Nirvana in Fire 琅琊榜 - Episode 27 (Recap)

Of course, Mei Changsu's secret is just too big not to want out. But does it have to come under pressure on so many fronts at the same time?! His residence may be "airtight", as Banruo said, but all the rest of him sure is not. On a more positive note: Prince Jing smiles a lot in this episode.
JoAnne: But Fei Lui is NOT smiling. Give the boy an orange, someone.
Eleanor: Prince Jing smiling = ❤

Episode 27

The Emperor is much recovered, slurping Consort Jing's sweet soup with gusto ... wait, did she invent the hangover soup? He is in high spirits and decides to go for a walk. His Eunuch suggests to go see the Osmanthus Flowers. He doesn't look so happy when the Emperor wants to see the ones near the Easter Palace though - unannounced. That's where the Crown Prince is (and I guess Snake Yue isn't too far either. How on earth can he like that woman so much?)
Maybe he licked off the other half of her eyebrows. *shivers in disgust*
Consort Jing. Can someone give her a medal. She is just too awesome. 
When the Emperor reaches the Eastern Palace, they have the terrified Eunuch in charge summon the Crown Prince (the Emperor is very amused when the Eunuch falls over his robes). But wait ... Mr. Suspicious notices just HOW terrified the Eunuch is and decides to proceed unannounced. And he finds ... oh man ... his son is drinking heavily, while being entertained by music and beautiful ladies. This is entirely against propriety, since it has only been half a year since great grandma's death.
Not to mention he's being PUNISHED.
So something I'm really curious about. Is Gao Zhan (the head Eunuch) on team Mei Chang Su? Or is he just trying to help the Emperor be a better Emperor and make sure the Crown Prince doesn't get to be crown prince anymore?
Or is he just looking out for himself? 
The Emperor is furious! He gets ready to storm in, but then, he hears his son talking drunkenly about being told he's a Crown Prince without any morals. Dad gets so angry he has a coughing fit. And then, the Crown Prince shouts that his father has no morals either! At that, the Emperor grabs Meng's sword and runs towards the door again ... and stops himself. Just in time. Wow. For a moment, it looked like he was going to commit filicide. 
Would we honestly mind?
I know I wouldn't. The truth hurts for the Emperor though, well if he is listening. 
Oh, he is feeling it deeply... he falls to the ground, even, asking Meng Zhi whether he did something wrong for the Eastern Palace to have become like this (yeah, you did). Then, he mutters that he has become really old (no! go the other two) ... and adds that nobody is to speak of what transpired here today. But he wants them to seal the Eastern Palace: nobody can come in or out! Meng falls to his knees and says he needs a royal decree for that, a mere spoken word won't suffice. But the Emperor does not seem to hear him.
So...lock your idiot immoral wastrel son up with the women and booze?
I think he realizes to some degree that this will reflect poorly on him. Also, he's really not a very good leader. 
The Crown Prince hears his father's shouted "Even the Crown Prince" though when Meng Zhi asks to make sure ... and goes outside to check. Oh dear. The Emperor just looks at him ... and then turns away without a word.
Oh man. The 'I'm so disappointed in you' look. It's a killer.
This reminds me of the little kitten meme mimicking the Lord of the Rings one where Gandalf is about to fall down to the belly of the earth in fire and flame. I am rambling. 
Prince Yu hears about the seal on the Eastern Palace and is … shocked. The reporting soldier (he is from the Palace Guards) tells him that it’s only based on a verbal decree. It is unheard of! Poor Meng is the one who has to answer all the questions - and because he got sick of it and does not know what to say, he has gone into hiding. Prince Yu wants to rush to his mother, but then reflects a bit and decides to go to Su’s residence first.
In my imagination Meng looked out the window, saw yet another minister coming to question him, threw down his sandwich in a fit, then ran out the door shouting about crazy royals and bullshit politics and don't pay me ENOUGH and I'll show YOU how to run...
Poor Meng Zhi. He has to put up with way too much crap. 
Well, here is Meng! Currently with Prince Jing, who is equally shocked when he hears the news about his brother. Meng starts to explain, but Jing says to go to Su’s, so that he won’t have to explain twice. In the passage, they ring the bell. No Su. Okay, finally, Fei Liu comes down and tells them to wait. Haha, the frustration on Meng’s face as he tries to argue with Fei Liu. He tells them that “Poisonous Snake” has come to see Su. Meng guesses correctly that this is Prince Yu. They settle down to wait.
Wait. No carrying over nicknames between dramas. Oh, I'd have liked to see Prince Yu in a 20th century uniform...
Haha. And ooh, a gif of those beautiful Kai Kai hands. He really does have lovely hands. 
Prince Jing attempts some conversation with Fei Liu, asking him why he calls Yu a poisonous snake. The answer is: Su ge-ge. Ooookay.
I need more Fei Lui faces in my life.
Don't we all. And more Jingyan smiles. 
So Su told him this? Fei Liu nods for yes. Jing: Does he know why Su calls Yu a poisonous snake? Fei Liu does indeed. Jing is still smiling (hey, make it a habit!) as he asks Fei Liu to explain to him. “Disgusting”, says Fei Liu. Who is disgusting, Meng chimes in, Prince Yu? “Su ge-ge”, says Fei Liu. Prince Jing understands that Fei Liu means to say that Su ge-ge feels disgusted after he meets with Yu.
Well this wouldn't really be news, though, would it? Why is Meng so puzzled?
I don't think Meng Zhi has been fully let in on the extent of Su's illness, so Fei Liu mentioning Su being disgusted or possibly sick might worry Meng. Also, can I haz all the Jingyan smiles please? 
Oh, smart Prince Jing… still smiling, he says: “if Prince Yu is a poisonous snake, what am I?” Fei Liu thinks for a bit. And then, he says… “Water buffalo”. Ahahahahaaaaaaaaa. Oh, but that triggers a memory in Jing, when they were young and Lin Shu called him really stubborn for not wanting to go to an event and went on to say he is stubborn like a bull. Nihuang then added that he never drinks tea, just water like a bull - and as they teased him, Lin Shu added he is not only a bull, he is a giant water buffalo.
Oooh! Does he finally figure it out? No, despite that look of consternation, he does not. Sigh. Did some nanny drop our Prince on his pretty head one too many times?
Just tell Jingyan already!!!! Also, Water Buffalo. hahahahahahahahahahaha I luff it. 
But now, Mei Changsu appears in the passage, apologizing profoundly for being late. Prince Jing just stares at him. Alarmed, Su asks whether something happened. But the moment passes, or does it? Prince Jing says they were just talking about water buffaloes and of course, that shocks Mei Changsu - and angers him. He turns to Fei Liu and scolds him. Aww, but the little one has no clue what he did wrong... Mei Changsu quickly adds that that was only the Princess joking around and that he is forbidden to mimic her. “You do it too”, says Fei Liu TT____TT
Oh no you do NOT chastise our little flying boy, Mr. Mei. You do not. If you don't want something to be repeated, perhaps you shouldn't SAY it.
Yes, don't be mad at Fei Liu. Not cool Su. Not cool. Also, hello smouldering Jingyan. 
Mei Changsu turns to Prince Jing and explains, while bowing, that the Princess visited them before the New Year and mentioned things of the past, like his nickname. Him and Fei Liu used it, inappropriately, in private. That actually seems to sadden Prince Jing, because he thought … he thought that Su might have known another person. Before they go upstairs, Su and Meng exchange a worried look. That was a CLOSE call.  
And you totally lied and blamed Fei Lui for it. How do you sleep at night, you fibber?
And now I want to cry at poor Jingyan and not knowing and why Su has to keep it from him and how we are missing out on so much lovely bromance. 
Consort Jing is looking after the Emperor, who is listless and depressed. He grabs Consort Jing’s hand and asks whether he is really getting old. But she points out how old the Grand Empress Dowager got, which makes him not old at all. But he didn’t even mean his body, rather his heart, which is getting softer as he ages. Consort Jing says she does not know the details about the Crown Prince’s wrongdoings - but she thinks that he has acted like a loving father rather than an old man. I’m not entirely sure he deserves this kindness, but it appeases him. He is grateful for the quiet in his room, due to the Empress who has sent all the officials away - and it seems he is grateful to Consort Jing, for being there with him.
Maybe that's the problem. He's been a man and a father (of sorts) far more often than he's been a King. Too many times he chose the personal over the professional.
And he often screwed up the personal as well. I mean, he executed his son, Prince Qi, in dubious circumstances. I don't know how Consort Jing can be so kind. She is a much better human than I am. 
In Su’s residence, Mei Changsu is looking through all the books in his library (in search of what?) while Meng tells them what has happened. Well, Mei Changsu isn’t much surprised the Crown Prince behaved like he did. It was his plan all along to have him misbehave all by himself. Poor Meng: he is really unhappy about his task, which puts him in a bad position between the Crown Prince and the Emperor. Mei Changsu says he does not think that the Crown Prince will get abolished anytime soon. And he urges Jing to add to the Capitol Patrol’s rounds - if violence erupts in the Eastern Palace, it’ll be blamed on him and Meng. 
It's locked up. No one can get in or out. Let violence erupt. Or maybe they'll orgy themselves to death. Problem solved.
But we definitely don't want any problems for Jingyan and Meng Zhi, so make sure to follow Su's advice there Meng. 
Prince Yu is plotting, of course. He is listening to the ministers that are on his side. Some think that they need to pressure for a written decree asap. Other say they should be cautious, since others have also tried to get a written decree to no avail. It is possible that the Crown Prince’s wrongdoings are minor. Prince Yu decides that they cannot let this “golden opportunity” pass - but they should not be too aggressive either (he seems to have learned something from Su, right?). Hence: they should make moves in secret.
Anything he says to his father will be suspect. He stands to benefit the most from the Crown Prince's downfall, so he can't argue for it. Maybe he'll push for leniency, and then later when they both do stupid things his dad will remember and send them BOTH away.
Ugh. I like neither the Crown Prince nor Prince Yu. Though at least Prince Yu is a slightly better option. Good thing I'm totally Team Jingyan for Emperor. 
Furthermore, Mei Changsu thinks Meng should thank the Head Eunuch for making sure the edict stays a verbal one. It’s a favor! Meng does not get it.
Well, we know the Emperor will eventually change his mind, and he won't look favorably on anyone tasked with enforcing a decision he'd like to sweep under a rug.
Gao Zhan is one smart cookie. I wonder how many other things he's been able to make sure didn't get too bad. 
Mei Changsu explains further: Gao gongong knows the Emperor exceptionally well (and is surely smarter than many others for staying head Eunuch for so long). And he understood that the Emperor has not made up his mind yet about the punishment for the Crown Prince. A written edict would make it final. And he would have to abolish him. With a verbal decree, more options are open. Insisting on a written decree would only make the Emperor suspicious and convince him that Meng was on Prince Yu's side. Okay, Meng gets it now. And the non-verbal communication between Jing and Su is to die for.
I hear angels singing. It's so bromantic!
*cries* ❤❤❤
Mei Changsu advises Meng to "wait and see" - meaning, let nature take its course. Whoever adds to the chaos right now will lose. That'll be Yu for you.
Look at my handsome big doofus. So relieved!
I love how Meng is used as the writing device to explain things to us. haha. 
Meng and Jing take their leave at Su's cue, but Su signals to Meng about the "book". Little idiot repeats the word too loudly and Prince Jing turns around, puzzled, but luckily,  book (書 / ) and "Su" sound somewhat similar so that Meng can pretend to have said Su's name loudly. Well ... too many mistakes, guys.
It's okay. You might not have noticed, but Jing isn't all that quick on the uptake.
Poor Jingyan. Our little Water Buffalo. Su's face in that gif. hahahahahaha *crying from laughter*
Back at Jing's place, Meng Zhi takes his leave ... just to then start praising Prince Jing's many books. Prince Jing's WTF face: mmmmmmm
He then mentions the "Record of the Land of Xiang" ... and whether he has finished it yet. Prince Jing is still making his WTF face, so Meng quickly adds that he himself wants to read it. Ah, he should ask Mr. Su for it, says Jing, if he agrees, he will gladly give it to Meng. Ah yes, yes, ages ago, he agreed! Meng continues. Su is always scolding him to read more books. Jing agrees to give it to him ... after it comes back from his mother. Meng is so clumsy about everything, Prince Jing pretty much immediately guesses that he is not asking to read it himself but because "a certain someone" wants it back.
No one should ever ask Meng to play two truths and a lie.
So maybe our Water Buffalo might figure something out. 
The Emperor is very angry about the many petitions about the Crown Prince that keep flooding in. The Empress is announced. She has come to tell him that it's the mid-autumn festival tomorrow, a time to gather the family. She thinks she needs an edict this year. Because the festival is in the Grand Empress Dowager's mourning period and the old lady loved nothing more than the entire family to gather. Should she reserve a seat for the Crown Prince? He suspects her of fishing for information and tells her to simply leave the family dinner aside this year. He wants everyone to just pray for a night.
I thought no one could do festivals for six months to three years depending on who they were?
Yeah, I am really not sure how that works with things like the mid-autumn festival. I bet there are rules for it. 
They mentioned them indeed
Prince Jing is visiting his mother and is served special moon cakes. And hazelnut cookies. It's been a while since they were able to spend this day together and Prince Jing does not care one bit that the family dinner was cancelled. His mood briefly darkens when he hears that Xiajiang went to see the Emperor and then, he remembers to ask his mother about Su's book. She goes and gets it for him, sighing ... why is she so reluctant to give it back? Well, they remind her of the days before she was locked up in the palace. And ... something else the matter, Consort Jing?
Yes, Consort Jing. Do tell.
Now she is one incredibly on the ball person. Oh, another Jingyan smile *dies*


Su's plan to let the corrupt men damn themselves through their action is working wonderfully well ... the whole interlude with the Crown Prince and his father is "sent by the heavens", as Prince Yu said, but it is also not something that would not have happened in this or a different form sooner or later. The only thing about Su's plan that I don't like is that it takes time ... a lot of time. Does he have it?
Of course he does. I can see it already: Jing is being crowned Emperor and everyone is celebrating and happy, and no one notices that Su has slipped off somewhere, at first. But Fei Lui notices after a while, and when he finds him, he's dead in some side room, face turned toward the sun. Everyone gathers and Nihuang, sobbing, cries that at least, now he's warm...
Joyce was telling me about how Su restoring honour and ridding the kingdom of corruption follows Chinese principles of governance and philosophy. I am sure that influences the time scale. Joyce, am I totally mangling what you were saying?

It is not Su himself that is making mistakes, but the people around him. Can we blame them? Not really. Meng is such an honest, straight guy, he simply cannot lie. He cannot even ask for a book without raising suspicion. And Fei Liu ... of course, he would also always speak the truth.
So then isn't the mistake really Su's? I think more of a calculated risk. They're not really up to the task at hand, but it's not like he has anyone else to choose from.
Yeah, definitely a calculated risk. That and I really do think it's also loyalty to some degree. 

Prince Jing is at a point where he realizes that something is up - but he cannot guess that his closest friend is returned with a completely different face. Who would? Yes, sure, Nihuang got it - but that is because she has a woman's instincts and not the temperament of a water buffalo.
Poor little Water Buffalo.