Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms 三生三世十里桃花 - Episode 4 (Recap)

kakashi: In the last episode, 2nd Prince Li Jing reminded me of Papageno, in this ep, he reminds me of Young Werther. He is so "Sturm und Drang", he is almost comical. Alas, like with so many people of this disposition, he mainly acts on impulse and lacks both patience and true conviction. Grave mistakes are the result of it.  
JoAnne: He makes a whiplash u-turn in behavior here and starts to lose me a little bit... but then we get a straight on view of his face again and I waver. I waver hard. I'm not ashamed to admit it.

Episode 4

2nd Prince Li Jing has no emergency breaks, he only knows one thing: how to follow his heart! And his heart (and probably other parts of his body) really WANT this woman. Well, but first, Senior Disciple appears and beats the shit out of him. Yes, to him, this guy - or rather, his Clan - tormented poor Ninth to the brink of trauma and now, he's here to harass Seventeenth. 2nd Prince dramatically says "I won't fight you".
Lovesick puppy... what appeals, to me, is something that always does, on paper: those few precious ones who are debauched and jaded, completely disenfranchised, yet who are in fact hiding the purest and most idealistic of hearts. Something touches them and they return to their most innocent beginnings with a devotion that stuns. I'm watching this and thinking that at some point soon, 2P will die nobly in some manner directly related to his love for Si Yen, and I'm swooning.
It's Seventeenth AND Ninth that are able to stop their Senior from killing (or at least maiming) our pretty boy. Well done, he did indeed try to help them and doesn't deserve this hate. Still, Senior Disciple is such a cutie. He is so fierce when it comes to protecting his flock!
I love the Kunlun Kids. They are such a family to each other! I wasn't surprised that Si Yen stepped in but I was really pleased by Ninth's interference, too. That poor guy has been through the wringer but he still sees what is right and what is wrong.
Unlucky 2nd Prince heads straight for a "sealed off cave" to hide. There's a friggin Phoenix Demon inside!! The Lord of the Numinous Treasures put it there (for purification, but that ain't working so quickly). Alerted by Li Jing's cute familiar, Si Yin comes to 2nd Prince's aid. With the help of her powerful fan-weapon, they subdue the beast. The unusual activity alerted the Lord of Numinous Treasures - he is very much impressed by Si Yin and gives her another fan as a present: The Cloud Clearing Fan. Oh, I wonder what it can do.
I bet it has something to do with clouds.
Treasure man says its power depends on the power of the wielder - and Si Yin promises not to give it to someone powerful and evil. Let's see.... 
Of course, after this episode, Li Jing is even more aflame for Si Yin. I get it, she's pretty awesome. By the way, this actress seems to do a lot of her action sequences herself, is that true? Oh, cool! Anyway, Li Jing absolutely loves being wounded. Man, he is SO dramatic about everything. Because he mopes so prettily about not seeing her often enough, she gives him a talisman handkerchief with which he can freely come to and go from Kunlun Mountain.
She says she isn't interested, but she's interested.
In the meantime, Xuan Nu's mother pays her runaway child a visit. Senior Disciple comes to her aid when the mother gets a bit vicious about that marriage she's run away from. Truth is, Xuan Nu artfully plays this guy; he quite obviously likes her, but she just thinks it's handy he's a prince in real life. Si Yin and Sixteenth come along and reinforce the only impression that will mollify this mother: That Xuan Nu and First are in a relationship and will get married eventually. Okay, this is pretty horrible (poor Senior Disciple is mortified), but Si Yin and Sixteenth are a delight to watch together.
This was pretty funny - but I have a feeling about this girl, and I wouldn't wish her on Senior for a minute. He's a decent guy and he deserves a good woman. I don't think she is one.
Mother leaves, Xuan Nu stays - and starts to take an interest in the Prince who is hiding away in his  mountain cave, writing love poems for a guy (Si Yin) every day. We learn that Xuan Nu acquired the knowledge to change her face from Zhe Yan back in the day - at Bai Qian's (that's the female Si Yin) suggestion. We all know what's coming, right?
I will skin her.
Actually, the more this Prince showers Si Yin with passion, self-made gifts and lover's oaths, the more jealous this woman gets. This is her true character, behind all her smiling and cuteness, she covets things that aren't hers and won't stop from getting them, even though she doesn't even like them.
She's what gives a fox a bad name.
Si Yin is resisting Li Jing's advances, but barely. She likes him too, that much is obvious, but she is not one to rush things - and he is a bit too pushy. Also, she's reading up on that magical Bell all the time, but there are not many records. Uhm Shifu .... you don't think you might want to come out of seclusion? Just for a bit?
Shifu, you snooze you lose. Just sayin'...
Bottom line: the two almost-lovers meet often and she even gets to ride his Qilin. No, that's not a euphemism for something else.
Dammit. But that's coming, right?
This is Xuan Nu's "what about meeeeee?!" pouty face. I want to smack her.
And pinch her and trip her and then push her, right off the mountain.
She works on Si Yin with pouting and guilt tripping until she agrees to take her with her to see the Prince in the cave. When they meet, Li Jing looks at her like he looks at all women - it's a "BAM there go your panties"-gaze. He is struck by how similar she and Si Yin look (haha, no) and tells Si Yin to send her distant cousin to him if she herself has no time. As Si Yin substitute, mind you. He is clearly and absolutely not interested in the person Xuan Nu.
But that was gross of him despite looking like... wow, damn. He is so handsome. What was I saying?
And Si Yin's substitute Xuan Nu becomes - soon and very willingly. 2nd Prince is getting more and more frustrated by the difficulties of getting what he wants (Si Yin) and by a growing awareness of how much more this woman cares for her Master than him. It doesn't take much to make him do something very, very stupid. A bit of alcohol, the quick mimicking of a beloved face - and he sleeps with the wrong woman. While knowing it's the wrong woman, one should add.
All of my hopes for this man, dashed. He is weak. He's no shining idealist hiding behind the trappings of a dilettante...he is in fact just a dilettante. I still think he'll probably sacrifice himself somehow at the end, but he isn't ever going to be a person she can truly rely on for anything but a grand gesture. I'm sad.
Of course, that doesn't quench the thirst in his heart. In fact, now he adds guilt to his desire and that's a toxic mixture. His jealousy grows and grows (with the subtle help of Xuan Nu, of course) and so does his frustration. He comes to the dramatic conclusion again that "nothing" can come out of a relationship between a Demon and a Celestial - and loses all restraint with Xuan Nu (who isn't noble, ergo not a Celestial). Up on the mountain, Si Yin happily prepares Master's room for his return (flowers, she puts Peach flowers in, awwww) and then proceeds to write to her 4th Brother. She writes how she and this Ghost Prince have mutual affection for each other and that she's ready to marry him as soon as her studies are concluded.
I knew she liked him a little bit, but that kind of came out of left field for me.
She's just finishing up the letter when Senior Disciple comes running in and tells her that the annoying prince is walking hand in hand with Xuan Nu. "They looked quite intimate", he says, clearly distressed. He thinks Si Yin is in love with Xuan Nu!! Si Yin runs to the cave ... and catches them in the act.
Oh that's a twist I didn't pick up on. I thought he was upset because of Si Yin and 2P, not Si Yin and Xuan Nu. Not that he approved, but just because he knew that 2P was there because of 'love' for Si Yin, and so he was worried that she'd be hurt by his lack of fidelity. And also, that explains why he insisted so hard that he was totally not into Xuan Nu, no way, no how. Awww, Senior.
It's true that at this point, he could have very well shipped 2P and Si Yin, but in the next episode, the other disciples all talk about Si Yin's love for Xuan Nu
Flips tables like daddy:


Wow, I don't know what to say. Bravo, idiot Prince, for making Si Yin like you, really like you and then breaking her heart? Why, WHY could you not wait for her?
Weak, impulsive, self-indulgent, thoughtless...ughhhh, I 'm so disappointed in him. I should have known when he went from 'nope, this can't be' to 'I'll give up everything for you!' on a moment's notice. It doesn't help that he's disappointed in himself, either, because I can tell it won't stop him from making the same mistake in the future, either. This is what he is. He doesn't have staying power. I believe he loves her, in a sense, but it won't keep him from betraying her over and over again. They would have a miserable life together.
I think it was a mixture of (hidden) low self-esteem, a tendency to over-dramatize and jealousy. Yes, Xuan Nu manipulated him, but only a tiny little bit. He was the one inviting her in as "substitute", he was the one who saw her change before him and went for it nonetheless. He did this consciously and willingly and that is why I do not feel sorry for him. Oh, it's clear he will regret this all his (long) life, but nope, not sorry for him.
Yeah, I think we're in agreement on this.

It was very well done that the drama gave us Si Yin finally clearly expressing her affections for this boisterous guy at the very end, when he has already betrayed her. She was really serious about it, maybe even more serious than him - she wouldn't have written to her brother otherwise. We indeed saw from their very first meeting that she was attracted to him and we saw that she even enjoyed his pushy advances, despite her outward repeated rebuttals.
He's not an evil person (yet, anyway) and he's beautiful and ardent. He's helped her and saved the life of her friend. It would be hard for anyone to resist him, really, but only in the short term. It only takes time to show his weakness.

But what about Master, you might say. Well, let's not fool ourselves. He is a Taoist Master, she is his pupil. It is absolutely clear that they share a tremendous amount of admiration for each other. We can call it love, but this is not the kind of love 2nd Prince is all about (yum). The love between a Master and a Student is what we call platonic, in the old sense of the term - it has to be. For the Greek scholars around Plato, there were two different kinds of love (and I'm sure it is not different for Taoists). "Vulgar Eros" signifies material attraction towards a body for physical pleasure and reproduction. "Divine Eros" on the other hand directs one's attention to spiritual things and the divine. The 1st is fun, but the 2nd is what matters. There is a reason this dude runs into seclusion all the time. Ridding yourself of any desire is one of the goals of asceticism.
So you agree that he feels desire, at least. I don't think Si Yin feels desire for Master, exactly, but I do think he feels that for her, and spends a lot of energy controlling it. I assumed that there'd be an end to that at some point way down the road.
It's complicated, I guess :) Yes, I do think he feels desire, but he is far too advanced a human being to even let that register. He is so correct, I never get the feeling that their relationship is improper. But it's right there at the brink of being. I also agree that she's pretty much oblivious to what she does to this man with her hugs and cuddles.  

I think that the love Si Yin feels for Mo Yuan does not negate the love she was ready to share with 2nd Prince. However, our Prince is right: the 2nd type of love is much, much stronger than the 1st. He would of course have lost. 
She admires and respects Mo Yuan. As time went on, any respect or admiration she felt for 2P would be tarnished by his own behavior, and so yes, he'd lose - but it would really be his own fault. Plus, I think he's the kind of guy who couldn't stand for her to compartmentalize things. I think she could love/admire her Shifu and still be a loyal partner to 2P, but 2P isn't the kind of man who could understand that and he would always suspect her of being faithless. It would end in misery, if not tragedy.