29 March 2015

Divorce Lawyers Episode 3


Two big events happen in this episode: a divorce and a marriage.



After Shi Hai Dong admitted to having an affair, Luo Li didn’t have this “a-ha!” moment like I thought but rather she seemed intrigued and even initiated to close the distance between her and him, physically. Luo Li asks Shi Hai Dong to enlighten her about marriage and he willingly indulges. He echoes Luo Li’s words to him in an earlier episode: his value appreciate with each case he wins while his wife’s worth declines. However, he adds a despicable spin; if at that moment his wife plummets to worthlessness and if he were to throw her out, then that women’s chance of reviving to her former glory is next to none. Hearing this advice about marriage, Luo Li comes off as impressed and enlightened.


Cao Qian Kun and Tan Mei Yu are planning out the invitation list for their wedding and Tang Mei Yu wants to invite both Shi Hai Dong and Yan Yan. She hopes that the two can resolve their whatever misunderstanding and ditch the divorce notion. However, Cao Qian Kun is pessimistic about it but decides against to argue it any further. He assures her that their marriage would be nothing like theirs.


Back to Shi Hai Dong and Luo Li, they’re enjoying wine now and Luo Li asks what type of girl Shi Hai Dong prefers to which he says it’s Luo Li herself: someone young, beautiful, earnest, and courageous; someone skillful not only at work but also at home. Hearing this, Luo Li now loses all her interest. Despite her obvious displeasure, Shi Hai Dong has one last comment: I’ve always had an affair. He says that again, both clearly and loudly. Luo Li gifts him a deserving slap and struts out the door. Now alone in his condo, he does a sad and silent yay, I believe. And then sits down on the steps and covers his face with his hands with his shoulders rocking back and forth. Possibly crying.


Its court day today and Shi Hai Dong starts off. He claims the reason for filing the divorce was the reality of their marriage contradicted his thoughts about what marriage holds (e.g. the wife is supposed to ensure a home that is warm, organized, and clean for his husband to return to and in terms of money, she only need to know how to spend it).


Luo Li disagrees that the fault lies in the wife for not fulfilling that bullshit duty of a wife’s but rather the fault lies in the adulterous husband. Subsequently, to prove her point, she requests to play the recording she had of last night’s conversation she had with Shi Hai Dong. I love how confident and awesome Luo Li looks as the recording plays. On the other hand, Shi Hai Dong looks terrible. Luo Li also provides another recording and that was the WeChat message that has Shi Hai Dong willingly accept any punishment if he were to be unfaithful. Shi Hai Dong looks worse but it seems he’s more affected by the thoughts he was recalling about his wife’s infidelity than the prospects of this case. He even proceeds to ask Yan Yan what her thoughts were after listening to the WeChat message (possibly hoping that her guilty consciousness will make her confess) because that message applies to her rather than him. Yan Yan’s saved from answering when Luo Li continues to corner him with not only the promise he made after the marriage (e.g the WeChat message) but during his pursuit for Yan Yan. Shi Hai Dong tells her those messages were sweet-nothings of no value and that recording last night were only drunk words. He continues to belittle Luo Li’s evidence as rubbish (direct translation: fart-words). With that kind of slang/terminology, his impression plummets to the audience but most importantly, to the judge. With the concrete proof of him admitting in the recording that he’s always had an affair and his poor character shown on court, his prospects of winning are zilch. However, Yan Yan seems devastated at the revelation of Shi Hai Dong’s (fake) infidelity. At the face of losing, Shi Hai Dong agrees to “negotiate”, which means he's admitting to his faults, and at his own free will, willingly hands over his entire fortune to Yan Yan. Woah, is that necessary? 


Luo Li and her law firm go celebrate. Although it wasn’t a clear cut win because of the negotiation, Luo Li was evidently the winner. And there goes Shi Hai Dong’s winning streak (and money). During dinner she gets audio messages from Wu Wen Hui who’s congratulating her for her win. He continues to tell her that she’ll be an exceptional lawyer and so she can’t just marry any normal man. Logically it makes sense but really is sounds like garbage to me. Anyways, Luo Li doesn’t seem to be over Wu Wen Hui as she replays his messages.


Although Luo Li won the case, her life isn’t a win and that also applies to Shi Hai Dong (on top of losing the case). In his lonely walk with Xiao Gang, he reveals he purposely let Luo Li record those seemingly drunk words. He continues contemplating whether it matters winning when winning is really losing; if he doesn’t make Yan Yan completely forget him, she can’t possible start life anew again. But she was the one that cheated on you! Anyways, he’s come to a new outlook in life: “Since we’re divorce lawyers, when we come across people that want to marry, we tell them to be careful; when we come across those that want to divorce, we tell them congratulations.” Xiao Gang, being a quick learner, congratulates Shi Hai Dong. Heh.


The next day is Tang Mei Yu and Cao Qian Kun’s wedding and Luo Li forgets her red envelope. She heads to the ATM but Xiao Gang’s in front of her trying to take out money for a red envelope in Shi Hai Dong’s stead (who isn’t attending). However, Xiao Gang forgets his pin. He then proceeds to call Na Na (female) for her birthday and confesses to forgetting his pin number which may be her birthday; in other words, he forgot her birthday. He gets hung up on. Lol. He doesn’t give up as he calls Qian Qian (another female). Learning from his mistake, he uses another tactic; he first asks her whether she’s dating then confirming she’s single, he suggests he should celebrate her birthday but unlucky him, it already passed. However, he doesn’t hesitate to ask for the exact date anyways. He’s hung up on again.

Luo Li, behind him, hears all this and can’t help but smirk. Left with no other choice, Xiao Gang asks Luo Li to lend him the money (which is really for Shi Hai Dong) and convinces her to take is as doing a favour for his boss who she defeated mercilessly. Luo Li agrees.


Luo Li is the Mei Yu’s bridesmaid and they’re getting ready for the wedding. Luo Li asks about Mei Yu’s parents to which she worries about their non-attendance; her parents are against her marrying someone below her status (she’s a rich girl). Luo Li comforts her saying that her parents will come around someday. Mei Yu smiles at that.

Their talk gets interrupted with a business call for Luo Li. With the straightest face, Luo Li pulls off the most cringe worthy voice she can make and adopts her alternate identity, Lisa, again. Her Lisa is a fake secretary used to divert her growing list of clients recruiting her after news broke out that she defeated the undefeatable Shi Hai Dong. Mei Yu looks nauseated hearing that sound come out of Luo Li’s mouth. I find it hilarious.


Before the actual bouquet throwing, Luo Li requests a practice round with Mei Yu. Luo Li logically advises her to throw the bouquet with the right strength and in the right trajectory. It’s a no-joke business here because Luo Li’s happiness from hereon is depends on these fertile flowers. At least to Luo Li it’s all serious business. Mei Yu decides to play a prank; she attempts to throw it in the other direction to which Luo Li dives to other end but Mei Yu, being gracious and all, throws it right into Luo Li’s arms. It’s all fake but they’re both ecstatic that the throw was a success. Although everything was a joke, the hug they gave each other at the end was sincere and sentimental.


The wedding is officially taking place and Luo Li is at her rightful position as the bridesmaid overseeing the event. She spots Yan Yan in the audience but gets suspicious when she’s intimate with another man (Yue Qun). Luo Li’s distracted to the point that she forgets to give the wedding ring but luckily the groomsmen/MC reminds her. Confirming her suspicions, she also realizes that Mei Yu knew all along. Luo Li feels cheated now and it doesn’t help that Xiao Gang nudges it in. However, Luo Li’s pride won’t let her admit her poor judgment on Yan Yan’s character as she insists Shi Hai Dong willingly admitted to his affair in the court. However, when alone, she’s starting to doubt herself.


On a side note, Li Chen who did the cameo as the groomsmen/MC (whom you guys may recognize from the Chinese version of Running Man, Hurry up, Brother) seems interested in Luo Li. Cao Qian Kun even encourages his buddy to go for her and describes her qualities. At the mention of her being a divorce lawyers, Li Chen’s interests are perked.

Comments: 

The setup’s done now, pitting Luo Li as the only lawyer to have defeated Shi Hai Dong but doesn’t know that she won at his control and Shi Hai Dong’s (one and only) defeat is his own divorce case. Let the hate and misunderstandings commence! 

Although Luo Li has an inkling of doubt on her win but with her pride, it seems it’ll take her a while to accept the truth. If the show didn’t use the excuse of Shi Hai Dong purposely losing his own case, I would have been severely disappointed with the content and dialogue in the actual trial. With this episode, it differentiates the two lawyers; although both are experts, Luo Li’s like a new sword and swings her weapon in a straight and clean-cut sweep while Shi Hai Dong is seasoned with experience and bends his sword tactfully to measure his opponent's worth and strike at vital angles. (Sorry for the sword analogy; it’s probably because I’m watching The Four while recapping this.)

The reason for Shi Hai Dong losing the case is a concept I can’t sympathize with. I can’t understand why he has to be so nice and forgiving to Yan Yan. It’s like the show is trying to shove it down my throat that I should believe that Yan Yan truly loves Shi Hai Dong and yet accept the fact that she willingly cheated on him too. And then her love can disintegrate when she discovers her husband’s cheating too – because that balances things out, obviously – like I kill you and you kill me, totally even now. And then she can immediately and rightfully expose her new boyfriend. Let us not forget that she loves her ex-husband oh so much, which is why Shi Hai Dong went to lengths of fabricating his infidelity for her to give up. Where is the logic? I think the show tried too hard to make us emotionally sympathize with Yan Yan and gave up on the logic. Or maybe I’m unskilled with the ugliness in love.

Shi Hai Dong losing his own divorce case for the sake of Yan Yan's happiness upheaves the previous claim of his strong pride. I think it comes off more pitiful that he lost his own divorce case (to a rather new lawyer too) because of him cheating and the result is him losing his entire wealth than letting the public know that he was the one that was cheated. Unless the brand of being cheated completely exceeds my expectation of importance and is the worse title to be tagged with but I like to believe that when it comes to pride, Luo Li’s got the bigger one because wouldn't it be interesting to see Shi Hai Dong giving up his pride Luo Li? I'm a sucker for this kind of romance.  

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