Just Like Old Times
It's a lovely day for an outdoors class. Today's assignment: painting. Sakura's image is a crude, cartoony representation of the schoolyard gazebo, which displeases her, so she looks to Eli for inspiration. Naturally, it turns out to be an Impressionist masterwork with the water's reflection and everything. Is there anything he can't do? Li looks on at Sakura fawning over Mr. Perfect-At-Everything's art, and as Eli returns the gaze, he looks away, pretending not to notice. Eli remarks to Sakura that Li's always been watching them, since he thinks he's up to something.
Madison stops by Li, wondering why he seemed so deep in thought. "Oh, nothing. I'm just trying to make sense of the strange things that are going on." Strange things. Strange things are happening to him, ain't no doubt about it. Madison assures him he'll find the pattern if he keeps looking, but Li's worried that the spells seem to be getting more powerful. Suddenly, in comes a familiar face and high-pitched voice (on a side note, why would you put a naked woman statue in a children's show, let alone in the school courtyard?)
All the girls are excited to talk to Meilin again, but Li is merely embarrassed by her presence. When Sakura shows up, Meilin invites her over. She tells her that Li said her friends needed a little help. "I can't say I'm surprised." Sakura has so many things to tell her when they meet after school, "I mean, unless you have to do something else like help your friends out with something instead." Silly Sakura. She's referring to you. Like, yeah! So it's settled then. "See you later, Li, heh ha ha! Bye!" Why isn't he happy to see her?
Kero is intensely button mashing a shooter game. Since he hasn't comprehended the notion of pressing the Pause button, he is annoyed when the phone rings and it's Sakura telling her that they're meeting with Li's girlfriend. He snaps back that she should tell Meilin that they don't need anyone's help, especially not from her and her lack of magical powers. Sakura sighs. He missed the part about Meilin's self-worth issues, after all. Karma bites him back when he immediately loses the game (though 399,999,999 is still one hell of a score, a lot more than the 10,000 he claimed to be reaching seconds ago).
Eli notices Sakura talking on the phone and asks her who the new girl is. Sakura tells her Meilin used to go to school with them, but she had to return home because her grandmother was sick. Now that she's back, they're all going to meet after school. "That's good to know." Sakura is perplexed by his interest, but Eli merely wishes them a good time.
The crew is strangely silent as they walk by the crisp autumn leaves (hey, they did it after all!). Meilin wonders why Sakura is smiling about. She's just happy to see her again. "Really? You mean that's it?" Not just that. It feels like the gang is back together again, and it wasn't the same without her. You can say that again. "Yeah, when I think about it, I guess I would have missed me too." Oh Meilin, haughty as ever. She then goes to talk about the Clow Cards and asks if she could help with the strange things still happening. She reminds Sakura that she has trained much more than her. "Meilin, you haven't changed a bit, have you?" "Why would I?" Never change, Meilin, never change.
Madison is happy to have Meilin around again, and Li admits that yeah, he did miss her, and she was a really good friend. He is worried for her safety, but Madison reminds him of the Fight card. Of course, she did get owned, but Madison doesn't remember that, and all things considered, she did hold up pretty well.
As they pass by Penguin Park, Clow Reed's magic looms around the premise. Suddenly, "FLYING PENGUINS?!" The penguin statues around the slide aggressively pursue the quartet. Li manages to save Madison with Element: Lightning, but they effortlessly dodge the second strike. They now switch targets to Sakura and Meilin. Luckily, Meilin can take care of herself. She pummels the penguins into the ground as Li dances around to dodge them, but she bruises her hands punching out stone.
The penguins decide to bring out the king. Uh-oh! No martial artist can stand up to a giant enemy penguin statue! "Why don't they go back to the North Pole where they belong?" Technically, they reside in the southern hemisphere, but this gives Meilin an idea. How about using that card Sakura captured in the skating rink, the one that froze everybody? And so Sakura summons The Freeze to encase the penguins in crystal. As the king falls (slowly), this gives Li the opportunity to deliver the finishing blow.
Sakura congratulates Meilin on her quick thinking. See, what would you do without Meilin's witty banter? Li however focuses on Sakura, which causes Meilin to feel rejected. Sakura notices her sad expression, to which she pretends she's just fine
. But she cannot hide her alienation from herself.
Eli is amused that the little girl knows all about the Clow Cards. Suddenly, the gang hears footsteps. No time to repair the park vandalism, gotta run! Li realizes that no one else is around when these things happen, and Sakura wonders who could be powerful enough to make people disappear. Meilin feels they want her to disappear, but Madison invites her into the conversation about Clow Reed's magic. Unfortunately, Meilin has to leave tomorrow, which disappoints Sakura. She really wishes she could stay longer. Meilin says that she'll just have to visit again sometime, or maybe they could visit her! That would be fun.
That night, Wei smiles as Meilin and Li talk under the stars. Meilin is happy for Li even if he isn't the master of the cards. "You're lucky." "Why?" "Well because, you're needed." I mean, look at you! You're a descendant of Clow Reed! You've got magic running through your veins! And no matter what happens or who is the master, you will always have a role to play in the history of the Clow Cards! You are one cool guy! As a matter of fact, you're too cool.
Meilin thanks Wei for the tea, and leaves for Madison's house. Li tries to stop her, sorry that he never told her how significant she was. Meilin merely takes this as a reminder and walks off. LI tries to run after her, but Wei stops him. "Let her go. She's stronger than you think."
At the airport, Wei tells Meilin not to doubt herself. Li may have trouble spitting it out, but he does appreciate her friendship. Noticing him standing far away, Meilin calls him over to say goodbye. Li finally admits that yeah, it was fun to have her around, and she was really brave yesterday? "Really? Well, it's about time!" In her usual style, she forcefully reminds him that she could beat him in a kickboxing match any day even without magical powers. Then she switches moods to a sweet, "Well, see you later." Wei remarks that she sure was a little spitfire. But regardless of everything, she's Li's little spitfire.
A few days later, Madison and Sakura got letters from Meilin. Madison's said that she and Li worked everything out. Sakura tells Madison that Li told Meilin that even though she didn't come from a family with magical powers, she still has a role in the Clow destiny. After all, you never know who might be the one that makes the difference in the end. "You know, she really is a good friend." Yes. Yes she is.