27 November 2015


The Disguiser 伪装者 - Episode 15 (Recap)

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on November 27, 2015
There's a lot of lovely bromance and sibmance in this episode - and so much smoooooooth Ah Cheng and Ming Tai action, I had to laugh several times. They're like these boys, enjoying their spy games so much! We also get quite a bit of Uncle Li and I must say, I approve. Well, of the actor, mainly, the patriotic stuff... a bit less.
JoAnne: Yes, as actors, as humans, I love all of them. So. Much. Talent. Such chemistry between them all! Well, between most of them. I'm looking at you, TrainWreck. And yes, even her. I mean, she's fine, I just...she's not Psycho Kitten. That's not her fault, she's probably a very decent person. Look at her, studying medicine, devoted to her country, probably a filial child, on and on. She's a casualty of timing. I don't hate her, I'm not 'against' her. I'm for Man Li, that's all. The complaining is mostly just because it felt good to whine!
Eleanor (aka dewaanifordrama): I have a problem. I want to finish watching the drama, but I also want to just revel in watching them all be awesome and adorable and funny and just plain marvelous together. These characters are just so lovely. Can we spend forever with them? And I was also just being silly about complaining about the other woman. I just love Man Li is all and so I'm on her side. 

Episode 15

Lovingly, Ming Lou puts his coat around Manchun's shoulders and sits her down on a bench. She tells him that Section Chief Nantian came to see her the day her uncle got killed - to give her a task he will not like (going after Ming Jing). He knows all about it (of course) and tells her to go about it - but also be smart. The situation right now is completely unpredictable. If she puts her loyalty on the wrong boat, she will sink with it. Once again, he implores her to quit. Stop killing.
I don't think he hates her, really. She didn't kill his parents, and she'd have been a child when it happened. But he's not in love with her, and he'll never marry her, and she means so little to him that he can use her this cruelly, knowing how much it would hurt. But he can at least feel some guilt about that, and it comes out as this expression of protectiveness or pity.  
I can totally seeing him feeling like she's another one of his countrymen to take care of - having a bond with her because of some history, but also wanting her to be on her country's side and not to work for the Japanese because if he reaches his goal, she will suffer much more in the long run. But yes, he will use her if he has to. 
Oh, but she does not like to hear that! While he was gone for so many years, she did what she had to do, all alone - and now that he's back, he wants to discard her again? He tells her that indeed, he cannot give her what she wants (=loveydovey) because of their families. But he has always treated her the same.
It could just be that he's flirtatious with all women. Remember the blonde with the rose?
Ooh yes. Perhaps it was more a one-sided love affair on her side? And he sort of indulged it a bit? Dang he looks good here. Like really good. 
His words don't exactly have a calming effect on her! She thinks he is condescending - and she expresses some suspicion that he might just be trying to use her. Is he trying to drive her away, for his family's safety sake? Is he afraid she might become desperate and take revenge? "Would you?" he asks, with a flat, emotionless voice. She walks away from him, fighting for composure.
I do feel bad for her in this situation. Whatever she's become, she was a girl with the bad luck to fall for the one man in the world she could never have, and she had to have been so young at the time that she couldn't have known what was going on.
And she's also right because he is using her. It's a messy, sticky, unpleasant situation. 

A new mission comes in: "Intercept the Japanese deployment plan for War Zone 3 asap". Ming Lou and Ah Cheng worry: they only have week to plan, that's too tight! But they have no choice, even though they're not sure their in-town agents can do it. Ming Lou tells Ah Cheng to help them. Oh yes! I like that!
Ooooh, spy stuff together?
Please! Please! Please! I want that so much! Ah Cheng, why do you have to distract me so?! ❤
Our photoshop-agents are currently puzzling over where the documents they were told to get could be hidden? Ming Tai notices that they are all marked as "copied by the Japanese Consulate". Which means: there are doubles there! In a safe. But which safe? Guo thinks they'll never find out, but Ming Tai smiles and says there's someone he can ask...
I'm telling myself he only kissed her because at some point he could use her, and this is my proof.
Haha. He does have a rather lovely smirk that man. And I LOVE that they dress him so much in blue.
Cut to the Communists and Mrs. Su is telling Uncle Li that all the documents Jin Yun photographed tell them is the code to the safe. What, they have the same mission again?! Uncle Li is sure that Cobra will help them - it seems they had contact. But they haven't met yet, which Uncle Li interprets as a sign of his difficult identity.
You know what just occurred to me? Don't you think Ming Lou and Ah Cheng would have looked into Uncle Li's background? And what would they have discovered when they did that? Exactly. Ming Tai.
No! I don't want them to know that Uncle Li is Ming Tai's dad. That will make me like Ming Lou and Ah Cheng less. And I don't want to do that :(

Min Tai gets ready to go out and Guo is: but you're not going to ask those Communists, are you??! Of course he is!!!! Hormones, hormones! Hey, but Man Li is supporting Ming Tai in this, she thinks they have valuable intel they themselves do not possess. Ming Tai murmurs something about why "she" didn't tell him about it, which makes Man Li sad. 
It's one thing not to like the girl I want you to like, Ming Tai. It's entirely another to keep rubbing her nose in it. Don't piss me off.
Ming Tai, just because a girl likes you, doesn't mean she's going to tell you all her secrets when you've barely met a handful of times. Plus you're spies on teams that don't exactly get along. His crush is inhibiting the frontal cortex logic processing there a bit. 
He meets with Uncle Li in the French Park - wearing a leather coat I very much want. He returns the ring, Uncle Li thanks him for the rescue mission. Ming Tai wants "what is his", but when Uncle Li hands him half of the gold they stole from the hotel room, he is quite displeased. He wants the code to the safe, nothing more and nothing less.
And how does he figure that belongs to him?
As I said, Ming Tai's logic game is a tad weak here. And yes! Kakashi! I totally want that coat too. 
Come on, Uncle Li, do you really think your people can get into the Consulate and steal those documents?! Ming Tai offers a joint mission. Uncle Li will consider it, but he won't share the code. Time of the mission: Sunday evening, 7 pm, during a feast at the Consulate. Great, says Ming Tai, he loves parties! And by the way, will "Miss Huizi" be there?
Uncle Li's people suck *coughTrainWreckcough* so no, they can't do this on their own. And since his people in the field apparently consist entirely of one really incompetent woman, yes, she'll be there.
LOL. All I was thinking was, man, those two look so awkward together. And then I got really sad because neither of them knows that they are father and son T_____T It's so sad! They totally have a bit of a father-son moment here though. Sort of. 
Hmmm, Uncle Li takes notice of Ming Tai's great interest in his female agent. He asks the young man whether he is married; "not yet", our brat answers, "but I will be soon". (I'm making ugly faces at you, Ming Tai.) He then tells Uncle Li to NOT make her join the mission. Awww, sweet pumpkin is worried... Uncle Li tries some "they are all well prepared when they go in and know what they face" on him, but Ming Tai just says: "Like Dong Yan?" (that's the guy who died for him on the train). Now Uncle Li knows that Jin Yun told you, you idiot! I really like Uncle Li's (Guo Xiao Feng's) face, by the way.
I do, too.  He has nice features and I like his smile lines. And the expression in his eyes, and the bit of silver in his hair. And his nose. And his forehead. And the clothes he wears.
I also like him. Ming Tai is such a brat. He really left his logic skills at home today. Does he want to get his crush in trouble? Way to go Ming Tai. 
Anybody in Dong Yan's position would have done the same, says Uncle Li, likes it's the most normal thing in the world. That's why he admires them, says Ming Tai - but don't get the wrong idea, he does not want to join them. Cue short recruitment talk by Daddy, but Ming Tai is not yet ready. What he is doing right now, aka talking to a Communist, is already super dangerous for him. Defection? That would quasi be a death sentence. Uncle Li offers some more wisdom about trust between people (I like him more and more! Ming Tai, defect!!)
Let's get Airplane Wang and Uncle Li in the same room and let them philosophize at each other.
Now if we could get Airplane Wang and Uncle Li on the same team, the opposition might get somewhere. I guess that's sort of what Ming Lou is trying to accomplish by playing on everyone's team. 
Ah Cheng has found a letter of Manchun's late uncle and it reveals that the old man did not trust Ming Lou one bit, but wanted a Japanese economist in Ming Lou's position. Also, he wanted to find out Ming Lou's true identity because he was afraid of him (being a Ming and all).
Why would they need a letter for any of that? Wouldn't it be obvious?
I think they already knew it, but now they know that there was official correspondence/investigation happening, so they know to be extra careful with whomever Manchun's uncle was corresponding with. 
I was a bit puzzled about the reason for this scene and even considered leaving it out completely. But I do like Eleanor's explanation: they might not have know the level of suspicion, or the paper trail behind it.

A relative of the Ming's comes to greet them for New Year (it seems he is the one in charge of the perfume manufacturing). Well, that's just pretext, he is very upset about something and wants to talk to Ming Lou immediately - and alone. So it seems that some Japanese "hag" wants in on the perfume business. Blasphemy! If Ming Lou does not help him (given the position he currently has), he will come by every day and "cry into his face". Ahahahahahaaaaaa.
Did you see how rude he was to Ah Cheng?
That made me so mad that he was rude to Ah Cheng! Ugh! Stupid man. Go cry in your perfume. 
Ming Lou advises him to invite a singer as sales representative - a pro-Japanese singer with ties to the military. So, if anybody will give him trouble again, he will certainly have made friends through this action that will help him. Hmmmmm .... what's Ming Lou planning?
Cannot wait to find out!
Me neither! Ah I love Ming Lou! Don't worry Jo, I'm just appreciating your man from afar.
VEST. Shirt sleeves. Cannot English.

When next Uncle Li sees his female agent, he wants her to answer some questions, like: what has she been up to lately? How many time has she met that enemy agent? What did they talk about? He is quite angry, actually, and wants to hear all the details. So she tells him. He gets even angrier (well, the kiss is a bit of a surprise to him), especially because she didn't think this was report-worthy. And he scolds her for not being careful about secrecy. Wow, he even wants to send her away because she is "not at all suited for intelligence work".
Hello, welcome to the rest of the world, Uncle Li.
Hahahahahaha. She was also not dressed very flatteringly in this scene. It's like the make-up and wardrobe team also love Man Li more. Haha. She always looks fabulous. Now that I say that, hmmmm, maybe I'm onto something here...
But when she says that Ming Tai seems to like her (at the same time refusing to answer the question whether she likes him back), Uncle Li reconsiders and tells her to spy on Ming Tai whenever she gets the chance. Also, work towards his defection. Hmmm, clever Uncle Li.
It would be clever if he knew that she wasn't interested. Since she is interested and he probably realizes that, it's not really that good of an idea. Unless he figures he'll kick her out once he gets Ming Tai, because she's NO loss, believe me.
Haha. Yeah, that could easily backfire and she could defect if she likes him (which she does). I mean I can't blame her for liking Ming Tai, he is rather irresistible. 

Ming Lou and Ming Tai play badminton in the garden and then get called over to a small table in the grass by Ming Jing, for refreshments. Ah Cheng brings Big Bro a document and Ming Tai watches it all with great interest. He then follows Ah Cheng and tries to tease information out of him once again. What's Ming Lou's true game? What he sees now is the truth, says Ah Cheng.
Well, it's not a lie.
Oh Ming Tai. Oh Ah Cheng. I love how well Ah Cheng deflects but also reveals truth if Ming Tai is smart enough on the uptake. I do like Ah Cheng. 
Come on, Ming Tai.... what do you expect? Why would Ah Cheng, who is so super close with your older brother, tell you secrets things about him?
Skilled at collecting intel, Ming Tai is not. This show should be called 'The Disguiser, or 'Ming Tai, the Half-Assed Spy'
LOL for reals. Ah Cheng is so cute and funny with him though. So indulgent. Ming Tai thinks he's not being obvious at all. Haha. 
But what is this?! Knowing all the Mings are in the garden, Aunty Gui is opening locked boxes with her hairpin and ... uncovers that key Ah Cheng gave Ming Lou; the one to Ming Jing's safety deposit box! Noooooooo......
I KNEW she was bad! Ugh! This is probably going to sound crazy, but I think Aunty Gui is Lone Wolf (I haven't seen past episode 15, so this is just my crazy guessing). Forgive me. But even if she isn't, she's one of the baddies I think. 

Ming Jing is worrying a bit about their family baby: ever since he's back, he's been observing them, puzzled by the fact that Ming Jing would accept Ming Lou's new position so easily. They talk about him and what to do... talk to him? Ah Cheng tells him stuff like "things are not that clear right now" (meaning the political situation) and "family is what stays forever", professions are just ways to make money (hint, hint).
Listen: you gotta make hay while the sun shines, right? Ming Lou's gotta do what a man's gotta do. Don't sweat it, Ming Tai. Ah Cheng's got you. It's cool. You go do you, and Ming Lou will do Ming Lou.
Ming Tai, LISTEN to Ah Cheng. FAMILY stays forever. Ah Cheng just pretty much spelled it out there for you. Listen well Ming Tai. 
But Ming Tai knows one exception: serving the country. That's not a profession, but a conviction, Ah Cheng answers. Thanks for the lesson in patriotism, boys!
And now, please stop talking about it, says Ah Cheng.
Thank you, Ah Cheng.
Yes, thank you. Now let's hope that Ming Tai understands. 
When Ming Tai rejoins bro and sis at the table, they start talking about a pharmacy chain that Ming Jing has just acquired - Ming Lou thinks it's too risky, but she says she has her methods. Ming Tai's ears seem to grow as we watch. Suddenly, Ming Jing realizes that Aunty Gui has been gone for quite a while. 5 minutes, to be exact, says Ming Tai. Haha, little one, hide your skills, you dummy. Normal people don't time housekeeper's absences.
I giggled. Everybody had that 'ooops' face.
LOL Ming Tai, Ming Tai. Silly cute spy. Good thing your Big Bro is Cobra and knows who you are. 
Later, they're inside, haggling over a new shirt that Ming Tai wants (but the others can't buy as well, because he wants it exclusively). And then, Ming Tai pops the question. What would Big Sis do if he stopped going to uni? "She'll break your leg", Ming Lou answers... Okay, that settles it! Ah Cheng thinks it's time to make a move and go to the Marine Club. Ming Tai wants to go too! He has read about it, it's TONS of fun!!! Yeah, Ah Cheng and Ming Lou obviously planned this ... it's exactly where he has to go to be able to do that mission later.
So smooth, you two. I wonder if Ming Tai ever figures out what all this stuff is, later on down the road? He can have a proper toddler tantrum and stamp his feet and insist 'I do it myself!'
Ah Cheng is already thinking "now I have to baby sit him" JK. I love how suspicious Ming Tai is that his brother is a bad guy but doesn't think twice about how "conveniently" he's being taken along. Also, is there something in the water at this house that everyone's a spy? 
Right when they're about to go in, Ah Cheng spots Mrs. Liang, who is coming out. He tells her he wanted to come by her house to express his condolences... such a tragedy, about her brother ... brother? What brother? She has no brother! Oh, so very sorry, says Ah Cheng, he heard how Tong Hu called her husband "brother-in-law", so he thought....  no, you don't say, the ex-secretary of your husband was called Tong?! You BASTARD, Ah Cheng. Ahahahaha. Ming Tai is impressed too.
I really just assumed it was an accident on his part at first. I need to make my default position 'these guys are sneaky.'
Haha. That was so funny. Well, mean, but Ah Cheng is so good. 
They go in and Ah Cheng instructs Ming Tai to not randomly talk to people. This club is like a 2nd Japanese Consulate, even the architecture is the same (ah, that gets Ming Tai's attention!), and most people here are government employees. And by the way, he is going to talk to Chen Bing, the guy in charge of the Military Supplies Division :D Oh man, that's almost too smooth.
What lengths will they go to? Helpfully written notes with arrows saying 'files are here'?
'Turn to the right, here... no, your other right!!' 
At this point I want to slap Ming Tai upside the head with a "SEE they're helping you you idiot! Stop questioning them about whether or not they're traitors to the country". I was chatting on Twitter with Moonlil, and she told me that Wang Kai updated his Weibo yesterday about filming all day down a coal mine in minus 20 degree Celsius weather. The man is hard core. 
In the backroom, Ah Cheng receives money. Then, Chen Bing talks about their misfortunes (robbery, killings), and mentions that he has seen "that woman's" face. He'll definitely recognize her again! He can even do a phantom painting! Oups. Quickly, Ah Cheng offers to organize such a painter.
Wanted: One portraitist. No experience needed.
Wang Kai really has lovely eyebrows. 
As soon as Ah Cheng is gone, Ming Tai gets up to check everything out. He mingles here and there, picks up some wine, looks juicy as hell, and then identifies a weak link: a poor, mistreated secretary. He poses as Japanese military ... and invites her to the celebration party the Consulate is holding. Smoooooooth.
I already like her more than TrainWreck.
Haha. Oh Ming Tai. You are adorable. 


Ahahahaaaa, loved the scenes in the Marine Club. Only, it's SO OBVIOUS that Ah Cheng took him there deliberately, Ming Tai should be a bit more suspicious of his exceedingly good luck!
Why on EARTH would you do something as stupid as model your club after the consulate in every way? This is like... Spy 101 #1 on the Top Ten Do Not Do Lists.
Yeah Ming Tai is a bit slow on the uptake here, which seems strange considering he's so bright otherwise. 

Also, Jin Yun has been exposed! well done... NOT. She really sucks as a spy. Just marry her already, Ming Tai, and make her stay at home. Oups, did I just say that? *feminists turn in their graves*.
*pelts you with rotten tomatoes* 
Noooooo!!! She needs to get reassigned so that Ming Tai can't ever find her again. 

I did like the Ming Tai - Uncle Li interactions, not for the Communist stuff (yes, we get it: they're morally superior and all the good guys simply must work for them), but for the obvious chemistry between them. We all know why they would have it, but they don't. Please let them have some quality time with each other before you kill the one or the other, show! 
I hope TrainWreck doesn't get Uncle Li killed. Although...if Ming Tai already knew that Uncle Li was Papa Li, maybe that would turn him off her. Now I'm torn.
I will be very sad if Uncle Li dies just as Ming Tai finds out. That would suck. Man, what is going to be the body count once this show is done? 

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