Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: Suddenly This Summer (Ep. 16)

Recap

He Luo makes a “countdown to graduate school examination” calendar and gets teased by her roommates after she says that she needs to work just as hard as Zhang Yuan to make sure he gets into Huaqing for grad school.

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Zhang Yuan’s roommates are also back from break. Da Gang tells Zhang Yuan that the game he made for He Luo has gone viral on the school’s social network. Zhang Yuan didn’t want Da Gang to release it — it was only a demo — but they urge him to check the school message boards and see all the good things that people are saying about the game. He gets interrupted by a phone call from He Luo.

The two banter about being each other’s betrotheds while their roommates eavesdrop, finding their conversation adorably disgusting.

The next day, Zhang Yuan runs into Wei Rui while returning a book at the library. He seems to want to avoid her and smiles awkwardly before leaving without saying anything. But she quickly runs to catch up with him and says she heard that he’s been doing work building computers for people. She thinks that he’s wasting his talent working on hardware and instead should be coding more. She played his game that went viral and thought it was really good.

Wei Rui then asks if He Luo’s still angry. Zhang Yuan forgets what she’s talking about at first, but then says that He Luo’s gotten over it — she can be childish sometimes. Wei Rui says that she’s glad, but also that there’s nothing between her and Zhang Yuan for He Luo to misunderstand. Zhang Yuan agrees, and then is interrupted by a phone call.

It’s Chang Feng, asking for help. Zhang Yuan doesn’t want to get dragged into his shenanigans again, but takes off running anyway.

Chang Feng is at a coffee shop outside of campus with a man who is responsible for running and testing the MMORPG that Zhang Yuan wrote a hack for earlier. Chang Feng got caught using the hack and outed Zhang Yuan as its creator. The man says that they’d welcome bug reports, but not exploitations of the bug. He’ll let them off this time.

Zhang Yuan promises to file reports on the bugs he discovered, prompting the man to hand him his business card. Zhang Yuan recognizes his name, Fu Peng, as that of a former graduate student at Haida. The man tells Zhang Yuan that he should be focusing on real projects instead of game hacks. He brings up the viral game on the Haida social network as an example. Chang Feng is quick to say that Zhang Yuan is the one who made it.

This immediately gets Fu Peng’s attention. He asks when Zhang Yuan plans on releasing a sequel, and whether he has enough cash to make it happen. Zhang Yuan admits that he doesn’t have a lot of spare time and only made the game to appease his girlfriend. Fu Peng says that he should think about making a business or start-up out of his game. He gets interrupted by a phone call from his boss, but before he leaves tells Zhang Yuan to call him once he’s thought it through.

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On the walk back to campus, Zhang Yuan explains to Chang Feng that Fu Peng is a legend at Haida. He built Haida’s social networking site and made enough money programming during school that he was able to buy himself a house. He got recruited to one of the top game companies in the country before he even graduated. Chang Feng responds that if that’s the case, Zhang Yuan should have tried to network more earlier.

He Luo runs into Feng Xiao and one of his high school friends on campus. The girl recognizes He Luo’s name, saying that she’s heard Feng Xiao frequently mention her before. The girl is in the econ department and He Luo jumps at the opportunity to learn more about the graduate entrance exam for economics. Feng Xiao teases He Luo, asking if she’s already looking to switch majors, but He Luo responds that she’s doing research for Zhang Yuan and trying to learn about all the graduate departments.

Feng Xiao’s friend happens to have a classmate who wants to go to grad school and says that she can ask him for some review materials. Feng Xiao comments that it’s a bit too early to start thinking about graduate school, but his friend says that it’s never too early. Their department is notoriously difficult to get into. He Luo’s face falls at this news.

He Luo takes advantage of some downtime while running a chemistry experiment in the lab and copies notes for Zhang Yuan. Ye Zhi notices and asks why she doesn’t just use the copier instead of hand-copying the notes. He Luo is worried that Zhang Yuan will just ignore a copied version and thinks that handwriting the notes herself will attract his attention more.

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She keeps herself so busy trying to help Zhang Yuan that it gets on her friends’ nerves. He Luo continues copying notes while getting coffee with Tian Xin. Tian Xin thinks she’s wasting her youth studying and copying notes all the time and tries to convince her to go out shopping or to the movies. But He Luo says that she’s trying to save money to buy a gift for Zhang Yuan’s birthday, and doesn’t have time. Tian Xin offers to pay for her, but she refuses and runs off early to catch the subway back to campus, ignoring Tian Xin’s offer to pay for a taxi.

Feng Xiao runs into Ye Zhi and the rest of He Luo’s roommate on campus and asks where He Luo is. He hasn’t seen her in a while. Ye Zhi accidentally blurts out that He Luo is tutoring and has been for a while in order to make some more money. She also admits that He Luo’s trying to save money to buy a new laptop for Zhang Yuan. Feng XIao is just relieved to hear it’s not an emergency. Ye Zhi says that He Luo’s situation is the opposite of an emergency — she couldn’t be more in love. Feng Xiao just smiles a little awkwardly at this.

He Luo express delivers her copied notes to Zhang Yuan and tells him all about it when the video chat that night. She tells him that he has to appreciate her handwritten notes — she did it so that they could feel like they were studying together again.

After hanging up, Zhang Yuan puts He Luo’s handwritten notes in his desk. Da Gang wonders aloud how Zhang Yuan could treat He Luo’s hard work so coldly. Zhang Yuan responds that he’s commemorating the notes by keeping them in his desk like that.

The next day, Zhang Yuan brings some computer parts back to his dorm room, telling Da Gang that it’s the last computer he’ll build before he closes up shop. He sees He Luo’s notes on his desk with a large orange stain. He immediately recognizes Lao Gan Ma as the culprit, probably because it smells like chili oil (Lao Gan Ma is a famous brand of chili oil and he’s the one who brought back a suitcase full of chili oil earlier), and is furious. His other roommates have to hold him back from attacking Lao Gan Ma. His roommates try to calm him down, and eventually they get him to sit, but he gets angry again when he realizes he can’t make the stain go away.

The four roommates end up out drinking. Da Gang notices that Xu looks depressed — he admits that his game company just folded. This gets Zhang Yuan thinking and he asks his friends what they would choose: go to grad school, or start a start-up? His end-goal is to be in the same city as a certain someone. Da Gang says whichever way gets him to the city the soonest is better — so that means a start-up. Lao Gan Ma is more conservative, saying that going to grad school will be better in the long-term.

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Zhang Yuan goes to the package center to ship a wooden box that he made personally. Wei Rui also shows up to pick up a package. While Zhang Yuan goes to ask for some extra nails, Wei Rui starts looking through the box and guesses that they’re all for He Luo. Zhang Yuan gets called away again to fill out some forms, and Wei Rui tries to help by continuing to nail in the lid of the box. But instead of helping, she ends up hurting herself and cracking the box. She leaves after watching Zhang Yuan try to salvage the box for a while, but not without a lingering look back and a sigh. She seems a bit jealous of the time and money that Zhang Yuan has spent on gifts for He Luo that He Luo could easily get for herself in Beijing.

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He Luo has finally saved enough money to buy Zhang Yuan a new laptop and proudly shows off her debit card to Ye Zhi. She invites Ye Zhi to go computer shopping with her. Ye Zhi says that she knows nothing about computers and tells He Luo to go with Feng Xiao instead. He Luo doesn’t want to bother Feng Xiao, but Ye Zhi calls him up and gets him to go with He Luo.

Feng Xiao and He Luo go laptop shopping, but in the end, his advice is pretty much useless because He Luo immediately zeroes in on a high-end Razer gaming laptop.

That night, He Luo receives and opens Zhang Yuan’s gift for her. One of the items is a bottle of 3 AM wind, which makes all of her roommates squeal with how romantic and thoughtful it is.

He Luo is distracted while running a lab experiment with her roommate. Her roommate guesses that she’s still trying to figure out how to ask for leave from her classes in order to visit Zhang Yuan. Ye Zhi tells He Luo that Feng Xiao is waiting outside.

Feng Xiao gives He Luo a doctor’s note granting her enough sick days to visit home. He knew that she was unable to come up with a good reason to get leave and got his aunt, a doctor, to write the note. He even made sure that He Luo got enough extra days so she wouldn’t be rushed and would have time to make up her schoolwork.

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During some downtime in his dorm room, Zhang Yuan doodles with black marker on his desktop screen, drawing some glasses on He Luo’s face, which is his desktop background. He snickers to himself, but is interrupted by an anonymous phone call from Chang Feng, who puts on a phony accent, pretending to be a delivery person.

Zhang Yuan goes downstairs, where He Luo is waiting. She flies into his arms and they hug and say how much they missed each other, while also bantering about Zhang Yuan recognizing delivery of his package.

Zhang Yuan drags He Luo up into his dorm. She’s a little hesitant about going into the boys’ dorm at first, but he pulls her in. They burst into his dorm room and Da Gang, who was shirtless and doodling on his arm earlier, immediately freaks out about a girl being in the room and seeing him shirtless. They try to let him collect himself while Zhang Yuan introduces He Luo as his girlfriend.

They try to get He Luo to guess which bunk is Zhang Yuan’s. She guesses correctly — but only because the desktop background is her face with doodles all over it. He Luo demands to know who drew on her face and Zhang Yuan responds awkwardly, then tries to pin it on Da Gang.

Zhang Yuan gets a phone call and excuses himself for a second. But before he leaves, He Luo gives him his gift. He loves it and is overjoyed. Da Gang looks away jokingly, pretending their display of affection is too much for him.

While Zhang Yuan steps downstairs, He Luo pokes around his desk. She smiles at a framed picture of them, but then notices the stained papers that were pushed to one side. She recognizes them as the handwritten notes she mailed to him.

Downstairs, Zhang Yuan meets up with Wei Rui, who is there to give him a birthday gift. He tries to refuse it but she forces it into his hands and then runs away. He sighs and puts it in his pocket, then runs back upstairs.

Meanwhile, Da Gang is trying to explain to He Luo what happened with the papers, but she doesn’t seem to be listening. When Zhang Yuan gets back, he explains the situation, then excuses himself. Zhang Yuan then tries to make amends with He Luo, but all she says is, “If I knew you weren’t even going to look at them, I wouldn’t have put in the effort.” Zhang Yuan says that he did look at her notes. At this, she turns and says that she’ll test him on it. Zhang Yuan tries to distract her by talking about an old Chinese saying.

But He Luo is still upset, saying that she put a lot of effort into getting the notes for him and that the graduate exam is really difficult so he shouldn’t be taking it so lightly. She brings up his side job building computers and says that she isn’t opposed to him doing that, but that he really needs to focus on the graduate exam during this key time. There are only three years left and if he doesn’t get in, then what does it mean for them? But these are all things that Zhang Yuan knows and having He Luo nag him frustrates him. He turns away from her. He Luo notices a box in his pocket and pulls out Wei Rui’s gift.

She asks who gave it to him and Zhang Yuan says she wouldn’t know them, but He Luo guesses that it’s Wei Rui. She shoves the box at Zhang Yuan and leaves angrily.

Thoughts

I’m kind of confused by the timeline right now. This was something I was questioning last episode but didn’t fully notice until this episode. A few episodes back, Zhang Yuan visited He Luo for October 1 (Chinese National Day). Then He Luo had some sort of break and went home, but it seemed too short to be winter break. Regardless, that means it should be fall/winter in Beijing right now, yet everyone is wearing shorts. What? Then in the first half of this episode, He Luo talks about a journal entry that she wrote on September 7 when Zhang Yuan sent her off from the train station (end of last episode). That seems to imply that the previous episode was another summer break (which makes sense why He Luo was comparing it to the summer before college started). But that means we went through the first year of college way fast and seemed to have skipped winter completely.

Just like I predicted, the drama is back! It’s frustrating that these misunderstandings happen, but that’s life. I totally get where He Luo is coming from with both her jealousy and wanting Zhang Yuan to make the most of applying to graduate school. She’s just doing her best to make sure that they can be together in the future. But at the same time, she’s not really letting Zhang Yuan make his own decisions, which must be frustrating for him. It just seems like there’s a lack of communication in their relationship, despite their frequent phone calls.

Also can we talk about how ridiculously nice Feng Xiao is? Everyone knows that he likes He Luo but I can’t believe how selfless he is in helping her with her relationship with Zhang Yuan. He has reached a new level of supportive second lead.

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