30 November 2016

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ToGetHer 愛就宅一起 - Episode 7 (A Contest Squeecap)

Posted by trot wood on November 30, 2016
Trotwood: So I am taking my turn as promised to do a recap of an ep of the Mars-Momo show, but I can see why—besides the call of real life work—people were not that eager to recap this one. There is entirely too much Jia Sen in this episode. I say this knowing that he bothers others a LOT more than he bothers me and then there was the painful past and present with mom here as well. Not much cute going on in this ep but there is much marching forward for the couple and their understanding of each other. So there is character progression even if there seems to be not much plot progression.
Shuk: I didn't much like his character or his place in the storyline, but I'm glad we can get a glimpse into why his life is so messed up.
JoAnne: Oh, is this THAT episode? Okay. *takes deep breath* I'm going in.
kakashi: Wait, what color do I get? I'm seriously confused
SakiVi: the colour you just used, kakashi!
I thought the rule was you have to take my usual color because I have to use black since I'm lead recapper on this one. Or did i just make up that rule?
Sparks: Ah yes - this is one of those necessary evil episodes. I like the character progression but it's not much fun to go through.

Episode 7

The episode opens with Chuchu and Mars sitting in the house. Mars is supposedly watching tv, but it’s clear by the way he’s watching the door that he’s waiting for Momo to come home. He really is like a puppy. We see Momo slowly walking home rubbing her arms and shoulders while he waits and watches and Chuchu, what’s this? She’s actually vacuuming?
I'm using the second hand on my watch to determine how long this little bout of domesticity will last.
She's not that bad. She needed to do some growing up and she's made some mistakes but she loves her sister and she ships MoMo and Mars.
She is annoying but no, she is not bad. Ohhh, and V-neck.
I try to pretend she's not there.  I haven't watched past this episode, so I hope that's that for her and her debt-&-boyfriend storyline.
Haha - that v-neck was the first thing I noticed, too. Though I think it's adorable how he's anxiously waiting for her. (After this, sis becomes much more tolerable, btw.)
When Momo shows up, he leaps up with pleasure, but at soon as Chuchu says anything, he drops the remote and runs out of the room. Denial this one. I’m not the only one surprised to see Chuchu vacuuming. Momo stares at her like she’s been taken over by a pod person. But Chuchu claims to have become a changed person since her ordeal. She’s even made a great dinner. When they eat, Mars comes into the kitchen. Momo asks him if he wants to eat (even though it’s her sister’s cooking) and he asks her about work, telling her to rest early because she seemed so tired in class. He doesn’t stay to eat, but their smiles are so adorable to each other that Chuchu notices. She wants more information about the change in their relationship, but Momo isn’t talking and Mars just sits in his room strumming his guitar, and smiling a goofy smile.
I'm getting to like the very deep cut v-necks.
Took you a while to notice, huh. 
I'd prefer a tank.
His dorky smile when he sees she's finally home. *squee* The guitar playing was nice this time. I'm thinking Momo's becoming his muse. :)
Next morning, Momo meets Jia Sen at the bus stop. He excitedly shows her his latest gold medal. He wants to know why she didn’t pick up her phone when he called her from overseas, so she tells him about her being sick, assuring him that she is fine now. She also tells him that she can’t go home with him because she has a part-time job now. This seems to bother him all day—the whole part-time job thing. He puzzles over it until he figures it out on his own. It should, thus, be a surprise to no one watching that right when Mars offers to take Momo to work from school, Jia Sen is going to show up. He’s so proud that he’s figured out why she needs to work. To be fair, it doesn’t look like she wanted a ride from Mars either, but she does leave Mars to go with Jia Sen to the bus instead and then to work. Thus, we all know what Mars is probably feeling here. Why she hasn’t explained about Jia Sen by now I don’t know.
Maybe she thinks it's obvious and part of her problem with MoMo is that she assumes he knows and acts this way anyway.
That pink thing is .... well. I wouldn't have gotten into a car with him wearing that either.
(It cracked me up when the guy on his swim team was all "0 seconds - I broke my swimming record!" when Jia Sen forgot to time him.) And I'll have to disagree with Kakashi cause I was thinking, Mmm, that man makes all shades of pink look good! lol
It's too warm for that scarf, Mars.
Jia Sen tries to give her his bank book and all the money from his winnings that it represents. He knows that work is tiring, but this just makes Momo embarrassed and sad. She warns him to not just give his money to anyone and goes to work. And doesn’t she look adorable?
The sign is much bigger than she is.
You know, Jia Sen means well, but it's never ever okay to give someone money like this. It's super embarrassing.
I'm so not impressed with his "I'm just a big kid" act.
I'm also thinking how careful she must have to be in certain ways of interacting with him - how easily something like accepting his generosity would be misconstrued as taking advantage of him and so on. But he was a bit of a pest here.
The problem is that Jia Sen cannot let this go and shows up at her job to try to give her the money again. He only leaves when she says that she will get angry if he doesn’t. Once he is home at dinner, his overly solicitous parents wonder what is wrong with him. To be fair, he’s hardly ever in a bad mood, so his silence is particularly noteworthy. He isn’t in a bad mood though; he was just trying to make a decision. His decision is that he wants to work. This surprises his parents who want to know why. Of course he wants to do it because Momo does. His parents, still in indulgent mode, ask why Momo is working. Their mood turns sad when Jia Sen tells them cheerfully that Momo needs money. Everyone does, so I’m surprised at their worry. How long do they think they can protect him from harsh world reality?
I think their behavior goes a long way into keeping him in an arrested development. There are mentally challenged people everywhere that can learn to behave properly. He's more like a spoiled child that no one has ever said "no" to. And that is dangerous in an adult body.
YES.
These parents really annoy me os much. Everything about them, actually
His parents seem kind but yes - overly indulgent. They aren't going to be around to take care of him forever, even if their money might be. They should be preparing him for that eventuality.
Voting for tank tops day one: I’m calling this next bit this because Mars is in a tank top, and he should wear them all the time.
He should.  He really should.
Or nothing on top at all. I'm not picky.
Anyway, Momo comes home, exhausted while Mars and Chuchu are eating dinner. They eagerly ask her to join them. Mars got take out and offers to even heat some up for her. However, by the time he brings her the bowl, she has already fallen asleep. He puts blankets on her and looks at her tenderly. Really, the boy is head over heels. He’s feeding her again? We know what that means, right Jo?
Pancake Man.
I just love how innocent this fantasy is.
She looks so tiny next to him like that.
The next day, Momo’s boss tells her that she needs to help the new employee, and it turns out to be Jia Sen. Initially, she seems perturbed that he is there, and he’s unsure how she is going to react. But once he tells her he’s doing it to so he can spend time with her, she smiles. Meanwhile, Mars is visiting an herbal medicine shop to buy items that will help with boost energy and metabolism. He wants the best, and this is going to cost more. When he goes to the ATM machine for cash, he’s confronted with how little ready cash he has, so calls Yi Zhi to see if he can get lined up for work. He says he’ll take any job. But Yi Zhi warns him that he’ll be stereotyped. Still he presses, talking about how little money he has and the fact that he hasn’t sent anything home this month. He doesn’t realize that Momo has walked into the room and hears about his money worries.
Poor boy has way too much stuff on his shoulders. Maybe under all that bravado at the beginning he was already paddling like mad just to stay afloat.
I think that is a given. He was always trying hard to be what people wanted him to be, which is not really what he is.
What is he? He is HOT
Hot is enough.
Dorky hot is still hot.

Momo asks him about his money problems, but he assures her that everything is fine. It's so sad he has money problems after all his work.  She thinks he should tell his mother about it, but he says she doesn’t know his mother. She presses on, worried that he is only not sharing his troubles to protect his image and wonders whether he just wants even his family to only know his image and not the real him. Mars gets angry at this, especially when she brings up a Kasaba saying. He walks out mad. She feels badly though once she realizes that the reason he was in the kitchen in the first place was because he was cooking up that medicine.
Uh-oh. Mommy seems scary. 
I wish we knew exactly how long ago her parents died. She has a rosy image of family which is sweet but...
In the morning, she makes breakfast and tries to break the ice by telling him that the soup he made was really good and she drank it all. He seems happy about that until he notices her sister watching them and gets embarrassed making him assert that it wasn’t for her, leading to another fight.
Don't try to hide your love, Mars.
12 years old, this one is.

Later, while Momo is cleaning up the kitchen, a surprise visitor arrives. It’s Mars’s mother, and she does NOT look happy. Poor Yi Zhi looks down right afraid. We cut to later that night where we see them all—Yi Zhi, Momo, and Chuchu—sitting lined up on sofa like they are on the bench outside the principal’s office while Mars nonchalantly strolls in. He notices Yi Zhi but does not get the mood until too late for an escape. 
I almost expected the Theme from "Jaws". But the ominous silence worked very well, too.
Yi Zhi's face is the best.
Hahahaaaaa.
Yi Zhi is the best.  What else has this actor been in?
The way they all slowly look over. *dies*
He tries to bluster his way through why he hasn’t been picking up her calls, but she is having none of this. She berates him and his clothes and where he is living and his “normal” friends, and the fact that he isn’t doing any shows but just going to school. She screams and pulls his ear. It’s clear that Momo is starting to reconsider the advice she gave to him earlier about his mom. Mama Mars is on a rant and wants him to leave the company and come home. She’ll manage him, and they’ll start all over. He clearly doesn’t want to do this. He runs to his room, where she chases him and then starts beating him with a hanger giving me Mommie Dearest vibes.
What the hell.
Such beautiful arms!! Ruined! 
Sad face.
He hides under his desk!! Who knew a wire hanger could do so much damage?
Later, Mars comes into the kitchen (in another tank top, thanks, show). Momo heats him up some food, but she notices the welts on his arm from the hanger. He tries to pretend he’s fine, but wire hangers are no joke, people. While Momo puts medicine on him, he asks her if he looked embarrassing. She says yes (ha) but she does tell him that she understands him more now and why he didn’t want to tell his mom about his struggles. He tells her not to worry because his mom used to use a belt.
I was more than angry at the implication that this physical abuse had been going on prolly into his childhood. Exactly what kind of demon parent thinks that this is appropriate child-rearing behavior? Then again, this show is rife with parental stereotypes.
When I was growing up, all the parents I knew, pretty much, used physical punishment. I mean, I think wire hangers were always out of bounds, but spanking with a belt was very common. I'm sure it still is in lots of places. 
I think it's very common in Asia, from what I hear. 
My mom spanked with a wooden spoon. Belts were not an option but I know they are standard spanking tool in many families. And I got the vibe in this drama it was not an abusive thing - he did say it was when he did something wrong.

He asked her if her parents didn’t beat them when they were little. This is when he finds out that she lost her parents when she was six. He’s sorry, but she is, too. How could she tell him all that stuff about family when she doesn’t really know what that means herself? I love the interchange here because he tells her that he’s okay because he doesn’t listen to her anyway, and she says that is why he is unlucky. But they both speak these mean words in such a gentle way, and they laugh together, too. (so adorbs—they even get a kick out of the familiar bickering).
Awwwww, this show makes me all fuzzy-feely.
I knew her parents had been gone a long, long time! They are seriously cavity-sweet here. So cute!!!
His mom shows up the next day prepared to give him a makeover and to confront his company. But she is in for a rude awakening. For every threat she makes, Tony Ge has a counter argument. He tells her that this isn’t the time to push Mars because of the bad press he has been getting. He isn’t getting the offers he needs to move back up either. She wants to sue them, but there is a line in contract about suing the company.
Tony does generally seem like a reasonable person. Not the warm and fuzziest, but straight with you.
I like him. I would probably hate him, but I also don't. 
He actually seems more responsible towards Mars than it would appear since he kicked Mars out of that apartment, since he wants Mars on his artist roster and he's willing to give him another chance after a little down-time.
He's a business man but not heartless. And I can't believe Mom thought that red coat was an improvement. I'd call it an abomination. 

Mars gets fed up with her antics, embarrassed because he knows that he isn’t worth much now to the company and what Tony has done for him. He also wants to be responsible for himself, which seems to surprise his mother. He also confronts her about whether she wants success for him or because she just wants a celebrity for a son. Isn’t he still her son even if he sells . . . chicken schnitzel? Really, that was one of the job options she throws out. Seems random, but people say random things when they are mad. The point is that it seems like Mars is really growing up but also wants his mom just to be his mom and love him just because he is her son. We can see why he is so drawn to the quiet steadiness of Momo.
You know, mom means well. She knows how much being famous means to her son and she means to protect him with her actions. I often think how horrible it must be if your own parent is your manager...
She does seem to mean well - she's irate because she thinks he's been mistreated and wants to steamroll anyone who would walk on him. But she slips up and says some not so great things here... though maybe she's just afraid he's going to give up without a fight?
He runs off to Yi Zhi’s place and talks to him about growing up in the countryside and how his mom worked hard to get him lessons and to help him become a celebrity. See? She means so well... He remembers fondly his first concert and how she cried backstage while holding a huge bouquet of flowers. He has both Yi Zhi and me tearing up when he says, “She really loved me then.” He’s not going back to the house tonight. After he lays himself down, we get a close up of the tears that finally overflow. Both Momo and Chuchu are worried that he is out so late, but when Chuchu calls, it goes directly to voicemail.
:( They're called Tiger Moms for a reason, I guess.
The next morning, Momo thinks of calling but can’t think of what she’d say if she got through. Before she can think of anything, Mars’s mother shows up looking for him. (She is dressed almost exactly like Momo) When Momo tells her that he didn’t come home, she asks her if she is free. She shows Momo how to make Mars’s favorite noodle dish and reminisces about what a good, smart, kind son she has, wondering why Mars would think that she doesn’t want him. She breaks down crying but also says that she believes in him.
Maybe he figured that after you beat him senseless, damaged his self-worth, and harp on him for money.
Yes, there is that. 
Plus she did specifically say, "I don't want a son like you."

Momo runs to Yi Zhi’s place looking for him, and when she sees him there looking fine, she starts begging and crying for him to go back to see his mother and tells him how much his mother loves him. But he doesn’t want to go. He breaks himself when she warns him to appreciate his mother because he doesn’t know how long he will have her. He goes back to house, but he’s too late. He goes to the train and just misses her. Fortunately, he is still able to talk to her on the phone, but it’s heartbreaking to watch him eat the noodles all alone remembering all the good times with his mother in the country. I understand his point. I don’t think I would’ve gotten past the hanger beating let alone being embarrassed at the company, but Mars loves his mom and Momo, and he’s heard poor Momo’s story about her parents.
I feel badly for him and his mixed-up feelings for his mother. I can't feel much for her because I still think she's a monster in a dress. #SorryNotSorry.
I don't think she's a monster, no. But you're right, how are we supposed to like a person who beats an adult son like this?
Or any age child like this?
Jiro's father died when he was 17ish and it's been just him and his mother ever since. I've always thought he probably didn't have to do much acting when it came to these scenes with the mother - he really is Mars is many ways.
The next day (it’s gorgeous out, what a view they have up there), Momo is hanging up clothes on the roof. Mars comes up and thanks her for helping with his mother. (And now the two of them are matching hah!) He starts hanging up the clothes, too, but Momo has to show him how to do it so they won’t be wrinkled. He wants to know if him crying in front of her was embarrassing, but she’s like been there done that. He wants to know when which turns into an awkwardly charged moment where we are all shouting “Just kiss her, damn it!” but when she breaks the moment by asking him what’s wrong. He says that he’ll tell her later. Pfft.
"Fresh Linen Love" by Yankee Candles.
I'm thinking Between the Sheets by the Isley Brothers
Awww, darlings.... (and hello deep V-neck)
I stopped breathing for about 30 seconds there. I love how every time he gets inches from her face, his kissing instinct takes over.
We end the episode oddly with Jia En and Momo getting their pay checks, Momo still looks worried because she knows how much more money she needs to pay off their debt. Jia Sen is only focused on trying to give her his money, making it seem like we end the episode in nearly the same spot we began.
I think this is because of the edits needed to chop the episodes. In my version, this scene is halfway through episode 11.
Yes - though I've seen even odder editing in mainland China airings of Twdramas...
Comments

I don't know what to think of the parents in this show. I know that we are supposed to believe that they love their kids, and I believe that they really do. However, we are also seeing how their methods really haven't supported their sons--Mars and Jia Sen--in the way that would've have benefited either.
All of them have massive faults, but I can sympathize with all of them. Mars' mom seems to have been the key to his success. A Tiger Mom who paved her son's rise to fame (to, let's assume, his benefit - he likes this kind of job a lot). As far as I know, physical punishment is "normal" in the Asian context, or at least not as frowned upon as it is here. I think he loves her because she went through a lot of hardship, also for him. As far Jia Sen's parents ... they're probably trying to do the best for their special needs child, thereby pampering him too much, creating problems. But they, too, mean well and only have his best interest in mind. They would need someone telling them that this is not doing any good.
Eh, parents are human beings too.  They have limited knowledge and understanding just like the rest of us.  And there are much worse parents than the ones in this show.
Agreed. And, I don't know... better too much love than too little, right?
Six of one, half a dozen of the other - when you consider impact, at least.  But yes, parents are people, too. I do think you have to go pretty far to find a monster, but even a loving parent can cause damage and create problems without ever meaning to do so.



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