Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: Stand By Me 2 (Ep. 3)

Recap

We flash back to summer vacation. Xiao Hai Yang waits at home to see his final grades that determine whether he passed his first year. Shu Ci visits him and stays with his family. His sister, Xiao Yu, tries to bully her, but his parents praise her hard work in trying to tutor Hai Yang. They seem to have given up on Hai Yang passing college, but don’t fault Shu Ci’s effort. They tell Hai Yang to show her around town.

Lu Qiao Chuan and Zhong Bai go out to take some photos. Ren Yi Fan tags along, but spends most of the time on the phone with his girlfriend, trying to convince her to not break up with him. While packing up their photography equipment, Qiao Chuan notices a masquerade mask in the trunk of the car. It’s the same one that Zhong Bai wore to a masquerade ball the previous year and danced with Qiao Chuan. He didn’t know it was her, but now seems to suspect it was, though she denies it. He starts to confess something to her, but they’re interrupted by an annoyed Ren Yi Fan who tells them to hurry up and stop flirting.

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Hai Yang ends up taking Shu Ci to an internet cafe to play video games with him. He receives a call from Lin Luo Xue, asking where Thirteen lives. Hai Yang doesn’t know, but Shu Ci does. Luo Xue notes with interest that they’re together.

Luo Xue asks a street hawker if he knows how to get to the address Hai Yang and Shu Ci sent over. The man immediately recognizes the address as that of local diviner Thirteen. He tells her that Thirteen is out fishing right now, and warns her against asking him to tell her marriage fortune — he’s worst at that.

Luo Xue finds Thirteen and asks him to tell her marriage fortune. He starts, but then she reveals that she already knows that he’s her match. He turns away, telling her not to waste his time, but she pays him some money and asks him to predict Gu Yi Xin’s match. He says that Gu Yi Xin’s match is him, but that he also predicted that her path would cross with Pan Zhen. Luo Xue rolls her eyes and says that she needn’t ask him in order to know that. He continues, saying that he predicts Gu Yi Xin will “go west” and break up with Pan Zhen before the next semester starts. Luo Xue looks conflicted, then asks if he can predict where Gu Yi Xin is right now. He can’t.

She tries to tell him the truth about Gu Yi Xin, but he keeps interrupting her, and she never gets the chance. Instead, he convinces her to stay at a hotel that he works at.

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Ren Yi Fan drives Zhong Bai home. She and Qiao Chuan dance around each other, dragging out their goodbye while each smiling shyly. They keep almost having moments, if not for Ren Yi Fan’s snarky interruptions.

Hai Yang’s family wait right inside the door when he and Shu Ci get back late at night, asking where they’ve been. Shu Ci saves him by reciting a couple of the tourist sights he had told her about, but not taken her to, earlier that day. His parents are satisfied with Shu Ci’s response, but his sister watches with interest, knowing that Shu Ci is covering for him.

He slips back out to the internet cafe, convinced that tonight is his last night of freedom because he’ll probably find out that he failed out of college tomorrow. He plays through the night and in the morning lets out a triumphant yell when he discovers that he passed. He insists on taking a selfie with the internet cafe owner, who then asks if he should also let his parents know.

The rest of the Hai Yang’s family, plus Shu Ci, wait around at breakfast for him to show up. Noting the time and lack of sound coming from Hai Yang’s room, his father says that he’s probably failed. Shu Ci apologizes but his mom reassures her that it’s not her fault. Hai Yang calls his sister because his parents aren’t picking up their phones (she jokes they’re busy preparing his funeral), and no one believes it at first when he says that he passed. Even after he hangs up, his father says that Hai Yang’s probably just lying to himself and refusing to acknowledge the truth. But Shu Ci pulls up his grades and class ranking and reveals that he was telling the truth. Shu Ci stands up and exclaims that she and Hai Yang will be second years together, while Xiao Yu smiles knowingly. (Looks like someone’s a Hai Yang-Shu Ci shipper!)

Ren Yi Fan, Zhong Bai, and Qiao Chuan all get lunch together. Ren Yi Fan is busy texting while Zhong Bai and Qiao Chuan sneak smiles at each other. He tells them to say something to fill the silence. They try to talk to each other but Ren Yi Fan keeps interrupting. Then they try to find excuses for Ren Yi Fan to leave so they can be alone for a little bit, but he thwarts their attempts. Then he seems to catch on to what they’re doing…

Thoughts

I liked this episode a lot better than the last one! There were too many unexplained changes in dynamic between the characters last episode, and the summertime flashback in this one fills in a lot of those gaps. Plus this episode is just much more upbeat and a lot less dreary than episode 2 was.

While the whole Qiao Chuan and Zhong Bai suddenly liking each other thing still seems pretty sudden to me (am I just mis-remembering the ending of the first season? It was so long ago…), I like that we’re seeing them have to deal with dancing around their friendship with Ren Yi Fan. Their friendship with Ren Yi Fan is really one of the main obstacles in their relationship, because them dating would totally destroy the triangle of best-friendship that the three of them share.

Luo Xue and Thirteen’s relationship and storyline is the most boring out of all the stories that we’re following so far. It’s in Thirteen’s personality to be gloomy and deadpan, but Luo Xue isn’t very dynamic either, and together they’re just frustrating. I’d much rather spend time on this Hai Yang-Shu Ci dynamic that we’re seeing! Honestly, these scenes were so great, not because of either of them, but because I love Hai Yang’s sister. We saw a bit of her last season, and I’m hoping we get to see more of her here!

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