Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms 三生三世十里桃花 - Episode 21 (Recap)

kakashi: We witness the slow but steady erosion of trust between Su Su and Ye Hua. I see all his mistakes, but he is honestly trying. He still thinks he's got this. But the Nine Heavens are like a minefield and all the mines are armed.
JoAnne: And Ye Hua appears to be visiting for the first time, because he seriously has not got a clue how to do this. But damn, he's cute when he's worried. He'd be cuter if he weren't so ineffectual, though.

Episode 21

Ye Hua is taking a bath in that chicken soup aka Lord of Numinous Treasure's Heaven's Spring we already saw Mo Hua in. Yes, he's dressed too. Sorry. He's been sitting in there for days, we learn from Uncle Three (who is avoiding going to that assembly of Mr. Numinous and prefers to hang with his nephew), that's how bad his damn wound still is. We also learn that Ye Hua hasn't been to see Su Su for days, and Uncle Three thinks that additional torment for the poor man.
I wonder if the water was clear when he went in. And the wound is higher up on his chest, so of course it's not working. The minerals aren't getting to it! Better plan, Ye Hua: You go take off your shirt and lie down, and I'll sponge you.
Ye Hua quite abruptly changes the topic to Li Yuan, who is know to be awol. Ah, he realized the Heavenly Lord is coming down the stairs! I hope he hasn't heard anything? That said ... he already knows Ye Hua is just acting, so there's that. They all diss both Ghost sons as useless and incompetent. Come on now. Li Jing isn't that bad? Celestials are arrogant bastards.
Li Jing would be a good leader, I think, if he weren't trying to drown his sorrows in booze and women. He strikes me as essentially intelligent and fair, but the impulsiveness and inability to put distance between emotion and action make him a liability.
We cut to our favorite (NOT) couple, Mr. Snake lover, ex-2nd Prince now Water Prince of the North and his pregnant wife. That becomes a bit of a running gag later, because she always is :D Well, at least they love each other. They run into Su Jin and Su Su (Su Jin leads Su Su by the arm as if she were an invalid). Of course, Shao Xin is taken aback when she sees her former mistress! But Su Jin introduces her as mortal savior of Ye Hua, so Miss Snake remains quiet.
Everyone pretty much shuns them, so what else can they do but have sex all the time? I don't mind these two. In fact, much later, I feel pretty impatient with Bai Qian who STILL feels like sticking the needle in them for embarrassing her. Come on girl, 70'000 years is enough time to get over your pride.
Su Jin heard from the Snake-couple where Ye Hua is and that is where she takes Su Su, all the while pretending to be a ferocious fighter for her rights. Gag. The plan: have her overhear the Heavenly Father talk to Ye Hua about his upcoming wedding to Bai Qian. At the exact same time, a maid appears at the Hall of Beautiful Youth and gives Nai Nai the order to bring the "fan with scenic drawing" to Su Su in the Realm of Supreme Purity. Uh-oh.
Oh, this witch. I hate her more than pretty much anything in this drama, BUT her existence gives me one of the things I love most about the drama, so...
Of course, Su Jin makes a point of having Ye Hua catch them outside the bath house. Su Jin grabs the opportunity to play Su Su's protector again, but Ye Hua snarls at her to stop meddling in his palace's affairs and she leaves, butthurt. My entire day is made. Then, a warning from Ye Hua to Su Su: don't let her get close anymore. Do you GET it, Su Su?! Of course, she isn't allowed to be where she is, but Ye Hua will escort her back.
She doesn't get it. And really, Ye Hua, you should have gone that tiny extra step to say, 'Listen, that girl is obsessed with me and her goal is to be my one and only. Avoid her like the plague, because her goal is your death. Never trust a thing she says, ever.' I would have understood very clearly what the issue was then. As he left it, Su Su had room to misunderstand the extent of her personal danger.
Fengjiu, meanwhile, bugs Si Ming until he takes her to the assembly too, as his maid. That's probably not a good idea.
Right but how do you say no to that cutie pie?
When Ye Hua and Su Su walk back, they come up behind Heavenly Father, Su Jin and ex 2nd Prince, who knows how to choose his stage (there's a ton of other guests there too, including Li Jing) when he wants to twist his father's arm. He wants a formal title for the mother of his children. He is quite daring! I don't like him though and his father doesn't either. 
I don't get the dislike that people have. He's sort of a nonentity for me.
Then comes Nai Nai with the Fan ... and someone trips her. The Fan slips from her hand, there's a blinding white light and the earth - the earth in the heavens - shakes. The demon fire phoenix with the demonic energy appears! Yes, the one Si Yin fought in episode 4. That phoenix is still angry af, it seems!
So is he just lurking out of sight at all times, conveniently? Or was this serendipity for bitchy Su Jin who deserves NONE?
It attacks. In fact, it goes straight for Fengjiu! Why? Maybe because she is most like Si Yin in essence? The phoenix wounds her badly, Ghost Lord Li Jing fights the beast but gets wounded as well. In the end, it takes Ye Hua to kill the beast. He fights well for someone with a badly healed wound. I'm so glad we have you, Ye Hua! 
He didn't use that arm, I noticed.
He summons the Fan into his hand and says "don't say a word" over his shoulder to Su Su. If growing up in that hellish heaven has done one thing, it's taught Ye Hua to know when shit is about to hit the fan. Yeah, that's too late. You need to anticipate the shit, Ye Hua. Not react to it. When they all kneel in front of Heavenly Father, Ye Hua takes the blame for giving her the Fan in the first place. That seems okay with Heavenly Fucker, but then, Su Su speaks up and insists that she's been wronged and likely framed.
It amuses me that in the Celestial Tribe, there is no such thing as investigation. Nor a concept of justice, at least when it comes to mortals. No, they are the only thing that matters to them.
Of course, the Heavenly Father gets angrier and angrier, with every word she says. Su Su won't stop, so Ye Hua snarls "that's enough!" at her. He then apologizes on her behalf for the offense. She seems unable to read the moods of these Celestials or maybe she just doesn't want to - she starts arguing again not much later, still insisting on her version of things. Uncle Three also steps up and starts excusing Nai Nai. And then Su Jin! She is the one to blame, because she took Su Su out. Yup, TRUE, I hope you die a horrible death.
Oh, that would be glorious. Perhaps at the very end of this drama, a radiant Bai Qian and a triumphant Ye Hua toast marshmallows over the burning embers of Su Jin's horribly mutilated body. Okay, that's gross but you get what I mean. Something more than dancing on her grave.
Well, it is the Lord of Numinous Treasures that settles the matter (by the way, he and Ye Hua studied under the same Master). He thinks the Phoenix reacted to the Kunlun Fan because he was once beat by it. He also thinks this is a trivial matter, overall, and if someone is to blame, it's him, for bringing that beast to the Nine Heaves. Fine, the Heavenly Lord is happy and won't punish anyone. Not so Ye Hua! He turns to Su Su and tells her she and everyone around her is completely grounded. She cannot leave the palace without his permission.
And we understand what he really means with this, and it would be fine IF HE EXPLAINED IT TO SU SU at some point. But he doesn't. Why? I can only assume because he is a man, just as Kakashi did when she explained her thoughts the other day.
I've got nothing :( 
It kills me a little that Su Su is losing her trust in him, it is very obvious. She doesn't know that Ye Hua (and the Lord of Numinous Treasures) saved her life just now. And she probably doesn't understand that grounding her is for her own protection so that Su Jin cannot take her out that easily anymore.
And that is because why? Su Su is a bit dim, yes, but also because telling someone ONCE that you might have to act cold toward them is really not enough to get the plan through clearly.
And of course, the danger is still real. Su Jin blatantly offers the Heavenly Lord her assistance to get rid of Su Su. He accepts it - and asks her for that wish she still has open for helping in that Mermaid matter. Simple and little surprising: She wants to become a side consort of Ye Hua. After confirming with her that she only became his consort to make this move, the Heavenly Lord is actually quite pleased with Su Jin. In his opinion, she is exactly the kind of woman Ye Hua needs by his side. So yes: she can marry Ye Hua if she manages to get rid (= kill) Su Jin.
I know she'd never stop at Side Consort. She'd use that position to destroy from within. But what was surprising to me was her openness with HL, and his complete acceptance of it. It made me very anxious because basically, until HL is dead, there's nothing Ye Hua can really do to get back at Su Jin.
Si Ming has carried Fengjiu back to the maids quarters and Dijun appears right on his heels - he is very concerned, if his round saucer eyes are any indication. After kicking everybody out, he spends half of his power on this girl. If this isn't a sign of love, I don't know what is!
Oooh, are things gonna heat up here?
When she wakes up and realizes what he has done for her again, she decides to leave. She is too weak to get far though and involuntarily transforms into her fox body. Right outside the palace gates, she passes out. Dijun finds her (looks like he followed her, actually) and picks her up. More healing follows. 
I'm thinking better she's not a fox, and maybe a little Marvin Gaye plays in the background...
She likes being cuddled by Dijun veeery much, of course - no more thoughts of leaving! And he may pretend this is just a fox, but it is obvious he knows exactly who this is (as does Si Ming).
It's very cute, actually. And I love the little fox yip noises. It's cute enough that I happily ignore the very very bad not good at all CGI and only laugh a little when someone pretends to touch the fox.
That night, Ye Hua visits Su Su again in her chambers. He falls asleep, sitting up - and she finds him there in the morning. He is simply and honestly concerned for her, but it's such a shitty situation. There are so many darn rules in this place and she seems so lost. She says she understands why his grandfather is so prejudiced against her - it's because they got married without his permission. It's sad, I think she thought long and hard about why people would hate her and that is her answer. Anyway, Su Su has the wish to "spend my days here with you", just like on Mount Junji. 
I feel you, girl, but clocks don't run backwards.
He listens to this, all earnest ... but then he has to leave and sadly cannot return that evening... Su Su seems happy. Well, happy enough, in a really shitty situation, because she saw him and they talked like they talked before. 
They make me so sad.

Ghost Lord Li Jing has been quite concerned for that mortal woman all episode long (naturally, not to his wife's delight) and now, his Qilin has found Li Yuan. The fucker is raising a rebellion in the Far North. Just then, he gets invited to see the Heavenly Lord in his Grand Hall. Yup, Heavenly Lord knows about the rebellion.
I wonder if this little guy ever grows up during the drama.
The Heavenly Lord is furious. Especially about that sighting of the Scarlet Flame Golden Lion. Dammit, Ye Hua. This is not a good time for such mistakes.


So, the writing in this show has been (and still is, for the most part), superb. In this episode, I did not like two things: a) Su Jin could never have known Heavenly Father and Ye Hua would be discussing this exact thing when she got there with Su Su. Sure, it could have been luck, but it was a bit too convenient. Unless the Heavenly Lord was in on the plan? That's possible. She didn't clue him in until later in the episode, though. b) How could Su Jin know what would happen if the Kunlun Fan was dropped in the Purity Realm? She didn't know that the Phoenix was once beaten by that fan. Did she try to create strife just by having the fan delivered to Su Su? Possible, but not all that devious.
I honestly think that for her that was a happy accident. She was going to do something, maybe, if an opportunity presented. In an American drama, you'd get a convo explaining that beforehand (or sometimes after) but in Asian dramas, I'm not sure which it is but either they assume the audience will understand that, OR they don't care how obvious and lazy coincidence looks.

I hate how we get to see how Su Su is slowing but surely edging away from Ye Hua. She still trusts him overall, but there is doubt. She knows there is Su Jin, now she heard about that other marriage arrangement (also something Ye Hua should have told her about right away) and of course, she now knows what he did not tell her back when they got married. When he disappeared for half a year or more. And of course, because he is still not sharing enough with her, she has to wonder.
Because let's face it, she's not THAT dumb - just naive.

Because she cannot fully trust him, she probably also does not take his warnings seriously enough. He told her, clearly: do not interact with anyone, at all cost. He said that because he knows that there are horrible people in the Nine Heavens and that they would try to get to Su Su, either with lies or with threats. She didn't take it seriously enough or was too befuddled to put a foot down when Su Jin appeared. Let's see whether this "grounding"-punishment is protection enough... I doubt it.

Ye Hua should cut all ties now, as soon as possible, put Su Su somewhere where no one can find her and make her forget (or not). But keeping her next to him, like one of many wives in a harem .... calamity and doom. His selfishness is the problem here. Even though I have a lot of empathy for him - this woman is basically life for him by now. Ending it with her probably feels like suicide. 
But if he loves her and their unborn child unselfishly, he will do what is necessary. He does love them, yes - but he thinks he can have his cake and eat it, too, and this miscalculation is dangerous.