Episode 3 of At The Moment is quite difficult to watch because it’s one of those stories, where a character keeps getting deeper into their lies until they can’t tell the truth anymore. For a show that is set in the pandemic, this episode does away with any inhibitions of proximity, which feels odd, to say the least. The leads are a YouTuber named Pao-Lin and a hairdresser named Pei-Ming. Their meet-cute is rather unusual, as is the rest of the story that follows. Let’s quickly get into episode 3 of At The Moment.
What Happens In The Episode?
Pei-Ming is one of those overempathetic guys who needs to help everyone in need. On the subway, he notices an old woman who is carrying a lot of bags and struggling to stand. Seeing a young woman sitting, he requests that she move from her spot, which she does, only for him to realize she’s blind. Pei-Ming feels bad for making her get up and follows her out of the train. He offers a helping hand and takes her to her desired destination—the beach. It turns out she wants to enjoy her alone time on the beach, and Pei-Ming stays back with her, telling her how beautiful the sunset is, making the sky a beautiful orange. In reality, it’s dull and grey (like someone’s heart here). As it turns out, Pao-Lin, the lady, is actually not blind but was trying to make a video for her YouTube channel. Pei-Ming was so nice, and his handsome face would make the perfect viewing for a Friday evening, so she decided to use him for the video (yikes, and without telling him). Because it was cold at the beach, Pei-Ming gave Pao-Lin his shirt to keep her warm.
It seems she’s not the only one he gives shirts to, though. Pei-Ming is so nice that if he sees anyone in distress, he ends up “comforting” them in whatever way he can, i.e., dating them (yeah, we don’t know what that’s all about, but sure). Right now, he’s got two girlfriends as well as a dude who likes him and whom he keeps close. He’s also the roommate of the guy from episode 2, so it seems like they’re both struggling in their own ways. Realizing he has some issues, Pei-Ming is also talking to a therapist about his big problem. Pao-Lin is the first person in the lot who wants to return the jacket to Pei-Ming. She’s using it as an excuse to get to know him better, but the others used it as an excuse to stick by his side (is there a difference?).
Pei-Ming gives Pao-Lin a haircut, and they talk a little when she says she doesn’t know how to swim. He offers to help her learn, and this is all while Pao-Lin is still pretending to be blind. Also, we must add that there’s no such thing as personal space when this man is cutting hair; it feels really strange to watch. The two of them have a fantastic time in the swimming pool, holding hands and behaving as a couple. Pei-Ming admits he feels relaxed with Pao-Lin, never having to hide anything from her. Pao-Lin asks Pei-Ming plainly if he’s hanging out with her as a pity party, and he admits that at first, it was because he pitied her, but now he really likes hanging out with her.
Back in the salon, he’s fixing hair for one of his girls when the other one shows up. The first one knows Pei-Ming’s nature, but the second one thinks they’re exclusive. I have no idea what this guy is playing at, but he fixes them both up. The next day, he visits Pao-Lin, who is down with the flu. She worries it’s COVID and doesn’t let him in her house, but he makes his way in anyway, stating they both went swimming together, so they’re likely to be sick together. Pao-Lin lies again, saying she has a sister and the stuff around the house is hers. She’s alone just for a week while she’s gone out. After taking her to the doctor, Pei-Ming takes Pao-Lin to his house (another lost puppy is in the mix). Seeing him take care of her so dearly, she has the urge to tell him the truth, but she doesn’t have the courage to do so. At night, Pao-Lin ends up seeing Pei-Ming with one of the other girls. She pretends to need the washroom and then asks the guy if he had guests over because she heard noises. Pei-Ming lies, saying it’s the television, when they’re both standing right in front of her. Pei-Ming wants to feel needed, and he thinks that what he has with Pao-Lin is different from the others. After the shenanigans of the previous night, Pao-Lin decides to leave the house, but Pei-Ming finds her. He had promised to give her a hair wash, so he took her to the salon, where they got talking.
Do Pao-Lin And Pei-Ming End Up Together?
It turns out Pei-Ming has known the truth about Pao-Lin’s eyes for a while. He knows she can see clearly, but he’s been playing along. Pao-Lin feels ashamed and wonders how long he’s been making a fool of her, but he says she’s the one who has been playing with his heart. They go back and forth about it, but finally, Pao-Lin brings up the fact that Pei-Ming told her the girl was not there, but it was the television. She fears that if she were really blind, he would’ve made it a habit. Now the question arises: how much of their time spent together was real and fake, leaving them both not trusting each other? In the end, they’re both left heartbroken, and he tells his therapist that the person he thought he could be “real” in front of was hurt by the “real” him. Finally, Pei-Ming decides to let go of all his lost puppies and ends up alone. On the other hand, Pao-Lin realizes she had the best time with Pei-Ming the day they first met and ends up deleting the video out of respect (and heartbreak, of course).
Later (we know because they both have new hair), when the COVID situation is a lot worse and the city is in a mess, the two of them see each other at a grocery store. Just as they’re about to find each other, a woman rushes past, making them both lose sight of each other. At the end, they find each other on opposite sides and give their widest smiles (under their masks). Maybe Pao-Lin and Pei-Ming are meant for each other, and this will be the beginning of their story. The “real” one