Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: Stand By Me 2 (Ep. 7)

Recap

Zhong Bai thinks about how she should be really happy right now because she’s finally dating the person she’s liked for 13 years, but things aren’t that simple. A flashback reveals that Zhong Bai actually went back into the restaurant and eavesdropped on Ren Yi Fan and Lu Qiao Chuan that day over the summer when she supposedly left them to go home. She overhears Qiao Chuan telling Ren Yi Fan how complicated their relationship is, how he’s thought of all the ways it could go wrong, and how he feels like he owes it to her to treat her right because she’s waited for 13 years. In the present, Zhong Bai tells herself that she’s really happy because she’s dating Qiao Chuan, but her face says otherwise.

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Zhong Bai runs into Xiao Hai Yang on campus and agrees to get breakfast with him after hearing that Yu Hao will also be there. They chat a bit about Xu Lian Qiao. Hai Yang reveals that he met Xu Lian Qiao last year when their clubs collaborated, but that she had taken a leave of absence soon after and disappeared for a year and a half.

In class, Professor Ye expresses his disappointment with the class’s summer assignment. He calls out Hai Yang, Qiao Chuan, Zhong Bai, and Thirteen as particularly bad examples. (Thirteen’s work is particularly remarkable because he took a selfie while eating and called it “The Last Supper” — a pun that Professor Ye doesn’t quite get., but it’s pretty clever — “Thirteen eating alone” can also be interpreted as “Thirteen people eating” (十三个人吃饭)).

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Professor Ye announces that this semester the focus will be on producing videos instead of photographs.

Xu Lian Qiao holds drama club rehearsal while trying to appease an indecisive producer who keeps calling her when he changes her mind. One of her lead actresses complains about the script (written by Shu Ci). Lian Qiao cuts the lead actress’s lines, who quits after complaining more.

Zhong Bai comes up with a script for her video idea and asks Qiao Chuan and Ren Yi Fan to read it and participate in her production. She also tells Qiao Chuan about her upcoming peer mental health session with Xiao Hai Yang, and seems bummed when he doesn’t react. She remembers overhearing Qiao Chuan tell Yi Fan that he would break up with Zhong Bai if she liked someone better who came along.

Both Qiao Chuan and Yi Fan struggle to find good things to say about the script. Qiao Chuan lies through his teeth and vaguely says he likes it all while Ren Yi Fan can’t help but gag.

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Zhong Bai goes to her appointment with Xiao Hai Yang. Hai Yang tells her she seems happier than before and promises he won’t do anything to make her feel awkward. She asks how he’s doing and he forces a smile, saying he’s well. But after she leaves, he says to the empty room, “I really missed you this summer.”

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Li Shu Ci is Hai Yang’s next appointment and she shows up early. She tells him that she’s doing “very well” and that she won’t do anything to make him feel awkward anymore.

In her dorm room, Zhong Bai shows Shu Ci and Lin Luo Xue her script saying she wants one of them to be her lead actress (Ren Yi Fan has already signed on to be the male lead.) But Yi Fan is so disgusted by the script that he ends up in the nurse’s office, hooked up to an IV. Shu Ci and Luo Xue soon show up as well, both feeling the intense need to vomit.

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Twelve days later, Yu Hao asks his roommates how they’re doing with their projects. Thirteen still hasn’t decided. Qiao Chuan is trying to find something with depth. Hai Yang seems to already have something down, saying that at the rate they’re going, they’ll all come begging him for help. Yu Hao gives him a suspicious stare.

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Thoughts

I’m really liking what I see so far of Xu Lian Qiao. I think she’s a great character to have — an independent, no-nonsense woman who supports other women (i.e. Lin Luo Xue) and stands up for people who might not necessarily speak for themselves (i.e. Li Shu Ci). She brings the strength that I wish saw more of in Zhong Bai in the first season. Her relationship with Hai Yang is still a bit bizarre, but I love that she takes control of it. From what we know of Hai Yang’s past, it kind of seems like something that’s up his alley.

I’m still not convinced by Zhong Bai and Lu Qiao Chuan’s relationship, and I don’t think she is either. I’m glad that she’s not just head-over-heels smitten and completely blind to some of the potential pitfalls of her relationship with Qiao Chuan, but for both their sakes, and the sake of their over-a-decade-long friendship with Ren Yi Fan, I hope things can work out. I was happy to see Zhong Bai get the focus of this episode, because one of my complaints about last season was how Zhong Bai never really had a voice at all during the show, despite being the “lead” female character. At the same time, I don’t find Zhong Bai and Qiao Chuan super interesting when they’re together, and I wouldn’t mind seeing Xu Lian Qiao, Hai Yang, or Ren Yi Fan get more screen time.

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