How to win a girl over in 1999: quote Huan Zhu Ge Ge.
Previously on Back in Time/Cong Cong Na Nian… ep 1 recap
After getting our Fab Five (new nickname?) introduced and established in the first episode, it’s clear that the relationships between certain members of the group will define this friend group. The inevitable love triangle belongs to Chen Xun, Qiao Ran, and Fang Hui, with all signs pointing to Qiao Ran being the odd man out. As for Jia Mo and Zhao Ye, it’s the tale of two unrequited crushes. Pick your teams now! I know I have.
Before class starts, everyone’s just chilling around, but Chen Xun immediately freezes up when Fang Hui walks into the classroom. Fang Hui takes her seat next to Jia Mo, and hands her a drawing of her favorite celebrity. Jia Mo is super impressed by Fang Hui’s drawing skills, but she doesn’t even have time to properly look at it before Zhao Ye snatches it out of her hands. He’s freaking out over how good it is, and everyone else gathers around him to admire the drawing. Fang Hui tells him to give that one back to Jia Mo because she’ll just draw one for him. Then, she turns to Qiao Ran and asks what he wants a drawing of, without him even having to ask. Poor Chen Xun is left out when Fang Hui ignores only him.
Chen Xun sees Fang Hui and Qiao Ran studying together at the library. He goes over to crash their study session, but Fang Hui almost immediately gets up to leave the moment he sits down. I’m seeing a trend here. Later when Chen Xun is playing basketball, he notices that Fang Hui is the only girl not on the sidelines watching him. So, what does he do to get her attention? He purposely walks by her, hoping that she’ll notice him. Too bad Fang Hui doesn’t even glance up at him when they cross paths. Womp.
The class’s regular teacher is back from a month-long leave of absence, so it’s goodbye to the mean teacher who was subbing for her. First things first, she lets them know that she’s heard about all the trouble the class had gotten into while she was away, namely the light switch incident. She tells them that they all need to be accountable for each other and work together to bring pride to the class. One of the ways to get that elusive classroom pride is to have a nice class [chalk]board that I guess represents that class. She asks the class for suggestions on what they should do for the design of the board. Chen Xun stands up and nominates Fang Hui to design it since she’s got those awesome drawing skills. The teacher buys the idea, asks Fang Hui if she wants to do it, and Fang Hui has no choice but to say that she’ll try her best.
During a break, Fang Hui asks Chen Xun why he nominated her, and he tells her that it’s because she can draw well, duh. Fang Hui tells him that she’s not sure if she can do a good job with it. Qiao Ran chimes in that she doesn’t need to worry because he’ll help her, and that is met with an obvious jealous look from Chen Xun. Later when Qiao Ran and Fang Hui are drawing the board, Chen Xun is intently watching them.
Zhao Ye is goofing around instead of helping, per usual, and bumps into Jia Mo and spills water all over her shirt. He notices that she’s wearing an Allen Iverson shirt, and asks if she likes watching NBA basketball too. Jia Mo just rolls her eyes at him and asks why it’s so surprising that a girl would like bball. Zhao Ye offers to teach her her how to play ball, and she asks him what makes him think that he’d be qualified. Ha, I love Jia Mo. When Zhao Ye tries to show off how high he can jump, Jia Mo just proves to him that she can jump even higher. Girl power! Since Zhao Ye is so confident in his ball skills, Jia Mo asks him if he’s game to play a little ball with her.
With everyone gathered on the basketball court to watch Zhao Ye and Jia Mo duke it out with a little 1-on-1 ball, Jia Mo tells Zhao Ye that he needs to dye his hair red if he loses. And if she loses, then she’ll cut off her ponytail. Oh boy, that’s a lot of hair. But there’s no need to worry because Jia Mo is clearly better than Zhao Ye and is outscoring him, left and right. But when Zhao Ye gets a little overzealous with his defense, he accidentally touches Jia Mo’s chest. While he’s standing there, shocked at what he just did, Jia Mo steals the ball, scores, and wins the game! Can’t wait to see that red hair, Zhao Ye.
When they’re all getting ready to leave school, Qiao Ran notices that Fang Hui’s bike tire is flat. Chen Xun rides by and asks Qiao Ran if he’s ready to leave yet. Qiao Ran tells him that he’s going to take Fang Hui to get her bike fixed, so he can just leave on his own. Cue another jealous look from Chen Xun. While waiting for her bike, Fang Hui tells Qiao Ran that she finished reading The Little Prince. They chat a little about the book, and Qiao Ran laments that there aren’t as many interesting people as the author around anymore. Fang Hui tells him that she thinks he’s a very interesting person, and that he’s a very special friend to her. This is like the most chaste flirting everrr.
Zhao Ye gets detention for making fun of their science teacher, so he asks Jia Mo to go tell his bball team’s captain that he’s not going to make it to practice today. When Jia Mo gets to the gym, she’s almost immediately hit in the head by the ball. But before she can start cussing out the ball-thrower, the team captain, Su Kai, comes over to help her up. And it’s love at first sight for Jia Mo. Instead of her usual sassy attitude, she’s now on the sidelines fangirling over Su Kai. Girl is crushing so hard that she even starts daydreaming about him during class. She’s pretty much one step away from scribbling, “Mrs. Su Kai” all over her notebooks.
Chen Xun reminds Zhao Ye that he needs to stay behind to help Fang Hui with the class board because it has to be completed by tomorrow. Zhao Ye says he’s going to have to bail because he can’t miss anymore basketball practice. Qiao Ran also can’t stay behind to help because he needs to go home to call his mom who’s living in England. Fang Hui ends up working on the board by herself after school, and Chen Xun isthe only one to show up to help her. Clearly awkward around him, Fang Hui tells him that he can go home, but he insists on staying.
While Fang Hui is busy finishing up the board, Chen Xun is just sitting around. He puts a cassette tape into the boom box to lighten up the mood and also to show us that this is indeed 1999 we’re talkin’ about here. Then, the power and lights go out. This school must not pay their electric bills on time. Fang Hui keeps on working because she’s got eyes that can see in the dark. Chen Xun runs off for a second and returns with a flashlight. He shines it on the blackboard so that Fang Hui can see. Dude is totally smitten since he keeps shining the light on her hair instead of the board.
When they’re done with working on the board, Chen Xun asks Fang Hui if she’s hungry. Even though she says that she’s not, he still runs off to find food for them. Making that move, for sure. They end up hanging out on top of the monkey bars with the food. Things are definitely awkward between them, so Chen Xun tries to lessen the tension by complimenting her artistic skills. He says that it’s a great way to express yourself. Omg, so cheesy. She thanks him for helping her earlier with the flashlight, and he tells her that he should be the one thanking her since she’s doing all the work for the class board. Chen Xun, cool it with the cheese factor! Fang Hui says that she’s just doing an okay job with it, but he tells her that he thinks it’s really good. Like, really good. They stare into each other’s eyes for a good few seconds, but no kiss! SO much tension.
Zhao Ye announces to everyone to not leave after school because their class is going up against the upperclassmen in a bball game. Jia Mo immediately says that she’ll go since Su Kai is going to be there. But the game ain’t happening because it’s pouring out. Not sure why they are all still chilling here instead of going home, but Zhao Ye suggests that they play a game instead. The fancy game that he comes up with is spinning the basketball, and whoever the ball lands on has to do something silly. When Fang Hui loses the round where the loser has to go retrieve the ball in the rain, Qiao Ran goes in her place. Fang Hui thanks him for helping her and everyone compliments him on being such a gentleman. But Chen Xun is over there looking way pissed.
Qiao Ran asks Fang Hui if she wants to leave together, but she tells him that she’s taking the bus home today. When he offers to walk her to the bus station, she insists that she’ll be okay by herself. On her way there, these two creepy guys start following her. Before they can do anything, Chen Xun suddenly comes out of nowhere and whisks Fang Hui away on his bike.
As he’s biking her home, he tells her that if she ever encounters something like that again, tell him and he’ll take care of it. Fang Hui says thanks, but she’ll be fine. Chen Xun laughs and says that it’s true that she doesn’t need protecting since she’s not all weak like Zi Wei from Huan Zhu Ge Ge (Princess Returning Pearl). She’s surprised to hear that he watches HZGG, but you know she’s lovin’ it. Chen Xun asks why if two people are dating, they gotta be all miserable all the time like Zi Wei and Er Kang in the drama. Fang Hui gets all serious and says that she hates the word, “sorry,” because if you really love someone, you wouldn’t do anything to be sorry about. Chen Xun says that he won’t ever say sorry to her. Fang Hui’s caught off guard to hear him say that, but he’s definitely winning her over.
In class, Fang Hui gives Zhao Ye and Qiao Ran the drawings that she had previously promised them. While they’re excited about the drawings, Chen Xun is all pouty because he doesn’t think that she has one for him. But to his surprise, she shyly gives one to him as well. The teacher comes in and shows them the award that the Fang Hui-designed class board won. Everyone literally starts clapping and chanting, “Fang Hui! Fang Hui!” Lol.
That night, Qiao Ran hangs up the drawing that Fang Hui gave him. The Chen Xun voiceover asks what did it feel like the first time when your heart fluttered. What did love first feel like? He says that the 16-year-old versions of themselves didn’t know what the real meaning of love was, but they were more courageous about it than any other time in their lives. Chen Xun ends the night by calling Fang Hui to thank her for the drawing. Let’s just say that I’m Team Qiao Ran.
During the promotion ceremony to move onto the next grade, Fang Hui suddenly faints.
While waiting to get her bike fixed, Qiao Ran asks Fang Hui why her bike is always breaking down. She says that it’s not the bike’s problem, and leaves it at that. Hm…mysterious.
Qiao Ran tells his mom on the phone that he visited his dad recently, and told him that they both really miss him. Does Qiao Ran live alone?
Chen Xun has an NSYNC poster in his room!