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Open Thread: Love Like The Galaxy Episodes 41-44


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.

ZERO SPOILER POLICY

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 41-42

E41-42. Well, lots of stuff happens, this set of episodes, and as before, I’m grateful to Show, for keeping our OTP front-and-center through it all, because that’s my default viewing lens for this show – I mostly just care about our central lovebirds, and how they’re doing, heh.

I know Show needs to wrap up these revenge / justice / political threads, if this is to be a robust story, overall, so it can’t just drop any of these threads that it’s introduced.

I’m just happy that Show isn’t forgetting for a moment, that our OTP is THE most important thing, in our story world. 😁

It’s a bit of a relief, that Show wraps up the Consort Chu arc, because I’d had my fill of that arc, and had felt ready to move on.

It feels fitting, that she’s stripped of her royal title, and banished to the Northern Palace.

This way, she’s no longer able to meddle in royal affairs, and she’s removed from the Crown Prince’s life as well.

Which, now that I think about it, might be as good for her, as it is for him. It’s done her no good, to stay with the Crown Prince all these years, because she’s never been able to move on from Qu Lingjun, even thought the Crown Prince has.

The way Shaoshang talks with Consort Chu, really showcases how much Shaoshang has grown in wisdom and maturity, since the beginning of our story.

The insight and perspective that Shaoshang provides – that Consort Chu’s always blamed others for the misfortune in her marriage, when it’s her heart that’s had her trapped, all these years – feels spot-on, to me, and I am duly impressed that our Shaoshang is proving to be so wise.

I also really like the scene where Shaoshang and Buyi talk about the case and its resolution, as they walk together, while sharing an umbrella in the rain.

They look so settled, in each other, as they share their thoughts at leisure, about what’s happened to Consort Chu and Qu Lingjun.

And, I love the part where Shaoshang teases Buyi about being jealous of her praising another man, and then tells him that she must have saved all her luck, in order to meet him.

Awww. That is so sweet! 😍

I love that Shaoshang’s now so clear, both in her heart and mind, that it’s her fortune to have met Buyi, and I love that she isn’t afraid to tell him so.

It’s SO CUTE, that Shaoshang says that her judgment is good, only for Buyi to correct her, with a gentle, cheeky smile, that it’s HIS judgment that was good.

Tee hee! It’s true; he’s the one who fell for her first!

I do love that in the midst of all this sweet, lovey-dovey stuff, which itself is sandwiched among the more political threads, Show still manages to toss in little scenes of random cuteness.

Like the one where Shaoshang says she’ll buy Buyi some preserved fruit, to sweeten his tongue some more – only for Buyi to agree amiably, then get his black guards to flank them in their signature intimidating manner, while they buy a packet of that preserved fruit.

Hahaha! I couldn’t help giggling, when Shaoshang explains to the stall-holder, that everything’s great about Buyi, except for his tendency for the conspicuous. 😁

But y’know, I do love that sense of flourish that he has, even though it can get a little much sometimes. It’s just so endearing, really, how he likes to go big, when it’s something to do with Shaoshang. 😁

On a more serious note, our story turns to Buyi preparing to go to battle in Shouchun, and even though my heart sank a bit at the thought of him being separated from Shaoshang, I do like how Show handles it all.

For a topic that’s as serious as this, Show sure manages to squeeze a nice amount of sweetness and love, into its unfolding of the narrative. I am so grateful for that, seriously. 🤩

I love the beat where Shaoshang makes that sweet wine to bring to Buyi, because she knows that he didn’t eat well, because the Emperor had gotten angry during lunch, at Buyi’s request to lead the troops to Shouchun.

The happy looks on both their faces, as Shaoshang potters her way to Buyi’s corner, to serve him the sweet wine, are so precious. 🥰 And, it’s cute that they don’t even care that the Emperor gets peevish, that she serves Buyi first, heh.

And, I find it touching how Shaoshang helps to persuade the Emperor to allow Buyi to lead the troops to Shouchun, even though it means that he’ll be facing danger to life and limb, and that she’ll be separated from him.

It’s so touching, really, to hear Shaoshang say that, because she wants to be good to Buyi, she doesn’t want to restrain him, but support him from behind.

And how cute is it, that when the Emperor threatens to marry Shaoshang off to someone else if Buyi takes too long to come back from Shouchun, Shaoshang pipes up in her signature irrepressible manner, and says she won’t marry anyone else, but will wait for Buyi to come back to marry her.

The way she smiles at Buyi, and the way Buyi smiles back, full of satisfaction, as he promises to come back quickly, is just so fantastic.

Aw! THE CUTE. I love. 😍

Afterwards, it’s very endearing to me, the way Shaoshang grabs Buyi’s face, the moment they’re alone, to get a good look at him. I love the idea that she’s so comfortable now, initiating skinship with her husband-to-be. 😁

Beyond the cute, though, I love Shaoshang’s answer, when Buyi asks her why she’d persuaded the Emperor to let him go to Shouchun, when she’s worried about him going.

“I know your uncle’s death and those who died in Gu City had always been a pain in your heart. You’ve never really let it go either. Her Majesty is not well. I need to take care of her in Changqiu Palace.

If I didn’t have to stay, I’d definitely go to battle and fight the enemies with you. Zisheng, I want to see you capture Peng Kun. I want to share the joy of having the great revenge avenged with you.”

Those words must be so precious to Buyi, because they speak directly to his deepest desire. I can just see the satisfaction, gratitude and contentment in his eyes, as he agrees with her, and promises to come back soon.

Ahhh, the way he draws her closer by the waist, and the way she puts her arms around his, feels so tender and intimate. Melt. 🫠🫠🫠

It’s cute and silly, and yet, meaningful as well, the way Shaoshang sews armor for Buyi as a gift, then sneaks into the soldiers’ camp, in order to give it to him.

Lol. The way everyone plays along, so that she manages to find Buyi without getting lost or getting caught, feels affectionately indulgent.

I mean, these troops are preparing to go to battle, and yet, here they are, marching around and making sure to drop loud hints of which direction Shaoshang should go, to find Buyi’s tent, pfft.

But really, how great is that scene where Buyi shows Shaoshang the land that he’s asked for, from the Emperor, and tells her that she can design and build whatever she likes, for their new home together.

That’s speaking directly to Shaoshang’s deepest desires, for freedom and personal agency, and I just love that he understands that about her, so well, and finds a way to affirm that, in entrusting her with the building of their new home.

That’s so thoughtful and loving of him.

How endearing, though, that Buyi isn’t so sure of himself, when it comes to this, and starts apologizing for making the decision on his own, when Shaoshang’s eyes fill with tears and she doesn’t answer him immediately.

I love how she kisses him on the lips (the first time she’s done that! 🥰), and tells him that she really loves it.

Ahhh. The contentment between them is palpable through my screen, and I love it. 🥰

And then we have the cuteness of Shaoshang’s gift of armor to Buyi, and that whole thing about everyone thinking that the feathers represent chicken wings and not mandarin duck wings, hahaha.

It’s funny how everyone thinks it’s a super embarrassing set of armor, and it’s so endearing how Buyi wears it without blinking an eye. The unwavering loyalty!

And also – that winged armor might look ridiculous on someone else, but Buyi makes it look good. In fact, he looks quite majestic wearing those wings, along with his swishy cape. 🤩

It’s bittersweet to see Buyi mount the horse to leave for Shouchun, but DANG, does he look fantastically regal, as he does so. 🤩🤩🤩

I was honestly kinda hoping that Show would give us a time-skip for when comes back from Shouchun, but alas, that’s not the case.

In fact, things go terribly wrong quite quickly, with Cheng Shi getting accused of treason, yikes.

Of course, we know, and Shaoshang and her famly, and the Emperor and Empress know, that Cheng Shi would never betray his country like that, but as Consort Yue correctly advises, the Emperor needs to do things by the book, to demonstrate fairness, even as he investigates the matter.

It’s really quite moving to see Shaoshang throw her lot in with her family, and say that if they die, she’ll die with them, but Yuanyi has a great point too; that if their family is to perish, Shaoshang would be the sole survivor, and she would need to live on, for their sakes.

But of course, our Shaoshang just isn’t the kind of person who can sit idly by, especially when her family is undergoing such turmoil.

One thing that strikes me, at the end of this set of episodes, is the similarity between Yuanyi and Shaoshang, as they, in their individual places, resolve to eat and gain strength, in order to fight this battle.

Episodes 43-44

E43-44. As expected, Shaoshang isn’t one to sit still – or take orders, even from the Emperor himself – when she perceives that her family is in danger, and this set of episodes, she proves that with her actions.

It feels a bit foolhardy, that she leave the palace like that, on her own, because there are so many dangers out there, and she’s just one person, but it really speaks to how deeply she cares about her family, that she would risk her own life, for the sliver of hope, of saving them.

The bond that Shaoshang has built with the Empress really comes through, with how the Empress understands and empathizes with her, that she would go so far as to give Shaoshang the tokens and passes that she would need, to leave the palace and the capital.

And, the fact that Shaoshang refuses to get the Empress into trouble, and therefore leaves those tokens behind, taking only the fakes that she’s made with her, also demonstrates the extent of her care and consideration for the Empress.

It’s times like these that I feel like these two make a great surrogate mother-daughter pair, even though I am also rooting for Shaoshang and Yuanyi to come to a greater and deeper understanding of each other.

I’m glad that Shaoshang gets to visit her family in prison, before she set off for Tongniu County, and I’m also glad that we get to see things from Buyi’s point of view (because there can never be enough Buyi on my screen, heh).

It says so much about Buyi, really, the way he responds when he hears that Shaoshang and her family are in trouble.

Instead of waiting for Shouchun to crumble on its own, because he’s convinced they are short of provisions, he completely changes his plans, and smuggles himself into Shouchun, as the fastest (and most dangerous!) way to infiltrate the city.

The entire fight scene, where it’s Buyi against what feels like ten thousand armed soldiers, is quite stressful to watch, because it feels like he’s always just one hair away from being stabbed to death.

BUT, Buyi’s legendary for a reason, and it is admittedly pretty great to see him in top fighting form. PLUS, Shaoshang’s rabbit armor does save him from Peng Kun’s sword, which would have otherwise impaled him in the chest.

HUZZAH for Shaoshang’s rabbit armor! 🤩

And, while Show seems to skip ahead in a rather unnatural manner to the scene where Buyi finds Shaoshang in prison, along with Li Feng’s dead body, I’m so pleased to have Buyi and Shaoshang together again, that I’m willing to just roll with it.

(Also, this is likely due to Show having to be cut down to 56 episodes for its time slot, and I’m pretty sure that the extended full version, rumored to be releasing for Lunar New Year in 2023, will fill in gaps like this one.)

Even though Cheng Shi hasn’t been found, and the details of this case are still hazy, there’s just such an assuring quality about Buyi and Shaoshang onscreen together, that somehow, all feels right in our drama world. That’s quite magical, honestly.

I’m glad that Shaoshang at least gets to fill in our story gaps as she tells Buyi all that she’s been through, and of course, she wouldn’t be our Shaoshang, if she didn’t also manage to give Buyi some important clues that she’s come across, in her journey, like the odd way that Li Feng behave and spoke, like he had nothing to fear.

And, I am so gratified to hear Buyi tell Shaoshang that she’s not the only person left in the Cheng family, because he’s part of the Cheng family too. Aw. That is so sweet. 🥰

As the plot thickens, with Li Feng’s widow leaving obtuse clues for Buyi and Shaoshang, who are following her in secret, I find myself just reveling in the fact that Buyi and Shaoshang are putting their smarts together, and working together as one unit. That’s so gratifying.

Thanks to them piecing the clues together, they manage to find Yanzhong’s body, along with those of his family, as well as that of the soldiers who had served Cheng Shi.

Poor Shaoshang, though. I can imagine just how scary and stressful this must be for her, because if the soldiers who had been with her father are dead, then doesn’t that indicate that her father might well be dead too..?

I’m glad that Buyi is there to point her to the fact that it is, in fact, a good thing, that they haven’t found any trace of Cheng Shi, because this means that he could still be alive.

And, on that note, I’m counting on Show to keep Cheng Shi alive, because this would be a very different sort of story, otherwise.

It feels like a relief, to see Shaoshang and Buyi have that conversation about all that has transpired, when she wakes up from her dead faint, and hear Shaoshang ask Buyi if he’s ok, and tell him not to risk his life again, even if it’s for her sake.

Again, this brings us back to how Shaoshang’s learned to care more for Buyi than for herself, and again, I just want to say that it’s a beautiful thing.

And, how lovely is Buyi’s gentle tone and manner, as he tells Shaoshang that she had saved his life, with her rabbit armor.

It also feels significant, that as Buyi talks about knowing how she feels, because he is the last remaining member of the Huo family, Shaoshang returns the same sentiment that he’d expressed before, that she is part of his family too, and he will therefore never have to fight alone.

Ahhh. It’s so meaningful, how that’s come full circle, in such a short period of time. 🥰

Gurgle. It’s such a beautiful moment of mutual expressed need. I love it.

I have no real idea what Buyi has in mind, as he and Shaoshang face Lou Ben the next day, but my gut tells me that he’s throwing fake bait at Lou Ben, to see how he will react.

Whatever it is, I’m just happy that Buyi and Shaoshang are working together to get to the bottom of this, and I’m sure that we’ll get the truth soon enough – along with confirmation of Cheng Shi’s safety!

Next Open Thread will be up on: Saturday, 8 June 2024!



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