Nirvana in Fire 琅琊榜 - Episode 36 (Recap)

Another nailbiter! We think all is lost, but it's not, but then it seems like it is, or maybe not?! Mei Changsu is always several steps ahead, or is he? Can Xiajiang just DIE already?!
JoAnne: Is it just me or is he going to turn out to be the actual guy that has to be taken down? Not Yu, not the Emperor, not either of the royal princes - Xiajiang has to go in order for the kingdom to be saved.
Eleanor: I think so. I think so. This episode was so intense. I can't even. And please, yes, DIE Xia Jiang! DIE! 

Episode 36

Xiajiang says the rule of the Bureau are strict - Xiadong betrayed them first. For Marquis Yan, this shows what kind of man Xiajiang really is - utterly devoid of human emotions. And what a horrible enemy to have! He guesses that Marquis Yan is "so calm" because the people currently trying to free Wei Zheng aren’t in any way linkable to Prince Jing. Xiajiang has taken this into calculation also: he thinks that the bomb explosion will bring Prince Jing’s men to the scene quickly - and they will get involved for sure. BAM, he has Jingyan where he wants him. *bites nails* ... indeed, we see them "getting ready".
But wouldn't that naturally be within the remit of his group? I mean, come on - an explosion within the city walls? His guys would have to respond, there's nothing suspicious there.
Yeah. But the way that Xia Jiang is saying all this makes me really nervous. I swear he's a move or two ahead. *bites nails furiously*
Well, Marquis Yan still denies any knowledge of any plan. Good man. The discussion gets more barbed by the minute though, with Yan telling Xiajiang just what he thinks of him and vice versa - until the moment Marquis Yan just gets up and takes his leave… he cannot stand the company of Xiajiang another second more, he declares. Xiajiang finds his last words odd… he said “I can leave now”, implying he could not before their last exchange. So… was his goal not just to get him out of the city, but something else??
I wondered a little about that phrasing, but mostly I was taken with the way he acted compared with what he said: he was calm, composed, neutral even (in my memory) but to say what he said just then meant that he hated this guy so much he didn't even want to breathe the air that he breathed. It carried a lot of weight for me.
For me too. Marquis Yan knows what an evil, horrid, excuse for a human Xia Jiang is, and that last comment shows that he did this because he knows what the stakes are. I salute you sir, you are a man among men. 
The two officers start running, but their horses are gone. Haha, Yujin hid them away!
Sunshine Boy :) I hope your other half returns, I miss him.
I am so glad that that father and son are working together on this! Yay for MCS helping them reconnect. 
Xiajiang and Xiachun continue running on foot. How far away are they from the capital? Well, they do find horses after a while and ride back at full speed… only to find many confused junior officers at the Bureau: the rebels seem to have disappeared without a trace. The junior officers report: the rebels got to the dungeon doors - but did not attempt to break in! Instead, they turned back, used some poisonous smoke and broke their way out again. They were nowhere near the bombs, so the junior officers didn’t light them. They did try to chase them, but suddenly, the Capitol Patrols where everywhere, going after that thief. 
Haha, I loved that little twist. So clever!
Hee hee hee hee! MCS is clever! Please tell me he managed to outsmart Xia Jiang! Did they rescue Wei Zheng? Ack! The tension! What happened?!?!?
The big question is: Why so much noise but no result? Xiajiang realizes: they did not draw him out of the city so that they could better attack - but because they did not want him to see through their trickery. All this ruckus must have served the following purpose: to draw attention away from their TRUE operation. That probably means … they know the real location of Wei Zheng!!!
Always one step ahead! I shouldn't have worried.
*breathes sighs of relief* Mei Chang Su, you are awesome! I LOVE Xia Jiang's panic-stricken face! haha *rubs hands in glee*
Quickly, Xiajiang jumps on his horse again and rides to …. the real location of Wei Zheng. Too late he realizes that he just showed his enemies where that is. HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAA.
D'oh! That's even better! I love you, Mei Changsu.
hehehehehehehehe I'm enjoying this so much! 
Behind them, the Old Man from the Valley appears. Xiajiang orders Xiachun to go fetch all the guards, but the Old Man stops him. He’s a very good fighter! And Xiachun is too concerned for his shifu and thus not attentive enough, so he is defeated. When Xiajiang moves towards the barred doors behind which Wei Zheng is held, Fei Liu engages him in a fight. The Valley Men charge. Hahahaaaaa, Fei Liu has the upper hand, never have I been happier. After Xiajiang gets his ass kicked, the Valley Men come back out of the prison, with Wei Zhen in tow! Hoooray!!!
I was so happy to see Fei Lui. We're not getting enough of him lately.
Whoohoo!!! Yay for defeating the bad guys!!! Fei Liu!!! Whoohoo! *celebrates*
At Mei Changsu’s, the relief is palpable when they get word. Mei Changsu’s first question is where they brought Wei Zheng to; apparently to the prison in the Grand Court of Review. Since he did not even know they have a prison there, he is impressed. Also, he knows it is not over at all: Now, Prince Jing’s battle is about to start.
Yeah, Xiajiang is going to be out for blood. Well, more blood. Lots more.
You've got this Jingyan. Trust Su Zhe and together you can vanquish Xia Jiang and his wiley schemes!
The problem is that the Emperor will be massively enraged just hearing about the prison break. And seeing how Xiajiang will do the telling, it is a certainty that he will implicate Jingyan. Prince Jing is ready as can be, but he also apologizes to Mei Changsu - this might thwart his plans. Not all is lost yet, however …. but much depends on Prince Jing’s anger control. Oh well ... I guess it could be worse? No? 
It could be worse. They could have failed, been caught red-handed. Here at least they have some deniability.
Jingyan, you've got this. Do some deep-breathing. Don't get angry little Water Buffalo. 
While all of this is going on, Prince Yu went to Daddy and brought him a “curious rock”, found in a riverbed. Its inscription reads: “Sacred Liang”, but that seems have been formed by nature. What an auspicious sign for the well being of the Empire and the favorable reign of the Emperor! Prince Yu, you're such a suckup.
Okay but it's cool - how could you NOT share it?
Is it bad of me that I totally suspect of Prince Yu commissioning the rock to be made? 
The Emperor is in the best of moods when Xiajiang requests an audience. Oh, what shock! The traitor Wei Zheng has been abducted! Of course, Xiajiang has “an idea” who might be behind it … Prince Jing. Sly Yu is playing “good cop”, but the Emperor wants his other son summoned right away. Oh, and Prince Yu is eye-signalling an eunuch! To bring a message to his mother, the Empress, that “it is time”.
Pfft. Mama's boy.
Oh crap! This is where they're going to bring up the forbidden memorial tablet and Consort Jing. Oh no! Jingyan is totally going to lose his temper! 
Prince Ji is enjoying Gong Yu’s music with Yujin (who has a few suggestions how to do it better, haha). Minor quibble: I hate it when people move their fingers wrong to the tune that’s actually playing! After two hours, Gong Yu goes out to fetch them something to eat, and while she is gone, Prince Ji remarks how hard this life is on her. She has to do everything herself and her house is without any comfort. And it stinks! She offers to open some windows for him.
Why did it stink?
Maybe Sunshine Yujin let something go? Though in reality, I'm 100% sure this is part of Team MCS's plan to get Prince Ji on their side or to help them with something. And yes, Kakashi, it's annoying when people fake play instruments poorly. 
Wei Zheng is not in safety yet!!! Xiadong and some of the Valley Men drag him through the streets. He is in very bad shape and can barely walk, so they take a break (apparently waiting for a carriage)… right outside where Gong Yu resides. Yujin looks outside and is surprised to see “Sister Xiadong”. Is she arresting criminals? On the day she usually goes and visits her husband’s grave? But here comes the carriage and they move on. Prince Ji calls the Xuanjing Bureau “nefarious” for arresting criminals like that.
This better be planned. I'm 99.99999999% sure it's part of MCS's plan. 
Huh, I have no clue why they staged this.
I was truly puzzled.
I'm just going to trust that there is a reason. 

Prince Jing arrives at Wuying Hall - and takes a few seconds to compose himself outside. Inside, he is entirely calm … and feigns complete ignorance over why he is summoned and screamed at. He politely asks his father to clarify the crime and then acts surprised at being questioned about Xuanjing Bureau.
I found Xiajiang's impotent rage in this scene very, very funny.
Oh my handsome prince 😍
But Xiajiang challenges him right then and there: what about those guards he posted outside his Bureau in the last few days? Well, his soldiers were positioned throughout the city, says Prince Jing. And by the way, they had caught the thief right when Xuanjing Bureau guards came rushing out and made them lose him again. Prince Jing wants Xiajiang to explain this to him.
I can't stop laughing at Xiajiang's face. He's had a hard day.
LOL Xia Jiang unravelling at the seams is rather funny to watch. Jingyan on the other hand looks impeccable. 
The Emperor gets annoyed at the arguing (as always) and tells his son to answer Xiajiang properly. Prince Jing still pretends to have no clue: The Xuanjing and his men clashed on the streets, but there were no rebels or anything. Back and forth they argue, until Prince Jing says Xiajiang has no evidence at all and seems just to be guessing. He wants the Minister of Defense to join them - he has all the records about Jing's patrols. They will be able to see whether any are injured or left their position or anything. Ha! Xiajiang goes, you're a 7 pearl prince, you probably have a secret army!
Because that's what you'd do, Xiajiang?
He really doesn't have any evidence, but with this Emperor, all it takes it some suspicion and the next minute you're drinking poison. I'm worried. 
The argument continues. Prince Jing says he'd need many, many people to be able to break into a place like the Bureau - there is no way he could train enough and keep them off the record. There were only thirty people, Xiajiang exclaims. What, so few? Prince Jing goes. That would only have gotten them to approximately... the dungeon door. Hehehe, and now, Xiajiang needs to explain a little something... hehehe, why was the prisoner not in the Bureau dungeons, but at the not-well guarded Review Court?
And why were only 30 people able to break through his defenses? You're looking pretty ineffectual here, Xiajiang.
hehehehehehehehehe it is SOOOOOOO satisfying to watch Xia Jiang floundering and Jingyan remaining cool and collected. Yaaaaaaaas!!!!
Embarrassing, embarrassing, embarrassing... but then, right when we're about to believe that it's possible to get out of this, it is announced that the Empress has some "important news". Well, damn. She went to Noble Consort Jing's mansion - and ordered a search. The memorial tablet was found within seconds. A eunuch tells the Emperor about this "treacherous act" and tells him the Empress asked for him to come punish the Consort. The Emperor immediately believes it and exits in rage (kicking Jingyan several times before that).
Snake-faced witch.
Don't kick my man! Don't worry Jingyan, I'll come help you up. 


Damn. That went really well until it didn't. The drama does it again... it takes us from "Oh shit, they're doomed" to "wow, this is going well" to "Oh shit, they're doomed". I actually almost forgot that Prince Yu is sometimes very cunning. Accusing Consort Jing of high treason right at this moment is a very smart move, seeing how this will immediately capture the Emperor's full attention and will divert it from the fact that Xiajiang obviously messed up with his prisoner. Let's hope the Emperor has some backbone when he sees what the "treason" actually is!
He'd better. Besides, I expect a twist from this. Consort Jing is too smart to actually do anything illegal.
But even though she made the memorial tablet at the behest of the Emperor, there's no way he can publicly admit that given his record with the Chiyan case. This is going to be tricky. This is also going to make Jingyan blow a gasket, so I'm worried about his temper. Ack! Drama! Why!?