‘Wave Makers’ Ending, Explained: Did Wen Fang And Ya Ching Expose Chang Tse’s Misdeeds?

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It is an often encountered dilemma in the creative industry that it is not the best product but the best packaging that sells the most. There is a wide gap between critical and sentimental thinking, and capitalizing on this chasm is advertising 101. This difference is even more exacerbated when it comes to public figures, who are held to an impossibly high standard. It may be argued that such strictness of judgment is required if a person aspires to hold a position of influence. But it must be recognized that in a society split by economic and social differences, the definition of morality changes from household to household. In such a scenario, it is not a standard of governance that the person must live up to but the demands of the dominant social fabric. “Wave Makers” addresses this beautifully when capturing the public’s perception of the differences between Lin Yue Chen, who is an unmarried and childless woman, and Chao Chang Tse, a family man. Another example would be Lin Yue Chen’s refusal to declare her stance on the death penalty due to the popular sentiment of the country being against her own view about it, a difference that could adversely affect her chances in the election. And then, there is the case of the conflict between personal and political acceptance of homosexuality. This story taught us something. The fact is that the perceptions of the public, of office members, of people with a stake in any matter, and even those who are just stuck in the old ways (misogyny), it is the intertwining perceptions of all these groups and the campaigners quest to find a semblance of justice within them that forms the crux of the story. 

“Wave Makers” was beautiful to watch because it did not shy away from making us feel uncomfortable at any point in time. This reminds us of a series we had seen in a similar election setup: “Queenmaker.” Despite this one similarity, they are not the same shows. However, if we had to compare, we would say that “Wave Makers” felt far more empowering simply because, unlike “Queenmaker,” the series did not pretend that misogyny does not exist. In fact, it tackled it head-on, and that is why it is a superior product. Let us see how this series unfolds through each character.

Spoilers Alert


What Happens With Ya Ching’s Sexual Harassment Case?

It’s become a tale as old as time that a victim of sexual harassment must expect to forget what happened to her and move on in the interest of the “bigger picture”. That is what Ya Ching is told to do when she is harassed by Chien Cheng Li. But she is numb to it and says that she expected nothing different. However, luckily, her colleague Weng Wen Fang stands up for her and is relentless in the pursuit of justice. She contacts an ex-employee, who tells them that Cheng Li had made similar advances at her and, when she rejected them, made her professional life a living hell. Armed with this evidence, Wen Fang directly goes to Lin Yue Chen, their presidential candidate. She is furious at the things that have been happening in her office and demands immediate action. Though she wants to handle Cheng Li through the legal route, it would be detrimental to the elections. Therefore, the result is that Cheng Li is told to take a few weeks off and when he returns, he will resign from his job. As Lin Yue Chen acknowledges, this is not complete justice for the trauma he has inflicted over the years, but it is the best they can do considering the circumstances. It is this kind of method that would allow Lin Yue Chen to take office, and she would then be able to introduce legislation and enforce other sweeping changes for the “bigger picture”. The same principle as before was applied: help, but with an acknowledgement of wrongdoing and a promise of justice.


How Does Weng Wen Fang Run For The City Council?

When Wen Fang was first running for the council, her dreams were cut short. A man had attacked her and her girlfriend and was openly homophobic towards them. Wen Fang had pushed him back in self-defense, but that had backfired on her. The man’s daughter recorded the video of her doing so, and when Wen Fang refused to apologize unless the man did, it was released, severely hurting her case. Even a year after the incident, Wen Fang is taunted by literally everyone regarding the video, and the one thing she is constantly told is to “calm down”. Of course, Wen Fang faces the dilemma of whether a position of power is worth letting go of her rightful anger for and apologizing. She hears a lot of things while pondering this decision of hers. Someone tells her that this means she doesn’t want to win badly enough; someone else tells her she is being idealistic, but nobody tells her even for a second that she is right. But we suppose she is used to fighting her own battles.

In a world that doesn’t like independent women who dare to love someone of the same sex, silent anger must be a way of life. Yet, support for them does not look the same. Her father, who never got over treating Wen Fang as the replacement for the son he lost, fought the hardest for the legalization of same-sex marriage. This showed Wen Fang that being in a position of power is the only way to bring about real change. That is when she decides that she will do what it takes. But her journey is not without hurdles. Because of the stand she took for Ya Ching, her boss has started sidelining her from her job. Ya Ching recommends that Wen Fang try apologizing to him so that he gets past the matter. But Wen Fang does not want to play to his ego, as that would set a precedent for all their future interactions. Therefore, she starts her own YouTube channel, where she discusses political issues and concepts, and that gains her a sizable fan following, forcing her boss to take her seriously again. While announcing her candidacy for the council, she even takes the bold step of announcing her sexual orientation. Wen Fang had been openly out for the entire “Wavemakers” Season 1, but this is probably the first time she has declared it to prove that she has nothing to hide or be embarrassed about. As Wen Fang finds success, she is once again in a situation where ethics clash with her ambitions.


How Is Ya Ching Connected To Jung Chih And Chang Tse?

Wavemakers is a collection of personal stories intertwined with the stakes of an election campaign. There is Chen Chia Cheng, who scrambles to balance his personal and professional lives. He is a good man, but unfortunately, he is a man. Domestic responsibilities were never in his purview, and what little he does, he thinks, is enough, while his wife carries the lion’s share of the responsibilities while working a full-time job. To Chen Chia Cheng’s credit, he listens to her, and that is why, despite a temporary separation, they are able to reconcile soon enough. Maybe it helped that, as ambitious as he was, he also had a conscience, which proved to be to the benefit of everyone time and time again.

That brings us to Ya Ching, one of the primary protagonists of the series with Weng Wen Fang. The reason Ya Ching was so numb to the sexual harassment case with Chien Cheng Li was that she had gone through something similar before. When she was working with Chao Chang Tse, she fell in love with him. When the office started gossiping about their affair, Ya Ching found that it affected her credibility at work; therefore, she wanted to change jobs. Chang Tse initially held her back by promising to nominate her for the city council but reneged on it. When she went ahead and applied for jobs anyway, she found that nobody was hiring her because he had downplayed her competence and credibility to others by lying to them so that she wouldn’t have a choice but to stay with him. Ya Ching had left the situation and gotten a new job by lying on her resume.

However, Ya Ching’s ordeal is far from over since Chang Tse still holds some photographs of her that he refuses to delete. An exhausted and scared Ya Ching finally takes matters into her own hands by approaching Chao Jung Chih, Chang Tse’s daughter. She meets Jung Chih under a false name but soon realizes that she suspects her father of cheating on her mother. It was Ya Ching who had anonymously planted that doubt in her mind. Currently, with a fake story of her own, Ya Ching tries to help Jung Chih get to the photographs at any cost. Jung Chih is curious about a safe in her father’s office, and she suspects that it must have some incriminating evidence. Ya Ching knows the code to that safe since she helped set it up, to begin with. She helps Jung Chih crack the code by continuing her deception.

Jung Chih finds a flash drive in the safe that has provocative photographs of a number of women. Unable to look at it, she keeps it back in its place. But she is now in a dilemma. She wonders whether her mother would be able to use that as evidence to get a divorce but finds that she always knew about the cheating and would probably never leave her father. In the meantime, Ya Ching discovers that a photograph of hers is going to be published in the newspaper with Wen Fang. This would reveal her true identity to anyone who saw it, Jung Chih included. She is desperate for her photographs to be deleted, hence her decision to meet Chang Tse and ask him one final time to delete them in return for the evidence she has found of his cheating. Wen Fang panics when she hears this, not just because of the danger to Ya Ching but because any evidence of Ya Ching’s involvement with Chang Tse’s family would be used against the election. It turns out that Ya Ching does not follow through with her intentions. She leaves the city and goes back home, deleting her online accounts and leaving it all behind. Jung Chih has also discovered Anna’s true identity and found her pictures on the drive. When she confronts her father about the woman, he claims that she is the one to make advances on him.


‘Wave Makers’ Ending Explained: How Were Chang Tse’s Misdeeds Exposed? Did Lin Yue Chen Become The President?

Wen Fang and Chia Cheng are determined to get justice for Ya Ching. She left behind a flash drive containing personal chats which could be incriminating evidence if not shrouded by the fact that it is a breach of privacy. Something like this turns out to be true when another publication reveals photographs of Chang Tse with his secretary that clearly show they have an intimate relationship. But Chang Tse takes care of the matter by showing up with his wife and giving an explanation for the misunderstanding. But the skeletons keep tumbling out of his closet. The media publishes a screenshot of Jung Chih’s conversation with her friend that shows her saying that her father had an affair. Jung Chih’s father tells her that he never had an affair and gaslights her into believing that she would be responsible for people losing their jobs if she let him lose. Jung Chih needs to come out and trash the rumors for this to be okay, but she is unable to. The fact is that the screenshot was leaked with the help of Ya Ching. She cannot be identified because that would mean that the conversation cannot be refuted anymore.

Ya Ching has made the decision to go on live TV to reveal the entire truth, but she is still grappling with her guilt. Society has a definition of what it means to be the “perfect victim,” and anything other than that means that the perpetrator goes scot-free. The brunt of this psyche is usually borne by women, but Ya Ching, with the help of Wen Fang, is able to see things clearly and tell her truth in front of the world. This prompts even the press room of the campaign to try and come up with a messaging that would protect Ya Ching while bringing Chang Tse’s misdeeds to light. Jung Chih breaks out of her family’s pressure and her father’s gaslighting by handing over the flash drive to Ya Ching and Wen Fang. The scandal knocks out Chang Tse from the race, and Lin Yue Feng emerges on top. Days before the election, the campaigning is in full swing, and the team wants Ya Ching to come back and join them. Ya Ching’s family has accepted her past and is there for her, but she has not returned to her old life yet. With this invitation, she knows that the love for her is still intact and will come back.

A day before the general election, we see some of the BTS of the campaign, where Chia Cheng says how he loves his job but encourages Wen Fang to take the stage once again. This scene right here is another reason we were reminded of “Queenmaker.” Those who know, know. At the end of “Wavemakers” Season 1, Lin Yue Chen wins the election by an overwhelming majority, and the victory is further sweetened, especially for the audience, when Ya Ching comes back. As for the losing side, Jung Chih wonders whether she is the cause of her father’s loss. But she is reassured that it wasn’t her so much as a chain reaction that starts with one bad deed. But back to the winning camp: Wen Fang asks Ya Ching to join her. Wen Fang wants to get back to her YouTube job, but she has political ambitions and wants Ya Ching by her side for the long run.


Final Thoughts

To be honest, most of the media that we usually consume from Taiwan or China is borderline fluff. Therefore, watching something like “Wave Makers,” despite its simplistic happy ending, felt like a breath of fresh air. We loved this series, and though we said that they are different shows, “Queenmaker” should have had more of “Wavemakers” in it. It’s a beautiful series that deserves way more hype, and we hope it gets that because it would be criminal to let this remain underrated.


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Divya Malladi
Divya Malladi
Divya spends way more time on Netflix and regrets most of what she watches. Hence she has too many opinions that she tries to put to productive spin through her writings. Her New Year resolution is to know that her opinions are validated.

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