Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: Skate Into Love (Ep. 32)

Yu Yan’s mother is finally forced to acknowledge his mental health issues. She goes to Yu Yan’s only friend, Tang Xue, for help. Tang Xue is more than wiling to help, but her time with Yu Yan starts to interfere in her relationship with Yu Bing.

Recap

Coach Jin shows Yu Yan’s mother the medical report, but she throws it down after reading it, saying that the team doctor isn’t a professional. There’s nothing wrong with Yu Yan. She storms out.

Coach Jin frowns after she leaves. He finally says to himself that people are most important.

Yu Yan’s mother returns home to find Yu Yan repeatedly practicing the same segment of his program. She tries to get him to rest, but he takes offense, saying that now she wants to tell him when to stop practicing, too? He pushes on, and she tries to get him to stop. He suddenly starts hyperventilating and not responding to her, then sits down on the ground, covering his ears.

Huan Huan returns from her certification exam. She messes with Zhen Yu, pretending to be sad, but then reveals that she passed.

The friends gather to celebrate Huan Huan’s certification and Zhen Yu’s new role as a medical assistant for the XDragons. Zhen Yu catches Jian Guo sneaking glances at Liu Ying, who studiously refuses to look at him. At first, Zhen Yu teases Jian Guo, suggesting that he’s actually looking at Huan Huan, but then eventually teases him about finding a girlfriend.

Tang Xue points out that there are four single people in the group: Da Jiang, Jian Guo, Yue Wei, and Liu Ying. Maybe they should pair up? Da Jiang looks uncomfortable, then tells Jian Guo that they should be together from now on. Yue Wei clinks cups with Liu Ying.

Yu Bing notices Tang Xue suddenly looking a bit rueful and asks what’s on her mind. She makes him promise not to get angry, then admits that she feels bad hanging out with everyone, knowing that Yu Yan is probably alone right now. Yu Bing tells Tang Xue she can do whatever she wants, but he’s clearly jealous and she teases him about it.

Yu Yan’s mother’s eyes widen as she stares at a report diagnosing Yu Yan with anxiety. She picks up Yu Yan’s phone and hovers over Tang Xue’s contact.

Tang Xue takes Yu Bing to the clearing with the string light display that he made. She presents him with a puzzle, titled “rock sugar stewed with snow pear,” and says that they can complete it together before she leaves for training camp. Yu Bing has a small fright when he hears the title, thinking his secret Weibo has been discovered, but Tang Xue says it’s a couple’s name that she made up. Yu Bing smirks, saying that their two hearts do truly beat as one. She guesses that he’s hiding a secret. He says he’ll tell her what it is once they finish the puzzle. (Insert cheesy line about how she is the piece that completes the puzzle of his life.)

Yu Yan’s mother brings some food to Yu Yan’s room. When he doesn’t respond to her knock, she opens the door to find him sitting in a corner in the dark. She tries to get him to eat. When he refuses, she puts a hand on his arm, but he throws her off angrily, saying he doesn’t want to. She yells back, asking what he wants to do. That just makes him more angry. It doesn’t matter what he wants — she won’t let him eat junk food, won’t let him date, and now won’t even let him practice or compete. What can he do? He crawls into bed and pulls the covers over his head.

Yu Yan’s mother sighs after she leaves Yu Yan’s room, then pulls out his phone again and looks at the short contact list. This time, she calls Tang Xue.

Yu Yan’s mother invites Tang Xue over and shows her Yu Yan’s diagnosis. The doctor recommended he spend some extra time with family and friends, but in his phone, Yu Yan’s mother saw only one contact who was a friend: Tang Xue. She has no choice but to ask for Tang Xue’s help.

Tang Xue hands the paper back. Yu Yan’s mother thinks it’s a rejection, and says that Tang Xue can list any condition she wants. But Tang Xue says that as Yu Yan’s friend, she doesn’t have any conditions.

Yu Yan perks up slightly when he hears Tang Xue’s voice outside his room, but he still acts sullen when she comes in, saying he wants to be alone. Tang Xue talks to the stuffed sheep on his bed instead and suggests that they go to the aquarium. Yu Yan says he can’t; he has a competition to prepare for. Tang Xue reminds him that he once told her that she needs to control her blade — she can’t let her blade control her.

“But I can’t control anything right now,” Yu Yan responds.

Tang Xue says that’s because he isn’t the Yu Yan she knows. The Yu Yan she knows encouraged her to pursue her dreams, said that they should be one with the ice, and was always carefree. Can he come back?

Yu Yan’s mother listens in from outside the room, silent tears running down her face.

Yu Bing waits for Tang Xue to show up so they can work on their puzzle together, but she doesn’t show. He gets started without her.

Tang Xue brings Yu Yan’s mother a tray of leftovers after Yu Yan has finished eating. Yu Yan’s mother asks her to keep Yu Yan’s condition a secret from everyone else, even Yu Bing.

Tang Xue rushes to meet Yu Bing at their clearing, but by the time she gets there, the lights are off and Yu Bing is nowhere in sight.

Back in her room, she feels bad about not noticing Yu Yan’s anxiety when he was such a good friend to her. She looks up how to accompany someone with anxiety.

The next day, she finds Yu Bing in the lounge. He seems slightly upset that she stood him up, but they schedule to meet up again later that night to do the puzzle.

Tang Xue is distracted while working out with Yue Wei. She gets a text from Yu Yan’s mother, saying that Yu Yan isn’t doing so well today and asking her to come over if she can. Tang Xue immediately rushes out. A while later, Yu Bing comes into the gym, looking for Tang Xue, but Yue Wei tells him that she already left. Once he leaves, she reminds herself that she needs to let him go.

Afterward, she gets noodles with Da Jiang. He still doesn’t know what he’s going to do after graduation and feels the most directionless out of the three friends.

When Da Jiang goes to help the owner carry some boxes, Yue Wei writes a note that she pins up on the bulletin board: the end of one era is the beginning of another.

Tang Xue goes to Yu Yan’s house to help his mother out. Yu Bing calls her, but she ignores it. She manages to coax Yu Yan outside, where he helps her take down some laundry. Tang Xue notices a set of photos of Yu Yan winning medals and points out that as he got older, he looked more and more serious in the photos.

Yu Yan says he doesn’t know why he started feeling more and more unhappy as he got older. At some point, winning felt more like completing a task, something he had to do in order to make his mother happy. When he was younger, his mother being happy was enough for him to be happy. But as he got older, he started realizing how much his mother sacrificed him, and felt worse whenever he didn’t do well. He forgot why he wanted to skate in the first place.

He starts getting agitated as he talks about how envious he was of Tang Xue and how she seemed so certain in herself and what she wanted. Tang Xue talks him through a breathing exercise to calm him down.

She tells him that her father and his mother are very similar. Their methods might be wrong, but their intentions are pure. All they want is for their children to be happy and they’re willing to sacrifice themselves in order for that to happen.

Yu Yan admits that he’s lost hope. He’s not sure if he’ll ever be as happy as he was. Tang Xue shows him photos of them from the aquarium to try and cheer him up, and reminds him that he seemed most confident when he was skating. He is born to skate.

Yu Bing continues to work on the puzzle alone, disgruntled as he thinks of Tang Xue’s rushed excuse ditching him.

Bian Cheng smirks to himself as he writes up a draft “exposing” Yu Bing as a self-centered bully who uses his connections to intimidate others. He silently says that this article will be his gift to Yu Bing and wishes him sweet dreams.

It’s late when Tang Xue gets back to her dorm. She pulls out her phone, where she has eight missed calls from Yu Bing, but she doesn’t call back, thinking that he must have gone to sleep already.

The next morning, she brings Yu Bing breakfast, apologetic for standing him up yet again. He pouts, but forgives her after demanding a kiss on each cheek and on the mouth as an apology.

Da Jiang is hanging out in the lounge when a bunch of children filter in. One kid’s shoelaces are untied and too long, so Da Jiang helps him tie it up. The kid calls Da Jiang “uncle” and asks if he plays hockey. Da Jiang says he does and gifts the kid a hockey puck. The kid then asks Da Jiang to teach him — he’ll give him all his candy in exchange. Da Jiang agrees, but only if the kid calls him something other than uncle. The kid decides to call him “coach” instead. Yue Wei laughs in the background. After the kid leaves, Da Jiang muses over the title of “coach” in his head.

Huan Huan looks for Zhen Yu in his classroom but he’s not there. When she calls him, he claims he is there, not realizing she’s caught him in a lie. He says that he’ll meet up with her later. In reality, he’s in a lab. After he hangs up, he says, “Cutie, let’s continue.” His silhouette approaches a female silhouette… (which is obviously… a mannequin?)

Commentary

I really like how there could be all this jealous drama with Yu Bing over Tang Xue constantly disappearing. But there isn’t. Maybe it’s because he doesn’t know what she’s doing, but it’s so healthy how not-suspicious he is and how he’s so ready to forgive her.

What’s nice about shows like Skate Into Love is that the characters are all so reasonable. It’s a great feel-good piece to watch. But sometimes the reasonableness of the characters can also be a bit of a downer, because in reality not all parents or former nemeses are so open to reason and willing to admit that they’re wrong…

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