JoAnne: It was probably not the best of days for me to watch the train episode, I think. It's another great episode, don't get me wrong. Bad timing, I guess.
dewaanifordrama: Sometimes I wonder whether humans will ever learn to live in peace. I love a good spy drama and these actors and characters make it so worth it, but right now I'm just feeling sadness that humans are so bloody violent.
Why do you feel pity for him?
I don't know if I feel pity for him, but he's a pawn wedged between all the powers. He's a scumbag though, so I guess I don't really feel pity for him. Ming Lou though is cold. Damn. He's so good at what he does.
He is a bit of a dummy. Of course he's scum. But not only. He is really nice to his wife and kid.
I become more and more concerned that I've backed a monster, though.
Well he can't exactly be a warm, fuzzy, nice guy with the jobs he has to do, right? Even the people we often revere in history were hardly the good guys we all like to think they are.
He could be James Bond.
Ah Cheng's faces he pulls. He's enjoying this way too much and I love it.
At first, I thought this was a clue to us that Ah Cheng was up to no good - he gave some dynamite to the mission, but then some dynamite went 'elsewhere.' Where? Did Ming Luo know about it? It became clear later, though.
Yeah, I was also thinking, noooooooooooo!!!! Don't become a bad guy Ah Cheng. Damn he looks fiiiiiine though. Those suits and ties. *dead*
So here's the thing. Ming Jing wanted to get a ticket to give to Li to get someone on the train... and Ming Lou said no, absolutely not. But here they are with a ticket, regardless. Explain it, writer!
Yeah, hopefully it's not just a plot loophole. Or maybe Ming Lou was just trying to get Ming Jing out of the whole business in case she got implicated or connected to the bombing?
Easier than that, ladies: This thing with the document came up very short-term. In addition, Ming Jing knows just one of his identities (that he is part of the Qinjing government) and nothing else. She is a liability after all, isn't she. And remember, almost nobody knows who Cobra is! He can't just give his sister tickets that then turn up in the hands of the Communists, that's too dangerous.
It's not that I don't like HER. I don't like the dynamic that they're creating. I am for Yu Man Li!
I'm fine with her but I am also #TeamYuManLi. She just has better chemistry with Ming Tai. Also, please can Hu Ge always wear blue - he looks sooooooo good in it!
I call bullshit. Every spy story always has them come up with a background for their character. How podunk is this operation? Ming Tai's got people pretending to know him and sign him into class! This side can't make up a life history?
Yeah, especially because they knew how heavily guarded the train was going to be. Not cool writer!
Again, I don't think this is at all the writer's fault ... I think it's deliberate. This was a last-minute thing and these people ("the Communists") are very noble and all but not half as well organized as the KMT at this point!
That dubbing into Japanese really annoyed me! You could tell it wasn't Hu Ge. Oh well. I'm silly to be annoyed by it.
Oh you charming Min Tai you! Looking so good. It also made me think of that scene in Disney's Hercules with the "Wanna buy a sundial?" line.
I fail to see the purpose of any of this, really. There is a person who knows what's going on. Why would they set this up to happen? I do not get it.
If this guy is one of the teams of "good guys", I think it is trying to demonstrate what the drama has mentioned several times - there are several groups opposing the Japanese occupation, but they are not well organized enough or on good enough terms to work together well (Exactly!). I think it's to show us that this was obviously a problem and caused a lot of issues and put a lot of agents in danger. A fractured resistance made up of too many warring entities is a boon to the Japanese.
Yes, these people have NO CLUE who these other people are!! Moustache probably thought Ming Tai was trouble and then confiscated that suitcase. Better safe than sorry!
The gloves make it seem like a comedy skit, somehow. (Yes, I'm trying to distract myself from the obvious next stage of this interlude because I do not want.)
They don't have any chemistry. It feels forced. #TeamYuManLi
You might say that this ship has sailed. I am not on it.
Neither am I Jo. Let's follow in Trot's footsteps and make some #TeamYuManLi banners ASAP.
Ah, well, in the scheme of things...she wants to get a document from someone. He wants to kill them. I'd say he offered up more than she did.
Okay, these groups need to do a little more coordinating people.
Five minutes he was playing it off like she didn't remember him. Now he's pretending to be her lover. This guy should have been suspicious.
Forced kisses = the writer forcing us to want this pairing. I still don't want it.
Yes, it looked forced ... so not pretending to be her long-time lover, but pretending to get close to this long-lost friend. Not suspicious.
Hello, Random Passenger who paid for a ticket on our train. Would you like to do some chores for us, too?
This storyline was a bit weird. And does it seem a bit odd that cooking was part of spy school? She doesn't know where she studied in Nagoya but she can cook the regional dish.
She slaps him. Hahahaha, I didn't see that one coming. But Ming Tai is a sensitive guy... he realizes that this is for what he did earlier. And that it means she has never been kissed before?! When he says that, she slaps him again. He can't believe it, but starts to apologize, too (he is so cute), realizing she is truly upset. She attempts to hit him again, at which he tells her that she can hit him, but please not his face.
I laughed when he complained that she only knows how to hit on one side.
That one side bit cracked me up to. Also - not the face! Haha. We don't want his beautiful face getting slapped either. And lady, if your first kiss has to be Hu Ge, well, that's not that bad then ;)
I guess he needs both sides to think he's serious about being anti-Japanese and it would be suspicious NOT to go after this target? I mean, I know (I think) he's anti-Japanese, but each spy group needs to think he is serious about THEM.
During the timer scene, all I could think was: Well, that's one way to time your cooking. Maybe this way it also ensures that Ming Tai won't die? But yes, Ming Lou is working for both sides so he has to make sure everyone thinks he's loyal to their group. Man, that guy must have a headache at the end of each day.
So she couldn't think of a school name, but she does just happen to know how to cook this special dish.
Haha. We were thinking the same thing. Also, is that officer suspicious of her, or does he now have the hots for the pretty woman from Nagoya?
I get it now. This is a team-building exercise!
Ah! That totally makes sense! Smart Ming Lou!
She should have checked first, though; it's a sale flyer for family portrait session at the local photography studio.
Hahahahahahahaha! They had better hope not.
This plan is really not going so well. I guess we've got to have something to ramp it up even more.
I was struck by the thought process that would have you run toward the man who is about to shoot at you - all down that long, narrow corridor, with no where to go but forward or back. It gave me the shivers.
Me too. This drama. Hu Ge did look fabulous running though.
This is the Tardis of trains - far bigger outside than in. Like you, I've never been on a train that was wide enough to accommodate being able to turn corners in hallways...
Haha. I was also like, man, these dimensions are all funky.
You can see them struggling with this - we have this popular notion of not leaving wounded to die at the hands of the enemy - but they really do have to go. How difficult, though, to leave him to his death. I think the chaos of this must have been doubly terrifying because they were left so much in the dark about each other. Ming Tai and this woman have no idea who is a friend or an enemy.
I think it highlights so well the real losses incurred in struggles against an enemy. There will always be people left behind, no matter how much we might try to avoid it.
I don't know how a person in this situation doesn't just hide, or stand there paralyzed and screaming in fear. I know both are useless, and they say that adrenaline and training kick in and you act without thinking, but still. May we never find out. I've always said that for my daughter, I could sacrifice myself willingly. I don't know if I could do it for anyone else, let alone a stranger.
I wish that Mr. Moustache had had more airtime. He seems like he would be a really great character. And maybe that's the point. War and all that it brings with it ends up sacrificing really great people. Death doesn't discriminate between the good and bad. And yeah, I don't know if I could die like that for a stranger. I hope I never have to find out.
Perhaps that's the wry in the smile - a successful mission, but a high price.
There was a part earlier in the episode where I could have sworn that Ming Lou and Ah Cheng were planning on making sure Ming Tai was going to be too late to get on the train, but I probably just read the subs wrong (you are right, there was something about those good from Lian and making sure Ming Tai wasn't close, I didn't get that either!). So at that wry smile, I was thinking: Ah Cheng doesn't know that Ming Tai was on the train. But I think I made a mistake. I also think that despite Ming Lou and Ah Cheng's misgivings about involving Ming Tai, he's a part of it and there's not much they can do about it now.
CommentsYeah, I might have started to cry a little. Watching this is much easier than describing this, I think: Writing about these killings really upset me. Yes, I know who the aggressors were in this war. And yet, every human life lost in a war is a tragedy. The series manages well to not portray the Japanese as monsters... in fact, in this episode, they give at least one of them (the "nice" soldier) humanity. He is excited about the food he is about to taste, because he probably is a little bit home sick. But in the line of duty, he attempts to kill - and is killed in the process. Just one of many human tragedies. He probably has a wife and kid at home.
The only thing that makes it possible for most humans to behave as they must in a war is to demonize the other side, but the truth is, it's a bunch of people mostly just like each other. They get scared and tired and hurt. They're hungry and cold, or they're hot and thirsty. They have people they love, who love them. They aren't monsters; they're just people. Regular, everyday, normal people.
And now I am going to cry. I hate war and its ugliness and the dehumanizing and demonizing of the other side. I want so much for people to sit down and be friends and to see that despite all our differences, we have far much more in common. Why is it that the power hungry are so intent on bringing more destruction?
This episode turns Mr. Moustache into a hero, however - and at this point, we do not even know his name. Remember those lessons Ming Tai received from Airplane Wang? About those countless people who will give their life for him? It's the reality of this brutal war, but for the first time, Ming Tai has to experience this first hand; and we with him. Even a victory can only be bitter sweet at best, we realize. It will not bring back the dead.
I think the cheering after a victory is not because one side or the other won - it's because they get to stop. We aren't meant for this. How can you celebrate when your brothers and sisters have died?
And yet humans continue to fight, violently, and with bloody, terrible, horrific wars. It reminds me of one of my favourite war poems by Thomas Hardy, "The Man He Killed".
And finally ... we all know what Ming Tai's chance encounter will lead to, right? First kiss? Well, I've seen enough KDrama to know what THAT means! The poor lady is already receiving quite a bit of hate on my T-list, but I like her. She's not entirely innocent but quite clearly in over her head. I hope they will get a chance to converse a bit more, without slapping next, maybe?
I don't dislike her personally. She seems fine. Dedicated, brave, probably likable. They reinforce her youth and inexperience to show us her vulnerability and humanity, of course. But I've given my heart to Yu Man Li, and she has given hers to Ming Tai - so this other woman can never be the one.
Ditto to everything Jo said. *off to make my #TeamYuManLi banners*
Hahaha, I'm not at all #TeamYuManLi. She is TROUBLE.