Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms 三生三世十里桃花 - Episode 23 (Recap)

kakashi: This is by far the worst episode yet (but I love it for what it is - brutal). Ye Hua is forced to do something unforgivable by that personification of evil named Su Jin and it's the beginning of the end for him and Su Su. Well, to be honest, it was kind of hopeless before that, but now it's definite.
JoAnne: He does this thing, he doesn't even explain it to her. It's really unforgivable.

Episode 23

Ye Hua is back in his tent when Su Su talks to him after all. Oh no. They're both crying. Please don't do that. She asks him whether he is alright. He says he is doing very well, but his face is betraying his lie. No, he isn't doing very well. 
Sad babies are sad. He has mishandled so much.
She tells him about the baby, how it is moving a lot. She is worried the baby could be born while he is away and she doesn't want that. Her wish is for him to be with her during birth. She also asks him whether it still counts, their oath, their promise... it still counts, he whispers.
I kept assuming he would be more forthcoming with her, especially now that things are becoming so strained. And yet he never did.
Here, let me post a gif of sad, sad Ye Hua, for later, so that we might hate him less. 
We know he loves her beyond anything - we know he loves ONLY her, really, in all the world. And still he fucks it up.
On the battlefield, Ghost Lord Li Jing obliterates the Northern tribes (nota bene, these are Ghost people rebelling against his rule, too) by flooding their entire land. Okay, that's is brutal, 2P. Even the stupid Su Jin uncles are shocked about so much unscrupulousness. Ye Hua, who doesn't comment on this but looks grim, dispatches a fifth of his army for disaster management purposes, the others get sent to Li Jing's help, as agreed.
Li Jing is desperate to show that he (and by extension his people) are loyal to the Celestial Tribe. He wipes out those who aren't to show this, but it will naturally take along a whole lot of regular folks who were only part of the rebellion because they happened to live there. It's pretty harsh, but did he have another choice? Did he sacrifice a few to save many more? What was his alternative? In this as in all things, Li Jing makes decisions emotionally and impulsively.
He also leaves Li Yuan to 2P as agreed. It's a tragic battle, with Li Yuan hellbent to kill Li Jing and Yan Zhi blocking his sword .... and the Golden Lion Beast saving her by jumping in between. I feel strangely sad to see the Beast disintegrate.
He was very loyal to those kids.
It's back into the ice prison for Le Yuan after this.
Not at all sorry about that. What a dislikeable creature.
Okay, the war is over, Ye Hua is in favor again. As soon as Su Jin hears of Ye Hua's return to the Heavens, she springs into action. She has a script roll ready for her awful maid, to deliver to Su Su. It's an invitation for Su Su to "admire the flowers" in the Heavenly Lotus Pond with all the other female palace members. There are guards there who want to stop the maid from going into the Hall of Beautiful Youth, but she lies her way in. There's Heavenly Father's signature there, too - he's in on it, then.
This is the part that just keeps on shocking me. She won't get in trouble for any of it.
Soon, Nai Nai is leading Su Su by the arm, to go to the Lotus Pond - the awful maid (I refuse to look up her name) is smirking behind their backs. Su Su is bulky and tired. Instead of "all the female palace members", there is only Su Jin there and she lies that the meeting has been cancelled by the Heavenly Lord at short notice due to Ye Hua's return. She will take Su Su to him! Oh no, Su Su's face lights up so beautifully when she hears he's back.... 
You know what, Su Su? I'm kind of pissed off at you, too. You were told to stay put. You were told to avoid Su Jin, in particular. Why don't you LISTEN? (I want to smash sycophant's face in. Her weird upper lip doesn't help.)
The bitch takes her straight to Zhuxian Terrace. Nai Nai is held back forcefully by that bitch maid. Su Su has no clue where they are and since she's just a mortal, she cannot sense the danger emanating from this place. The guards there see no need to stop the two women ... not their orders, I guess. They do block Nai Nai from going up after Su Su though.
I'm boiling with rage even just reading this.
Oh fuck, Ye Hua has been told by Gramps he'll get "Su Jin as a gift"! Uncle Three is outraged for all of us. Ye Hua on the other hand senses a more sinister plan behind this ... then the maids appear. Su Jin's lies that the two ladies are having an argument, Nai Nai cries that's not true. Well, Ye Hua knows whom of the two to trust, thankfully, and he starts running.
Once Su Su is up on the terrace, she gets scared after all. I guess the aura is so strong, even mortal can notice up that close. Su Jin smirks at her - does she know the Heavenly Lord will make Su Jin Ye Hua's concubine? Him and her are mutually in love. "The Nine Heavens were never meant for a woman like you", she adds. After Su Su has given birth, she should jump off Zhuxian Terrace and disappear. And she makes it sound like this is Ye Hua's wish as well.
Su Jin, I hope you rot in hell.
Ye Hua appears below them, looking thoroughly alarmed, even terrified. And then, Su Jin starts pushing and shoving the pregnant Su Su ... and lets herself fall into the abyss. Yes, that is how insane this woman is. Ye Hua, who cloud-jumps, catches her, barely ... why. You should have let her drop and watched her fall, man, clapping all the way.
Well, Su Su would have 100% been killed, then?
Su Jin starts begging Ye Hua to not blame Su Su, who didn't "mean" to push her - but she heard about their upcoming marriage (er, woman? He was there. He SAW you, you idiot). Su Su mistakes the look of shock on his face for blame or disgust. "I didn't push her, Ye Hua", she begs over and over, "believe me, please believe me". But it's shock at the realization what all of this means. 
Really, Ye Hua? Have you finally figured out just how badly you've fucked up?
Everyone with legs has made their way to the Terrace by now. "I only believe what I saw", Ye Hua says to the still begging Su Su, tears in his eyes. He picks Su Jin up and carries her down the stairs (look how she clings to him, the evil witch!). He implores Uncle Three to take Su Su back to the Hall of Beautiful Youth and not let her go anywhere. 
Poor Su Su. My heart is breaking. She thinks he believes Su Jin, and his behavior, to her, is proof that Su Jin told the truth.
Ye Hua pretty much dumps Su Jin - has she gone blind? - on the bed in her room and turns to leave ... but her uncles and Uncle Three come in close behind. I am glad that Ye Hua gets to tell someone about this craziness. This is what he tells his Uncle: "She pretended to be pushed by Su Su and jumped down to frame her". Let this craziness sink in, people.
I am slightly mollified by this, but he needs to say it to SU SU, too. And then he needs to completely change his approach to handling Su Jin in the future. But will he? I bet not.
A shocked Uncle Three knows pretty well what this means: If Su Su is accused of pushing the Heavenly Lord's concubine off Zhuxian Terrace, she will be killed. And of course, Ye Hua knows too - he realized right away what the plan is. And he adds: If he speaks up for Su Su, the Heavenly Lord will be even more inclined to sentence her to death. It's a horrible, horrible trap. And here he comes, the Heavenly Lord.
Who knows the truth, anyway, and supported the plan to begin with. The truth doesn't matter.
Su Jin's maid, oh so traumatized, tells the Heavenly Lord all about the incident (her version). The uncles pipe in. They are totally outraged and demand Su Su's punishment: to be pushed off Zhuxian Terrace. They say: "Only when her soul disintegrates can it make up for Su Jin's eyes". Ye Hua is thinking hard. How can he save Su Su?! Su Jin, by the way, is still playing nice and angelic, saying Su Su didn't mean for this to happen, don't punish her, lalala.
Shut up, Bitch. Forever. Please, someone kill her.
Then, Heavenly Lord turns to his grandson and asks him how Su Su should be punished in his opinion "to appease everyone". This is hard ... It takes a lot of effort and control for Ye Hua to do what comes next. He says he didn't see clearly either and only heard from Su Jin that Su Su did not do it intentionally. Be what may, the eyes are still injured and she still committed a horrible deed. "I wonder if it would appease everyone to hand over Su Su's eyes and be struck by lightning for three years?" 0___________________o
Oh hell.
The uncles totally like it. I guess that's fortunate? Heavenly Lord has to agree.
This is the part that was weird, to me. Why bother asking Ye Hua? He had an opportunity to just get rid of Su Su and he didn't take it, even though that IS his goal. There's no reason it had to be Ye Hua making the decision.
I took it as a test. Test Ye Hua to see whether he would really betray his upbringing and his duty for this woman
Now that the has made sure Su Su's life is no longer in immediate danger, Ye Hua can make another small move. He tells the Heavenly Lord that Su Su once saved his life and it is proper etiquette to repay the kindness one receives. She was only brought to the Celestial Palace due to him, so he feels he should bear the consequences. And she is with child. In short, he asks for permission to take the "lightning torment" in her stead. Oh HELL. I mean, that's good for Su Su, but damn. Three years. And Lord Pua, Heavens' torturer, won't be lenient on the Crown Prince just because he is the Crown Prince. The Heavenly Asshole agrees.
Well in this one, Ye Hua did kind of back him into a corner so I get why he'd agree to it, plus I kind of think he gets off a little bit on the idea of making Ye Hua suffer for daring to bring Su Su here in the first place. "You may be the next ruler, but I am still in charge now.'
After that, Ye Hua has one last "favor" to ask: that he can remove Su Su's eyes personally. :((((((((((( This is granted too.
I'm a fool, because I thought for sure he had a plan, but no.
I ... couldn't do something like this. But I see why he thinks he has to do it himself. It's basically the only thing he can do for her in this horrible situation. It is also the only thing that gets him near her, to talk to her. 
He still really doesn't say enough.
Oh god, she smiles when she sees him. He sends everyone out. She is happy because him coming here, for her, means he does believe her. "I believe you", he says. He witnessed it all, Su Jin did it all herself. But ... the Consort's eyes are burnt, she is blind. The only way to save Su Su's life is to give two eyes for two eyes; to give her for Su Jin.
"Why", she cries, "why do you say such words, don't you believe me?"
"It's my fault", he repeats over and over. "I can't protect you."
And then: "Su Su, I will marry you. From now on, I will be your eyes."
Uh, Ye Hua? As far as anyone else (Su Su and us, that is) knows, you've always intended to marry her officially. How does this make up for anything? Tell her that when you're the boss, you'll expose Su Jin. Tell her you'll get her eyes back for her and make up for all the injustice she has suffered. Tell her you despise Su Jin and always have, at the very fucking least, but right now your hands are tied!
Then, he takes them out. She doesn't resist much. That's how broken she is by now.
 The most horrible scene in this episode is probably when she wakes up after this and keeps repeating "my eyes, my eyes" in utter shock. 
He leaves her alone so much, too - not that she wants him near, but he could try harder to reassure her at least.
Then it's time for day 1 of the lightning torment. Three years in total. 49 lightning strikes per day. That's 53'655 lightning strikes in total. There will be no harm to the body, but each strike will hurt as if Ye Hua's soul is being torn apart. Lord Pu Hua seems genuinely sorry to have to do this to the Crown Prince.
So I guess he does sort of have a reason to be away from her but I don't really care, I'm so mad.
It's not true it doesn't harm the body at all (figures), because after this, the Medicine King needs to check Ye Hua out. And darn it, he is angry. Angry because he is so powerless. I know it's all very tragic, but RAWR.
Why does he never set up traps for Su Jin? Why does he not ever do ANYTHING but react?
And repeat - in slowmo - the now famous hairflip!
I laughed so hard. It probably saved his life, for me - I had just got done saying his hair reminded me of Cher's and then he did the Cher hair flip. It was perfect - plus, now we all know from BTS video that he was very self-conscious about the hair and didn't know how to handle it, which just makes this even funnier - I assume it wasn't scripted.
Anyway, he asks Uncle Three whether he thinks he is qualified to receive the Crown Prince Seal now. "It's about time you get it", says Lian Song. However, he is wounded and the Seal comes with another test, which could be deadly for him: 36 bursts of sacred blaze and 9 holy lightning strikes. DAMMIT, they love their lightning, these Celestials!
Right now I'm in the mood for him to be struck by lightning, though.
Of course, Ye Hua doesn't care about the danger to himself. The mistake he made was to think he could save Su Su by staying away from her. But he was so wrong: they are after her life whatever he does. But once he is the Crown Prince not only in name, he won't have to worry about anyone else much anymore. He can then marry Su Su as his consort.
The only way you don't have to worry about Su Su is if you kill Su Jin, fool. Su Jin's not doing this on behalf of your affronted grandpa; she's doing this because she hates Su Su and wants you for herself. You think that changes when you become the ruler? NOPE.
We end the episode with Su Jin, sporting two fresh eyes, coming to see Su Su, telling her that Ye Hua obviously doesn't care about her and her eyes at all. Hell. It isn't over, is it.
Kill her. Kill her now.


Oi. *deep breaths*.

What a horrible but good episode. What to make of Ye Hua after this? Can we hate him? Looking forward to the heaaated debates in the comments, haha, but let me say this: Ye Hua did what he possibly could to save her life. And from his perspective (and frankly, from mine), giving your eyes but keeping your life is a better deal then the reverse.
I agree absolutely on that point. And I may be furious with him, but I don't hate him. He is still and has always underestimated the situation and his patronizing way of assuming all burdens and leaving Su Su essentially in the dark really pisses me off. His lack of communication let Su Su make more than one bad decision and put her directly in harm's way.

We discussed Ye Hua's behavior at length before, but the root problem has always been: this forbidden love with a mortal woman. There never was a pretty or good solution; actually, his crazy plan to disappear and live with her in secret probably was the best after all. We all know he could not have stopped himself from loving her, even with all his might (it's fate after all). As soon as they met, it was going to end tragically.
Yes, I've never wasted much more than a minute on the idea that he should have walked away. The window for him to do so was incredibly small and he probably wouldn't even have recognized it before it was too late, anyway.

So, in this situation, which was manufactured by Su Jin and his grandfather, he could not do anything else - we need to believe the drama in this. If he had stood up for her in front of the Heavenly Father, he would have had her killed anyway. He was basically waiting for it. It was as much a test of Ye Hua as anything else. The solution with the eyes is horrible, but it works. Ye Hua, with millennia of experience with the temper of his grandfather, judged the situation correctly and used Su Jin's uncles to save Su Su's life. I am sure that without them there, the Heavenly Lord would have insisted on her death. He also knew he could take the lightning torment onto himself if he invoked "repaying kindness" in front of them.
I do agree that under the circumstances he made the best possible decision. The problem that I have with Ye Hua is that in every case, when he makes the least bad of a couple of terrible decisions, that's ALL he does. He doesn't think ahead to how to stop it from happening again. He doesn't think about a way to de-fang Su Jin and assumes each time that this is as far as she'll go, I guess. It's infuriating, and it makes him look stupid and incompetent.
Yes. I think it's because he's basically been forged into this machine, the ruler to be. It's a miracle he has as much heart as he has, under the circumstances

Okay, he did what he could, but it's still a horrible, horrible thing. This is the episode in which the illusion that he can handle this, that it will be alright breaks down completely. He realizes he has failed her miserably. It brings around that change in him, the determination to get that Crown Prince Seal and make things right. He wants to marry her, to make her a proper Consort. Of course, he won't care about Bai Qian and all that. He is pretty much done with all that filial cowering.
Just more evidence that in his own way he's as immature and impulsive as Li Jing, because of course he's completely wrong about all of this.

What about Su Su? At this point in time, she seems to have lost all will to live. The loss of her eyes seems almost as bad as losing her life. She is broken. And she does no longer trust in Ye Hua's feelings. Su Jin's poison is working. It is this that Ye Hua doesn't see: he has lost Su Su already.
She needs to buck up, though. Being blind isn't being dead. Finding out that a lover betrayed you isn't as bad as death, either. And really, who betrays whom? He told her he loved her and wanted her. He told her not to follow Su Jin. Su Jin told her something else. She doesn't even ask him to explain, or consider that maybe he did the best he could by taking her eyes. She didn't trust him, but he didn't give her much reason to do anything different. The breakdown of the relationship lies on them both, even when you consider the imbalance of power.