30 March 2015

Divorce Lawyers Episode 5


Luo Li and Shi Hai Dong enjoy some great hijinks after becoming neighbours.Their clashes are also endless as they fight for their respective clients. 

On the other hand, Mei Yu and Cao Qian Kun are on board for an unpleasant ride. 



After stealing a photo from Shi Hai Dong, Luo Li sends it to her parents and they’re pleased, especially the mom. However, the dad does mention that he looks a tad old. The mom says that it’s a trend to go for the older look. Lol, um, about that. The dad is still unconvinced but to be honest, he doesn’t think any guy deserves his daughter. Aw. 


Shi Hai Dong went for his morning run and helps a fallen little girl get back up. The little girl thanks him and pecks him on the cheek. While Luo Li’s morning has been disturbed by a phone call from Xia Fang Cao who’s crying about her daughter’s disapproval to her for divorcing Zheng Tian Ya.
Luo Li heads to Shi Hai Dong’s condo and tells him to meet with Xia Fang Cao this morning at her office and that’s when she notices the lipstick mark on his cheek. She comments that she won’t be hitching a ride with him when he suggested to because she’s afraid of what the neighbours would think of her. Shi Hai Dong is completely unaware of what she’s hinting at.

He then makes a call to Zheng Tian Ya notifying him when the meeting is but he tells his client not to attend. We now see the real reason for the meeting and that’s to create a decoy: get Xia Fang Cao out of her house to set up a surveillance camera in her home to get “evidence” of her at fault. That’s cheap. During the phone call, Shi Hai Dong decides to multitask and head to the washroom to brush up and that’s when he notices the cute little lipstick mark on his cheek. He heads straight to Luo Li’s condo to clarify himself.


It’s like he’s purposely showing off his lipstick mark when he’s ringing the doorbell because that’s the side he’s showing when Luo Li peaks through the eyepiece on her door. When she opens the door, he immediately explains but Luo Li’s not convinced; she then asks, “You sure it wasn’t from the mom?” And bang, she closes the door.

Shi Hai Dong knocks again. Now he’s using logic to explain: “Look at how big this lip is (pointing to his cheek) and look at your lips. Your lips are at least 4-5 times bigger than this.” LOL. Oh dear. That’s a personal attack at the actress, haha.


Xia Fang Cao is leaving the house to meet up with Luo Li (and Shi Hai Dong) but she’s accompanied by a man (Gu Wei). So, she has a lover too.

Right after they leave, Zheng Tian Ya gets off the taxi that was parked patiently near Xia Fang Cao’s mansion. He and his crew enter the house (with the keys from his daughter) to set up the surveillance camera. Meanwhile, Gu Wei drives Xia Fang Cao to Luo Li’s place but he insists on not meeting the lawyer. Luo Li passes by their parked car and catches sight of Gu Wei; although she’s initially suspicious, she doesn’t pursue it.

The meeting between the lawyers and Xia Fang Cao commence without reaching any settlement. Instead, if Zheng Tian Ya persists on splitting the shared inheritance (which would mostly consist of Xia Fang Cao’s) because they’re legally married then Luo Li’s side will sue Zheng Tian Ya for committing polygamy. Although Shi Hai Dong seems to be on the losing end, he’s just providing Zheng Tian Ya ample of time to retrieve evidence at Xia Fang Cao’s house.

I believe he’s taught by Shi Hai Dong as Zheng Tia Ya requests another favour from his buddy: to marry his lover (Wu Yi) but only on paper. That frees him of evidence against him because there’s no one he’d be having an affair with.


Xia Fang Cao and Gu Wei are back at their home and Xia Fang Cao is still crying over the outrageous demands of Zheng Tian Ya. Seeing Xia Fang Cao emotionally wrought over Zheng Tian Ya, her boyfriend, Gu Wei, wonders if she still has lingering feelings for her ex-husband. She’s quick to reassure him that she’s only worried about her daughter who’s not only caught in the middle but might believe her mother’s the one at fault for throwing away her father when his business fails. However, as Gu Wei holds and comforts Xia Fang Cao, everything is caught on tape.


On Shi Hai Dong’s side, he uses the excuse of needing a wine opener to enter Luo Li’s place and spy on her progress with the case. He doesn’t hesitate to ask for two cups as well. Luo Li stares at him and asks whether she needs to cook a few side dishes for him too. Lol. He convinces her that he just wants to congratulate her (with wine) on the case because he knows he’s at an disadvantage.
When Luo Li gets distracted by her phone call with her mom (who called before Shi Hai Dong interrupted the scene but Luo Li forgot to hang up on her after Shi Hai Dong’s presence) Shi Hai Dong, ever so naturally, closes the door and invites himself to stay.


He succeeds in sitting on her couch and pours out the wine. They cheers but after cheering, Luo Li puts down her wine, refusing to drink because she needs to work on her closing statement for tomorrow. Shi Hai Dong brushes off the case as being a piece of cake for her and continues to say: “I like you.” Her eyebrows perk. He finishes his sentence: “Your character.” Luo Li isn’t surprised nor disappointed. It seems Shi Hai Dong’s compliments are going to waste seeing as how impenetrable Luo Li is to flattery.


Shi Hai Dong then dives right into his request: can Luo Li convince Xia Fang Cao for further negotiations. Luo Li: Nope. He continues to persuade Luo Li that he and she should be on the same team even if they are representing each other’s opponents. Why? I’m a bit lost but it’s something along the lines of they should both fight for the benefits of their clients and that isn’t necessarily what their clients claim they want. Shi Hai Dong advises her that their clients have been married for so long; love may no longer be there but they still have a child that they both love. A lawyer needs to consider all this without being explicitly told and find the best solution for their clients. Luo Li seems enlightened but it doesn’t last long: she doesn’t agree that Zheng Tian Ya should be given half of Xia Fang Cao’s wealth. However, Shi Hai Dong agrees that half may not be right, but then it is her job then to negotiate how much more or less to split so that Zheng Tia Ya, father of Xia Fang Cao’s daughter, doesn’t have to be driven to a dead end.

He continues that the real potential of a lawyer won’t be demonstrated if she wins in the court with a one fell sweep; it’s a short term glory. Her worth will only be recognized if she considers her client’s situation earnestly, and fight for her client’s behalf not necessarily for what the client claims but what benefits the client the most. True that. Luo Li is told to contemplate that idea before firing back. She seemed to listen but I don’t know how much longer she would have kept quiet because her doorbell rang. It’s her ex-boyfriend, Wu Wen Hui.


She goes out stealthily without opening her door too wide to hide Shi Hai Dong in her apartment while greeting Wu Wen Hui outside her condo (with her door closed). He came over to celebrate her birthday. He brought wine, cake and present but gets shooed away.


After Wu Wen Hui leaves, Luo Li’s dazed and teary. Shi Hai Dong suggests to leave but she insists that he stay to celebrate her birthday. She opens her present to find that it’s a ring. Putting it on, she asks Shi Hai Dong whether it’s pretty to which he only compliments that it’s expensive. However, Luo Li isn’t impressed with an expensive present if it was thoughtless (e.g. she’d prefer an engagement ring). She tells him that she’s going to return the present tomorrow. As for the cake, she plans to gobble it all down. Shi Hai Dong participates whole heartedly as he sings Happy Birthday to Luo Li. She blows the candle and wishes to defeat Shi Hai Dong so that his “butt learns to urinate” (I THINK that’s the direct translation, but if it’s not I’m still sticking with it, haha); screw that settlement. Basically, nothing he said before got to her brain and it’s all revealed now that she’s tipsy.


Shi Hai Dong gets up to leave (not without his wine) but Luo Li pesters him to continue drinking. She needs a drinking buddy but on one condition: no business talk. He agrees. Then what are you guys going to talk about?


We visit Mei Yu and Cao Qian Kun (the new happily wed) but they’ve got an actual visitor: Shi Jiang. She’s their old classmate who just came back from America. Plus she seems to have made quite a fortune for herself as the jacket she’s wearing is pretty expensive. It happens to be the same jacket Mei Yu was browsing before (in which her husband promised he’d buy for her after he gets his paycheck). Shi Jiang doesn’t hesitate to offer hers to Mei Yu as a present since they’re used to sharing things anyways. Sharing, huh. Mei Yu jokes that she should gift her with Cao Qian Kun to return the favour because he’s a pretty sweet deal: cooks well, obedient, caring, etc.


Cao Qian Kun walks Shi Jiang out. He compliments her change from a little girl that used to tag along on his dates with Mei Yu to a beautiful lady now. She hits him while complaining that he must have thought she wasn’t pretty back then. They laugh it off together. Their conversation continues about her experiences in the States in which she emphasizes that she’s really lonely sometimes. She’s also envious of his relationship with Mei Yu. Wow, everything spells trouble. To make it more obvious that she’s trouble, she kisses Cao Qian Kun on the cheek before leaving.

Comments: 

Ugh, I don’t like Shi Jiang’s character already. Why would she kiss her close friend’s husband? Even if it’s only on the cheek, it isn’t normally for the Chinese culture to kiss on the cheek between friends anyways. I’m hoping the story has more spice instead Shi Jiang being the typical fox and seducing Cao Qian Kun leading to a divorce where Luo Li would represent Mei Yu and Shi Hai Dong would represent Cao Qian Kun. That would seriously be boring.

While the last scene left a bitter taste to the episode, Luo Li and Shi Hai Dong were cute throughout. First, Luo Li being drunk is awesome. It’s used as an excuse for her to say whatever insult she wants but when doesn’t she just run her mouth? Lol. I do like that Shi Hai Dong is a seasoned lawyer in contrast to Luo Li who’s more straightforward because of her naivety in the career but there isn’t yet something that sets apart him and Luo Li’s ex-boyfriend. Wu Wen Hui just lacks screen time and funny dialogue. I hope that there’s something more special that Luo Li sees in Shi Hai Dong instead of a replacement of Wu Wen Hui.  

Unlike most Chinese dramas I’ve browsed through lightly, this one has more substance than the common family feud/revenge story lines. I like the big blurb that Shi Hai Dong used to convince Luo Li to consider negotiating a settlement with her client (which failed, unfortunately): to help the client realize the better solution instead of blindly following their claims. It’s nice, really – just not exactly realistic. But hey, it’s a drama. I haven’t thought too much on lawyers actively changing the client’s request to find them a better solution because most dramas have them focus on how to find the evidence and the truth in interesting ways which may passively change the client’s original request. This drama seems to focus on each character of every case rather than the case itself. I mean I do like my Japanese dramas, but there are times I couldn’t connect too well with the main characters because the cases would change for each episode. 

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