29 March 2015

Divorce Lawyers Episode 4

An episode of coincidences, coincidences, and coincidences. But they’re pretty awesome coincidences that are bound to keep you engaged.

Shi Hai Dong isn’t only facing the public’s distaste as a terrible husband but also losing his clients with his tarnished success streak as a lawyer. Xiao Gang attempts to find new clients but Shi Hai Dong reprimands him for finding second tier clients. Even Cao Qian Kun, who represents the company Shi Hai Dong routinely contracts with, is backing out on their contract. Now fully recognizing the turmoil his law firm is facing, he seeks out Xiao Gang again appreciating and encouraging his efforts in finding new clients even if they’re of lower standards.

After moving out his necessities, leaving practically everything behind in his condo for his ex-wife (e.g. all the furniture), he’s having dinner with Xiao Gang to discuss their new clients. He’s not pleased with the new clients but Shi Hai Dong doesn’t have much of a choice. However, from their conversation, we can understand why Xiao Gang’s the assistant and Shi Hai Dong’s the boss: Xiao Gang eliminates one of the client because he doesn’t have money but Shi Hai Dong immediately sees that his wife has money, which means if they won the case, the compensation they get won’t be cheap. 

On the other hand, Luo Li’s been bugged by Mei Yu, the new happily wedded wife, for the entire day about finding her other half and so she came to meet Li Chen as per Mei Yu’s request. Their date is not only in the same restaurant as Shi Hai Dong’s currently dining in but they’re also sitting back to back. Initially, she came with the mindset of treating this as an OT but is naturally impressed with Li Chen’s courteousness: he orders two drinks for Luo Li; one’s a warm tea for the cold weather; the other is lemon water for skin enhancement. He leads the conversation by complementing her competency in her career, e.g. the win against a big-time lawyer. He tells her a rumor he’s heard: the big-time lawyer cried like a loser after the lost. This gets Luo Li laughing. So this guy’s got manners and humor.

Shi Hai Dong overhears the table behind him talking about him (behind his back, literally) and turns immediately to confront them. Luo Li denies it but after turning away from Shi Hai Dong she whispers to Li Chen that he’s the loser. Luo Li continues to enjoy her date and this guy seems more amazing as each second passes by. He agrees to her condition of prenuptial agreement (setting apart their finances before marriage) and proceeds to divulge in his current financial position: he owns cars, condos, houses, buildings, and whatnot. He adds that he also owns dogs. This gets Luo Li especially happy (I personally  sorry for the materialism in me  would be happier with the things be mentioned before, haha!) because she loves dogs. He continues saying how girls that love animals are especially caring (great, so I’m not that caring). His awesomeness doesn’t end there as his parents are abroad and doing well on their own while he’s willing to care for her parents in Beijing. He’s basically the ideal man Chinese women are looking for. However, there’s one thing he’s lacking: he needs to divorce his wife. HAHA. All this time Shi Hai Dong has been continuously eavesdropping and practically pours out the coffee from his mouth. Li Chen even brings out the document all ready for her to accept his case. He reaches out for her hand and tells her that after she helps him win his divorce case, he’s confident that they’ll have a wonderful future.

Shi Hai Dong doesn’t miss this chance of snatching a client as he comes right in the nick of time to offer his help to Li Chen because he’s confident that Luo Li wouldn’t accept this case. And he's right on the target. Before leaving, she borrows Li Chen’s phone and only returns it to him after deleting her number in it.

The next day, Luo Li is receiving a new client, Xia Fang Cao. She’s actually a client of Wu Wen Hui but he recommended Luo Li as her lawyer instead – of course, Luo Li doesn’t know any of this otherwise she wouldn’t accept Xia Fang Cao’s case. Xia Fang Cao is planning to divorce her husband but the interesting twist is that they’ve already signed the divorce papers ten years ago. However, legally this divorce paper holds no value because it hasn’t been authorized. At the time of the divorce (ten years ago) Xia Fang Cao wasn’t willing to because she was trying to save her family (they also has a daughter). However, her husband was dead set on separating because he was having an affair plus an illegitimate child. When signing the divorce papers, Xia Fang Cao was given the car and the house while the husband got the company. The question now is why submit it to be authorized now when it’s already been ten years. Xia Fang Cao claims that she doesn’t want to be bogged down by the potential debts her (ex-)husband’s company may face in the future. To boot, Xia Fang Cao within these ten years has reaped quite a fortune herself, and so winning the divorce case is also a way to secure her wealth rightfully to herself.

On the other hand, the case the Shi Hai Dong was discussing with Xiao Gang last night ended up being Xia Fang Cao’s (ex-)husband, Zheng Tian Ya. His story is a little different: he’s been busying himself (e.g. travelling aboard) for the past ten years for his company and so he’s neglected home (for about ten years) but he’s always given the money he earned to his family. His wife (Xia Fang Cao) reprimands him on this. He claims that she was a housewife but started doing her own business which started to grow fairly well, enough for her to buy a mansion. Now his company is on the verge of bankruptcy and he wants to borrow some money from his wife to which she declines. However, he claims right to the money that his wife used to start her business.

Surprise, surprise. When Xiao Fang Cao’s lawyer requests to meet with Zheng Tian Ya, Luo Li and Shi Hai Dong are surprised to find each other in opposition, again. The moment the (ex)couple meet they argue immediately and decide to take it to court without any negotiations. Shi Hai Dong steps in to advise them to stop arguing otherwise the money they used to hire lawyers to argue for them would be useless. Lol true that. 

Although the lawyers are fighting for their respective genders, their positions have switched from the first case: Shi Hai Dong is representing the side that wants money and Luo Li is representing the side that wants to keep her money. It’s Zheng Tian Ya’s right, as the husband to be allocated half of his wife’s fortune. However, Luo Li argues that they’ve already signed the divorce papers ten years ago, so any appreciation of her client’s wealth after the divorce has nothing to do with her ex-husband. Shi Hai Dong begs to differ and asserts the divorce papers are not legalized. Luo Li then proceeds to ask the whereabouts of Zheng Tian Ya for the past ten years because he’s completely disappeared from Xia Fang Cao’s life. Before Zheng Tian Ya responds, Shi Hai Dong interrupts and answers for him that he’s been working for his company and when he needed the money the most, his wife has been spending it on the mansion, leaving him with no money to save his company. Luo Li also holds back her client from answering by clearly stating that her client has no responsibility in Zheng Tian Ya’s company’s failure, which isn’t a strong argument given that they are legally recognized husband and wife. This gets Xia Fang Cao furious and exposes to both lawyers that it was Zheng Tian Ya that had an affair and the reason for his company’s failure all started when he started that affair. It’s Shi Hai Dong’s first time hearing this and he diverts the topic to ask Luo Li what her client’s conditions are for settlement, which is to divorce without having any financial liabilities. Hearing this, Shi Hai Dong  doesn't react except to get up and leave. Interesting.

Shi Hai Dong returns to his new home (after giving up his previously owned condos to Yan Yan). However, it turns out to be condo complex as Luo Li's. Awesome! (And awesome music too). He’s admiring the new landscape with his telescope. I don’t know about you guys, but it seems pretty creepy (perverted actually) to point a telescope at other people’s windows to begin with…. He’s shocked to see Luo Li dancing like a crazy woman and Luo Li’s quite flabbergasted herself at the sight of her new neighbour. In hand language, she orders Shi Hai Dong to meet in the hallway. I don’t know how the condos are organized but is it possible to have their doors and windows across from each other?

Luo Li asks about the detail of when he moved in (which was yesterday) and can’t help but ask whether he knew she lived in this complex before he moved in to which he declines: “If I had known, I wouldn’t have moved in.” Lol. Luo Li seems satisfied with that answer. Both of them return to their respective condos and are clearly confused about the coincidences in their lives. The coincidences don’t end there as they both get calls from their respective clients (from this afternoon) to meet right now. 

And the coincidences just keep rolling in. They meet each other in the elevator as they both head out to meet their clients.

At his office, Shi Hai Dong confronts his client of his affair and why he didn’t submit the divorce papers ten years ago. Zheng Tian Yu accounts the time that his wife committed suicide when he wanted to get divorced but failed (because she’s obviously alive). Shi Hai Dong asks for medical records to which Zheng Tian Yu doesn’t even know which hospital she went to let along find the medical records. Zheng Tian Yu then asks what his chances are of winning to which Shi Hai Dong reveals to him that the party at fault can receive absolutely zero payments, especially if the other team finds evidence of his infidelity. At this point, it’s pretty obvious that Zheng Tian Yu does have an affair (because he’s not admitting otherwise) but simultaneously, Shi Hai Dong is advising him to get rid of any possible evidence. Uh, should I say Shi Hai Dong’s smart? I mean he is for confronting his client about the affair but at the same time it’s not explicitly confirmed therefore reducing whatever liability he has. But ethically….

At Luo Li’s office, Xia Fang Cao’s reason for the late night call is to relieve her anger because her (ex-)husband contacted her daughter and her daughter is on her dad’s side to prevent the divorce and provide him money. Xia Fang Cao is especially angry because she’s never badmouthed Zheng Tian Yu in front of their daughter because she wanted her to have a beautiful impression of their family despite Zheng Tian Yu’s unfaithfulness to her. Her good deed has become detrimental as her daughter thinks of her in a bad light while her father in a good light. Xia Fang Cao is now dead set on getting the divorce.

Back to Shi Hai Dong’s office, Zheng Tian Ya tells Shi Hai Dong that he believes Xia Fang Cao has a man herself. Zheng Tian Ya also complains that if only he could set up a surveillance camera in her home to catch those two in action than they’d have proof that Xia Fang Cao is the one at fault (in their marriage). Shi Hai Dong instinctively picks up on this and corrects him saying that her home is in fact his home too because they’re still legally married (hence he can setup anything in his own home, even a surveillance camera).

Again with the coincidences as they have dinner alone in the same restaurant. Luo Li’s dinner is also paid by Shi Hai Dong but she detects suspicions in his motive. Originally he insists it’s a kind gesture from a kind neighbour but he later reveals his real motive is to arrange a meeting with her client but Luo Li scoffs at that and refuses to arrange one. His purpose is to convince her client to settle for some negotiation seeing as the marriage lasted that long and they do have a child. The talk is interrupted by a phone call to Luo Li from her mother.

Her mother asks her where she is when it’s so late at night to which her automatic answer is work. As if hearing Mei Yu talk about it wasn’t enough, her mother also bugs her to find a husband. Her mother even suggests to come down to Beijing to visit her but to deter her, Luo Li lies that she’s actually on a date right now while sneakily eyeing Shi Hai Dong (who’s on the phone). She decides to snap a shot of Shi Hai Dong as proof to her mom. Of course, she has to do this sneakily.

But she forgets her flash. HAHAHA. She drops off her phone at the surprise of her idiocy and grimaces in embarrassment as she picks up her phone. However, as she returns back up to face Shi Hai Dong, any evidence of embarrassment has been wiped clean as she pulls a perfectly straight face. LOL.

At least she’s got a successful picture!

Shi Hai Dong proceeds to confront her. She claims she was taking a picture of the food but refuses to show the picture to Shi Hai Dong when he requests to see it; it’s trespassing her rights to privacy. Shi Hai Dong then clarifies that this is his food. Lol. Luo Li decides to change the topic and asks whether he still wants to meet up with Xia Fang Cao (her client) to which he nods his head to. She agrees to it, on one condition though: she (Luo Li) has to be there. He has no objections. When she takes her leave, Shi Hai Dong yells to her a final comment: “Photoshop it, my picture that you took, that is.” LOL.


Doesn’t Shi Hai Dong love giving out comments when Luo Li tries to leave first every time? Although the flash part ruining the paparazzi shot isn’t original, it was done hilariously.

I love the idea that Shi Hai Dong and Luo Li are living in the same complex. I believe there is one (almost) foul-proof success to dramas if they follow one rule: get the main couple to live together. Or in this case live as close to each other as possible. LOL. I’d like to say quite a bit of my dramas in my recommended list have the main couple living together early on. It just brings in the funny much earlier and much easier. I’m really anticipating the funny instigated from Shi Hai Dong and Luo Li living across from each other seeing as how well their comedic reactions are already on spot now. Although I’d like to say, the romantic chemistry is still a little lacking for me. I’m hoping as they live closer together, I’d root for them more.

As for the case this time around, it’s the guy’ fault 100% for ditching his wife for another woman and now he wants money from her hard work ten years later. Seems pretty unreasonable but Shi Hai Dong has confidence in fighting it off. And I'm not sure how much I'm liking him bending some rules to get his way. Hm. Well actually I don't like it at all, but I'll see how far the show takes his character to. 

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