Episode 2 Recap

Love at Seventeen Screenshot
Love at Seventeen Screenshot

He Hao Yi runs into his mother after they are chased out for cooking noodles in the library and the power cut. Ai Li Si calls out to her then runs over to have a chat. He Hao Yi stays put for a moment, but soon finds himself walking the short distance Ai Li Si had travelled ahead to join the meeting. (Upon seeing his mother, he can’t help but be drawn to her it seems.) It’s a civil meeting as He Hao Yi greets her like he would to someone he just met. His mother wonders if she and He Hao Yi’s met before, but He Hao Yi denies any kind of relationship with her, greeting her as Liu-mama.

Ai Li Si finds out He Hao Yi is new in town and actually has nowhere to stay and invites him to stay at her house for the night. Just before the power cut, Ai Li Si gets He Hao Yi talking about his dad having passed away and coming to Taipei to look for his mum. She also hears the story behind expressing his frustrations by the pool just before she kicked him into the water.

When he was a child and learning to swim, his father had told him he must become independent, strong and opinionated. He can’t be dependent like the way the young He Hao Yi was being with the donut pool float that was helping his float in water. His dad had said he should never cry. If he wants to cry, he should learn to swim because water can hide the tears.

Love at Seventeen Screenshot
Love at Seventeen Screenshot

At Ai Li Si’s house, He Hao Yi meets Ai Li Si’s mother who’s not too impressed that Ai Li Si’s come home so late, and with a guy, who she thinks is her boyfriend. It’s not a good look with her accused of smoking cigarettes at school and now bring home a boyfriend knowing her mother’s usually not home at nights.

He Hao Yi clears Ai Li Si’s name. He tells Ai Li Si’s mum that he’s the one who put cigarettes in her bag and he was the one who framed her, so he can assure her that didn’t smoke. It has her mum grab a broom and try hit He Hao Yi with it. Ai Li Si manages to block and stop her mum. We don’t hear what convinces her mum to end up letting He Hao Yi stay for the night, but presumably it was the story about his dad passing away and arriving in Taipei to look for his mum.

He Hao Yi is given the sofa in the living room to sleep on. Ai Li Si apologises on her mum’s behalf for insisting he sleep there, which she doesn’t need to be doing: He Hao Yi sees her mother’s insistence as showing love for her daughter. It leads Ai Li Si to ask him whether he’s contacted his mum and who his original target was, neither question is divulged. He only tells her that he has some leads, but feels he’s not ready to meet her because he thinks his mother might not want to see him.

Ai Li Si tells him not to think so negatively. There’s no mother who doesn’t want to see him, and he may worry that she doesn’t want to see him now, but when he sees her every day, he may even find her annoying. Her words seems to ease him. Ai Li Si is then called to bed by her mother, stopping her from hearing about who the true target of his pranks were.

Love at Seventeen Screenshot
Love at Seventeen Screenshot

The next morning, all is made clear when Ai Li Si accompanies He Hao Yi to the school office after He Hao Yi is called to the school office. His mother is waiting for him when they arrive; she’s figured out the person she met outside the library last night was her son.

His response to her is rejection. He tells her she’s not fit to be his mother before turning around and leaving the office. His mother follows him out. She apologises to him and tells him that she’s only heard the news about his dad the previous day. The letters that were sent to her, she had the tenants throw them out because she and his dad had agreed not to have any contact with each other after they split up. Until she was told by his aunt, she didn’t know the reason behind all his letters.

The explanation doesn’t help justify things to He Hao Yi. He asks her mother how she could let such a small wish from his father remain unfulfilled. He accuses her mother of not ever having had him and his father in her thoughts. This accusation has Liu Xiao Fen (who’s just arrived onto the scene with Bai Shu Lei) defend his mother. She reveals it was their grandma who kicked her mother out, and it was He Hao Yi and their father who left them. Their mother stops Liu Xiao Fen from talking further. There seems to be a misunderstanding there, but it doesn’t change He Hao Yi’s thoughts on things. He tells them that they should know the answer to who abandoned whom in their hearts then leaves them.

Love at Seventeen Screenshot
Love at Seventeen Screenshot
Love at Seventeen Screenshot
Love at Seventeen Screenshot

Liu Xiao Fen calls after him, addressing him as younger brother as he takes his leave. He shouts that she was not her family and to stop following him. Liu Xiao Fen continues to try with him, getting him a wallet as her gift to him (which he doesn’t accept gratefully). She approaches him and worries about the cold he caught and how he was only eating instant noodles as meals every day. She grabs his hands and worries how cold they feel. This action has He Hao Yi compare her to their mum: Liu Xiao Fen was being a nag like their mother. It has Liu Xiao Fen promise that at school she’d take care of him in their mum’s place. If mum doesn’t have time to spend with him, she will be there. She hugs him. She apologises for not being by his side when their dad died. She tells him to go to her when he’s unhappy about something or want to cry.

His mum tries to show her sincerity and how she’s never forgotten him as well. With help from Ai Li Si, he is delivered a lunch box containing rice, vegetables and an egg yolk, just how he likes his eggs. Ai Li Si tries to get him to admit to himself that he actually really misses his mother and sister, just that he’s afraid that his mother doesn’t want to see him. (She knows this because when he was at her place, he expressed this in his sleep when he was feverish from having caught a cold.) She believes that his mother does want to see him and is trying to make up for lost time. He Hao Yi argues against that thought of hers, saying that if his mother really loved him, she would have come look for him sooner. He tells her he doesn’t need pity. This has Ai Li Si ask him what was so wrong with being pitied? Pity and sincerity is a way of caring. If he didn’t need pity, he wouldn’t have come to Taipei. He wouldn’t have messed with Liu Xiao Fen. He’s just scared that if he returns, he’ll be abandoned.

His sister’s efforts, his mother’s efforts and Ai Li Si’s words has He Hao Yi forgive his sister and mother. He returns home and becomes a family with them. Moving in with them, he realises the reason he didn’t cry when his dad passed away was because the people he relied on wasn’t by his side. It wasn’t because he was independent and strong.

Love at Seventeen Screenshot
Love at Seventeen Screenshot
Love at Seventeen Screenshot
Love at Seventeen Screenshot

He now enjoys life and school. He’s happy that he has his mum and sister to talk to and that he has people he want to see. He’s friends with Ai Li Si, Liu Xiao Fen, Bai Shu Lei. Because of them school is fun and good things happen. He Hao Yi becomes popular with girls and recognised by the guys as well. A basketball game where he out-plays Chen Qi Tai has girls gushing and guys complimenting him. Students start talking about He Hao Yi dethroning Chen Qi Tai as the school’s prince. Because of this status He Hao Yi gets paired up with their queen, Bai Shu Lei, after he is seen rescuing Ai Li Si from being hit with a basketball after Chen Qi Tai misses his original target, He Hao Yi. Despite Ai Li Si being the one He Hao Yi actually pushes aside and lands on top of, rumours start spreading that it was Bai Shu Lei, seemingly because she’s the school’s queen and he’s become the school’s prince. So, they belong together. Rumours go as far as He Hao Yi meeting Bai Shu Lei up every night.

These rumours don’t create any issues between the four friends as they Bai Shu Lei isn’t interested in He Hao Yi. Ai Li Si seems to have started to like He Hao Yi as she blushes over thinking about how he was on top of her when he saved her from the basketball. Meanwhile, Bai Shu Lei is not one bit interested in He Hao Yi because, one, he’s Liu Xiao Fen’s younger brother; and two, she’s interested in Peter.

Love at Seventeen Screenshot
Love at Seventeen Screenshot
Love at Seventeen Screenshot
Love at Seventeen Screenshot

Bai Shu Lei doesn’t admit it, but when Ai Li Si is found by Bai Shu Lei to know who Peter is, the degree of his importance and knowing who he is threatens their friendship.

After bumping into Song Han Min in the library, Ai Li Si picks up a letter written by him and signed off as Peter, revealing Song Han Min as being the guy Bai Shu Lei sees as someone special. Fearing that Bai Shu Lei would be disappointed if his true identity were to be reveals (which could be the case since he did get rejected by her already), he thinks about stopping his gifts to her. Ai Li Si tells him he can’t as that would make Bai Shu Lei more disappointed and suggests she deliver them on his behalf so that she won’t know it’s him, leading her to being caught by Bai Shu Lei when she delivers her first gift on his behalf.

At first Bai Shu Lei thinks Ai Li Si was acting as Peter and giving her gifts, which casts an unimpressed impression on her face. When Ai Li Si says that she isn’t Peter, she brightens, thinking Ai Li Si would tell her who Peter is. She asks which year he’s in, which class he’s from, if he’s tall and handsome. Ai Li Si runs away, telling her friend she can’t tell him. She continues to refuse revealing Peter’s identity outside, causing Bai Shu Lei to accuse her of treating Peter as more important than her best friend. She would rather keep his secret than consider her feelings and reveal his identity to her. Ai Li Si still will not break his promise to Song Han Min and keeps his secret, telling her that Peter has his reasons and timidly tells Bai Shu Lei not to think about herself all the time. This has Bai Shu Lei give Ai Li Si one last chance: tell her or stop talking to her forever. Ai Li Si apologises and remains silent on the matter. A promise is a promise to Ai Li Si.

Love at Seventeen Screenshot
Love at Seventeen Screenshot
Love at Seventeen Screenshot
Love at Seventeen Screenshot

Episode 2 ends in the school gymnasium with students from Classroom 206 and Classroom 209 learning to dance in preparation for next month’s citizenship training. The teacher has the students choose their partners, but informs that at the end of this dance, they would end up with a different partner. All the girls flock to He Hao Yi, wanting to be his dance partner. He Hao Yi moves past them all and takes Ai Li Si’s hand and drags her away to start practicing. Holding hands, both come together with Ai Li Si stepping to her left and He Hao Yi to step to his right, causing them to bump into each other. They try again. This time, both stepping off to their right and then to their left. The step to the left has Ai Li Si trip and needing He Hao Yi to catch her. The final shot has the two chest to chest and gazing into each other’s eyes.

Thoughts

The drama mended the issue between He Hao Yi, his mother and Liu Xiao Fen pretty quickly. It makes us wonder the point of having the story told in the first place, but at the same time it’s nice to see the issue get resolved without having it blown into full-out melodramatic drama which carries into the future episodes.

Episode 2 still doesn’t reveal too much about what the future episodes might bring, but based on He Hao Yi’s thoughts about the past which filter through the scenes, the group consisting of Ai Li Si, Bai Shu Lei, Liu Xuan Fen change and hints at separation. There was a scene where a scene where the group buries time capsules (Liu Xiao Fen buries photos of her idols to see of she finds them handsome in 10 years’ time, Bai Shu Lei buries photos of herself to remind her to be as pretty as now, He Hao Yi buries a letter for ‘someone’—probably Ai Li Si—), he talks about being the last time they were together the way they were—happy and as a group. Ai Li Si is hinted as possibly changing, too. After the fight between Bai Shu Lei and Ai Li Si, He Hao Yi joins Ai Li Si on the seats surrounding the sports track. He talks about Ai Li Si’s trusting smile and how he never thought he’d miss it so much. It looks like it’s heading towards a less simple, carefree time for them.

Song Han Min, wonder if he’ll reveal himself to Bai Shu Lei now or will he wait till thirteen years later. He was standing and watching on the balcony overseeing the courtyard where Ai Li Si and Bai Shu Lei fought the whole time. Maybe he’ll feel guilty for causing the rift between the two best friends and reveal himself. Maybe he’ll be grave and go up to Bai Shu Lei and ask her to be his partner. That would be interesting to see!

There’s a lot more going on in that last scene than what was actually in Episode 2. The expression on He Hao Yi, the way he drags Ai Li Si and stares at the crowd behind her is a bit odd. Looks like we’ll see what was cut out in the last scene of this episode in Episode 3.

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