DongFang Xiang plays [ball] well, is a rare good friend, extremely rich, he is… like a God descending from heaven. (Damdeok reincarnate!) How can I compare with such a guy as himself? JieEr, DongFang Bug is the perfect candidate for a boyfriend. You may like me this much more, but I’m just an ordinary nobody who plays well at times but is otherwise an embarrassing, half decent player… I… … I am not giving up! Because I am Yuan. Da. Ying!
“I WON’T GIVE UP!” Yuan DaYing shoots up in the midst of an ongoing session of exam. Curious glances zoom in on him like an unwanted silvery spotlight. “Self-comfort won’t do it!” the mushroom-haired teacher snaps. “Eh.. I’m sorry.” This choppy response marks the end of the ephemeral brow-lifting exam room novelty.
“Why?” “Because.. because I want to use the money to take JieEr out for dinner before she goes back to the hospital with DongFang Xiang.” DaYing plunders 6,000 from his fellow teammates. He frowns, 4,000 short. “Yuan DaYing?” the president of Student’s Association walks into the locker room. DaYing runs to her and asks, before saying hi back, “Do you have 4000 dollars?” She is taken aback but quickly replaces the surprise with a smile. “You are direct. I like that. Here.” She hands him the money without asking a single question. “Thanks!” he grabs the money a little too quick and is out of the door before she can open her mouth again. “Take care of our gust”, his voice trails behind. A little ironic isn’t it?
Suddenly reminded that the basketball team doesn’t get much female fans, the remaining guys hurry back to the table and each grab a drink to offer the rare visitor. (I’m surprised that even with DongFang Xiang being there, we haven’t see any crazy fan acts.) She looks slightly stunned but quickly excuses herself. Now it’s the guys’ turn to look at each other and shrug. Of course, she’s here for Yuan DaYing. But he’s gone (after taking her money with no hope of paying back)! So, no reason to stay.
DaYing runs back to class, (swooshing past 49543093 people and bumping into 923302 more on the way,) still panting, he spits out the invitation, “JieEr – *pant pant* – are you – *pant pant* – free tonight after 7?” *pants some more* “Yeah?” “Good, I’ll pi-pick you up.” DaYing smiles a wide grin and is out of the door as quickly as he had come.
JieEr overhears Xiang’s conversation with the butler, telling him that he won’t join his father for the winter trip in Europe. She comments on how lucky he is, to be able to go to Europe, and yet, he’s completely unappreciative. “If you want to go so badly, then why don’t I call my dad and tell him you’ll go with him?” Xiang mocks sarcastically. “Master!” JieEr protests. “I don’t like you calling me master.” (Oh! So this is it huh? The confession!?) “Oh. But, you are master. Anyway, I’m leaving.” JieEr gets up from the desk she had been seating and turns. “Where are you going?” “DaYing said he’ll take me out for dinner. To celebrate the beginning of winter break.” JieEr answers too quickly, then noticing Xiang’s expression, she looks around uncomfortably, “Oh and, I just came to ask you if I can get a ride with you tomorrow. But if..” “I can take you.” he volunteers, cutting her off before she starts to find a million reasons why he should not. “Are you crazy, why would you want to take an extra trip because of me? Isn’t that a lot of trouble?” JieEr replies. (Woman, weren’t you the one who asked for the ride in the first place?) “Psh, I’m not like someone who gets to dine out. What trouble does that make?” Xiang blurs out. “Don’t be so sour. I know you’re in a bad mood. I’m going home tomorrow, so if you change your mind [about taking me home], remember to notify me.” then she heads for the door.
This is when the turtle outruns the rabbit. (You know who’s the turtle, who’s the rabbit don’t you? 😉 ) Xiang grabs onto JieEr’s arm then, he swings her forward and looking into her eye, he asks, “Do you like me?” (AH!! *fanning self*) A look of surprise, then the nervousness of being put on the spot sweeps across JieEr’s face. Xiang swallows and looks down, “I’ve never been good with words. I just want to tell you that, I like you, do you want to be my girlfriend?” he steals a glance from underneath his lashes. Still caught off guard, JieEr turns to leave. Xiang grabs onto her arm tighter, “JieEr, listening to me” he pulls her closer. “I don’t want to suppress my feelings anymore.” Xiang continues; DaYing walks up the stairs in the distance.
Do you know why I’m not going to Europe with my dad? Because I can’t stand not seeing you for a month. I even transferred to Pi Li to be close to you. Please give me a chance. Be my girlfriend.
JieEr struggles free then, and out she runs.
Shutting her own door behind her, she leans back against it and sighs, tears washing down her face.
DaYing and Xiang exchange a meaningful glance, a million emotions crashing down at once. Then, regaining his composure, DaYing moves to JieEr’s door and knocks, “JieEr, it’s me DaYing. Time to eat.” JieEr calls him and turns down the date. (Poor DaYing and his even poorer wallet. I know, I’m punny and shameless. 😀 ) DaYing tries to provide solace to a already hung up JieEr, telling her, in his usual pompous yet humorous way, not to give herself too much pressure but when the time comes, it’s never a bad idea to choose him. As for Xiang, he can take care of that for her. Because they are like brothers. (aww brotherhood.)
Xiang closes the door.
Three people, two doors, one choice.
DaYing calls W to “walk the remains of his life with him”. She elegantly enters the cafe to a sulking DaYing. The first thing he says to her is, “Mommy, what took you so long?” (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) To cheer DaYing up, W suggests for the other team members who have been loitering outside to join the feast. The restaurant owner looks from DaYing to W, then she suggests mischievously, “It might be better if you change your special someone to this one right here.” She sticks out her tongue and leaves them to be. (I smell foreshadowing. Do you?)
Xiang is waiting at the door. JieEr opens hers and drags a luggage behind her. Noticing Xiang’s gaze, she pretends not to see him and heads toward the stairs. He grabs her and reminds her again, “You haven’t answered my question.” She sighs and flutters her eye lashes, trying to find the right words. Then she asks, “Can I, not answer your question?” “NO.” Xiang looks up at JieEr, exasperated. She turns, tears welling up again, “Red cloth and green cloth, can’t they just be friends for life?
Xiang looks up again, pain written in his eyes. He tells JieEr,
If you reject me because of DaYing, I won’t give up.
If you reject me because of our master-servant relationship, I won’t give up either.
Deeply vexed, JieEr raises her voice, “I don’t understand why you have to be like this!” “Because I. Like. You.” Xiang answers, emphasizing each word. “Because I like you…” he echoes, feebly this time. “You are only used to the fact that I’m always around you. That’s not… that’s not love.” “JieEr,” Xiang takes a step closer, “Stop lying to yourself. I don’t think you didn’t notice that I’ve liked you ever since we were little. You do too, don’t you? We treat each other in an antagonistic, bicker-filled way, but that’s because we don’t want other people to disrupt the harmony belonging only to us, isn’t it?” Xiang gazes after JieEr’s back. Her lips trembling, then she says, “I’m going home. I’ll catch the bus.” “JieEr you haven’t answered me!” JieEr turns her head to hide the tears, not noticing Xiang’s wet eyes, still watching her, expectantly. “Let’s stay the way we are. Never changing. Please?” she begs. “No. No! No! NO!” Xiang vehemently protests, then he slams the door behind him, nurturing his wounds in solitude.
Xiang didn’t go home for New Year. Friends and JieEr called to send him their best wishes as well as their concern.
To keep the spirits of her players up, W calls her old friend Tang Long from NBA to help her train her team during winter break. Words of W’s recent asthma attack slipped out, W’s dad isn’t thrilled that his baby girl is working hard on the team in the expense of her health. A cold war falls on W’s house, even DaYing, who’s been feeling defected everyday shuffles uncomfortably in the intimidating silence. To break the silence, DaYing blabber on to address the issue, appearing awkward but didactic. Until he hits a dead end at an inappropriate analogy of romance. Things turned around then, W and the principle end up encouraging DaYing to get over the heart break.
While DaYing leaves the house to “dual” with DongFang Xiang, the principle tells W a story:
DaYing’s grandma Tie Lan, as we’ve learned in the first episode, was a renowned basketball player. Her coach was W’s grandpa. His life was sought after at the time, due to a large amount of debt he owed from gambling. To save her coach’s life, Tie Lan agreed to sacrifice a leg and promised never to play basketball again. (You really do need some imagination to come up with that.)
That’s not it. The entire event was a meticulously orchestrated set up. Someone hoaxed W’s grandpa to gamble and made him in debt. Because that someone knew Tie Lan and her coach were romantically linked, despite the fact that the man was already married. Therefore he knew if he got to the coach, he got Tie Lan.
There is more. That someone was in fact, the coach’s best buddy, one of the most promising coaches in the era. Fate has it that this man had to grow exceedingly jealous at Coach Lee for having Tie Lan on the team. She became an eyesore and an obstacle for success. So insufferable was this man’s desire to get to the top that removing Tie Lan from basketball history became the only option.
And that someone is DongFang Shuo. (Uh oh, the last name.)
DaYing and Xiang are obliviously practicing. Xiang has decided to teach DaYing everything he knows so that he both fulfills his promise and owes DaYing nothing. Only then, can he openly compete with DaYing for JieEr.
W receives a call from a school custodian in the morning, (I bet custodians call coaches/ teachers all the time.) notifying her that her two top player have been engaged in a marathon one-on-one bull fight. She hurries to school to resolve whatever conflict that might have resulted, especially after hearing the story from her father. She catches them, tries to break them up (even though they were doing anything rash), then asthma attack hits. Off to the hospital we go. (Oh the glorious ambulance ride and the over-the-top near-kiss, daydream experience.)
Now that W is in the hospital, it’s up to Du Fei and the rest of the players to pick Tang Long from the airport. The thing is, no one has ever mentioned Tang Long’s ethnicity nor do they know whether the man they are supposed to pick up can read Chinese. (There’s no logic to it, why write his name in Chinese if you don’t even know if he’s Asian or not?) They spot a black man and run up to him, waving the sign at him, Du Fei asks, “Are you Tang Long?” The man replies in Chinese, “You are mistaken. I’m not the one you’re looking for. My name is Bao QingTian/ Justice Bao. (包青天)”. (ROFL, Bao QingTian! 😀 That was a good cultural joke. For those of you who don’t know, Justice Bao is a popular drama series back in the days about an upright judge who has very, very dark skin, a crescent shaped scar on his forehead and a curtain of black beard. It’s a very well known drama based on a real historic figure.)
When the real Tang Long appears, he’s a short, stubby guy resembling that of a foot massager. Yet, underneath the ordinary look is a first class kung fu master. Pi Li team’s got match. 🙂 By first class, I mean superman speed, batman strength, and spiderman precision.
Whoo Hoo! Training starts! 😀 (Isn’t display of camaraderie so cute?)
More training. In fact, the training has just begun. 😀 (You gotta watch this, it’s real cool. And hilarious.)
Don’t believe me? Look for yourself:
Although, Xiang does get dismissed from class early. 😀
JieEr is in the hospital with her father. The topic of Xiang resurfaces. Her dad implies the difficult situation they will be placed in if JieEr starts to go out with Xiang. She runs away. Literally and figuratively. Once alone, JieEr recalls Xiang’s confession, tears start to well up again. Sorry DaYing, JieEr thought to herself, I rejected Xiang, I must reject you as well.
As I’ve mentioned in an earlier reply to a comment, I’m very pleased that the girl from Students Association is brought up again. I’ve been hoping, since episode 2, for her to take on a pivotal role and become someone special for DaYing. Unfortunately, W gets in the way.
We’re digging deep into the secrets of the grandparents. It looks more like a plot-draggage-device than a real eye-opener for me. *hits head on a brick wall*
PS: I love how DaYing calls Xiang “brother” whenever he addresses him nowadays. 🙂 Somehow friendship is a mucher bigger selling point for me in this drama.
PPS: The WuJi brothers didn’t pose in front of the camera to look pretty this time around. But then again, there’s enough going on to need a rating boost.
PPPS: If you are concerned about Hot Shot’s rating going down, it’s becaues Miss No Good is premiering the same week.