I've found a really good link to watch The Mermaid's Legend (see here). It's high quality! Woohoo. It's amazing how fast links get out-dated though. If you ever have problems, email me or leave a comment. If not, googling the chinese title in this entry always works for me!
I'm still experimenting with how I can write about dramas. Recapping takes a lot of time and effort (so hats off to all the hardworking recappers!). Finally, as we end 2014, I shall finish my recaps for Mermaid Legend!
What has happened to Zhan Feng? Yikes!
We start the recap here - the kingdom is suffering from a sudden plague and Crown Prince Zhan Feng (in his bid to save his people) was struck down with it. Tang Xin, ignoring all good advice, goes to the palace to see Zhan Feng.
Zhan Feng is horrified when he sees Tang Xin. He tells her to go away! He is already completely infected with the plague. The lovers continue speaking inside, not realising that the Emperor has arrived outside.
Tang Xin tells Zhan Feng that if he is sick, then she will be sick. If he dies, then she will die too. Wherever he goes, she will follow.
Zhan Feng is extremely moved and asks Tang Xin if it is worth it? Tang Xin smiles and tells him, "Love is not a transaction. I love who I love." (Isn't this awfully touching considering how pragmatic and materialistic Tang Xin used to speak about relationships?)
Hong Ling (the former red fish spirit/mermaid) feels great pity for the suffering of all the people so she decides to use her magic to cure the plague. She tells Tang Xin to bear with it for three days after Zhan Feng falls into a deep coma.
After three days, miraculously, everyone gets well again!
Zhan Feng is very happy and he tells Tang Xin that whatever she has done for him in the last few days, he has placed it all in his heart.
A few days later, the Emperor and Empress Dowager (Zhan Feng's grandmother) calls for Tang Xin to enter the palace...
The Emperor tells Tang Xin that although the plague has caused deaths, it has also allowed him to see true love. The Empress Dowager says she no longer objects to Tang Xin marrying Zhan Feng, in fact, her heart is happy. She praises Tang Xin that when she dresses up, she does not lose out to the daughters of the nobility.
Zhan Feng teases that she beats the concubine that the Empress Dowager introduced to him a while ago. Tang Xin's face changes at hearing of other women...
Hilariously, Tang Xin tells Zhan Feng that if he is good with other women, then she will ignore him. The Empress Dowager's face changes as well and she chides Tang Xin for not understanding the position of the Crown Prince.
Zhan Feng quickly hides Tang Xin behind his back and promises his grandmother that he will "teach" Tang Xin the ways of the palace.
The Empress Dowager commands one of her head servants, Su Mo Mo, to be in charge of teaching Tang Xin about the rules of the Palace and will follow Tang Xin back to her home. Tang Xin looks worried, and so does Zhan Feng... afterall, you can dress the fishing village girl up in beautiful clothes and put her in the palace, but can you actually take the fishing village out of the girl? And more worryingly, if you succeed in changing Tang Xin, will Tang Xin remain the girl Zhan Feng loves?
This is the situation facing Zhan Feng as poor Tang Xin listens to Su Mo Mo's lessons and has to "act" gentle and sweet... but this is not Tang Xin. Zhan Feng worriedly tells Tang Xin to "keep her real self" and Tang Xin responds rudely that she knows before being pulled away by Su Po Po again.
A few days have passed, Tang Xin manages to escape to the inn she used to work at and quickly orders herself a dozen buns to eat. She turns around and is surprised to see...
Zhan Feng's personal eunuch! She realises that Zhan Feng must be here as well and runs up the stairs.
The eunuch shouts after her, "The Crown Prince isn't here! The Crown Prince isn't here!" Tang Xin hears the laughter of girls ringing in the background.
We see that Zhan Feng has returned to his playboy ways (Zhan Feng!). When Tang Xin opens the door, he hears it open and so heads in that direction and catches both of Tang Xin's hands. He kisses Tang Xin's hand and she slaps him hard on his face (go Tang Xin!).
Zhan Feng is shocked (who slaps the Crown Prince?) and he removes the blindfold only to see Tang Xin's infuriated face. Tang Xin runs off and Zhan Feng chases after her.
Zhan Feng catches up with Tang Xin and tells her that he was just "playing". Tang Xin says angrily that she will find a group of guys to play with as well then! Zhan Feng says she cannot. Tang Xin answers back, "Why can't I? Only because I am a woman?"
Tang Xin says it is unfair - aren't women made of flesh and blood as well? How does he expect her to smile while she plays with other women? Zhan Feng says as the Crown Prince and Future Emperor he will have a harem of concubines... that is the way it has always been and it cannot be changed.
Tang Xin retorts before she goes off, "Then I won't marry you!"
Zhan Feng goes to Tang Xin's house but Tang Xin isn't around. Zhan Feng asks Zhang Zhen to have a drink with him.
Zhan Feng says frustratedly that he cannot understand why Tang Xin cannot appreciate the duties and responsibilities of a Crown Prince. Zhan Feng says that all the women in the capital will be able to understand - but only she cannot. He mutters angrily that why must she expect him, the Crown Prince, to change, when she is only a girl from a fishing village?
Zhang Zhen says that Tang Xin has changed in real actions ever since she was with Zhan Feng - and if even a simple village girl can change, what more a great Crown Prince whose very word can change someone's life?
The camera pans back and we realise that Tang Xin is actually eating buns behind the screen in the very room. She cries when she heard Zhan Feng mock her as only a simple fishing village girl.
Zhan Feng drunkenly says that he will not go back to her and beg. After all, he is the Crown Prince! (Yes, we got it the first time, Zhan Feng!)
Later that night, Tang Xin drinks with Hong Ling.
She confesses to Hong Ling that she loves Zhan Feng a lot - which is why she has no confidence to be able to smile when she sees him with other women.
They drink all night and when Hong Ling wakes up the next morning, she finds Tang Xin missing with only a letter!
In that letter, she says she is splitting with Zhan Feng for good and if she ever reunites with Zhan Feng, she will be as good as a cockroach!
Zhang Zhen murmurs to himself, Did Tang Xin return to the fishing village? Zhan Feng looks infuriated and storms off.
Comment: I really heart the development of the secondary couple. Just as you can't take out the fishing village girl in Tang Xin, you may have made a lover out of the playboy, but you also can't take out the playboy out of the lover. Zhan Feng can tell Zhang Zhen that he is only playing with other girls and Tang Xin is the only person in his heart - but for Tang Xin, it really hurts her heart to see Zhan Feng with other girls, even if it is only playing.
Because modern society prizes monogamous relationships, we will tend to side with Tang Xin more (female equality!), but in many ways, what Tang Xin was demanding was unheard of in those times, especially for the Crown Prince! It was the norm for a man to have three or four wives so he can beget many heirs......
I like that the couple has to face this issue - it's not just a matter of pride, in many ways, it is a matter of identity.