This is perhaps one of my most FAVORITE episodes in this series. I don’t want to say too much except that the good parts were magnificently done. Some of it was slower than turtles crawling on a hot sunday but the rest made up for it.
Lu Zhen is busily preparing new year gifts for wives and noblewomen, this year the requests made were all for jewelry (Royal Concubine’s doing). Everyone in the treasury is running around trying to send gifts to various households and noblewomen.
An Order from the emperor comes asking Lu Zhen to prepare jade bracelets for some noblewomen. Lu Zhen complies and brings it to the Emperor’s residence. A Lady Official tells her that the Emperor is at the Royal Concubine’s palace and Lu Zhen sends the jade bracelets there.
Upon receiving the bracelets, the Royal Concubine smiles evilly and tells Wang Shang Yi that they’ve got Lu Zhen now.
Wang Shang Yi goes to find Lu Zhen, asking if Lu Zhen knew what she has done? Lu Zhen says that she doesn’t. She makes Lu Zhen recite the palace rules which states that it is very unlucky to send Jade out as a gift at years’ end. Since it is an offense punishable by death (the Chinese really have a terribly superstitious side) Lu Zhen tries to explain that it was an order from the emperor, but the eunuch who had given her the order shows up to say that he didn’t do it. Lu Zhen realizes that she has been set up.
In order for no one else to be punished Lu Zhen accepts the punishment. She is ordered to kneel for twelve hours in the snow.
On such a cold day, even three or four hours can kill. The Eunuch who carried the false order stands and watches her, kicking her whenever she falls down.
Lu Zhen began to weaken and faints several times. Finally she falls down, the Eunuch kicks her a couple more times and leaves to have dinner.
Dan Niang sees what’s happening and runs to find Gao Zhan. Only Gao Zhan, the Emperor and the Royal Concubine are at a state dinner that lasts for hours. Dan Niang is unable to find anyone.
When Gao Zhan and Yuan Lu leave to go to see Lu Zhen they pass the place where Lu Zhen was kneeling, it’s been hours and its nightfall, so they don’t see her.
Gao Zhan’s eyes widen and he flies over the fence and grabs Lu Zhen. He screams her name and Yuan Lu stutters that Lu Zhen is practically frozen.
Gao Zhan scoops up Lu Zhen and is about to take her to his palace when the Eunuch on guard comes back. He yells for them to stop only to realize who it is and kneels. Gao Zhan gives the Eunuch a vicious kick when the Eunuch tries to stop him and half-runs with Lu Zhen to his palace.
Gao Zhan grabs as many blankets as he can while yelling orders for a doctor and hot water and soup.
The doctor arrives and takes Lu Zhen’s heartbeat. He shakes his head and Gao Zhan glares at him intensely, telling him to save her no matter what.
The doctor uses a needle to wake Lu Zhen up momentarily and she tells Gao Zhan to take her back, she doesn’t want the Royal Concubine to take revenge on him, before fainting again. The doctor tells Gao Zhan he should leave while he treats the patient. A determined, angry look floods Gao Zhan’s eyes.
The Emperor and Royal Concubine are at a private banquet, where the Royal Concubine is manipulating the overstruck Emperor into allowing her to become Empress when Gao Zhan asks for permission to enter. They are shocked by the controlled yet wildly angry expression.
Gao Zhan asks the Royal Concubine if she had given the order for Lu Zhen to kneel for hours, the Emperor is shocked.
Royal Concubine says yes, so what if she did.
Gao Zhan asks her in a tight voice to take it back. She says no, she’s got the right to punish her subordinates.
Gao Zhan says “I have one thing to tell you” and he slams down on the table where the Royal Concubine is sitting, scaring her back into the chair.
“Lu Zhen, is, in my life, the most important woman, if you have anything against her, you’ll bring it to me! Never touch her again!”
Gao Zhan is looking after Lu Zhen and tells his maid that she’ll be living in the main bedroom while he’ll be in the side bedroom. He tells the maid that no one is to know that she has been here, no one.
The maids are not allowed to talk to Lu Zhen too much if she wakes up and under no circumstances are they to reveal who Gao Zhan really is. Gao Zhan promises the sleeping Lu Zhen that he’s never going to allow her to suffer again.
The emperor learns what happened while the Royal Concubine processes what Gao Zhan has said. She wonders to herself, “If Lu Zhen is the most important woman in his life, then what am I?”
Criticism – Yu Zhen doesn’t know how to end an episode at a good point to save his life. So, while there is an extra scene about the younger versions of Gao Zhan , Gao Yan (the current Emperor, and Huan Yun (the Royal Concubine), I refuse to end a good episode with a stupid little add on that should have been part of the next episode. Either commit to the story or make the episode longer. So I ended on a relevant note and I promise that the little itty bit that you’re probably seeing is going to be in the next recap.
Gao Zhan, has the most expressive eyes ever. I am fully convinced that he can shoot lightning, cook a pizza, or make a girl fall in love by adjusting the intensity in them.