the ID scroll she now has and can’t answer. Wang Shang Yi sees that the scroll is a fake, the paper used was two years old and they haven’t used it since. She throws Lu Zhen out of the palace.
Gao Zhan in the mean time, has met with his sister, who begs him to be more careful. He stays to chat with his brother in law, who is also a general that controls the capital’s forces. The spies report to the Dowager, who decides that since Gao Zhan is going to stir the pot so soon by cavorting with generals and shake her son’s throne, she has to get ride of him now.
Gao Zhan leaves the General’s house and is walking with his horse when a palanquin shows up. The servant says that the palanquin was ordered by his sister, who didn’t want him to ride so late. Gao Zhan smiles and whispers to his horse, ” you’re lucky tonight”. I love a man who is that good with animals. Gao Zhan gets on the palanquins and falls asleep, due to the poison fragrance lamp thing(y). He wakes up, still drugged, to fight and kill two assassins, in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night. Gao Zhan is deeply wounded on the arm. A figure approaches and he grabs the foot, whispering, “Save Me”
I want to take a sec and say that from here on out, I started to pay attention to the story like a hungry hawk spotting a fat rabbit. Because this is where the cute just doesn’t stop.
So Gao Zhan wakes up in this beautiful but rustic little house. A girl walks in and he recognizes her as the girl who helped him get into the capital and who he helped to run away from her marriage.
She asks if he is a fugitive, and he says that he is one, of sorts. She says that she’s in trouble to but as long as he doesn’t ask about her past, she won’t ask about his either. She tells him that she’s going into town to get medicine, he asks if they are close to the capital. She tells him that they are 30 Li (very far) from the capital. He asks how she got him back and she shows him her hands and the crude sled, she had dragged him back.
Lu Zhen goes into town, where there are wanted posters of her with a reward for her attempted murder of the forger. She finds a doctor who is able to go and see Gao Zhan. Gao Zhan learns devastating news. The sword wound he has received is very serious, it has cut the tendon and sinew, it would be hard, probably impossible for him to lift a sword.
Lu Zhen send the doctor on his way while Gao Zhan tries to lift his sword. Seeing that he couldn’t he grabs it with his other hand and tries to kill himself. Lu Zhen sees what he’s about to do and knocks the sword away.
They go outside where Lu Zhen gives him chicken soup. She says that the doctor ordered him to rest and eat well, so she used the last of her money to buy this, he needs to drink it. Gao Zhan is in no mood to listen to her chatter, and tells her to go away. He’s not only depressed, he’s brooding and he’s acting like a five-year old.
Lu Zhen gets mad at his attitude and gives him the what for of a lifetime.
Here is the translation:
Lu Zhen: “What kind of crazy are you?
Gao Zhan: So Sorry, I’m now crippled, I think you shouldn’t waste any more time on me!
Oh, that’s your reason? Master Oh Ye Zi must be blind, to make prize sword only to waste it on a coward like you? Let me tell you, you can forget about killing yourself. I saved your life, whether you need it or not, you have to get my permission! (then she grabs his arm and throws it down) “So all that’s severed is your tendon. Sun Bin had his feet chopped off. Sima Qian was castrated but they lived just well. It’s said that good men disregard their pain like it’s nothing. But you, you’re not even as strong as me. You think only your life is tough? Only you get to feel sorry? My dad died and my stepmother tried to force me to marry a pervy old man. I tried to get into the palace as a maid but couldn’t even do that. If I was as useless as you, I would have jumped into the river and just died!”
(She grabs his shoulder and gets very close to him, he’s stunned) “But i won’t accept fate. Not only am I going to live well, I’m going to revenge my father. I’ll show that devil stepmother of mine that she can’t step on me. My dad said that as long as you have a breath left in your body, you have hope. So, I don’t give you permission to die!”
Gao Zhan is holding the bowl of chicken soup having been properly schooled and there’s this look of awe and respect, it’s clear that he has underestimated her but won’t ever do so now. She turns to stomp off, only she remembers that she’s suppose to treat him with gentleness. She says sorry, and that the doctor told her she should be nice to a patient. If he doesn’t want to. She comes back to take the bowl. He says “Wait” and downs the chicken soup. He looks at her, “You saved my life, and I won’t waste it
A couple of days later, Lu Zhen is inspecting the cut, saying that it’s perplexing how it won’t heal. She’ll have to go into town and ask the doctor to come back. Gao Zhan asks if she has enough money, she hasn’t been eating the last few days because she’s running out. He gives her a piece of jade, his favorite and most prized possession. She surprises him by pointing out the type and how much he loves it, the edges are worn by his constant playing with it. It’s a really great piece of prized jade, he can’t just give it to her.
He admits that it’s his prize, but seeing how she’s not eating, how could he let it go on? After all, who is going to take care of him for the rest of his life if she’s sick. They both blush and Lu Zhen stammers, who says she’s going to take care of him, he’s probably rich, judging by his possessions. Maybe he’ll be surrounded by women and she’ll never stand a chance. He smiles at that, maybe from how accurately he knows of his personal circumstance, or maybe about how cute she is right now. They also exchange names. So Cute.
The next day, the doctor comes. He says that healing the tendon is beyond his means. It requires sewing the wound to make a full recovery. The natural way, not sewing up the wound will leave him crippled. The doctor says that no doctor in the world wants to take that kind of task.
Gao Zhan replies that he’s not going to ask any doctor. He walks up to Lu Zhen, asking if she has the courage to do it. She was right, he can’t just accept fate, he has to fight for his life.
She looks at him and replies, “If you have the courage, then I do too” She sits and stitches his wound close. The cutest part is that when she’s finished, she says, “i’m sorry, my stitching is pretty bad, later, if you want we can get you someone to embroider it” He laughs at her adorableness in this situation.
The doctor smiles and say that Lu Zhen and Gao Zhan were made for each other. They’re not even paying attention to the time of day and they’re flirting with each other. The doctor warns her that Gao Zhan is going to have a bad night, his body will fight the healing. He will have a fever, so she has to give him salt water and wipe the sweat from his body. I love the smile Gao Zhan has, yes, we all know what he’s thinking.
This episode was the one that lured me in and believe you me, I couldn’t stop myself from smiling the second time I watched. Some actors have this amazing chemistry, and these two do. Their story is not only cute, but it shows that they are on equal ground. She’s not the kind to be pushed around. Gao Zhan probably has never met a girl like Lu Zhen and he is instantly captured by her spirit. Lu Zhen is a heroine after my own heart.
The Good – I love their interaction, I will love it through all the episodes. This is what keeps the story alive and going even when the entire drama becomes ridiculous. Lu Zhen is one of the rare Chinese dramas where chemistry can trump the plot holes and sadly contrived and redundant story lines. That’s what made it addictive and powerful, it’s crack and heroine in the form of two people that should never be together but can never part. They are the OTP, like Ruo Xi and 4th.