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Open Thread: Love Like The Galaxy Episodes 37-40

Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! Thanks for joining in on this group watch of this very special show! ❤️

As I mentioned in my announcement post, these are my notes, exactly as they appear on Patreon.


We will be adopting a ZERO SPOILER POLICY for this Open Thread, except for events that have happened in the show, up to this point.

This includes, but is not limited to, how characters &/or relationships develop, later in the show.

The spoiler tags don’t work in email notifications, therefore, please take note that WE WILL NOT BE USING SPOILER TAGS FOR THIS OPEN THREAD. 

We need to protect the innocent! 😉

Without further ado, here are my reactions to this set of episodes; have fun in the Open Thread, everyone! ❤️

My thoughts

Episodes 37-38

E37-38. Ooh, this was a solid set of episodes, and it went in a direction that I hadn’t been expecting, but which I love, and didn’t know I needed. 🤩

First of all, even though the truth doesn’t come out during the initial confrontation with almost everyone present, I’m just so heartened to see that all Buyi cares about, is that Shaoshang is ok, and that all Shaoshang cares about, is that Buyi trusts her.

“Are you all right?”

“Do you trust me?”

“Of course.”

“That’s good.”

I did not know that so much could be contained in so few words. 🤩 That unwavering mutual trust; the depth of care, shining out of Buyi’s eyes. I love. 😍

I’m not surprised that Shaoshang takes steps to take revenge on Fifth Princess, given how Fifth Princess has been targeting her and bullying her; I just.. didn’t expect things to get so.. blown up?

On that note, I don’t even know if Shaoshang had calculated that Fifth Princess would come charging into Changqiu Palace to retaliate, where everything eventually unravels, in front of the Emperor and Empress, and then Consort Yue, and then Buyi and Fifth Prince.

I’m guessing that Shaoshang hadn’t thought that far ahead, and had simply figured that she would take revenge on Fifth Princess, and then own up to it, if confronted.

It’s just too bad for Fifth Princess, that everything and everyone all comes together like this, but honestly, much like the case with Third Princess, everything only gets as bad as it does, because she has that much bad behavior to hide.

I have to admit that I was a little shocked by the eventual punishment that the Emperor metes out, under Buyi’s advisement.

It’s not the house arrest that I’m talking about; that’s par for the course, for misbehaving royalty.

It’s the way the Emperor has all of Fifth Princess’s “aides” executed, for the supposed crime of being a bad influence on her.

I know it hits Fifth Princess where it hurts, and will likely shock her into reconsidering her actions, but.. I can’t help feeling sorry for the poor aides.

They didn’t choose to become Fifth Princess’s kept men, did they? I’m sure she picked them at her own will, and they then didn’t have much of a choice but to comply with her wishes, since she’s petulant royalty, and isn’t afraid to use her power to threaten others.

And now, because of her own misconduct, they’ve been executed, as a lesson to her.

Dang. That’s harsh. 😟

Of course, through all of this, what I’m more interested in, is Buyi’s expression of growing horror and anger, as, piece by piece, he learns of what Fifth Princess had done to his Shaoshang.

From pushing her into the lake when she doesn’t know how to swim, to throwing rocks at her to prevent her from coming ashore, to releasing snakes into the water; the picture in his head grows more detailed and ominous with each reveal, and I can just imagine the extent of the turmoil in his mind, as he works to process all of this.

What I really appreciate, is that when Buyi takes Shaoshang aside to ask her about this, his tone is gentle. This feels really, really special to me, because he could have easily reacted by raising his voice at her in anger, for not telling him the truth, and for not trusting him.

But instead, his tone is gentle and tender, and that tenderness never leaves, even as his words grow in intensity.

My gosh, that’s a heady combination, and I’m honestly flailing all over the floor, as a result. 🫠🫠

Even when Buyi articulates the painful conclusion that Shaoshang doesn’t trust him, and doesn’t think he’s important, what I hear is hurt, and not anger.

Guh. The tenderness of his heart towards Shaoshang just really gets to me, can you tell? 😍

And, it does hurt me too, to see him so hurt, and to see Shaoshang so hurt as well, at the same time.

I have to admit, I wasn’t sure where Buyi was going with his whole scheme, of blatantly beating up the families of all the girls who had assisted Fifth Princess, in her bullying and targeting of Shaoshang.

But on hindsight, I do have to say that it’s quite brilliant, the way he basically demonstrates to Shaoshang what it’s like to love someone who throws caution to the wind and has no care for their own safety.

I wouldn’t say that he’s being petty, or giving her a taste of her own medicine; it’s more like he’s decided to show her what it would like, if they both lived by her rules, to take justice into their own hands, without care for the consequences.

Where before, Buyi had always been her voice of reason, now, with him leaning into the more reckless end of things, Shaoshang has to be the voice of reason for the both of them, and it’s really rather amusing, in a low-key sort of way – on hindsight, that is, once we know that Buyi’s alright. 😅

And, our Wingman Emperor really turns out to be Buyi’s wingman, this time, with the way he ensures that Buyi gets beaten, but only looks badly hurt.

Not only that, he’s so sneaky, the way he makes sure that Shaoshang gets to see just how much Buyi is suffering, with every stroke.

The growing desperation in Shaoshang’s face, and in her entire being, is so poignant to witness.

I feel like this entire process actually does help her to realize just how much she cares about Buyi; more than she’d ever realized.

The way she screams his name; the way she desperately pushes those guards away; the way she rushes to his side and holds him, the moment she is able.

The words that she tearfully ekes out, with her hands caressing his face, totally made me choke up.

“Does it hurt? I promise you. I will talk to you if I have any trouble in the future. I won’t act on my own anymore. We will act as one as husband and wife. From now onwards, I will give my heart to you.

Don’t act recklessly because of me anymore. All right?”

And then I love how she throws herself over him, to hold him in her arms.

“Actually, I already fell in love with you back then. Why don’t you know that?”

Aw. Gurgle. I love this, so much.

This is the most overt expression of love that Shaoshang’s ever given to Buyi, and I feel like she’s surprising even herself, with the depth and strength of her love for him. 🥰

Through all of this, I don’t actually feel like Shaoshang’s been tricked, per se, although, technically speaking, she has been tricked, in a manner of speaking.

To me, it feels more like she’s been given the opportunity to see things from a different perspective, and has now realized, without even really trying, how she’s come to care for Buyi, more than she cares about her right to personal agency.

Now, she’s finally willing to compromise and act as part of a husband and wife unit, rather than act on her own, like she’s been used to, and that’s beautiful in itself.

It’s very sweet to see how Shaoshang now instinctively thinks about Buyi’s wellbeing, like how she worries that he doesn’t have a warm enough blanket, because the weather’s turned cold.

I feel like the old Shaoshang wouldn’t have thought of that at all, and I feel like it’s a very beautiful thing, that we get to witness her growth, that she’s now able to love someone else so selflessly.

I love how we get this newfound quality of hers, mixed with her classic mischievous self, in the way she sneaks into Buyi’s room with that blanket wrapped around herself – because that’s how she’s been warming it for him.

Awww. It’s cute and funny and I’m in a goofy daze just watching the two of them be all lovey-dovey together. 🥰

And, I do love that line, where Buyi says, “I am extremely lucky to make you feel bad.”

The subs are a little perfunctory, and the real dialogue is more like, “To be able to receive Lady Shaoshang’s heart pains, is my fortune for three lives.”

..I can’t help but melt in the face of such tender, earnest poetry. 🫠🫠🫠

I love that Shaoshang kisses him first, on his forehead; that’s her proactively showing her affection for him, and I love that.

I love even more, the tender, bedroomy gaze he has in his eyes, as he slowly leans in to kiss her.

Melt. Flail. Swoon.

Honestly, that gaze just does me in. 🫠🫠🫠

And then how cute is it, that when Buyi murmurs, “Shouldn’t we wait until after marriage to do these things?,” and Shaoshang answers that that’s what she ought to say, Buyi’s suggestion is that they kiss again – so that she can say her line.

Tee hee hee. Honestly, Buyi looks like he’s about to succeed in giving Shaoshang another lovely kiss – except that she ducks away, just in time. Ah, they are just so cute and adorable! 😍

Afterwards, I just love how, as Shaoshang plays the flute for him, he just looks at her, like looking at her is the thing that gives him the most satisfaction in the world. 🥰

It feels fitting, that this is when they talk about the time Buyi had first set eyes on her, during the lantern festival, and how he’d known, at first sight, that she was the one for him.

Aw, I love it. And I love how Shaoshang now gives Buyi her promise, that as long as he doesn’t forsake her, she won’t let him down either.

This feels like a new, deeper, stronger chapter in their love story, and I am so here for it. 🤩

Episodes 39-40

E39-40. This set of episodes, it feels like Show is ramping up the political and revenge aspects of our story, which, as I’ve said, isn’t of primary interest to me.

HOWEVER. I really do like how Show keeps our OTP relationship in the center of it all, and makes sure that much of the goings-on, is viewed through the lens of our OTP relationship.

That makes it a lot more engaging and interesting to me personally, and I’m very happy with how Show’s managing not to push the OTP connection aside, while it deals with its other story threads.

As a side note, I have to say, I got an inordinate amount of amusement and satisfaction, from seeing Buyi dealing with Marquis Yue, while lying down behind a screen, in the throne room.

That feels so indolently badass, that Buyi can recline in the presence of the Emperor, heh. I love it. 🤩

And, I do admittedly get a touch schadenfreude from the outcome, because Marquis Yue has to reluctantly agree to the marriage between Fifth Princess and his son.

He’s not happy that she’s marrying into his family, and neither is she, so it feels like a punishment of sorts? 🙊

On another note, we see Consort Chu’s true colors, this set of episodes, as she really works to get rid of the Crown Prince’s first love, Qu Lingjun.

Buyi was right; Consort Chu is someone with a lot more wile than she first lets on, and that wile comes out strong, this set of episodes.

It’s horrible, how Consort Chu’s baited Qu Lingjun’s husband all these years, by sending personal gifts to Qu Lingjun, in the Crown Prince’s name, knowing that she would be beaten as a result.

Ugh. That’s just horrible.

And then, she has the gall to snigger into her sleeve, when Buyi comes to report that Qu Lingjun’s been accused of murdering her husband. My word, she’s cruel, isn’t she?

In the midst of all this, I’m glad to see Buyi and Shaoshang talk about things, in an open and thoughtful manner.

This feels new, in their relationship, and I like this new note of maturity and mutual trust.

I like how Shaoshang gives Buyi a new way of looking at the Crown Prince’s actions; this feels like a conversation between equals, and I like that.

I also like how Shaoshang talks Buyi into taking her with him for the investigation the next day, even though it’s highly unconventional for an official to take his wife – or, in this case, his betrothed – with him, for an investigation.

I also can’t help giggling at how Shaoshang promises that she won’t make any trouble, and Buyi’s unflappable, affectionate response, as he takes her hand, is, “When have you ever not caused trouble?”

Ahhh! So cute! 🤩

Once there, I also like how Buyi and Shaoshang work separately, each leaning into their own strengths, in order to solve the case.

Buyi presides over the men, while Shaoshang uses her smarts to investigate the crime scene.

It all works quite nicely, actually – until Shaoshang gets pulled into that secret room and is held hostage by the murderer, who turns out to be Liang Xia, Liang Sheng’s younger brother.

It’s a dangerous situation for sure, but I just love how both Buyi and Shaoshang react, in this situation.

I love how Buyi is unhesitating and resolute in tearing down the house, when they can’t find Shaoshang.

He doesn’t care about everyone’s protests; to him, time is of the essence, and finding Shaoshang is much more important than not offending the Liang family.

And I love how Shaoshang is so bold and quick-thinking, to get Liang Xia to use her as a hostage, because she trusts that as long as she gets herself out of that secret room, Buyi will find a way to save her.

And he absolutely does.

Gosh, the way Shaoshang runs to him, the moment she has a chance, and the way he receives her with one arm, while tossing a dagger at Liang Xia with the other, all with a glorious swish of his cape, is just so spazz-worthy. 🤩🤩

And there’s so much heart in there too, with the way he looks at her with urgent worry, and asks what he’s supposed to do if something were to really happen to her.

And, there’s also the way Shaoshang tells him that even if she were to die, she wanted to be able to see him one last time.

Guh. The lovey-dovey is strong with these two, and I am loving it, so much. 🤩

I’m glad that investigation doesn’t drag out much further, after Liang Xia’s sudden death – Buyi’s got it figured out, and the Emperor’s got it figured out too, that Marquis Yue is the only person who would be in a position to do this, and who would go to such lengths to do this.

Although I’ve said that my primary interest in our story isn’t the political stuff, I do appreciate the scene where Buyi, the Emperor, Consort Yue and Marquis Yue basically piece the various threads together, so that we can see how all the intersecting political greed and ambitions resulted in the deaths of so many people.

I really do like the scene where Buyi asks Shaoshang the hypothetical question, of what she would do, if she knew someone hurt her family, but can’t be punished by the law, and if taking revenge meant hurting someone she loves.

I do love Shaoshang’s answer, which is so simple, but so wise, at the same time.

“As humans, making choices is inevitable. When you put the choices together side by side, one will definitely be more important than the other.”

Even though Buyi simply smiles in response, I feel like Shaoshang has managed to put things in perspective for him, and I do love the way he takes her into his arms for a hug.

You can just tell that he’s gaining comfort from her embrace, even though his gaze is still somewhat troubled.

I find it very interesting that Consort Yue is so disgusted with her brother’s actions, that she would consider the Emperor’s punishment too light, when the Emperor spares his life.

And then later, she even tells Buyi that if he wants Marquis Yue dead, she would kill him herself, if he feels that it would be enough to make up for all the lives lost from the Huo family.

As with Buyi, I appreciate how fair and just Consort Yue is. She doesn’t shy away from offering justice, even if it means killing her own brother.

I also appreciate how fair and just Buyi is, as he tells her that there is no blood of the Huo family on Marquis Yue’s hand, and that she does not need to make amends.

I have to confess, though, that I’m not quite following Buyi, when he talks about how some people’s crimes can never be made up for, even if they take a lifetime.

I wonder if I’ve forgotten a particular (important!) narrative thread, or if this is something that Show hasn’t yet revealed. 😅

Either way, I’m sure I will figure it out, because I’m certain Show will paint in the details soon.

Next Open Thread will be up on: Saturday, 1 June 2024!

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