Meteor Garden: Episode 13 - Yoga chicken's got game

Netflix Synopsis: Under Zhuang and Ah Si's guidance and encouragement, Shancai refines her cooking skills for the competition - but she faces a formidable opponent.

DMZ is all pomp and pretense in her pumps, as she chefs ups a cooking demonstration to show Shancai how it's done. That is after she changes from her home loungewear which consists of a red cape and a red cheongsam dress with a golden phoenix. Phoenix trumps sloth every time.

Shancai gets to work and is a dedicated disciple. There's a part when she's man-handling a chicken and believes she's following DMZ's instructions, when DMZ is really having DMS record her doing yoga...random, but I guess accentuates DMZ's level of crazy.

Sidebar: I really shouldn't be watching this episode on an empty stomach. Along with drooling every time a new dish comes out, the product placement is also working overtime. In 22 minutes, I can make homemade soy milk that will touch the hearts of everyone I know? Yes. Sign me up for the Joyoung Soy Milk Maker.

Shancai is sleeping and you see mousse-haired DMS softly stroke her hair off of her cheek as he tucks her in. Even though he's caught by his sister - he still admits that he was just tucking her in - which also demonstrates the close relationship he has with his sister.  He's such a softie. Must be the hair.

He's so proud of her and confident that she can do anything. Everyone deserves a boyfriend this supportive. Yes - everyone- which I guess includes fake Shancai when she gives banana bestie and Li Zhen a taste of her sesame balls (yum... sesame balls...) and her new 'tude. She needs to practice being lady-like in real life so it seems more realistic during the competition.

Tian wonders why Shancai is entering the contest and tells her about Caina, a contestant in the competition, and Tian's dad wants him to marry her. Cool by us. Tian believes that Caina is competing to prove that she and Tian have similar interests. Wow, the ego is inversely correlated with the size of his mouth.  So she's pretty, elegant, talented and apparently likes old dudes...but more on that later. He's not into her, because he likes Shancai. Shocking. Unlike DMS who believes that Shancai can do anything, Tian wants her to pull out because he believes that Caina is going to win. What a D-bag. Perk up lady-bug- you win because you have DMS by your side.

She's intimidated and tries to flee the Daoming compound, but - oh wait - there's soft-top DMS in his hoodie staring her down, calling her out as a coward. She admits that she doesn't believe she can win, so why should she compete? She doesn't want to disappoint everyone and DMS counters with this dagger of a point: "What about disappointing me?"

Both crestfallen, she apologizes and starts to leave. DMS knows her so well and reminds her that she's not a person who cares what other people think. He tells her that there's always a chance, when you do you.  He knows now is not the time to be so hard on her and propose that they go to his room.  I guess the Dora the Explorer backpack comes in handy as a handle. That doesn't work but they do end up in his master suite with a manly tan leather sofa, to offset the unpainted color-me-mine figurines on the shelf.

The clothes hanging in the closet don't represent his usual primary color palette. Those clothes must be at the dry cleaners. Or maybe he's holding them for Lei.

She's so awkward, he's so cool and playful that you just want them to stay in this happy place for awhile.  They play cards, rock, paper, scissors and draw on each other's faces - you know, the ushe when you really like someone - and you're like 8. But that's ok - it's sweet. There's a moment when he draws on her face and her eyes are closed, and you think he's going to go in for a kiss but he sits back. That's right - don't make it too easy DMS.  He wants to bring out that competitive spirit and help get her mojo back.  He leans in again, cradles her head and tells her how much he believes in her, and that she can do it and to believe in herself. You think he's going to kiss her now! But he doesn't. Now he's being just a tease. He even tells her that she's actually pretty cute up close and then backs it up by saying that he rarely gives compliments so she should be proud. What a lover.

She comes around and in her head thanks him for his support. You need to practice verbalizing your feelings girl, in addition to being lady-like. DMZ is a little freaked that she can't find Shancai but ends up finding her in Ah Si's room - they are curled up sleeping on his bed. To validate V's earlier thought about F4 being vampires, the black lines on his face are dead vampire legit.  Any CW Vampire Diaries or The Originals fans around? Poor Elijah btw.

As for Shancai - DMS is much more creative because there's def a Peppa Pig on her cheek, and is that Yosemite Sam on her forehead?  A sombrero wearing crab? Where's Dora? DMS wakes up first and takes some incriminating photos, just 'cause, and has them on his wall when Shancai wakes up. They wrestle as she tries to take them down, and you're reminded that they're just 2 kids in love.

The fierce pineapple hair is back as DMS catches up with F3 in class and brags about her progress. Pretty bold drink product placement in this scene, but all eyes are on Meizuo's wardrobe choices. The white chunky turtleneck under a blue window-pane Chanel inspired tweed jacket.  It's making me question an earlier comment about everyone looking better in Chanel...maybe this is an Ann Taylor adaptation. Either way, not fangirling over this one.

Really. But don't worry - we won't miss the blue racer stripe on Lei's turtleneck, under a beautiful winter white coat. Rarely does he disappoint.

Doesn't matter if her name is Caina, Lina, Xiena, or Madonna. Shancai will prevail. If we all had DMS rooting for us, we could do anything!
The competition is nearing and she's fine tuning her skills. Her chicken seems to be her signature dish. Even DMZ is impressed.  Tian apologizes for saying those discouraging things to her - he seems to always be apologizing to her.  He needs to listen closely as Shancai tries to explain her feelings about DMS. "One look from him gives me courage" She's just not that into you Tian. Get that? Now go away. Yes - you go first. We're ok with that. What kind of a line is that anyways? Even when he tries to be cute and witty, he still seems dim-witted.
Now onto the culinary main event! The judges are introduced, and if I'm not mistaken - one of them is the most beautiful senior at Mingde?  WTF. Unsure how she's qualified to judge this. Is she judging for aesthetics?  It's the final round and Shancai and Caina are competing against each other with a handful of others. F4 is watching live from the audience - VIP all the way - and everyone else is watching on TV. I'm a fan of the F4's indoor earth tone fashion motif vs the blast of primary colors, at least from Ah Si, and his impatience is smoldering. I don't think anyone else looks this good annoyed. Meizuo is gett'n giddy over Caina, while top chefs Shancai and Caina are in a heated wok-off!

Shancai, Go Get It Girl.


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