Hooray! Episode 7 really picks up the pace with silly antics, plot movement, and character growth! What more could we want in an episode? No, wait. Don’t answer that.
Xiang Qin gets her game on… alone in her bedroom. Her apponent is a teddy bear (aka Sampras). She puts on a good show, talking big and swinging her racket around like a crazy person, even smacking herself in the head.
She finally realizes that Zhi Shu and Yu Shu are in the doorway, watching her goofball display. They’ve come to tell her that dinner is ready.
Xiang Qin wears her tennis outfit down to the dinner table, which sparks a tennis conversation. Mom comments that her outfit is cute. Zhi Shu tells Xiang Qin that if she only wants to dress pretty, she should save her money. Xiang Qin says that wearing a pretty outfit will give her fighting spirit. He asks if she has the spirit to beat her opponent, and she says she has the will to practice, and that’s what counts. Mom says she’ll support her.
Ah Li challenges Ah Cai to a match, jeering that he’s never once beaten him at tennis. Ah Cai points out that Ah Li has lost his winning physique and compares using a spatula to constant tennis practice. Ah Li says that if he confuses a spatula and a racket, there’s no way he can beat him. Ah Cai counters that Ah Li’s body is like a ball. By now, the whole family is having a good laugh. They move on to basketball, comparing height and whether or not they can dunk.
Xiang Qin, Ya Nong, and Chun Mei are having lunch in the cafeteria. The girls ask Xiang Qin why she joined the tennis club. Of course they know it’s because of Jiang Zhi Shu, but they like teasing her.
While they eat, the senior from tennis club comes up and reminds Xiang Qin to attend the training this afternoon. He tells her that the president is very strict, but she should hang in there and do her best, patting her sweetly on the head. She smiles at the encouragement. When he leaves, the girls say that the senior looks like a perverted old man. Xiang Qin explains that he’s very good to her.
After school, Xiang Qin is admiring her tennis outfit in the mirror of the club locker room. The senior comes in and admires her outfit, too (I thought it was creepy at first, but they all share the same locker room… okay, still creepy). He tells her to do her best and leaves for the tennis court. Xiang Qin practices her swing for the mirror a couple more times before going out.
For the first session, the Tennis Club President will assess the level of each newcomer, using Senior/Wang Hao Qian (Jason) as the opponent. Xiang Qin feels she should be okay because he’s the nice senior, but Zhi Shu informs her that things aren’t what they seem. He takes Zi Yu elsewhere to practice.
It’s time for the test, and Senior is wearing a completely different expression. The first newbie steps up to the plate (to use a different sport’s metaphor) and takes a crazy fast serve, which bounces off into the crowd.
Xiang Qin notices how different Senior’s face looks as he rockets balls right into the defenseless newcomer. A stray ball even knocks over a girl standing in the crowd. By now everyone is cowering and hiding behind their rackets. Zhi Shu tells Xiang Qin that Senior Wang Hao Qian’s nickname is “Killer Devil.” He’s normally a nice guy, but when he picks up his racket, he shoots fire. He’s the reason freshman are afraid to join the club.
Up next is Pei Zi Yu, with whom the senior exchanges a friendly volley. She asks him to take her seriously, but they just hit a few balls back and forth.
After Zi Yu, another freshman gets a fairly friendly go at it. Xiang Qin asks Zi Yu why the senior was so friendly with her, and she says she doesn’t know why (it’s probably ‘cuz she’s purddy).
Next up is Jiang Zhi Shu, who ends up totally creaming and pissing off the senior. Everyone is afraid for the next newcomer because Killer Devil is really angry and fired up.
Called next… Yuan Xiang Qin. She steps onto the court. As Zhi Shu passes by, he tells her that it’s nothing — she just needs to open her eyes and hit the ball.
Senior dons a super scary expression and serves the ball right into Xiang Qin’s racket, which is, most unfortunately, right in front of her face. She falls to the ground, bleeding out of both nostrils.
The next day, Xiang Qin goes through the lunch line, unable to pick out any food to eat. Her nose is in a big white bandage. Jin comes up to ask if she’s okay. Seeing that she can’t eat because of the pain, he offers to make her noodles. So sweet! He asks how she got injured, and Chun Mei/Ya Nong pop up to tell him the story of ball-to-racket-to-face. Xiang Qin thanks them sarcastically.
Jin suggests she join an easier club like her friends and gives her the message that her dad wants to talk to her about something at the restaurant after school. After Jin leaves, the tennis club senior pops his head around to their table. Xiang Qin jumps a mile, obviously a result of her post traumatic stress. She tries to hide her face with her hands, and the senior can’t understand why she’s so scared. He asks to see her nose and apologizes for planning an overly-intense training session for the first day. He says today’s training won’t be so bad.
Lies! All of the newbies are frog hopping with their rackets on their heads. Xiang Qin calls herself dumb for falling for the same trick twice (honestly, I’m surprised she even came with a head injury). She gets hit with a stray tennis ball and falls over, creating a cascade.
The stray ball came from Zi Yu, who is already practicing on the court. Zi Yu tells Xiang Qin that the club focuses on skill, so she can play, even though she is a freshman. Zhi Shu has it even better. He made a deal with the club president that he would join only if he could come when he wanted. Xiang Qin wonders why she didn’t know that, and Zi Yu jeers that Xiang Qin didn’t know, even though she lives with Zhi Shu (funny that their living situation is just common knowledge around campus). Senior breaks up their talk and sends Xiang Qin back to hopping, followed by sit-ups.
After practice, Xiang Qin goes to her dad’s restaurant. Jin comes out to see her and gets scolded by her dad for leaving his station. Be scared of the man with the humongous ladle. Dad has Xiang Qin sit down while he orders her some food from the kitchen.
His tone turns serous. He tells Xiang Qin that they have lived in the Jiang house for almost a year, and although they’ve been treated very well, it would be shameless to think they could keep living there forever. He knows that she likes Zhi Shu, but Zhi Shu doesn’t reciprocate her feelings. He doesn’t want them to be a bother. As luck would have it, he can get an apartment from a friend and suggests that they go check it out.
They go to see their possible new home the next day. The air is pretty somber. Ah Cai tries to be positive about the location. It’s not big, but it’s just the two of them. He tells Xiang Qin that he doesn’t want her to feel mistreated (I can only imagine he means by Zhi Shu) in the Jiang’s house.
Ah Cai breaks the news of the move to Jiang Mom and Dad, and Mom is (not surprisingly) quite upset by it. She says that she can have a talk with Zhi Shu if this is about him. Ah Cai says that love can’t be forced and that there’s no chance for Xiang Qin and Zhi Shu. Mom disagrees, saying that she knows her son best.
As bad as timing ever could be, Zhi Shu comes home and stands in the doorway with Pei Zi Yu. It pretty much kill’s Mom’s case then and there. Both Zhi Shu and Zi Yu sense the awkward atmosphere.
Xiang Qin is upstairs packing. She goes to Zhi Shu’s room to find him at the computer with Zi Yu. She apologizes for interrupting, and Zi Yu says tells her that it’s okay. Xiang Qin looks at Zhi Shu awkwardly. He ignores her and goes to his window, continuing to explain a formula. He finally turns around to face Xiang Qin, and she tells him that she’s here to say good-bye. Her dad bought an apartment from a friend, and they’ll be moving out soon. He doesn’t respond, but goes back to the formula and sits back down. He comments that he’ll go back to his old life now. Xiang Qin says she understands, and she goes back to pack. She starts crying in the hallway before she passes Yu Shu. Yu Shu goes in the room and asks why dummy Xiang Qin’s eyes are all red. Zhi Shu just stares at the window. Zi Yu looks uncomfortable from having witnessed the whole scene.
It’s moving day, and nobody looks happy about it.
Ah Cai thanks Ah Li and his wife for their hospitality over all that time. Xiang Qin thanks them for the past year, saying it felt like she had 4 more family members. Uncle taught her to sing, Mom made her yummy food, Yu shu would fight with her, and Zhi Shu helped her with her homework, even though he always saw her as a dummy.
By now she’s bawling along with Mom, who says she doesn’t know what she’ll do without her. Ah Li tells Mom to stop because she’s making them feel even worse. It’s time to leave, but Xiang Qin runs upstairs to say good-bye to Zhi Shu.
He’s playing foosball with Yu Shu. She comes up behind him, but he doesn’t look at her. She apologizes for all of the trouble she’s caused him. He just says “good-bye.” She goes, and he looks up… still not turning around. Xiang Qin pauses and turns back, but nothing.
Xiang Qin is in the back of the truck as it rolls away from the Jiang household. As she cries, she remembers all of her memories of living with Zhi Shu.
Xiang Qin and her dad have settled nicely into apartment life. As she breathes in deeply, Xiang Qin muses that life is much slower now. She looks into the mirror and smiles at herself. She is going to do her best to live happily without Zhi Shu.
She digs through a pile of stuff to expose her dad’s “room.” He doesn’t wake up, so she chucks some things over the top of the make-shift partition. Dad panics, thinking it’s another earthquake.
Life is normal at school, where Xiang Qin walks and talks with her friends. Ya Nong and Chun Mei are bummed for her, thinking that Xiang Qin won’t be able to stay in contact with Zhi Shu (and she’s even in competition with the princess). Xiang Qin tells them that she’s over him. She won’t go to the places where he hangs out so she can finally move on and forget about him. Jin pops up from behind a fence, very happy with the latest news.
Again he recites his dream of them getting married and opening up a restaurant (I’m beginning to thing that this character may only have one dimension). This time, Xiang Qin listens thoughtfully without complaint. Her friends pull her away mid-story, so Jin has to chase after them.
Her friends ask her if she was listening to what Jin was saying, and Xiang Qin answers that she thinks maybe she should get an ideal boyfriend and have a romantic relationship (she is probably starting to think it would be better to be with someone who really cares about her rather than chasing Ice King Zhi Shu around – YAY). Jin says that she already has him as a boyfriend, offering to help her forget about Zhi Shu. So sad when you know it’s a losing battle. The heart wants what the heart wants.
At lunch, Xiang Qin and her friends notice that something is amiss. People are talking murmuring about Xiang Qin. Ya Nong points to today’s lunch special: “Jiang Zhi Shu and Yuan Xiang Qin broke up: New love, Ah Jin.”
Xiang Qin yells at Jin, but he continues to announce the news to the classmates in the cafeteria. He tells Xiang Qin that Zhi Shu already saw it and complimented him on his handwriting.
At the Jiang house, Mom sits outside on the porch, listless. Yu Shu complains that he’s hungry, and she tells him to have Zhi Shu order take out. She didn’t cook again today.
Yu Shu wanders into the room and tells Zhi Shu that they have to split the chores and it’s his turn to do the laundry. He gets onto his bed, and Zhi Shu realizes that Yu Shu doesn’t need to be in his room because he got his own room back. Yu Shu said that he forgot because it’s a matter of habit now. Yu Shu asks Zhi Shu what’s wrong with Mom and remarks that their house feels big and quiet, blaming it on Xiang Qin.
To lighten the mood, Zhi Shu goes looking for the massager that Xiang Qin got him. He hooks it up on Yu Shu, and it makes his shoulder twitch. Zhi Shu tries to get him to play rock paper scissors, and they have a good laugh.
Xiang Qin is still going to Tennis club, even though she is still on ball collection duty. She gets in trouble for sitting down on the job and goes back to collecting tennis balls. She already misses Mom, Uncle, and Yu Shu.
Pei Zi Yu comes over for a chat and asks Xiang Qin why she comes to tennis club to pick up balls. She also comments that Zhi Shu hardly ever comes to practice and apologizes for bringing it up. She goes onto the court, saying she’ll try not to hit the balls towards Xiang Qin.
Xiang Qin goes back to work, thinking that it’s better if Zhi Shu doesn’t come to practice because it would be awkward if he did. She guesses that Zhi Shu never mentioned the lunch room incident because he was too angry.
While she’s still lost in thought, someone comes up and puts his big, smelly foot on the ball she was about to pick up. She starts to reprimand him, only to look up and find Zhi Shu looking back down at her. He comments that she’s still picking up balls. She asks why he’s there, and he says that it’s to play tennis, obviously.
Their conversation is interrupted by Zi Yu, who just pops up to kill the moment. Before it gets awkward, Senior comes up and challenges Zhi Shu to a match. They decide to make a bet. If Senior wins, Zhi Shu will have to participate in their Youth Association Summer Training (think tennis camp). If Zhi Shu wins, Senior will buy him lunch for a month. Then Senior springs it on him that this will be a doubles match: Zi Yu with him and Zhi Shu with Xiang Qin. Ruh-oh.
Senior argues that it’s fair because both of their partners are freshman. Zhi Shu ends up agreeing. He calls Xiang Qin over who suggests he just give up. Zhi Shu instructs her to just stand there and not get in the way. She goes over to the net and asks Zi Yu to pretend that she doesn’t exist. Well, Zi Yu actually wants Zhi Shu to go to the training camp, so it’s not really a good strategy.
The match begins, and Xiang Qin continues to make trouble trying to stay out of the way. Obviously, it’s quite painful to watch and they get creamed in the first round, even though Zhi Shu does a pretty good job against two good players. Nevertheless, Zhi Shu can’t beat them.
Senior gloats, although there’s not too much to be proud of. Senior suggests they have another go with the same teams after the training camp. Zhi Shu refuses, and Senior says he’s just giving him opportunites to redeem himself. He says that if, by the end of training, Xiang Qin can return a single ball to him, then he will agree of one of Zhi Shu’s requests. Zhi Shu turns and looks at Xiang Qin.
Zhi Shu asks what his wager will be, and Senior declares that if Xiang Qin can’t return a single hand to him, then Zhi Shu will have to go around Tennis Club dressed as a girl. This sounds like win-win to me. Zhi Shu agrees, and walks off. Xiang Qin runs after him to the locker room. She finds it hard to start up a conversation once they are there, however.
She goes to Zhi Shu at the sink and asks him if he was serious before, since he’ll have to dress like a girl if he loses. He asks her if she really can’t return a single hand. He asks her where the F class girl who made it into the top 100 went. He tells her that the dressing as a girl thing is his problem, and she just needs to get better at playing. He warns her that his methods are even tougher than Senior’s, and they must win. He leaves, complaining that he’s never sweat that much before.
Meanwhile, a crazy looking hip-hop lady is looking around campus for Xiang Qin. She makes her way to the tennis courts and spots her, noting sadly that she’s only picking up balls and not learning how to play with “big brother.” Xiang Qin’s friends pop up and recognize Jiang Mama. They ask her why she’s dressed that way, and she says she wanted to be low key… haaaa.
The girls tell her that they heard Xiang Qin and Zhi Shu were playing doubles. They ran down to see, but it’s over already. Judging by Xiang Qin’s expression, they guess that she got yelled at by Zhi Shu. Ya Nong says that she thought Xiang Qin’s love life would have gone smoother after starting college. Chun Mei agrees, bringing up that the two of them had already kissed.
News to Mom!
Mom runs straight to Xiang Qin’s dad’s restaurant. He can’t stop laughing at her crazy outfit, so she has a hard time getting her point across. She tells him to pack up his things and move back in. She whispers to him the Big Secret. To Mom, the kiss is reason enough for them to move back in.
On the tennis bus, Senior sings karaoke to Zi Yu who is at first amused and then annoyed. She looks back to Zhi Shu, who looks up to Xiang Qin. She’s fast asleep.
They all get off the bus, and Senior hands out the duties list to the club members. Xiang Qin gets saddled with dinner preparation — she has to cook for 25 people. Senior tells her to do her best, all she can say is but.. but…
Zhi Shu gets really annoyed when Senior tells her she can skip afternoon practice. He brings up their wager, saying she needs to practice more, not less. Senior just dodges the point.
Three Manga/Anime Club members followed the Tennis Club all the way to training camp. For now, they are hanging out in the bushes so they can eavesdrop on the couple. Zhi Shu tells Xiang Qin that she needs to show her true colors so they can win the game, earning him applause from the crazies in the bush. When they are noticed they dive out of sight. Zhi Shu guesses that they are friends of Xiang Qin, but she doesn’t recognize them yet.
Xiang Qin hits the KP. Just chopping up all of the veggies will take her forever. She calls out “Dad, Ah Jin.” Heee.
Anyway, Xiang Qin is pretty scary with a cleaver. Oh, the carnage! Fortunately for us all, Zhi Shu shows up. Xiang Qin turns around, “crying” with an onion on her knife. He thinks to himself that he’s seen this before and turns around to leave. Of course, Zhi Shu ends up staying. He chops like a rock star and cooks like one, too. Xiang Qin watches in awe, cheering him on with carrots in hand. He serves up the food while she has a taste. He says under his breath that he shouldn’t have gone to tennis club the other day. She asks him to repeat what he said, and he says it was nothing.
He tells her to keep it a secret that he was the one who cooked.
At mealtime, everyone is very impressed by “Xiang Qin’s” food. She soaks up the attention, pretty much forgetting that her biggest hand in the meal was staying out of the way. Everyone thinks that Zhi Shu is very lucky getting to eat her delicious cooking while they lived together. Senior says that Zhi Shu looks so annoyed, but he should be complimenting her. Xiang Qin gets carried away and says they should all write down the dishes they want to eat tomorrow. Zhi Shu has had enough of it, so he grabs her to go practice.
On the court, Zhi Shu serves up plenty of fast balls and angry comments to pitiful Xiang Qin. Dude. Can’t you just start by teaching her how to swing a racket? Yeah, he’s not a great tennis teacher.
Xiang Qin gives all her effort, but she isn’t able to hit a ball back. He goes a bit easier on her, and by the end of the night, she is hitting the ball, even though it’s going out of bounds.
Picking up all the balls from the bushes later, Xiang Qin comes across three creepy dark figures. Zhi Shu comes to her rescue, and the three guys announce themselves as members of the Manga/Anime Club.
End of Episode
Yay! Something finally happened! Now that Xiang Qin and her dad have moved out, she and Zhi Shu can finally have a normal relationship. There’s no question that she’s been taken for granted. Without the boys (Zhi Shu and Yu Shu) knowing it, Xiang Qin and her crazy antics have become the sunshine of the Jiang household. There’s no doubt that Mom would have adopted her and kept her forever (no one can escape the Power that is Mom), but it is very telling that neither of the boys jumps for joy when Xiang Qin and her dad ship off.
The tennis club is the red thread that still holds the leading pair together.