Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: Skate Into Love (Ep. 4)

Being so close to the ice all the time makes Tang Xue miss her speed skating days. When Zhen Yu and Huan Huan get themselves and the inline skating club into some trouble, Tang Xue steps in to save the day. Meanwhile, the beginning of a friendship sparks between her and Yu Yan.

Recap

Tang Xue thinks about skating and can’t sleep at night, so she grabs her skates and sneaks to the rink. She stands in the middle of the ice, remembering the feeling of being surrounded by crowded stands and loud fans, then strokes around. Finally, she lies down at center ice and closes her eyes.

Yu Bing goes to the rink to pick up his backpack, which he had left behind. He spots Tang Xue lying down in the middle of the ice, but doesn’t say anything.

The next morning, Zhou Ran is again waiting for him at the entrance to the rink. He asks her why Tang Xue quit skating. She says that Tang Xue has always had a short attention span, but that doesn’t line up with what Yu Bing remembers. Zhou Ran mentions that she’s interested in learning to skate. Will Yu Bing teach her? But Yu Bing quickly dissuades her from skating, saying that she’d have to be really used to falling and might injure all sorts of body parts, including her face. Ice skating isn’t really suited for “soft” girls like her.

In the sports center lounge, Yu Bing shares his breakfast with Da Jiang and Fatty. In fact, he says, they can be the ones to pick up his breakfast from now on. He doesn’t have an interest in socializing with random girls he doesn’t know.

Zhen Yu and Huan Huan try to learn how to rollerblade as a precursor to learning how to skate. Zhen Yu tries to pitch himself as a rollerblading master and imagines Huan Huan swooning over him. In reality, he clutches the boards, too nervous and unsteady on his feet to let go, while Huan Huan waits for him impatiently.

They take a break and Huan Huan asks Zhen Yu how he became friends with Tang Xue. He doesn’t seem like Tang Xue’s type. Zhen Yu explains how Tang Xue stood up for him in high school against some bullies who were making fun of his stutter. Not only that, she introduced him to her mother, a doctor, who helped him fix his stutter. After that, he was a devoted follower, and was inspired to become a doctor.

Huan Huan shares her own friendship origin story. She met Tang Xue during military training. Once, during uniform inspection, Tang Xue had loaned her a missing belt so that she wouldn’t be punished. Tang Xue was punished instead. She did it because Huan Huan had already earned several demerits, and Tang Xue knew that her own punishment would be less severe than Huan Huan’s. After that, whenever Huan Huan faced any difficulties, Tang Xue would always help.

Huan Huan frowns, wondering why Yu Bing dislikes Tang Xue when both she and Zhen Yu have only ever seen what a good person Tang Xue is. Zhen Yu suggests that maybe Yu Bing has some childhood trauma.

Tang Xue runs into Yu Yan at the campus store, where she watches as he forgoes an iced coffee in favor of plain water. When he tries to pay with cash, he’s asked to pay with his phone instead, but he doesn’t have a smartphone. Tang Xue, still thinking he’s poor, pays for him and refuses his offer to pay her back. He tries to insist that he’s losing weight, but Tang Xue doesn’t believe him. She teases him about his old school cell phone and he jokes that he just escaped from a cave.

Tang Xue tries to get Yu Yan to join her as a follower, saying he can call her Master Tang if he wants. If he has any troubles, she’ll take care of it. He looks at her with his usual wide eyes, but nods, and then immediately protects her from a basketball bouncing toward her head. His cell phone, which was in his hand, breaks.

It’s a Nokia brick, so he pieces it back together, but the screen is damaged. He says it’s still usable, but to Tang Xue, it’s just another sign of his poverty. She has an idea and grabs him by the wrist, then takes off running. He follows, smiling. Looks like someone is in love!

She makes him wait outside her dorm building, then quickly comes back out with her backup phone. It’s an older smartphone version, but it’s still a smartphone.

Huan Huan has quickly picked up rollerblading and catches the eyes of two local men hanging out on the court. They block her way and try out a pick up line, then start getting a little handsy as they grab her arms. Huan Huan yells for Zhen Yu to help. Zhen Yu is clinging to a light pole, but he bravely pushes off and picks up speed as he careens toward her. The two men get out of the way and he goes flying into a plastic barrier.

The two men make fun of Zhen Yu and challenge him to a rollerblading battle. If he loses, he has to leave Huan Huan behind for them. A crowd of people have gathered and jeer for Zhen Yu to accept the challenge, but he hesitates. Huan Huan gets angry on his behalf and accepts for him.

Yu Yan gets someone to help him get set up with his new smartphone. A lot of Tang Xue’s photos are still stored on the phone, and he scrolls through them with a smile.

Huan Huan and Zhen Yu call Tang Xue for help. The two locals who challenged him ended up challenging the entire inline skating club to a battle in the upcoming days and have spread the news all over campus social media. Even worse, it turns out that they recently starting their own roller skating club and one of them has won national championships for artistic roller skating.

Liu Ying analyzes the situation and guesses that they’re just trying to build up hype for their own club. She suggests that Tang Xue could ask Yu Bing or Yu Yan for help, but Tang Xue says she can solve it on her own.

The next day, a crowd has gathered to watch the battle. Tang Xue is surprised to see Yu Yan with the inline skating club captain. The captain explains that he asked Yu Yan to come and help. The local roller skaters show up, but want to challenge the inline skating club to a speed battle, not an artistic battle. Tang Xue offers to step in and represent her school.

The locals immediately jeer at her, thinking it will be no competition. They say they’ll let her race, but only if the loser agrees to streak. They think it’ll make her back down, but instead Tang Xue just smirks and says she admires his confidence.

But then she gets upstaged by someone else, who says, “I’ll do it.” The crowd parts: it’s Li Yu Bing.

But Tang Xue tells Yu Bing she doesn’t need his help, and she doesn’t need to be saved like a damsel in distress. Yu Yan asks if she’s sure she can do it, and she responds confidently. He nods and says he’ll support her.

The race starts. Tang Xue’s opponents immediately takes the lead and she lags behind, but she never lets the distance between them get too large. As she skates, she remembers her old coach’s advice from her competitive days. In the final stretch, she picks up a burst of speed and makes it across the finish line first.

A woman (Ding Zi Ling) walks by and watches the race to completion, then smiles and walks away.

All of the Lin Da students crowd Tang Xue and celebrate her win. The two locals try to sneak away, but a couple of students grab them and drag them back to the center of the circle to do their punishment. They’re about to strip, pressured by the jeers of the crowd, when Tang Xue tells them to stop. She lets them go, saying that if they did streak on campus, then Lin Da would get a reputation for being bullies. She proves herself to be the bigger person and can’t let that happen.

After they leave, the crowd quickly disperses, everyone making their excuses until Tang Xue and Yu Bing are left alone. He steals her drink, which Yu Yan had given her earlier, then asks why she quit skating. She glares, saying it’s none of his business, then walks away.

At night, Tang Xue excitedly talks about the race, the difference between ice skating and roller skating, and how she could’ve easily beat her opponent by even more if she had still been training for speed skating. Huan Huan and Liu Ying humor her, but quickly lose interest. When she calls them out for not listening, they quickly snap back to attention and shower her with compliments.

Childhood story: Yu Bing (as an adult dressed like a child) sharpens his pencils. Tang Xue (also as an adult dressed like a child) makes him sharpen her pencils for her. Then she plays with his stickers, but puts them on the inside of his pencil case without pressing them all the way on. Yu Bing rolls his eyes.

His mother picks him up from school and Yu Bing complains that Tang Xue is so dumb. His mother lectures him for calling other people dumb, then says that he and Tang Xue are like childhood sweethearts. He doesn’t understand the term. When his mother explains it as two people who grow up together, he decides that it must be a bad term, because he doesn’t like Tang Xue!

This episode was so cute!

First, Huan Huan and Zhen Yu’s friendship origin stories with Tang Xue are so wholesome. They really establish who Tang Xue is as a person. She talks a big talk, but she also follows through with her actions. She may be a bit much sometimes and certainly loves being the center of attention — can’t you tell, by how much she loves those cheering fans? — but she has a good heart.

At first I thought Yu Yan was boring and lacked personality, but I like that we get to see bits of personality shine through this episode, like his joking back at Tang Xue, and how he supported her at the rollerblading race. He just seems like a nice guy.

I loved everything about Tang Xue at the rollerblading race. Her confidence, her bravado, the way she called out Yu Bing for trying to “save” her.

I like that from the start, it’s very clear that Yu Bing does hold some petty grudges against Tang Xue, but the way he treats her is very much like a little boy starved for attention. It’s not mean-spirited, even though he tries to act like it is, and he doesn’t actually want to hurt her. He just wants her to acknowledge him and how she terrorized him as a child. The childhood scenes where it’s just adult Yu Bing dressed up and acting like a child are so delightfully appropriate.

This show is definitely reeling me in, mostly through Tang Xue’s charisma. There are definitely plenty of cringe-worthy moments, but it’s also just the right kind of laugh-out-loud cheesy and fluffy feel-goodness that I need right now!

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