Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: Suddenly This Summer (Ep. 21)

Shifting to a less detailed, quicker recap style for the rest of this series because I’m pretty low on time to actually recap in detail. 😦 Let’s get on with it!

Recap

Feng Xiao tries to hold He Luo’s hand as they watch the fireworks, but she pulls away. He Luo dreams of Zhang Yuan the night before she takes the TOEFL, but in her dream he disappears. She almost oversleeps.

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Wei Rui helps Zhang Yuan find an office space to rent. He decides to rent the first option she shows him, ignoring her advice to try and negotiate the price. She tells him that he should bring He Luo by when she comes home for summer break. He tells her he’ll consider it.

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Ye Zhi and Xiao Yi, He Luo’s roommates, notice that He Luo has been distancing herself from Feng Xiao. Sure enough, Feng Xiao seeks her out, noticing that she seems dizzy after donating blood, but she quickly excuses herself to avoid him. He watches her go with a sad puppy face.

That night, Ye Zhi asks He Luo if something happened between her and Feng Xiao. She hints that everyone can tell Feng Xiao likes He Luo and that maybe He Luo should give him a chance, but He Luo is quick to say that there’s only room for one person in her heart.

Without Zhang Yuan, He Luo spends most of her summer studying English at home, to her mother’s joy, despite still being undecided about going abroad. She complains about her boredom to Tian Xin over video chat, while also admitting that she hasn’t talked to Zhang Yuan yet and has only heard rumors about where he is from Chang Feng.

He Luo, Chang Feng, and Yun Wei get together with some other high school classmates for a reunion. Someone asks He Luo where Zhang Yuan is, which she responds to with an awkward laugh. Later, they all go out karaokeing, and some drunk men in the hallway try to talk to He Luo while she’s alone. Zhang Yuan arrives just in time to insert himself between them, but things are still awkward between them. Some of their classmates pull Zhang Yuan away, and He Luo leaves early. Zhang Yuan chugs a beer and follows after her.

After a long, silent walk, Zhang Yuan finally breaks the silence, but the conversation is one-sided. Zhang Yuan tells He Luo has to leave for a work trip. He Luo tells him she’s heading back to Beijing soon to take a GRE class. This seems to shock him into silence, and she gets onto the bus back home without exchanging any more meaningful words.

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He Luo goes to visit Brother Wang at his manga cafe, where business is booming. Brother Wang asks her about her relationship with He Luo and she pretends everything is fine, but feels awkward when Brother Wang talks about how he tells everyone about their successful romance.

On the train back to Beijing, He Luo receives a call from Zhang Yuan telling her to get off at the next stop. It turns out that they’re on trains going in opposite directions that both stop at the same station for 5 minutes. They finally make amends in those five minutes and Zhang Yuan slips the promise ring back onto He Luo’s finger.

He Luo tells her college roommates about how she and Zhang Yuan made up. They gush over the cuteness and tease her about getting married after graduation, but are alarmed to find out that she would do anything — stay in China, leave Beijing, even not go to graduate school — if he asked.

He Luo calls Yun Wei, who guesses that she and Zhang Yuan have made amends. They tease each other about who will get married first.

Zhang Yuan works late trying to meet a deadline for a project. Wei Rui continues to be concerned friend and reminds him to eat dinner. He’s so busy that he cuts short a late night call from He Luo in order to get as much sleep as possible.

Ye Zhi and He Luo run into Feng Xiao on their way to their GRE class. Ye Zhi invites Feng Xiao to take the class with them.

Zhang Yuan meets with Director Qiu, an executive at a company called Le Yi, who demonstrates interest in his new game, but he wants to acquire it. Zhang Yuan isn’t interested in selling, which angers the executive who refuses a parting handshake. After Zhang Yuan leaves, he tells his assistant that he has his own ways of acquiring Zhang Yuan’s game.

Zhang Yuan visits He Luo in Beijing while on a business trip. She’s ecstatic to see him. They get dinner with Tian Xin and Cheng Jie.

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While Zhang Yuan is in Beijing, Qiu’s office calls in Chang Feng, saying they wanted some additional info on the game. They ask him to bring a hard drive for demo purposes.

He Luo sends Zhang Yuan off but is reluctant to let him leave. She tries to bring up the topic of going to school in America, not wanting Zhang Yuan to labor so hard in industry, but he seems pretty determined to ride the gaming wave in China.

Zhang Yuan returns to the office where he tells Wei Rui and Chang Feng that they’ll have to wait another week before signing a contract. Wei Rui finds out from browsing online that Le Yi has announced they’re releasing a game that is exactly the same as theirs. Chang Feng flashes back to his meeting with Director Qiu at Le Yi, when he plugged a hard drive into a Le Yi laptop.

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Later, a scruffy Zhang Yuan sits alone in his office and answers a call from Director Luo, the other company executive he was courting, who tells him this isn’t the first time Le Yi has pulled a maneuver like this. Unfortunately, it also means that they can no longer invest in Zhang Yuan’s company now that his product has been stolen. Wei Rui enters the office with more bad news: they have to repay their first round of funding or else they’ll be sued and Yun Wei called reporting that she can’t find Chang Feng.

They rush to meet up with Yun Wei, who shows them her last communication with Chang Feng, a text saying that he can’t bring himself to face any of them anymore. Yun Wei is worried that Zhang Yuan blamed Chang Feng for their company’s misfortune. Wei Rui is quick to defend Zhang Yuan, saying Chang Feng disappeared on his own.

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Zhang Yuan enlists as much help as possible trying to search for Chang Feng, but Wei Rui reminds him that their company is also about to go under. He responds that he’ll figure it out. He pulls out the contract selling his initial game and looks it over.

Thoughts

I didn’t love this episode. These college scenes feel more rushed than the rest of the show just because the timeline is so confusing and it seems like no time has passed when in reality already three years of college have gone by! That’s really emphasized in this episode where I felt like too many things were awkward or rushed.

The whole karaoke to Zhang Yuan following He Luo home seemed so incredibly awkward. Perhaps that was part of the point, to show how strained their relationship is, but at the same time Zhang Yuan’s wordless running between He Luo and the drunk men and his staring at her while silently trailing her felt more awkward then longing or romantic. This scene very much parallels the scene a few episodes ago when Feng Xiao trailed He Luo after her abrupt departure from her uncle’s dinner party. But that scene felt so much more romantic and meaningful than this one.

I also don’t really like how He Luo making up with Zhang Yuan made her decide to completely ditch her attempt to form her own identity. Now that she has love, she’s perfectly willing to sacrifice her own desire to pursue graduate studies or go abroad? On the one hand, you could see it as beautiful that she would sacrifice anything for love. On the other, it seems pretty foolish for her to let herself to go back to being that person who revolves around Zhang Yuan.

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