“Is JieEr out to celebrate her birthday with fellow classmates?” Xiang thinks to himself, sighing quietly on the balcony. He looks down to his hands and opens a delicate jewelry case. Mindlessly fingering the ring, Xing wonders to himself, “I don’t know if I have the courage to give it to her…” Then, he lets a passing cloud take him by the hand and send him back to his happiest birthday a number of years back. It was a faded memory, but the remembrance of JieEr offering to sing for him is as clear as if it were only yesterday.
“That’s not funny.” JieEr’s light reproach grabs Xiang by the neck and throws him back to the lonely balcony. He looks down and sees JieEr, returning home on Yuan DaYing’s bike.
“Thanks DaYing. I haven’t been this happy for a Long time.” JieEr says, completely gratified, “And, thanks for the flowers.” They bid each other goodbye and proceed to return home.
Walking by Xiang’s door, JieEr pauses and longs for a simple “happy birthday” from him, finally, she turns to open her own door.
Xiang has returned inside, but he remains inside. Looking down at the ring, Xiang sinks into a solemn retrospection, thinking about what he just saw…
The next morning, by the time JieEr comes over to wake Xiang up at 7 o’clock sharp, he is already up and waiting for her. (Poor baby is attacked by insomnia lately.) She sees him and comments on the pizza box lying on the desk, left from the previous night. He says nothing at first, but when he looks up again, he has made a decision. Half unwillingly, he says, “You, don’t need to wake me up in the morning from now on.” “Oh. But why?” “No reason” Xiang says after an inaudible sigh, “I can get up on my own now.” “Am I fired?” Xiang smiles, “Don’t worry. I won’t ask for the rent. And, the box of pizza on the desk, why don’t you finish ’em for me?” (Someone is pushing his love away.)
That day at the practice, Xiang is more ferocious than ever. (Indeed, jealousy is the best remedy to battle fatigue. Ladies and gen, when you find yourself dozing off in class, a self-administered dose of jealousy will help you stay awake.)
W’s appearance saves a volcano from erupting. She comes with the intention to give her basketball team a proper name. A few suggestions are laid out on the table. Like, PiLi 5 Monsters, PiLi 5 Strong, even PiLi 5 Feminine. Of course the playing around gets vetoed by W each time they come up. Finally, Xiang’s suggestion reaches an unanimous approval. The team is thus named Wolf. PiLi Beacon-Fire Wolves. Together, they are a pack of invincible wolves.
And so, their first formal competition against Xin Rei Sharks commences.
Xin Rei Sharks’ most salient character is their speed at which they execute each move. Before going in, W gives DaYing the topic of his third lesson: observe. He is asked to observe the five members of the Sharks and familiarize himself with their styles and tendencies. Not an easy lesson.
Yuan DaYing jumps ball as usual. Although the Wolves had the ball at the beginning, it’s soon taken from them by the Sharks, followed by a two point shoot and a clever execution of collusion that takes the appearance of a holding from the Wolves. The opponent player Wang Gui purposes enrages Du XiaoYun, who in turn commits a technical foul. One more point for the Sharks. The competition continues in the same unfavorable state. Half of the first quarter has past, PiLi is yet to score a point. Before the quarter is over, DaYing intersects a rebound, passes it to DongFang Xiang and the team scores their first two points.
During the break, W changes strategy. It’s time for DaYing to show off his strength. DaYing looks puzzled and points at his nose, “My strength? What’s my strength?” “Your disregard of rules and your eccentric ways.” The competition resumes.
DaYing comes back alive and starts to distract his opponent. (LOL) He runs around, attempting to converse and making irrelevant yet humorous comments about whoever holds the ball, perplexing all, including his own teammates. Only Xiang can see through the layer of irrationality and work with DaYing. They score. One after another.
The WuJi brothers are watching the drift on the court in front of a big screen desktop as intently as ever.
The tide is turning, the Wolves are catching up at incredible speed.
Then DaYing’s slam dunk concludes the first half.
DaYing’s new task, following the success of the first half, is to observe the various out-of-line behaviors of the opponent team.
Not long after the second half started, XiaoYun is hurt and pushed out of bound. But that also gives DaYing a chance to see through the strategy of The Sharks.
When the game starts again, DaYing blocks each opponent player’s attack before they can stealthily harm his teammates and lets the rest of them do their thing on the court. Soon, the situation stabilizes for PiLi once more.
Xin Rei calls for a break. The Sharks all feel that there is no use trying to hurt their opponent. Rather than playing it dirty, what they want more is to prove themselves through solid skill.
In the remaining time, a fair basketball game takes place, resulting in 82:81, and PiLi’s victory.
After the game, Xiang checks his cell phone and receives a zillion miscalls from JieEr. Instead of calling her back, he asks DaYing to do it in place of him. DaYing calls JieEr, but JieEr asks to speak to Xiang. (What a useless circle of pushing around.) Xiang picks up the phone and is informed of the bad news that JieEr’s father is sick and she needs his help.
Xiang drives back to help JieEr and is ambushed again. (Oh God, again?) Fortunately, the WuJi brothers come to the rescue to spear Xiang some time. Xiang gets away successfully, but the WuJi brothers don’t have the Goddess of Victory on their side this time. They are at gun point, surrounded by 30+ people. Then DaYing’s arrival changes everything. All it takes is a flying basketball caught on fire to block out the attack of a bullet. (I didn’t think anyone could block bullets after Neo.)
Xiang finally arrives in the hospital. A helpless JieEr cries to Xiang that she doesn’t know what to do, her father has always been healthy. Xiang comforts her that he has gathered the best surgeons in town, her father will be safe.
While JieEr is staying by her father’s side, (and not going to school?) she and her two boyfriend candidates have a lot of time to think about where they each stand in the relationship.
During this time, PiLi has made it to the top and qualified themselves for the finals. Before the final game, there is a two-day break. Naturally, Xiang uses the opportunity to visit JieEr and her father in the hospital.
During the short visit, JieEr’s dad warns Xiang not to invest any feeling in JieEr. Xiang takes the caution into consideration and at the same time, wonders whether his feelings are reciprocated.
JieEr, too, reminds herself not to have any grand dreams of becoming DongFang Xiang’s girlfriend.
Ever since DaYing knows about JieEr’s father’s condition, he has been worrying about JieEr. Although the recent games have kept him busy, he still finds time to ponder over JieEr’s current situation.
Clearly aware of Xiang and DaYing’s changes, W comes up with reasons to keep DaYing on the court, even during the break. Aside from wanting DaYing to improve for the finals, she has her own girlish desires as well. But upon seeing DaYing’s unhappiness resulted from not being able to see JieEr, W softens. She lets DaYing go and offers to take him to the bus stop.
To repay one tenth of Xiang’s kindness, JieEr takes care of his laundry for him. Xiang stops her from folding his clothes to prevent JieEr from discovering the two pieces of cloth sewed next to each other on the corner of his basketball jersey. One in red, one in green.
Before returning to school, Xiang asks JieEr to go to a place with him.
They land on the beach. Looking over the unfathomable ocean, Xiang asks JieEr if she remembers the story of Red and Green.
There was a boy who lived deep in the mountains with his parents. He had no friends, except for the does. One day, a kid dressed in red came to the mountain and the boy found his very first friend. Soon, they became the best of friends. They cut off a corner of their clothes, one red, one green, and buried them in the mud, hoping that the cloths would grow to be more friends like them.
The parents of the kid noticed that their child has been playing with a boy in green. They grew suspicious and told the kid to secretly tie a string on the boy’s clothes. At night, the parents followed the string and found out that the boy is in fact a ginseng. They dug him up and sold him for lots of money. The kid’s family became rich but in return, the kid never smiled again.
Yay confession next episode!
I’m glad the WuJi brothers don’t just make a brief camera appearance and look pretty each time. At least we discover more about them in this episode (even though the fact that they have a row of computers in a basketball court is still beyond any reasonable explanation.)
This episode is somewhat stagnant in terms of events, which is probably why the writer(s) had to stuff in all the fighting scenes to make the plot seem more dynamic. However, knowing PiLi as the black sheep that’s going to rise above all derision, we naturally shift our attention to the characters and the development of their relationships. Reasonably speaking, we didn’t learn anything we don’t already know, but we did come to realize the intensity of feelings each character feels towards another.
I’m dried up after writing two recaps today, time to take a break. Adiós amigo.