The Scent of Unforgotten Love in ‘Fragrance of the First Flower’ EPs 1-3

Fragrance of the First Flower” is an award-winning series starring ZaiZai Lyn and Lyan Cheng written and directed by Angel Teng. The series is the first Taiwanese show to be nominated at the SERIES MANIA International Festival and certified by the Tokyo International Film Festival.

“Fragrance of the First Flower” depicts Yi-Ming (Lyan Cheng) living alone with her son, as her husband works away from home. She meets Ting-Ting (ZaiZai Lyn) at a wedding, a girl she once had some history with back in high school. Back in the day, Yi-Ming denied their relationship out of fear of living as a lesbian woman, but meeting Ting-Ting again reignites something in her, a possibility to escape her dull married life. Now that Taiwan has legalized same-sex marriage, can Yi-Ming find the courage to admit her feelings? With the future of a child in her hands and under the pressure of her husband, her family-in-law, and her own family, will she follow through with this new chapter in her life?

 

WARNING! Spoiler alert. Read at your own risk!

 

Episode 1.

In the first episode, Yi-Ming attended a friend’s wedding. While eating at the reception, Yi Ming is staring at the woman in front of her when her seatmate accidentally spills wine on her dress. All the guests line up to have a photo session with the married couple, where she meets Ting Ting, the girl she once had a history with back in high school. They had a little chit-chat and ended up going home together. Feeling awkward, Yi Ming starts a conversation. They talk about life and Ting Ting asks her if she’s happy being a mom and a wife but the latter just stays silent.

After arriving home, Yi Ming received a call from Ting Ting. The latter told her that she forgot her wedding souvenir in the cab. Ting Ting says that she wanted to give it to her anytime she wanted and the latter agreed. The next scene is a flashback of their high school life where Yi Ming was playing volleyball and Ting Ting was watching her. She asks her if she can join the Volleyball team. Though there are no slots open, Yi Ming let her join the team.

One night after training, Ting Ting saw Yi Ming walking home alone. The latter refused, but Ting Ting insisted so Yi Ming ended up riding on Ting Ting’s bike and they went home together. Going back to the present, Yi Ming went home and saw his husband lying on the sofa. After putting his son to sleep, she typed a message for Ting Ting saying that they can meet sometime but she didn’t send it. And suddenly, she received a text from Ting Ting asking if they could meet tomorrow. That short message left a smile on her face.

Episode 2.

The next day, Yi Ming’s husband prepares for work before having breakfast. She met Ting Ting at a cafe. They talked about Ting Ting’s mom and the latter told her that her mom often asks about her. Ting Ting thinks that her mother would be surprised if she saw Yi Ming because she told her that she went abroad. Everyone on their volleyball team thought that she went abroad. But Yi Ming told her that unfortunately, it didn’t happen because of visa problems, and after the wedding she got pregnant.

Yi Ming receives a call telling that her son is sick. She also made another call for her work. Ting Ting asks her if she can be of any help and they end up on Ting Ting bringing her son to the doctor. And when she came back, Yi Ming saw Ting Ting playing with his son at the park. Yi Ming is so thankful to her so she decided to invite Ting Ting to her home for dinner. Ting Ting helped her at first and ended up looking at the photos on her wall.

Over dinner, they talked about Yi Ming’s son Xiao Zhe. Yi Ming told Ting Ting that her son has high-functioning autism. He’s normal like other kids but he doesn’t know how to get along with others. And it seems that Ting Ting knows Yi Ming well. She remembers that the latter is the apple of the eye of her parents and the bar stools that she didn’t have in her house. Yi Ming and his husband brought their son to a game, but Yi Ming is worried that Xiao Zhe will get irritated by the loud sound inside the court. But his husband told her that being with a crowd will help Xiao Zhe since he is entering elementary school soon.

While having that conversation, they didn’t notice that Xiao Zhe is gone. They look for Xiao Zhe all over the building when suddenly, a kid went out of the cheerleaders’ quarters holding pompoms. Yi Ming receives a call from her husband saying that he found their son. Her husband told her that Ting Ting, the cheerleader of the game found their son. He invited Ting Ting for dinner and Ting Ting gave her the pompoms. That night, her husband is reading an article about Ting Ting. He said that she thinks Ting Ting is a nice person. The episode ended with Yi Ming receiving a text from someone asking when they will meet.

 

Episode 3.

Flashback to their high school days, Ting Ting and Yi Ming were studying together at Yi Ming’s house. Yi Ming is tutoring her and while getting a textbook from her, Ting Ting accidentally kissed her. To break the awkwardness, the two continue studying. They tried on some clothes from Yi Ming’s mother’s wardrobe. Yi Ming felt awkward when Ting Ting took her shirt off. She went to the other side of the room to change when the latter suddenly appeared. Ting ting asks her if she ever touched someone before and the latter says no. Ting Ting held her hand and put it in her chest. She also put her hand on Yi Ming’s chest and they felt different.

The two talked about life while lying in bed. Yi Ming told her that she wanted bar stools in her house in the future. Some fancy bar stools she saw in movies. So Ting Ting promised her that she will put bar stools in their future house. But Yi Ming didn’t think of being roommates with her. She wanted to be married and have kids. Ting Ting felt disappointed because she didn’t want to get married.

Back in the present time, the two women brought Xiao Zhe to his therapist. Since Yi Ming’s husband only comes home on weekends, she let Ting Ting stay for that night. While lying in bed, Yi Ming thanked Ting Ting for being with them that day. She asked her if she was sure not to get married. Ting Ting asks her back if she’s concerned about her and the latter says it’s for her own good.

They compliment the beauty of each other when suddenly, Ting Ting asks her if she touched any other girl. Yi Ming says no and she asks her back the difference between dating a man and a woman. She asks her if she really wants to know but Yi Ming feels awkward and says goodnight. But Ting Ting hugged her from the back and started kissing her shoulders. Yi Ming suddenly felt again the feelings she had for her back then. And that night, Yi Ming lost herself to Ting Ting.

 

The first three episodes of the series show that even though fifteen years have passed, some feelings stay and never go away. And even if you tried to deny those feelings, some moments will make you remember the feelings you never really dared to blossom.

 

Binge-watch ‘Fragrance of the Flower’ in GagaOOlala.

 

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