Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: Suddenly This Summer (Ep. 15)

Recap

The Haida friends all head out to the shore at night to watch the meteor showers. After the showers are over, Yun Wei asks Da Gang to take a picture of her and Chang Feng. Meanwhile, behind them, Wei Rui loops a scarf around Zhang Yuan’s neck. The moment is caught on camera, unbeknownst to all of them.

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At the same time, He Luo reminisces by the bike racks, remembering the night of her first kiss with Zhang Yuan. She tries calling him but he doesn’t pick up.

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The next morning, He Luo browses social media with Ye Zhi, showing off some ridiculous photos of her, and ends up looking at some photos from the night before. Ye Zhi is the one who notices the photo of Yun Wei and Chang Feng with Zhang Yuan and Wei Rui in the background. She tells He Luo not to think too much of it, but He Luo’s mood immediately sours.

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She video chats Zhang Yuan and tells him that she tried calling him last night. He says that he was just watching the meteor showers with some friends. He picks up that He Luo is in a bad mood, but she doesn’t say anything, instead commenting that he seems to be pretty busy lately. Just then, Wei Rui bursts into his room, demanding to know why he’s skipping class again. They argue for a moment, Zhang Yuan forgetting that the video is still streaming. He Luo watches for a second, then exits the chat and slams her laptop shut. Zhang Yuan realizes his mistake and locks Wei Rui out of his room, then tries to contact He Luo via chat and phone but she refuses to pick up.

He Luo goes out for a run to try to forget all her problems.

That night, Zhang Yuan’s mysterious female friend is still on He Luo’s mind and keeping her up at night. She chats with Ye Zhi, who tells her that this situation isn’t unusual. Zhang Yuan is a great guy — that’s why He Luo likes him — and naturally other girls would be attracted to him too. He Luo doesn’t know what to do. Ye Zhi reminds her that she’s not the kind of person to throw something away if it isn’t working — she’d try to fix it first. Similarly, she shouldn’t just immediately give up on Zhang Yuan. She should try to find a solution.

He Luo heads out early for winter break. To her surprise, it’s Zhang Yuan who picks her up from the train station. She doesn’t look exceptionally happy to see him. She didn’t tell him that she was going home early and instead was planning on hanging out with Yun Wei. Zhang Yuan tries to act the caring boyfriend, taking her bags and attempting to tie her shoes for her. She tries to refuse his help but he insists so she reluctantly accepts it.

Once they get to campus, He Luo tries to shake Zhang Yuan off, worrying about people seeing them, but he firmly puts his arm around her, saying that there’s nothing weird about him walking around with his girlfriend. They’re only on campus for a few seconds when they run into Wei Rui. Zhang Yuan introduces them and Wei Rui greets He Luo warmly and reaches out to shake her hand. He Luo is a bit slower to return the greeting and immediately recognizes her from the photo and from her video chat with Zhang Yuan.

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Yun Wei shows up and brings He Luo back to her dorm to put her things away. Once they’ve left, Zhang Yuan invites Wei Rui out to eat with them.

He Luo asks Yun Wei some basic questions about Wei Rui and comments that she’s very pretty. Yun Wei asks if she’s seen Wei Rui before, since her tone of voice seems to suggest so, but He Luo lies and says no.

They go back outside to meet up with Zhang Yuan. He Luo sees him and Wei Rui chatting from afar, looking very close, and her face falls. But she forces a smile when Yun Wei catches up with her and calls out to Zhang Yuan. His face lights up and he hurries to grab He Luo’s hand, saying that they’ll go out to this great place to eat, but He Luo doesn’t look as excited and doesn’t reciprocate his handhold.

They go to a restaurant that Zhang Yuan and Wei Rui frequent, where the restaurant owner recognizes Zhang Yuan. Wei Rui orders for the table since she knows all the best dishes and is used to ordering when they go there.

Zhang Yuan asks He Luo if she’s tired, noticing that she seems a bit off. He asks if she wants to go take a nap at Yun Wei’s dorm after they eat. She says there’s no need and Yun Wei teases that there’s no way He Luo would want to sleep after being away from Zhang Yuan for so long. Chang Feng jumps in with an innuendo about the two of them being tired together.

Wei Rui finishes ordering and is about to put it in when she realizes that she didn’t let He Luo look at the menu. He Luo says that she’s not picky. Wei Rui replies that she only ordered the best dishes and the ones that Zhang Yuan likes, so there shouldn’t be a problem. He Luo smiles awkwardly.

Wei Rui asks Zhang Yuan if he asked for leave from class in order to spend more time with He Luo. He responds that he hasn’t, and when Wei Rui starts to comment on how he’s always skipping class, he kicks her under the table to try to get her to stop. They bicker a little while Chang Feng and Yun Wei laugh, but He Luo seems uncomfortable.

After they finish eating, the group heads out, but Wei Rui accidentally leaves her wallet behind. The restaurant owner notices and calls out to Zhang Yuan that his girlfriend left his wallet behind. He Luo checks her bag while Zhang Yuan goes to get it, but things get awkward once they realize that it’s actually Wei Rui’s wallet. Wei Rui rushes in and says that it’s her wallet, not Zhang Yuan’s girlfriend’s, while at the same time Zhang Yuan says that Wei Rui isn’t his girlfriend. He Luo quickly rushes away and the restaurant owner apologizes, saying that she assumed (probably because Wei Rui and Zhang Yuan are always there together), but it’s cut short when everyone hurries after He Luo.

He Luo storms out of Yun Wei’s dorm with her luggage, ignoring Zhang Yuan who is waiting anxiously outside for her. Yun Wei says that He Luo is insisting on going home, but she doesn’t seem to understand why. She tells Zhang Yuan to not let He Luo leave angry.

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Zhang Yuan follows He Luo and tries to get her to talk to him, but she keeps walking and refuses to engage. He blocks her way and tries to guess why she’s angry, but she responds with one word answers. He says that she’s been acting strange all day and wasn’t very friendly toward Wei Rui. Since when did she become like this?

He Luo finally reacts, saying that she’s always been like this. She lists all of Wei Rui’s good qualities and then comments on how they spend all of their time together and go watch the meteor showers together. Zhang Yuan insists that they’re just classmates, but He Luo doesn’t believe him.

Zhang Yuan asks why she came back early from school — was it because she missed him or she doubted him? He says that if they choose to be together, then they should also choose to trust each other. He Luo admits what bothers her the most is that all she and Zhang Yuan have are memories of their past, whereas Wei Rui is able to create new memories with him and spend time every day with him. That’s what she envies the most.

Realizing that He Luo is just jealous, Zhang Yuan teases her, saying that she can be really dumb when she’s jealous. He Luo asks who he’s calling dumb and he quickly backtracks and says that he’s dumb. She yells at him some more, but it only makes him smile as he pulls her into a hug. He puts a strip of paper into her hand and tells her to open it later, then hugs her again and smiles as he says that it’s good that she was jealous because it just means that she really loves him.

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He Luo returns home and surprises her mom with a big smile and a hug. Once she gets back into her room, she opens the paper that Zhang Yuan gave her. He wrote a URL on it. She types it into her browser and it leads to a game Zhang Yuan created called “The Power of Love.”

The next morning while eating breakfast, He Luo’s mom asks her about her friends’ relationships. Then she asks He Luo if she has a boyfriend and guesses that she’s still seeing Zhang Yuan. He Luo rushes out the door to hang out with her friends.

She meets up with Zhang Yuan but clearly is still making him work for forgiveness. He asks if she looked at his present yet but she pretends she was too tired and didn’t. Zhang Yuan looks sad and she lets him go for a few seconds before revealing that she did in fact play his game.

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They meet up with Cheng Jie and then head over to their favorite manga cafe where Tian Xin is waiting. She greets He Luo happily but Cheng Jie looks unhappy to see her. “You didn’t say she’d be here,” he tells Zhang Yuan before leaving abruptly. Zhang Yuan goes after him, bumping into Yun Wei, who has just arrived.

He Luo asks Yun Wei where Chang Feng is. She responds saying that he’s been spending all his time in internet cafes playing video games. He Luo wistfully responds that they’re finally all back together again, but the situation is so different from the previous summer. Suddenly, the lights flicker and the three girls wonder where Brother Wang is. He speaks from behind the counter, surprising them, and laments how poor business has been ever since their high school class graduated. No one comes by anymore, and he’ll probably be closing shop permanently soon.

Zhang Yuan returns without Cheng Jie. Tian Xin sadly comments that Cheng Jie must not even want to see her anymore. Zhang Yuan awkwardly responds that she should just give him some time.

He Luo suddenly speaks up with authority, saying that Brother Wang must not let the store close and that the time has come for them to help the store.

The four of them and Chang Feng band together to help Brother Wang renovate the store. While they discuss design plans, Tian Xin comments on how Cheng Jie isn’t there. She thinks his absence is making everyone else unhappy and blames herself (but really she seems like the one who is most upset). Chang Feng brings up how Cheng Jie’s family runs a stationery store and that expertise would be really useful right now. Tian Xin tells him to stop mentioning Cheng Jie.

He Luo says that the manga cafe belongs to all of them so they all have to contribute. Tian Xin tells her that she’s too idealistic from reading too many mangas. But right as she says that, Cheng Jie shows up with a bunch of materials in hand.

Tian Xin and Cheng Jie smile at each other hesitantly and while the others get to work, they sneak glances at each other when the other isn’t looking.

He Luo and Zhang Yuan mess around with paint on either side of the storefront window. They cover their hands with paint and put up mirrored handprints in the same place on the window. (Is it significant that they’re so happy right now but separated by glass?)

They stay late after everyone else has gone home and banter between the bookcases. It’s like old times, and they tease each other about singing and then play with shadow puppets.

The next morning, they show off the newly remodeled space to Brother Wang. The place is brighter and more decorated with cotton clouds hanging from the ceilings and fake grass on the floors. He’s touched by their efforts.

He Luo and Zhang Yuan go to a seaside park with a ferris wheel that they frequented in high school. They reminisce about how Chang Feng was always too afraid to ride the wheel to the top. He Luo asks if Zhang Yuan ever brought his college friends there. “You want me to ride the ferris wheel with other people?” He asks skeptically. He Luo responds that she’s not the kind of person to not let him have fun with others.

The ferris wheel operator announces that they’ll be closing soon and are taking people up for the final ride of the day. Next month the ferris wheel will be taken down permanently. He Luo wonders why it’s being taken down — could there be safety issues?

While they dawdle around trying to decide whether to go up or not, the operator tries hard to get them to go. He says that he’ll only charge them for the price of one person, since he’d love to help out a young couple in love. Zhang Yuan grabs He Luo’s hand and drags her toward the ferris wheel.

In the ferris wheel cabin, He Luo wonders if the operator will disappear after they’ve met him. She thinks that he must be Cupid or Yue Lao (god of marriage) taking on a human image in order to matchmake the two of them. Zhang Yuan teases her for her wild imagination. Ever the cynic, he says that the operator was probably lying about the ferris wheel closing and just wanted to get their business.

He Luo sighs and says that Zhang Yuan isn’t romantic at all. He responds saying that of course he can’t be. The next half of his life will spent trying to take care of all of He Luo’s problems so that it’ll be like she’s living in a dream. He tries to pull some moves on her and points out some “dolphins” out in the water, but He Luo beats him to the punch, turning around and kissing him before he can kiss her.

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The next day is the end of break and He Luo has to go back to Beijing for college. She sadly says goodbye to Zhang Yuan, but only takes a few steps before she turns around and says that she doesn’t want to go back. There’s nothing good about Beijing, she cries, the weather’s terrible and there’s no one to remind her to get off when she falls asleep on the subway.

Zhang Yuan jokes that he’ll takes her back to school with him and hide her in his closet. But all jokes aside, he reminds her of his promise to go to grad school with her. He promises to study hard so that they can be together in the future. She cries that every time they leave each other it feels like they’re breaking up.

Zhang Yuan says that he feels the same way, but that the hardship right now just means that they’ll be even happier in the future. Besides, she can’t just follow him wherever he goes — she has to forge her own path too. And, he says, even if the distance between them is vast, their hearts are still together. In no time he’ll be at grad school in Beijing and she won’t be able to get rid of him even if she wants to. This makes her smile, and she finally leaves. Zhang Yuan blinks away tears but puts on a brave smile and waves as she leaves.

Thoughts

This show is so reasonable and realistic with its relationships that it’s almost boring sometimes. (But it’s so cute and relatable that I keep watching.) The drama with He Luo’s jealousy over Wei Rui was resolved much more quickly than I thought it would be, but I also don’t think it’s the last that we’ll see of this issue. It’s pretty reasonable that He Luo is more jealous of the idea of Wei Rui — a girl who can spend so much time with Zhang Yuan — than she is of Wei Rui herself. While it’s pretty obvious that Wei Rui likes Zhang Yuan, she is also super respectful of their relationship, much like Feng Xiao.

The rest of this episode seemed like a lot of filler. But it did emphasize how strong He Luo and Zhang Yuan’s relationship is when they’re together in person. They fall back into their old patterns, like they were never apart, but it makes the separation harder and makes more obvious the strains in their relationship when they are apart.

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