The Disguiser 伪装者 - Episode 11 (Recap)

Are my recaps getting longer and longer?! It sure feels like it!! JoAnne says that's a measure of my love for a show and I think she has a point, because I wouldn't mind spending all my days recapping this and NiF! Ahhhhhhhhhh! But how are we going to deal with all those BAD things our good guys do? Can we just pretend that taking revenge on a person who is to blame for your mother's death is, somehow, acceptable? Not by my moral compass. But morals are not something these characters have time for; it's a "kill or get killed" kind of world.
JoAnne: Neat dovetail of personal and professional there, Ming Tai... but another step down the road of corrupting your soul.
dewaanifordrama: I have about a million things to say about the ethics of this, but at the end of the day, I just don't know. Good people have done terrible things and have then gone on to live worthy and good lives. What are the ethics of fighting for freedom and justice, and when is too much, too much? 

Episode 11

After barely escaping with their lives, the two agents make their way through the forest to their respective rendez-vous points. He is helping her along (she hurt her foot) but she urges him to run. AH, but he says that their code makes him treat prisoners well, haha. They're totally flirting a little, right?! He also tells her that he knows about the Communists, seeing how he was in a leftist student group while in Paris. His sister is a bit strict on that political stuff, so he backed off, but he remains interested. He is just part of the KMT because he kinda got forced into it, he adds. Amiable chit chat, there, Ming Tai. It seems to me you're trying to get on her good side though! 
Do not like. Yes, I know Yu Man Li is trouble. That's the thing about love. I don't care. Besides, if this is what Ming Tai is attracted to... he's less like Yu Man Li than I thought.
Continues making #TeamYuManLi banners to distribute. The flirty banter is pretty funny: I was in a leftist student group. Haha. Oh Ming Tai. You're aborable. 
The news of the bombing has reached the government. Ming Lou's three phones are ringing non-stop. He pretends to have a giant headache while his assistants are sweating blood and tears. Man Chun rushes in, almost panicky. He starts to throw stuff at the assistants and then screams at them for their incompetence! This was an unassailable train! (yeah, suuuuuure). And they were completely blindsided! And where is Ah Cheng! What, at the customs?! How dare he!!!
I couldn't help but giggle.
Hahahahahahaha. Ming Lou is sooooooo good at the theatrics of playing his part. I love it! 
Well, from an intel point of view, this really is a massive fail. News about the calamity is only getting in slowly. How does Ming Lou even manage to look so shocked? With a shaking voice, he says the priority is to get all the names of the deceased and to calm down the Japanese anger. Man, the people in this room FEAR this guy, it's spectacular to behold.
He's doing such a good job of faking, too.
He is truly a treasure to behold. 
When his assistants have scurried away, he shows a much more vulnerable and worried side to Man Chun. He says this disaster is very bad news for him and Division 76 - he feels that his authority is eroding as they speak. It seems he must admit failure and bear the consequences, he adds, hanging his head. Also, they need to thoroughly investigate their intel network: the anti-Japanese have surely infiltrated their ranks! He orders her to find out how the rebels get their information and at the same time cautions her against rash action. Wow... he completely has her in his pocket. She tells him she will not be doing this for the new government: she is doing it for him.
The longer this scene went on, the farther open my mouth got. He is a BASTARD... I love him.
He IS a cobra!!! Charming, beguiling, beautiful, and DEADLY!!! 
She has actually come to tell him that she has identified two unidentified radio frequencies and their locations. She would have moved against them already, had not the train bombing prevented her. Okay, Ming Lou does NOT like to hear this, but he uses the opportunity to find out what she knows. Not über much, it seems, but she does plan to clamp down on them soon and gives away the location. He praises her as special and she expresses more support and, well, admiration for him. 
I know she's a crazy bitch but damn. This is hard to see, really.
You almost feel sorry for her. But he's soooooo mesmerizing. 
He moves closer and takes her hand --- he hates to see her do this kind of work and he hates how much it has already changed her, he says softly. She looks at him full of love ... she has waited so long for him. She is willing to do anything for him. Gaaaaaaaaaaaaah, this would be so sweet, if only ... yeah, let's keep watching. She doesn't even care if they were both kicked out of the new government; in fact, she would welcome it. Wouldn't it mean they could run away together and live in peace? And when she realizes that his arm hurts because of his sister (still?!) she starts cursing that woman again. He cautions her to be patient ... Ming Jing is not one to change quickly.
Oh, my God. Ming LOU, you are stunningly cruel. Suddenly, Airplane Wang looks like a nice guy.
I actually feel sorry for Man Chun. They're actually both cruel and crazy enough to be perfect for each other in another life. 
Just then, the list of the deceased is brought to him. He looks at the long list of the dead ... they got all of them. Not a single one remains alive. With his back to the two women in the room, and while thunder starts roaring outside, he allows himself a very short moment of quiet triumph and relief.
Gee, no word on whether your team(s) got out alive, Ming Lou. Remember? One is your brother? (I still love you. I just won't piss you off any time soon.)
Maybe, just a thought, he checked the list of names for one Obo Whatshisname, too?
I was also thinking that, that he was checking the list for Ming Tai's alias as well. Seriously though, my respect for Jin Dong as an actor just increases with each episode.   
In the forest, the two agents have finally reached their people. And thus, Ming Tai meets Uncle Li ... there's a short pause, as the two men appreciate each other. But they need to hurry away, because the place will be swarming with Japanese soon. Ming Tai turns and bids Miss Keiko farewell, expressing a wish to meet again soon. Man Li glares. As you should, gurl. As you should.
We hates her, that stranger woman. We hates her so much.
When I found out from our Chinese friend on Twitter, Karen, that the Chinese fans also preferred Man Li, there was this moment of human solidarity I felt. I was like, yeah! We love Man Li! Funny the things that bring human connection. 
In the aftermath, both the Communists and our KMT guys get praise for the success of their missions. Awww, it's Lin who has come to reward them (I miss Wang, by the way). Ming Tai gets promoted to Colonel and receives another medal (virtual, cause they can't really wear them right now, can they). The other two get promoted to Major (not that they did much, huh!). They look proud, our gang! Afterwards, Lin sends away the other two and only holds back Ming Tai. He has another mission for him! He needs to get "Cobra's" permission for anything he does first, though.
I like Airplane Wang. I can't help it. He does cruel things but only to make people strong enough for what they need to do. If you think about it, he's a better man than my Ming Lou.
I also miss Airplane Wang. I think everyone in this business ends up a bit twisted. It's the nature of the job.  
Speaking of which, when can he meet him? Ming Tai wants to know. Lin is like: "Dude, no". Cobra will decide when it's time to meet him and then, maybe, they will meet. Anyway, there are two people that Wasp wants targeted by Ming Tai, both in Division 76 .... Wang Man Chun and Liang Zhong Chun. They are "the real enemy". Well, it seems our golden boy already knew that, because he already has "a big gift" he wants to give to Man Chun.
Well, because he knows her from his own personal life. I guess from this, we are to assume that he's been thinking about it - and intends to use his newly gained position to take care of some personal business.
I was like, um, no way is Cobra going to meet you buddy. He knows full well how that will blow up in his face. Though I do kind of want Ming Lou, Ah Cheng, and Ming Tai to go and do spy stuff together. Like a boy's night out. They have such a fun dynamic. 
Lin takes extra pains to explain to Ming Tai once again that he has to play by the book: nothing is done without Cobra's explicit permission! He demands absolute obedience from his subordinates. And if Ming Tai does not get permission before he acts, he will be sent back to military school. Why do I get the feeling that Ming Tai does not give a sh** about what Lin says?!
Because Ming Tai belongs to the 'Better to ask for forgiveness than permission' school of thought?
I LOVE how they told Ming Tai like a million times: YOU HAVE TO GET PERMISSION FIRST! Hahahahahahaha. They know him well.
At the Ming Mansion, Cobra is getting ready to leave. But first, Ah Cheng is waved into the room and Ming Lou reveals that Man Chun has identified two broadcasting stations. Ah Cheng panics: theirs?! Ming Lou shakes his head ... Liang Zhong Chun's!!! Ahahahahahaha, seriously?! (see, this is why I feel a bit of pity for the guy. He is not very smart) And Man Chun believe it's the rebels! Ming Lou tells Ah Cheng to make that guy "hide his tail" - this is an opponent worth protecting for the moment, because he will most likely be useful to them later.
Liang is mostly comic relief, it's true.
And we need it. The drama has enough darkness and sadness. Oh Ah Cheng. He's so hot right now. 
Obedient like he is, Ah Cheng tips Liang off ...
And I stare at the gif and can't finish commenting...that jawline...that face...those lips...those hands...
...and Liang immediately goes to see Man Chun's new (and terrified) information officer, Miss Zhu. He reveals to her that the broadcasting station is his. Casually, he reminds her of how her predecessors died and calls Wang Man Chun a monster. At Division 76, he is the only one who can guarantee her safety. She shouldn't act stupidly! She does not - and hands him all the info she has gathered to date. He will move the station and she will have to deal with faking the report. Oh wow, Liang. This will come back to bite you in the ass, I am sure!!! And wow, Ming Lou ... smartly played.
Another way to screw with Man Chun... I cannot wait for this reveal, it will be insane.
Man Chun is going to go on a killing rampage and it will be a bloodbath. 
Ah Cheng tells Ming Lou that Ming Tai has submitted a "daring plan". Do they seem a little proud?! The big gift he is planning for Man Chun: to kill her "uncle" Wang Fu Qu on New Year. Ming Lou calls that guy a traitor who deserves to die. And this is why: He is the one responsible for Ming Father's death twenty years ago. He was after their fortune and sent people to kill him and Ming Jing ... it was him that sent that car that ended up killing little Ming Tai's mother.
And he had the nerve to stand there in that parlor and laugh at Ming Jing's threats and ask why they couldn't all be friends again? No wonder she went ballistic.
Crap. Okay, now I TOTALLY get why Ming Jing was so angry. Wow. Ming Tai lost his mother and father all because of the Wang's stupid plotting. Wow. And Wang Kai, can you please stop looking so damn gorgeous. Okay, wait, no please, be gorgeous. 
This, then: it's revenge. Personal revenge. Ah Cheng suggests that they could stop Ming Tai but Ming Lou shakes his head: If they do, the smart Ming Tai will realize that somebody up the ladder knows about his family background. It's a go ahead on the mission, then - with an added "be very careful". Yes, Ming Lou pauses to worry about his little bro once again: From here on out, Ming Tai will face death again and again by his command. He really hates Wasp for it! What brotherly relations they have: supervisor and subordinate.
I don't think I hate Wasp for it. His initial decision was made without any knowledge of the Ming connection, and he genuinely worked hard to prepare Ming Tai to survive in this world even after he knew about it. That he takes some pleasure in screwing with Ming Lou a little bit, I don't begrudge him. Initially, I assumed that if there was bad blood between Ming Lou and Airplane Wang, it was Wang's fault. Now, I'm not so sure.
It does seem a bit cold though to kidnap Ming Lou's baby brother and train him to be an assassin. Though of course I'm sure there will be backstory to that later. (And Kakashi, I want to hug you for all these gorgeous Ah Cheng screencaps). 
Ah Cheng adds that Ming Tai insists on meeting the Cobra. That makes them both smile, because it is SO Ming Tai ... who never liked to be controlled by others, since he was young. But of course, Cobra will NOT meet him.
Yeah. We'll see how long that lasts.
They are so proud that baby bro is all grown up and planning spy missions. It's actually really cute to see them enjoy that a bit. And I LOVE and ADORE this friendship. I've heard that there is tonnes of fan fiction with the these two. Haha. 

Ming Tai is at another tailor shop, where gorgeous little Man Li gets a new outfit. Ming Tai is boooooored. And nags about her showing her legs. Well, she's not jumping off any trains with this, she snaps back. Hm, is little missy still pissy? Seems so!! She wants to know why he held that other woman. Obviously because she was hurt, Ming Tai says, but Man Li says that's not important, important is how he LOOKED at her. And she thinks they'll get together sooner or later. Oh ... he really likes to hear that, doesn't he?! She means he will join the Communist party, she adds, and maybe she means it as an insult. When he has walked away to pay, she stops smiling and sighs. Silly girl. He ain't the one for you.
Nooooo, don't say it. I'm ignoring it.
Man Li, we love you. Silly Ming Tai. 
And then, I'm dying a little because we get to see the Ah Cheng-Ming Lou bromance over breakfast the next day. I love them so much. It's almost New Year's and Ming Tai says he won't come home for the celebrations.
Here, watch me imitate Dewaani: Look at that FACE! His hands...
I laughed so much I had to pause commenting. Sassy-cute Ah Cheng! I love it!
Also, Ming Jing signals Ming Lou with her eyes ... and after Ah Cheng has been sent away to ready the car, she tells her brother that Aunty Gui sent a letter. She wants to return. It seems that woman used to be the Ming family's housekeeper. We also learn that she is Ah Cheng's adopted mother and her return will cause Ah Cheng major distress. Ming Jing asks Ming Lou to convince Ah Cheng, but he dismisses that thought. That won't likely happen. Oh no.... don't make Ah Cheng sad :((((
Here it is, here's the thing. Dammit.
Argh. Don't hurt Ah Cheng!
And with that, it's the Chinese New Year's Eve, on February 7th, 1940. Ming Tai meets Guo Qi Yun at a restaurant. Guo says he received some order to collect some info, but Ming Tai wants to eat first. He starts rattling off all the goodies they have here, but Guo is checking his watch. He has an appointment with his girlfriend! But Ming Tai does care less than not at all, the meanie, and has the waitress bring them food.
Poor Guo. He's just this big, slow-ish guy - probably not really slow, but in comparison to Ming Tai he seems that way - and I feel like he's going to get used and abused a lot in this.
Haha. Oh Ming Tai. I love that even though this is a spy mission, he still has this rich boy swagger that he likes to bring out. Poor Guo indeed. 
Guo can't eat with a fork - and Ming Tai is just enjoying this A LOT. He also likes to put the guy in his place by saying: "This is not military school. You are not my instructor - but my vice officer". Guo, politely, replies that this is not the kind of place they should be hanging out at: there's too many enemies here. And Ming Tai is far too flashy with his nice clothes and everything. Oh, but this is exactly the place they need to go to battle the enemy, Ming Tai replies - and he is dressed like people are dressed here. And if somebody should recognize him here? Very bad luck for that person.
The steak made me giggle. I wonder - would a fork be as hard to get the hang of as chopsticks are for a Westerner? It seems easier, but then again, I'm not really the right person to say, I guess.
Poor poor Guo. That was also some bare bones steak that. I guess wartime and all. 
At the entrance, Man Li appears, looking stunning. She starts to powder her face in front of three guards, who start salivating rivers. Inside, Ming Tai hands Guo "a gift". he opens the lid and sees a gun (Femme Nikita reference! Or not, but that's my favorite show of all times, so any gun given in a restaurant will remind me of it). "The three men behind you are your target for today", Ming Tai says. He has seven bullets. That should be enough - but save one for yourself, in case you don't make it out. Man, Ming Tai ... you are cold. This guy really wanted to have a good time with his girlfriend tonight.
What the hell? Why couldn't he have been included in the planning of this? Or not really the planning, maybe, but at least have been INFORMED with more notice than 3 minutes?
I'm pretty sure because Ming Tai is a BASTARD if he wants to be one. Probably because he was brought up by Ming Lou
Poor, poor Guo. I am sounding like a broken record. Man Li though, that minx. I LOVE her! That little lip pucker. If I were a man: *dead*.
Three minutes, he tells Guo and gets up. Outside, Man Li has approached the security guards and asks whether Mr. Lin, her dinner date, is in the room. They think not and she walks away from them ... but now, Ming Tai (= Mr. Lin) turns a corner and enthusiastically greets her. He puts her arm around her waist, they turn ... and both pull weapons out of his clothes. AWESOME. Well, not for the guards, cause they are dead now. Guo takes care of the three guards inside.
That was pretty freaking cool. They should be a COUPLE. Forget the girl on the train! Love Psycho Kitten, Ming Tai!
*Watches gif for hours* Also, I love that Jo calls her Psycho Kitten because it's puurrrfect!!!
There are many more guards, but they shoot them all - and finally, they are inside the private room where their target cowers. "A Happy New Year, Mr. Wang", Ming Tai says. "Ming Tai?!" the old man stammers. "Yes, I am Ming Tai", the world's most handsome spy answers - and kills him.
He's certainly changed from the guy who got the shakes in the hotel room, hasn't he.
Deadly. Handsome. Deadly handsome. 
Cut to Wang Man Chun, torturing someone again by shooting at him (Japanese military police, who made a mistake) - or rather, by just missing. Suddenly, Ming Lou's voice booms across the empty courtyard. He has come to visit her, he says, to take her out for New Year's Eve.
She is absolutely feral, isn't she?
I know she has emotions because she seems to love Ming Lou, but boy, I do wonder a bit if she's a sociopath. 
She is so happy!!! She tells him she will change her clothes (seeing how she is still in uniform) and he says he will wait gladly. She pushes him out and he teases her: afraid he will look? She is all smiles and clearly giddy in love. Outside, his smiling face changes into a cold, calculating one. He knows what just went down in that restaurant. 
So Ming Tai carries out the revenge, and Ming Lou positions himself to enjoy the aftermath. I'm starting to think he and Man Chun are made for each other.
Yes, yes, I think they are. 


Oh boy. Ming Lou, I did not know you were THAT calculating. What's the deal here, he is playing her 100%? Or does he have some feelings left? We do not (yet) know when they started their dalliance back in the day, but if father Ming has been dead these twenty years, then it is likely it was afterwards. And that means he never cared for her at all, probably? Maybe a person with that many identities ceases to exist as a person altogether ... maybe nothing about him is real anymore. I am not sure he has a limit. And that is very scary.
I think he is probably the worst person out of everyone we have met so far, Kakashi. I think I no longer love Ming Lou, although I do love the actor even more than ever.
Oh Ming Lou. Yeah. He is dangerous. Really dangerous. 

We are getting backstory for Ah Cheng and I am looking forward to that a lot, because I cannot quite shake that feeling of unease I've been having since the beginning. Yes, he clearly very much likes the Ming family, but how much does he know about Ming Lou?! And does he have a limit? He is the foster son of the Ming's former housekeeper (that, JoAnne, explains why he is treated differently than Ming Tai), but is he happy? He does not seem overly happy. He seems ready to explode, as you guys pointed out not too long ago.
Yep, ticking time bomb, about to go off. I hope it doesn't go too badly. I do like Ah Cheng. And here's the thing: he was the adopted son of the housekeeper. When they took him in, there was nothing saying they couldn't treat him just as well as they treated Ming Tai, once they took HIM in. They profess fondness, but the reality is they do view him as a servant, and by choice. They didn't have to take him in, but once they did - they didn't have to treat him like a service dog, either.
Yeah, I do not see this going well. We what a tightly coiled spring of anger and violence he was when he beat the cop up who arrested Ming Jing. He's lethal and if his anger is directed at anyone, I doubt they would survive. 

As for Ming Tai ..... oh my poor boy. He now kills without blinking, and that shows how far he has come in such a short time. It's still not right. The little sunshine should indeed not be in this. But of course, he is only going to be drawn in even deeper. Man Li may be very jealous, but she also said something that seems like a foreboding... that woman that Min Tai seems to find very fascinating, she is trouble for him. Unless he becomes a Communist.
We haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaates her. So much. Go away, Train Woman! Go away!
Man, that women is going to mess things up even more. Argh! 

As for him falling in love with another woman than Man Li: guys, I told you so back then! Well, at that point, I had already seen this episode, and I knew that Ming Tai telling Wang that he did not love Man Li was the truth. He does not and he never did. She is his life and death partner and he would go to hell and back for her, but romance? It's as far from his mind as forks are from Guo's.
I don't CARE. I want Man Li to have something she wants, for a change.
Me too! I am in denial! Man Li! We love you!
It's not that I don't like her.... I do, I do very much! But I think she would be very bad for Ming Tai. And you cannot be a spy couple who is in love. Everybody knows that, it's basically spy 101.
Fine *pouts*, I'm still going to be making some more #TeamManLi banners #denial ;P