Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: Stand By Me 2 (Ep. 4)

Today’s recap is more brief than my other ones — trying out a return to my Shuttle Love Millennium recap style of just some quick, plot-worthy hits! We continue on with our summertime flashback and see our three wishful romances (Zhong Bai & Lu Qiao Chuan, Li Shu Ci & Xiao Hai Yang, Lin Luo Xue & Thirteen) develop a little more.

Recap

Ren Yi Fan knows that Zhong Bai and Qiao Chuan like each other, and gives them the opportunity to talk. Neither of them say it straight out, but reach a mutual understanding that they like each other. They force Ren Yi Fan back to the same noodle restaurant the next day, much to his annoyance. After Zhong Bai gets called home by her mother, Ren Yi Fan confronts Lu Qiao Chuan about his budding relationship with Zhong Bai, wanting to make it clear that even though he is their biggest supporter, he’s also the one who worries the most about their relationship. He knows that if the two break up, it will be entirely Qiao Chuan’s fault, and in that scenario, he will always be on Zhong Bai’s side. Qiao Chuan tells him that he’s already thought of all the possible ways in which he could break Zhong Bai’s heart, but has still chosen to start the relationship because he feels like he owes it to her for the past 13 years of being dumb and oblivious.

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Meanwhile, Lin Luo Xue persistently tries to find ways to break the news to Thirteen that Gu Yi Xin has left, but he refuses to listen or have a real conversation with her. They run into Fourteen, Thirteen’s diviner predecessor. The next day, Luo Xue tells Fourteen about how she has liked Thirteen for a long time. They fell out of touch and she was disappointed to find he had completely forgotten her when they reconnected years later. She even turned down a “great guy” for Thirteen. She cares about him enough to want him to know the truth about Gu Yi Xin, but at the same time doesn’t want to crush his romantic dreams and so won’t straight out tell him the truth. She prefers chronic pain to acute pain.

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Hai Yang’s parents adore Shu Ci and credit her for Hai Yang’s lack of failure. They throw a party and invite all their friends and family, and send her off with a ton of gifts, while Hai Yang watches awkwardly with his sister. Xiao Yu is firmly Team Shu Ci, much to Hai Yang’s surprise. She tells him that she doesn’t know what he likes about this other girl, but Shu Ci is “not bad.” Hai Yang responds that just because he can’t have the person he likes, doesn’t mean he should settle. Hai Yang sends Shu Ci off at the train station. Feeling guilty, he gives her a hug and an apology, knowing that she, like him, wants someone she can’t have, but won’t settle for someone else.

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Thoughts

I’m glad that Ren Yi Fan had that convo with Qiao Chuan about his relationship with Zhong Bai because I can see things getting really messy between them. Thus far, it’s not entirely clear what changed so much that Qiao Chuan has decided to date Zhong Bai, and I’m not entirely convinced that he won’t drop everything if Lin Luo Xue decides to give up on Thirteen and go pursue that “really good guy” who wanted her.

Watching Lin Luo Xue and Thirteen interact this episode was also really confusing to me. I find Luo Xue’s expressions really hard to read and Thirteen is expressionless by nature, but that just makes Luo Xue’s reactions even more confusing. I get that she must be frustrated by Thirteen’s blase attitude, but she’s just so inconsistent with her reactions, or perhaps it’s the editing that makes it seem that way. Occasionally she’ll seem inexplicably angry, but then she’ll be unusually calm. Maybe that’s just her personality? But it’s just so difficult for me to watch and stay interested.

The Hai Yang and Shu Ci parts of this episode continue to be the most interesting to me. Hai Yang’s relationship with Shu Ci is, as he acknowledges, complicated. Shu Ci is the right kind of in love, where she celebrates Hai Yang’s happiness more than her own, and doesn’t ask him for anything in return. Hai Yang is also a good enough guy that he knows to feel guilty and complicated about Shu Ci’s crush on him. He likes her enough as a friend to be protective of her, but it’s also difficult for him to be a source for hurt to her. He’s in a lose-lose situation: he doesn’t want to lead Shu Ci on when he clearly still has feelings for Zhong Bai. It would be unfair to them both if they were to date, but it would also be cruel for Hai Yang to outright reject Shu Ci.

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