I don’t know how but LZH has gotten even more intense. The tables are turning as the empress & Ling Rong finally enter the power struggle of the harem, Mei Zhuang’s name is finally cleared, and Zhen Huan finds herself more and more unsure of the emperor’s love.
With Mei Zhuang gone, I’d say Zhen Huan is stepping up to the plate to take up the slack. She’s the only one she can depend on to keep her place in the emperor’s heart. And omg is her relationship with the emperor confusing. She’s able to be completely open with him about certain things, and she’s even allowed to advise him on political issues, and yet there’s always a line that she can never cross.
One of my favorite scenes is when Zhen Huan brings in Liu Ben (the doctor that framed Mei Zhuang) so he can confess to the emperor. Liu Ben clearly identifies Hua Fei as the mastermind of this scheme, so the emperor decides to harshly reprimand Hua Fei. I admit that I was pretty happy because I wanted JUSTICE for Mei Zhuang!!!! But then this scene gets even better when the emperor suggests that Zhen Huan might’ve planned this whole ordeal just to frame Hua Fei. OUCH.
I totally understand why Zhen Huan would be so hurt–this only confirms her greatest fears that maybe the emperor doesn’t trust her 100% even though she’s the one by his side. I love her reaction because she barely keeps it together and you can really hear the hurt in her voice. And then she refuses to take the emperor’s hand when he offers to help her up, BWAHAHAHA. TAKE THAT, EMPEROR!
Sooo Hua Fei will be brought to justice, right? RIGHT? NO. FREAKING LING RONG RUINS IT ALL. This girl is officially in ENEMY TERRITORY. I used to sympathize with her because she was simply trying to survive in the harem but now?!?!? What the heck? What is up with her inferiority complex? I get that the empress has planted a seed of doubt in her mind towards Zhen Huan, which spurs her distrust & disloyalty but..seriously? Zhen Huan has been the one looking out for Ling Rong, moreso than Mei Zhuang, and yet Ling Rong easily distrusts her. It’s all based on misconceptions & her inferiority complex. She thinks that everyone is out to get her and make fun of her because of her status. Truth is she didn’t try her utmost best to earn her place in the emperor’s heart..instead she just sat around, made voodoo dolls, and wept about it.
Anyways let’s just say that thanks to Ling Rong, Hua Fei saves her butt and avoids the harsh punishment that the emperor had planned. I don’t hate Hua Fei as much as I dislike Ling Rong. She’s still a very sympathetic character and it’s actually a bit sad to see her slowly losing her control over the harem & the emperor. Hua Fei has worked for years building up her power and now she refuses to just sit by and watch it slip away.
I say it over and over, but I will say it again: Jiang Xin is brilliant as Hua Fei. Omg. This has got to be my favorite Hua Fei scene ever. Hua Fei breaks down crying while asking her personal maid over and over why she can’t get pregnant when an unfavored concubine (Fuca) can. It’s such a heartbreaking scene because we finally see Hua Fei’s vulnerability and hurt over her one and only deceased child. I also love it because it shows the deep bond between mistress & servant..when Hua Fei is hurting, her servant hurts for her as well.
Another intruiging scene is the one with Hua Fei & the Princess of Modesty. I thought the Princess of Modesty was all nice and upright like the Pin of Respects but now I’m not so sure. She might’ve been the one who caused Hua Fei’s miscarriage!!!!!!!! OMGGGGG. Is it true? Is it Hua Fei jumping to conclusions? Is it Hua Fei needing someone to blame because she’s so hurt over her lost child? I SO WANT A SECOND SEASON PREQUEL TO THIS DRAMA. I NEED TO KNOW EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED BEFORE!!!!! AUGHHHH!
I felt really bad for the Pin of Respects, who’s finally promoted to be a…a Fei? The sad thing is that Jing Fei isn’t happy when she hears the news because she knows this will only put her on Hua Fei’s enemy list. It sucks that she has been a concubine for so long and yet Hua Fei doesn’t even respect her one bit. Also apparently the emperor didn’t promote her out of favor, but simply protocol.
I am forever confused by Precious Cao and I really want to know if she ends up on Zhen Huan’s side later on. (YES, please spoil me) The thing is that I really want her to be on the good side!!! I wonder why Precious Cao talked to Zhen Huan before Chun Er’s death…was she stalling her? Or was she helping her? Was it part of the plan to tell her to go find Chun Er or did she warn Zhen Huan out of guilt?
That being said Chun Er’s death did not quite have the effect it should’ve had. I get that it is tragic because she really was innocent and had no part whatsoever in the harem’s power struggle. But I didn’t quite have the connection with Chun Er and it was all too sudden to have a huge impact on me. That, and the emperor’s reaction totally ruined it. He seemed more concerned for Zhen Huan than he was about Chun Er’s death.
“Everything is changing, nothing is immortality.”
This is a long review but of course I have to include MEI ZHUANG. Her position is finally restored but she’s not back to her old self. Mei Zhuang is much more subdued and it seems like she’s had the life sucked out of her. There is an awesome scene when the emperor goes back to visit her for the first time..Mei Zhuang is cold and distant towards him while he’s……….his usual self. He tries to hold her hand but she draws away. AHHHHHH! I don’t know why but that part made my heart ache!!! It seems like Mei Zhuang has no intention of getting close to the emperor ever again! (not that I blame her..)
I loved the story arcs in these few episodes. I intended to talk more about Fuca’s pregnancy and miscarriage more in this post but I didn’t really get around to it. I was really surprised to find out that getting pregnant in the harem is both a blessing and a curse. It instantly elevates your status & favor, but it also makes you a target. FINALLY, the empress has taken off her mask and shows her dark side!!!!! I thought Hua Fei might do something to bring down Fuca, but unexpectedly the empress has finally entered the game! Or maybe she was in it all along but I never picked up on it because she’s just that good.