Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: Skate Into Love (Ep. 30)

We get to learn a little more about our side characters in this episode. Yue Wei and Da Jiang both find themselves reconsidering the futures they imagined now that they’re facing setbacks in their sports careers. Liu Ying and Jian Guo decide to take a chance on love, but it’s not quite what they thought.

Recap

Yu Bing giggles to himself as he studies his gold medal in his room, to the annoyance of Jian Guo, who tells him that people who murder their roommates have one thing in common: they don’t have girlfriends.

Jian Guo goes online and sees that Liu Ying has recently made a rather lonely-sounding post about how love is in the air and she feels like the odd one out. He messages her a response about how they are all extra people in this world, but that they’re also all important.

Liu Ying’s roommates are all calling their boyfriends and saying good night when Liu Ying gets a message from Jian Guo suggesting they meet. She’s so startled she stands up and smacks her head on her bed.

Huan Huan and Tang Xue immediately swarm her laptop when she mentions that her internet friend is trying to schedule a date, and hover over her shoulder as she taps out a response. They arrange to meet at the library the next day.

Jian Guo and Liu Ying both get uncharacteristically dressed up for the occasion. They recognize each other by their books and don’t look at each other’s faces before they start reciting quotes to each other. When they turn and see each other’s faces, they both scream and jump apart, each appalled to find the other.

They trade insults and then Liu Ying tries to leave, but she and Jian Guo accidentally gets into each other’s way, as usual. Then she trips and falls before she can make it very far.

Huan Huan finds Liu Ying afterward, asking how it went. Liu Ying is distraught and tells Huan Huan to never mention this guy again. She deletes him from her friends list while Huan Huan watches with confusion.

At practice, Coach Chu informs Tang Xue that she’s been invited to join the national team. She cheers and her teammates cheer for her. Yue Wei smiles, a little sadly, and starts skating away. Her red thread bracelet falls off, but by the time she notices, she can watch with an alarmed cry as Tang Xue skates right over it, slicing it in half.

Yue Wei trembles, extremely upset, and she picks up the two halves of the bracelet. Tang Xue apologizes, saying that she didn’t do it on purpose. She says she’ll pay her back for it. But Yue Wei angrily responds, “What will you pay me with?” She shoves Tang Xue, then skates off the ice, ignoring her teammates and Coach Chu who call after her.

Tang Xue watches her and wonders aloud why Yue Wei is so upset when she didn’t do it on purpose. Her teammates turn to look at her with disappointed sighs. Coach Chu informs her that the bracelet was given to Yue Wei by her dead grandmother.

Yue Wei mourns the broken threads of her bracelet as she remembers her grandmother. Her grandmother was the one who introduced her to skating after watching Chinese speed skaters at the Olympics on TV. She said she would be so proud if Yue Wei was able to wear the national uniform and compete in the Olympics one day. Later, her grandmother had given her the red bracelet right before she died.

Tang Xue finds Yue Wei in the locker room and apologizes again, saying that she didn’t know what the bracelet meant to her, but now she does. Yue Wei tries to force a smile and tells her to forget about it. But she admits that the bracelet felt like more than just an object. Sometimes it felt like a memory, like her grandmother was still there next to her.

Yue Wei tells Tang Xue that her grandmother had only one hope for her: that she would represent China on the international stage. But now she’s messed it all up. Tang Xue sits down next to Yue Wei and tries to take her hand, but Yue Wei shakes her off and stands up abruptly, throwing the broken bracelet to the ground in the process.

Tang Xue rushes to pick up the pieces and hold them out to Yue Wei. Yue Wei doesn’t take them. She cries and says that she feels like her grandmother is telling her that she’s too disappointed, then she leaves.

At night, Tang Xue lies awake in bed thinking about what Yue Wei said. She gets up, threads a needle with red thread, and gets to work.

The next morning, she waits for Yue Wei outside the sports center. Yue Wei tries to apologize for her reaction the day before, but Tang Xue insists that she’s the one who needs to apologize. She tells Yue Wei that she understands how she feels, because her own grandmother was also one of her biggest supporters. Once, when Tang Xue was crying after a solid defeat, her grandmother told her that there are two kinds of people in the world: those who let themselves be knocked down by defeat, and those who come back stronger. Now, Tang Xue gives those words to Yue Wei and holds out a freshly-repaired bracelet. Yue Wei has the support of their teammates, Da Jiang, and Yu Bing. If she’s willing, Tang Xue also wants to be part of her support.

Yue Wei accepts the bracelet with a rueful smile and asks if they can continue to train together. She and Tang Xue joke around over who will beat who and enter the sports center together.

Yu Bing finds Da Jiang meticulously sharpening Yue Wei’s skates in their locker room. He asks if Da Jiang likes Yue Wei. Da Jiang says of course, then looks Yu Bing in the eye and adds in a lowered voice that he likes her as much as he likes him.

They both get texts from Yue Wei, arranging to meet at their usual hangout spot. Da Jiang and Yu Bing wait at the restaurant for Yue Wei, and are surprised when Yue Wei shows up holding hands with Tang Xue.

“So you’re good now?” Yu Bing asks them. Tang Xue and Yue Wei respond innocently, asking, when were they not? Yu Bing and Da Jiang clear their throats and look away.

Bian Cheng calls Papa Tang to congratulate him on Tang Xue’s win. Then he mentions that he wants to include Papa Tang’s name when he submits an article he wrote to awards. Papa Tang feels bad taking some amount of credit when Bian Cheng did all the writing, but Bian Cheng reassures him that he contributed a lot as his editor.

Zhou Ran meets with Bian Cheng at a cafe, but she doesn’t seem very eager to be there. She tells him to get to the point instead of making small talk. He tells her about his plan to include Papa Tang’s name on his submission for an award. He has insider info that he’s likely to win. When the time comes, he wants Zhou Ran to put in a good word for him with Papa Tang.

Zhou Ran asks Bian Cheng if he’s considered that he’s just wasting his time. It doesn’t matter if Papa Tang likes him if Tang Xue will never leave Yu Bing to be with him. Bian Cheng says that nothing is impossible. Zhou Ran asks if he really thinks Tang Xue will like him. She’s already rejected him so soundly.

Bian Cheng looks annoyed and says that he doesn’t need Zhou Ran’s reminders. All he needs is for her to tell him whether she’ll help or not.

Zhou Ran says that she’s tired. She doesn’t want to involve herself in other people’s relationships anymore and she doesn’t want to be a side character in their story. She tells Bian Cheng that if he considers her a friend, he’ll listen to her and let go of this. When he does, he’ll realize that there are other, better goals more worth his attention.

Bian Cheng replies saying that Zhou Ran didn’t used to be this way. She seems to be losing sight of herself. Zhou Ran shakes her head with a smile, saying that maybe the current her is the real her. She excuses herself and leaves.

Zhou Ran goes to the cafeteria and gets in line a few spots behind Tang Xue, who doesn’t see her. Two girls behind Tang Xue giggle loudly and make snide remarks about a price tag still hanging on her clothes. Tang Xue doesn’t notice them, but Zhou Ran does. She slides in and delivers one of her signature backhanded compliments to one of the girls. She comments on the girl’s purse, saying it looks a lot like a brand name one, except that the brand name bag doesn’t come in this specific color, and asks where she got it from. The girls glare at her and leave.

Zhou Ran turns to Tang Xue and points out that her tag is showing. Tang Xue hides it sheepishly, then tells Zhou Ran she’s unused to this display of loyalty from her. They chat briefly and still trade some faux-nice comments, but this time it’s all in good humor. Zhen Yu and Yu Bing show up and spot them, shocked at what they’re seeing.

Tang Xue and Yue Wei lift together in the training room. Yue Wei insists that her leg is better and asks Tang Xue to press down on the weight while she’s squatting. (Uh, pretty sure that’s not how you should squat…?) They’re interrupted when the team doctor calls Yue Wei out for another check-up. Tang Xue and her teammates watch them go, concerned.

Yue Wei is surprised to find Coach Chu waiting in the doctor’s office, back from her business trip. The doctor does the check-up and then reports to Coach Chu that Yue Wei looks ready.

“Ready for what?” Yue Wei asks. Coach Chu pulls out a piece of paper. Yue Wei has also been invited to the national team training camp.

The coaches meet with Manager Ma, who applauds Coach Chu for training two national team candidates. Yue Wei’s invite was the product of extra lobbying on Chu’s part. Manager Ma asks Coach Jin how Yu Yan is doing. The figure skating team is the only team that has not yet produced a national team candidate. Jin reassures Manager Ma that he has nothing to worry about with him as a coach. He won’t let Yu Yan drag down the XDragons. Coach Xu and Chu exchange a look but don’t say anything.

After hockey practice, Yu Bing notices Da Jiang looking out of it. At night, Da Jiang is up late. Yu Bing checks in with him and Da Jiang tells him about how he hasn’t received responses from any of the hockey teams he’s applied to. Da Jiang is about to graduate and concerned that this might be the end of his hockey career if no professional team wants him. Yu Bing suggests that Da Jiang get some rest for now. Maybe things will work themselves out in the morning. Yu Bing glances at Da Jiang thoughtfully before he climbs into bed.

The next day, Yu Bing finds Manager Ma and asks him to take Da Jiang onto the XDragons’ professional team. Manager Ma is reluctant, saying Da Jiang’s skills aren’t up to par for a professional league, but Yu Bing says that he needs Da Jiang as a teammate. If he’s to continue playing for the XDragons, he needs Da Jiang to be there. Manager Ma finally agrees to mention it to the president, but he can’t make any guarantees.

Yu Bing has just left Manager Ma’s office when he runs into Zhen Yu, who looks dejected. Zhen Yu tells Yu Bing that he applied to be a medical assistant for the XDragons, but got rejected because he’s a first year and lacks experience. Yu Bing looks at Zhen Yu’s application, tells him to hold on for a moment, then slips back into Manager Ma’s office. A short while later, he drags Manager Ma back out and convinces him to accept Zhen Yu as well.

Yue Wei finds Da Jiang beating up a punching bag in the gym and guesses that he’s frustrated over his professional hockey prospects. She asks him how he got started playing hockey. He tells her that unlike Yu Bing, he didn’t start playing hockey from a young age, but he knew from the moment he started playing that he wanted to play forever. He knows his skills aren’t polished, but if he can’t play hockey professionally, he’ll feel like a failure.

Yue Wei asks Da Jiang if plays hockey for other people’s recognition or for himself. She tells him that not being able to play professionally doesn’t mean that he has to give up hockey entirely. She believes as long as he tries his best and puts in the effort, he’s already won. Her words seem to cheer him up a bit.

Bian Cheng polishes his new award trophy with a self-satisfied smile. He gets a call from President Zhen of the Black Scorpions, asking for information on Yu Bing. Bian Cheng says that he has done some research on Yu Bing and offers to send over what he has.

Later, Bian Cheng interviews President Zhen about his thoughts on professional hockey. Bian Cheng mentions that he looks forward to seeing more of the rivalry between the Black Scorpions and XDragons, which makes Zhen pause.

President Zhen has another meeting, so Bian Cheng leaves, but he also leaves behind his recorder, tucked into a crack in the couch. Halfway down the stairs, he realizes he’s left behind. He turns back and finds President Zhen outside his office, showing out a rough-looking man. Zhen lets Bian Cheng into the office to retrieve his lost recorder. Bian Cheng notices that it was recording the whole time, and turns it off.

Tang Xue returns to her room after a long day of training, exhausted. Huan Huan graciously starts massaging her legs, but her own hands are sore from practicing for her animal rescue certification. She laments that she hasn’t seen Zhen Yu in a long time, because they’ve both been so busy, but she was also the one who pushed him to focus more on his own career aspirations. Liu Ying dramatically warns Tang Xue and Huan Huan that their love will be put to the test soon.

Yu Bing catches Tang Xue taking a nap in the athletes’ lounge. She tells him that her father will be visiting, and he wants to speak with Yu Bing. Yu Bing says that he can’t because he’ll have a game. When Tang Xue points out that she didn’t even tell him when her father is visiting, he responds that it doesn’t matter which day — he’ll have a game. Tang Xue teases him, saying her father isn’t that scary.

Tang Xue will be leaving for the national training camp soon. She and Yu Bing won’t see each other for a few months. Will he wait for her? He tells her she has nothing to worry about. In the six years since elementary school, he only went as far as Lincheng. In a few months? The farthest he’ll get is the campus gates. He tells her that he won’t change if she won’t. She smiles at him and says that they can handle any change as long as it means they won’t change.

This episode was a good one for all the female characters in this show. I love the friendship and mutual respect that Tang Xue and Yue Wei have developed. I also respect Zhou Ran for realizing that she’s wasting her time and energy with Bian Cheng and all his misguided schemes.

Tang Xue is never ill-intentioned, but sometimes she hurts people without meaning to and seems miffed when they get angry. What I respect is that when she gets called out for hurting someone, she always owns up to it and makes it up to them.

Yu Bing has a lot of power within the XDragons club and so far he seems to only use that power for good to help out his friends, but also… it seems like there’s a lot of nepotism here? I don’t know that Da Jiang would appreciate getting a spot on the XDragons professional team because of Yu Bing and not because of his own skill…

The whole Bian Cheng and President Zhen situation was very sketchy this episode. It seems like President Zhen may be scheming to… take out Yu Bing before the big game? What will Bian Cheng do with the information he has? I think this will be an opportunity for him to decide whether he’s on the dark side or the right side…

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