AHH! ROU XI AND THE FOURTH PRINCE ARE BACK!!!
I have been waiting for the premiere of Bu Bu Jing Qing all year since I watched Bu Bu Jing Xin and I am absolutely ecstatic to present my first impressions for the sequel!
We open with the song “Step by Step” composed and sung by the popular Taiwanese rock band Mayday. Lots of familiar faces, dramatic moments and emotional scenes. Ruo Xi has returned to the present and she’s watching a series on television depicting the Qing Dynasty that reminds her of her own memories. Zhang Xiao wanders the city aimlessly. When she’s not sketching at home or reading up on more about the Qing Dynasty, she’s visiting the museum exhibit featuring all the old artifacts from the palace. She knew the endings of all her friends and loved ones but she could never figure out the ending of her own story nor was she aware of how she fit into history itself.
Flashback to the palace when the fourth prince is nearing the end of his long and lonely reign on the throne. A eunuch presents a gold box that holds the hair pin he once gave to Ruo Xi. Along with the ring, he locks both inside and sends the box to be store away with all his other treasures. On the way through the desert, the caravan and the men are caught in a sandstorm whirlwind which buries the treasures deep in the sand. The flashback ends with the death of the fourth prince.
Zhang Xiao is once again lot in her own thoughts fingering the painting depicting her and the other princes. She ponders how to reconcile these feelings of both pain and nostalgia and love. A young man clad in a sleek grey suit walks in and he pauses to examine the painting on display. LO AND BEHOLD HE LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE THE FOURTH PRINCE. Zhang Xiao can’t stop the tears from falling while the young man, puzzled, asks her if she’s alright. All she does is stare at him, until he checks the time on his watch, politely nods his head and turns to leave.
The moment he leaves, Zhang Xiao snaps out of her trance and chases after him. In her haste, she bumps into a man selling balloons and all the balloons float off. The reincarnated fourth prince, bemused that this girl has once again appeared before him, steps out to reimburse the balloon man for his troubles. The fourth prince retrieves her phone and she thanks him. She seems stunned that even hundreds of years later, when they’re two different people, that he would appear in her time of need.
When they part, Zhang Xiao resolves to figure out where he is and actually follows the fourth prince (by bike) all the way back to his company. Although she’s denied access to the elevators because identification is required, she snaps a picture of him on her phone (LOL not stalkerish at all). Her friend Huang Di arrives at her apartment for a place to stay due to his love problems. He sees her store another ticket away and inquires her on her obsession with the Qing dynasty. Their interaction ends with Huang Di finding out that Zhang Xiao’s new crush is his boss’s stepson. WHOA. Even in this day in age, fourth prince is still a prince of sorts – well, at least one of the heirs to a big corporation company (which is supposed to parallel the palace setting).
HELLO REINCARNATED KANGXI!! When we are introduced to the big boss of the company, Kang Zhen Tian who is admiring a lovely jade peony hair pin carefully set up on display behind a glass box. He states that it was fate that brought this artifact to his possession. We flashback to when Kang and his buddies were out in the dessert searching for the fabled Qing dynasty treasures said to be lost and buried in the area. After being tossed up and down by another mysterious whirlwind, they hit jackpot!!
Thanks to Huang Di, Zhang Xiao gets a job interview for the company. Hesitant at first, she has that same Ruo Xi determined look in her eyes. Her interviewer turns out to be THE TENTH PRINCE LOL I’m pretty sure they made him gay in the present adaptation. Although the interview doesn’t seem to be going well due to the tenth prince’s sassy present day self, to Zhang Xiao’s luck, Kang Zhen Tian is passing by as they converse. Kang Zhen Tian wonders why Zhang Xiao wants to work here when the nature of the company is so different from skill set. Zhang Xiao states that she wants to begin anew and Kang Zhen Tian tests her on her knowledge by asking her which Emperor she respects the most. Zhang Xiao is both eloquent and honest in her answer. Even when she’s asked to recite a piece of poetry, she does so and revisiting Qing literature is such a nostalgic moment for Zhang Xiao that she tears up. Kang Zhen Tian ends up hiring her and it seems like even in the present, Zhang Xiao’s completely charmed him with her intelligence. After, Kang Zhen Tian seems somewhat curious about Zhang Xiao’s family background.
When Zhang Xiao is on the stairs, she hears the click of old palace shoes and sees a girl clad in Qing dynasty garb roll down the stairs. She goes to see if the girl is alright when she gets pushed aside by security and other staff. To her shock, she sees Ruo Xi, or at least, a girl with her exact face, in this time period. (Love seeing Liu Shi Shi play a stuck up snobby actress as well as Ruo Xi’s old outfit reappear). Zhang Xiao follows the little troop onto a filming set where she sees the Ruo Xi actress re-enact a scene where she stands under falling snow singing a soulful ballad. The fourth prince also happens to be watching the performance, absentmindedly twirling the jade ring around his thumb. His assistant hands him a portfolio of the actress’s information and perhaps he wonders if the girl he bumped into earlier was this very girl (SINCE THEY LOOK THE SAME).
Episode 1 ends here with so much more information that we don’t know about yet. How is Ruo Xi going to meet the fourth prince and fall in love again? I should really stop calling him the fourth prince. In the present, his name is Yin Zheng. So many more characters we haven’t seen yet. This drama is just beginning and already there is so much emotion packed into it. It’s really tugging on heartstrings for Bu Bu Jing Xin fans because Zhang Xiao cries literally every ten minutes whenever she sees something that reminds her of the Qing Dynasty. Rather than a palace, we have a big corporation. It’ll be interesting to see how the dynamics of Zhang Xiao’s friendship and relationships with the other characters change because of the freedom of equal gender roles and equal economic opportunity in a modern setting.
This was a REALLY long recap because the entire episode is about 40 minutes even when you skip both the intro and outro songs. The ending song is absolutely beautiful and I love the scene where Zhang Xiao in the present is walking along the wall of the imperial palace while the fourth prince is on the other side in another time period doing the same thing. GAH I just know I’m going to cry so much for this series!
If you guys got to the end, you’re awesome! Thank you so much for reading and I will check in again next week for episode 2’s recap and review!
What are you pondering today?