There are so some lovely character moments, as well as some in-your-face OTP moments. I know I praised the director before and he still does well in many scenes but can someone walk him out the door when it comes to romantic scenes? Subtlety is not his forte. Lol.
Love At Seventeen Episode 2 RECAP:
We trace back a few steps and see more exchange between poor boy Hao Yi cooking instant noodle using the library equipment, while Li Si sits across from him, throwing confused glances at his odd choice of eating only the yolk part of an egg. He knows she’s clearly hungry, but she balks at his offer, calling him her enemy, and he enjoys taunting for a few seconds before hunger wins the mental battle, and Li Si grabs the leftover cooked egg white. “I’m helping you finish it! You should thank me!” Seeing how happily she’s wolfing down the egg, he suggests they share the soup together. Now on friendly terms, she asks why he pranked her and he admits to pranking the wrong person and willing to apologize. She wonders who is the target of his prank and he looks out the window, refusing to open up. She perseveres, “If you don’t tell me, I won’t forgive you.”
Hesitation creeps into his voice and he slowly becomes a little boy before her eyes, explaining how his father raised him to be independent and strong, “And you must never cry.” He flashbacks to the training session with a healthy dad forcefully snatching away his donut pool float, “If you don’t throw this away, you will never learn how to swim!” Little Hao Yi cries out, “Give it back! I hate dad! I want mom! I want mom!” Dad’s eyes soften but he remains firm. “You can’t depend on that forever. It will be taken away, just like Mom and Dad. We can’t be by your side forever.” Dad tells him not to cry and little Hao Yi wonders what to do when he has to cry, and Dad encourages to swim because when he’s in the water, no one can see his tears. Why is that so sad?
Back in the present, Li Si cries silently, and Hao Yi appears taken aback by her dramatic reaction to his sob story and hands her a tissue. Between wiping her tears and clearing the snots, she reveals her similar parental division. “Just like you, I only have my mom.” Attempting to lift her spirit, he calls her mother cool for defending her at school today, and she cracks a smile, then catches on about his luggage and temporary stay at the library. He mutters about his father’s death and his quest to search for mom. “Then where is your mom.” He doesn’t answer. “You ask a lot of questions.” When he moves his chopstick to the boiling pot, the lights go out, inducing loud screams from Li Si, and Hao Yi rushes over to her side, closing a hand over her mouth.
They stare at each other in a pregnant moment before the librarian’s voice breaks the tension. He grabs her hand and they take off, leaving behind the cooked instant noodles. What a waste!
Once outside, they slow down and Li Si sees Xiao Fen’s mother passing by and runs up to greet her, leaving Hao Yi frozen in place. Xiao Fen’s mother looks at him curiously and takes a few steps closer, “Have we…. met before?” They stare at each other, expecting answers and recognition, and Hao Yi finally greets her tentatively as Auntie Liu.
Without his luggage and a place to stay, Li Si brings Hao Yi home with her, confident that it’s okay because her mom is really nice. Five seconds of meeting Mommy Ai proves a different story because beside scolding her daughter for coming home late, she also separates the two “lovebirds” with an air swipe between them. Not to be fooled any further by her daughter’s antic, she rambles on about all the troubles she’s caused today and Hao Yi clears Li Si’s name by revealing in a matter-of-fact tone. “I know because I’m the person who put the cigarette pack in her bag.” At his bold, honest response, Mother Ai scoots closer for a better hearing and once she confirms what she heard is correct, she picks up a broomstick, chasing him around the small backyard until Li Si’s scream puts a stop to mom’s uppity behavior.
Li Si carries out blankets for the homeless kid, agreeing with mom that a boy sleeping in her room would look weird. Rather than being upset at Mother Ai’s attitude, Hao Yi thinks it’s appropriate for a single mom to be cautious for her daughter’s sake and says he’s envious of their relationship. When the topic of his own mom comes up, he says he’s not prepared yet to meet her, believing that she doesn’t want to see him, and Li Si advises him to stop hesitating, “What kind of mother doesn’t want to see her own child?” She slaps his back telling him to cheer up and then he begins coughing nonstop, blaming her for making him sick by pushing him in the pool this water. Uhh, Mister, you two were both in the water!
Thanks to mom’s flailing in bed, Li Si needs a break to fetch some water and approaches Hao Yi to tuck his limbs under the blanket, but when she touches his feverish hand, she plays nurse all night, feeding him water and medicine. In his deep sleep, he grabs her hand, calling out to his mom and sister not to leave. Supporting his back and cradling his head close to her body, she stays with him like that all night, lulling, “Sis is here…”
Morning comes and the sunlight pours through the blinds, shining upon our two innocent souls. The angelic moment is suddenly interrupted by Mommy Ai’s scream. This woman scared the crap out of me too!
They arrive at school together and upon on school ground, the speaker announces Hao Yi’s name and that he’s to report to the main office immediately. Receiving the duo in the office is none other than his own mother. Both sides are equally shocked and mom mutters, “Yesterday, at the park, you already knew I’m your mother?”
He responds coldly, “No. Someone who can’t even recognize her own son is not fit to be my mom!” He turns to leave and mom runs after him, explaining that she just heard about dad’s demise from their aunt yesterday. Hao Yi asks about the letters Dad sent, and Mom honestly says they agreed not to contact after the split, so all his letters were thrown out by the current tenant. “I didn’t know his sudden flux of letters was because…”
“Excuses. Dad wrote so many letters because he wanted to see sister for the last time. How could you not even fulfill such a small wish?!” Mom apologizes for not thinking and he cuts her off mid-sentence, voice raised, “You didn’t think because in your heart, you don’t think about us at all!”
Several yards away, an equally raised voice screams out in frustration. It’s Xiao Fen, accompanied by Shu Lei on the side. She’s here to set the record straight about who is in the wrong. “You’re wrong! You can’t say that about mom. It was grandma who kicked us out! You guys abandoned us first!” He refuses to listen to them and walks down the aisle, warning everyone to stay away.
Hao Yi finds refuge in the pool and floats on his back across the still water. Aww, are you crying for being a mean little boy? He swims deep down to the pool floor and sits there to brood. Fancy style. Above, someone throws a red life saver over his resting spot. It’s his nurse, and she screams, “HE HAO YI! How could you swim with a fever?!” Lol.
As he’s patting down his wet clothes, Li Si tries to give him a present from Xiao Fen and tells him to go home now that everything is out in the open. Still in his defiant mood, he repeats that he can live well without them. Li Si: “Why is it so hard to admit you need love? You were afraid she didn’t want you. You obviously miss her a lot.” He screams back at her, “If she cares, she would’ve went to look for us! Now it’s just pity after dad is dead.”
She trumps him. “If you didn’t need her, why did you come to Taipei? You’re afraid of showing sincerity and love, and then being abandoned.”
He calls her a busybody and this busybody is not done being one. She places mom’s lunchbox and Xiao Fen’s gift into his hand, and proceeds to grab his wet shirt and shoes to the air dryer. In his classroom, he puts the gift up on the chalk board with the words Lost Items written on top. Tsk! After he roughly gives his lunch to Han Ming, he decides to take it back a few seconds later. Lol.
After gazing at the lunch container for a good amount of time, he opens it. The first compartment has all the good veggies and in the second compartment, he finds a cooked egg yolk neatly embedded in fluffy white rice. Just the way he likes it. Aww! Dude, you’re so gonna cry now. Back to the pool?
Xiao Fen and her two supporters wait on the steps for her brother. Not wanting to be disappointed, she tells them she can wait alone. When Hao Yi walks down the steps and sees them at the bottom, he doesn’t turn around, and walks past them, trying to look unaffected. Seeing his figure, Xiao Fen quickly calls out Ah Di (younger brother) and he gruffly reminds her he’s only 6 minutes younger. heh. It doesn’t matter how many seconds dude, she popped out first!
She wonders whether he liked the wallet she bought for him, and he coolly says he doesn’t need one. His distant attitude ruffles Shu Lei and she demands him to act better around his sister. When he continues to answer curtly, Xiao Fen boldly grabs his hand and worriedly wonders why it’s so cold. The sudden gesture touches him and seeing his softened face, Xiao Fen promises to look after him in school. “Because you’re my little brother.”
Then she bravely inches closer and hugs Hao Yi, causing both to shed tears. “This hug, I owe you. I’m sorry I wasn’t by your side when dad died.” She knows it must have been hard on him all alone dealing with the pain and sorrow, and tells him to come to her from now on. Hao Yi then narrates to himself, “Now I realized why I didn’t cry the day Dad cried. It wasn’t because I was strong and independent. It was because the people I relied on weren’t by my side.” His hand grips onto the hem of his sister’s uniform.
Skipping the formality of moving in and the awkward stage of getting to know his family members, we see a montage of Hao Yi appreciating the little things about family. He sometimes feels like he has three older sisters too and reminds them he’s only 6 minutes younger than Xiao Fen! The girls won’t listen to his indignant claim and hover over him teasingly.
By chance, Li Si discovers Han Ming as Shu Lei’s secret admirer, Peter. They bond over their love for Shu Lei and he tells her how excited he is to come to her competition and cheer her up when she claims the winning title. Contented to watch her from the sideline, he doesn’t want her to know his real identity, worried about a second rejection due to her disappointment in his looks. Li Si doesn’t think so, explaining that Shu Lei might even like him because she only ever accepts his gifts. The poor boy perks up at the idea of love from his goddess and quickly erases the thought, “How could she like me? She likes Peter…”
Promising to keep his identity under wraps for now, Li Si comes up with a … dumb idea. From now on, she will give his gifts directly to Shu Lei on his behalf. What in the world is this girl talking about? Just let him be! I really don’t understand why she has to get involved at all. You think Shu Lei won’t pry the secret out of you? Good intention, bad plan.
During break time, the girls gather around the basketball court to cheer on the handsome boys sweating in a fierce game, most of them are there for Qi Tai, but dark horse transfer student is quickly gaining a legion of fangirls on his own merits. When Qi Tai starts getting handsy with Hao Yi on the court, Xiao Fen whispers in annoyance, “Pushing my little bro, is he crazy?!”
After the game, Qi Tao’s temper flares when the boys in class tease his poor performance during the game and he tosses the ball backwards – at no one in particular and I’m sitting here rolling my eyes as the action unfolds before my eyes. Everyone ducks out of the way, except when the ball nears Li Si, prompting Hao Yi – who is a few feet away – to magically become The Flash. He zooms past the distance, snatches the ball before it hits her, and they both spiral to the ground in a compromising position. The love for basketball keeping their bodies apart. REALLY director? Do we need that poor attempt at skin-ship?!
Of course, the students see the story from their own perspective and soon the school is filled with stories of Hao Yi saving Shu Lei (cause they saw her before seeing Li Si from behind). Shu Lei shakes her head, claiming it an annoying gossip because she only thinks of Peter, while Li Si’s cheeks turn a shade of pink, not going unnoticed by her friends, and they tease her for liking Hao Yi. “I don’t! I don’t!”
When the new volume of Naruto hits the shelves, Hao Yi encourages Li Si to skip class and hang out to read the manga at the library with him. They climb over the wall and Hao Yi sees Li Si sitting on the top hesitantly. “Don’t worried, I’ll catch you.” Oh, I know you will dude. I can see it already in the director’s un-televised glint!
Letting out a yelp, she hops down and lands perfectly in his arms. Gently, like a butterfly. LOL. I can’t.
At the library, Li Si is deep into reading and flipping pages, while Hao Yi tasks himself with pestering her by playing a message on his dictionary device, rushing her to hurry up. Finding him a fly in her reading time, she decides to leave and he catches her by the wrist, thinking that if they read together, they might be able to make it back to evening study hall. Cues skin-ship time, at least in this moment, it is the doing of our male lead, demonstrating to us his growing attraction to Li Si. As she inches closer and closer, basically resting on his shoulder, a devilish grin plays across his face. Hehe. See! This is how you do a Moment right!
In class, Shu Lei and Xiao Fen invite a male student to cross-dress as Li Si. Lol.
Unfortunately, the two deserters are caught outside their classroom and all four conspirators are punished by doing knee-hops.
Hao Yi’s voice over: “The magic of friendship is that it can turn all painful punishments into fun games.” True.
On a beautiful, sunny day, the girls decide to bury a time capsule in the school’s garden. Nearby, Hao Yi leans against the tree, trying to look cool by not doing something so cheesy. When they inquire what he wants to buried, he slips a written letter out of his pocket. HA. Xiao Fen places her idol pocket book, Shu Lei has her beautiful photo album, and Li Si with her diary.
Trouble brews when Shu Lei catches Li Si placing Peter’s gift on her desk. She sidles up to Li Si and tries to sweeten the identity of Peter out of her friend, but Li Si runs away. The confrontation then takes place in public with growing interest from the gathering students and watching the scene with a worried face is Han Ming. The friendly tone in Shu Lei dissipates into accusatory, “Why can’t you tell me who Peter is? Are you guys so close that you’re keeping secrets for each other?!” Feeling guilty under Shu Lei’s gaze, Li Si keeps her eyes fixed on the ground and tries to walk away. “So I’m not important to you?” Shu Lei gives her an ultimatum: “If you don’t tell me, don’t ever talk to me again.” And with that, the molehill becomes a mountain.
First crack of friendship means no more lunch buddies. Hao Yi casually joins her and smoothly trades his plain lunch for her chicken leg. He thinks Shu Lei has a reason to be mad, even he was slightly jealous of this Peter guy. She catches his tone and smiles shyly at the meaning of his words. Though Shu Lei is upset now, Li Si is confident that their friendship can survive this obstacle.
During gym class, the students are apprised of the upcoming camping event. They also begin learning dancing and at the count of three, the girls swarm Hao Yi’s personal place, all eager to be his dance partner, but his eyes fixate on Li Si and he takes her hand, despite the rumbling objections from other female classmates. And of course, we have more OTP Moments.
——————- END ——————-
Kappy: I enjoyed the episode but my main complaint is the blunt slow-mo OTP scenes inserted throughout the episode that made their moments less romantic, and less natural. I want to be able to feel their organic chemistry on my own, and not being spoon-fed by the director about how I should feel in each scene with that same song playing in the background!
Episode 2 also further establishes Li Si as the care taker of the group. She gets involved in everyone’s business and the case of Peter frustrated the heck out of me. He was doing fine on his own! Oy. She also feels too perfect for me at the moment, without a flaw I can pick on, and that in itself is problematic because it makes a character boring, unless they intend on doing a 360° change in her personality as an adult. It will be interesting to see how that role changes from here on out.