Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: Skate Into Love (Ep. 18)

Tang Xue struggles to balance sports and her studies and works overtime to prepare for final exams and her upcoming race.

Recap

Yu Bing lies on a bench, staring up at the wasted effort of the light display he made for Tang Xue. He takes out the necklace and stares at it again.

Tang Xue returns to her dorm room, exhausted. She wonders if she could successfully petition for the Shaohua Festival to be cancelled in the future. Huan Huan seems to like the holiday though, and asks Liu Ying what she thinks. Liu Ying bores them all by quoting obscure philosophy, then says that books are all she needs. Tang Xue and Huan Huan try to chat over her.

Liu Ying recites more quotes at them, then interprets it into layman’s terms: she’s already set alarms for the next morning. Tomorrow, the three of them will get up early and study for final exams together! She turns off the lights as Huan Huan and Tang Xue whine.

The next day, the roommates start studying early in the morning. By the time it’s dark, Tang Xue is ready to give up. They distract themselves for a bit by looking up homophones for their names. Huan Huan’s is “blindly guessing” while Tang Xue’s is “drip blood” — not very fortuitous. Tang Xue types in a search for “world’s best test king”. Huan Huan offers to help Tang Xue with studying, but neither she nor Liu Ying can help Tang Xue with her other struggle: her upcoming race.

Liu Ying suggests Tang Xue seek professional help. At that moment, Tang Xue gets a text from Yu Bing, a picture of barbecue with the text “world’s best barbecue king” (“test” and “barbecue” are homonyms in this context). She growls his name and Liu Ying agrees that Yu Bing could be a good person to ask for help.

The next morning, Yu Bing gets woken up early by the sounds of rocks at his window. It’s Tang Xue.

He goes downstairs and asks her why she ran away the night of the Shaohua Festival, then mentions he heard about her high school classmate confessing to her outside of her class. She teasingly asks if he wanted to confess to her that day too, not realizing how accurate her guess is. But she also points out that he was the one telling her she can’t date anyone.

Yu Bing acts awkward but Tang Xue moves on to the real reason why she’s here. Coach Chu is entering her in an upcoming race, but lately she feels like she’s stagnated in her training. She wants Yu Bing to help her train.

He says he’ll consider it, but she guilt trips him by mentioning how he lied to her and pretended to be sick the other day. He agrees to help her. In return, she’ll stop bringing up his fake illness. They pinky promise on it.

Yu Bing and Tang Xue start training together. One day after a tough workout, Tang Xue sighs and laments how busy she is with training and studying. She doesn’t feel any affinity for veterinary science and understands what her professor meant when he said that it’s important to have passion about whatever you do. Huan Huan can help her with her major classes, but Tang Xue is at a loss when it comes to her math classes. She feels bad asking Huan Huan and Liu Ying for more help.

Yu Bing offers to help. Tang Xue likes the idea and says she’ll put herself in his hands. He teases that it sounds like she’s getting ready to betroth herself to him. She retaliates by trying to smack him playfully, but he dodges her and grabs her wrists. They scuffle and suddenly find themselves very close to each other, and freeze, staring into each other’s eyes.

Tang Xue breaks the moment with a cough, and Yu Bing quickly lets go of her and stands up, saying they should head out. Tang Xue takes an extra few moments on the ground, looking away.

Yu Yan stares at the window while listening to music, wondering if Tang Xue really doesn’t care that he’s leaving. His mother asks him if he’s going to get his things ready for the upcoming move to Canada. He says he’ll get to it, but doesn’t seem excited. She says that if he really doesn’t want to go, she won’t force him.

He turns to her, surprised. She’s finally letting him make his own decisions? She says that she is, but she also wants to clarify something. She wants Yu Yan to go to Canada so that he can be better, not because she wants to tear him and Tang Xue apart. If Tang Xue becomes a world champion one day, will Yu Yan be able to stand next to her as an equal?

His mother repeats that in the future, he can be with whoever he wants. But before he becomes a champion, his mother can only worry that his next step will be a misstep. She doesn’t care how much effort she expends on his behalf, but she won’t let his efforts be wasted.

“I’ll go,” Yu Yan says.

Tang Xue is already at the library, impatiently waiting, when Yu Bing shows up. She makes him sit next to her, and gets very close while he explains a problem to her. He’s distracted by her proximity, but she doesn’t even seem to notice. She only turns to glare at him when he gets so distracted that he doesn’t even explain the problem properly.

Later, Tang Xue falls asleep at the table next to him while studying. He stares at her and wonders why he even likes her. There must be something wrong with him.

When they leave the library, Tang Xue blames Yu Bing for being a boring teacher. He says that he’ll make it up to her in the afternoon. They’re just about to go on his bike when Zhou Ran sees them and suddenly lets out a yell, pretending to be in pain.

Tang Xue and Yu Bing hurry over. Tang Xue offers to send Zhou Ran home, but Zhou Ran collapses toward Yu Bing instead. He catches her and reluctantly says that maybe they could both send her home. Zhou Ran points out that his bike can only carry one person. Tang Xue says that she needs to leave anyway, and hurries off, stranding Yu Bing and ignoring him as he calls after her.

Fortunately for Yu Bing, Jian Guo comes riding by on his bike. He stops Jian Guo, asking him to give Zhou Ran a ride instead. Zhou Ran starts to backtrack, saying she can walk on her own, but they both refuse to listen to her. Jian Guo is more than happy to give her a ride, and Yu Bing quickly walks away. Zhou Ran frowns after him, thinking to herself that it’s fine if he doesn’t like her, but he’s not allowed to like Tang Xue.

Zhou Ran insists to Jian Guo that she can walk and tries to push herself away, but ends up actually twisting her ankle. Jian Guo catches her, princess style, before she falls. She’s forced to accept a ride from him.

Jian Guo looks back toward Zhou Ran to check on her as they round a corner, not noticing Liu Ying, who is walking while reading a book, until they crash. Liu Ying gets knocked over, but Jian Guo blames her for causing the crash. She says it’s his fault for looking at Zhou Ran instead of where he was going, then points out that there are security cameras all over campus. They can easily figure out whose fault it was. Zhou Ran asks if there’s an easier way to resolve the situation. Liu Ying demands that Jian Guo take her to the infirmary. Zhou Ran tries to use this opportunity to hobble away, saying that Jian Guo should go with Liu Ying.

Coach Chu meets with Tang Xue and gives her her number for the upcoming race. She commends Tang Xue’s hard work, saying that she pushes herself more than Coach Chu ever could. Tang Xue thanks Chu for giving her the opportunity to join the team. That’s not quite what happened, but Chu decides to let Yu Bing explain things to Tang Xue himself.

Tang Xue admits to Chu that she’s thinking about switching majors. Chu warns that if she changes majors, there’s no way back. That’s exactly what Tang Xue wants.

Tang Xue hands out VIP tickets to her friends for her upcoming race. Yu Yan says that he can’t go — he’s leaving for Canada two days before the event. Tang Xue didn’t realize he was leaving so quickly, but then toasts to his upcoming move and her upcoming race. Yu Yan asks her if she really thinks he should go to Canada. She responds, “Why should you not?”

Bian Cheng and Zhou Ran meet up again. She asks if he’s disappointed with his failed confession, but he’s not. He already knew what would happen. She gives him a ticket to Tang Xue’s race and asks if he plans on going. He says he’ll be there, and he plans on writing an article on Tang Xue and her re-entry into the speed skating world.

Tang Xue meets with Hawkeye and hesitantly tells him about her plans to switch into the athletics department next semester. She wants to focus on speed skating and has realized that it is her true passion. To her surprise, he encourages her to follow her dreams, saying that dreams are something you can only have while you’re young. He has one condition: she has to pass the final.

Yu Yan slowly packs up his room, reliving some of his memories with Tang Xue as he packs up his mementos of her. He writes her a text saying that he’s leaving and she doesn’t need to come see him off. In fact, he doesn’t want her to.

Yu Yan is afraid that seeing her will make him feel bad and make him want to stay. He wants to tell her that he likes her, that he wants to see her every day. He feels like he is a sunflower and she is the sun. Can she wait for him? Can she not fall in love with someone else?

Still, he can’t help but look for her when he heads outside toward his mother and a waiting car. He looks one more time before he steps into the car. The van has just started driving off when Tang Xue rounds the corner at a sprint. She chases after the car, yelling to Yu Yan that he’ll have to look after himself now that she won’t be with him anymore.

He sees her and yells for the driver to stop, but his mother tells the driver to keep driving, and speed up, if possible. Tang Xue gets tired and stops running. Yu Yan’s eyes are red as he watches her disappear.

His mother tells him that if Tang Xue really likes him, she’ll wait for him. If she doesn’t, then there’s no need for him to be so sad. She tries to comfort him, but he rips his hand out of her grasp and turns to look out the window, remembering the text he didn’t send.

Tang Xue rereads the text that Yu Yan sent her, asking her not to come because he was afraid he’d be sad. She says out loud that he would be even more sad if he left without friends to send him off. It’s a good thing she made it just in time.

Yu Bing sits down next to Tang Xue as she laces up her skates for practice and casually asks if she sent off Yu Yan and whether Yu Yan said anything. Tang Xue says Yu Yan didn’t say anything, then views Yu Bing suspiciously. Should he have said something? Yu Bing keeps trying to act casual and starts to say something, but then Tang Xue gets called onto the ice for practice.

Coach Chu tells Tang Xue that she doesn’t need to put too much pressure on herself, since this is her first competition back. Chu will be happy if she makes it to the semifinals. But Tang Xue has high standards for herself. She says that every person who steps onto the ice should have the same goal: winning. She makes another challenge to Yue Wei, who looks at her skeptically. Whoever doesn’t win will have to bark like a dog. Yue Wei agrees, calling Tang Xue “little snail.”

Tang Xue wins her heat, earning a place in the finals. Huan Huan and Zhen Yu brainstorm ideas for how to best show their support. They end up getting a large banner with calligraphy letters on it.

Yu Bing sets up at the boards next to the coaches. Coach Chu commends his eye for talent. Tang Xue has proven to be quite the competitor.

Zhou Ran and Bian Cheng sit together in the stands. Bian Cheng has arrived prepared with a bouquet of flowers.

Tang Xue starts off the race at the back of the pack, but slowly works her way up so that she’s in second behind Yue Wei with only one lap to go. But as they’re about to round the final turn, a competitor slips and knocks into Tang Xue, sending her flying across the ice.

Oh no! Is Tang Xue going to have PTSD from the fall that caused her injury? We saw how freaked out she got when she wiped out alone when she first got back to the ice. Have the past few months of training helped her get over that fear, or will a situation so similar to that past trauma trigger her?

Yu Yan got more of the sadboi edit this episode, and I’m not really sorry to see him go, because all he’s done the past few episodes is brood and wallow in self-pity. Maybe he’ll come back from Canada with newfound confidence.

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