Asian DramasChinese DramasDrama Recaps

Go Go Squid! (2019) Series Recap, Episodes 1 – 10

Go Go Squid! Episodes 1 - 10

Go Go Squid! is a 2019 Chinese romance comedy drama with a setting in the cyber security e-sport of CTF (Capture the Flag).

The drama’s male lead character, Han Shangyan (Li Xian), is a super skillful CTF player with the alias of Gun. A CTF legend with huge respect from the industry and CTF fans, Han Shangyan was formerly the main attacker for a CTF team called, Solo. In this team called Solo there were four main members: Wang Hao a.k.a. Solo (Li Ze Feng), Ai Qing a.k.a AppleDog (Wang Zhen Er), Mi Shaofei a.k.a. Xiao Mi (Lee Hong Qi) and Ou Qiang a.k.a. All (Chen Xi Jun). Wang Hao a.k.a. Solo was the Solo team’s captain and the one who established the team and Ai Qing a.k.a AppleDog was the team’s ace spiker and was the only female team member in the Solo team. Ai Qing was Solo’s girlfriend at the time. The Solo team had two substitute players. They were Xiao You a.k.a Yo (Su Yi) and Yi Qian (Chen Lei).

The plot on the CTF side of the drama is driven by the backstory of the Solo team working towards winning the world championship title. However, this dream of theirs was shattered when Solo was told he had a daughter. The e-sport being a path that couldn’t earn a stable living or support raising a daughter back then, Solo gave up his dream of pursuing the e-sport to look after his daughter. Han Shangyan tried to convince Solo to not leave the e-sport, but he couldn’t stop Solo from deciding to do so. Feeling that the Solo team was no longer the Solo team without the person the team was named after leading it, Han Shangyan announced retirement from the e-sport. This announcement was made on the stage at the National Championship finals after the Solo team won the competition. Mi Shaofei announced retirement also. He announced it during the Solo team’s gathering after the competition. The Solo team broke up.

The present time in the drama is ten years after the Solo team broke up. Han Shangyan continues working towards the dream of obtaining the world championship title as the boss of K&K—a club that’s part of a modest company headquartered in Norway which Han Shangyan and his business partner, Nan Wei (華波波 Mohammadjavad Estilaf), established five years ago. The Chinese division, K&K China, was set up by Han Shangyan and Su Cheng (Wang Le Jun). Su Cheng helped Han Shangyan setup K&K China and takes the position of Manager of the K&K China team. She is Solo’s ex-girlfriend who has a daughter with Solo and is now the wife of Nan Wei. The main members of Han Shangyan’s K&K team are a team of male youngsters. The main members are: Chen Zhe a.k.a Grunt (Wen Yi Fan), Ling Shan a.k.a. 97 (Li Ming De), Zhou Yi a.k.a. One (Xu Le Xiao) and Dai Feng a.k.a. Demo (Yu Cheng En). K&K’s team captain is Wu Bai a.k.a. DT (Hu Yi Tian). Wu Bai is Han Shangyan’s cousin.

The other former Solo team members continue the same dream in a separate CTF club called SP. Solo is the person in charge of SP with Ai Qing helping him manage SP. Ou Qiang is an active team member in the SP team. Meanwhile, with Mi Shaofei, he has been going about his days working at his grandma’s convenience store back home until Han Shangyan and Solo sought him out and asked him to join their respective CTF club. Initially, Mi Shaofei rejected both Han Shangyan and Solo in joining their club. Mi Shaofei’s reason for not accepting the requests was feeling he didn’t have the mental strength and capabilities to compete anymore. Solo managed to break through this insecurity of Mi Shaofei’s with asking Mi Shaofei if it wasn’t his desire to have another opportunity to return to what he gave up and have another chance at the world championship title. Mi Shaofei joins Solo’s SP club. This decision Mi Shaofei makes to fulfil his desire to return to the CTF e-sport with joining Solo’s SP club and not Han Shangyan’s K&K club is Mi Shaofei’s wish to compete in a team where Solo is the leader because Solo was the one who introduced him to the e-sport, so he wishes to have Solo to be the leader of the last team that he’s a team member of.

The CTF side of the drama brings a plot of seeing Han Shangyan and his K&K team competing in CTF competitions around the country and abroad as he and his K&K team work towards winning the national title and ultimately towards winning the world championship title. Currently, the China division of the K&K team has cashflow problems and is making a loss. Winning the national title is a must if the China division of K&K doesn’t want to be dissolved.

Mi Shaofei is a major character in this side of the drama. The focus is on his performance which isn’t on par with his younger fellow SP team members. This brings interesting development for the main plot around Han Shangyan and his K&K team.

On the romance side, the elders are the characters that bring in issues and obstacles that get in the way of Han Shangyan’s ability to be with Tong Nian (Yang Zi), the female lead character of the drama. The CTF e-sport is an emerging industry that the ordinary masses don’t know of, understand or have much appreciation towards. There’s Han Shangyan’s grandfather. He doesn’t seem to know Han Shangyan very well and only finds faults with him. Han Shangyan’s grandfather finds Han Shangyan a difficult grandson who constantly makes him worry he’ll end up being alone. Han Shangyan’s grandfather sees Han Shangyan focuses too much on what Han Shangyan’s grandfather sees CTF as no more than a childhood pastime of playing on the computer. Han Shangyan being someone who doesn’t like his life being decided by others, Han Shangyan’s grandfather frustrates him with always having marriage on his mind.

There’s Tong Nian’s mum who doesn’t like Han Shangyan. She sees him to be unsuitable for her.

Tong Nian is a highly intelligent twenty-year old. She excels academically and creatively. A postgraduate student, she tutors classes in her field of study and carries out projects such as building an artificial intelligence face recognition program for criminal investigation for the police. She’s a talented song cover artist with over a million fans on her music streaming account. Before her first encounter with Han Shangyan one evening at her cousin’s internet café, Tong Nian was unfamiliar with the CTF e-sport and Han Shangyan. However, after that first encounter, she becomes an instant avid fan of Han Shangyan and begins following him, the K&K team and the CTF e-sport.

To Tong Nian’s mum, Han Shangyan is unsuitable for Tong Nian because of the large age gap. Han Shangyan is thirty and Tong Nian is twenty. Tong Nian’s mum feel the two cannot have a common language. The age gap is one issue that makes Tong Nian’s mum feel Han Shangyan isn’t suitable for Tong Nian. The other is Tong Nian’s mum’s belief of Han Shangyan having a carefree attitude towards relationships. Due to the misunderstanding that Wu Bai brought on to get himself out of being paired up with Tong Nian, Han Shangyan is seen as someone who isn’t serious in relationships. Tong Nian’s mum is also not overly impressed with Han Shangyan’s profession. Tong Nian’s mum is part of the ordinary masses who has no knowledge about CTF and she has no appreciation towards the CTF e-sport that she doesn’t understand.

Zuo Zhenghui (Qu Xuan Ping), Tong Nian’s university classmate, is more to Tong Nian’s mum’s liking. He’s around Tong Nian’s age and is thought of as polite, dedicated and hardworking. Being a PhD student, they see his future to be bright with no limits to what he can do in his future.

Han Shangyan’s stepmother is key to changing the negative opinion Tong Nian’s mum has of Han Shangyan. Han Shangyan’s stepmother had once been like the others who thought Han Shangyan was playing around during his youth. However, she has since seen Han Shangyan compete and is a supporter of his career in the CTF e-sport.

Episode Summary

These episode summaries will mainly recap the developments around Han Shangyan and Tong Nian.

Episode 1

Tong Nian and Han Shangyan’s first encounter comes from Han Shangyan deciding to turn back and head into Tong Nian’s cousin’s internet café. He first visited the convenience store adjacent. At the convenience store, Han Shangyan looked for some hongbaos (red envelopes used for gifting money) and candies. Tong Nian was also at the convenience store during his time there. She was looking for some strawberry-flavoured food item near where he looked for the hongbaos. So, both Han Shangyan and Tong Nian each missed their true first encounter with each other at the convenience store.

Tong Nian works at her cousin’s internet café during semester breaks. Visiting an internet café is something that Han Shangyan hasn’t done in a long, long while. His visit to Tong Nian’s cousin’s internet café follows after the disappointing lost that his K&K team had against the SP team in the world tour competition in Singapore. At first sight, Tong Nian immediately takes a liking to Han Shangyan who’s attire is black from head to toe. Tong Nian takes note of Han Shangyan’s name when she registers his identification card in the system to respond to his purchase of a night pass. Wanting to become friends with Han Shangyan, Tong Nian makes him a bowl of noodles free of charge. Han Shangyan pays for it when he asks how much it costs and Tong Nian’s cousin gives him a price—much to Tong Nian’s annoyance.

Tong Nian manages to get something that allows her to make a connection with Han Shangyan and ultimately become someone in Han Shangyan’s circle. She manages to get Han Shangyan’s WeChat which contains posts on K&K news items.

Han Shangyan and Tong Nian at her cousin's internet café.
Tong Nian

Tong Nian:

“Please come visit us next time.”

Han Shangyan:

“Next time? Are you always here during nights?”

Tong Nian:

“No. I’m on vacation so I’m helping my relative look after the place. I’m not always here at night.”

Han Shangyan:

“Don’t misunderstand. I don’t mean it in any other way. I just feel that it isn’t safe for a young lady to be at an internet café late at night.”

Episode 2

Since the first encounter with Han Shangyan at her cousin’s internet café, Tong Nian hasn’t encountered Han Shangyan again. She sent thoughtful messages and marketing messages hoping to see Han Shangyan visit the internet café again; however, they’ve not gained a response or a visit. Tong Nian thinks Han Shangyan has blocked her on WeChat. Han Shangyan hasn’t blocked her. He doesn’t want to discourage her marketing efforts.

Tong Nian’s cousin gives Tong Nian the chance to interact with Han Shangyan in the game he played at the internet café. Tong Nian’s cousin comes over to her house and says he has the game account code Han Shangyan used to play the game. This game code belongs to Grunt, though. She sends a friend request and she gets placed in his enemy camp. Tong Nian’s poor skills has Grunt see her to be unworthy of adding to his friend’s list.

Tong Nian's cousin teaches Tong Nian how to play an online game.
Han Shangyan playing online game.

Han Shangyan’s attitude towards new or weak players is different from Grunt’s. When Han Shangyan logs on to play later at night using Grunt’s game account again, he agrees to Tong Nian’s request to become his ally and not his enemy. With Tong Nian moving about the game unskilfully, Han Shangyan asks Tong Nian to hide behind the door that’s in front of her until the end of the game whilst he plays. The game looks to end well for them. Han Shangyan is up for another round. He asks Wu Bai to help him start another round whilst he goes to take a shower first. Before Han Shangyan goes, he tells Wu Bai to make sure he adds Tong Nian onto the friends list.

Episode 3

Tong Nian is a guest for a music festival fan-signing event in Guangzhou. Han Shangyan is also in Guangzhou with his team. Tong Nian finds out Han Shangyan is in the city when Lan Mei (Shi Qing Yan), Tong Nian’s fellow online music influencer and good friend, says her husband had also accompanied her to Guangzhou to watch K&K compete. Tong Nian heads to the venue Han Shangyan and his K&K team are, but she encounters the problem of being unable to enter without a ticket. Ai Qing coincidentally comes out of the venue at the time Tong Nian is looking to get entry into the venue. Ai Qing helps Tong Nian get in.

Tong Nian holds Han Shangyan back with a grasp of his top.
Tong Nian mistaken Grunt for Han Shangyan.

Tong Nian arrives into the competition arena when K&K’s competition comes to an end with a victory for the team. Tong Nian is surprised that the row she takes a seat in is the row Han Shangyan is in. Han Shangyan approaches Tong Nian after spotting her looking his way. He asks her if she has come specially to see the competition. She nods. He asks where her boyfriend is. The ‘boyfriend’ Han Shangyan refers to is Tong Nian’s cousin. Tong Nian is surprised by the question and this surprise makes Han Shangyan think Tong Nian doesn’t remember him going to her internet café. Han Shangyan also thinks he has scared her when so far she has only been nodding and shaking her head to his questions. Han Shangyan says for Tong Nian to not be afraid of him. He had only wanted to greet her. He tells her to enjoy the rest of the competition and goes to take his leave; however, he gets stopped by Tong Nian by a hold of his clothing. Tong Nian says she remembers him. This scene grabs the attention of the K&K youngsters up on the stage. Tong Nian comes to be known as sister-in-law to them.

Grunt is the centre of a misunderstanding between Han Shangyan and Tong Nian. The Grunt fan placard Tong Nian obtains from a Grunt fan makes Han Shangyan think Tong Nian has come to see Grunt. Han Shangyan is unaware it’s actually him she’s come to see, but she’s mistaken him to be called Grunt because of the online game account belonging to Grunt that he used at her cousin’s internet café. Han Shangyan believes Tong Nian is Grunt’s girlfriend. He’s believing Tong Nian to be not speaking out the truth and this is seen as trying to protect Grunt. With the youngsters calling Tong Nian ‘sister-in-law’, Han Shangyan believes it’s a way to hide the truth of her being Grunt’s girlfriend.

Episode 4

Han Shangyan brings Tong Nian to his hotel room. Grunt is there and Han Shangyan wants him and Tong Nian to come out with the truth. Grunt has no clue who Tong Nian is. He thinks Tong Nian is most probably a fan of his.

Grunt:

“I can sign an autograph. I can also pose for a photo. You name it. So long as you tell the truth and say we don’t have any relation to each other I can agree to any request. The only thing is you can’t be my girlfriend.”

Tong Nian:

“Who says I want to be your girlfriend? It’s not like I like you.”

Han Shangyan looking towards Tong Nian with Grunt in the background.
Han Shangyan looks curiously at Tong Nian.

Grunt realises Tong Nian isn’t someone he attracted but someone Han Shangyan attracted. He gives Tong Nian some advice on her liking someone like Han Shangyan. She needs to boldly express her like to the person she likes. Grunt also tells Tong Nian that liking someone like Han Shangyan who doesn’t have any person or animal that is female around him is a mistake. It’s a mistake that would last a lifetime. Tong Nian disregards Grunt’s words and goes straight to making it clear to Han Shangyan. The person she likes—rather the person she is looking for isn’t Grunt. It’s him.

Even after both Grunt and Tong Nian has expressed the truth of them being strangers, Han Shangyan still believes the two aren’t telling the truth. Only after both express they are telling the truth in unison that Han Shangyan believes Tong Nian is here to see him and she has no relation to Grunt whatsoever.

Han Shangyan:

“You like me. What? Did I understand incorrectly?”

Tong Nian:

“No, you didn’t.”

Han Shangyan:

“What do you like about me? Are you unsure how to answer me? Okay. I’ll ask it in another way. What is there to like about me?”

A call Tong Nian has with a radio show host reveals what it is that Tong Nian likes about Han Shangyan. Whilst Han Shangyan is at a distance and with her eyes towards Han Shangyan, she describes her ideal type of guy as someone who is cold when he doesn’t speak. When he smiles, however, there is warmth.

This second meeting with Han Shangyan ends disappointingly for Tong Nian when Han Shangyan sends her away in a taxi without looking back. She’s distraught this might be the last time she’ll be in contact with him. Her mind doesn’t stop thinking about Han Shangyan back at her hotel room when she goes online searching for information on Han Shangyan’s K&K team. She goes to Lan Mei’s husband to get more information about Han Shangyan. Lan Mei’s husband being a huge fan of Han Shangyan, he enthusiastically shows Tong Nian some of the impressive plays during when Han Shangyan was in the Solo team. Tong Nian wants more information about him. She wants some gossip. What Lan Mei’s husband offers surprises Tong Nian: there has been talk amongst fans that Solo broke up because of a love triangle between Solo, Ai Qing and Han Shangyan and Han Shangyan forming the K&K club is to get Ai Qing back.

Episode 5

Tong Nian is unaware the person who helped her get into the CTF competition venue yesterday is the Ai Qing that Han Shangyan is said to like and is said to be the reason for forming his K&K club. Tong Nian has a second meeting with Ai Qing the next day outside the CTF competition venue when she gets pushed to the ground by excited SP fans upon the arrival of Solo and Ai Qing. Ai Qing follows Solo in making sure Tong Nian is okay. The encounter has Tong Nian feel Ai Qing has quite the presence when she watches Ai Qing speak to the crowd of SP fans before going into the venue.

Through persistence from Demo and his K&K teammates, Han Shangyan allows Demo to bring Tong Nian and Lan Mei in and sit with him and the K&K crew whilst they wait for their competition to start in the waiting area. Lan Mei seems to be quite the fan of Han Shangyan when she wonders if she can get Han Shangyan’s autograph on her skirt. If she is able to, she won’t wash her skirt for a whole year. Demo says their boss, Han Shangyan, has never given out autographs. However, with Tong Nian being someone who is someone special to Han Shangyan it shouldn’t be a problem for Lan Mei to get one when she’s Tong Nian’s friend.

K&K youngsters intrigued with Tong Nian approaching Han Shangyan.
Tong Nian with Han Shangyan and Lan Mei curiously listening in the background.

The misunderstanding Demo and the others have of Tong Nian being Han Shangyan’s girlfriend makes Tong Nian feel uncomfortable. She feels she needs to correct it. Han Shangyan sees Tong Nian’s want to correct how others see them to be Tong Nian worrying about it creating problems for him. He agrees to allowing Tong Nian to clear up the misunderstanding, but he only gives her one minute to do it in and she needs to do it in a way that won’t affect the team’s emotional state before going into their competition. Tong Nian doesn’t think one minute will be enough. Han Shangyan is understanding. He allows Tong Nian to clear up the misunderstanding after the competition.

Who Ai Qing is comes to be known to Tong Nian when she enters the competition arena. Han Shangyan’s curiosity towards seeing Tong Nian greet Ai Qing and Ai Qing greeting her back has Han Shangyan give a briefing of the person Tong Nian greeted. She is Ai Qing, SP’s manager and former ace spiker of the Solo team.

Tong Nian eyes downcast as she's thinking how to clear up misunderstanding.
Lan Mei comforts Tong Nian.

Tong Nian never ends up clearing up the misunderstanding the K&K youngsters have of her being Han Shangyan’s girlfriend. After the competition, the atmosphere isn’t particularly good amongst the K&K team. Their competition against the SP team is a disappointing loss. Han Shangyan does remember about Tong Nian wanting to clear up their relationship to the K&K youngsters. He asks Tong Nian to rehearse how she will clear up the misunderstanding. She’s unable to come up with the words, however. Han Shangyan ends this with saying there isn’t a need for her to clear their relationship up when there won’t be another time they’ll see each other again in the future. He tells Tong Nian he has no plans to date, either. His focus and energy is only on the futures and dreams of the K&K youngsters and proving to their parents they have not made the wrong choice in choosing to pursue the CTF e-sport with bringing back the world championship title for China.

Episode 6

It’s New Year’s break and the K&K club is taking a break for the holiday period. Everyone except for Demo is going home. Demo’s parents has separated and he has no place to spend New Year’s. Han Shangyan allows Demo to spend it at his and Wu Bai’s home. For the time Demo is there, he has to earn his keep. Demo’s first task is to cook dinner. Wu Bai asks Han Shangyan why he doesn’t just make Demo to pay a fee instead of getting him to earn his keep. He then expresses seeing it to be Han Shangyan wishing to teach Demo to be more self-reliant.

Demo’s cooking skills impresses Han Shangyan. Han Shangyan doesn’t end up staying at the dinner table and eating what Demo cooked, however. He goes to his room after Demo’s offering of a drumstick into Han Shangyan’s bowl brings Han Shangyan to recall his days with his great friends in the Solo team.

Han Shangyan introduced to the other Solo team members.
The Solo team confronted by disappointed fan.

The recollection goes back to when Han Shangyan arrived in Beijing and Solo and Ai Qing was there to greet him. They all headed to their run-down one-room home with a decent courtyard where Han Shangyan was introduced to Mi Shaofei and Ou Qiang. After the introductions, it was meal time. Before this, though, there was a one-on-one CTF battle between Han Shangyan and Ai Qing. Han Shangyan was the one to ask to have a one-on-one CTF battle with Ai Qing. He didn’t see Ai Qing to be the ace spiker of the Solo team that she said she was. He thought she was only in the team to make up the numbers. The winner got to have the chicken drumstick. Han Shangyan also agreed to do the chores forever if he lost. The result came to be Ai Qing proving she was as good as she said she was. Han Shangyan lost to Ai Qing. She was given the chicken drumstick at meal time. Being the new member, to welcome him into the group, Han Shangyan was also given a chicken drumstick.

The recollection goes to a time when the Solo team failed to win the national championships against a team called, BUFF. The loss of the national championships had namely been due to Han Shangyan’s play. It brought the BUFF team to discover a weakness in one of the Solo team’s services and that brought the loss to the Solo team. The Solo team experienced the fury of fans who was disappointed by the team’s performance that day. Following the loss was losing sponsorship. Despite the difficulties and obstacles, the Solo team restarted over. Funded by Han Shangyan’s education fund which his father left for him after he passed away, the Solo team restarted over in Shanghai. Their home was more spacious and luxurious. They also recruited two substitute Solo team members, Xiao You and Yi Qian.

Episode 7

Han Shangyan’s grandfather arrives from Norway to have Han Shangyan go on a blind date with Hu Yuejiao. Hu Yuejiao is the daughter of family friends of Han Shangyan’s grandfather. Hu Yuejiao is also Tong Nian’s cousin. The blind date begins at Tong Nian’s family residence.

In past blind dates, Hu Yuejiao seems to have caused trouble. Hu Yuejiao’s mum asks Hu Yuejiao to behave in this one with Han Shangyan. There’s no misbehaving from Hu Yuejiao. Han Shangyan, on the other hand, does everything he can to show he doesn’t want to be on this blind date. He needs his grandfather to force him to return her extended hand for a greeting. He says he’s fine with the bottle of juice that he already has when she offers him tea. He doesn’t shift his jacket to allow her to take the front passenger seat in his car when the evening heads to dinner at a restaurant. Hu Yuejiao ends up being forced to sit with her younger brother and Tong Nian at the back passenger seats. Han Shangyan’s constant lack of gentlemanly manners brings Hu Yuejiao to find Han Shangyan to be the worst of all the prospective partners she’s met.

Hu Yuejiao listening to Han Shangyan say he has no interest.
Tong Nian listening to Han Shangyan tell her not to explain his profession to outsiders.

Hu Yuejiao’s less-than-positive view of Han Shangyan continues when, after she proudly says she’s in the marketing field where she’s a brand manager, she asks Han Shangyan what he does for a living. Han Shangyan’s indifference towards being viewed favourably by Hu Yuejiao and also finding her to be an outsider who he has no interest in, he describes his profession to be playing on the computer. Hu Yuejiao scoffs at what Han Shangyan says is his profession. Tong Nian gives it a go at letting Hu Yuejiao know that what he does is commendable. She explains that winning teams win a lot of prize money. They bring honour to the country and the country is amongst the top in the world in the e-sport. Still, Hu Yuejiao finds little respect towards it. She says playing on the computer isn’t something you do forever.

Han Shangyan found the explanation Tong Nian gave to Hu Yuejiao unnecessary. Before heading into the restaurant, Han Shangyan tells Tong Nian that her explanation of his profession to Hu Yuejiao was doing a disservice to him because he doesn’t have any interest in her at all. He, himself, was going about the blind date in a way that was to bring Hu Yuejiao to the point of having no interest in him as well.

At the restaurant, Han Shangyan gets blindsided by Wu Bai who makes everyone think he and Tong Nian have been dating secretly. When Han Shangyan’s grandfather (also Wu Bai’s grandfather) gives Wu Bai a bit of an introduction on Tong Nian then asks him and Tong Nian to have a chat with each other to start getting to know each other, Wu Bai tells his grandfather he already knows Tong Nian because the others in the team call her sister-in-law.

Han Shangyan introduces himself to Tong Nian's mum and dad.
Tong Nian with Han Shangyan in the car.

Hearing Han Shangyan and Tong Nian is well-acquainted with each other, Hu Yuejiao’s mum isn’t particularly happy they’ve gone through the trouble in preparing this blind date between her daughter and Han Shangyan. Tong Nian’s mum isn’t pleased, either.

Han Shangyan trapped by Wu Bai’s trick, he decides to go with this and formally introduces himself to Tong Nian’s mum and dad. Tong Nian’s mum doesn’t receive his introduction. Tong Nian’s father is more pleasant. He accepts the introduction. Tong Nian’s dad doesn’t seem to have much of an issue with Han Shangyan. Other than agreeing with Tong Nian’s mum that Han Shangyan is much older than Tong Nian, he doesn’t find any other areas of Han Shangyan particularly dislikable.

The boyfriend-girlfriend relationship that Han Shangyan and Tong Nian unexpectedly have has the two discuss when they will return it back to what things are between them. Han Shangyan says to Tong Nian he will let her decide when they will break up. All she has to do is let him know. Until that time, they will continue as so.

Han Shangyan:

“In the time that we’re not broken up, you’re to be my girlfriend. If there’s something you need you just need to say it and I’ll do my best. I’m a man of my word.”

Episode 8

New Year’s Day has Han Shangyan needing to fulfil his grandfather’s wish to have Tong Nian over for dinner. Tong Nian’s mum isn’t too happy to see Han Shangyan again so soon after the evening of the blind date when he comes over with boxes and baskets of fruits in hand as New Year’s gifts. Seemingly out of respect for Han Shangyan’s grandfather and his wishes, Tong Nian’s mum allows Tong Nian to go with Han Shangyan. Han Shangyan has to bring Tong Nian back before seven, however. Tong Nian’s dad thinks being back home by seven isn’t enough time. He says there’s no need to think about what time to be back home by. Just have fun. This isn’t something Tong Nian’s mum is happy about, but doesn’t stop Tong Nian when she thanks her dad and leaves with Han Shangyan.

Demo impressed that his snacks are okay to buy because Tong Nian asked.
Tong Nian and Demo grabbing snacks.

Han Shangyan, Tong Nian and Demo (who had also gone with Han Shangyan to get Tong Nian, but stayed and waited in the car) stop by the supermarket and vegetable markets before heading home. Han Shangyan shows he’s knowledgeable about which produce is quality produce when he educates Demo and Tong Nian why the vegetable they think is good is actually not good and he picks out the one which is good.

Demo is awed by a show of Han Shangyan being the type of guy who is fierce to outsiders, but is gentle and soft to those in his family. Anything Tong Nian wants, she can put into the shopping trolley. Demo, on the other hand, he’s only able to get what he wants when Tong Nian helps him. It is the case with the bag of snacks he wants to get. Demo asks Han Shangyan why he doesn’t ask him if he wants to buy anything as he holds up the bag of snacks. Han Shangyan says eating snacks isn’t something guys do and he doesn’t give Demo the go ahead to put the bag of snacks he wants into the trolley. Enter Tong Nian. Even though Han Shangyan is aware of what Tong Nian is doing when she takes the bag of snacks that Demo wants and says she also likes the snack and asks if she can get it, Han Shangyan allows it: “Whatever you want, hurry and go get it.” Tong Nian gets the bag of snacks that Demo wants into the trolley.

Han Shangyan's grandfather wondering if Tong Nian has found the necklace yet.
Tong Nian opens box and finds necklace.

New Year’s dinner is cooked by Han Shangyan after finding that Demo and Tong Nian lacked the knowledge and skills. He had asked Wu Bai to help him with the vegetable cutting, but found he, too, lacked the skill to do so. Han Shangyan makes dumplings. The wrappers and the filling are made from scratch. Han Shangyan’s grandfather wants Han Shangyan to surprise Tong Nian with placing the gold necklace he bought for her in one of the dumplings. Come dinner time, Han Shangyan’s grandfather finds Tong Nian has finished all the dumplings in the plate of dumplings reserved just for her and there was no sign of the necklace in any of the dumplings she ate. Han Shangyan hadn’t placed the necklace in one of the dumplings like his grandfather had wanted him to. In a red casing, Han Shangyan gives the necklace to Tong Nian. Han Shangyan asks Tong Nian if she likes the New Year’s gift. Tong Nian does. Han Shangyan tells Tong Nian the necklace was bought by his grandfather not him.

After dinner, Han Shangyan doesn’t let Tong Nian wash the dishes. Han Shangyan says he won’t allow her to wash the dishes because his grandfather would tell him off for that. However, Demo says Han Shangyan is always like that. At the K&K club, he washes his own dishes.

Episode 9

Han Shangyan isn’t technology savvy. He gets 97 to help him sign up for an account on the music streaming platform Tong Nian is on. He leaves a message to Tong Nian in the comments saying he won’t be in the country for a few days and has his number in the message with the last digits specified to be Tong Nian’s house number. Frenzied commenting comes from Tong Nian’s fans wondering who this person is that seems to be familiar enough to Tong Nian that he knows the house number to her place. A second round of frenzied commenting comes from Tong Nian’s fans when Tong Nian follows Han Shangyan back soon after Han Shangyan follows her account. Out of the millions of followers, she only follows seventeen people. With her following Han Shangyan, she now follows eighteen people.

Han Shangyan heads to Norway with 97, Grunt and Wu Bai for a one-on-one All-Stars International competition where fifty-nine contestants from thirty-four countries participate. For the SP team members, Ai Qing is selected to bring Mi Shaofei, Ou Qiang and Lin Yin a.k.a Inin (Sun Chu Hong) to Norway for the competition. Ai Qing being selected to go to Norway for the All-Stars competition doesn’t please Ai Qing. For one, she says she’s guilt-ridden and terrified whenever she’s around Han Shangyan. The other is being unimpressed with Solo’s deliberate attempt to have her, Mi Shaofei and Ou Qiang patch up their friendship with Han Shangyan through this trip to Norway. Ai Qing says Solo should take on this awkward occasion himself since it’s his and Han Shangyan’s friendship that has broken and not the friendship between the three of them and Han Shangyan.

Han Shangyan with the Solo team on the roof in the old days.
Solo and Ai Qing.

The past shows the four had been very close before what happened to Solo broke their team up. Each had the same want to win the world championship title. Winning the world championship title meant certain dreams could be realised. Han Shangyan’s dream was simply to win the world championship title and have China be seen as a country that could achieve anything. Mi Shaofei wanted to open a huge supermarket for his grandmother and have money roll in whilst employees they hire help them run the store. Ou Qiang had the dream of continuing to be with them all and go all over the world with them all. Ai Qing said her dream would be the same as the person she loves. This person was Solo’s dream as Solo and Ai Qing dated at this time. Solo’s dream was to help everyone in his team realise their dreams.

The business class plane trip to Norway has Ai Qing receive more of the same cold treatment from Han Shangyan. He wasn’t interested in the small talk Ai Qing tried to make when she spoke about it having been a long time since they ate together. He rejected Ai Qing’s concern when she found him not feeling 100% with simply saying he didn’t sleep well and cut her off when she began to speak about what Solo had once told them. The recollection of the past that went through Ai Qing’s mind was a time when she and Han Shangyan endured the pouring rain to bring back bentos to each of the Solo team members. Both were soaking wet. Solo had said that as their captain, his responsibility is to to look after everyone. He gave Ai Qing special treatment, however. He dried her hair off with a hairdryer and he made her a warm drink to warm her up before telling everyone to all look after themselves. Han Shangyan was left to dry himself off and sneezing at the meal table of which Ai Qing took pity on him and offered him a box of cold medicine she had on the table. It’s the same cold medicine that Ai Qing presently tried to offer Han Shangyan when he said he wasn’t feeling well and rejected.

The SP team gets a tour of K&K headquarters and a meeting of staff there which includes Su Cheng’s husband, Nan Wei. The SP team is provided facilities to train.

Come midnight, it’s Han Shangyan’s birthday which is also Valentine’s Day. Ai Qing remembers Han Shangyan’s birthday and she seems to have specially waited for him to return to the hotel to ask him to join her for something to drink in the hotel’s café to celebrate it with him. It doesn’t start off well when he becomes agitated with Ai Qing’s mention of another time in the past. It had him understand her words to be demonstrating her to be a person who values love over friendship. This past Ai Qing speaks of is a time when she and Solo were celebrating Valentine’s Day. Han Shangyan had kept asking them to eat with him. Solo and Ai Qing didn’t know why he was so persistent until Han Shangyan told them it was because it was his birthday. Agitating Han Shangyan with speaking of another moment in the past, Ai Qing ends up pursuing after Han Shangyan when he gets up and leaves. It has Ai Qing encounter a few local males who were persistent to have Ai Qing join them and their persistence made her scared.

Episode 10

Han Shangyan realises Ai Qing’s call for him is filled with fear. He appears from his location nearby and gets the guys away from Ai Qing. He throws one of the guys to the ground and threatens the guys with a wooden weapon to keep distance. The fear Ai Qing has goes in the direction of Han Shangyan when she fears seeing Han Shangyan continue in his explosive reaction to the situation. Han Shangyan is offended by her words that ask him if violence is the only way he knows how to handle problems. Ai Qing responds with saying they should calmly have a chat with the guys because she believes language barriers may be preventing the guys from communicating their wish for her to have a drink with them. When Mi Shaofei turns up and also asks him to stop, Han Shangyan leaves in anger.

Han Shangyan’s birthday passes by with him calmer and accepting Ai Qing’s birthday gifts of coffee and cake that she had prepared prior to her brief chat with him at the hotel café. Mi Shaofei brought these to Han Shangyan. Han Shangyan also receives a birthday greeting from Tong Nian and he goes to celebrate his birthday with Mi Shaofei at a local bar.

Wu Bai in CTF competition.
Inin and Wu Bai holding up China flag.

The results of the All-Stars International competition is a victorious one for the K&K team. Wu Bai beats Naya from Norway to win first place. The SP team places as well. Inin wins third place. It brings China first and third place and a world championship title. Tong Nian watched this competition live online. She calls Han Shangyan immediately after the win to congratulate him on his team’s win. Han Shangyan receives her congratulations exuberantly and asks if she wants to hear the lively atmosphere in the arena. She does and Han Shangyan holds the phone up in the air to let her hear the lively atmosphere. Tong Nian tells her mum and dad of the great news. While Tong Nian’s dad celebrates with her and says she has a great eye for picking Han Shangyan, Tong Nian’s mum isn’t so impressed.

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