Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: Suddenly This Summer (Ep. 14)

Sorry for the unexpected hiatus — it’s been a while! Life’s a bit busy for me right now so I don’t have as much time to watch and recaps, but will try to get this show done!

Recap

Fall break draws to a close and He Luo and Zhang Yuan must say their goodbyes. They run into Feng Xiao the day before Zhang Yuan has to leave. Upon finding out that Zhang Yuan has yet another standing ticket back to his hometown, Feng Xiao asks his rich grandfather for a favor and gets Zhang Yuan a seat on the train.

He offers to drive Zhang Yuan to the train station, but He Luo and Zhang Yuan both want to say their goodbyes in private. After he drives off, Zhang Yuan tries to make He Luo feel better by reminding her that there are only two more months until winter break. He Luo reminds him to call her when he gets on the train, off the train, and back to school. They hug and then Zhang Yuan’s cab drives up to take him away.

As it drives off, he says through the glass that he won’t forget to do what he promised. But she can’t hear him. Once she’s out of sight, he calls her to say the same thing.

We flash back to the night at the hotel from the end of last episode. Zhang Yuan and He Luo lie stiffly next to each other on the bed, Zhang Yuan breathing heavily after He Luo has pushed him away. After a long moment, he says that he’ll wait until their wedding day before sleeping with her. She laces her fingers with his and smiles up at him, then shyly suggests, “What if you apply to grad school here?” Then they’d be able to go to school together. He pinky swears to make it happen.

When Zhang Yuan gets back to campus, he runs into Yun Wei and Chang Feng arguing. Yun Wei storms off, so Zhang Yuan and Chang Feng go get dinner and drinks. Chang Feng explains that his latest business idea was to sell cash cards to students at Haida. He got Yun Wei to introduce him to some students, but it turns out that the cards were actually a scam and Yun Wei lost her scholarship when she got implicated with Chang Feng in the mess. Zhang Yuan lectures Chang Feng a bit for dabbling in shady business and dragging Yun Wei down with him, but agrees to help when Chang Feng asks.

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Feng Xiao and He Luo run into each other late at night at the cafeteria. He Luo asks Feng Xiao for help getting into an upcoming event with Bill Gates. She wants to get his signature as a gift for Zhang Yuan. Feng Xiao agrees to help.

Zhang Yuan works late into the night helping Chang Feng. He sleeps in the next morning, missing class, but Wei Rui storms into his room, yelling at him to wake up and go to class, or at least apologize to the professor for missing class. He refuses, so she stands in the doorway, refusing to let him go anywhere else. They stand-off for the next few hours, and it only ends when Zhang Yuan threatens to pee in the room in front of her unless she lets him go to the bathroom.

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Feng Xiao follows through on his promise and gives He Luo his own student staff pass to go see Bill Gates.

Later, Da Gang sprints up to Zhang Yuan with some bad news: Wei Rui is on a rooftop and it’s implied they’re worried she’s going to jump off. Zhang Yuan hurries to go find her. He tries to sneak up on Wei Rui, but she sees him and just glares angrily at him, then tries to wipe away her tears. She claims that she was trying to get a better vantage point in order to find him.

He asks her why she cares so much about things like grades and class attendance. She admits that she’s been class president ever since elementary school, and doesn’t find anything wrong with having strict expectations of her classmates because she has those same expectations of herself. But in college she soon realized that everyone around her had grown up and become an adult while she still naively tried to stick to her principles. Zhang Yuan tells her that there’s nothing wrong with sticking to her principles if she thinks that she’s doing the right thing, but that she shouldn’t try to force them on other people.

To make her feel better, he says that he’ll try to skip fewer classes from now on. Then he asks her if she wants to help him with a game mod that he’s writing. She agrees.

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Zhang Yuan shows off the mod he wrote with Wei Rui to Chang Feng. He gives it to Chang Feng to help him earn back some money gaming for the people he wronged, but warns him not to overuse it otherwise the gaming companies will discover the hack.

Zhang Yuan finally goes to one of the classes he’s been skipping. The professor has a problem on the board that no one can solve. He threatens to keep the class there until someone can solve it. The professor picks out Zhang Yuan to solve the problem, but Zhang Yuan refuses to until the professor questions his abilities. He goes up to the board and easily points out that the professor had copied the problem to the board incorrectly, then applies the fix and solves the problem, to the admiration of his classmates.

At night, Zhang Yuan reads a book on the history of quantum physics in his room, then switches to the library when his roommates return. Wei Rui sees him in the library and asks what he’s reading. He’s excited when she shows an interest in the book and topic, since none of his roommates did.

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During their next video chat session, He Luo shows off the book with Bill Gates’s autograph. Zhang Yuan doesn’t seem super excited and instead seems a bit tired and He Luo explains all the connections that got her in to see Bill Gates. But the video chat gets a bit awkward later when He Luo tries to share something exciting that happened earlier in the day, but it just ends up emphasizing how different their two different campuses and college experiences are.

Cheng Jie shows up at Huaqing looking for He Luo. He has a huge teddy bear which he plans on giving to Tian Xin for her birthday. They both go looking for Tian Xin, but run into her dressed up and on her way out for a party with some friends. Tian Xin doesn’t look happy to see Cheng Jie or his gift. She gives it back to him then promises He Luo to meet up for dinner some other day before turning to leave. Cheng Jie asks her where she’s going, but she just calls him annoying before leaving without a response. He Luo tries to make Cheng Jie feel better by saying that Tian Xin must be in a bad mood. Cheng Jie says that he’ll just wait there on campus until Tian Xin returns.

They’re sitting there waiting when Feng Xiao walks by, on his way to meeting his friend Xiang Bei. He asks what’s wrong with Cheng Jie and He Luo updates him on the situation. Feng Xiao calls in a favor with Xiang Bei and finds out where the party is, then brings them along.

He Luo and Cheng Jie look clearly out of place at the club where the party is, with Cheng Jie still clutching his giant teddy bear. Tian Xin doesn’t look happy to see them and drags He Luo off, ignoring Cheng Jie. She asks He Luo if she blames her. He Luo says that she doesn’t blame Tian Xin for anything, but that she thinks she’s treating Cheng Jie a little too harshly. Tian Xin responds that she really can’t stand the way in which Cheng Jie expresses his crush on her.

Cheng Jie climbs up onto a staircase and sees Tian Xin walking across the club. He yells “Happy birthday!” to her, which makes her unhappy because it’s supposed to be someone else’s party and she didn’t want to upstage anyone. He follows her, making a scene and drawing the attention of some other guy at the party who thinks that Cheng Jie is trying to cause trouble for Tian Xin. This draws the attention of even more people.

Finally, Feng Xiao comes over and manages to defuse the situation by explaining that Cheng Jie is just trying to wish happy birthday to a girl he likes. He urges Cheng Jie to give his gift to Tian Xin. Cheng Jie awkwardly does so with everyone watching, and Tian Xin is forced to accept with all on eyes on her. The audience applauds. Afterward, Feng Xiao takes Cheng Jie aside to talk.

Cheng Jie admits he knows Tian Xin doesn’t like him, but that he can’t help himself and she’s the only one for him. Feng Xiao tells him he should switch up his strategy: he should try ignoring her. Cheng Jie is skeptical at first, but Feng Xiao wins him over with an explanation of how effective it’ll be.

Cheng Jie asks Feng Xiao if he likes He Luo. Feng Xiao immediately responds saying that he shouldn’t talk about impossible things, but Cheng Jie can tell that he’s guessed correctly.

Thoughts

I still really like the way Zhang Yuan and He Luo’s relationship is developing. The real threats to their relationship aren’t other people, but the little strains of a long-distance relationship, such as the experience of being on different campuses and around different social groups that may have them growing apart. Their relationship seems very solid right now, what with Zhang Yuan already deciding that he wants to marry her, but at the same time the weaknesses are evident.

Similarly, it’s pretty refreshing to continue seeing how the romantic rivals, Feng Xiao and Wei Rui, bring their own unique qualities to their friendships with Zhang Yuan and He Luo. It’s easy to see how Zhang Yuan might be interested in Wei Rui (even if only interested in friendship) because of her similar intellectual interests.

I like that we still get some focus on the friends’ relationships, but I can’t really sympathize too much with Cheng Jie. I get that he likes Tian Xin a lot, but I sympathize more with how Tian Xin keeps trying to tell him no but he won’t have it. Her methods might be a bit harsh, but I think she’s justified in rejecting him! I just hope that she won’t suddenly cave and decide she likes him without some reasonable catalyst…

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