03 April 2016


Nirvana in Fire 琅琊榜 - Episode 33 (Recap)

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on April 03, 2016
I wish I could say that this rough-patch were over, but it's only just beginning TT______TT (Eleanor, do I get permission to slap your Prince Jing a bit?!) This is a highly emotional episode, in which everything seems lost because of Prince Jing's extreme stubbornness and pride. Man, he will regret this SO MUCH sometime later and it is very hard to watch how he pushes away the one person who is everything Prince Jing yearns for: a true friend. (And yes ... I very much enjoyed doing snow-gifs) 
JoAnne: Making him wait in the COLD.
Eleanor: If you slap him, send him over to me and I'll comfort him. 

Episode 33

Consort Jing may try to reassure her son that nothing bad happened to her all she wants after Maid Xiaoxin's exclamation, he does not believe her. He has the maid tell him everything in detail. Especially about that person that "Su sent", who said Su told them not to do anything about Consort Jing's little mistreatment. Haha. Come ON, Jingyan. Think!
I just don't buy that this maid wouldn't have been told not to say anything in advance of Jing's visit...and even if she wasn't, once it was clear Consort Jing didn't want anything said, why would she keep speaking up? Because of this behavior, I'm back to thinking she's actually working for Yu.
Yeah, I don't trust her one little bit. Argh! Surely she knows Consort Jing isn't someone to mess with. And Jingyan, Kakashi is right: THINK for a second here! Don't be so hasty. Listen to your mom as well. Argh! Prince Yu has such a good plan! Don't fall for it Jingyan! 
But no, that temper of his has taken over. Consort Jing cautions him to carefully consider that the Maid is only relating what she heard from others, but Jingyan's old mistrust of the cunning strategist is getting the better of him. "Calm down!" his mother shouts at him. It has some effect. Only temporarily, though, because the maid won't shut up, the stupid chick, interjecting again how it really wasn't that harmless, with all the "dragging" done to Consort Jing and stuff. 
Oh my God will someone just stuff a sock in her mouth?
Listen to your mother Jingyan! Listen! You are being such an idiot right now! Argh! 
Enough is enough! Jingyan runs off and we next see him conversing angrily with Commander Lie, who tells him that he tried to see Su about the capture of Wie, but was told Su was gravely ill. Everybody acted strangely at that Mansion, Lie recalls, as if they did not want to hear a word he was saying. Jingyan sneers at that. He's not surprised at all; of course Mei Changsu wouldn't care!
Jingyan. You and that hot temper of yours. Stahp! Though he does look rather hot right now. Focus Eleanor, focus. Jingyan, stop being an idiot. No really. Stop. 
Wow, Jingyan. Seriously. He is utterly disappointed that this friend he thought he gained in the last year turns out to be nothing but the cold monster he thought he was in the beginning. He has very low emotional intelligence right now. Maybe all that riding around on horseback damaged part of his brain?
More likely to have damaged elsewhere...but hmm, shaken Jing syndrome?
I'm just going to look at how gorgeous he looks because it seems that he's not listening to anyone's advice. I do get that he really struggles to trust people, but what I don't get is that he also won't listen to his mother on this one. 
Mei Changsu is still very unwell, but urgency keeps him on his feet. He even goes through the tunnel himself, to speak with Prince Jing, though he can barely stand up.
They have gunpowder and secret tunnels and stuff but no one invented a wheel chair yet? Walkers?
Su!!! Argh!!! This is all so frustrating!!! *cries*
Jingyang is cold and haughty when he finally opens the secret passage, pretending he is surprised to see Su there. It's Commander Lie who does the talking and says they need to save Wei Zheng. Mei Changsu is puzzled about Jing's behavior, to say the least. Mei Changsu urges them to be cautious about the Wei-case: anything they'll do will have to involve Prince Jing. And that would mean losing everything he has gained! Well, too late, says Jing. He already annoyed his father beyond repair about this today.
Eh, you're still walking around free, Jing. It's not as bad as you make it out to be.
Ack! Su is so in the dark here and Jing is being an idiot. When will this episode end. Jingyan is very, very, very much going to regret this one day. 
Mei Changsu is super alarmed to hear this and tries to explain to Jingyan how this is a trap by Prince Yu, but hey, Jingyan already knows. It's a plot to make his father see that he still cares about the people he lost over the Chiyan Army case. That he is a threat to him. So what's the fuss? The trap is sprung. Mr. Su sees things a little differently though: Because everybody - including the Emperor - already knows how much  Jingyan cares about the case, this one time did not cause a bigger issue. But he cannot continue to stir this pot! He got lucky one time, but if he keeps pressing this, history will repeat itself and Jing will end up like his brother, Prince Qi.
Quicker than you can say filicide, yep.
Okay, everyone take a deep breath. Let's fill in all the details. Jingyan tell Su why you're so pissed off at him, and then we can clear this all up and get back to getting rid of the bad guys. 
But what does that mean for Wei Zheng? Well.... DAMN: "One who has design on the world must know when to sacrifice", says Mei Changsu. Utterly cold, Jingyan turns to Mei Changsu upon hearing this and tells him, voice as cold as ice, that he has understood. Fully. He walks away ... and cuts down the bell at the secret passage.
*Golf clap* Very dramatic move. Mistaken, but still.
Nooooooooo!!! Don't kill this budding bromance! Jingyan! Noooooooo!!!! Dang! Those fierce eyes! 
Mei Changsu falls on his knees in a gesture of utter despair, but Jingyan is done: He actually thought that Su was different. But now he sees that he is not, but that he is immoral and heartless. If he, Prince Jing, did what Mei Changsu told him and became amoral himself, what would that make him? Not a bit better than the people they are up against! So... he is done with Su. So done. And with that he leaves and locks the secret passage. TT__________TT He broke up with him :((((
From bromance to nomance :(
Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!! Can you feel my despair! Jingyan! Don't be an idiot!
What the f*** happened while he was asleep?! Mei Changsu is left to wonder (in slightly different words). But no time to cry. They must prevent Prince Jing from doing anything rash. 
Ppalli, ppalli!
His men need to debrief him ASAP. Actually they needed to debrief him much earlier. 
Snow is falling again and Commander Lie tries to talk some sense into his Prince: is he sure he wants to block the secret passage like that? He is certain that Mr. Su is still on their side and the best option they have, even if he may not understand the bonds of loyalty to people like Wei Zheng. Listen to your man, Jingyan! You're being far too emotional right now and butthurt, you stubborn ass. But no... Jingyan does not yield.
Of course not. He is, after all, his father's son. They would naturally share SOME traits.
I will focus on the pretty snow right now because I also want to slap Jingyan right now. 
Ah, help may come from another side, it seems! Consort Jing has started thinking... Together with a very sorry Xiaoxin, she reconstructs what happened and who helped her "escape", from the moment the maid asked to go to the toilet. She then sends the maid to go and thank the Eunuch and his cousin who aided her with some coins. Then, she gets ready to welcome the Emperor, who isn't feeling too well. 
Come on, Consort Jing. Fix this for your son!
Now why couldn't have Jingyan inherited Consort Jing's calm collectedness. Her EQ is boss. 
Mei Changsu got dressed and is hurrying outside, with his retainers running after him, attempting to stop him. But what's the point? Mei Changsu screams at them. Would they really have him go back to bed to sleep so he can wake up to Prince Jing caught firmly in Xiajiang's trap? His life will be worthless then.
I wonder if he really would have said to leave the situation alone with Consort Jing, though. He would have left Wei Zhang.
I doubt he would have left her situation alone. He would have done something to stop that I think. Wei Zhang, I don't know. That's a hard one for Lin Shu, but maybe not MCS. 
At Prince Jing's Palace, he is left waiting outside. For more than an hour. Okay, enough is enough, Jing! >.< Finally, Commander Lie comes down the stairs and tells Su to leave ... Prince Jing is busy. Not leaving, says Mei Changsu.
I've never understand why this tactic gets people to change their minds.
Maybe because in this case it gives Prince Jing a minute to cool his mind when he realizes MCS is willing to stand in the cold and snow. Or maybe people don't want others collapsing on their front doorstep. 
The Emperor tells Consort Jing that he is feeling better ... and then starts talking about the Chiyan army case. What is her opinion? He wants the truth. Oups, careful! Consort Jing bows and apologizes, because whatever she will say, she knows she'll upset him. But she doesn't, the smart woman... in her gentle way, she only speaks about Consort Chen, her friend, and her decision to take her own life and matches the mood his Majesty is in.
She should be the Empress, really.
He tells her that he saw the Marquis of Yan after a very long time, but that is not what brought his mood upon him... it was in fact Xiajiang, who came to the palace to tell him he had captured a survivor of the Chiyan army. BANG, there goes the tea cup.
I wonder if she gives it away at some point. Not today, but someday.
I love Consort Jing so much. She is just the best. 
At Jing's, Meng makes an appearance. Li Gang told him about what happened, and of course, he's alarmed. Just when he is about to storm into Jing's room to protest this treatment of Mr. Su, the prince comes down himself. The stubborn idiot tells Su he needn't have come, he already fully understands him. To him, there is no choice in the matter: he has to save Wei Zheng. To a strategist, this is outright folly. Those are their positions and seeing how they cannot be reconciled, they have no more to say to each other. If he dies, Jingyan says, and meets his friend Lin Shu in the heavens, he cannot tell him a mere vice general wasn't "worth it".
So simplistic, though. Is he worth the empire? When the goal is to save it from utter destruction? I'd say no, actually. So would Wei Zhang, I'm guessing.
I think that's the gamble Su is making. Wei Zhang is the person who saved Lin Shu's life, so he's maybe even personally more important to Su Zhe than he is to Prince Jing. While I do think that Prince Jing is not necessarily looking at the big picture here, this is exactly why he should be Emperor - he values individual human life. Yes, yes, I know that he could save many by being a good and just emperor, but without this sort of integrity, he wouldn't be worthy of why Su wants him on the throne. It's actually the same sort of dilemma Su had to make before with Jingrui - is sacrificing the friendship of his cousin worth the greater good of exposing the Marquis' evil deeds. None of these decisions is easy or black and white. That's politics for you. 
But Mei Changsu is listening... like he always is. Prince Jing will try to save this "mere" vice General, not matter the cost, no matter how small a chance of success. Okay, fine, says Mei Changsu. Seeing how he has set his mind on it, he will organize it. But! No matter what, Prince Jing is not to appear and his manor cannot be implicated. "No", says Prince Jing, "that won't do".
Oh come ON.
Consort Jing admits to being very surprised about what the Emperor just told her: it's been so long and they're still able to catch criminals from back then. Because she does not let the Emperor finish his sentence, she first thinks they caught Lin Shu himself - man, woman, careful now! - before she is corrected that it was his vice general. They talk about Jingyan and his stubbornness, and the Emperor asks Consort Jing to talk to her son, and make him aware of his dangerous behavior.
She is such a diplomat, though.
I find it interesting that the Emperor despite his suspicious behaviour, actually trusts her and seeks her out. As if he recognizes the good, and in some way wants to have it. 
Does Mr. Su not remember the rules he set with him after the Nihuang incident? Prince Jing asks. And yet, he did it again. Ergo, he no longer trusts Mei Changsu. He doesn't even believe he'll try to save Wei Zheng. Therefore, it is HIM who is going to save Wei Zheng. Mei Changsu can go find a new master ... let's just pretend he picked the wrong person from the beginning. And he walks away for the second time. (He broke up with him AGAIN?)
But, but, but...
Jingyan. You are being a stubborn water buffalo right now. And anyway, he's also misunderstanding Su with the Nihuang incident as well. moonlil was telling me that this is when viewers in China said they would go and eat beef steak because they were so mad at Jingyan in this episode. And the vegetarians said they would avoid milk and cheese. hahaha
Mei Changsu runs after him and screams: "Xiao Jingyan, stand still!". Ha, yes. He just shouted an order at a member of the royal family. One who doesn't care one bit though but tells him he won't be stopped, no matter what.
Seriously, Jingyan. THINK.
THINK!!! Also - that is LIN SHU SHOUTING AT YOU YOU WATER BUFFALO!!!! Ooh, the snow is so pretty. 
Mei Changsu steps closer, so very emotional now: so what does Prince Jing want to do? Storm the palace, or the dungeons? Yes, that's better than being selfish! the prince screams. All his soldiers are battle-hardened warriors! Mr. Su shouts back: "You have loyalty, but why don't you have brains?" Okay, I'm cracking up here. Haha, to think that a "mere" commonor would even dare saying something like this.
Right? It totally pulled me out of the scene, but it also made me think, 'Oh, maybe he'll remind Jingyan of his cousin...'
Hahahaha. You tell him Su! His IQ is definitely a bit offline here (another phrase Joyce and moonlil taught me from Chinese netizens). I really love how Su spoke to him as he would as Lin Shu. It was so refreshing. Also, despite me being really angry with Jingyan being an idiot right now, he still makes me swoon. Argh! Jingyan! 
But we're not done! Su continues: "Hasn't the fire at Meiling 13 years ago burnt hard enough? Has there not been enough blood lost from the Manor of Prince Qi? How many more lives do you want to throw in?" He is beyond caring if Jing trusts him or not. If he ruins everything likes this, how can he face his brother in the afterlife? And Lin Shu?
I got distracted by the wording and kept thinking 'Fire at Meiling 13' makes a good title for a disaster movie.
*cries* This scene. This is Lin Shu shouting at his water buffalo cousin. Lin Shu is trying his best to not add to the crimes at Meiling. Jingyan. Just stop being an idiot *starts crying as I'm typing*
That does it. But now, Prince Jing is crying and Mei Changsu is probably feeling guilty, because he knows... he knows what Jing is feeling. He knows he still regrets not having been there when his dearest friend and his brother needed him the most. He understands and knows this - so how could he be insincere? He will do his best to save Wei Zheng.
Bromance status: almost repaired
*still crying* I'm not even joking about that. I love and care about these people so much. 
Finally. Finally, Prince Jing comes around! and they go inside to discuss plans (Su is obviously badly affected by the cold, you stupid Jingyan >.<). Meng has a moment of unusual clarity when he says they need not fret: the target is Prince Jing and not Wei Zheng right now. So there is no urgency. Prince Jing is soon starting to feel quite foolish when he learns about the Jiangzuo Alliance's attack on the prisoner transport a few days ago.
Oh, yeah. That. Wouldn't anyone have mentioned it? Oh right, he's barely just now getting the news.
Yeah, Jingyan didn't wait to get all the news, and Su doesn't even have all the details he needs yet either. Hug it out guys. Hug it out. 
What can they do now? Mei Changsu only sees one option: fight. Bring Wei Zheng out by force. As quickly as possible. But how will they orchestrate this without implicating Prince Jing, who will be the prime suspect in any case? Mei Changsu tells Prince Jing that it will be very difficult, but for the meantime, he needs to sit still, whatever will come his way, and wait for a certain person to return. That person is nobody else but... Xiadong.
A woman to the rescue!
At the Xuanjing Bureau, Xiaqiu is feeling somewhat uneasy. That guy he fought at the West Gate ... he was very good. Xiachun laughs at him: nobody would be foolish enough to try and break into their prison though, right? But this is not all... Xiaqiu is puzzled by the fact that their master seems to see a need to fight Prince Jing. He does not get it. He does not get anything anymore, and it worries him. And where for crying out loud is their sister Xiadong?!
Hmmmm. That question keeps coming up. Oooh...and the Beast is out there, too. 
I just love how all the little pieces come together in this drama. I want to hug this drama! 
Xiadong? Prince Jing does not get it. What does she have to do with this? Well, she has a grudge, to put things mildly. And she will most certainly help her late husband's friends in what is coming. Mei Changsu: "If she is willing to assist us, then we're halfway to success".
Yes, indeed.
Thankfully Jingyan is much less of an idiot by the end of the episode. 


Man, I really hated Prince Jing in this episode, at least temporarily. But then, I tried to see things from his perspective, and I guess I get it... First, he was extremely hurt by what he felt as betrayal by a person he had begun to open up to. He has no real friends anymore and he misses his cousin Lin Shu so very much... along comes this Mei Changsu, who reminds him of his cousin, and he starts opening up, starts feeling ... this bond again, just for it to be brutally severed (in his mind). In his hurt, he is lashing out ... that explains the way he treats Su.
He's pissed because he thinks Su didn't prioritize his mother, and then the conversation about Wei Zheng just made that seem even more likely to have happened. Not that he wants anyone used, but this was his mother.
I really do feel for him, and so does Su, but he does have quite the stubborn temper. I've also been thinking a lot about Jingyan in general as a character, and I think in some ways he's experiencing PTSD. He's pretty much been in survival mode for the past 12 years or so. He's out fighting all the time, which does actually give the brain trauma, and he's grieving the loss of Lin Shu and the Lin family and his brothers in arms. He's on the defensive all the time because he has no one, except his mother, who has very little power in the palace as well. He's all alone and suffering and grieving and has trauma, so I get it, I really do. 

Second, his stubborrness is not without reason. Indeed, Mei Changsu suggests to "sacrifice" Wei Zheng. That is truly amoral, if you think about it, because this guy was HIS trusted man too in the past and the one he fled Meiling with. He spoke like a true, heartless strategist when he suggested it, and it is wrong. It goes against everything he wants Prince Jing to be. That Prince Jing would throw everything away to get this man out is not a fault, but a virtue. If only he did not act so rashly! 
I think that when you weigh the future of the nation against the future of one man, the nation wins - not the idea of 'nation' but all those people. That presupposes that Jing IS the only choice for future emperor AND that he makes it, of course... but if you throw away your chances, then it's guaranteed not to happen. Make an attempt, yes, but you make damn sure it doesn't compromise Jing.
Wait, isn't that the argument I was making about Jingrui ;P jk just teasing you. I was also wondering if this was a bit of a test that Su was giving Jingyan. He's also still pretending to be a heartless strategist. I think Su would love to save Wei Zheng, and if he hadn't been asleep and ill, he might have already. When he made that statement about sacrificing him, Jingyan didn't know that the Alliance had already attempted a rescue. It's not like Su's people haven't already tried, they just didn't succeed. If Jingyan would calm down for a second, they could actually talk things out. 

Mei Changsu realizes this fault in the course of this episode and that is why he agrees to sacrifice his own men (and potentially himself? I don't have a good feeling about this) to get this done. It is certainly not a fully rational thing to do, seeing how well defended the Bureau's dungeons are. We could in fact argue that the life of one person does not justify the certain death of many. But Prince Jing made this choice and will not budge, and thus, the situation changes. Wei is now more than just "one man", he is a symbol for this whole bloody mess, for the corruptness in the court, for Xiajiang's power and role in this, and for the Chiyan army and the injustice done to it. 
Oooh, I like that. It's an overly sentimental construct but it accurately represents his feelings. They are what they are.
I fully trust Su though that he can use this to his advantage. I also think that for Su, bearing the burden of restoring the honour of 70,000+ souls, means that he knows that ultimately, he isn't going to make it out alive - so sacrificing himself was always part of the equation. 

Freeing him - or even just trying to free him - will set in motion a lot of things who will be hard to control. The peace in the Empire is at jeopardy in this, because of how closely the Emperor is associated with the Chiyan army case. And yet, it's interesting that he himself has started to think about it more and more ... He is ready to hear other people's opinions now, without getting rage fits. And he seems to be feeling guilt and doubts. Things are indeed starting to change in Jinling... 
Where's the other prince? Still locked up?
What other prince? Prince Qi? He was executed a long time ago. Or are we talking about a different prince? Man, the dominoes have started to fall, or should we say, the weiqi board is starting to look really interesting. 
She means the Crown Prince, I'm guessing

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