Kui. Han Kui.
I’m not sure if it’s unconscious bias, but I have never cared for a character’s pain so much that I cried with him. Well, I’ve had a similar experience in the past probably (thank you, faulty memory), but we’re talking about the now (so shut up!).
Anyhow, Episode 23 of “The Rose” had *SPOILER ALERT* Jin and Bai He already together. Jin already professed his feelings and has come to terms with his past. The two are in bliss with each other while Kui remains on the side, hurting.
Even with the previous episodes, I started getting irritated with the main couple because I felt that they were not paying attention to Kui’s feelings.
Kui knew where he stood, his limitations, but he just probably needed acknowledgement and affirmation from the two. It was obvious that Kui had fallen deeply in love with Bai He, but I think this was never seriously acknowledged by Bai He because they are siblings and she just does not intent to trespass that line because she is fond of Kui as a sibling, and because she knows how to distinguish family love from romantic love. That’s why when Jin still did not know that they are not blood-related and he still ignored her, she chose not to reveal that truth because she prioritized family. So with Kui, Bai He didn’t acknowledge Kui’s advances because she did not want Kui to continue viewing her that way. However, Bai He was unaware how serious Kui was, how he was a man deeply in love with her, that a proper reply to his feelings was never given.
Until episode 23.
So in this episode, Kui drank with Jin. They talked seriously about Bai He, and their feelings. Kui knew that he should be happy for the two, but he couldn’t help but be in pain, and drinking was his way of mending that. However, I find it really brave of him to talk with Jin because I know he was finding a way to move on. He didn’t want to wallow in self-pity because he did not want to dampen the happiness his siblings found in each other. In that talk, Kui made Jin promise never to make Bai He cry, he promised, then Jin asked Kui for his sister’s hand in marriage.
Kui hugged Jin for comfort, and I know, somehow in his own way, Jin was also trying to comfort Kui as his older brother, even if he was one of the primary reasons for his pain. When Kui went home, Bai He was waiting for him, mad and worried. She was surprised to find out Kui was drunk, so she asked him what was wrong. Bai He knew that despite Kui’s loud personality, he was not a drinker, that’s Jin. But Bai He knew why he drank. She understoood. She said sorry to Kui, and I think in that moment, she was finally saying sorry and rejected Kui as a man, not as a brother.
It was heart breaking (and this is the part I cried), when Kui turned around to face Bai He, and murmur something to Bai He. He had such a hard time saying it, that no sound came out of it and it seemed he was about to choke any minute. After two tries, he was finally able to whisper “Good luck” to her. It was his wish for Bai He, to be happy with Jin.
He accepted defeat.
I guess, I just wanted someone to comfort Kui the whole time he had to endure the pain of being heart broken. Since he’s such a loud person, the seriousness of his feelings when he shows it looks like a tantrum or childishness to his family. It was very hard to look at as an audience.
Haaaay. I wish I can hug Kui.