The only reason some people should end up together is to save anybody else from ending up with them and ruining their lives. The third episode of At the Moment is an unintentional comedy, and there is an ardent curiosity to know what the writers were thinking when they wrote this. There is no doubt that this is entertaining, but for reasons that would be embarrassing for the team that made it. The only lovable thing was the actor who played Hsu Pei Ming, whose face can be happily stared at the whole day, no matter how obnoxiously it behaves. Coming back to the point, the couple in the episode had chemistry, though it was the actor doing most of the heavy lifting of that. Either way, the reason this story is so silly is that one single tweak could have fixed the whole thing. But not all episodes can be sweet. Some also need to be cringe-worthy and funny to maintain the balance of the anthology’s mood. This is a recap of their story.
How do Pao Lin and Hsu Pei Ming meet?
Pao Lin was on the subway, and Hsu Pei Ming was being a good samaritan, so he asked her to get up so that an old woman could take her place. Pao Lin was definitely being petty because she made a show of being blind when getting off the train. But she underestimated just how well-meaning Hsu Pei Ming was because he rushed towards her and insisted on dropping her wherever she wanted to go. That is how these two ended up having their first date. Pao Lin wanted to record his reactions to a social experiment she was doing, but she unintentionally ended up having the best time of her life. In some ways, it would have served her well to reveal the truth then and there or upload her video without any delays, but she did neither, and that brought her closer to her soulmate. There is a very charming aura to Pei Ming, and while it is understandable that he turns a few heads, he is not innocent in the least, as the series would have us believe.
According to Pei Ming, he is involved with a few women because that is his way of comforting them since they grew attached to him after he took care of them. Of all the reasons we have heard in our lives, nothing even comes close to Pei Ming’s grandiose ideas of what he is actually doing. He tells his therapist that he likes taking care of people, and all his relationships where he hasn’t made a full commitment are because of that. But Pao Lin is different because she ‘doesn’t need him’ yet wants to be with him, which is something he has not felt so far from any one of his ‘relationships.’ However, Pei Ming is clear that he needs Pao Lin to depend on him, which is why, even though he knows that she is not blind, he lets her continue her lies so that he can be by her side to take care of her. Pei Ming never specifies when he comes to know that she was lying, but it is safe to assume that it happened when he asked her how the haircut was, and she said it looked good without thinking twice. Pei Ming and Pao Lin fall in love very soon, and the confession also doesn’t take time. Pao Lin is considering telling Pei Ming the truth, but she is unable to bring herself to do so for fear of losing him. But COVID-19 makes sure things come out in the open very soon.
Do Pei Ming and Pao Lin get back together?
When it looks like Pao Lin may have COVID, Pei Ming insists on taking care of her. He says that since they spent the day at a pool, he may already have it. Luckily, Pao Lin doesn’t have COVID, and it is just the stomach flu, but when she spends the night at Pei Ming’s place, she understands just how much of a cheater he is. A girl is in his arms, and he tells Pao Lin that he is alone. The next day, Pao Lin cannot wait to get out of his place, but she runs into him just in time. As he is washing her hair, he reveals that he always knew the truth about her. Pei Ming never answers why he continued the facade but conveniently blames Pao Lin as the one who deceived him first. Pao Lin asks him if she is really blind and if he would continue cheating on her the way he did. But this fight is just a blame game between two unlikeable people, so there is no meaning to it at all. In the end, Pao Lin goes away, and Pei Ming is also left alone. Pao Lin deletes the video she shot with him, certifying that everything between her and Pei Ming had been real for her. As for Pei Ming, he cuts off all his ‘relationships,’ and the fallout from that is harsh. One of the women gets married, another slaps him and ruins his clothes, and the third goes out of contact with him. This is no less than what Pei Ming deserves, and it is surprising that he is not more relieved by this. There is also no answer as to whether he has had the kind of self-growth where he can draw boundaries and not want to be in ‘charge’ of other people’s feelings through his care.
Some time has passed by the end of At the Moment episode 3. The pandemic is in full swing, and people are going mad over collecting rations. Those are memories we do not cherish, and it is annoying that, amidst the world collapsing, Pei Ming and Pao Lin are leisurely shopping while people are running around them. In the supermarket, Pao Lin and Pei Ming spot each other. They want to talk, and they have probably acknowledged that they can call it even after what they both did. They better end up together and don’t let anyone else suffer at their hands.
It is absolutely lovely that everything Pao Lin wore, from her clothes and accessories to her hair bands, looked so homemade. So far, she is the only person whose wardrobe has been noteworthy in the anthology. We refuse to compliment anything else about this episode, except for another note about how good-looking Pei Ming is.