The rift between Chu Qiao and Yan Xun widens as it becomes obvious that the hatred in Yan Xun’s heart has become a fuel for his greed for power. Despite being disappointed again and again by Yan Xun’s total disregard for everything she holds dear, Chu Qiao still believes that she needs to stay by Yan Xun’s side to pull him back to sanity.
Chu Qiao finally finds out the truth about her mother…and the fact that she and our hero’s family are mortal enemies as well. The much sought after “Wind and Cloud Decree” was actually already in Chu Qiao’s possession since it is a flower mark that will appear on her shoulder when she finally unlocks the great power in her body.
Knowing full well of Chu Qiao’s increasing difficulty and unhappiness, Wen Yue nonetheless respects our heroine’s decision to stay with Yan Xun. By this point, Chu Qiao understands perfectly of Wen Yue’s love for her and she probably even has an inkling of her own feelings for him but the only thing she could tell him was “Yu Wen Yue, I never owe anyone anything…except you…I owe you too much, I can never repay you.”
One of the most telling scenes is our two leads’ meeting at a temple:
Sitting down across the table from Wen Yue after he invites her to share his dinner, Chu Qiao picks up the wine and takes a sip. Mildly surprised, Wen Yue asks “I thought you dislike alcohol?” After a moment’s pause, Chu Qiao replies “I think differently now. I have come to realize wine is great at helping a person to forget things one wants to forget.”
Getting right to the point, Chu Qiao asks “Why are you here?”
Replying with a sneer, Wen Yue says “Whatever the reason, it wasn’t for you.”
Not missing a beat, Chu Qiao counters dryly “Of course you are not here for me. You have done such a good job protecting your town from Yan Xun, I have heard that all the beautiful girls are vying for you. Why would you even remember me?”
With a slight smile, Wen Yue assures our heroine “People really do grow with age. You understand your own short comings now. But you don’t have to worry. Like Xiao Ce said before, my taste is really bad. Those girls are all beautiful, graceful and with great bodies, so not to my liking at all.”
After a short tit for tat to prove to each other that they both have a great spy network keeping tabs on the other…and solidifying they are really enemies, Wen Yue asks “I heard a while ago that Yan Xun is preparing to ask for your hand. When I see you next time, do I need to call you Queen Yan?” Not answering our hero’s question, Chu Qiao says “Maybe by next time, you will also have a wife and kids.”
Stealing a glance at Wen Yue, Chu Qiao warns “Yu Wen Yue, it is dangerous both on the war and political field. So take care of yourself.”
Taking a lingering look at Chu Qiao’s face, Wen Yue replies “It’s alright. Those things can’t really hurt me… and the one thing that can hurt me…will soon belong to someone else.”
Catching up to Wen Yue before he walks off, Chu Qiao says “Yu Wen Yue. It is unavoidable that we will see each other out on the field. At that time, don’t worry about me…I…”
Cutting Chu Qiao off, Wen Yue asks “Star, (his name for her) would you really cut off my head if we met each other on the field.”
Keeping her eyes away from Wen Yue, Chu Qiao replies “I won’t kill you. But I will do everything I can to defeat you.”
With a hint of a smile, Wen Yue says “Is that so? But I can’t do it.”
Chu Qiao recites a poem that pretty much says if one moves/allow one’s self to fall in love then he/she will be hurt.
Turning to stare at Chu Qiao, Wen Yue mutters “To not move is to not hurt? If so, then I have long been pierced to the core.” Melt!
Convinced by the evil Cheng Yuan (Wen Yue’s right hand man that has been trying to get rid of our heroine) that they should do whatever necessary to get rid of Wen Yue, Yan Xun decides to lay an unavoidable trap for our hero. Despite being suspicious when a man alleging to be Chu Qiao’s soldier tells him that she is in danger, Wen Yue nonetheless rushes right into the trap Yan Xun has set for him.
Chu Qiao belatedly figures out what Yan Xun had done and vehemently swears to him “I don’t blame you for trying to kill Yu Wen Yue. But you should not have used his feelings for me. You should not have used such a despicable method. If he dies here, then I will never forgive you.”
Chu Qiao rushes to the icy lake to see a group of men charging toward a bloody and near collapsing Wen Yue. Watching coldly as the woman he loves kills his soldier one by one to protect another man, Yan Xun resolutely shoots an arrow through Wen Yue.
Looking at the sobbing Chu Qiao in front of him, Wen Yue tells her “Star, go. Go!”
Shaking her head, Chu Qiao begs “No, I am not going anywhere. I am staying right by you!”
Forced to confront yet another group of suicide soldier sent by Yan Xun, Chu Qiao watches with horror as the ice breaks apart on the lake and the now unconscious Wen Yue slips into the water. Opening his eyes in the icy water to see Chu Qiao diving after him, Wen Yue silently tells her “Live. Go on living.” before using the last of his strength to push Chu Qiao up towards the surface.
Silently yelling his name as she watches Wen Yue’s body sinks to the bottom of the lake, Chu Qiao struggles hopelessly as her own body is being pulled upward.
In the last scene, we see the flower behind Chu Qiao’s back finally appeared and Chu Qiao’s eye snap open.
Sigh… obviously not a satisfying ending at all and one that garnered LOTS of complaints from fans. According to a few interviews with the cast and the producer, it does seem certain that season 2 is in the plan but there are no promises at all that we will get the same cast to return, especially since Zanilia Zhao’s schedule is usually pretty booked out.
Overall, I found Princess Agents completely addicting but due to the amount of time the writer devotes to secondary characters AND the 10 minutes of “previous episode review” in the beginning of each episode, I ended up watching this show with a finger constantly on the fast forward button.
Still, despite some rather glaring flaws, I enjoyed Princess Agents and was especially impressed by Zanilia Zhao’s portrayal of our kick-butt heroine. The two leads really had a pitiful amount of scenes together, but since the leads had even less interactions in the book (at least in the first half of the book which is what this first season is supposed to cover) I couldn’t complain too much. I was really hoping that instead of splitting the book into two seasons, the producer would just cram everything in one (which was very doable if they didn’t go off on so many tangents) but I guess there was very little chance of that when they could keep us string along for two.
One thing I will admit is that I was a bit disappointed in the icy lake scenes. In the novel, the lake scene was EPIC and really the climax of the story. Up to this point in the story, Chu Qiao’s confrontation with Yan Xun had always been calm and filled with quiet dignity. However, at the lake, hearing the sound of Yan Xun preparing to shoot that last fateful arrow into Wen Yue, completely breaks Chu Qiao and caused her to fall to her knee as she yells “Yan Xun! I beg you, I beg you, don’t! Yan Xun, don’t!” In the book, Yan Xun was Chu Qiao’s first love. It could be debated that maybe Chu Qiao’s feeling for Yan Xun wasn’t really romantic but there was no doubt that she loved him and had planned to spend the rest of her life with him. Just as Yan Xun’s betrayal at the lake killed the last shred of hope she had of him, the impending possibility of losing Wen Yue tore away Chu Qiao’s self pretense that she didn’t love Wen Yue.
As lousy as the ending was, I am holding out hope that season 2 will have the same cast and we will finally have some much deserved sweet scenes between our leads!
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