The Advisors Alliance 大军师司马懿之军师联盟 - Episode 15 (Recap)

kakashi: Lots of Wenruo action and acting ... man, the man can ACT. I could watch him and Cao Cao all day. Can we have a spin-off? The Cao Cao-Wenruo Years? Alas...
panda: *sobssss*
JoAnne: Why can't we have nice things? Why? Why?

Episode 15

Hmhmhmmmmm, Mr. Cui takes One-Eye's bribes?! I am quite shocked. But then, Sima Yi is announced. You go, Sima Yi! What?! I am rather shocked now. Upright Mr. Cui sends Sima Yi away, with no assurances at all and the beautiful guard now says "it was rather dark" and he did not see clearly. Nooooooo!
The heart of man is supremely greedy and dark. I wasn't too surprised he took the money.
I thought they threatened him, though. He may have felt like he couldn't afford not to. Which of course is never true, it just means whatever they'd do is the price you're not willing to pay for your integrity, but I vaguely remember death threats to a family member?
Oh no... Zi Jian is in prison and Yang Weasel tells him to lie about Sima Lang's involvement. I feel really sorry for Zi Jian. As we said before, he's no bad guy. Just weak. And he really has the wrong advisor... Cao Pi on the other hand is being stubborn again - and for the first time, he reacts with jealousy and hurt to his first wife's repeated insistence he should plead for his brother's life. He doesn't deem it necessary. If riding on the King's road means death, then death it is. 
Zi Jian knows Sima Lang is innocent, he shouldn't have let Weasel and his lies get to him. Cao Pi is jealous indeed but not about his wife' affections per se. As he repeatedly says, he thinks if it were him, no-one would plead including his mom. That is just sad. P.S. finally he mentions her pregnancy indirectly. 
It was weird that his wife says he's jealous of his brother because of her. He's not, girlfriend, and you know it best of anyone - sad though that is, because I think you'd be great as a team. As for Zi Jian, I'm really done with him. He's always willing to throw people under a figurative truck of doom in order to save his own mistake-making ass, and I'm over it. No more.
Next is a "hearing" with Cao Cao. And Cui nephew delivers Sima Lang to the knife. And Zi Jian corroborates the story (though looking a bit sad - idiot). Cao Cao shoos everyone out but keeps Cao Pi behind, to ask him his opinion. Cao Pi doesn't want to give any. Wrong answer! Cao Cao wants him to plead for Zi Jian, wanna bet? In the dungeons, Sima Lang is tortured heavily by the Investigation Bureau. It even looks like he might die.
Cao Pi's stubbornness is biting him in the nether regions. He knows his father doesn't want to kill Zi Jian- he should have pleaded. 
Oh boo hoo, who cares if Zi Jian feels sad about being an asshole. Cao Pi, take the high road. It will be better for you in the long run.
Sima Yi has realized that they need to make Zi Jian look innocent to save Sima Lang. He goes to Cao Pi who is still sour over everything - and keeps refusing to beg for his brother. He is also distrustful of Sima Yi's true intentions again. Come on, of course Sima Yi worries about his brother and wants to save him! But that doesn't mean pleading for your brother's life is the wrong thing, idiot. 
Quit acting like a whiny baby and see the bigger picture! Ah!!! 
Put on your big boy panties and act like a man, Cao Pi. I'm getting kind of tired of your nobody loves me act.
While speaking to his beautiful and smart wife, Sima Yi realizes he has to see Ji Bu... who still works at the Bureau and has access to their picture-evidence. Sima Yi wants to know how Mr. Cui has been threatened to behave the way he does. These images, by the way, are seen by the King, which means Cao Cao knows quite well what's up. So, Sima Yi wants to leak the images to the public! It's a huge risk, but his brother's life is threatened.
Ji Bu, I have missed you. For once Sima didn't show any signs of jealousy interacting with him. I guess his mind was occupied with graver matters. This plan though, it doesn't seem well thought through.
I'm laughing my ASS off at 'picture-evidence.' Anyone can draw anything.
Well. When Cao Cao learns of Yang Weasel's and One Eye's dirty game, he gets really angry. And then he reveals his plan to his wife: he wanted to push Cao Pi and Sima Yi through Sima Lang, for Cao Pi to plead for Zi Jian in front of all the courtiers. But Cao Pi won't do it. He has gone into fight mode.
As much as I am angry with Cao Pi for being a stubborn mule, I hope Cao Cao you realize it was your failing as a father that made him like that. He feels if it was him, you would have beheaded him already and he's not too wrong is he?
Why does Cao Cao always push for the one brother to come to the aid of the other? What's the goal there? To show the courtiers that they're a unified front? Who cares?  Royal brothers are NEVER a unified front, and you can't fake that shit forever. Also: at what point does he start to think hey, I've got this one kid who's a screw up and the other one who isn't...

Sima Yi gets the evidence, but his father smartly tells him that making it public will only hurt Zi Jian ... and by association, Sima Lang. And the entire Sima family. What to do now?
That was a very bad plan.
Bad? I guess it would cause a problem with the other families you've screwed over if one family managed to get unscrewed...
Go and see Wenruo. Who gets quite angry at Sima Yi for his plan to give the image evidence to the King. He tells him he needs to change the King's mind ... through the courtiers. And Wenruo will help Sima Yi with it. He's the man. I love him.
He's so dreamyyyy.
Well.  He sort of looks like a worried greyhound, but in other ways he's quite appealing, yes.
Wenruo heads straight to Cao Cao after this and confronts him (in his gentle way) about the truth and that it will backfire for Cao Cao if he blames this on Sima Lang. Plus, Zi Jian doesn't have to die, since he's Cao Cao's son. means Zi Jian cannot become crown prince. Plus...he pretty much calls Cao Cao's actions of becoming a King the worst kind of disobedience: unfilial and disloyal (to the father, to the Emperor). He is disappointed. And he won't support his dreams anymore, since he has broken his promises. Wow...what a scene. And we all know what that means, don't we....... *sobs bitter tears already*
Cao Cao looked genuinely crushed when Wenruo declined to continue walking with him. Gosh, this was such a good scene.
Is he gonna die? Tell us no, and be sure to distract us when it happens. Cover our eyes or something.  When we ask in three episodes, 'hey, where's Wenruo?' tell us he went to the country to improve his health. Okay?


That "I'm turning my back on you"-scene was one of the best scenes I've ever seen in a CDrama. So many unspoken many emotions.
They both crushed it.
Agreed. I wish we could have seen some of the process of Wenruo becoming disaffected with Cao Cao, though. Instead we got his constant assurances that he was his man, until suddenly he wasn't, and maybe it was too subtle for me or something but I never got the feeling he was trying to convince himself of something he no longer believed.

I personally don't care much about the Han and whether they're loyal to them or not, but I do care that almost everybody is morally faulty in this episode. From the obvious, the Yang Weasels of this world, who blackmail and bribe to get what they want, to those who lie because they fear for their lives. Sima Yi isn't smart in this episode, not at all...if not for his father AND Wenruo, he would basically have killed his brother and potentially his entire family with that evidence. Thank god he knows how to listen. 
The minute I heard the plan as I remarked earlier, I thought it was crap. Maybe the urgency and how close it was to him made him temporarily lose all reasoning.
Cao Cao would not have appreciated having his maneuvering openly questioned...but maybe he's like Cao Pi more than we realize and after a minute he'd have calmed down and done the right thing.

Cao Pi's refusal to beg for his brother (who is fully at fault) I can understand. Zi Jian did something he should not have done and yes, he should pay for it (though not with death). However, it wouldn't hurt him much to do it. Why doesn't he? I think it's partially "he'd never do something like this for me either", and partially his hurt over the fact that Sima Yi cares more for his family than his "master". Duh! I get that Cao Pi has big issues with being rejected and not loved enough, but cut Sima Yi a break! It's his brother, goddamit. 
He feels unloved by everyone and wants Sima Yi all to himself, even about Sima's family. Doesn't make sense, but that is what he wants. It's actually quite sad.
Let's not forget that Cao Pi also created the possibility for this to even happen, though. He got his brother drunk. If he had just let Zi Jian go straight to his parents as planned, none of this would be happening. Sure, Zi Jian is a grown up - but don't let Cao Pi rest on his 'poor me' laurels here. He is the architect of these events, whether this result is what he wanted or not.