Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: Skate Into Love (Ep. 5)

Yu Bing shows his secret caring side for Tang Xue after a night of celebratory drinking. Tang Xue is tempted to pick up speed skating again, but also seems hesitant, for reasons related to why she quit in the first place that she refuses to talk about, especially after a skating rival makes her entrance.

Recap

Tang Xue attends a dinner hosted by the inline skating club president in her honor. She and Yu Yan sit next to each other and exchange shy smiles as they share a menu while Zhen Yu watches them knowingly. Tang Xue finds herself thinking about what she would order to annoy Yu Bing if he were here. As if her thoughts summoned him, he suddenly appears between her and Yu Yan, grabbing the menu from their hands.

Yu Bing insists on sitting right in between Yu Yan and Tang Xue even though there’s no space. When Tang Xue refuses to move, he physically picks up her chair — with her in it — and shifts her over.

When the food comes, Yu Bing tries to get Tang Xue to peel his shrimp for him. She refuses, so he offers her money. She still refuses and calls him outside so they don’t make a scene inside. He calls her out for trying to take advantage of young, impressionable kid like Yu Yan, and says that whatever she wants, he’ll do his best to oppose.

“What if I say I want to be poor, then?” she asks. He responds that he’ll offer her 100 yuan for each shrimp she peels for him. She’s exasperated, but then agrees to his terms, and stomps inside.

Tang Xue peels shrimp for Yu Bing and stuffs them straight into his mouth. Yu Yan sits next to them awkwardly. Zhen Yu watches and speculates at this plot twist in Tang Xue’s love life. Some time later, Yu Bing is full, his plate stacked with even more shrimp that he hasn’t eaten yet, and Tang Xue has earned herself 7000 yuan for peeling shrimp. Yu Bing refuses to pay up.

Zhen Yu suggests they play a drinking game where the loser has to do truth or dare. When Yu Yan loses, he’s asked to reveal a secret wish. His wish is to go to an aquarium, because he never went as a kid. When Yu Bing loses, he’s asked to describe what type of girl he likes. He opts to drink instead because he claims that no such girl exists yet so he can’t describe her. He purposely puts Tang Xue in a position to lose and asks her why she quit skating. Instead of responding, she drinks.

By the end of the night, Tang Xue and Yu Yan are both quite drunk, but Tang Xue insists on giving Yu Yan a ride home. Zhen Yu tries to stop her, but she and Yu Yan end up bullying him off, and he lets them ride off, slow but swerving, on Tang Xue’s bike.

Yu Yan says that he’s probably too heavy for Tang Xue, but she scoffs. She asks him how tall he is; he’s 5’8″ (178cm) which is above average by Chinese standards. She says he could still grow taller, but he says he can’t. If he does get taller, then skating will be more difficult for him.

Tang Xue goes over a bump and Yu Yan goes flying. She also loses her own balance and crashes. Yu Bing and Da Jiang, who were following behind, see them. Yu Bing tells Da Jiang to go take care of Yu Yan while he looks after Tang Xue.

Tang Xue is super drunk and smiles sloppily while talking about how she thought she would never skate again, then starts yammering about how she loves herself and that’s the longest and best relationship she’s been in. Yu Bing rolls his eyes and carries her on his back. He mutters to himself that he should just throw her into the bushes on the side of the road, but instead he takes her back to her dorm. Tang Xue is pretty uncooperative when they get there and refuses to tell Yu Bing her phone passcode, so he ends up getting a hotel room for her.

Da Jiang gives Yu Yan a piggyback ride to the international faculty dorm building, while is where Yu Yan lives. On the way, Yu Yan ends up puking on Da Jiang, much to his displeasure. Da Jiang takes a shower in Yu Yan’s bathroom after dumping him on the bed. When he gets out of the shower, he admires himself, shirtless, in Yu Yan’s full-length mirror. Yu Yan starts regain consciousness and doesn’t remember what happened, so he tases Da Jiang.

Yu Bing tries to help Tang Xue into bed, but she grabs onto his leg and refuses to let go, eventually forcing him onto the ground next to the bed so he’s eye level with her. She smiles sloppily at him, then grabs him by the ear, demanding to know why he treats her the way he does. Yu Bing responds that she would do the same if she had her as a deskmate.

Tang Xue suddenly gets sad, and tears slip down her face as she reminds Yu Bing that he might be the Ice God now, but she was the one who introduced him to the ice. He’s the Ice God now, but who is she? She’s nobody. She trained for eight years. Why did she give it up?

“Why did you give it up?” Yu Bing asks, seeming sympathetic. She stares up at him. They hold eye contact with their faces very close together… and then she pukes.

Yu Bing is disgusted and annoyed. She’s puked and farted in front of him at this point. But he also ends up washing her hoodie for her, hanging it up to dry, and tucking her into bed.

Yu Yan tries to apologize for tasing Da Jiang, and tries to pay him back for his help (and the tasing). But then he realizes that he doesn’t have any cash. He offers to use his phone to pay, but then realizes that he doesn’t have a card linked to his account. Da Jiang thinks he’s just trying to mess with him. In the end, Yu Yan can only give Da Jiang some clean clothes that are way too small, and send him on his way.

The next morning, Tang Xue calls Yu Yan to thank him, thinking he was the one who brought her to the hotel. But he says he didn’t do it. Tang Xue thinks that maybe it was Zhen Yu? Yu Yan suggests it might have been Yu Bing, but Tang Xue immediately dismisses that idea. Yu Bing would never wash her clothes for her.

Yu Bing and Da Jiang go to the airport to pick up Zhang Yue Wei (Han Jiu Nao), a good friend of theirs whom they affectionately call “Brother Wei.” She’s the star and captain of the speed skating team, and has just returned from a competition. On the way back from the airport, they drop by their usual spot, a restaurant near campus.

It’s pretty obvious that Da Jiang likes Yue Wei and that Yue Wei has a crush on Yu Bing. Da Jiang graciously takes her bag for her at the airport and puts a protective hand around her head as she gets into the car. Yue Wei looks disappointed when Yu Bing sits in the front passenger seat, and stares at him when Da Jiang teases him about Tang Xue. There’s also a slightly awkward moment when Da Jiang tries to put some food in Yue Wei’s plate, and Yue Wei simultaneously moves to put some food in Yu Bing’s plate. But for the most part, the three of them seem to have a close, brotherly friendship.

Tang Xue’s popularity has exploded ever since she won the roller skating race, and most of campus has started nicknaming her the “Autobot.” She’s started blocking friend requests and unknown callers on her social media, so instead everyone starts calling Huan Huan. She’s forced to act as secretary and filter out a number of male students who are all interested in getting to know Tang Xue.

Huan Huan asks Tang Xue to teach her how to skate. Tang Xue, Huan Huan, and Zhen Yu show up at the rink, where the women’s speed skating team is training. The skaters recognize Tang Xue because of her roller race fame, and let them use the center ice to learn to skate.

While Tang Xue is demonstrating her speed skating, she gets overtaken by another speed skater. Tang Xue’s competitiveness kicks in and she tries to keep up, but she’s out of training and lags behind. The other skater stops, revealing her face. It’s Zhang Yue Wei. She gives Tang Xue a dismissive look before skating off.

A speed skating team member tells Tang Xue not to feel too bad. Zhang Yue Wei is their team captain and star. There’s no shame in an amateur like Tang Xue losing to her. But even though Tang Xue knows that she technically is an amateur now, it still hurts. She abruptly leaves the ice.

The speed skating coaches see them; the female coach recognizes Tang Xue from the roller race.

Huan Huan and Zhen Yu try to comfort Tang Xue while they eat, but she doesn’t have an appetite and continues to feel bothered by her loss.

She abruptly leaves again to go back to the rink, where she skates in circles and times herself. Her time is ten seconds slower than her old race times. Disappointed with herself, she sits defeated on the ice and remembers the old days of winning races and cheering fans.

Tang Xue runs into Yu Yan on her way out of the rink. They chat for a bit about what it takes to be a championship figure skater. He admits that most of his childhood was spent at the rink, but that just being talented and working hard aren’t enough. He’s also had to persevere. There are times when he’s wanted to give up, but then he thinks about everything he’s been through and pushes on. He wants to see how much further he can go.

Tang Xue tells him she believes he’ll go very far. She believes he’ll win the world championship one day.

He asks her why she’s studying animal science when it’s clear that she loves skating so much. Tang Xue forces a smile and nonchalance as she says that her story is too long to tell. The short version is that she gave up her eight years of training in a moment of impetuousness and by the time she calmed down, it was too late. Maybe this is real life telling her that dreams don’t come true.

Yu Yan says that it sounds like she didn’t want to give up skating. She could still pick it back up again. In some sports, you have to take a step back in order to launch yourself up higher and go farther.

“Can I do that?” Tang Xue asks. Yu Yan earnestly responds that once she decides to do something, everyone will get out of the way for her.

The next morning, Tang Xue gets a call from Yu Bing, “Time to get up, training partner.”

When she shows up at the track, Yu Bing says he heard about her tragic loss to Yue Wei. He also tells her that she’s officially his professional training partner. She’s displeased, wondering how a little girl like her is supposed to train with an old man like him, but he points out that a “little girl” like her beat a man the other day. She can think what she wants, but she’s contractually obligated to assist him.

Tang Xue sighs and doesn’t look happy about it, but she has no choice but to agree. It’s only for a month.

Childhood story: Mama Li brings Yu Bing to the ice rink, but he refuses to get onto the ice. His mother finally convinces him to go stand on the side and watch. He watches as Tang Xue falls over and over again, which he finds hilarious. His mother admonishes him for laughing at someone for falling, but to her surprise, he says that skating seems interesting and he wants to give it a try.

I think I am officially into this show. I’ve been sucked in!

All of these relationships are just so sweet! I wasn’t sure how I would feel about the Yu Bing/Tang Xue dynamic at first, but I am loving it. Like I mentioned last episode, it’s clear that Yu Bing thinks he’s trying to get back at Tang Xue, but in reality he cares about her a lot, and his way of “bullying” her is so far from being mean-spirited. It’s more like a little boy trying to get some attention.

I like that from the start, we’re shown how much Yu Bing cares for Tang Xue, despite what he says. It’s most obvious in how persistently he keeps asking her about why she quit skating. But also in the little things, like taking that extra step for he: following her home when Zhen Yu ditched her (shame on Zhen Yu, really, since Tang Xue and Yu Yan were obviously drunk); washing her hoodie for her; even calling her out early to be his “training partner” — obviously it’s some sort of ploy to lure her back onto the ice.

I’m really intrigued by Yue Wei’s character. She’s being set up as an obvious rival for Tang Xue in both love and skating, but… she also seems cool! I like the brotherly best friend dynamic she has going on with Da Jiang and Yu Bing and I want to explore that more. It reminds me of similar triangular friendship setups like Bai Xue, Qiao Chuan, and Yi Fan in Stand By Me.

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