Nirvana in Fire 琅琊榜 - Episode 42 (Recap)

Revelations! Horrible, sad, exciting and dangerous revelations! Also: the Spring Hunt. Dammit, everybody we care for is there and the baddies are planning something big... *bites nails*
JoAnne: Prince Yu doesn't get to go to the Spring Hunt because he's still grounded. Sucks to be Yu!
Eleanor: LOL very punny. I love it. 

Episode 42

Banruo proceeds to the opening of the pouch! It contains ... a note. What, a note? No wonder weapon?! Xiajiang studies it intently and then says: "Jinghuan?!" It seems to be a letter for Prince Yu! And it wasn't written by their Princess, but her older sister Linglong. Huh!
Maybe they got the pouches mixed up. I wonder if we'll 'accidentally' learn secrets.
Is it some sort of secret weapons code instruction? I hope we get to know the secret soon. 
Banruo puts on her nice clothes and goes to see Prince Yu - who isn't very welcoming at first.
Am I crazy for thinking she's actually prettier in the rags? I really hate her make up and hair style when she's dressed up.
I think she's beautiful in both, but yes, she has such natural beauty that it seems a shame to cake too much make-up on her. 
Yup, he was pretty clear about being left alone, right? But Banruo won't leave him alone, no! Because this is not only about him - this is also about the hopes of the Hua Zhu. When he hears that, he gets even angrier - that she supports this tribe is not exactly in line with official Kingdom policy.
Apropo of nothing, what did they do back then when men went bald?
This is what Jo is wondering while this serious situation unfolds. hahahahahahahahahaha
But she pulls out the red pouch and offers it to him, now almost crying ... and tells him she learned only today that he carries the bloodline of the Hua Zhu. I'll be damned!
Yu? Zhu?
Oh man! That's huge! Not only has he found out more about his heritage, but he happens to be part of the tribe that daddy took over to get the throne. Oops. This is going to make him mad. 
Well, I guess Prince Yu needs all the support that he can get, because his father is totally on to him. He now thinks his son got away with things too easily. But the head eunuch thinks that he's smart enough to know that his fight for the throne is over. But then, the Emperor mentions Prince Yu's birth mother ("a zealot") and that he hopes his son isn't like her - and the eunuch is very shocked to hear him speak about her. It seems a secret between them who Concubine Xiang really was.
Totally loved that little shush-y gesture. His face is really smooth, I bet he's a cute old man. Actually I bet he's not even old, they just make him look old.
Yeah, he's not that old. He looks much younger in Ode to Joy. He very much seems like a teddy bear to me. You would also think that the Emperor would know better than to father children with his enemies...not a very good long term strategy to maintaining power. 
And here it comes: Prince Yu now knows that his birth mother, the Concubine Xiang, was Hua Zhu's Princess Linglong. Well, no wonder her sister planted Banruo next to our fallen prince. The letter contains heavy accusations against the Emperor too, how he betrayed Linglong and the whole tribe, whom he had slaughtered by the Chiyan army. Including her. What a shock! Prince Yu jumps to the conclusion that he never ever had a chance to become Emperor (not true), that all he ever was was a chess piece. He has a total melt-down as his wife hears everything from outside the door.
It's not true? I must have missed a line when the Emperor was talking about his parenting decisions with poor Yu.
I don't think the Emperor ever planned to put him on the throne because he carries the blood of "traitors" or the Emperor's enemies. I think Yu is right in assuming daddio was using him as a pawn in his game for keeping power. 
In his rambling to the Eunuch, he did sound like he had considered it though. But it's possible he is just legitimizing his own behavior to himself.  
But the melt-down does not last long ... Prince Yu is ready to take the throne by force! Like it was done in the past.
I wonder how many times they made him do that twirl.
Man, this family is so dysfunctional. I guess the only way Jingyan turned out decent was that he was isolate from the court for so long. 
The ever-smiling eunuch comes by Consort Jing's (beautiful robe alert!) place to deliver some tea that she gracefully accepts. She also exchanges some meaningful glances with one of her maids (Xiao-Li) ... who then proceeds to give some money to our eunuch, who accepts it gracefully. When he has left, Consort Jing tells the maid to store the tea well - it's for Jingyan when he enters the palace. And she smiles as little as she says that he likes to drink water, just like a water buffalo.
Cue Eleanor:
LOL what am I supposed to say about my little water buffalo? That I adore him? Check. That's he's ridiculously handsome (and stubborn)? Check. I could go on and on extolling his virtues. Consort Jing's robes are so GORGEOUS!!!
Cute Little Prince of Mu drinks tea at Mei Changsu's, attentively watching the older man as he inhales the smell of the beverage. It's tea that Nihuang sent and our little cutie is very pleased that Mei Changsu praises it. He himself? Can't tell the difference between this and what he normally drinks. Haha.
He is cute, but I don't really like his voice.
Well it is his real voice...don't hate on the poor man's voice. He's adorable. He ships Mei Chang Su with his sister so hard. haha. Cute little Mu Qing. 
Before Mu Qing goes out into the garden to look for and play with Fei Liu, Mei Changsu gives him a message for "the guest" who's staying at his mansion. He is going to be taken away by some trusted friends, to be brought to Mei Changsu's! Mu Qing doesn't like to see him go.
Oh well...
Wei Zheng and Lin Shu reuniting. I'm going to cry, aren't I? 

When Wei Zheng arrives at the Su Mansion, he falls to his knees in front of him, clearly excited to see his "Young Marshal" (and feeling remorse for being caught). So ... he knows he has completely changed his face, it seems. Was he with him when everything happened? So there's a meeting between him and Prince Jing coming up and Mei Changsu implores him to be extra careful about how he addresses him in front of the prince. 
*Hands Eleanor tissues in preparation*
LOL this is even funnier considering my comment above.
And then, Prince Jing comes through the tunnel. He is extremely emotional - he never thought he would be able to meet someone from the past! They sit down to talk. Of course, Prince Jing has many questions, first and foremost whether there are other survivors of the Meiling massacre. It seems there were, but not many, says Wei Zheng - and all of them scattered and hid. All that Prince Jing wants to hear is that there is a remote hope that his cousin made it, of course, but Wei Zheng makes sure to crush that foolish hope (in the meantime, Mei Changsu tries to melt into the background - his face is an open wound though. He should be glad Prince Jing is glued on Wei Zheng's lips).
Poor babies. Give me some of those tissues, Eleanor!
*hands Jo some tissues* I think Nirvana in Fire could very safely use their drama to promote tissue brands. "Our drama will make you cry, make sure you have the best quality, soft tissues, so that your nose doesn't end up too red."
There is more truth to be told, however: how it was possible that the best army in the world could have been defeated. The Chiyan army had just fought a major battle against the Da Yu when they were attacked by Xie Yu (who claimed that battle and victory for himself later) and had no strength left. Nie Feng never turned up with reinforcements.
That bastard.
Xie Yu. Argh. I hate him. And all the pain and suffering he caused all for power. Yuck. Argh. Can the world please stop cultivating political leaders who are so damn selfish?!?! 
This is not news-news, really ... but I guess the monstrosity of it all is enough to drive tears into Prince Jing's eyes once again. He gets up (everybody else too) and stammers "he won't ever be back. Xiao-Shu really won't be coming back". Ouf.
Xia Jiang must die. Now.
Nirvana in Fire - drama of a thousand heartaches and tears. 
Mei Changsu gets a grip quickly and tries to caution the hotheaded prince, who wants to right the wrong this very night. Be careful about this case. Take it slowly. The Emperor cannot easily admit to being wrong about this one ... it's too big a thing. I think he gets it, our water buffalo.
*Pats Eleanor's shoulder* Breathe, girl.
I just want to hold Jingyan and let him sob into my shoulder. I think in many ways his life has remained locked in this terrible trauma and heartache for so long and with no one to really talk to about it properly because everything around the Chiyan case is so taboo. Come cry on my should my prince. 
Yikes, it's Banruo and "4th sister" (Jun Niang) sneaking around at night. This is about Tonglu, of course. (Tonglu!  I missed him!) (Me too!) Banruo tells Jun Niang that she'll let them go "if she gets what she wants". Next, Jun Niang has the keys to his shackles and frees him. She also tells him he can never return to the Jiangzuo Alliance, because he's been declared a traitor - and his master has died. That breaks Tonglu's heart. And opens his mouth. He spills stuff about physician Yan and Master Lin's heart protection pills. And the recurring Poison of the Bitter Flame. Yeah, FUCK!
Does she know she's lying? Shut up Tonglu! Shut up!
Crap! Crap! Crap! Noooooo! Don't betray Mei Chang Su you idiot!
BAM! The door opens and Banruo comes in, demanding to know what the Poison of the Bitter Flame is. Poor Tonglu. You have been betrayed...
I thought Jun Niang liked him, the way she was behaving. Did you see her face though, at the end?
Maybe she does and she thought she could save him by helping him betray Mei Chang Su? 

The Spring Hunt outing seems like a perfect gift for our evil dudes... it's Consort Jing, her son and Mei Changsu accompanying the Emperor. Consort Jing is riding with the Emperor, Mei Changsu with Tingshen (Prince Qi's secret son). Watching them leave the city, brow furrowed ominously: Prince Yu.
No one likes to miss a party.
This is not going to go well, is it? Ack! I need some heart medicine! Quick!
After several days of travel, the hunting party makes camp at the foot of the Jiuan Mountain Hunting Palace (they can't stay there for some customary reason). The tents are set up. Whoever brought Mei Changsu here is an idiot. (Hi, have you met the Emperor?) (I think he wanted to be here, otherwise he would have made some excuse) Anyway, after some ceremonial pomp, the men go hunting. Yujin (who stays back) complains that Mei Changsu has never taught him anything, to which our scholar says: "Do you remember who taught you all about the rites of the Spring Hunt when you were little?" that was Lin Shu, of course. And of course, Yujin (his dad is there too by the way) would not get this out of context, but we do. Careful now, Mei Changsu.
Right? He just left that hanging there. It was a little odd.
Yeah, be careful. Don't let nostalgia trap you Mei Chang Su. 
But what is this? The Emperor's jolly brother looks rather pensive after he spots either Fei Liu or Tingshen...
I like him. I hope he does something great for the cause.
He's awesome. I like how Mei Chang Su knows who can be of help even if the other court members think they are insignificant. But in the game of weiqi that Mei Chang Su is playing, he knows how to make every piece, no matter how seemingly insignificant, work. 
Jingyan's face betrays his unhappiness for everyone to see. I think he looks fabulous, but that's not the point. He claims it's nothing, that he's just feeling "restless". Some other princelings (Prince Ning and Prince Huai) think it's because he's afraid of the Xuanjing Bureau and their evilness. Yes, be afraid, people. Be very afraid!
But don't be afraid to own your fabulousness! And damn, is he ever. He is rockin' that armor like nobody's business.
ekfWJnebwbvEJfJEBFefafb. Sorry, I couldn't talk there for a minute. It's like the director and costuming department are in cahoots with the cinematographer to make all the women swoon. *faints*
Noble Consort Jing works her sleep wonders on his Majesty - and then orders her maid to tell her son she wants to see Sir Su. Damn, now I'm nervous. And so is Mei Changsu when he hears that she expects him. Clearly, she is too, judging by the way she is pacing! Splendid tents, by the way! And here they come...
Do you know I never realized that they hadn't actually met at any point yet?
Mei Chang Su knows there's no way she isn't going to find out. Poor little Water Buffalo still not quite figuring it all out. I feel bad for him. 
She just stares at him (and he hardly dares look at her) and everything is a bit strange, so Jingyan wonders. Well, but Consort Jing quickly composes herself and starts the usual small talk and is particularly worried about his health and whether it's warm enough for him. She tells her maid to get a different tea (ginger) ... and then even pours it for him.
Way to be cas, Consort Jing.
She is so awesome. Super majorly awesome. 
And then, she drops the hot tea on him.... to check his arms, of course. For the scars he once had. But they're gone... and she is freaked out. Her son asks her whether she's a bit tired today (yes, she is major strange!), but she is not done. She tells Mr. Su he looks quite ill and she wants to take his pulse. The way he looks at her, I'm thinking that will reveal something he probably does not want revealed...
I was thinking 'Oh, of course, because his hearts on the opposite side from normal' but then I remembered that was Wallace Huo's character in Love Me if You Dare.
Well, I'm sure there is also some medical reason as she is a doctor, and she can tell something is up if she measures his pulse - or maybe she can recognize family members by their pulse? Not really sure, but yeah, she wants to confirm what she already knows must be true. 


Oioioi. Carefully, Consort Jing! I mean ... she is intelligent enough to understand why this man would want to hide his true identity, right? I get it that she wants to know for sure though and that it drives her crazy that she does not recognize a single hair on him. But please, be careful, Consort Jing! 
Acting all weird like a cougar. Jing must be embarrassed!
Jingyan, so clueless, my poor little water buffalo. 

This was another episode full of that marvelous tension this drama creates. From the birth secret around Prince Yu to Tonglu's stupidity to the Spring Hunt... I'm afraid. I'm very afraid.
Well, don't cover your eyes. It makes recapping harder.
I'm starting to wonder if all of us fans are really just a giant support group from all the nervous wrecks the drama can turn us into ;)