Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: Skate Into Love (Ep. 15)

Yu Bing decides that he needs to make Tang Xue fall in love with him, and works with Zhen Yu to come up with a romantic escapade. Meanwhile, Yu Yan is surprised when his mother shows up on campus, and she quickly resumes trying to control his life.

Recap

Yu Bing stays up all night thinking about Tang Xue and wondering what to do. His roommates find him still sitting on the couch with his eyes wide open the next morning. He hallucinates that they both wear Tang Xue’s face, and shudders. This is not sustainable. He needs to find a way to show her his feelings.

Yu Bing tries to ingratiate himself with Zhen Yu by gifting him a pair of Air Jordans. But it turns out that he doesn’t need to try too hard, because Zhen Yu has his own reasons for wanting to help Yu Bing. He tells him about the bet he made with Huan Huan.

The speed skating team does a speed test. This is the moment Tang Xue has been waiting for, and the test that will determine whether she stays on the team. She only has one goal, beat Hong Shuang, and she does it. Coach Chu officially welcomes her onto the team and her teammates cheer. Only Yue Wei doesn’t look happy for her.

Yu Bing admits to Zhen Yu that he went to a different middle school and lied to Tang Xue about it because he wanted to avoid her. Zhen Yu tells Yu Bing he can’t let Tang Xue know the truth. She’ll be furious. Yu Bing has a plan. He’s going to find a way to make Tang Xue fall in love with him, and then tell her the truth. Hopefully she won’t be as mad once she’s in love with him.

Coach Jin shows Yu Yan and updated training plan. He wants to up the technical difficulty of Yu Yan’s program to make him more competitive. He also tells Yu Yan that he doesn’t mind Yu Yan’s participating in extracurricular activities, but he has to remember that his focus should be skating and not get distracted by other things.

Yu Yan is surprised to find his mother on campus. She wants him to move to Canada to train and work with a new choreographer. Yu Yan doesn’t look enthusiastic about it, but his mother’s plans already seem set in stone.

Coach Jin walks up and greets Yu Yan’s mother as “senior.” Yu Yan heads off to class while his mother chats with Jin. Jin shares with her his concerns that Yu Yan is becoming distracted and a little rebellious. He suggests she check out the campus message boards.

Yu Yan’s mother prepares dinner for him and is tidying up his room when she notices two new stuffed toys: the sheep and the girl. She pulls up the university message board and sees the article on the recent singing competition, which includes a photo of Yu Bing, Tang Xue, and Yu Yan. Yu Bing and Tang Xue look out toward the audience while Yu Yan is looking at Tang Xue. The comments section has a mix of reactions; some people ship Yu Bing and Tang Xue, while others ship Tang Xue and Yu Yan, and a third group ship the three of them together, with Yu Bing and Yu Yan as “parents” and Tang Xue as their “child.”

When Yu Yan returns from class and they sit down to eat dinner, she asks him if there’s anything new he wants to update her on. He doesn’t say anything.

Tang Xue is doing some off-ice training with the speed skating team when Yue Wei runs in, saying that her mother is outside looking for her. Before she leaves, Tang Xue reminds Yue Wei that she’s on the team now, so Yue Wei owes her some skate sharpening.

Tang Xue goes outside and at first mistakes Yu Yan’s mother for her own, from a distance, then looks around for her own mother. But it was Yu Yan’s mother who was looking for her in the first place. She asks to chat over coffee.

Tang Xue tries to act friendly and personable, but Yu Yan’s mother simply watches her with a disdainful smile. When Tang Xue finds out that Yu Yan’s mother has seen the campus articles about them, she tries to make excuses, saying that it’s all just sensationalized gossip. Yu Yan’s mother coolly says that it doesn’t matter to her what Tang Xue does; what she does is a reflection of her parents’ parenting. But when Tang Xue’s actions affect her son, then it becomes her problem. She says Tang Xue isn’t well-suited for Yu Yan, who is still young and innocent.

Tang Xue puts on a smile and agrees that she and Yu Yan are suited for each other. Her mother is kind, reasonable, and straightforward. As for Yu Yan’s mother… she can’t say the same. Yu Yan’s mother gives her an unfriendly smile and says that, aside from her upbringing, she also has a sharp tongue. Tang Xue doesn’t seem bothered and reminds Yu Yan’s mother that a relationship is two-sided. Shouldn’t she clear up any misunderstandings she has with her son first?

Tang Xue stands up and walks away without another word to her. On her way out, she tells the baristas that Yu Yan’s mother will pay for her. She’s annoyed at Yue Wei for believing that this woman is her mother, and goes to find Yue Wei, perhaps to confront her.

But Tang Xue finds Yue Wei in the team room, having just finished sharpening her skates. Yue Wei doesn’t look happy about it and doesn’t say a word to Tang Xue, but Tang Xue smiles at her and commends her for being true to her word.

Yu Bing is consumed with thoughts of how to make Tang Xue fall in love with him while he trains. He overhears some teammates talking about a flyer for a “Teacher Deng,” who claims to be a master of love and is offering lessons. Yu Bing downloads the app and takes the first lesson to heart: spend one-on-one time with a love interest in an unfamiliar place, so that she might mistake the excitement of the unfamiliar for liking him.

Zhen Yu calls Yu Bing with good news: their “Ice, Rain, Snow” group won the Popularity Award for the competition, meaning Tang Xue will get that extra course credit she needs, and she made the speed skating team. They should celebrate. This is the perfect opportunity for Yu Bing to execute his plan, and Zhen Yu is more than happy to help him.

Over lunch, Zhen Yu suggests to Tang Xue and Huan Huan that they go to the islands to celebrate. He’s already found a driver for them: Li Yu Bing. Huan Huan doesn’t like that and suggests that Yu Yan also be invited. Tang Xue calls Yu Yan, asking if he’s free this weekend.

Yu Yan’s mother picks up and says he’s not free. Moreover, Tang Xue should leave him alone. Tang Xue stops her before she can hang up. She has three things to say: 1) she and Yu Yan are just friends, 2) if all Yu Yan does is train, he won’t be happy, and 3) let Yu Yan pick up the phone. But all Yu Yan’s mother says is, “Have some dignity.” Then she hangs up.

Tang Xue is offended by that comment and starts to make a scene, demanding her friends to tell her how she doesn’t have dignity. Zhen Yu and Huan Huan try to calm her down. Tang Xue continues to fume.

After she hangs up, Yu Yan’s mother throws his stuffed toys into the trash. Then she deletes the record of the phone call from the call log.

Yu Bing asks to borrow Manager Ma’s car. Manager Ma reluctantly loans it to him.

He waits in the car for Tang Xue to show up, but is surprised and a little dismayed to see Zhen Yu. He didn’t realize that Zhen Yu and Huan Huan were going to come too.

When Yu Bing leans over toward Tang Xue, who sits in the front seat next to him, she looks at him with suspicion. But he just reaches over and puts on her seatbelt for her, saying, “Safety first.”

Yu Bing tries to create romantic moments with Tang Xue, but she repeatedly shoots him down. He asks if she’s cold; she points at the sun and asks if he really feels cold with it blazing overhead. He invites her on a walk along the beach to feed the seagulls; there are no seagulls in sight. He starts to tell her a romantic story about how seagulls got their name; she finds it boring.

Huan Huan gets stung on the foot by a jellyfish. Zhen Yu ends up peeing on the sting to try and relieve the pain. (Though a quick Google search suggests that this doesn’t actually work and is just a myth!)

When they meet back up with Tang Xue and Yu Bing, Huan Huan lies and says she scraped her foot on the sand. Yu Bing notices that they are acting strange and dodgy and make his own assumptions about what they were doing. Then he announces that it’ll soon be time to head to the island. A private boat, courtesy of Manager Ma, will be coming to pick them up.

Yu Yan’s mother shows him the living arrangements she’s made in Canada, but he doesn’t want to go. He spots his stuffed toys in the trash and gets upset as he pulls them out. Yu Yan’s mother guesses that he wants to stay because of Tang Xue. But she already spoke with Tang Xue and told her to stop bothering Yu Yan. Yu Yan is supposed to be a champion. He can’t be distracted.

Yu Yan is sick of the word “champion.” He gave up so much growing up for the sake of being a champion, and now he wants to make his own choices. Yu Yan’s mother tells him that there will be time in the future for him to date whoever he wants. Right now, with his skating career on the line, he can’t afford to waste time.

But Yu Yan says that Tang Xue was right: he should be in control of his skating, not the other way around. What’s the point in having a gold medal if it doesn’t make him happy?

Yu Yan’s mother tells him that ever since his father left them for that other woman, Yu Yan has been her everything. Every second of her time has been spent on him. Everything she has ever done — giving him the best of everything — has all been for him. And now…? She turns away from him, upset, and tears start slipping down her face.

Yu Yan apologizes to her, saying that he didn’t mean it like that. She pats his hand and tells him that he might want to stay, but does Tang Xue really want him to stay?

Yu Yan goes to look for Tang Xue outside her dorm, where Liu Ying spots him. She tells him that Tang Xue isn’t around. He thinks Tang Xue is avoiding him, but Liu Ying explains that Tang Xue went out with Yu Bing, Huan Huan, and Zhen Yu. Yu Yan fixates on the fact that Yu Bing is there.

The two couples are appalled to find that the “private boat” Manager Ma promised them is a shabby-looking fishing vessel, despite its luxurious name, Black Pearl. The name isn’t false: there is a real black pig on board. (“Black pearl” and “real black pig” are homonyms — hei zhen zhu.)

They go out on the water on the boat and end up having fun despite their initial reservations. At night, Huan Huan and Zhen Yu play with the pig while Tang Xue and Yu Bing look up at the stars. She spots the North Star, and reminds him of how he once said that the North Star would always show him the way home.

He’s surprised she still remembers something that happened so long ago. She says of course she remembers. Back then, she wanted to be like a hero in a wuxia movie and travel the world. He was the one who was always dragging her down. He retorts that she was the one who insisted on dragging him around. He never wanted to go, but she insisted on taking him. She’d been prepared with snacks and the last of her red envelope money; she was always spending Yu Bing’s money so it was only fair that she now treat him. But she ended up dropping the envelope and accidentally leaving the money behind.

They laugh together at the memory.

They’re so cute! Steven Zhang dressed up and acting as child Yu Bing never fails to crack me up. This episode was really all just good feels and cuteness for our leads. Not so much for Yu Yan, though.

We’ve gotten a sense of how restrictive Yu Yan’s life was before he came to university, but this episode shows that his relationship with his mother is a little more complex than a simple “tiger mom” or “helicopter parent” stereotype. She very effectively guilt trips him into obedience, but I like that Yu Yan is starting to assert his independence more, and that Tang Xue wasn’t afraid to shoot back at her with polite insults.

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