Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: Skate Into Love (Ep. 9)

Tang Xue and Yu Bing grow closer now that Yu Bing is no longer trying to retaliate for his childhood. Tang Xue gets a second chance to follow her dreams.

Recap

Tang Xue tells Yu Bing that the team only won the match today because of him. Because he was brave enough. She says that he’s already become a better version of himself. Yu Bing responds that she helped him, too. Silently, he adds that he learned from her how to be brave. She jokes that he better remember that when he makes it to the Olympics. Yu Bing tells Tang Xue that she’s changed, too. She has also become a better version of herself. She teases him for being so unoriginal that he has to copy her compliment.

He asks her if she misses skating. She does, but skating also feels as far away as the stars for her. Yu Bing wonders to himself what would have happened if they had gone to the same middle school.

He scoots closer to Tang Xue and slowly starts to bring his arm around her.

But then he immediately puts his arm down when she starts to say something. “If I could start over again…” she begins, but then the lights suddenly turn off and the moment is broken.

At night, Yu Bing is restless in bed, memories of her compliments clashing with memories of her talking wistfully about Bian Cheng. It annoys Da Jiang, who is trying to photoshop an image of his face on Yu Bing’s laptop.

Zhen Yu brings Huan Huan some food while she and Tang Xue study. Huan Huan starts talking about how her dream is to go to the South Pole and save all the endangered animals. She asks Tang Xue what her dream is. Tang Xue doesn’t have an answer. Did she stop dreaming once she gave up skating?

Tang Xue gets a call from Manager Ma. Coach Chu is interested in meeting with her. Coach Chu knows Tang Xue’s entire skating career history. She already knew who Tang Xue was when she was a competitive skater, and she caught her eye again during her unofficial race with Yue Wei. Coach Chu recognizes that Tang Xue has skill and wants her to tryout for the team.

Tang Xue is stunned speechless for a moment. She has to pinch herself because she can’t believe it.

Tang Xue skates for Coach Chu and Coach Li, the assistant coach, while the speed skating team watches curiously. Though Tang Xue has strong foundational skills, it’s clear that she’s out of practice. She wipes out on one of the turns. She tells Coach Chu she can go again, but the coaches have seen all they’ve needed to see. Chu knows that Tang Xue is out of practice and finds it unlikely she will be able to get up to speed within a short period of time. She says she’ll have Manager Ma reach out if the team ends up needing her.

Yu Bing waits nervously outside the sports center for Tang Xue, but tries to act casual, like he was just passing by, when she finally comes outside. Coach Chu watches out the window as the two chat. Yu Bing tries to cheer Tang Xue up, and offers to take her out karaoking.

Tang Xue is a painfully bad singer, but it definitely cheers her up. She wants to sing more; Yu Bing tries to get her to stop without outright telling her that she’s a bad singer. He ends up saying that no one’s perfect and starts listing her flaws, but he’s taken aback when she views them all as strengths. He ends up saying that maybe she is perfect.

Tang Xue decides to sing him another song out of gratitude. He tries to leave but she hangs onto his shirt and doesn’t let him.

Zhou Ran spots them returning from their impromptu date and frowns.

Zhen Yu tries to get Huan Huan’s attention while she’s studying. She’s annoyed, but he’s persistent, and he finally convinces her to go shopping with him the next day.

Yu Bing walks Tang Xue back to her dorm. She thanks him for the day, saying that it felt like old times, back when they were in elementary school together. What if they had gone to the same high school and gotten into Lin Da together? Maybe they would be… the best of friends. Yu Bing looks slightly disappointed, as if he expected a different answer.

Tang Xue apologizes to him, knowing that he’s sensitive about it. She thinks that his parents divorced and that’s why they ended up at different schools. That doesn’t seem like the case, but Yu Bing has no chance to correct her.

After she leaves, Yu Bing calls Coach Chu, asking to meet.

Zhen Yu spots Yu Bing at the mall when he and Huan Huan are out shopping, but it’s only a glimpse. After they leave the mall, he tries to prolong their time together by dragging Huan Huan off to the movie theater. She has other things she wants to do. Zhen Yu says he’ll go with her. She spots a worm and starts chasing him around with it.

Huan Huan drags Zhen Yu to a pet store, where she plays with a snake while he watches uneasily. He calls her tastes odd and she responds that they probably shouldn’t hang out much in the future because they don’t have similar tastes. Zhen Yu takes that as a challenge and steels himself before picking up the snake. He shudders but holds on, and tells Huan Huan that he’ll try to be more like her.

Zhou Ran and Bian Cheng meet for coffee. They smile and chat pleasantly, but are clearly using each other for their own agendas. Bian Cheng asks about Tang Xue and whether she has a boyfriend. Zhou Ran wonders why he’s curious, because he was the one to reject Tang Xue back in high school.

Bian Cheng frowns. He had smiled upon reading Tang Xue’s confession to him, where she promised that one day she would shine as brightly as him. He thought she was the one who shined brightly and wanted to text her that, but then remembered he had to focus on his college entrance exams. He drafted a text to her rejecting her, and accidentally sent it when Zhen Yu surprised him by saying that he was going to watch Tang Xue’s important competition. When he found out that Tang Xue got injured at her race, he knew it was his fault.

Now, he tells all of this to Zhou Ran. Zhou Ran encourages him to come clean with Tang Xue and ask for forgiveness. She promises to help him.

At night, Tang Xue gets the call from Manager Ma. She’s to report to speed skating team practice tomorrow. Her roommates immediately swarm her with congratulations, but Tang Xue doesn’t seem as excited as they are. She’s suddenly doubtful. Can she really do this?

Huan Huan gives her a pep talk, then presents her the gift that she and Zhen Yu bought. They knew she would make it. Liu Ying suddenly feels bad not having a gift and offers Tang Xue her precious ARC, then surprises Tang Xue with a hug.

Coach Chu tells Tang Xue that she can practice with the team on a trial basis. Whether she officially makes it onto the team will depend on how she performs. If she can beat Li Hong Shuang, the slowest member of the team, within one month, then she’s in.

Coach Chu also presents Tang Xue with some gifts: a brand new pair of sneakers, a new speed skating suit, and a bag. Tang Xue thinks they’re from the coach and thanks her profusely.

Two members of the team gossip in the locker room about some folklore surrounding their rink: if a couple kisses on the ice at 9 PM, they’ll be together forever. Rumor has it that Coach Chu and Coach Xu had one such kiss.

Hong Shuang reads tarot cards on the bench. Yue Wei says she should spend more of her time training, but Hong Shuang says that the cards have told her she’ll be a world champion one day. She tries to get Yue Wei to pick a tarot card to be read. Yue Wei picks a card and Hong Shuang excitedly tells her that a secret admirer will confess to her soon.

Coach Chu enters their locker room and introduces Tang Xue. The team isn’t super welcoming, with the three members who aren’t Yue Wei whispering that she’s probably not up to par. Coach Chu calls out each one for breaking some sort of team rule and dismisses them: Si Yu has painted nails, Jin Yuan is wearing lipstick, and Hong Shuang is wasting her time with her tarot cards.

Only Yue Wei is left. Chu puts Yue Wei in charge of training Tang Xue. Yue Wei doesn’t look happy about it, but agrees. Chu tells Tang Xue that her training officially starts tomorrow.

Random fact: I noticed that the assistant speed skating coach, Li, is the only person who looks remotely comfortable on the ice, and it turns out that’s because the actor, Li Zong Rui, used to be a competitive speed skater who was on the Chinese national team! So cool! Apparently he even assisted with some of the on-ice camerawork because no one else on the crew was comfortable enough to film while skating.

If I wasn’t on Team Yu Bing before, I am solidly on his team now. Now that he got his childish pettiness toward Tang Xue out of his system, we’re really seeing how secretly supportive he is. Tang Xue has no clue and has clearly friendzoned him so far, but I can’t wait for things to change! (Also I went down a rabbit hole of watching some interviews of Janice Wu and Steven Zhang together and they are basically exactly the same people off-screen, which is perhaps why they work so well together on-screen!)

Last episode, I was perhaps too hasty in judging Bian Cheng, but that’s also because above all, I am firmly Team Tang Xue. It looks like there’s more to his story than meets the eye, but I can’t excuse his behavior. Even if his rejection text to Tang Xue was an accident, he could have sent another text or explanation. Instead, he’s giving himself too much credit for ruining her career. I’m glad that she doesn’t give him that much credit and instead takes personal responsibility for not returning to the ice.

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