28 November 2015


The Disguiser 伪装者 - Episode 16 (Recap)

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on November 28, 2015
Ohhhhhh, this episode... we learn that Hu Ge can dance, that this show is a tease (why so many extremely cute Man Li - Ming Tai scenes?!) and that in addition, it wants to make us afraid for all our main character.... it works. Please don't let any of them die. Please. Death seems to be hanging more closely over everybody's head again.
JoAnne: Man, I loved this episode! Annnnnnd I hated this episode! So much happening...and none of it looks any good for our guys, does it?
Eleanor (aka dewaanifordrama): Man Li & Ming Tai, why do you have to be so dang cute!!! Is this all another calm before the storm? 

Episode 16

So, our Ming Tai is romancing the secretary, posing as a low-ranked officer who is not quite sure whether he'll actually get an invite to that cocktail party he would so like to take her... And BAM, he has her promise to leave an invite for him at the entrance to the Embassy. She leaves because of work, he looks after her quite satisfied, Ah Cheng turns up and says "I told you not to randomly chat up women". Ming Tai: "It was not random. I carefully selected her."
Well I'm not sure how carefully selected someone is based on all of two minutes observation, but whatever, Mr. Ming Tai, HAS*
*Half-Assed Spy
You can just see the wheels in Ah Cheng's head: "Airplane Wang, did you really have to make Ming Tai a spy?"
Ah Cheng has a membership card for the Young Master. For payment, Ah Cheng wants Ming Tai to not tell Big Bro and not cause trouble. The Bromance is strong in these two!! Ah Cheng also informs Ming Tai about the phantom picture he is to get drawn ... though he is far too busy to really push this along. Hmmm... but what will Ming Tai do about it?
They looked so cute here, didn't they? Ming Tai's getting played like a fiddle - I bet he'll be irritated when he finds out.
Hahahahahahaha. It's so entertaining to watch him get played. I bet though this will make him mad as a snake, oh wait, that's his brother. Mad as a scorpion then? I just realized that the idiom "mad as a snake" is one that I don't believe Americans use...so translation: really angry. 
Ah, luckily, their next target is opium and women-addicted Cheng Bing. Killing him will solve a few problems, including the phantom image. So Ming Tai takes the biggest gun that he can find and they decide to use Man Li as a honey pot. And then, they dance to Cuban music. Okay, this show is a mean tease! >.< I don't want them to be that cute together if they going for the talentless Communist! What is this, one of the Reply series?!
Ha! At least there's no danger of getting Chilbongie'd here - NO ONE likes TrainWreck.
Why so cute Man-Tai. Or should it be Ming-Li? So cute!!!

And they also dance inside "an establishment". Man Li is radiant. Of course, Cheng Bing spots her from miles away, undressing her with his eyes. When the two leave the dance floor, he makes his move. He has Ming Tai dragged away and then pays Man Li a nice sum of money for her services. Covering the rest of the night, at least. There's a tense little moment when they want to conduct a body search on her, but she refuses - insisting he, Cheng Bing, do it himself. Ming Tai watches from the side ... is he worried?
I'd have been - she has to play it exactly right, and of course with her excellent skills, she does. Unlike some people who would have screwed it up and needed rescuing. *coughTrainWreckcough*
When I see Man Li so radiantly happy to be with Ming Tai, I worry. So much. Worry for him. For her. For all the fallout that's going to come. It hurts. They're just so lovely together. 
At the Liang house, all hell is loose. Mrs. Liang has confronted Mr. Liang about his affair with the ex-secretary. Ah Cheng just happens to come along to deliver a document ... with their son in tow. Oh no, has he hit his wife?! Mrs. Liang scurries away to the kitchen and Ah Cheng scolds him for his action. Damn, and the weasely backboneless rat is actually very sorry to have ruined his own home. Should have left your dick inside your trousers outside the house.  
Yes. Here's the helpful rule, Liang: Inside? Out! Outside? In! It's catchy, no? Easy to remember.
Ugh! That is a very helpful saying Jo. I doubt that the scumbag will remember it. 
I'm not sure I can ever eat some sushi again the way I used to... 
And would you believe it, he asks for Ah Cheng's help in this matter! What an idiot. Ah Cheng's advice: he has to choose between the two. If he goes for his wife, Ah Cheng will "make the other woman disappear". Hahaha, Liang does not want that!! Okay, if he goes for the mistress, he will make his wife .... Liang screams no again, but Ah Cheng just wanted to say "go back to his home town". Hahahahahahaaaaaaa, seriously. Liang is very happy.
Ah Cheng. You are so damn good at being a spy. I heart you. 
Yikes, Man Li is now alone with this horrible man, dancing sexily for him (fully clothed, thankfully) to this song. All I could think of was: God, I hope she kills him soon.
That was quite a sexy little dance my Psycho Kitten put on.
She has a killer smile. #girlcrush
Ming Tai is waiting outside, sipping some wine, when a prostitute chats him up. He is going with it when suddenly .... Manchun appears!!!! WTF is she doing here?! Well, too late, she has seen you, Ming Tai. He switches back into baby-mode within seconds, pretending to be afraid she'll tell his brother ... and then, Man Li appears. She immediately realizes that this must be someone that knows Ming Tai and poses as his "date". Manchun scolds him for going to such a place of disrepute. Min Li: "And what are you doing here? Looking for your husband?" Ohmygodyoucrazypsychokitten.
I loved that. She was ALLLLLL over that.
And this is why I adore Man Li. She is fabulous!
Ming Tai tells her to be more respectful to his future sister-in-law, which makes Man Li go: "Sister-in-laaaaaw". Manchun tells him off for calling her that, but Ming Tai, the sly little fox, says he ships the two together - and he has seen many photos of her in his brother's room. You liar. She freezes for a second and he takes that opportunity to make a quick exit. Manchun is such a tragic figure...
Oh man, her face. First when he called her sister-in-law, then when he said he supported them, and then the pictures? She couldn't have been more happy. I really feel sorry for her.
Yes, I do feel sorry for. She is a very pitiable and tragic character. I can't hate her. Though I'm super nervous about the havoc she is potentially going to cause for the Mings. 
Wait, why is it day all of a sudden? Ming Tai and Psycho Kitten are in the car together, discussing some Japanese arms depot, which eventually has to be blown up. The disgusting man is dead - and because he died in a brothel, news of his death won't get out easily. The blowing up is a problem, cause they're too small a unit, so Ming Tai suggests to give the info to the Communists, who have an army unit near there. Man Li thinks he wants to impress his Communist woman (awwww), but he just wants to thing blown up by whoever can do it best.
And if it happens to curry him favor with his Communist, all to the good, of course. You wouldn't even think of them if it weren't for your interest in her, Ming Tai, so give it a rest.
Maybe they stayed up super late at the brother and now it's morning? Editing mistake? 
Ah Cheng has talked to Mrs. Liang and reports that she has quieted down - Liang is super grateful. He is less grateful that Nantian now wants in on the taxes from the smuggled goods - because Wang Man Chun told her all about those activities. This is a great way for Nantian to earn a bit of pocket money without getting in trouble with the Japanese port authorities.
None of that really happened, though, right? This is all Ah Cheng and (we hope) Ming Lou? It sounds like Ming Lou's instructions from above are simply 'Go to Shanghai and fuck with all their heads. If you can teach that new guy some tricks while you're at it, that'd be awesome.'
Wait, I do think this is real! Ah Cheng is playing both sides, planting mean little bombs for everybody. Man Chun did NOT tell her, he did
I am so glad that I'm on the Ming's side. Seriously. They are wickedly smart and know how to use people well. Liang isn't totally stupid though. Maybe the can use him to their advantage. 
Liang is very angry at the two women, but he also has a brain, which works. He confronts Ah Cheng about passing on information to Nantian as well ... oh wait, is he thinking to use Ah Cheng against the Japanese woman?! Ahahahaaaaaaa, yes, Ah Cheng! Another identity for you! Liang then tries to tease out who Ah Cheng really is loyal to (guessing the KMT) - and Ah Cheng counters that he thinks Liang is working for the Communists.
At this point, I've lost sight of loyalties. I think right now Ah Cheng IS in his 'with the Japanese-favoring part of KMT' and Liang is just in suck-up mode with the Japanese and not loyal to any political party? Wouldn't it be hilarious if Liang was actually Lone Wolf?
Liang is just fishing. He does not know anything, really. 
Forget Blue and White Porcelain Celadon Porcelain (thank you Joyce & moonlil), Ah Cheng's code name should be called Killer Chameleon. Also, how can a man be so beautiful and sexy and gorgeous all at once?!
Liang is no match for Ah Cheng, who does not give away anything. Before he leaves, Liang proclaims that he will definitely make him his friend. And to prove that... he has some info for him. And he whispers something into Ah Cheng's ear... about Lone Wolf. It seems as if Liang does not know WHO Lone Wolf is, but he knows s/he exists. The person always works alone and is Nantian's best asset, now helping Manchun. Liang also knows that she posed successfully as a Communist. Not good. Not good. Before leaving, Ah Cheng promises Liang that with him, he will always be on the winning side.
Sharing this news doesn't actually make it less likely that he's Lone Wolf, you realize.
It's good though that they know he/she has infiltrated Communist lines though. 

Wang Manchun is at the brothel still (something about the timing of these scenes is definitely off), when Ah Cheng's mother appears - introducing herself as Lone Wolf. She's like a completely different person - not at all frail and sick. This is the perfect place to meet, she tells Manchun, who does not trust her one bit. Lone Wolf is a top top secret spy ... and I think I'm a bit afraid of her.
Holy Kitchen Help, Batman, no way! That bitch! I never thought she looked old and frail and she was certainly suspicious rifling around in drawers but honestly, I did not expect THIS. How far back does this go? Was she a spy back then, too?
I knew it!!! I actually messaged Kakashi the other day before I had watched 16, but Kakashi was nice and didn't spoil it for me. I'm glad my hunch was correct. Now I can dislike her even more. She's going to hurt ALL the Mings. I'm glad Ah Cheng has a good heart, but I still think they should have thrown her out. She knew that the Mings were soft-hearted. Horrid woman. Manchun! Don't team up with her! Run away! Don't hurt the Mings!
She has some juicy info for Manchun: Ming Jing is suspected to be a Communist. She moved two bank accounts from Shanghai to Hong Kong when the war started. One of the banks is run by a suspect person named Zeng Jin - surely a code name, currently being investigated. That is of no interest to Manchun though: first of all, moving bank accounts is common; and as long as Ming Jing is not doing rebel stuff in Shanghai, she can't really move against her. She needs real evidence!
It's not like this is news, anyway.
You're going to have to work a little harder than that you mangy wolf. 
Look at how gorgeous the set is..... 
She has evidence, Lone Wolf says - Manchun will have to do the checking. It's a safety deposit box. And it probably contains funds for the Communists - maybe even the one operating in Shanghai. It's on concession ground, so they can't go see it by force; Lone Wolf advises Manchun to place a spy inside the bank, to monitor withdrawals. Then, follow the money ... and BAM! find the underground movement.
Clever. And wow, I bet this means she gives less than a fig for Ah Cheng in reality.
She's horrid through and through. Ugh. 
Manchun is very happy about this additional info, until Lone Wolf informs her about who is the main suspect inside Division 76 in Nantian's eyes: Ming Lou! YIKES.
Am I going crazy? Didn't Nantian say this HERSELF to Man Chun?
Nantian did, but Manchun "checked up" on Ming Lou and decided that he couldn't be guilty. She's in denial. I'm also guessing then that Aunty Gui being a housekeeper at the Mings must have happened before Man Chun got to know them.
Yes, I think after another, "independent" source is telling her again, she has to slowly face the truth... she might be extremely biased
Ming Tai and Man Li return to their hideout... and find Guo taking portrait pictures of strangers. Quickly, they pose as couple who wants to take wedding pictures. Upstairs, Ming Tai thinks loudly about why Guo is with them as information officer. He is the team leader, but no order comes to him directly. It all comes through Guo. Is there something they're keeping him in the dark about? He babbles on for a while until Man Li pulls back the curtain... she has put on a wedding dress. 
And Ming Tai realizes he's been a fool and swears never to see TrainWreck or speak her name again, the end.
Seriously. How can he not love her? Plus it's obvious that the actors have lovely chemistry. We're just as much in denial as Manchun it seems. 
She wants to take pictures with him ... he does not really, being in boy-mood and all. He also thinks it's dangerous, secret identities and all; and then, there's his sister... Come on, this is lame, Ming Tai. She just wants a memory for herself. And for him, for the future: when they can't see each other anymore. Go away show, you are mean.
Goddammit, this means she's going to die. How long do we have? 
Noooooooo!!!! Psycho Kitten can't die!!! Nooooooo!!! These two look gorgeous together. Gorgeous.
And thus, they pose ... Guo is cute, being all photographer. And these two are cute. Everybody is so cute. 
I do like Guo, the big lug.
*dies of cuteness* 
That thing that seemed weird ... Ming Tai has not let it go. He assigns Man Li to join Guo at the Morse station (WTF is she wearing?). Oh, and in addition? Him and Man Li are to pose as man and wife in the future. That girlfriend of his is a security risk! Ohhhhh, Guo is very unhappy about it all. Hu Ge handling weapons is HOT. Wow, did I just write that?! I might have a problem.
She's in a bathrobe and boots? what the hell is that? I didn't realize they all don't live there. Where do they live? I know Ming Tai is staying at home right now but that's just for the holidays. Is he making Man Li act like Guo's wife because of the photos/let's have a memory bit? Or just to sniff out the secret he suspects is being hidden? Bastard.
Yeah, I also thought they all lived there. Oh well. I'm sure Ming Tai must be right to be suspicious, but I'm feeling nervous about all of this. I think it's just to sniff out his suspicions. I think he's choosing to ignore that Man Li loves him.
Thus, when tonight's orders come in, Man Li is the one listening. And what she hears is quite a shock to her: their highest ups are doing illegal drug trafficking with Division 76/Liang!! And Guo has always edited the orders so that Ming Tai would not know the details. Hmmmmmm.....  ha. Man Li wants, must tell her Ming Tai! But Guo convincingly stops her: Ming Tai would blow a fuse if he found out and would probably get himself killed. Oioioioioioi.
Crap. Poor Kitten. Any chance she ever hoped to have is now gone out the window.  
...is what you want us to think! I see what you're doing, show. It won't work.
And with this scene, my heart broke. Poor Psycho Kitten. Show, I am NOT happy with you. Not at all!!! I get why Guo is cautious, but damn, this is NOT fair. 
With a heavy heart, she decides to betray him and keep quiet - for his sake. He, who trusts her. The day he will find out.... it won't be pretty. And she is absolutely certain he WILL find out. Ming Tai is downstairs. He comments on the length of time it took them and they lie about technical difficulties. They hand him the telegraph and say it's just about supplies for the front line... it's something that Guo routinely handles. In the end, Ming Tai buys it... but he remains highly suspicious. Man Li is the worst of liars. Fu**, he is so going to find out in no time!!! 
Yeah, for spies, they all suck at keeping secrets. Ming Tai's Half-Assed Spy Ring, Plus Photographs
Oh Man Li. TELL him!!! Figure out a plan together so that Ming Tai doesn't go nuts and get himself killed. Argh! Noooooo. Stop breaking my heart show. Of course Ming Tai will find out and of course he will be upset that she lied. *cries* They both look soooooooo gorgeous in this scene though. Sooooooooo gorgeous. Hu Ge, please wear that jersey all the time. 


Oh no, no, no (is what I kept saying for the last part of this episode), this is NOT GOOD! Unless Ming Lou fully controls the situation and actually wants Ming Tai to know about the opium-Division76-connection? But even then, Man Li's betrayal will not go down well, as she fears. Her evaluation of the situation was accurate: she is the only person he trusts in this organisation and if he finds out about her lie, things will certainly not end pretty. 
I'm not sure I see where Ming Lou manipulated the situation so that Ming Tai would find out - this secret is the reason that Airplane Wang sent Guo in the first place, I assume; remember him asking 'do you really need to ask why I'm sending you?' when Guo complained? So this set up was orchestrated by Wang, not Ming Lou...unless Ming Lou is behind all of it. Meaning, he's the one who put the whole opium-Div 76 trading into play in the first place. And why would he do that - to fund KMT? To make Communists look better in comparison? Which person of Ming Lou would make that arrangement?
I don't have answers to any of Jo's questions, but I do suspect that Ming Lou does know, even if he didn't put it into play. He knows enough info so that Ah Cheng can put pressure on Liang etc. This whole situation just makes me really wary of what's coming. I don't want to see Man Li killed/hurt and having Ming Tai feel betrayed. This is just NOT going to be good for anyone. Too many damn secrets among all these spies. It's not good for spying.
Oh, I actually think that all traces lead back to the Cobra - and from there, to the higher-ups in the KMT. They're doing it for money, clearly. This is why having Liang side with them (through Ah Cheng) is very valuable right now.  

I know Ming Lou is basically waiting for the day his little bro will face him with a gun in his hand. But can't he be a bit more careful?! Seriously, he knows Ming Tai so well, he must know what will piss him off the most - and that is finding out that the organisation he has given his life to is sleeping with the enemy! Unless Ming Lou wants Ming Tai to defect to the Communists? Is Ming Lou another Mei Changsu, plotting very subtly and cleverly? Well, we will find out, won't we. 
I find myself wondering which hat Ming Lou is wearing when he makes a particular event happen.  I get a kick out of the times he makes his two groups work together, but sometimes one benefits over the other, too, and I don't think it's safe to assume that's the end game right there - although I suppose that means I do think of him like another Mei Changsu, with an ultimate goal in mind.  Does Ming Lou have one, or is he just positioned to be okay no matter who wins? What matters to him?
I've been wondering some of those things myself. What side is Ming Lou really on? What does he want to come from all this? What is his end goal? I know that he's mentioned several times comments to the effect of "we are all Chinese", which would make me lean a little more to the side that he's a Communist seeking for the unity of all Chinese parties (which would fit the current political party line). But I do think that Ming Lou really wants the Japanese out and he's going to do whatever he can to make that happen. 

This episode was chock-full with goodies! Ming Tai and Ah Cheng (these two are just so great together!), Ah Cheng and Liang (I flipflop between intense dislike for this guy and grudging smiles for his clumsy survival skills and I could watch Ah Cheng play him like a fiddle all day) and then, finally, Ming Tai and Man Li. DAMN, why, show. Is it just a huge casting error? Or do you do this deliberately? Hu Ge and Song Yi don't even need to be in the same room and they have chemistry. That Communist woman on the other hand... she's like she's a little bit dead inside. In the future, I might still have to defend her character, because dramatically, I understand what they are doing with her ... but I also know that this is going to hurt a lot. Especially if they keep giving us this sparkly firework of a woman and Ming Tai smiling his brightest smiles when he is with her.
She's just blank, right? And no where near as attractive, even in a subtle way, as Man Li. As for Liang - he's beyond creepy, which is why we dislike him...but he is fun to watch wiggle, yes. A cockroach, always surviving.
I'm really so glad that Jin Dong convinced the production/writer etc. to give Ah Cheng a much bigger role in all this. He is a treat to watch as he interacts with everyone as you mentioned. I pretty much want to just say "ditto" to all you've said about them. And Man Li. Ugh! Why did they have to make us love her so much if they're going to hurt her so?

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