Tender Light Episode 2 Recap & Review: Zhang Xin Cheng Was In Love With Tong Yao

Tender Light Episode 2 Review
  • Cast
  • Cinematography
  • Music
  • Rewatch Value
  • Storyline

If you’ve been following my previous posts, I’m currently watching Tender Light along with several other Chinese dramas, and I’m recapping them on the blog.

Recapping isn’t something I usually do, but I’m slowly getting the hang of it, though I doubt I’ll ever be able to keep up with the release schedule of these dramas.

Tender Light is a thriller drama set in a small town, following a woman arrested for her husband’s murder and other key characters involved in the events leading up to his death.

Aside from the murderer, Nan Ya played by Tong Yao, the other two key characters are Lin Fang Lu played by Ye Zu Xin and Zhou Luo played by Zhang Xin Cheng.  Lin Fang Lu was sent to this town for undisclosed reasons, while Zhou Luo was the only person present during the murder.

When Lin Fang Lu becomes involved in the case, he immediately doubts everything due to biases and prejudices from the people he has interacted with, so he sets out to find the truth.

Read First: Tender Light Episode 1 Recap & Review: Is Tong Yao The Real Murderer?

I’m currently watching it on YouTube, but it’s also available on the official Youku app and Viki. Both Viki and the YouTube channel offer free access, but to get episodes early, a subscription is required and the price varies by country.

Tender Light Chinese Drama Episode 2 Recap 

Episode 2 starts with Lin Fang Lu paying a visit to Nan Ya’s workshop while investigating the case.

And in between all of these, we are shown snippets from the questioning of several key players, including the deceased’s friends, the neighbors, the ex-wife of the deceased, and of course, Zhou Luo who admits that in his opinion, Nan Ya’s husband deserved to die because he had witnessed the man be violent with her several times.

He then says that at the moment, he imagines what he would do if someone came at him with an axe and he was able to get hold of a knife, and these very striking statements immediately show where his alliances lie. 

We then get a flashback to 8 months before the incident occurred, that is, April 1994, and we see Zhou Luo coming back home after just a few months at the university. The time after his arrival is very rough for himself and the family because, as is very common in small towns, the gossiping is rife and everyone is insultingly meddlesome.

It is during this transition period that he is suddenly inspired, and then he starts attending the cram school where he meets his friends – that is, the friends who made an appearance in the previous episode. And it is on one of those occasions that he meets Nan Ya for the very first time, and he is immediately entranced.

We also see that his female friend who wanted to confess her feelings to him is the daughter of the director of their cram school, and her parents wholeheartedly support their friendship because they believe that he is a positive influence who will rub off on her.

Shortly after this, Nan Ya is walking down the street one day when she comes his way, and the two women who are doing their hair out in the street are openly airing their malicious thoughts about her, and then he sees her get her pound of flesh by intentionally tripping the woman, and he is even more enamoured.

While Zhou Luo is at his parents’ tape shop one afternoon and Nan Ya comes in to buy a cassette, he is so visibly flustered by her sudden appearance that he stammers throughout the conversation. But by the end, he finds out that they have the same taste in music and even collects a broken recorder from her with promises to fix and return it.

It is not long after this that he sees her being beaten for the first time by her husband, and he’s so overtaken by anger he doesn’t see straight until he goes home and douses himself with a bucket of ice-cold water.

Back in the present timeline, Lin Fang Lu gets the analysis back from the laboratory concerning the burnt car that was found, and it is properly established that it was indeed arson. That adds another layer of complication to things.

Remember that very combative colleague from the first episode? In this episode, when he notices Lin Fang Lu’s reaction to the information that is revealed about the case, he asks him whether he suspects Zhou Luo (the witness), but Lin Fang Lu doesn’t give a straight answer, and just goes off on him.

Lin Fang Lu again visits the witness’s room that night, and they have a conversation about psychology and the depths of the human mind. At this point, you can really see in Zhou Luo’s eyes that he is tired of Lin Fang Lu’s suspicion, and he isn’t going to feed into it any more than he can avoid.

Tender Light Chinese Drama Episode 2 Review

You know, the way episode 1 started, I didn’t think that Zhou Luo would play a bigger role in the drama, and that was really on me because the very title of the entire show on the YouTube channel is “College Boy Saves His Crush from Her Husband” or something like that, but somehow I totally overlooked that.

Anyway, this episode let us know that even though we weren’t informed in the first episode, Zhou Luo is a person who is very important to the plotline and he will clearly play a big role in the events that are to come, so that is worth looking out for.

With everything that has happened so far and the general populace’s opinions on the killing, I have to say that to be a woman and to want to live a life where you intentionally make yourself happy is one of the hardest things a person would ever do. 

Even Zhou Luo’s mother more than tells Lin Fang Lu at a point that she knew something would happen to the culprit at one point or the other because she was beautiful and she wanted to be unique, which is the worst thing a person could want to do.

Right now, it seems like the best thing is to try one’s best to blend into the shadows, but even at that, it’s very painful to think about the fact that everybody knew that Nan Ya was being abused by her husband, but not a single person stepped forward to correct him or even teach the man a lesson. In fact, the beating and domestic abuse only gave the townspeople more things to talk about and more things to berate her for.

It seems like no matter what a woman does, she will always be treated as the antagonist, and that is just painful, no matter how you look at it. I really appreciate that our male lead is a person who can examine a case objectively rather than the emotionally charged responses of the other detectives, and I can tell that he will be the one to filter out the lies and biases from the truth.

That said, everything is still super interesting at this point, and I can’t wait for the coming episode. Somehow, I have a feeling that Zhou Luo’s mother has a bigger role in the episodes to come because we have seen how devoted she is to her son, so I can only imagine how she will react when she finds out that her son has turned his attention from school and is now focusing on an older woman, and not just any older woman, but rather the one that is generally disliked.

I can totally see her making a drastic move and doing something that will completely sever their connection, but then, that is something we will find out in the coming episodes.

Let me know if you have been watching this drama in the comment section and if you have any thoughts on it, and we can talk.

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