Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: Skate Into Love (Ep. 34)

Tang Xue and Yue Wei both have their own romance-related issues to sort out before the leave for training camp, but end up opting to ignore the outside world and focus on themselves. Yu Bing prepares for his big game, doing his best to ignore Tang Xue, but doesn’t know that he has a target on his back.

Recap

Yue Wei finds that someone has written, “I will secretly protect you,” on the back of her note that said, “What should I do if the person I like doesn’t like me back?” We see that Da Jiang wrote the response the night after he hugged her in his mascot costume.

Yue Wei checks another note she wrote, which asked, “Grandma, are you very disappointed?” On the back, Da Jiang had responded, “You will always be her pride.”

Her most recent note, “The end of one era is the beginning of a new journey,” also has a response: “No matter the journey, I will be with you.”

Yue Wei remembers Brother Tie reminding her to not always be looking forward. If she looks back, maybe she’ll discover something new.

As fate would have it, Da Jiang shows up at that moment, cheerfully casual as always — until he sees the notes in Yue Wei’s hands. He suddenly falls silent mid-sentence, looking awkward.

Yue Wei asks him if he wrote the notes. He responds that he was just messing around. Brother Tie shows up with Da Jiang’s food, but Da Jiang quickly makes an excuse to leave and runs out.

Brother Tie spots the notes in Yue Wei’s hand and guesses what happened. He tells Yue Wei, “When you’re secretly looking at someone, there’s also someone else secretly looking at you. Don’t let it slip by.”

Tang Xue’s teammates comment on how she’s still putting in extra training even though she’s about to leave for training camp. Even Yue Wei took a day off to rest. After they’ve left, Tang Xue texts Yu Bing, saying there are some things she wants to say to his face. She’ll be waiting for him under the lights.

Yue Wei and Da Jiang sit awkwardly next to each other. Yue Wei breaks the silence first, saying she thought they would always be the “Iron Triangle.” Da Jiang says they can be if she wants them to be. But what if they weren’t? Yue Wei doesn’t know.

Da Jiang forces a casual laugh and says he knows she likes Yu Bing. Who wouldn’t? He says that he just wants Yue Wei to be happy and to see her smile. None of this is really important. He doesn’t want to distract her from her training camp.

Tang Xue waits for Yu Bing, but he doesn’t show. She touches the place where her necklace used to be and silently wishes for him not to let them go their separate ways. But she gives up and leaves.

Yu Bing watches her go, dangling the necklace in front of him, silently thinking to himself that it looks like they parted ways again.

The next morning, Tang Xue waits at the school gates, hoping that Yu Bing will show up. Yue Wei and Coach Chu arrive. Coach Chu asks where Yu Bing is, but Tang Xue doesn’t say anything. They leave without him showing up.

Both Tang Xue and Yue Wei brood over their own romantic issues during the car ride, and each can tell that the other has something on her mind. Tang Xue decides that they can’t let themselves be distracted during training camp. She turns off her phone and tosses it to Yue Wei for safekeeping. Yue Wei likes that idea and turns off her own phone.

Yu Bing is on his way into the sports center before his game when he gets a phone call from someone asking if he knows a girl who wears a ponytail. She just got hit by a car and is asking for him. Yu Bing tries calling Tang Xue. She doesn’t pick up, so he rushes to go find her. (So many things about this phone call that don’t add up… why did he not notice?)

Several thugs are waiting for him just outside of the sports center. They surprise attack him. He manages to fend off a couple of them, but there are too many and he gets knocked out.

Yue Wei asks Tang Xue why Yu Bing didn’t come to send her off, but guesses that they’re having some issues. She reassures Tang Xue that Yu Bing just needs some time to cool off. He would rather get hurt himself before he lets Tang Xue get hurt.

Manager Ma can’t get hold of Yu Bing as the teams prepare to take the ice. He’s worried, but pastes on a false smile when he runs into President Zhen in the hallway. Coach Xu has to pull him out of the locker room, saying that he’s agitating the team when they’re already nervous about Yu Bing not being there.

Yu Bing regains consciousness on the pavement where he was knocked out, but he clearly seems concussed. An elderly man finds him and offers him a tissue to wipe his nosebleed, then asks if he needs to go to the hospital. Yu Bing waves him off — he has a game to go to — but first, he calls Coach Chu to check if Tang Xue’s okay. Coach Chu seems confused by the call.

The crowd at the hockey game gets antsy waiting for Yu Bing to show up. Zhen takes advantage of the opportunity to taunt Ma about Yu Bing’s absence.

But Yu Bing comes stumbling into the rink in his gear. He waves off his coach and teammates’ concern and is all business as he takes to the ice, but even before the game starts, he seems woozy and out of it.

Zhen is unhappy to see Yu Bing on the rink, but now that he’s here, the Black Scorpions coach tells his team to target Yu Bing.

During the game, the Black Scorpions repeatedly double-team Yu Bing and tackle him with hard hits. At one point, he manages to score a goal, but then an opponent tackles his head into the goalpost. Yu Bing is slow to stand up. Da Jiang starts a fight with the offending player and gets thrown into the penalty box.

Zhen is upset with the score and tells his coach to win no matter what. The coach whispers something to his assistant. Bian Cheng watches from the stands and looks tense. He texts Zhen saying that if continues like this, something bad will happen. Zhen texts back saying he doesn’t know what Bian Cheng is talking about.

Yu Bing struggles to focus, but manages to hold it together enough to assist Da Jiang in scoring a goal in a novel way (by purposely deflecting the puck off the boards). In the process, he gets tackled so hard into the boards that he knocks out a plexiglass pane, which shatters.

While the rest of the team celebrates the win, Yu Bing takes off his helmet and tries to stand. But his head starts bleeding and he collapses. He’s rushed to the emergency room.

Meanwhile, Tang Xue and Yue Wei arrive at the training center in Beijing. Tang Xue pauses outside on their way in and admits to Tang Xue that she feels a bit uneasy. Yue Wei teases her — she didn’t know Tang Xue was capable of unease — then tries to lighten the mood by challenging her to their old bet: whoever can’t hang will have to bark like a dog.

Yu Bing wakes up in the hospital surrounded by Da Jiang, Coach Xu, and Zhen Yu. His doctor comes in to check on him. Zhen Yu asks if Yu Bing has a concussion. The doctor says that he doesn’t have one and explains away the fainting as a result of playing so hard after an injury.

Zhen Yu starts to call Tang Xue, but Yu Bing says there’s no need — they’ve broken up.

Yue Wei and Tang Xue get settled in their shared room. Tang Xue comments that all the people here seem very talented. Yue Wei is surprised by this sudden lack of confidence from Tang Xue. Tang Xue admits that she and Yu Bing broke up. Yue Wei is surprised, but tells Tang Xue that neither she nor Yu Bing are the kind of people who will let go easily. Yue Wei can tell that Yu Bing really cares for her.

But Tang Xue wants to focus on the training camp. She tells Yue Wei that her goal has always been to beat her, and she hasn’t achieved that yet. Now, every day of training camp, she will work to achieve that goal. They continue to push each other while training during camp.

During one break, they overhear another training camp attendee video calling her boyfriend. Tang Xue suddenly seems to lose steam and look sad, but brushes it aside when Yue Wei asks about it.

The team doctor praises Zhen Yu for his cool-headed performance following Yu Bing’s injury. He beams, then joins up with Huan Huan, who is waiting outside. They schedule a date for later that day.

Manager Ma finds out from Coach Xu that Yu Bing was attacked before the game, but there’s little evidence to track the perpetrators with. They both find the situation quite suspicious, especially because Yu Bing received a call claiming Tang Xue got hurt just before the attack.

Huan Huan celebrates her 180-day anniversary with Zhen Yu by getting him to blow out a lighter in lieu of a candle and cake. He says that from now on, he will continue being her little lackey. But she doesn’t want him to be her lackey anymore. From now on, he will be her prince. She’s happy with how they are and will be happy as long as they stay together and try together to achieve their goals, no matter how high they set them.

She doesn’t think she’ll ever find a better boyfriend. If she is his princess, then he’ll be her prince. (Chinese version of a Taylor Swift lyric?)

Hmmm I had a few issues with this episode, mainly around the whole Yu Bing injury scenario. I don’t really like this whole playing-through-injury, not-really-a-concussion thing that they had going on. I don’t buy that Yu Bing got out of all of that without a concussion — like the fact that he got knocked unconscious by the thugs is a pretty clear sign of a concussion, and the fact that he passed out while bleeding from the head, and everything else he was experiencing — and the fact that he wasn’t diagnosed with one downplays the risks of contact sports like hockey. As an athlete who plays a sport where head injuries are more common than they should be and frequently overlooked, I don’t like this glorification of playing through concussion symptoms. It’s celebrated as a sign of commitment and toughness, but I think that celebration and glorification is misplaced. It’s harmful and essentially saying “don’t worry if you feel dizzy or feel like passing out after hitting your head, you probably don’t have a concussion”. I’ve been fortunate to not have had a serious concussion before, but I’ve had multiple friends who have, and they are no joke. Brains are your most valuable asset. Value your brains, y’all. Don’t be like Yu Bing.

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