10 March 2016

The Imperial Doctress Episode 15 to Episode 22

I am sloooooooowly watching this... and trying my very best to steer clear from all the negative reviews. I hate to say it but I saw it coming and I went into drama knowing it. I’m dumb. What can I say? Saying that though, I want to know what happens next so I'm stuck watching until I have zero interest in this drama. I’ll summarize what I like for the next summary (IF I do manage to watch enough of the drama). For this summary, it took me a while to edit this because I jump around too much. I meant my writing and not me. I hope it’s not confusing.

In these few episodes, Yun Xian already becomes the imperial doctress... technically speaking the drama really should end right here. Heh. It was fun before she attained that title and now once she gets it, court scheming takes over. I can't wait until we get out of the palace. 

The Ways of a Scammer – “Zhu You”

[Episode 15] Yun Xian’s initial attitude towards Priest Wang was disapproving. She thinks he’s scamming everyone with bogus magic and bogus spells (e.g. Chinese talisman). She even tries to warn his believers of his swindling. The animosity between the two escalate to the point where Priest Wang refuses to have Yun Xian in his vicinity. However, Yun Xian soon realizes there’s more to Priest Wang than being a swindler; the packets of medicine Priest Wang sells are actually medically relevant. Priest Wang’s bizarre way of treating patients piques Yun Xian’s curiosity and so she begs Priest Wang to take her in as a disciple. Unfortunately, Priest Wang won’t even bat her an eye.

For Priest Wang, he’s not angry at her for dissuading his patients but for leaving a patient untreated. He turned away from the patient because she thought her medical passion was a curse. She had also thought the sick man could hold out until Priest Wang came back from his errand, after all it is just a stomach ache. However, from Priest Wang’s perspective, every patient matters. He questioned Yun Xian whether she would have left the patient had it been her father, a child or an old woman.  The revelation renders her speechless. Yun Xian begs for forgiveness. It takes an entire night of kneeling for Priest Wang to be willing to hear her out. When he does, she vows to never dismiss a patient no matter how strong they are or how measly their condition is; a patient in help is a patient in need.

When Priest Wang grumps about her aspirations to be a doctor when she’s a girl, Yun Xian’s response made me laugh. She retorts him in the exact same manner, complaining that he’s a priest trying to be a doctor. It was funny but it was also true. I think it’s the first time I’ve seen Yun Xian so childishly stubborn. I like her way better when she’s with Priest Wang.

Priest Wang accepts her as his disciple (after giving her the taunting task of catching a snake which ends up scaring him more than her). He teaches her the way of Taoism and how to legally scam. Those talisman that he “prescribed” to patients aren’t just phony yellow paper, they’ve got ingredients in them to alleviate common conditions such as inflammation and stomach aches.

Here’s how the scam works: if it’s internal pain, use the talisman during cooking; it it’s external pain, use it during bathing. This scam has a name: “Zhu You”. It was the 13th course of olden day med school that was supposedly lost. “Zhu” is for incantation/magic and “You” is for sickness. Once the symptoms are alleviated with the magical talisman, the patients will believe the magic and subsequently, are much easier to persuade. At that point, prescribing them the right medication to cure the disease will be much more effective. “Zhu You’s” approach is to combine both physical and psychological state in curing a patient. So they are scamming but it’s the good kind of scamming. I can see the method working completely fine. If a patient doesn’t believe in the medication, their psychological state will definitely affect their physical state. For example, patients given fake pills can be cured, i.e. the placebo effect.

Oh yeah. Priest Wang also teaches her to cook healthy meals because food is our daily medication into maintaining our health. These days, I think it’s called Food & Nutrition. [/Episode 15]

I noticed a pattern for myself, I really like it when Yun Xian learns from teachers that aren’t as conventional e.g. the medicine lady and the priest.

The Empress’ Doctress & Three powerful Women

Yun Xian hears of Qi Yu’s devastating depression. This guy is emotionally weak – way too weak. She wants to see him and, voila, a chance appears: the court is looking for doctors to cure Empress Dowager Sun. [Episode 15] She fell ill after Qi Zhen knocked her over. It was an accident. Qi Zhen got angry at her for poisoning him. In Empress Dowager Sun’s defense, I don’t think she was the mastermind behind the poisoning. Now that the Empress had fallen ill, Eunuch Wang had wanted to kill Empress Dowager Sun once and for all but Qi Zhen doesn’t have the heart to follow through. Seeing her ill reminds him of his childhood when he fell ill, the Empress was genuinely worried for him. [/Episode 15]

[Episode 16] Yun Xian finds her way into court via a reference letter from two court officials, one of them is actually the head director of the royal medical office (but Yun Xian doesn’t know that yet). I’m totally not using the right terminology. Once in court, she rises above all the male doctors there and gains the Empress Dowager Sun’s trust. [/Episode 16]

[/Episode 17] Empress Dowager Sun is just an extremely picky patient. She doesn’t think she’s sick (when she actually is) and hates bitter medicine. Yun Xian cooks healthy meals for her instead of the traditional way of prescribing her medication. She lies to Empress Dowager Sun (EDS from now on), claiming she’s only a little bit sick but the Empress sees through the lie. Yun Xian confesses to her she’s using the ways of Zhu You. Eventually, EDS catches onto her trickery too but forgives Yun Xian because she successfully cured her hazy eyes (and other conditions).

Friendship. EDS is periodically angry at Empress for her failure as a wife, which is equivalent to her inability to bear a child. Women are just reproductive machinery anyways. On one of those occasions, Yun Xian bravely interrupts EDS’s lecturing and miraculously melts EDS’s stoned face into laughter. Meanwhile, Yun Xian and Empress become really good friends. Empress admires Yun Xian’s bravery in chasing her ambitions. But I think Empress’ mighty-ness is sort of hidden behind Yun Xian’s amazingness and EDS’ prowess. She’s the one maintaining the peace between EDS and the Emperor by logically persuading both sides. If anyone, she would be the fairest ruler. I can totally see these three women being friends. If these three team up, all men should move aside.  

EDS may be good. She actually relents power to Zhen Qi (after some persuasion from Empress) She trusts him enough now because while she was sick, he handled the court problems maturely. She doesn’t seem like that bad of a person. In fact, the servants all like her because although she is strict, she is fair. However, that makes us wonder why she was so harsh towards Tan Yun Xian’s family. Also, the strife between EDS and Qi Zhen might be Eunuch Wang pulling some strings. [Episode 22] Empress believes Eunuch Wang is manipulating Qi Zhen into believing the mastermind behind his mother’s death is EDS. Eunuch Wang’s goal is to have the Emperor completely reliant on him and that requires the elimination of EDS. While EDS’s goal is just to produce what she thinks is the best Emperor, which is why she desperately wants a baby heir to take over Zhen Qi. You know, ‘cause the baby heir will DEFINITELY be wise, caring, and way better than the current one. So basically EDS and Qi Zhen would have made the perfect duo if there weren't any annoying interference.

The Reunions

[Episode 17] Yun Xian’s success is envied by other royal doctors and she ends up getting punished. A servant who had been ordered to ensure Yun Xian’s carries out her punishment was initially displeased with her but ends up pitying her and that’s all because Yun Xian had earnestly tried to help her cure her case of rancid sweat odour. She eventually becomes Yun Xian’s personal servant and and friend. This makes me miss Zi Su.

Luckily, Qi Zen gets wind of a girl called Yun Xian being punished and saves her. Yun Xian has officially uncovered Qi Zhen’s identity: the almighty Emperor. The reunion isn’t all that romantic because soon Qi Zhen does the noble thing: bestow marriage to her and Qi Yu. [/Episode 17]

[Episode 20] Empress also realizes she’s Yun Xian, the girl Qi Zhen loves, but their sisterly bond remains as strong as ever. Yun Xian vows with her life she will never have feelings for Zhen Qi. Uhhh. The two also help out each other a lot: Yun Xian fixes Empress’ health in a nifty so she’s easily impregnated; while Empress had saved Yun Xian’s life when EDS was serving her the death drink. Yun Xian is also forever grateful to Empress because her father was the one who had saved the Tan family from prosecution years ago. [/Episode 20]

The Imperial Doctress Step 1: Approval

[Episode 19] Qi Zhen asks Doctor Liu (the head doctor and the one that gave Yun Xian a reference letter) to take Yun Xian as his disciple but Doctor Liu refuses; Yun Xian lacks the qualifications. The solution is easy, Yun Xian just needs to take the MCAT, I mean, the doctor’s exam. If she passes, then there’s no reason for Doctor Liu to refuse, but passing is another huge obstacle.

I love it when dramas bring back old characters: that male doctor (Doctor Wan) whom Yun Xian had worked with during the plague comes and helps her study. He wishes her success and it’s heartfelt. With his help, Yun Xian manages to pass the exam but two sore losers (the uncle and nephew duo in the royal medical office) won’t give her the recognition and make up more tests on the whim.

Some of the tasks are beyond ridiculous (e.g. using only the pulse to estimate the patient’s health condition, age and sex, etc.) but Yun Xian manages to scrape by. However, the two sore losers always find a way to fail her and endlessly introduce new tests. [/Episode 19] [Episode 20] There’s one test where she has to insert needles at correct places on the body, normally it’s done on mannequins, but she gets a live nude male model – something extremely unconventional of that time. Poor girl is forced to pin the needle in his private area too. Fortunately, Doctor Liu FINALLY steps in after all those unfair tests. He accepts Yun Xian as his disciple on the spot even if the doctors (i.e. the two sore losers) deny her the recognition.

The nephew, Zhi Cun Xia, doesn’t accept Yun Xian as his peer. He doesn’t like how she’s using magic and lies to cure people. They even battle it out (which he loses like always) in Episode 21.Despite all that,  Zhi Cun Xia is actually a decent guy; he’s just negatively influenced by his annoying uncle, Doctor Cheng, who on the other hand is a total scum.

Romance: The Downfall of Qi Yu

Qi Yu, ah, Qi Yu, the drama really destroyed your character. He turns out to be despicable mama's boy and there was barely any warning of it. His character in the beginning compared to now are like two completely different people and this isn’t the actor’s fault at all, it’s the poor drama production.

[Episode 18] Qi Zhen very unwillingly agrees to bestow Qi Yu and Yun Xian their marriage but Qi Yu takes it for granted when the girl entered this dungeon of a court for you! His mother disapproves of the marriage and pretends to faint in order to stall the marriage process. Yun Xian’s well aware of the Mom feigning to be ill but when Qi Yu is told of that news, he gets angry at Yun Xian for lying about his mother. UGH. Despite that, Yun Xian still wants to marry the guy. She’s even willing to drop her family name (since “Tan Yun Xian’s” reputation is sort of tarnished – me: HUH?). However, Mom still won’t budge, in fact, she will never budge because Mom wants Qi Yu to marry that Princess Wang. Seeing as none of her tricks work, Mom makes fun of Yun Xian being motherless, but Yun Xian’s got the power of love and gulps down all the insults thrown at her. But there’s one thing Yun Xian will never surrender: her aspirations to be a doctor. You go girl! It’s not like she’s even asking much after all that she has to sacrifice for him but because of that one bit of pride Yun Xian wants left, there’s a strife in her relationship with Qi Yu. [/Episode 18] Qi Yu who had always supported her medical endeavours now want her to quit everything to be his housewife. Not only that, but he needs her to listen to his mom’s every wish. Uggggggghhhhhhh.

[Episode 21] Qi Yu also gets jealous over the smallest things e.g. her tending to servants’ illnesses. It’s this whole issue of touching another man’s (eunuch!) leg. Why is it this an issue again? I swear her dad is okay with it now so does Yun Xian need to die again for Qi Yu to get over it?

Romance: The Rise of Zhen Qi

Yun Xian's new look
While Qi Yu is impeding on her career advancements, Qi Zhen has been every bit helpful. Maybe a little too helpful. It’s now apparent to every single person in the court that the almighty emperor Qi Zhen loves Yun Xian, even Yun Xian herself knows it. He grants her an official title so she can work comfortably under Doctor Liu’s guidance. Her title even makes the uncle-nephew-duo bow to her. He was the one that recruited the male doctor to help her study for the medical exam. He also takes care of her health by providing her nourishment. Poor Qi Zhen is so desperate, lol. He even asks her directly to stop avoiding him and to pay him a visit instead of him visiting her all the time. 

[Episode 22] Qi Zhen goes as far as to change court rules for her and he doesn’t get jealous of her touching another guy’s legs. THANKYOU. Although Qi Zhen is beneficial for Yun Xian, the equation doesn’t seem to work the other way around.  His hotheadedness got the better of him when he tried to change the court rule and this upsets the court. Now EDS has every intention to take back her powers she had relented to him earlier and to take him down from the throne. Here we go again.

Omg, that thing on her head.

EDS also blames Yun Xian for Qi Zhen’s brashness (which is true…). As punishment, EDS serves her the death drink. Luckily Empress comes right in time to save Yun Xian. Empress gets injured instead but in the process, Yun Xian discovers Empress’ pregnancy. With that news, Yun Xian is saved from the death penalty as she needs to care for the Empress.

Qi Zhen is ecstatic to hear he'll be a dad and the nuptial love he has for Empress is just oozing out of his eyes. And I think Yun Xian falls a little bit in love with him seeing him this fatherly and husbandly. I think it's easy to fall in love with when you see a boy transition to a man. It's like: “Woah, he's so manly all of a sudden”. Example: Justin Bieber from a cutie to a hottie. LOL. So sorry.