I’m not even sure what I just watched, but I kind of loved every minute!
I have a few things to clarify before you start reading: I am using males pronouns for Zhang Peng Peng and no one, apart from Zhang Peng Peng, knows that ‘he’ is a male and not the Princess. I’m sorry if this spoils the main point of this episode, but I wanted to make it clear as reading through, it may not be ^^
We open with a three woman revenge team working their way through night traffic, one in a ferrari, one on a motorbike and one on a… horse (haha what?!). Amid their scenes we watch their target, Zhang Peng, show us that he is somewhat of a player (I’m going with these three are ex-girlfriends).
The three women get to the party, but they don’t have an invitation. Thankfully, for them, the doorman accepts a phone number in its place.
Inside the party, our suspicions are confirmed, as we watch Zhang Peng moan to his friend that the girls here are too easy and boring. He then spots his Boss’ partner and his friend does his best to dissuade him from trying anything there.
In his haste to get away from the revenge ladies he notices, he knocks his Boss’ partner into the pool. Two of the women grab his jacket, and to escape he pulls free and jumps into the pool.
Instead of doing any help, Zhang Peng gets smacked in the head by the woman’s heel. He continues to go down and he notes in confusion that his heartbeat has gone. We then watch as he fades into the floating body which appears under him.
It’s still night time, however, the setting has changed dramatically. Zhang Peng is hidden under the silk covers in a traditional Chinese room. His thoughts are conflicted on whether to go to the toilet or hold it in (this is me every morning haha! ^^”). He reluctantly gets up, but is confused when he nonchalantly scratches his chest. Zhang Peng looks down and then around him, his shock rising when he speaks out and it is a female voice he hears!
We then watch ‘him’ (now played by Crystal Zhang, who is beyond beautiful ♥.♥) look at ‘himself’ in the mirror, going over ‘his’ appearance. ‘He’ screams in shock and then thinks back to the pool incident, thinking that maybe he didn’t die after all.
‘His’ musings are interrupted when a maid (Karina Hai) comes into the room with the court doctor. The maid starts crying and going on about how Jiang Shi would have murdered her husband and then got with Prince Zhao, who would die pitifully, had ‘he’/the princess not woken up (right then…). Zhang Peng is not really listening and makes it known that this maid is not making any sense. Lu Li is upset that the princess does not remember her.
Lu Li begs the doctor to check the princess as she may be delirious. He goes to check Zhang Peng’s pulse, but ‘he’ pulls away and orders the Doctor Song not to touch ‘him’. Zhang Peng notes the use of ‘Court’ in the doctor’s introduction and asks Lu Li where ‘he’ is. She explains that ‘he’ is in her palace chambers, but when asked if they are still in China, Lu Li has never heard of that place (has the name for China changed in the Chinese language over time? Or is this an alternative past in a different China?…).
Zhang Peng then asks Lu Li who ‘he’ is. To this she laughs and explains that ‘he’ is Zhang Peng Peng, the only daughter of the current Emperor’s military minister. Lu Li goes on a little, but is stopped by Zhang Peng Peng (I’ll use this name rather than Zhang Peng now), who is completely overwhelmed and confused by the situation. And more importantly that ‘he’ is a woman and not a suave attractive young man in this time travelling scenario (Ha!).
Once again, Lu Li begs for the doctor to take a look at Zhang Peng Peng, but ‘he’ has had enough. Zhang Peng Peng pushes the pair away and shouts at them to get out, kicking (but mainly missing) them as they go.
Zhang Peng Peng’s stomach them grumbles and ‘he’ shouts out for direction to the bathroom in panic mode! (Ha!)
It’s the next day and Zhang Peng believes that ‘him’ being Zhang Peng Peng was just a dream, however, ‘he’ is shocked and screams when ‘he’ opens ‘his’ eyes to find Lu Li watching ‘him’. Lu Li tells ‘him’ that ‘he’ needs to stop sleeping, as it is already noon. Zhang Peng Peng has had enough and shouts at her, demanding to know who paid her to do this and that ‘he’ will pay more. Lu Li is beside herself with sadness as she cries and tells Zhang Peng Peng that she would never betray ‘him’ as she grew up alongside ‘him’.
Realisation crashes down on Zhang Peng Peng as he wonders how ‘he’ will get back to his own time, so much so that ‘he’ faints!
We then go to some old school silent comedy, with greyscale, odd music and written speech, as we watch Zhang Peng Peng’s efforts to kill ‘himself’ get thwarted by Lu Li each time! (I love that her reasons for stopping ‘him’ are for the sake of the “equipment” ‘he’ is trying to use. Also, why is there Korean when ‘he’ swears?! HA!).
Zhang Peng Peng finds out that the person ‘he’ is now cannot swim and that there was an accident concerning Jiang Ying Yue and some water. Thus we see Zhang Peng Peng running to the closest body of water. Lu Li wrestles ‘him’ to the ground and asks why ‘he’ wants to end ‘his’ life, even though he is the Crown Prince’s wife. Zhang Peng Peng doesn’t care about who ‘he’ is married to in this body. He wouldn’t even be with Wu Ze Tian (the first empress of China) if he was a man. Lu Li doesn’t know who Zhang Peng Peng is talking about, which prompts ‘him’ to say “generation gap” and try to jump. However, it ends up being Lu Li in the water and when she realises she won’t drown she starts crying because she is all wet! (Paha the water was only waist high!).
Zhang Peng Peng has finally gotten out of ‘his’ pyjama’s and pulls Doctor Song into a room. ‘He’ does a quick search of the place, making sure that Lu Li is not able to thwart ‘his’ plans.
Pleased that Lu Li won’t pop up, Zhang Peng Peng beckons for the doctor to sit. ‘He’ asks if he has any “He Ding Hong” (red arsenic poison). Doctor Song is very pleased with himself because of the long process it would take for Zhang Peng Peng to get the poison. However, after being kicked and slapped about a bit, he gives in and hands over a bottle of the poison.
Zhang Peng Peng takes a swig, and this is where Lu Li flies into the room and pushes ‘him’ in the hopes of getting ‘him’ to spit it out. Zhang Peng Peng swallows is happy at the thought that ‘he’ will die soon, but this moment is shattered when ‘he’ overhears Doctor Song explain to Lu Li that what he gave ‘him’ was actually just an aphrodisiac which was meant for the prince! (Ha!)
A little while later, Zhang Peng Peng is in bed and wondering why it’s so hard to kill yourself and that the history films are all nonsense. Lu Li comes into the scene and giggles at ‘him’, saying that she has realised that the princess is doing this all as an act to gain attention.
Lu Li tells ‘him’ how the Grand Empress has heard of ‘his’ unstable emotions and is punishing Jiang Yang Yue for causing the princess to fall into the water and nearly drown. Zhang Peng Peng then seems to get a memory back (did both wives fall in and this is showing the husbands saving them… too many people in this blurry underwater scene!).
After being prompted, Lu Li continues, explaining that Prince Zhao and the Crown Prince are kneeling outside a palace building in which Jiang Ying Yue (An Yong Chang) is being kept, to ask for a lighter punishment. Lu Li explains that it makes sense for Prince Zhao (A-Joe Jiang) to be there (as it’s his wife), but not for the Crown Prince. We then learn that by just pushing the Crown Prince into the water is a crime punishable by death (wait what?!).
Having learnt of this punishment, Zhang Peng Peng gleefully gets up and tells Lu Li that they need to go and see what is going on. Lu Li follows, noting that this high spirited nature is more like the princess.
We then take a brief and very strange interlude to where Jiang Ying Yue is being “punished”. Two punishments we see are her being blindfolded and spun around and the other is having her feet tickled with feathers. Now for me that is torture, but not the kind I was expecting here! hahaha.
We are now outside of the palace and true to Lu Li’s word, the two Prince’s are outside kneeling. Zhang Peng Peng plonks ‘himself’ between the pair and without looking at ‘him’ the Crown Prince (Peter Sheng who by the way has a gorgeous side profile ♥) tells ‘him’ to get lost. Zhang Peng Peng comically points to ‘himself’ as though not understanding who the Crown Prince meant!
I feel like I think I am more confused than I actually am… is that possible?! haha
I loved this episode and Crystal Zhang’s acting is wonderful! I love how when she sits it is very traditionally “masculine” and the mannerisms are not true to Zhang Peng Peng’s princess status at all!
I love the comedy, it is very quirky and sporadic, but it doesn’t give you too much of a headache. I also thought it was wonderful how they used different comedic styles throughout, it gave a great effect.
What I love most, however, which is generally true of most historic things I watch, is the visuals! This drama has been playfully mocked because of the poor budget and effects, but I honestly do not care. The colours are stunning and like a lot of Historical Chinese film are vibrant and really make the quality of the scenes better, in my opinion. I like pretty things okay and this drama is giving me a lot! However, my only qualm is that we only got a few seconds of out main lead! :p
I’m exited to continue watching this drama and to see what antics our two male leads get up to, because remember just because Zhang Peng Peng looks like a stunningly beautiful woman, it is a man whose thoughts fill the brain. Also, did the real Zhang Peng Peng die? Or is she wondering why the hell she is a man in modern day China?
Thanks for reading~