Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: Skate Into Love (Ep. 21)

Yu Bing finds the courage to tell Tang Xue he likes her, but their happiness is short-lived because Tang Xue’s father does not approve.

Recap

Tang Xue discourages the drunk man from continuing to pursue his crush when she’s already rejected him. He walks away, saying that he shouldn’t have confessed today.

Tang Xue and Yu Bing start to walk away from the church building where they had met, but all of a sudden the building lights up and fireworks light up the sky. They both turn to look at the display, then look at each other and smile. The moment is magical and Yu Bing looks like he wants to take advantage of it, but then Zhen Yu shows up between them with a loud clap, startling them both.

He grins, commenting on how romantic the fireworks are and looking pleased with himself. Tang Xue glares at him and Yu Bing quickly pulls him in close and starts guiding him away, trying to explain what happened without Tang Xue hearing. But Tang Xue is suddenly suspicious and shouts for them to stop and explain to her exactly what’s going on here.

Zhen Yu slowly realizes that Yu Bing hasn’t said anything yet. He tells Yu Bing he better say it, then walks off.

Tang Xue looks at Yu Bing expectantly and with a knowing smile. What does he have to say? Yu Bing hesitates, looking nervous, and Tang Xue says that she’s going to leave if he doesn’t say anything. She starts walking away. He blurts out, “Tang Xue, I like you!” At the same moment, another round of fireworks explode overhead. Tang Xue slowly turns, then smiles, asking him what took so long.

Yu Bing holds out his arms. Tang Xue grabs him by the front of his shirt and pulls him in for a hug. The fireworks continue to go off above them.

At night, Tang Xue smiles to herself as she remembers Yu Bing’s confession. Yu Bing calls and she lets the phone ring for a few counts before picking up. They chat for a little bit before Yu Bing asks Tang Xue to tell him a bedtime story. She starts telling a story, but falls asleep herself a few minutes in.

Tang Xue has a mild fever when she wakes up the next morning and her father fusses over her even though she mostly feels fine. When she gets a moment to herself, she’s shocked to see that her phone call with Yu Bing lasted 421 minutes. She posts a photo of her thermometer to social media.

Zhou Ran sees Tang Xue’s social media post and calls Bian Cheng.

Tang Xue’s parents tell her that someone is here to see her. She thinks it’s Yu Bing and immediately jumps into motion, scrambling to make herself look presentable. But when she goes out to the living room, she’s disappointed to find Zhou Ran and Bian Cheng instead.

Bian Cheng has brought a bunch of supplements for Tang Xue. She tries to reject them, but Zhou Ran says that she shouldn’t hurt Bian Cheng’s feelings like that. Zhou Ran introduces Bian Cheng to Tang Xue’s father, making sure to note that he’s a journalism student. Tang Xue’s father also recognizes him as the top scorer in the gaokao in Tang Xue’s year.

Tang Xue excuses herself, claiming to be sleepy. Bian Cheng continues to chat with Tang Xue’s father, making sure to flatter him about his reporting skills. Zhou Ran goes outside to help her aunt with the laundry and lets slip that Tang Xue has started skating again, then feigns surprise that Tang Xue hasn’t told Mama Tang. Mama Tang is upset, but warns Zhou Ran not to tell her uncle. If he finds out, it’ll be a disaster.

Tang Xue’s father likes Bian Cheng so much that he offers him an internship at the newspaper.

Tang Xue pouts, wondering why Yu Bing hasn’t contacted her at all. She posted on social media because she wanted him to see it. She doesn’t know that Yu Bing is making his way up to the front door with a huge bouquet.

Tang Xue’s father turns Yu Bing away at the door and rejects the bouquet and gifts he’s brought. He tells Yu Bing to meet him later at a coffee shop. He has something he wants to tell him. Bian Cheng makes it a point to greet Yu Bing and show off that he’s inside.

After Yu Bing has left, Tang Xue comes running out of her bedroom, asking if Yu Bing was here. Her father stops her. She asks why Yu Bing couldn’t come inside. Isn’t he here? She nods toward Bian Cheng. Her father frowns, then says that Yu Bing isn’t being honest.

Zhen Yu hangs out a coffee shop, reading a book titled Honesty. He gets a phone call from Huan Huan, who starts describing exactly what he’s wearing and what he’s doing. He turns and then spots her out the window. They beam and wave at each other.

Tang Xue’s father tells her (and everyone else present) that Yu Bing lied about his parents divorcing. He went to a different middle school in order to avoid Tang Xue. He had even thought about transferring schools earlier. Tang Xue frowns, not believing him, then says that she’ll ask Yu Bing and find out the truth for herself.

Tang Xue’s mother goes to check on Tang Xue, who puts on a brave face and says that it’s okay with Yu Bing doesn’t like her and is avoiding her. She doesn’t like him either. Tang Xue’s mother glances at her speed skating posters and seems to want to say something, then thinks better of it.

At night, Tang Xue calls Yu Bing. He picks up quickly and says that he didn’t call her earlier because he was afraid she was sleeping. But she doesn’t make small talk and instead asks him if it’s true that he chose to go to a different middle school to avoid her. Why? She thought they were friends. They agreed to go to the same middle school together.

Yu Bing admits that back then, he was afraid of her and that’s why he agreed before secretly switching schools. Tang Xue tells him that he doesn’t need to be afraid of her anymore. They won’t see each other ever again.

After she hangs up, she stares at her sullen reflection in the mirror. She thought Yu Bing was her friend, yet that was what he really thought of her? How does everyone else view her?

The next day, Tang Xue’s father meets with Yu Bing and hands over an old Tamagotchi that Tang Xue had wanted to return to him. Yu Bing and Tang Xue’s split had been a surprise to their parents as well. Yu Bing’s mother was under the impression that he and Tang Xue had agreed to go to the same middle school, just a different one. To save Tang Xue’s feelings, her father made up the lie that Yu Bing’s parents had divorced and that’s why he was at a different school. He told her to keep it a secret. Tang Xue pitied Yu Bing and asked her father to return the Tamagotchi, which she had bullied Yu Bing into handing over.

Yu Bing apologizes to Tang Xue’s father, recognizing that he was very immature when he was younger. But he’s different now. He really likes Tang Xue. Tang Xue’s father is both stunned and suddenly flustered. He asks how Tang Xue is supposed to trust Yu Bing now. Yu Bing says he’ll prove himself to her with his actions, but Papa Tang holds up a hand to stop him. As far as he’s concerned, Yu Bing and Tang Xue’s paths diverged after they went to different middle schools, and he seems to think it’s better that way. He thinks that Yu Bing should let his memories with Tang Xue be like old photographs that you look at occasionally and then put away. But he ends up saying, “Do what you want,” and abruptly standing up and leaving.

Yu Bing calls Zhen Yu to ask for advice, but Zhen Yu can’t talk much — he’s trying to sneak the phone call in at the bathroom while out with Huan Huan. When Zhen Yu goes back to the table where Huan Huan is waiting, he accidentally lets slip that Tang Xue has been in a bad mood lately.

Huan Huan calls Tang Xue and the three of them meet up. Huan Huan is supportive, taking Tang Xue’s side against Yu Bing, but also says that Yu Yan would never do something like that and slyly asks Tang Xue if she would consider him. Tang Xue doesn’t respond and instead somberly asks if they also secretly loathe her. Is that why they call her “Master Tang”? Zhen Yu and Huan Huan quickly shake their heads.

When Tang Xue returns home, she still looks dejected and doesn’t seem to see her father, who is sitting in the living room waiting for her. He stands and seems to want to say something to her, but then doesn’t.

At night, she scrolls through her chat history with Yu Bing, which is just a wall of messages saying, “I’m sorry.” She thinks about how he promised only a few days ago that they would never part ways again.

Yu Bing sends another text message saying, “Sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry.”

The next day, Tang Xue stares out the window while Yu Bing stands in Tang Xue’s yard and stares up at her house. But they’re on different sides of the building, so they don’t see each other.

Tang Xue’s fever goes away, but her father continues to fuss over. Her mother accuses him of spoiling her, but he just smiles and says he has only this one daughter to spoil anyway. Papa Tang suddenly gets a call that one of his friends has been hospitalized. Tang Xue tells her parents to go visit their friend. They’ll be gone for a few days, but her fever is gone and she’ll be fine by herself at home.

The next morning, Tang Xue gets a call from her high school class president, who is organizing a class meetup on their old high school campus for Tang Xue’s old favorite teacher. She doesn’t notice when Yu Bing texts her, asking to meet up and for a chance to explain himself.

Tang Xue is surprised to find several students on the high school campus when it’s supposed to be winter break. She calls her class president to ask where he is. He suddenly shows up behind her, and then a ton of students appear, holding roses or paper signs and chanting lines of a poem. The students surround Tang Xue in a heart shape, with her at the center. A student hands Tang Xue an envelope. Inside is the confession letter she wrote to Bian Cheng back in high school.

Bian Cheng comes walking down the stairs, holding a large bouquet of flowers interlaced with paper cranes, and enters the heart to stand in front of Tang Xue. He tells her that he really likes her and adapted a poem by Raymond Carver for her. He holds out the bouquet and asks her to accept it.

She stares at it, brow furrowed, and doesn’t respond. He tells her there’s no rush and asks if she remembers this place. This is where she gave him the confession letter. He knows that he missed his chance before, but he believes that her feelings for him still exist and didn’t just disappear.

He holds out the bouquet toward her again. The students surrounding them start chanting, “Get together!” Tang Xue frowns, looking uncomfortable.

Everything about Bian Cheng makes me so uncomfortable. He seems to be clinging onto old feelings he never expressed and, without really talking to Tang Xue at all since then, suddenly expects her to accept his confession when he shows up out of the blue? I don’t like it, and I don’t think Tang Xue does, either.

This Yu Bing-Tang Xue drama feels so unnecessary, but also understandable and inevitable. Everyone knew that Tang Xue was not going to react well to the knowledge that Yu Bing lied to her, and the fact that she found out from her father rather than Yu Bing himself only made things worse. Her childhood relationship with Yu Bing was so long ago that it almost seems kind of silly to be hung up on it, but at the same time, the truth has meant a major shift in worldview for her.

The lie isn’t just about Yu Bing switching middle schools, it’s about their whole friendship. Tang Xue thought they were the best of friends, but now she’s realized that maybe Yu Bing didn’t even like her at all, and only went along with things because he felt intimidated. I wish she would focus on how much he’s been there for her now, but I can understand how jarring it is for her to feel like the whole foundation of their relationship has been ripped out from underneath her.

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