Rewatching episode 1 of Guardian because why not and this is why we rewatch: Prof Ouyang tells Shen Wei he has a favorite pupil of his own he would like him to talk to some day and it takes 30 more episodes for us to find out that it's Lin Jing.
Episode 1 rewatch continues: I totally missed that on the roof, Shen Wei's eyes flick to the side before he lets himself get tossed off the roof. He must see Chu coming and chooses his exit strategy thusly.
The first watch is always hard when you're reading subtitles because your eyes are always flicking up and down so you miss tiny things like side-eye.
There are other cultural cues I missed bc I'm not familiar w/genre of Chinese drama like when Yunlan changes his hair I assumed he got a better stylist but Guardian Tumblr explained to me that it meant he and Shen Wei were basically married now or at least doing it off-screen.
Some clues are universal though like SW's constant fussing and cleaning and cooking for ZY and ZY's power bottom teasing and pouts to get his way; the man can work a piece of hard candy like ... sorry what was I saying I got distracted by something
Oh right anyway as I was saying I ... wait what
Episode 2: when confronting Li Qian on the roof SW becomes agitated when ZY asks if LQ is less upset about death and more upset that her grandmother suddenly left her, which in hindsight we now know wasn't just SW taking up for LQ but ZY striking a nerve. #foreshadowing
When LQ cries that she had found herself with a stranger wearing her grandmother's face who didn't know her, couldn't love her, that she had paid such a high price only to still lose what she had loved 💔 SW's face
Now they are in the car driving together for the first time, LQ asks if it's not too late for her, SW says that those who have been betrayed and hurt, maybe it's impossible for them to return to the past but then ZY's thoughtful glance over at him is interrupted by the plot again
Ruining a perfectly good opportunity for ZY to ask why the professor is so stony-eyed and won't look at him, but also being a very convenient distraction so the BCE can reappear while ZY has SW locked in the car lol.
LQ's Grandma making life altering sacrifices for someone she loves without checking with them beforehand is setting a really bad example of poor life choices for Shen Wei, I'm just saying.
P.S. Why does the director insist that the camera should shoot the BCE from below? Sure Long-ge has a lovely mouth but that double chin angle plus the way he ducks his head in that hood is not favoring his jawline and that is A CRIME against his beauty.
Now BCE is apologizing to ZY: "I am careless, I arrived late, please forgive me" LOOK IT'S ONLY EPISODE 2 HOW WERE WE SUPPOSED TO KNOW ALL THE LAYERS OF MEANING IN THIS APOLOGY THE FIRST TIME AROUND
"BABY I KNOW I WAS JUST REALLY MAD AT YOU IN THE CAR, BUT YOU WERE SO BRAVE AND YOU'RE SO HANDSOME I CAN'T STAY MAD AT YOU, ANYWAY IT'S MY FAULT I TOOK SO LONG, YOU SEE I WAS TAKING A DIRT NAP AND MY ALARM DIDN'T GO OFF BECAUSE *I DON'T HAVE A PHONE* PLEASE LOVE ME EVENTUALLY"
Shen Wei in the graveyard trying to feed Yunlan clues to the bigger picture without seeming like he knows anything *really*: "Why are the DXians showing up here, now?" ZY giving a first tiny indication of trust & value in SW's input: "I think there's a problem somewhere as well."
This is the second time SW has literally fed ZY the question that the director of S.I.D. *should be asking* and ZY is finally letting SW know that he *gets it* and maybe they are, at least on this, on the same page (as long as SW isn't, you know, a bad guy, still not sure ...)
I keep pausing my rewatch for reasons but here at the end of ep 2 Chu's telling BCE that he & ZY both "like to fish"; Chu can't tell who is plotting against the other. I let that fly by me the first time but not BCE's response: "I hope we both can take what we need" OY my heart💔
Here in episode 3 we remark again that the Longevity Dial only reacts to ZY and not the other SID employees. Which is sweet, really, how the holy tools give their love to ZY all through the series (& also occasionally try to murder him) (not on purpose) I totes ship ZY/Hallows.
Hallows --> Zhao Yunlan = Atlantis --> John Sheppard there are so many plot bunnies that could be explored in a universe where Shen Wei is Ancient, ZY has the gene, can power the city. Shen Wei blowing apart the Wraith like candyfloss to rescue ZY would be a battle worth seeing.
Yes I do have an irresistable urge to cross over many of my fandoms into each other's universes. Feature or bug? You decide.
Back to Ep3 ZY points out that the Leader of the Guardians can't just have a higher salary and nothing else special about him and the #foreshadowing it hurts, it hurts while he smirks at Lin Jing, knowing what each of them has yet to go through & what Lin Jing will finally carry.
I wondered how Shen Wei could so easily take over and sub for an engineering class when he teaches genetics and biology, but I think Ep3 is before we know what his power is, so for now I'll just enjoy how cute he looks carrying around a cake in a box.
ZY points out that the dead student is SW's yet again and the stunned expression SW has like "I can't believe you suspect me you bastard" 5 minutes later ZY introduces himself to teacher Zhang as SW's "good friend" and SW is all mmmblargh
ZY psychoanalyzes Zhang and SW gets snippy with him, enough to surprise ZY & effectively close their conversation, "I understand your style of making audacious assumptions but can you not aim it at someone innocent" like "why are you an asshole and yet so gd cute istg get out"
literally 5 mins later Zhao Yunlan is back in Shen Wei's office after dark and even SW is like 🤨at this point especially because SW is still mad at him which to be fair to ZY is exactly how a master serial killer would feel so you can't blame either of them really at this point
"will understanding people better really make it hurt less when they turn out to be assholes" is such an underrated statement only because right after it comes "many tragedies were destined from the beginning" and ZY still doesn't know why SW is being ice cold with him BUT WE DO
This is the confused face of a man who understands that he has royally fucked up somehow but has no idea where even to begin to tease it apart #Weilan <-- also I'm going to tag from now on so all my friends don't mute me for being annoying lol
pause for another victim and oops it's been at least 30 seconds so now look ZY is back in SW's office again. finally someone asking the hard questions #Weilan
The killer has been revealed and suddenly ZY realizes Prof Shen is in danger *it's about time you started worrying about your boyfriend ffs* #Weilan
"You will never understand what she means to me," the killer says to SW. "As long as I can protect her my life has worth." Here we are again with the #foreshadowing #Weilan Also, "why aren't you dying" the killer wonders but just then ... p.s. nice artwork professor
IT'S ABOUT TIME YUNLAN I'M JUST SAYING #Weilan
"now that you're here and I anticipate you apologizing for being a jerk" #Weilan
me, 35 episodes from now #Weilan

(spoiler alert it will not be fine then either)
SW is moved by what's happening with the killer and the victim but I think that it's ZY's helpless angry frustration at not being able to save someone who deserves to be saved that finally reaches SW in this scene and spurs him to intervene. #Weilan
We end with SID members reinforcing for a confused ZY that Prof Shen seems far too cool under pressure, and SW making mysterious phone calls about moving out of university housing bc even tho he still mad he can't *stay mad* "I'm not the only one who can't figure it out" #Weilan
After reflection I think this is where SW realized the Hallows could help reunite people who *have made a promise to stay together* and I believe I have already read several post-drama-canon fanfics to this effect, whose authors I applaud for their good taste in theory #Weilan
Because I think that while ZY as Leader of the Guardians of course has affinity for the Lantern, the Longevity Dial he's touched the most, shared his essence with, been restored by, so it loves him almost as much as SW does & the last scene of Ep40 is the Dial doing its best work
^^this is now my headcanon forever, that the Longevity Dial also ships #Weilan and it just took an indeterminate amount of time for it to talk the Lantern into shipping them too.
One of my favorite parts of early Guardian is that Shen Wei is 1 of the 2 most powerful beings in this entire universe, yet he lets Yunlan continually feel like he is protecting and watching over SW when with a twitch of his fingers SW could BURN IT ALL DOWN if he wanted #Weilan
When you see what other Dixingians can do it's impressive, tho the writers sometimes play fast & loose w/the rules. But Shen Wei & Ye Zun are truly terrifying esp. when you see them countered against each other: one respected and in control, the other abused and out of control.
Episode 4: Shen Wei questioned by the members of S.I.D. is one of my favorite scenes in the whole series. The ZY looks him in the eye, asks a direct question, SW gives him a direct answer without blinking, ZY lets him go but meanwhile I'm just here spritzing cold water on my face
The first time I think I laughed out loud at this series #Weilan don't mind me Chief I was just sitting here on a random bench perfectly reasonably waiting for you to pass by so I can offer to help catch the killer that 5 minutes ago you accused me of being.
#Weilan "when you are determined, there's no way to refuse you" the inspiration for several good fanfics about Shen Wei's determination and Zhao Yunlan's delighted acquiescence.
This pathway is wide and could be dangerous so we should walk the entire disrtance as close together as humanly possible for protection but avoid looking directly at each other so we can pretend we aren't trying to "accidentally" brush hands #Weilan
OK boys I watched this whole scene again, slowly, and SHEN WEI you are totally touching Yunlan as much as you can get away with THE ENTIRE TIME, you are not fooling anybody my son, especially not Yunlan and definitely not the rest of us #Weilan
#Weilan here we have the first real time that Shen Wei gets hurt and yet miraculously isn't hurt because [spoilers] which just confuses Zhao Yunlan all over again. Lex Luthor is texting Zhao Yunlan right now saying CALL ME WE NEED TO TALK
I love when #Weilan team up to scold their reckless foster son. ZY the "I'm so mad" dad vs SW the "here's a metaphor about how disappointed we are" dad but the best is when SW starts calmly analogizing ZY takes a deep breath and all the tension visibly flows right out of him.
#Weilan:
-ZY: god you're so hot when you're being the nice dad in the cute dad sweater
-SW: thanks babe ILY2 hey also can we forget about that other part just now where I pretended I wasn't bleeding and then healed by magic
-ZY: *hell* no
#Weilan bond over a nice drink with their victim then bond some more over the case until ZY starts remembering how SW has been thrown off roofs and attacked twice by perps yet remains oddly unharmed, so reminds SW that he's still suspicious of the micro-expression king of acting.
cue dramatic music and this would be a great place to cut episode 4 but the pacing on this show is so weird that we're still rolling #Weilan so now the fan favorite scene where ZY asks SW about his name & SW goes all mooney-eyed for a moment hoping ZY is finally [spoilers]
#Weilan ZY excels at flirtation through interrogation. Even my grinch heart twists when ZY tells SW that he thinks his mom would have liked him, SW tells ZY his mom would definitely be proud of her son if she saw him now and they start to get very friendly BUT THEN CRIME HAPPENS
#Weilan SW, angry at being c-blocked by criminals again, gets all badass dark energy and vows aloud to find the bad guy BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY because he is really sick of not having kissed ZY yet even though they've known each other for what, like, 4 days by this point.
#Weilan in one of his brighter moves SW decides that purposefully stabbing himself on a bear trap is a great way to get ZY off his trail. What SW apparently has never heard of is a tetanus shot and also he didn't count on ZY's sudden protectiveness being so ... hot.
#Weilan ZY runs off to rescue Zhu Hong from criminals and SW fights ineffectually with the bad guy in a dark alley. The bad guy isn't very creative (and has terrible hair) so he threatens ZY and S.I.D. which only makes SW mad and then worried and THEN things get - explosive.
#Weilan here we learn that the Black Cloaked Envoy (BCE) is powerful enough to keep some idiot from blowing up himself and everyone around him including ZY but then they get into a fight over their foster son having to be arrested. ZY stalks off, super mad at the BCE, who is sad.
#Weilan and here at the end of episode 4 when the BCE comes to Chu for validation, we learn something super duper important that I wish I had remembered in detail by the time we got to episode 40 [spoilers] because this series is nothing if not full-circle, loop-closing.
#Weilan at episode close SW reveals that he made ZY angry to protect him from the knowledge that their foster son was a walking bomb, (how do you know his emotions run deep you've known him *for four days*) and then ...
#Weilan ... then the emotional brick wall came to smash my heart to bits and I knew I was doomed to watch 36 more episodes in 72 hours what even is having a life if you can't spend it wallowing over imaginary people in love drive.google.com/file/d/1ygv_F9…
I got no sleep last night, my morning meetings have all concluded so I'm taking half a sick day now to jump back into #Guardian with episode 5 rewatch and collect more thoughts for myself for future fic/vid projects. So off we go, remember you can mute #Weilan if you're over this
#Weilan ah yes the water bender episode; we start with Professor Shen very dressed up nicely for tea with his boss just so his boss can tell him people are starting to notice how much SW has been peripherally or directly involved in recent unpleasant things like MURDERS on campus
#Weilan also, his boss says, the other professors are jealous that you're spending all your time flirting with Zhao Yunlan instead of them
SW is problematic enough to boot out of staff housing, but not so problematic that they don't still want to bleed him dry for his professional reputation, ah I see academia is the same in every universe, even Haixing planet #Weilan
Meanwhile back at S.I.D. Lin Jing invents popcorn and confirms my theory about the Longevity Dial being sentient, loving Zhao Yunlan and totally shipping #Weilan as I determined a couple of recaps ago lol. Hardworking Xiao Guo takes notes while cats and ghosts stuff their faces.
ALSO FORESHADOWING about spoilers about another Hallow and who is worthy or not worthy of its blessings #foreshadowing #Weilan #Guardian
Yunlan arrives to implement his tradition of *sitting on the table with his shoes on* to eat food while his cat boy stares at him #Weilan
For the next case we get a nice tour all throughout of "stately homes of Dragon City" thanks to GuardianHGTV #weilan except for Shen Wei's new place which apparently is a dump but looks nice enough to me.
#Weilan there's a lot of mirrors in this episode and I'm trying to remember if that's important in this episode as much as it is in a future one. We could scrape out a lot of symbolism/meta about mirrors in the whole series and I think I just gave myself a vid idea. We'll see.
This seems a very common sentiment among at least the older set of Dixingians, doesn't it? #Weilan #foreshadowing
Shen Wei, Clark Kent called and he wants to talk to you about where you got your completely believable disguise that fools even your oldest frenemies #Weilan
Shen Wei, lurking about, promises not to get involved with this case but has a warning for those involved, about Chief Zhao. Shen Wei, you are really terrible at this whole "keep a professional distance to maintain your cover and not endanger your loved ones" concept. #Weilan
#Weilan I'm just putting up this whole scene bc everything about it is evolved: both relaxed, slightly teasing, their voices are warm, soft, despite rehashing certain topics. Things are settling & opening up between them and it's all in the performances.
#Weilan honest to god they're 1 step away from having phone sex in that clip above esp after ZY trips and admits he came by SW's office that day but SW wasn't there - even though there's no case at the University this time. When SW catches the slip ZY is *so into his smart bf* 😁
ZY doesn't get enough credit for being able to figure out people's buttons, and pushing them whenever he needs to. His quick scene with the water bender is easy to overlook but he's professional, forceful, insightful and compassionate at the same time. #Weilan #Guardian
#Weilan Xiao Guo, the heart of this team, has had enough of dying people and wants to help. The Dial doesn't light up though until ZY yells at it, probably hurting its feelings, so it's a good thing that BCE shows up in time to stop them all from making a terrible mistake.
#Weilan what BCE is really saying here is ZHAO YUNLAN WHY IS IT THAT EVERY TIME I LEAVE YOU ALONE YOU FIND SOME NEW WAY TO TRY TO KILL YOURSELF FOR ILLOGICAL REASONS but ZY has his own ideas about what's important #foreshadowing
#Weilan everyone pleads for the BCE to help save Uncle Wu, but it's ZY who gets through. "The SID has changed" SW thinks, and soon we will meet Zhao Xin Chi and come to learn just what that meant. #foreshadowing
Meanwhile the Dial has forgiven ZY for yelling at her (it's totally a her) and she offers an apology by skyping her brother, Awl, to introduce them. #Weilan
#Weilan ZY has dragged his cat out for a run, comes home to find out his boyfriend has moved into the apparent dump *directly across the hall*. ZY is torn between being thrilled and being suspicious. SW is just thrilled that it seemed to go well & ZY offered to help him move 😍
Episode bonus: in a joint interview I watched, Zhu Yilong teased Bai Yu about Zhao Yunlan's "why stand when you can sit" & "why sit when you can lie down" characteristic, pointing out that one time he even sits down on a bathroom toilet in the middle of a crime scene lol #Weilan
honestly his table manners are atrocious
Time for #Guardian episode 6, the villain story bored me the first time but perhaps I will be more enlightened this time around #Weilan
I do like that when Da Qing is insensitive and makes the victim feel terrible, Yunlan's immediate response is to not even try to be comforting himself, but to outsource that task to Guo who is by now universally acknowledged to be the most empathetic and kind person of them all
#Weilan ZY finds an excuse to run off and see SW while Guo and Chu go for a walk to try to cheer up the victim. A pivotal interaction follows in which Chu starts looking at Guo much differently, but it takes us ages to find out why. Guo is so sweet here you can't help but ❤️him
#Weilan Shen Wei is talking to the leader of the flower clan when suddenly ZY rides by. It's after sunset, late in the day but yet SW assumes ZY is coming to talk to him, so he books it back to his office just in time to greet him. ZY looks so sad when he thinks SW isn't there :(
#Weilan but lo, SW has risked portaling across campus just for ZY :D ZY's big smile comes right back. Even from the rear you can see how big he's smiling lol
#Weilan CUE BLATANT FLIRTATION SCENE in which SW teases ZY about it being the first time he's come just for advice and not to accuse SW of involvement in a case. SW gets clever and ZY gets - well. He likes it *a lot*.
#Weilan smart boyfriends are smart together
Soon we discover that the BCE can teleport inside a mirror and will not hesitate to put you down if you try to kill his boyfriend. #Weilan
#Weilan I feel more sad for the people in this case this time than I did the first time. It seems that ZY also feels sorry for them. Perhaps seeing ZY conflicted, SW (uh, I mean, BCE) takes a moment to hand out life lesson abt judging people by hearts not by cloaks - I mean, skin
#Weilan SW is starting to get careless. He's managed to hold his body language in a certain way as the Envoy, but here SW's mannerism of ducking head while refusing to meet ZY's eyes when he is uncomfortable, is telegraphed; ZY twigs onto something, tho not sure exactly what.
#Weilan the line that launched a fandom's obsession with a trenchcoat
#Weilan fandom doesn't always give ZY credit but when he's onto something, he sits forward, laser focused; questions come quickly, putting suspects off balance; and he knows exactly when he has someone on the ropes - and lets them know that he knows when the jig is up.
#Weilan Bai tries to tease apart real girl from illusion to understand who it is that he thought he loved. Is there a parallel? By BCE feeding him suggestions about judging by heart & not skin, maybe SW hopes ZY has been set up to be more receptive if SW's identity is discovered.
#Weilan Guo narrates the outcome for us and the reactions of ZY & Zhu Hong which have some mini #foreshadowing. BTW is there any discussion somewhere about "the mountains & rivers will always be guarded in the south" because that conversation with the BCE and Wei Wei lost me.
All I wanted to do today was watch one episode and it's taken 3 hours because people will not leave me the fuck alone. #cranky
#Weilan across town, a man asks his cat for relationship advice and somehow they end up talking about roofies
#Weilan a boy and his cat get up to some questionable decision making about breaking & entering when they learn that SW conveniently lives *right across the hall from them*. Also a cat is poetic.
#Weilan SW's apartment is so different from ZY's, in decor, in lighting, etc. But each of their apartments is perfect for each of them. I like looking at all the crap they both have. Oops SW is coming home. Hide! Too bad he's magic & knows you're there but kindly lets u escape.
#Weilan the crack detectives are even more suspicious now and put in a call to Dixing behind the BCE's back. ZY considers what else they can do to snoop around Professor Shen. The genius idea of sending Chu with a trojan horse gift with a hidden camera is born.
#Weilan ZY notices Chu is as respectful to SW as he is to only one other person: the Envoy. Da Qing is a brat and almost gets kicked lol
#Weilan now that ZY can spy on SW he arrives just in time to hear SW's disappointment about Li Qian dropping out. There's some very nice subtle but poignant communication between the two of them in the rest of this scene. Underrated, unflashy, but one of my early favorites.
#Weilan SW is so elegantly sad, but then, no one turns on an emotional dime and crushes his feelings into submission like SW either. ZY tries his best to ... help. If innuendo is helping. All I can say is that it definitely helped *me*.
#Weilan SW trundles off to teach a class, ZY seemingly follows discreetly, and oh no what's this after class is over - highwaymen in the alley! Who - can't believe this guy is just handing them his money and his watch. We can't either bc SW could literally annihilate these jokers
#Weilan but SW has his pride and draws the line at apologizing - and at them touching his pendant. Oh look! ZY has just happened to come along! Did SW know ZY was following him? I think he probably did, and that's the only reason these jerks got away with touching him at all.
#Weilan we've finally made it to Ep7 where ZY rescues the most powerful (and bemused) being of an entire planet from two small time crooks in an alley as shown in this brief interlude from a fanmade crackvid.
#Weilan ^^^ herein is said vid
Elsewhere recently a conversation broke out abt ZY's confidence & competence in a fight and how ... appealing ... it is. This fight's not one of the better ones, but SW agrees it's quite nice to see the world's most skilled power bottom go all alpha male in this alley. #Weilan
#Weilan ZY's right, Shen Wei. I mean he's not *really* Dean Winchester. He just acts suspiciously like him sometimes. But I am sure he did not actually hire these two tools to rob you in an alley. Well, I'm mostly sure. Like 82% sure.
#Weilan one of the idiots comes at ZY again and gets a beatdown but ZY gets a little hurt and now SW's turn to be worried (again) but pleased because he gets to invite ZY back to his house to take care of him <3 gotta play it cool, though. But of course ZY gets right to the point
#Weilan Just watch Episode 7, enjoy the lengthy flirting when the two of them are alone, off the clock, & focused entirely on each other: SW on caring for ZY's injury, ZY on getting close to SW under the pretense of getting SW into SID to *cough* keep an eye on him. Mhm. OK.
#Weilan the best part about this scene in Ep7 is that it's the first time ZY is really off his game: flustered, caught in several slips, simultaneously anxious to get out of there but wanting to stay and, uh, grill SW. For information. Right. If he could stop babbling. Giant dork
Additional interludes from crackvid, because now I am tired and want to nap
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