Meteor Garden: Episode 4 - Are you IN, or are you OUT?

Netflix Synopsis: Shancai's nosy classmate shows Ah Si a video recording and causes a heated confrontation, turning Ah Si into Shancai's worst nightmare.

Scene opens with Lei saying that forcing himself on Jing isn't want he wants. What a nice gentleman.  She green lights the situation and acknowledges that they are both consenting adults...although would a gentleman drink from another person's bottle? Hmmm.

So Lei does something very personal - like take a sip from Shancai's drink, and since they're essentially swapping spit and at that level of intimacy - they have a little personal confession session. She declares his friendship's importance to her, and he says "if he hated her, why would he save her so many times." That was borderline romantic. But he continues to mentally flirt with her through his piano playing, which is not even interrupted when DMS extends an olive branch in the form of a squid-on-a-stick to make amends with Lei.

Back to reality and DMS does his booty shakes and checks himself out in front of the mirror. It still makes me slightly uncomfortable watching this scene.  Not sure why. Is it that he should be wearing a belt?  Is it that I'm not even sure if DMS can pull off that mauve leather jacket with the black button down and that geometric tie? It's not just the outfit, but the dancing...It's really the step back shuffle that makes me cringe. It's off rhythm, so awkward and that really kills it for me.

DMS continues to prank her and discloses his plan to F2 to seduce her, mess with her head and then dump her. Sounds solid, but I love how his friends see right through that plan and are convinced that he's going to fall for her first.

There's a moment when Lei and Shancai are on the rooftop and she ends up petting his maltese fluffy hair and she's calm and satisfied with their relationship. The frenemies are drinking a lot of haterade in this episode and there's viral video of Shancai kissing DMS and them showing DMS footage of Lei and Shancai on the rooftop, with the heavy hair petting. DMS is visibly upset, ends up throwing the girl's phone onto the floor and storms off.  Haters going to hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate....

Shancai runs up to retrieve a notebook she forgot on the rooftop and DMS confronts her there, accuses her of tricking her, assaults her, and punches the wall. This is when it starts to get really Meteor Garden Real World style - when people stop being polite, and start getting real. You can tell he's so hurt and upset and doesn't understand how she can be such a "bad girl" and be "so mean".  There's such an imbalance here of him believing that she's manipulating the situation and her naivety of her actions.  She's first escapes his wrath and pushes him off - Go Girl! Remember the eye strike!! Go for the soft spots!! But then she falls on the floor and he menacingly moves towards her and forces himself on her via a kiss. (A+ acting here from both.) Clearly upset she tries to escape, and shaken by his forceful actions crumbles to the floor. DMS slowly kneels down and gently tries to console her and promises that he won't hurt her anymore. The juxtaposition of the violence and the tenderness is just too much to handle. He cradles her face as she cries and I'm so conflicted here because I don't want to believe what I've just seen. How can HE be so mean? Is he a toughie? Is he a softie? AAHHHHH! whimper. This is when I realize why again I don't like his outfit - it's because it's the one he wears when he assaults her. That is NEVER acceptable, and obviously NEVER a good look.

When they see each other again on campus, on a bridge no less, they stop about 30 feet away and stare.  She holds his stare, but looks away and is the first to turn around, before you see them both walk away from each other.

**I feel like it's HERE that you decide if you're IN or OUT with this series.  Are you vested in seeing this play out? Do you like either Shancai or DMS enough to commit to their relationship? Was DMS's stare also boring a hole through your soul? Could you not turn away from the black sequin reindeer on his sweater? Neither could I.**

Back to F4 musings - they discuss Jing coming back for Lei, call DMS out with his bandaged hand and also inquire about Lei and Shancai. Those boys, so smart. Meanwhile Shancai is catching Xiao You up to speed on DMS's immaturities and calling him a "pervert," which was the translation. Shancai is a little concerned about running into him at Jing's birthday. SO much fashion to get into in a separate post, but the broader storyline is that:
  • friend buys dress she can't afford, can't get into the party, is dejected in the rain (broken phones/disrupted cell service always to blame).
  • Shancai and her friends look incredibly under-dressed with their pastel fashion palette and are very out of place, figuratively, literally and stylishly.
  • Enter playa Ximen to the party - ladies, you betta watch yo self. Xiao You, this means you.
  • F3 roll in like the second coming, Lei is Big Primp'n in his all white tux, and DMS only has eyes for Shancai.
More to come at this Chinese cotillion. 

Hope you ready for the next episode. Heyyyeyy...
(La-da-da-da-dahhh. You know I'm mobbin with the D-M-S)


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