Even if a lie is pretty, lies are still lies and can cut people seven ways to sunday. Shit hits the fan in this episode and the reverberations of Gao Zhan’s deceit shakes Lu Zhen to her very core. Yes people, this is the episode that most of us, whether consciously or subconsciously, have been waiting for. This is the episodes where Lu Zhen learns the truth about the man who she thought Gao Zhan was.
Years ago, a Princess of Liang named Huan Yun, the Eternal Princess was offered to the Kingdom of Qi to be a royal hostage (it’s very common among warring states to take royal hostages to ensure loyalty from other states) she was under the care of Gao Zhan’s mother, the now deceased Empress. The Princess of Liang was meant to become the wife of Gao Zhan, and together they would rule as Emperor and Empress of Qi.
But in the present, the Princess of Liang, Huan Yun is the Royal Concubine Xiao, the wife of the current Emperor, Gao Yan. She reminisces about the past, she’s pretty devastated about Gao Zhan liking Lu Zhen. Her face is full of illogical hope and denial. Hope that it’s not true, and denial that Gao Zhan might fall for a girl that’s not her.
She can’t believe that she’s done so much for Gao Zhan, killing other concubines and wives, taking medication to make sure she doesn’t get pregnant, short of killing the Emperor, she has done everything in her power to make his path to the throne easier, what does she get in return?
Wang Shang Yi blames Lu Zhen, and says that it’ll be a short-lived thing, men only like are new things, and once he gets use to Lu Zhen he’ll toss her aside. Let Wang Shang Yi handle, Lu Zhen.
Royal Concubine Xiao reassure herself that she is the first and foremost in Gao Zhan’s heart, besides, men like power, and Royal Concubine Xiao is power, only she can get him the throne, he has to come running back to her.
The Emperor also reminisces the past, and he remembers how much his current wife loved Gao Zhan.
Even though the Dowager Empress had urged the Emperor to chase after Huan Yun (the royal concubine) when they where young, he hadn’t been able to because he knew she loved Gao Zhan, and he loved her.
To some extent he feels guilty for the situation now.
Dan Niang is anxiously asking for news of Lu Zhen from Yuan Lu. He tells her that she must not worry or cry, but Lu Zhen is being cared for at Gao Zhan’s palace because she was very ill. Dan Niang tries to go to her but gets stopped by Yuan Lu, he asks if Dan Niang wants everyone in the palace to know where Lu Zhen is? Dan Niang breaks into full on tears and starts beating Yuan Lu, telling him that he should have been there when she went to go find him when Lu Zhen was in trouble. Yuan Lu, knowing how terrible Dan Niang feels, gives her his shoulder and tells her to keep hitting him until she feels better, as long as she doesn’t his face.
Lu Zhen wakes up at the strange palace and a maid tells her to not worry, she’s safe, but she’s not to wander around. Lu Zhen wonders where she is, she eliminates the Emperor from the people who could have saved her, because he would have had people she knew take care of her. The maid urges Lu Zhen to drink some medication and Lu Zhen is left to think over who could have saved her.
Couriers come to find Gao Zhan to deliver the news that Lu Zhen is awake. Gao Zhan is more than ecstatic, but due to pressing issues he has to talk about with his brother-in-law, Gao Zhan decides to leave and take care of those things first.
Lu Zhen tricks the maid who is guarding her and slips out bed. She puts on her cloak and examine the strange room.
Lu Zhen sees a collection of Guan Yin statues, and wonders why they look so familiar.
She wanders outside and realizes that she is in Chang Guan Palace, the home of the Crown Prince. Lu Zhen is as confused as ever and she keeps wandering, she surmises that it must be Gao Zhan who saved her, otherwise how else would she end up at the Crown Prince’s palace. Wang Shang Yi’s retinue is passing by and Lu Zhen is shoved to the side. Lu Zhen kneels and asks to know what happened, has she completed the 12 hour punishment?
Wang Shang Yi snidely points out that she doesn’t have to, no one will dare punish Lu Zhen from now on, now that the Crown Prince rescued her. Lu Zhen looks confused and asks what she means, it was Gao Zhan who rescued her. Wang Shang Yi realizes that Lu Zhen doesn’t know who Gao Zhan truly is.
Wang Shang Yi remarks that the Crown Prince is truly a playboy and laughs in Lu Zhen’s face. Wang Shang Yi tells Lu Zhen, congratulations Lu Zhen will probably become a concubine soon. Lu Zhen is left with disturbing thoughts.
Gao Zhan is mad that they lost Lu Zhen and goes to find her himself. They see each other and run to grab each other in a mad hug.
Lu Zhen is glad to see him but remembers the conversations with Wang Shang Yi. She looks at Gao Zhan and asks him to tell the truth, was it he who had rescued her that night? Gao Zhan smiles and says yes. Lu Zhen asks him to be honest, just who is he? Gao Zhan looks at her and ask her to listen to his explanation. But just at that moment, a group of maids and eunuch pass by, to kneel at Gao Zhan’s feet, giving the greeting to the crown prince.
Lu Zhen realizes who he is, and before he can say another word, swiftly kneels as well. She give the formal litany asking him to “forgive this slave girl Lu Zhen from the Treasury for impertinence, may the Crown Prince live thousands of years!” Gao Zhan dismisses the other maids and eunuchs
.Once they are gone, he falls to his knees and asks, begs her to listen. He knows that she hates being lied to more than anything else.
He explains everything and tells her that he didn’t want to embroil her in the palace struggles, so he hid his identity. Lu Zhen says formally that the plans of the great Crown Prince are too complicated for the stupid people like the likes of her.
Gao Zhan tells Lu Zhen that she can hit him, yell at him, do anything to him, but please, can she stop talking to him like a servant to a master? He begs her to remember the days they had outside of the palace, where they lived together, trusted each other. She had told him that she didn’t need to know who he was.
Lu Zhen screams back that he had also promised that he would never lie to her. How could have she been so stupid? How could have she thought he was a mere guard? That the emperor trusted him so much so that he was an emissary. Gao Zhan tells her that despite everything, his feeling for her are real. He is wearing the belt she made even now.
Lu Zhen tells him to give her back the belt. She made it for Gao Zhan, the palace guard, not the crown prince. Gao Zhan grabs her hand and tells her that his name is not Gao Zhan, but Gao Zhan (the Zhan is differently pronounced in the two situations. Lu Zhen realizes that Gao Zhan’s ruse has been done so well that all he had to do was tweak his name a little bit to fool her. No wonder the Emperor had aways used the other pronunciation Did he find her running around the palace funny to watch? Gao Zhan tells her that he’s never laughed at her. Lu Zhen tells him that he shouldn’t call her name so familiarly.
Gao Zhan tells her that he’ll can her whatever she wants from now on. She tells him that there is no future between them, she doesn’t want to be with someone who has lied to her for more than half a year, and she kneels. He yells that he didn’t mean to lie to her. He falls to his knees and tries to pull her up.
Lu Zhen says that “Lies are still lies, even if they are pretty, they still hurt.” She looks at him and tells him that they’ve helped each other so much, they should be even now. All she wants to do is be a normal Official in the treasury, will he please pretend that he’s never known her?
His face is full of broken hearted refusal, he tells her that no matter what, he will never do that, he grabs her in a hug. She pulls away and tells him to throw away the belt, and walks away.
Lu Zhen asks Dan Niang to give back the jade pendant as well. Dan Niang is not happy but complies.
Gao Zhan tells the emperor that this is trouble on the rise in the borderlands, he needs to leave the palace, can the emperor take care of Lu Zhen and protect her from the Royal Concubine? The Emperor ask if anything happend between Lu Zhen and Gao Zhan. Gao Zhan tells him about Lu Zhen wanting to break up with him. The Emperor yells that its ridiculous, how can a mere 8th level lady official act so high and mighty. Gao Zhan corrects him and tells the Emperor that in Lu Zhen’s heart, Gao Zhan the Crown Prince can’t even compare to Gao Zhan the palace guard. The Emperor remarks, what a foolish girl.
Thoughts – It’s late and I need to go to sleep so I can work tomorrow. I thought that Gao Zhan’s broken hearted devastation at Lu Zhen’s cold but understandable refusal was done beautifully. Her reasoning for being hurt is sound, but I also understand Gao Zhan’s sitch as well. I loved the emperor calling Lu Zhan foolish, because I think people in this drama do get a little bit over the top.
I adored the acting I saw out the Royal Concubine. She makes her hateful character so believable. We’ve all be there before, about a boy, we delude ourselves to hoping, even though we know it’s not gonna happen. Only thing is that there are people feeding her delusions. She makes such a good vilaness.
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