Nirvana in Fire 琅琊榜 - Episode 6 (Recap)

One day, triumphant winner, the next, feeling lousy with a severe headache? Yes, that's Prince Yu! Mei Changsu's machinations are starting and it is possible that many people will get hurt in the process. Can he make sure it's only the right ones?
JoAnne: Something has to go wrong along the way, right?  He's bound to hurt someone he cares about, or cause their death.  You just know it.
dewaanifordrama: Oh Mei Changsu. If only we can keep the casualties to a minimum, I'll be happy. 

Episode 6

Prince Jing aka Xiao Jingyan is about to get punished by his father for putting a blade to his brother's throat (his punishment, by the way: he is grounded for three months. Hahahahaa) when Prince of Yu appears - and claims it was him that sent Jingyan to Yue's palace. That's utter BS but another part of Mei Changsu's clever handling of the situation. Because the world is an unfair place, Prince Yu gets one hundred horses, a load of money, and another pearl - while Prince Jing gets absolutely nothing.
Jing's face was hilarious but also sad, this whole scene.  Why does his father hate him?
Ugh! Don't worry Jingyan, we don't like slimy Prince Yu cashing in on your awesomeness. 
This would be one of the sad times. Poor Prince Jing. Come be comforted by Mama.  
Um, Jo, he's already being comforted by me. So you don't need to worry yourself about it.
Wenn sich zwei streiten, freut sich die Dritte.
Prince Jing leaves very quickly after that, but Nihuang catches up to him outside, telling him she knows well that it wasn't Yu that told him. But Jing cannot confirm it was Mr. Su: General Meng was the one who came to him. I think you people are right, Mei Changsu does not want to keep some things a secret! Off to Meng the two go: how did he find out the secrets of the ladies' court? He babbles something about being all-knowing since he has so many guards in the palace, but he's a terrible liar.
He's my guy in this one. I love Meng. Don't get him killed, you plotter, you!
Poor Meng Zhi, plotting and scheming isn't his strong suit. 
Hahaha, he is a bit on the dumb side. But I like him all the more for it
Alone with his mother, Prince Yu is in high spirits: so much reward for doing absolutely nothing! He saved Prince Jing from punishment and thinks both Nihuang (and by extension her troops) and that younger brother must be very impressed by him. In a flashback, we see how Mei Changsu told Yu to grasp this godsend opportunity to his benefit. Yu is quite impressed by Mei Changsu's foresight and is all the more certain that Lang Ya's prophecy about having to "own" that person is correct. He believes himself one step closer to the Crown.
Such a foolish man. I don't dislike him as much as his stupid brother, though.
Oh I love how smart Mei Changsu is. Even when a situation unfolds that wasn't in his plan, he still manages to master it. 
Meng has admitted that Su Zhe is behind it all and we basically see the wheels in Prince Jing's head turning ... especially when Nihuang mentions that Prince Yu being so smart today was most likely helped along by a certain someone too. He does not look pleased.
From where he's standing, it must look like Su Zhe engineered the whole situation from beginning to end, and that can't sit well.
Jingyan, I know it doesn't look good, but please just trust Su Zhe. Pretty please. I promise it's for your own good. 
Jingyan summons Mr. Su to his place: to utter a warning and set the rules. Do not play with certain people's lives and honor to achieve your goals. As the warrior she is, Princess Nihuang has no part in the fights for the throne - to use her as a chess piece is despicable. If he does this again, he will not be able to work with him in the future. He also quite clearly hates all strategists, because he blames them for his brother's (and Lin Shu's) death.
Why do you think he won't reveal himself to Jing? Jing knows that Lin Shu's family was wrongly accused and killed. If Lin Shu came forward and said to Jing that he wanted to help him win the crown, would Jing say no? He's not averse to the politics of it with Su Zhe, after all. He just has rules he wants to follow. Maybe lying about who Su would go against his principles?
I think that this reveals exactly why Mei Changsu is right not to tell Prince Jing - because he is hot-headed and strongly emotional about the people he cares about. If he knows that Mei Changsu is Lin Shu, is there any way in hell that he's going to let him stay in court? Instead of thanking Mei Changsu for helping rescue Nihuang, he immediately assumes that Mei Changsu was using Nihuang as a pawn, when he was not. (Though he managed to use the situation well) Plus, there's no way Prince Jing would allow Lin Shu to do any dirty politicking. It would be too much for him. He's already reluctant to let a stranger get his hands somewhat dirty, and there's no way he would let Lin Shu. And knowing that Mei Changsu is Lin Shu would put him in danger if he's found out. He would be harbouring a criminal and therefore also guilty of treason and death. I totally understand Mei Changsu wanting to protect him as much as he can. 
Mei Changsu accepts the rules - but has a few things to say too. The fight for the crown needs more than Prince Jing's uprightness. It needs him, the strategist, to counter Yu's and Crown Prince's plots. To win, they must be more ruthless than them. Got it? Yes, Jing clearly got it.
But he's not super happy about it. 
Furthermore, Su tells the prince that he knows who Tingshen is (the last living son of dead Prince Qi). Mei Changsu wants Jing to fully trust him, but the Prince is not ready to do this. He fears for the purehearted people in the court - Su promises to not harm them to the best of his abilities. He adds: "The storm has begun - please be resolute". Jing nods... with great reluctance. He hates this so much, and yet, he must overcome his fear of becoming a ruthless, bad person for the good of the people.
So what are his sticking points? Will he allow Mei Changsu to create situations where the princes look bad so he can step in and look good?  How far down that road is he willing to go? Or is he just going to wait for those situations (because they will happen, those idiots can't help themselves) and have Mei Changsu tell him best how to proceed? That doesn't seem like it would work very well.
I think Prince Jing is battling with trying not to be like his father and yet still trying to rescue the kingdom from ruin if its corruption continues like it has been of late. And because he hadn't really considered the crown before, this is all new to him and he's trying to navigate the balance between schemes to win the crown and still trying to be morally in the right. 
Zhuo Qingyao is talking to Xie Yu about Xiadong (our lovely police woman), because she's super efficient and has uncovered the truth about the corrupt official: which is good for them, because the guy - who will definitely go down now - is one of Yu's men. The bad thing about it: she knows they were involved in bringing the old servants to the capital. One of Xie Yu's big assets is that so far, people have considered him a neutral player in the fight for the throne. Xie Yu is not overly worried though... because the bastard has sent people to kill Xiadong! The blame, so he thinks, will naturally fall on Prince Yu, who has the most reason to harm her.
It kills me that Zhuo doesn't even look like a hot bad guy. He's handsome and he doesn't look evil at all. He could be Jing with that face.
Poor Zhuo. He's really mixed in with the wrong crowd. 
Yujin and Jingrui are taking a break from doing nothing all day in the forest. Well, sensitive Jingrui is feeling uneasy... everything is changing around him. Yujin wants to cheer him up and invites him to join him at the Courtesan House for music (etc.) later. Suddenly, they become aware of a person behind the trees ... it's Xiadong! Oh no, she is wounded! The enemy is all around them, just waiting for the right moment to attack. 
Ah, you sunshine boys. Your outfits complement each other, do you realize that?
Hehe. Nothing like matching outfits for a stroll in the woods. 
And here they cooooooome! They move like ghosts or demons, but our lovely Jingrui is an awesome sword fighter and manages to keep them at bay. Only .... there are other assassins, and they have outrun their target and cute Yujin! Ah, but I'm glad to report that our three friends are no match for the assassins. Xiadong manages to capture their leader. Time to find out who sent him! "Prince Yu", he groans.
Man, he gave that up easy.
Well isn't Jingrui like second on the Langya list for sword fighting or something? Was anyone else thinking Lord of the Rings, Nazgul at all? 


And so, Xie Yu's evilness is shown for the first (but not the last!) time. He is the coldest, meanest, and most dangerous guy that we have met so far and I am really glad Mei Changsu is considering moving out of his place. He is in danger if he stays that close! We also see that Prince Yu is trying hard, but simply is not smart enough to even consider how he is being played. May it stay that way for a while!
Yes, please.
I guess staying right under his enemies nose is a good hiding place though? Maybe? 

Finally, Prince Jing, ah.... I totally get his notion of not wanting to become a ruthless person, and his attempt to protect some people from the dark side of politics, something he does not understand well himself. But it is a naive notion to believe you can stay totally pure in the fight for a position of power. Jing knows it - but is afraid of still losing his morals in the process. What Jing needs to realize though is that Mei Changsu is basically offering to make his hands and his soul dirty for him. He is saying: I will sin for you so that you do not have to. This is the only way to get such a morally correct person onto that throne.
But there's no difference in employing a person to do dirty work for you and doing it yourself. If anything, having someone else do it makes you worse than if you just did it yourself.
I think that Prince Jing is in over his head and he's still trying to figure out what he's going to do. I agree with Jo that getting someone else to do one's dirty work is the same as doing it oneself, but I do think that he honestly wants to make sure that Mei Changsu does things as cleanly as possible. And I don't blame him for his trust issues. Poor man, but at least he's got us to cheer him on!