Zhang Yuan tells He Luo that he didn’t get a train ticket to Beijing, but says that she should stay there and hang out with her friends instead of trying to come back. But it turns out that Zhang Yuan had been able to purchase a ticket — he had just given it away to an elderly grandmother with a bad leg whose only family was in Beijing.
Unfortunately for He Luo, her roommates had spent all day trying to buy train tickets and making plans so they wouldn’t be third wheels for He Luo and Zhang Yuan. They wonder what He Luo will do all alone on campus, but she puts on a smile and says that she can hang out with her high school friends who are in Beijing.
That night, He Luo runs into Feng Xiao on campus. He invites her to go with him to Tiananmen Square to watch the flag-raising for National Day.
The next morning they get up before sunrise to take a bus to go watch the flag raising ceremony. By the time He Luo gets back, it’s still early morning and her roommate Ye Zhi is sleeping in. The hall monitor wanders the dorm, asking if He Luo is in. Someone is looking for her.
He Luo runs downstairs to find Feng Xiao outside her dorm, but he’s not the one looking for her. She turns, wondering who else would be looking for her during break, and sees Zhang Yuan.
She’s shocked and then angry, yelling “Liar!” at him and shoving him, but he pulls her into a hug. They banter for a moment before He Luo remembers that Feng Xiao is still there. She introduces the two boys to each other. Feng Xiao re-extends his offer of a bed in his dorm room.
He Luo rushes back to her room to get sheets for Zhang Yuan. Ye Zhi freaks out at the news that Zhang Yuan is here and that he’ll be sleeping in the same sheets that He Luo slept in. She runs out onto the balcony with a pair of binoculars once He Luo leaves the room in order to see them together.
Feng Xiao sets Zhang Yuan up in his bed. Zhang Yuan doesn’t know how to do the sheets so Feng Xiao does it for him. While he’s making the bed, Zhang Yuan notices a copy of Summer Records on his desk. It’s the newest volume. Feng Xiao finishes making the bed for Zhang Yuan and climbs back down. He catches sight of Zhang Yuan’s train ticket: it was for standing room only, meaning Zhang Yuan had stood for the ten or so hours it took to get to Beijing.
Later that day, after both have taken a nap, Zhang Yuan and He Luo meet up to eat. He Luo greets him with a hug, surprising him, then shows him her campus cafeteria. They go shopping together at the supermarket, acting cute and couple-like. Tian Xin texts He Luo, saying that the four high school friends should meet up for dinner.
At the supermarket, they run into Feng Xiao. He asks what their plans are for dinner, then essentially invites himself and a friend to dinner.
Things get more than a little awkward at dinner that night. Feng Xiao’s friend, Xiang Bei, shows up when Feng Xiao steps out, and immediately recognizes He Luo, saying that Feng Xiao’s mentioned her a lot. He Luo and Zhang Yuan exchange a look. Then Tian Xin and Cheng Jie show up. Feng Xiao immediately introduces Tian Xin to Xiang Bei since they both go to the same school. Cheng Jie tries to convince Tian Xin not to go karaoke-ing because it’ll get late and he’ll have to see her home. Everyone else smiles a bit awkwardly at his over-protectiveness. Feng Xiao tries to talk Tian Xin up a bit to his friend, and Tian Xin jokes that he better not be trying to set her up. Cheng Jie seems to take this a bit too seriously, which continues to makes things awkward.
He Luo and Zhang Yuan go on another date the next day and explore the city. When they return to He Luo’s dorm, Ye Zhi rushes down and complains about how some people had knocked over the bikes. He Luo volunteers Zhang Yuan to set them back up. While doing so, he accidentally interrupts a couple making out. He Luo tries to creep over and see what’s going on, but Zhang Yuan forces her away. He Luo tries to get their attention just to mess with Zhang Yuan and he fights to keep her quiet. They get very close to each other and freeze.
He Luo checks the time and extricates herself first but she’s so flustered that she starts walking in the wrong direction, toward the boys’ dorm. She quickly turns and rushes the other way. Zhang Yuan follows her, then turns her around toward him. They avoid eye contact but draw closer to each other. Finally He Luo makes the first move and quickly kisses Zhang Yuan. He takes her face and kisses her tenderly.
Zhang Yuan takes He Luo’s hand and they slowly walk back toward her dorm. He catches sight of Feng Xiao coming down the road, but ignores him. She doesn’t see him. They’re reluctant to let go of each other’s hands and part ways, but eventually do.
Zhang Yuan catches up with Feng Xiao after He Luo heads back to her dorm and notices him holding the copy of Summer Records. But he doesn’t say anything and instead invites Feng Xiao out for drinks and some late night snacks.
They both have a generous amount to drink. Zhang Yuan eyes Feng Xiao’s copy of Summer Records and asks if he was going to give it to He Luo. Feng Xiao doesn’t answer, but guesses that Zhang Yuan and He Luo had read the manga together. Zhang Yuan gets straight to the point and asks Feng Xiao what his intentions are with He Luo.
Both are slightly drunk but Feng Xiao is quick to say that he just wants to be He Luo’s friend. She made it clear from the start that she had a boyfriend and he can tell that she only cares about Zhang Yuan. As a friend, he’s happy for her. Zhang Yuan’s accepts this and thanks Feng Xiao for looking out for He Luo. They drink to that.
Afterward, Zhang Yuan wanders over to He Luo’s dorm. Still slightly drunk, he listens to the English recording she made for him back in high school. He gets a text from her, saying that she’s thinking of him. He responds saying he’s downstairs.
She rushes downstairs to meet him and notices that he was drinking. He wraps her in a drunken hug, saying the he wants to spend every moment he’s in Beijing with her. She responds that she feels that way too.
They end up in a hotel room, where Zhang Yuan drunkenly lies on the bed while He Luo nervously sits on its edge. She moves to get him some water, but he pulls her back down to his side. She lies down next to him, looking awkward and saying that he must have had too much to drink, while he rolls over and puts his arm around her. She remains stiff and nervous but doesn’t resist when he starts kissing her. But when he tries to touch her under her shirt, she shoves him away. He gives her some space, breathing heavily.
But come morning, they’re asleep in each other’s arms.
I am hooked on how cute this show is! The scenes in which He Luo and Zhang Yuan finally kiss but do it so shyly made me squeeee! Their romance is so innocent and naive and pure and it’s kind of beautiful to see. Bai Yu and Bu Guan Jin have great chemistry together.
I love how much of a fangirl Ye Zhi is of He Luo and Zhang Yuan’s relationship. She is essentially every fangirl viewer, except she has front-row seats as an actual person in the drama!
Suddenly This Summer does a great job of showing the slow, steady development of a long-distance relationship. In some ways, the relationship progresses so slowly because He Luo and Zhang Yuan are so rarely physically together. But it also has to move so quickly when they are together, because those moments are so rare. It’s both heartwarming and a little heartbreaking to see them be able to be that cute campus couple for a few days, because it shows what they could be, but also what they don’t have. Soon reality will come crushing back down and they’ll be apart again.