Let’s face it. It’s impossible to pick out the best WangXian moment in the drama. Every moment is beyond perfection. BUT, in my heart, my favourite has to be this one.
No, it’s not the iconic ‘What am I to you’, not the piggyback, not chicken stealing, not the public declaration of commitment in Jinlingtai, not even the last scene in the series finale. THIS ONE - the end of episode 39. The night market moment is EVERYTHING.
This is probably their first break after non-stop adventures since they found each other again. It started off with the couple walking into Tanzhou - a sweet nostalgia as it was the first town they went to together searching for Yin Iron back in the day - episode 8. And the very spot they were standing was where LWJ looked up the flower petals falling from the sky, and WWX looked at him (obviously) admiring his beauty thanks to Nie Director’s compliments.
When the scene begins, you can clearly see WWX being super excited pointing LWJ to places and playing with the lantern hung on the street. He was in a super cheery mood, which we all need for him since he came back to life finding everything he protected in the last life all gone. This took us to the next scene, where a random child reminded him of A Yuan. A brief moment of sorrow shows clearly in his eyes, as he was probably thinking about everyone he cared for and tried so hard to protect, about doing that job ALONE, standing up for what he believed ON HIS OWN. It was a lonely path to keep a clear conscience, but it did not seem to be enough as everyone’s gone now and he is, once again, left by himself.
THEN, he turned back and saw a long loving gaze (still a bit stoic, but you know, true LWJ style) not leaving him out of their sight. He saw his soulmate faithfully and patiently waiting behind him. I mean, as dense as WWX can be, this whole minute (as extended in the Special Edition, I’m so grateful for Tencent) speaks volume without needing a single line of how WWX sees he is no longer ALONE, there’s someone that has his back, and he doesn’t have to walk this path on his own anymore. Interestingly, LWJ has always been the one that walk ahead of WWX and we’ve heard the latter say ‘Lan Zhan, wait for me’ just around 20 times. Even so, WWX can see that whenever he needs, LWJ will always wait for him - just like he did the past 16 years.
Just by WWX’s eyes, you can see so much emotion: a little bit surprised, a little bit ‘caught off guard’, then the signature longing gaze that has a big WangXian stamp on it, a brief side look to notice the rabbit lantern, a look back to his man with a soft smile (slightly look down, typically im-shy-starring-at-this-beautiful-human-being-who-is-mine), and gradually turning into the BIGGEST smile ever. He did a happy hop toward LWJ, shot him right at the heart with another adorable smile and ‘let’s buy it’. You know, let’s do something = DO it together. Not ‘you buy it’, it’s ‘let’s buy it’. I have never seen any couple solidifying their status so organically and naturally like these two without any big gesture or speech (well, that’s yet to come). We’re gifted with WWX’s iconic smiling eyes and LWJ’s exclusive soft smile that he reserves ONLY for his man.
We get to see more affection from LWJ most of the time (which is genius since the man doesn’t even need to speak that much), which makes me appreciate this scene even more as we get to experience all the feels from WWX’s perspective. This was just so so so well acted by both Xiao Zhan and Wang Yibo. To me it’s just a simple moment but means so so much to the viewers. For those who are still on the fence of ‘are they bros, are they friends’, I can guarantee THIS dumps all of those nonsenses out of the window and really confirm that romantic interest/spiritual bond above ordinary.
Each moment is a leap forward from the brink of an invisible cliff, where time’s keen edges are constantly renewed. We lift our foot from the solid ground of all our life lived thus far and take that perilous step out into the empty air.
Han Kang, from “1,” The White Book, trans. Deborah Smith (Hogarth, 2017)
Love! The love of men and women should have struck me, the way it appeared in you, like something strange, like a rose at the bottom of a lake. It should have disturbed me or moved me. Thus we are moved, thus we are made wretched by the temptation of our hands to grab what we know will soon fade away. And so I let you leave with a dark disorientation, like the suppressed tenderness that pauses briefly between a moment and eternity.
Dulce María Loynaz, from “Poem LVI,” trans. James O’Connor, Absolute Solitude: Selected Prose Poems (First Archipelago, 2016)
[T]here’s a moment, spinning, when spinning feels like being still; and I remember how I spun on the lawn; Summers, when I was younger; I remember how hard the earth pulled me down; how when I finally stood, the grass stayed flat in the shape of me; and the grass would rise as I walked away; and I would grow too old for this game.
Susan Steinberg, from “Killers,” American Short Fiction (vol. 22, no. 69, Summer 2019)
As is the nature of all things here
and each lifetime
must eventually reach its demise
yet maybe in some way
we can’t yet understand or explain
then too a new beginning shall arise