Man, I hope not. (But this does seem like a tragedy in the making.) (I'll admit, I've already checked the ending to see whether he'll make it to the end ... but I'm not spoiling) For sure, he'll come out of this a changed man, with some darkness at the core.
I got a very foreboding feeling off that little interchange, yes. Like she already knows what's up, and figures he's her way to bring everything out into the light.
That coat is killer. Ha!
I can hardly imagine the fear and bravery that comes from living under that kind of pressure - can you?
She made it out with basically a second to spare - that was nervewracking! ou don't want to end up in Killer Wang's clutches for any reason.
Naturally! I wonder who gets to be the boss? She seems a little more badass than him, right now.
It doesn't really matter. I love her to pieces already.
She's going to die, probably saving him, and we're going to cry like babies.
Right. Up against Ming Tai? Fat chance she follows that advice.
Yep. This is going to rip our hearts out of our bodies and stomp them into grimy bits of dust. I can't wait!
Ming Lou arrives at a mansion to meet with a guy - who is still in a meeting. Yoko Minamida, who is also there, asks for a consultation in the meantime, but this is all just a plan to separate Lou from Cheng, right? Minamida first asks Lou to organize a peace conference (he politely declines, seeing how busy he already is) and then brings up Cheng - whom she wants in the new government, in a higher position (and thus away from Ming Lou). No need to talk about it, says Ming Lou and twice at that: Ming Cheng is just like a real brother to him. If she wants something from a member of the Ming family, she must ask him herself.
I know she really wants Ah Cheng... but she probably wanted the peace conference, too. Should have led with Ah Cheng. Ming Luo might have given in since he'd already said no once. No way he was going to say yes to Ah Cheng, no matter what order the question. This would make her not much of a negotiator, by the way. Unless she is setting them up for a less-than-cooperative relationship by forcing him to say no to her all the time...
I don't buy it.
I think he's lying fully right now but I also think that later there could be a shift. You know? If China is always going to have him be lesser because he was fostered by the Mings, and Japan offers him a chance to be his own man, with freedom to rise as high as his talents will take him... maybe that would entice him, if a time comes when he feels betrayed or not valued by the Mings.
They've had two run-ins and both times she kicked his ass. He probably just wants someone who'd be less work!
For what, though... Man Li wants to pair up, Ming Tai doesn't. So, bets on whether it happens or not? Hmmm... Ming Tai is quite confident as he dances, pulling her closer, faintly smiling at her slightly flustered expression. And then, he starts asking questions - we already know he is particularly good at reading people. She says she does not want to talk about the past, which prompts him too say: because she doesn't want to or because she can't? Smart cookie.
They do look good. I cannot wait to see them dancing in evening wear at some fancy event. Please tell me that will happen.
Well I did not expect it at ALL.This is what the bet is about? Whether Man Li kills him or whether he survives? Is she a more senior student to him, then, or a secret instructor?
So all of that was to determine who'd be the team lead, and maybe only a little about whether he could survive her... or to test whether he was worthy of her at all, maybe.
That night, Ming Luo, who is sleeping on a couch, has nightmares about his baby bro getting the order to kill him, about him crying he can't do it, about him sobbing for his brother's help, and then, finally, about Ming Tai pulling the trigger after all. He jerks awake, Ah Cheng comes running. He heard Luo speak in his sleep, and tries to comfort him by saying that Ming Tai will pull through.
So, wait. Awwww... Big Bro Luo is more worried that Ming Tai would be put in the position of having to do it, than he is of having it done. I think? And Ah Cheng is reassuring him that Ming Tai will find a way through the mess so that it doesn't have to happen at all. I hope.
I'm at the point where every single thing she does, I wonder if it's an act. Or an act of an act. We know she's sad. But is she acting sad for him, or is she showing him that she's actually sad? Did she know that he would recognize the emblem and deduce something about her? Is that deduction accurate? Is she leading him to who she is and what her story is subtly, because Wang told her she couldn't do it until he said so? In which case, she's showing a bit of defiance against Wang and a bit of concern for Ming Tai. And then my next question is, what is Ming Tai thinking here? Does he think he's getting to know her, or does he think he's getting played, but letting her think otherwise? And of course, the option exists that each knows the other is acting, but each also has a bit of genuine feeling for the other. That's sort of where I am in this. 'We reveal ourselves in our lies.'
This whole scene was hilarious, and it plays out very genuinely - who wouldn't be moved by that tiny face up there? Even Wang seems to have some feeling for her at times, just as he does for Ming Tai. So now I'm swinging back to Ming Tai not having ANY idea of the currents swirling around him, and just thinking she's a mystery to be solved, but that their 'partnership' is soley based on the fact that their skills match and they were both available at the same time.
Ming Tai assures him that he will not desert. It's just for one week and he will cover the costs himself. It's just to be a short vacation, for team building, so to say. His family owns a house there and it's a perfect time to go now and blablabla on he goes, not realizing that Wang Tian Feng gets more furious with every word he says. He finally explodes and shouts at Ming Tai to get his head straight, this is not a summer camp but a military academy - when Ming Tai has the nerve to shout that he feels like a prisoner and wants more freedom, everything escalates even further.He's so bewildered! He walked in there with a (to him) reasonable and even 'leader-like' plan... and Wang absolutely loses his shit over it, because in a very real way, Ming Tai just does not get that he is now a soldier in a war. The really hilarious part comes after Ming Tai leaves and Wang mutters that HE hasn't even been to Vienna yet. The nerve!
A very fascinating scene. Wang argues that rules are rules, but for Ming Tai, rules are made by people (or how he puts it: people are alive and rules are not). This defiance shows us clearly: Ming Tai will not be broken. And of course, he will also not give up his plan to make his partner happy. On the exercise ground, while Wang lectures them about apathy, Ming Tai puts a small flask of Ming family fragrance into Man Li's hand: he got it out of his suitcase. It makes her smile.
A family fragrance? Interesting. Also: Awwww. She seemed quite touched, and who wouldn't be?
But Wang has eyes and while he continues his lecture, he steps very close to the two. Empathy is a weakness - and it can cause them their lives. Looking straight at Man Li, Wang adds that some people may appear harmless on the outside, but in reality, they are not. They just fooled people with empathy. She drops the flask.
Wang, you bastard. It's not like he's wrong, but still. Dammit.
Mask your feelings completely, Wang says. But a mask is just a mask - you cannot cover your true self up forever. The truth will come to light ... one day. Those words leave an impression. On Man Li because they're seemingly spoken to her - and on Ming Tai, because he sees what impression they leave. That night, Man Li dreams... of days in school and of days as a Courtesan. A Courtesan killer.
How OLD is she? Is this what she holds in her past that involves Ming Tai? Is that his father, maybe?
I liked this episode a lot - for the relationships between certain characters. I really like Wang Tian Feng and Ming Tai together; they're a bit like father and son, or uncle and nephew. I like that Wang likes this talented, but slightly rebellious young man. And I like that Ming Tai constantly tries the walls of his prison. I also like the added tension that Man Li brings - a woman that Wang Tian Feng has particularly trained to get at the Mings, I'm guessing. I like her vulnerability and the secrecy. I like that Wang lectures them on apathy and empathy. Empathy is Ming Tai's biggest weakness, that much is clear - but is it really? Man Li may be a killer, but she, too, is not immune to the stirrings of the heart.
I'm also picking up on his genuine feelings for the two young recruits. I don't think for a minute that he wouldn't sacrifice them without hesitation, but I do think it would keep him up nights, after. That man is all about the mission. I think a lot of the vulnerability we sense in Man Li comes from her expression, so I'm a little hesitant about buying it 100%. Show me why, Story. Until then, I'm suspicious. As for Ming Tai's empathy being a weakness - it will also be his strength. Very curious to see where we are going!