15 November 2015


The Disguiser 伪装者 - Episode 9 (Recap)

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on November 15, 2015
Ah, there is love between the Ming siblings, and a great deal at that ... but that does not stop Ming Lou from using his siblings and foster siblings for the greater cause, and that chills me, because it cannot end well. As we are preparing for "Project Death", we get reminded that the stakes are very high ... in fact, this is about life and death. Every part of the way.
Some secrets are shared, others not so much. As I watch the relationships unfold and develop in this drama between the Mings, I can't help but think that in the end the fallout isn't going to be pretty. At least for now though, I'll enjoy the relative lull and of course our beautiful man who looks so good with that blue tie!
I just accepted going in that people would die. For me it's a foregone conclusion that Ming Lou will die. It could be all three men, and the sister left to mourn. Other than that, it's slightly better odds that Ming Tai would live versus Ah Cheng, and I like the symmetry of his mother dying to save the Ming siblings, but then they die to save him. However, I also like that the odd duck, Ah Cheng, walks away alone. We'll see.

Episode 9

Ming Lou is in his meeting with Tengtian Fang Zheng (Hirata Yasuyuki), from the Japanese High Intelligence Agency. Okay, that dude scares me... Ming Lou suggests that "his" Division 76 is much better suited for intelligence work in Shanghai, because "only the Chinese can understand the Chinese" and you need a Shanghai expert to understand its complicated sociocultural realities. In addition, some lessons from counterinsurgency 101: brutality comes with short-term benefits only, because it only breeds more violence. They need to give people hope for a better future - and only Ming Lou and his people are able to do that, not the Japanese.
I thought this was kind of a ballsy move because he seemed to be threatening him that in the end, the Japanese will not stay forever. But he's right, violence can only ever be a short term solution and people really do crave peace.
I... what? There was talking? Ming Lou has on his fancy uniform. That is all.
No, really - everything he said was absolutely true and absolutely guaranteed to piss that old man off. He explained the situation logically, he positioned himself as being unafraid, AND he took back some control. Very well done
It looks like this Tengtian is willing to try it Lou's way (YES!), but he does check Nantian's opinion of Lou first. She calls him very smart and very detailed. She checked his background and nothing suspicious came up... however, her instincts tell her otherwise, something is not right. She thinks it's time to call "Lone Wolf" to drive this investigation further.
"Lone Wolf"! We have a veritable menagerie of spy animals running around. Let's hope that Lone Wolf might be a double agent who is really on the Chinese side. 
Hmm... We have Venomous Cobra, Poison Bee, something Scorpion, Lone Wolf... am I missing one? I think so?
Cut to ... excuse me?! In the police-prison car, a bunch of coarse looking guy are transporting Ming Jing - handcuffed!! They arrive at Division 76's headquarters and roughly pull her out of the van. She starts protesting loudly ... and gets noticed by Ah Cheng, who is just on his way into the building with Liang. What the hell happened?
Um, big bro is NOT going to happy that his sister got taken prisoner. I know this scene was super intense and all, but I was SUPER distracted by how hotte and sexy Ah Cheng was. It's bad. So distracting. So distracting. 
How fortunate for her that he was passing by.
Well, our dear Ming Jing stepped into a trap! At a specific place in Shanghai, Liang's men identified an antique dealer who also worked as an illegal arms dealer on the side. The trigger-happy thugs shoot the boss, but his assistant knows that there is a sale planned for this afternoon. So they wait. When Ming Jing gets there (doing what exactly, one has to wonder?) and sees the assistant's face, she realizes immediately that something is wrong and backs out, but they seize her anyway. Good, they're idiots.
Does no one think that shooting everyone before they get interrogated is a good way to gather info? Like really people. Not smart at all. Ming Jing is pretty awesome though. Even though she has a gun held right in her face, she's all like, you're gonna be in big trouble dudes. Haha. Love it!
If you kill one, the others are more likely to talk. Ming Jing definitely showed some spunk, I liked it even if I really don't care for her. Even more now, when it's clear she's a kid meddling in the work of grown ups.
Ming Jing is F U R I O U S and Ah Cheng is trying to calm her down ... but hey, he's furious himself and DAMN SEXY. "Who arrested my Big Sister", he barks - and orders to have her uncuffed. If they have a problem, he suggests they go talk to his Big Brother. Yeah, invoking THAT name works... Liang, the coward, orders his bulldog to do what the man says. Very reluctantly, that idiot throws the keys to Ah Cheng. When he has removed the cuffs, she asks loudly whether she can leave (bulldog looks at his boss, all outraged), but Ah Cheng tells her to hold on.
So sexy. So sexy. That trench coat. This time period looks sooooo good on him!
All the clothes are gorgeous, really. WHEN do we find out how Ah Cheng became part of the Ling family? And why is he different than Ming Tai? Is the cost of full membership a parent?
He saunters over to the bulldog ... and beats the crap out of him and his subordinates. It ends with bulldog on the ground, revolver at his temple, and everybody around them screaming "Ah Cheng, Ah Cheng!" in alarm. Well, he is much too controlled to do anything stupid and takes Big Sis out of there. Wang Man Chun, who is just now joining the crowd, calls it "a big mess" and suggest they better try to cool off this Miss' anger. She's speaking from experience.
Ah Cheng. Dang it! Even out of focus he's hotte! Sorry, I was just super distracted during this scene. Hormones, they'll do a person in. 
The man is a tightly-coiled spring of pure rage, I think. One of those people who has to spend a lot of energy, all the time, keeping it under control.
They probably should have focused on Ming Lou's anger instead, though, because it's off the charts! At home, he screams at Ah Cheng (who has to kneel in front of them) for not protecting Sis - and for creating this opportunity for Division 76 and his enemies to hurt his family. Sis is furious to learn that the two had eyes on her. The two Ming siblings shout at each other back and forth, until Ah Cheng mentions that she stepped into the black market "by accident" (I doubt that) and that Division 76 probably has no solid evidence. Probably? More screaming until Sis says Division 76 did that, not Ah Cheng, so Ming Lou should go talk to them.
I'm starting to think that Ming Lou is a little on the super crazy side. He seems all calm and collected, but man, he's a little scary. Also, Ming Lou, don't shout at Ah Cheng. Please. I'm really glad that Sis decided to stick up for Ah Cheng here too. 
I think he's so angry not just because it's his sister but because he has rather miscalculated the situation over all, and there is SO much more at stake than anyone except him probably realizes. I don't think we know everything that Ming Lou has in the works, and he really should have realized that having people 'watch' his sister while she plays at being a rebel wouldn't be enough to manage the situation. Especially when Ah Cheng hasn't even been told enough to be concerned enough to follow the instructions 100 percent of the time. Of course, there's always a chance that Ah Cheng lifted the detail deliberately for this to happen, and then conveniently managed to be there to 'save' her.
You don't have to ask him twice!! Ah Cheng runs after his car, trying to stop him, but Ming Lou is on a mission. I'm a bit scared now. Section Chief Liang has gathered his thugs in his office and wants a meticulous report. They're furious their prey has been taken from them before they could interrogate her (!!), but no. There is no evidence AT ALL and they do not get the influence of the Ming family (Man Chun, who is also there, is half-amused by their dumbness).
How has this Division 76 ever gotten anything done? They really do seem like blithering idiots. 
Liang must be beside himself; he would know just how serious this is even if his men don't/can't really have a clue. The chubby guy just seems like a very straightforward cop. No politics. 
Liang turns to her for help: how would she handle the situation? She tells him it's his mess - she won't go near it. She will interrogate the shop owner though (meaning torture, of course), since she does not believe that Ming Jing just walked into that particular shop by coincidence.
Crap! Man Chun is no idiot! She already has it out for Ming Jing so this would be the perfect opportunity to get her into trouble. Big trouble at that. 
She's an idiot, too. Go ahead and kill Ming Jing, Man Chun. See what that gets you.
BANG, the door busts open and Ming Lou steps in. He starts to chew Liang out, accusing him of angling for his position, attempting to discredit him by arresting his family members for being anti-Japanese. Liang is clearly afraid and won't stop apologizing, calling the whole occurrence "a misunderstanding".
I don't know why Liang didn't just crap his pants at this point. Angry Ming Lou is scary! 
I begin to think that perhaps that Ming Family has some deeper issues than perhaps one might guess at first glance.

WRONG, DUDE. Ming Lou pulls out his gun, points it at Liang's head and screams "If I kill you with this gun, is this a misunderstanding too?" The entire Liang Gang has also pulled their guns and the situation is super volatile, but Liang shouts at them to lower their weapons. They follow his order (reluctantly) and eventually, Ming Lou lowers his too. He looks like a crazy person for sure. Heck, he maybe IS crazy.
Ming Lou certainly has some crazy eyes going on here. Holy crap. I would never want to get on his bad side.
Be nice to his sister, then.
Back to Ming Jing's arrest and potential black market involvement: Ming Lou wants to see the evidence. "Division 76 does not need evidence to arrest someone", Bulldog blurts out angrily. Without even looking at him, Ming Lou shoots him. Ah Cheng arrives, staring at the body on the floor. Confirming that there really is no evidence, Ming Lou says to compensate the dead man for dying in battle and walks out. Liang looks like he was about to pee his pants.
Ming Lou. I am afraid of him and for him. Also, Bulldog that was an incredibly stupid thing to say. 
Someone that stupid is going to die anyway, though, right?
Man Chun is doing her nails while the arms dealer is tortured ... and of course, he cracks. They have an address! It's a tailor shop and a delivery is about to be made. There right at that moment ... Yu Man Li!!! Oh no!!! Man Chun's men attack, in overwhelming numbers, but with a little help from Ming Tai, she is able to escape. But they have no explosives now, which is not good, because they absolute need them for their next mission.
Those two make a fabulous team! So striking! 
She has the face of a beautiful doll that comes to life and kills you.
Nantian awakens the "Lone Wolf" after she hears about the latest mess "made in Division 76" at the Tailor shop, which ended with many dead and no arrests: Some mysterious hooded figure gets on a train. The figure looks female, but who knows?
*fingers crossed* I really want Lone Wolf to be one of the good guys. Though I guess another tricksy bad guy does make the story more interesting. Nothing like an excellent bad guy. 
Remember when someone mentioned that Ming Lou had a girlfriend and it didn't work out?

At the Ming Mansion, the time for a little chit-chat with Big Sis has come. When Ming Lou inquires about the arrest, she admits that she went to the arms dealer ... and she immediately tries to get two tickets for that train with the VIPs, which are going to the Peace Conference in Nanjing from him. Of course, Ming Lou knows all about that train, cause he's in charge: security is top-notch, not even a fly will get in unallowed! And: she can absolutely not get onto that train. Cause he will bomb it. Dun-DUN.
Crap! I hope this is a good idea to let her in on his secret identity. I'm a bit worried about this situation to be honest. 
This is why I'm saying he miscalculated, earlier. He couldn't let her play at this without revealing himself, and if he'd done it right away, he could have stopped her earlier. I'm thinking the person who was supposed to arrive at the arms dealer for the 3pm appointment was Ming Tai, and how would they have explained meeting up? She just screws up the works - they need her out of it.
But what is this? The Communists (Uncle Li and Mrs. Su) are discussing similar plans! They know about the train, but their only worry is that they do not have enough explosives. And exactly this is what Ming Lou also has issues with after the Tailor Shop stunt, so he asks Ming Jing for help (and she gives it). Their family owns a mine and even though dynamite is accounted for and restricted by the government, he IS in the government and they will simply forge some documents to manipulate the numbers.
Nice and convenient that: owning a family mine replete with explosives. Ah, so this is why he was willing to let her in on the secret a bit. Is he just using her or does he want Big Sis to not be so angry at him for working for the Japanese government?
He needs her to back the f--- off before she ruins everything. Let her do only what he asks her to do. Then he can (perhaps) prevent her from finding out that Ming Tai is also involved. As for the Communists... well I guess that train is getting bombed, one way or the other.
Ming Jing turns sad all of a sudden: she promised their father that she would shelter Ming Lou so that he could become a scholar (awwww, just like Ming Tai). Don't worry, he says, once the war is over, I will return to Paris to teach. I will marry and have children. I will live a good life. She hits him, when he says "if I stay alive", forbidding him to ever say it again. But she is so glad ... so glad he is on the right team after all. But why this incredible danger? Could he not just stay somewhere safe, being a government official in a small town? No, of course not, and she already knows it - it can only be him due to his wealth, his knowledge and his connections.
Whenever characters who are awesome say things like "If I stay alive", I also want to punch them. Don't tempt Fate Ming Lou! He's going to die before this drama ends, isn't he? No, don't tell me. I don't want to know. 
Of course he is. Accept it.
Later, Ah Cheng expresses worry over Ming Jing's further involvement and additional knowledge. But well, they need her, says Ming Lou with a heavy heart. He had to reveal some of the details of his identity to her in order to get the explosives. But he is sad that he had to drag her into it even further. He feels very sorry to her.
I do not envy his position at all. He obviously cares for his family, but he also cares for his country. I don't even want to know what Big Sis will do when she finds out that Ming Tai is in on all the spy games as well.
Maybe she won't beat Ming Lou half to death. Maybe.


I don't like it when this show reminds us of the danger these characters are in. Ming Lou might feel the most sorry to Ming Jing, but I certainly am most afraid for Ming Lou. I don't know, Ming Tai does the real action stuff (loads of that upcoming, so GOOOOOD!) and yes, there are bullets and he could easily die, but Ming Lou has to deceive so many different people, most of which are trying to find out what he is hiding. It's like he's walking over a fire pit on a very thin thread.
Yeah, I am really worried for Ming Lou. And he has so many identities that somewhere along the line, something will give and expose him and compromise his safety. 
I think Man Chun comes up with a plan to kill Ming Jing, kills Ming Lou by accident, goes crazy with grief and tries to blow up Division 76. Ah Cheng stops her, but dies due to injuries received. Ming Tai is left to battle on, alone except for Man Li. He has a confrontation with Airplane Wang and they shoot each other. Ming Tai dies after hearing Wang's confession that he is his father. Yu Man Li decides she's had enough of war and escapes to someplace safe. We see a vignette of her boarding a ship, heavily pregnant, and then later, living in America, raising her little boy. She names him whatever Ming Tai's real name was, as we hear when she calls him to come in from playing.

The scene between Ming Lou and his sister was extremely touching. He is playing her, of course, but his tears were real. He is a hero who knows that the likelihood of him making it out alive is not very big - but the sacrifice of his life for the freedom of his people is a simple fact, no big deal. I think it explains quite a lot about him and how he "uses" people, even his own family.
That must be a heavy burden to bear. He wants to ensure that the people of his country will never have to sacrifice themselves or their families like he is doing, but he knows that that comes with a great cost. I really hope that in the end, it's worth it. 

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