Zhang Yuan finds He Luo sitting on a bench outside, still angry. He sits down next to her but she puts some distance between them, shifting away. He tells her that they shouldn’t fall into the same trap twice: he thought they had already resolved the Wei Rui issue last time. He Luo says that she’s not angry because of Wei Rui.
Zhang Yuan receives a phone call from someone asking him to help with computer-related things. He Luo is unhappy about it because it’s just more evidence that he’s distracted from his studies.
Before he leaves, Zhang Yuan gives He Luo a stuffed Doraemon toy that says “I love you” on repeat when a button is pressed. He Luo rejects the gift, saying that she doesn’t need his presents, she just doesn’t want him to waste his time on unnecessary things outside of his studies. Building computers won’t get him to Beijing. But He Luo seems to think that studying hard and getting into graduate school is the only way to get to Beijing and that everything else is a waste of time.
Zhang Yuan tries to hand He Luo the toy before he leaves, but she refuses to take it so he puts it on the bench next to her. She glances at it in frustration before leaving it behind.
She goes for a walk and ends up back at her old high school campus. Certain locations bring back fond memories from her high school years and she smiles. All of a sudden, it starts pouring and she imagines seeing an abandoned Doraemon drenched and fallen on the ground. This reminds her of the Doraemon gift Zhang Yuan gave her and she starts sprinting back toward the bench she sat at before.
When she gets there, the Doraemon is missing. She looks around frantically at the empty bench, dripping from the pouring rain. Luckily, a woman nearby had picked up the stuffed toy and sees He Luo looking for something. She gives her the Doraemon back.
He Luo goes back home and puts the stuffed toy into the washing machine. But she quickly turns back before it runs for long and pulls it out, pressing its stomach to see if it’ll still work. Instead, she discovers a slit in the fabric and pulls out a cloth bag. Inside, she finds a ring.
He Luo and Zhang Yuan meet up for dinner. Zhang Yuan smirks slightly seeing the ring on He Luo’s finger, while He Luo looks around awkwardly and refuses to meet his eyes. They bicker a little about which hand and finger she should wear the ring on. He Luo didn’t want to put the ring on the “correct” finger herself. She hands the ring over to Zhang Yuan and he slides it on her left middle finger. They smile at each other, all previous misgivings forgiven.
He Luo says that she’ll be leaving tomorrow. Zhang Yuan knows. She says that she doesn’t want to leave. He knows that too. She apologizes for her actions the day before, acknowledging that she was in the wrong. But she also says that distance is a scary thing and makes her feel insecure. That’s why she wants him to focus on prepping for the graduate entrance exam so they can really be together. He agrees to do his best.
Back in Beijing, He Luo and Tian Xin catch up on campus over some ice cream. Tian Xin notices her new ring and marvels at how Zhang Yuan had enough money to buy a platinum ring. It was all thanks to his side job building computers.
Feng Xiao shows up, saying that he was looking for He Luo after hearing she was back on campus. He’s found a job for her translating a French film into Mandarin (with the help of some English subtitles). He doesn’t wait for an acceptance and just says, “It’s set!” before running off. Tian Xin teases He Luo about a certain someone looking for her the moment she sets foot on campus.
He Luo spends all night working on subtitle translations for the film. Feng Xiao tells her not to worry too much and that he has her back. She’s too focused on preparing her translations to pay attention to him, but he notices the ring on her finger as she brushes some hair out of her face. His face falls for a moment, but then he forces a smile.
The lights dim and He Luo looks frantic as she gets ready to type in the subtitles. Feng Xiao tells her not to worry, that he’s there for her, and puts a reassuring hand on her shoulder. But she doesn’t even seem to notice, so he takes it off with a rueful smile.
As the film goes on, He Luo relaxes and is able to enjoy the emotions of the film (as well as her role in allowing the audience to understand it better!) She watches a scene with tears in her eyes, and then we cut to anime land.
Xia Er sits alone on a rock and tosses a pebble into the water. Suddenly, Kino’s ghostly figure appears. He puts a necklace with a ring on it around her neck, saying that as long as she wears it, he’ll be by her side. He fades into the darkness after telling her to take care.
Zhang Yuan participates in a coding competition at school. Wei Rui is waiting outside the classroom for him once it’s over, and tells him she has complete confidence that he’ll win. She invites him out to eat as a preemptive celebration, but they’re interrupted by the appearance of Fu Peng (the alumnus from the game company from last episode). He’s there to follow-up and gauge Zhang Yuan’s interest in turning his video game into a business (but not before mistaking Wei Rui for Zhang Yuan’s girlfriend, a misunderstanding they’re quick to clear up).
Wei Rui immediately supports the idea of Zhang Yuan trying to develop his game further with Fu Peng’s help, but Zhang Yuan is staunchly opposed, saying he wants to focus on his studies. Fu Peng comes up with plenty of arguments for why now is the time for Zhang Yuan to work on his game. Zhang Yuan isn’t able to counter all of them, but finally settles for a simple “Sorry, no,” and leaves. Wei Rui runs after him.
He Luo gets dinner with her uncle who celebrates a full school year of her being in Beijing. He asks her how she’s doing and if she’s still with Zhang Yuan. She says that she is, but admits that the distance between them is pretty long. Her uncle says that in life, she’ll meet a lot of different people, and that the person she ends up with will be the most suitable for her. Some things she can’t force. He Luo’s face falls.
Noticing that she’s unhappy, her uncle says that they can stop talking about these things and eat instead, which makes her brighten up. After they start eating, he says that he’ll be hosting a small dinner party in a few days. He tells her that she should attend and invite a classmate.
Later, He Luo video chats with Zhang Yuan and notices that he seems tired. She’s worried that he’s still wasting his time on distractions, but he promises that he’s not. She brings up her uncle’s dinner party and laments that she’ll just have to go alone. Zhang Yuan says that she should bring Tian Xin, but He Luo knows that her uncle wanted her to bring a male date. Going alone would be better. She wistfully says that it would be great if he were here. They could go together, dressed in formal wear, arm in arm. She starts humming the wedding march song which makes both of them smile.
He Luo goes to her uncle’s event alone as planned. Her uncle walks her around, pointing out various important people and alumni who are at the event. But he soon gets pulled away by other people so she’s left to wander around herself. She takes a photo of the fancy menu and sends it to Zhang Yuan, who is busy coding. While they text each other, Feng Xiao wanders into the event, dressed in a suit and tie. He Luo looks up and sees him and they’re both surprised. It turns out Feng Xiao knows He Luo’s uncle because of his grandfather and the two are very familiar with each other.
He Luo’s uncle tells her that she should hang out with Feng Xiao instead of texting. He approves of Feng Xiao and would feel better knowing that the two are friends. He Luo jokingly asks if her uncle has a hidden motive for wanting them to be friends. She’s surprised when he says, “Isn’t Feng Xiao pursuing you?”
He Luo reminds her uncle that she has a boyfriend. Her uncle says that young people’s relationships aren’t serious. It doesn’t hurt to check out some other people. Feng Xiao comes over and He Luo’s uncle clinks wine glasses with him, saying that he has his eye on him (in a good way). This makes He Luo uncomfortable and she turns away. Sensing the tension, Feng Xiao leaves the two of them to chat.
He Luo’s uncle tells her the truth about his conversation with Zhang Yuan: that he was really rooting for Zhang Yuan to go to Beijing with He Luo. Unfortunately, Zhang Yuan just fell short of expectations. This makes He Luo angry, and she says that without Zhang Yuan, she wouldn’t have gotten into Huaqing. She abruptly leaves the room.
Feng Xiao chases after He Luo, but she ignores him. He settles for trailing after her. He Luo stops and tries calling Zhang Yuan, but he doesn’t pick up. She starts to cry as she sits down on the curb, while Feng Xiao silently watches her. In a voiceover, she describes how now, more than ever, she wishes Zhang Yuan were by her side. She wanted to prove to everyone that their relationship was strong enough and could survive anything. But he had never felt so far away.
Tian Xin and He Luo meet up for dinner, but He Luo is too dejected to eat anything. Tian Xin thinks that He Luo shouldn’t take her uncle’s words to heart, but she’s perceptive enough to guess that He Luo is afraid of other people looking down on Zhang Yuan. She says that she can understand where He Luo is coming from: Zhang Yuan is a really exceptional person and He Luo just wants him to realize his full potential. But Tian Xin tells He Luo that she should also trust him. She views Zhang Yuan and He Luo as #relationshipgoals.
The coding competition results come out and Zhang Yuan is predictably at the top of the list. Wei Rui congratulates Zhang Yuan and drags him out to a celebratory meal. She ends up taking him to a fancy restaurant where Fu Peng is waiting. Zhang Yuan looks a bit betrayed to have been deceived into attending this meeting, but Fu Peng enlisted Wei Rui’s help because he knew there was no other way to get Zhang Yuan to meet with him.
Zhang Yuan and Fu Peng debate back and forth about the future of technology and the merits of starting a start-up versus going to graduate school. Fu Peng pitches the idea of porting the game to mobile. But all it takes is for Fu Peng to mention Beijing for Zhang Yuan to perk up. If Zhang Yuan accepts, Fu Peng will send him to Beijing for a month to pitch his game to investors. Zhang Yuan immediately says that he’ll do it, to everyone’s surprise. Overjoyed, Fu Peng orders a round of drinks.
Zhang Yuan is very drunk by the time he and Wei Rui leave the restaurant. He stumbles down the sidewalk while Wei Rui tries to support him. He ends up sitting on the grass by the sidewalk and asks Wei Rui if she thinks he’ll succeed. She says that she believes that he will, and he affirms that, saying that as long as she’s with him, he will definitely succeed.
Wei Rui says that the person who is happiest for him should be his girlfriend. He starts talking about how much he loves He Luo and how much he wishes he could be with her. Whenever she leaves he feels like half of him goes with her. Wei Rui smiles dims a little, but she tells him to call He Luo and report the good news anyway. But Zhang Yuan says that he can’t tell He Luo. In fact, He Luo can never know about this video game partnership. She’ll just worry about his studies and he doesn’t want her to worry. He’ll have to think about how to explain his Beijing trip to her.
Later, Zhang Yuan calls He Luo to tell her that he’ll be in Beijing for a month, claiming that his coding competition win landed him a place in a month-long, university-associated program. He Luo is so excited she starts screaming, much to the alarm of her roommates. She starts bombarding him with questions about the program, such as what university it’s associated with and where he’ll stay (he claims it’ll probably be on a campus somewhere).
The next day, He Luo is still delirious with happiness and cackles softly to herself all through her meal with Feng Xiao. She busies herself with planning all her outfits and all the things she’ll do with Zhang Yuan in Beijing.
Wei Rui and Zhang Yuan successfully demo the mobile version of his game to Fu Peng. He thinks it’s great. Zhang Yuan is ready to head to Beijing.
In Beijing, Zhang Yuan climbs the stairs of an old, walk-up apartment building. He finally stops and knocks on a door, asking the boy who opens it if Cheng Jie lives there. (Looks like we know where he’ll be staying!)
This episode really emphasizes the differences between He Luo and Wei Rui. He Luo is more invested in her relationship with Zhang Yuan and pushes him toward whichever path will give them a secure future. But Wei Rui seems to have Zhang Yuan’s interests at heart more, when she encourages him to pursue developing his video game. It’s easy to judge He Luo for holding Zhang Yuan back from his potential, but to be fair she also has no idea about the success of Zhang Yuan’s game because he won’t talk to her about these things. I have to respect her for her commitment to her relationship, even if her methods are a bit heavy-handed. On the other hand, Wei Rui has the luxury of not worrying about relationship logistics and instead can be supportive of Zhang Yuan while also free from obligations.
Zhang Yuan’s little white lie to He Luo about the real reason for his Beijing visit raises all kinds of red flags for me. He Luo might be stubborn when she gets angry at him, but Zhang Yuan really isn’t helping things by not being honest with her. His fears are natural given He Luo’s one-track mind on him focusing on his studies, but if they can’t have an open conversation about important life decisions like this, then what do they have?
Some other quick thoughts on random things this episode:
We haven’t had an anime cut scene for a while until now and I didn’t miss them at all. I don’t see the value in having the anime scenes. They don’t add anything to the story and if anything, just feel random and distract from the show. Maybe Kino giving Xia Er the necklace and then disappearing means that these cut scenes will also disappear from the show.
Thankfully this episode cleared up the whole timeline thing. They’re both in their second year of college now. I’m still a little confused by how they completely skipped winter, but it all makes sense now! (Maybe it’s because the show is called “Suddenly This Summer”? So we skip winter and suddenly it’s summer time again.)