It is hard to call episode 2 of At the Moment, titled “The Night in Question,” a love story. It is more of a story of human connection that happens when you take the chance to open up to someone. It is hard to remember who said that “love always finds a way.” Perhaps it does, or perhaps it just chooses to have fun with things, but few can ignore the transformative power of it. That is probably why people don’t ever stop chasing after it, no matter whether the world is on fire or hell is freezing over, because it is the one emotion that makes a person like themselves a little more, along with the happiness that comes with loving another person, and that is what happens with the leads of this episode. This is a recap of it.
How do Chun Pin and Chien Chien meet?
Chien Chien is a masseuse who is down on her luck because her abusive ex-husband keeps stealing money from her. When she got divorced, she wanted to go her own way, and her father-in-law gave her a substantial amount of money for her daughter’s treatment. Chien Chien’s good-for-nothing husband used that as an excuse to steal money from her constantly.
As a masseuse, Chien Chien was used to clients talking to her while she was massaging them. Most people would call that one of the more entertaining parts of the job, but Chien Chien used to see it as something she had to do to earn her bread. According to her, everyone had hard lives, which was fair, but Chien Chien never understood how talking about it helped. She perhaps preferred the silence or was so sure of being all alone that hearing others felt like a waste of emotional energy to her.
Then there is Chen Pin. He is a happy-go-lucky deliveryman who is looking for a genuine relationship, but that doesn’t seem to come his way. Chen Pin is the most unlucky man in the entire anthology, and there isn’t a situation that doesn’t give him an injury. First of all, he starts with his roommate’s girlfriend giving him the side-eye for being in the house when she was with her boyfriend. And what do you know? The boyfriend is Pei Ming, who is quite nice-looking but equally irritating in episode 3 of the anthology. When Chen Pin leaves the house to make his delivery, the restaurant owner is mad at him for daydreaming a bit. Then Chen Pin gets into an accident while avoiding a dog and injures his leg. This is not a good day for him, but he is looking forward to meeting his masseuse, Chien Chien (a different one than the heroine). Sadly, she has quit the job, and he is stuck with our heroine since they have the same name. Chien Chien catches on to what Chen Pin is looking for, and she offers to provide those services for some money. Chen Pin agrees, and it is hard to say whether it is funny or sad that he doesn’t have much money. Regardless, he once again injures himself because of his clumsiness when trying to retrieve the protection that he had accidentally thrown behind a table.
That is when a raid is conducted in the parlor, and Chien Chien has to help him with his clothes since he cannot move at all. They both barely manage to escape and have their first real conversation of the day. Chen Pin realizes that Chien Chien is a single mother and understands why she made such an offer. They talk for a bit about their jobs and situations, and Chien Chien gets a little more comfortable. She agrees to go to his place so that they may continue with their deal.
What happens between Chien Chien and Chen Pin?
It is an awkward situation that is made easy by the fact that Chen Pin has been a gentleman throughout. The only thing he has explicitly asked of Chien Chien is to hold her hand, because Pei Ming had told him that it helps create a connection between two people. So far, neither Chien Chien nor Chen Pin has felt the connection, but the act of handholding is slowly becoming more natural for them. They listen to some music in Chen Pin’s room, and Chien Chien realizes that he is just a man looking for some true love through all the wrong means. But he was still respectful and understanding, which is what Chien Chien came to trust and like. Perhaps that is why she took the risk of flipping off his nosy friends (since they were all strangers) and showing them their place. It is one of the funniest scenes so far, right before the unintentionally funny episode 3.
Chen Pin drops off Chien Chien at her house, only to find her ex-husband, Chen I, who is there to harass her more. They barely manage to escape him and decide to have some supper for real, which is when they run into the restaurant owner from before. The man is drunk as hell but preaches beautifully about the importance of ‘carpe dieming’ for love. That is when Chien Chien suggested that they go to a hotel. Chen Pin is glad, but the awkwardness continues for them since they now know each other as something more than strangers. When Chien Chien gets a little playful, Chen Pin rushes to the shower, only to have another accident where he slips and falls on the floor.
Chien Chien manages to drag him out and checks if he is okay. That is when she discovers that Chen Pin uses sign language. His hearing aid has been on and off the whole time, and before he started using that, he probably relied on sign language, and even now, in his most unguarded moments, that is what he switched back to. It is not shown whether they did the deed that night, but Chien Chien is undoubtedly a changed woman. Experiencing the power of confiding in others has shown her the way to find the courage to face the future. We see at the end of At the Moment episode 2, titled “The Night in Question,” that Chien Chien has learned to enjoy talking to her clients, and she is also learning sign language. A year and a day after she meets Chen Pin, both of them go out for another dinner, and Chen Pin tells her that he has found what he was looking for, which is surely the woman of his dreams.
Something about the story prevents us from using the word ‘love’ for the relationship between the leads. But whatever they feel for each other is undeniably special, and nobody can refute that. This was a wonderful episode.