Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: Skate Into Love (Ep. 23)

Yu Bing and Tang Xue are officially together now, but they haven’t quite figured out how to handle their relationship around other people.

Recap

Yu Bing’s mother realizes that there were signs early on that Yu Bing didn’t like girls. She shares her fears with her husband. In elementary school, Yu Bing disliked his deskmate, Tang Xue, and kept asking to switch to be deskmates with some boy. Mama Li found it weird because everyone else in the class liked Tang Xue except Yu Bing. When Yu Bing duped her into letting him switch middle schools, she was so embarrassed she couldn’t bear to face Tang Xue’s parents again.

Yu Bing tells his parents that he’s heading out. His mother tries to ask where he’s going, but his answers are all incredibly vague. She decides that she needs to follow him.

Yu Bing and Tang Xue meet up at their city’s lighthouse. He surprises her by wrapping his arms around her from behind, saying that this is the first new year that they’re spending together. She frowns, reminding him that they spent a new year together before, back when they were kids. It had been in this exact spot, too. Back then, Tang Xue had said that they should spent every new year together, and Yu Bing had just frowned in response.

Now, they agree to spend the rest of their new years together. Yu Bing turns Tang Xue toward him and surprises her with a kiss. He half-jokingly says that this kiss was official (unlike their accidental ice kiss.) They kiss again.

Yu Bing’s parents watch them from behind a flagpole, beaming. Yu Bing’s father accidentally stumbles, startling Yu Bing and Tang Xue.

Tang Xue awkwardly greets Yu Bing’s parents. They’re all too happy to see her and immediately dote on her. Yu Bing’s father is so excited that he says she can even sleep over at their place if she wants.

Tang Xue quickly makes an excuse to head home. Yu Bing’s parents insist on giving her a ride, but she says there’s no need and runs off.

When Tang Xue is gone, Yu Bing’s parents express their elation and full support for Yu Bing’s relationship.

Tang Xue sneaks home and is relieved to find that her parents have retreated to their room. She’s surprised when she finds her mother waiting for her in her bedroom.

Her mother confronts her about speed skating again. Tang Xue tells her mother how much she needs skating, how she’s unhappy every day she can’t skate. Veterinary medicine is fine, but Tang Xue doesn’t get excited about it. She wants to do something she’s passionate about, because that’s the only way she’ll be able to do it well. Her mother is worried about her and worried that she’s not prepared to handle the burden of being an athlete. But Tang Xue is so certain of her own passion that she manages to convince her mother. Mama Tang is grudging, but accepting. Tang Xue tackles her with a hug.

Mama Tang is glad that Tang Xue has a clear path and goal in mind. The journey may be tough, but Mama Tang trusts that as long as Tang Xue persists, she will reach her destination. She’s worried for Tang Xue, but also recognizes that Tang Xue is an adult now and that she needs to let go. It’s Tang Xue’s life; she can make her own choices. As long as she’s happy, her mother will support her. They can slowly work on her father together.

Manager Ma sees Tang Xue and Yu Bing’s matching social media posts at the lighthouse and guesses that they’re dating. He calls Yu Bing to ask him about it and starts lecturing him on how he can’t afford a scandal and doesn’t have the time for a relationship. Yu Bing gets bored and hangs up.

Winter break has come to a close and Tang Xue packs to go back to campus. Her father notices that most of her suitcase space is taken up by snacks. Doesn’t the school provide meals? Why does she need so many snacks? Tang Xue starts to say that she gets really hungry after training all day… then catches herself. Her father notices. Training for what? Tang Xue tries to cover for herself that she’s training her English.

Afterward, she calls Yu Bing to tell him about how she almost slipped up to her dad about skating. They arrange to meet at the bus station the next day, but Tang Xue is a little worried because her father insisted on sending her. They agree that they should come clean and confess their relationship to her father. She can’t hide everything from him.

But when Yu Bing and Tang Xue come face to face with her father at the bus station, they both get intimidated and try to act like it’s a total coincidence they are at the bus station at the same time.

Tang Xue’s father tells her that she can have a boyfriend as long as the boyfriend isn’t Li Yu Bing. The fact that Yu Bing plays hockey is just another strike against him. Hockey is dangerous and all too similar to Tang Xue speed skating.

On the bus, neither of them feel good about failing to tell Papa Tang the truth. Tang Xue decides that she’ll wait until she wins a speed skating race before telling her father the truth.

Back on campus, Tang Xue spots Yu Bing waiting for her outside the sports center. She forces him to follow her around the side of the building so they’re out of sight. She doesn’t want their relationship to be public, at least not until she wins a race. Wasn’t he the one who told her that Coach Chu doesn’t allow dating? Yu Bing seems frustrated, especially since the lie about dating being forbidden was his own doing, and points out that if people see them meeting secretly like this, it’ll be even more suspicious than if they were just talking to each other normally in public.

Coach Chu spots the two of them walking back into the sports center, slightly apart, and smiles.

After practice, Coach Chu lectures the team on not keeping up with their conditioning during winter break. Only Yue Wei and Tang Xue’s times haven’t slipped. She commends them both and announces that Tang Xue is now officially a member of the team, having proven that she deserves the spot through her hard work and attitude. The team applauds her, and even Yue Wei gives a half smile and claps.

Coach Chu also announces one more thing: there’s a club sightseeing trip tomorrow that the speed skating and hockey teams will be participating in together.

Tang Xue and Yu Bing sit with their respective coaches on the bus, but text each other wistfully. Yu Bing claims he can get the coaches to switch seats with them of their own volition. He suggests to Coach Xu that he provide a shoulder for Coach Chu to lean on while she’s sleeping. Coach Xu takes to the idea and asks Tang Xue to switch places.

Tang Xue sits next to Yu Bing and they smile at each other and look close. Yue Wei and Da Jiang both notice. Yu Bing secretly grabs Tang Xue’s hand. She seems wary that they’ll be seen, but goes along with it.

The group arrives at their camping spot and plays a round of charades. Yu Bing and Yue Wei are a power team and celebrate with a hug after a round of quick, successful guesses. Da Jiang and Tang Xue struggle.

Afterward, as they disperse to set up tents, Yu Bing tries to talk to Tang Xue but she brushes past and ignores him. He wonders if she’s jealous. Later, Tang Xue helps Yue Wei with her tent. Yue Wei notices the necklace around her neck and realizes that she’s the one Yu Bing gave the necklace to. She gets distracted and drops a hammer on her foot, then starts crying.

It’s surprising to everyone because Yue Wei doesn’t cry. Da Jiang notices Tang Xue’s necklace as well and figures out the real reason Yue Wei is crying. He abruptly takes her hammer and takes over pitching her tent.

Once the tents are up, Yu Bing checks on Yue Wei to see if she’s okay and to give her a spray for her ankle. Two of her teammates and Da Jiang both notice how attentive Yu Bing is being. When Yu Bing leaves, Da Jiang sits down next to Yue Wei, but she brushes off his concern.

At night, Jian Guo tells a story to the rapt audience of campers. Yu Bing tries to get Tang Xue’s attention, but she isn’t looking at him. Finally, he decides to sneak over to her and pull her away from the rest of camp. Yue Wei sees them.

Yu Bing asks why she’s avoiding him. Is she mad at him? He admits that he might have acted a little too friendly with Yue Wei during the game and apologizes, but Tang Xue says she’s not so petty or insecure that she’d be jealous over that. She reminds him that she wants to keep their relationship hidden until she wins a gold medal. He’s making it difficult by acting like a dog with a bone whenever she’s around. Yu Bing is just surprised that she doesn’t get jealous. She really isn’t a typical woman.

Jian Guo finishes his story by scaring some of the speed skaters. Da Jiang looks toward Yue Wei again only to realize she’s gone. He slips away to try to find her, but doesn’t see her anywhere near camp. Worried, he rushes back to camp and tells everyone else that Yue Wei is missing. They all head out to look for her.

Tang Xue and Yu Bing are cuter than ever now that they’re together. I also have so much more respect for Yue Wei right now. She’s always acted a bit jealous toward Tang Xue, but this episode showed her grudgingly respecting Tang Xue and even liking her for her who she is. Tang Xue’s relationship with Yu Bing is more obvious than ever, but Yue Wei doesn’t seem to be taking out her jealousy or frustration on Tang Xue, which I appreciate.

I’m so relieved that we’re finally out of the parents’ houses and back at university. In a way, I suppose the show has captured the feeling of college students who return home to their families over break. Being helicopter parented by empty-nester parents after the freedom and independence of university is a jarring and oppressive feeling. I felt frustrated for them just watching!

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