10 January 2016

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The Disguiser 伪装者 - Episode 19 (Recap)

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on January 10, 2016
While Ming Tai is quite happy in this episode (he for once does not mess anything up and is sweetly in love), Ah Cheng commits a grave mistake, which has quite severe consequences. Facing exposure and arrest, Ming Lou and Ah Cheng come up with a daring plan to save the situation, their position, and much more. I'm afraid. On the other hand, I could for the life of me not hate Trainwreck in this episode. If only all the episodes with her would have been like this! 
JoAnne: Even considering the mess that Ah Cheng creates - more about my feelings about that later - the scenes with Ming Tai and Trainwreck were so nice that they did tend to leave you feeling a bit sparkly, it's true. Dammit.
Eleanor: Yes to everything you said. Poor Ah Cheng. Man, this episode makes me so nervous for how this is all going to work out or not work out. And I also actually enjoyed the scenes with Ming Tai and his lady friend. 

Episode 19

Inside the conference room, now in ruins, Nantian notices and picks up ... Ming Tai's watch. SHIT. It's the one Big Bro gave him, and even though it's quite broken, this can't be good.
I feel like it shouldn't be such a big deal, considering the time period - unless it has his initials on it, what can they do with it? It's not the only one in the world. Did they fingerprint back then? Except, clearly it IS a big deal, because they're showing it.
Isn't it the watch that Ming Lou gave him and so someone is bound to be able to link it back to the Mings somehow? At least that was my thinking. In the midst of the heart attack moment of Ming Tai almost dying last episode, the watch being left behind was another huge heart attack moment for me. Trouble is coming, isn't it?! 
Outside, Ming Lou and Ah Cheng arrive. Liang is also there, unhappy: they called him here, but won't let him in! He wants to go home, but Nantian has given orders that he and his men are not to leave! Ming Lou does not give a shit about Liang's predicament, of course, but asks why there is no ambulance. Simply: everybody who made contact with the criminal died. A clean job, Ming Tai! Well done!
He sure has come a long way.
If only he hadn't lost his watch. Otherwise, impeccable spy work there Ming Tai. Well other than being stuck on the roof right now. He's still there, right? 
At the door, Ah Cheng presents Ming Lou's papers - and they're let in without further questions. Not Liang, though. Hahaha. They're entering the "crime scene" and are told some details by Nantian. The culprits stole the battle plans, which means the Japanese have to adjust all their operations. And yup, confirmation: Ming Tai killed Momoko-san :( ... that's cold. Ah Cheng takes a look around and ... spots the watch. But ... wait!!! It clearly has been moved. Oh no... oh no..... Nantian has positioned a mirror so that she can watch anybody who goes near that watch.
Aww, Momoko - but you know, she would have killed him, so he had to do it. She sure was different in that room once she realized he was a spy, remember? I think her helpless sweet secretary was a cover for sure. As for the watch, who would be so stupid as to do anything with it? Ah Cheng surely knows they've been over that room with a fine-tooth comb and would have seen it.
Let's hope he thinks that through. *fingers crossed* 
Not far away from them, Ming Tai is being a gentleman on the roof (it looks so fake, lol) and puts his jacket on Trainwreck's shoulders. He compliments her on her dress and euphorically declares that she should dress like this more often. Awww, Ming Tai is in love... he wants to stay "like this", the longer the better. Remember they're on a roof together... he really, really wants to be with her, it seems. He also admits he does not have a back-up plan. At that, she just smiles knowingly.
It did look fake but it also looked pretty. Thank you for putting this picture of her vapid expression here, so that I can hold on to my resolution that she is the wrong woman.
Ming Tai really is obsessed to the point on being happy to freeze his tail off on a really high roof with people hunting him down. So romantic. Haha. 
Below them, Nantian hands Ming Lou a list of all people who were present at the Embassy event and puts him in charge of investigating everybody who is from the "New Government". Thinking he is unobserved, Ah Cheng bends down to pick up the watch. Nooooooooooo!! Ming Lou notices her preoccupation, but cannot stop his bro... Before departing, Ming Lou mentions that he is interested in potential financial misdeeds of that Communist traitor at the hospital - he used to work for a bank before he was exposed.
So here's the thing: he knows immediately that they knew the watch was there. He could have nipped it in the bud at that very moment by saying 'Hey, what did you find?' Ah Cheng is quick enough that he would have played along, even if he was puzzled. They wouldn't have given anything away since clearly the watch is already something that Nantian knows about it, and GIVING it to her would have cemented the idea that they were on her side. I was so shocked by Ah Cheng's foolishness that I was convinced he was going to give it to her as soon as he picked it up. But no, that's not what they do.
It seemed very out of character for both Ah Cheng and Ming Lou. I was totally expecting Ming Lou to also say something to the effect of: hey what did you find? Either he wants to create trouble or it's just poor writing to force some tension into the already tension-ridden plot. 
An ambulance appears at the entrance after all... Well, you need transportation for corpses too, don't you. One of the guys is Uncle Li! He's the back-up plan, of course... he hoots like an owl, and has a rope for them to climb down. Well, that was easy.
So, you're telling me that he and Trainwreck always planned to have her escape to the roof? Or are you telling me that of all the vehicles, only the ambulance happened to see the two people sitting on the roof ridge and he quick like a bunny came up with that plan? Trainwreck knew the owl was him immediately. Is that their secret call signal? Or just a lucky guess? I call bullshit.
Yeah, it was all a little too convenient. The owl thing could definitely be a pre-recognizable signal but knowing that they would need rope to escape from a roof... well that doesn't make sense to me either. 

Ming Lou gives Liang the list of people and tells him to investigate them thoroughly - he expects all the investigation records. Wow, Ming Lou is not very friendly with Liang... Well, he is overall quite pissed, which is no surprise. As soon as they're in the car, he tells Ah Cheng that he fell into Nantian's trap when he removed evidence just now. The watch by itself would have told her nothing - but now that he touched it, they have a HUGE problem: now they're both implicated. In fact, Minamida can now arrest him if she wants, torture him severely, and make him spill all the secrets he knows. 
Yeah, Ah Cheng. What Big Bro said. Duh. How could you have been so dumb? You're the quickest thinker of all the Mings!
I still think Big Bro could totally have stopped him before. And Ah Cheng is super smart. It really just seems out of character for him. 
Poor Ah Cheng is so upset :((( he wants to stop the car, but Ming Lou sharply advises him to keep going, it's likely they're being watched now. And indeed ... Minamida has sent her men after them. One wrong move and they're caught... Poor Ah Cheng, I feel so sorry for him... he passionately says he will give his life to rectify this, but sorry, dude, your life should not be given that easily. Ming Lou says they will indeed rectify it, but let's see whose life it will take... dun-dun.
I really like scary Ming Lou. If Ah Cheng was plotting against the Mings secretly, this would have been a point where his face would have done some secret smile thing.  He's genuinely concerned, though.
I feel super bad for Ah Cheng. Super bad. He is so earnestly worried and concerned. He needs a hug. I volunteer as tribute!
It's lovely to see that Ming Lou never stops once talking about "we" as he tells Ah Cheng that "they" have made a fatal mistake and ... will have to continue making them. One bigger than the other. And they will lay out their own trap... one that solves all their (current) problems. When they get home, Ming Jing hopes it's Ming Tai, but nope. Not him. The present Ming brothers exchange slightly worried looks.
Nah, he's up on a roof downtown, flirting with the wrong woman.
Freezing his butt off the silly goose. 

Ming Tai not being back is one thing, but being under Minamida's surveillance is the other. Ming Lou declares there is only one thing they can do now: use Wasp's trails as a bait (even though he is far from Shanghai now), and make up a new owner for the watch. Obviously, Wasp is Minamida's nemesis and she would do (almost) anything to catch him. Ming Lou orders Ah Cheng to call Nantian right this instance. They need to get through this night without her arresting Ah Cheng. Oh god ... Wang Kai's puppy eyes...
Puppy eyes don't make up for being a dumbass! But my heart is tugged by the knowledge that when he recognized the watch as Ming Tai's, he was so worried and scared for him that he just unthinkingly acted. I know, right? Awwwwwww.
How does Wang Kai do those puppy eyes so well? Like I was genuinely worried for him in this scene. Part of me thinks that Big Bro wanted a situation like this to crop up so he could do something crazy. But maybe I'm giving Big Bro too much crazy credit. 
He calls her (it costs him so much), and despite the late hour, she is still at the office. Not sure she ever sleeps or even has a home other than her office. Ah Cheng claims to have important information for her: he found Wasp. The watch he found at the embassy, it's the same Wasp had. It seems to him that Wasp was the one who broke into the Embassy, with some help from somebody within. He took the watch so that Wasp's companion would think he is on THEIR side. He is sure they will contact him - he will put his life on line for it. She is still reluctant to trust him and demands a due date. "Within a week", Ah Cheng adds.
I mean, geez, guy. Under promise, over deliver. Under promise, over deliver. Give yourself some room!
I bet he's sweating bullets the poor man. 
They've bought themselves some time, but will they get out of this?! Ah Cheng apologizes sincerely to Ming Lou, but Big Bro won't have any of this. The only thing he wants to hear in one week is "it's succeeded". And for that, Ah Cheng has to do everything to gain Minamida's trust. And then ... they will remove her.
Dun dun DUN.
The more I think about this, the more I'm convinced Big Bro wanted this to happen. I'm becoming paranoid! What has this show done to me?!

Step No 1: find two apartments, facing each other, at optimal shooting range. They also need to be near Big Animal Zhuo Fohai's residence. Step No 2: Three teams, Lin leads one, Uncle Li a second, and Ah Cheng and Ming Lou are a third. They cannot stay on the sidelines for this one. Ah Cheng asks whether they will need Ming Tai's team, but Big Bro says only if absolutely necessary. Because it would mean Ming Tai would most likely find out about him being the Cobra. The operation gets the code name "The Hunt".
Lin's the guy from the former prison, the one with the photo that led to Ming Tai learning about our Psycho Kitten's sad and tragic past? The one she deserves a happy future so she can recover from?
I think so. I'm so nervous about this plan. So nervous. 
Yes, he is.
Uncle Li and his crew have dropped our two successful spies in the middle of the street somewhere - they need to deliver the corpses in time. It's curfew, so the streets are empty. She wants to split, but he quickly tells her he needs to take pictures of the documents first. Can't really do it on the streets though ... so he drags her to a hotel. Of course, she is HIGHLY reluctant, cause Hu Ge ... hotel ... you know. She even makes him swear he won't try "anything funny". Herrgott, woman, you're stupid.
Ha, I never heard Herrgott before, just mein gott. I like it. Plus, you're right: she's stupid.
Seriously. It's Hu Ge. 
In the room, Ming Tai diligently takes pictures of the stolen files ... and then jumps onto the bed. She is alarmed and he says: "If we stay in here and don't do anything, people will get suspicious". SNORT. Ming Tai annoys me very often and very badly, but in this scene, he is adorable!
He was very cute. And she made me laugh out loud a little bit later. I hate myself.
Haha. Ming Tai in this scene was the best. 
Before they can settle on "what to do", the lights go out. And then, the sleazy concierge comes knocking, to bring candles (and to snoop). They really can't leave now, it's military curfew, so Ming Tai offers to sleep on the floor, she can have the bed. He's a gentleman, of course, though rather reluctantly, I'd say. 
That hotel room looks really nice for what appears to be a pay-by-the-hour place...
I don't think it was necessarily a pay-by-the-hour place...though maybe it was. She should just let him sleep on the damn bed. He's obviously gentleman enough that he's not going to try anything if she doesn't want to. Plus I bet he's warm and it will be cold without electricity. I am clearly over thinking this. Just let him sleep on the bed woman!
Ming Lou and Ah Cheng are still plotting: now, they're discussing Lone Wolf. Ah Cheng has checked Auntie Gui's files and thinks they're a bit too clean to be true. He considers her a major suspect. There are two more, though: Secretary Li (working for Minamida/Manchun) and Secretary Liu (with the suspicious handkerchief). Ming Lou urges Ah Cheng to quickly identify who Lone Wolf is, they need clarity.
I can't decide if I'm going to be happy for Ah Cheng when he figures it out, or if I'm going to be sad.
Yeah, the filial piety mixed with hating the abuse, but being good enough to more or less forgive her, that mix, poor Ah Cheng. I will comfort you Ah Cheng. Come to me. Come to me. 
And Ming Tai dreams... of his dad, whose face remains blurry, as he walks away from his family. When he jerks awake, he is breathing heavily. He quickly checks on his communist... she is sleeping soundly. Unable to go back to sleep, he looks out the window. It's dawn. When he turns back around, she is looking at him. She offers to listen to his worries and he tells her about his father who left him, and the dream he just had. Also about his mother, who is dead.
No! No emotional connection building! Stop! She's going to die at some point, right? Today? Fueling his desire to become a Communist? But he'll bring Man Li over to the team too, and they'll fall in love and get married and Trainwreck will just be a bittersweet memory for Ming Tai? Please? Come on, the timing is perfect. It's the prettiest she's ever looked and the cuteness level is high - it's the PERFECT time for Trainwreck to die.
LOL. My heart went out to Ming Tai in this scene so much. Also, that dawn city scape was gorgeous. But even more gorgeous: Hu Ge. Seriously, he looked so amazing in this scene!
He pulls out the watch with her picture in it and shows it to Jinyun. "She's beautiful", the woman says. And: "You look like your mother". He is thankful, but also quite sad ... but not because he almost died, as she suggests. He is not afraid of dying, he says, he is afraid he wouldn't be able to see her again after that. "I'm glad I saved your life then", she answers and smiles at him. That's probably as much of a love confession as we will ever get from this woman. And it's quite sweet, this scene.
Nononononononomaybenononononononondammititisnononononono!
But she also received the order to seduce him and make him defect. She was super reluctant to confess her feelings before she was commissioned to be the honey trap. I doubt her sincerity. Kind of.
It's morning, Ming Tai is still not home, and Big Sis is now waiting at the door for him. She is outraged and worried. At the hotel, Ming Tai knows quite well what awaits him... she finds it funny that such a rich kid is afraid of someone and he has the great idea that she should follow him home, so he won't be chastised. She, on the other hand, thinks he should follow HER, into the light so to say (the light being communism). After he once again quite breathlessly tells her how much she means to him, they part ways in front of the hotel - and again, it's really cute.
Ah, the walk of shame, present in all times and circumstances.  The cutest part of this whole interlude was when he notices she's awake and complains that she startled him because he didn't hear her move, and she says she should warn him:  'I'm waking up now.  Prepare yourself mentally.'  I laughed hard at that and almost liked her.
Yes, that was cute and funny. Oh Ming Tai, you are such an adorable goner. 
The episode ends with Manchun receiving intel from one of the employee's from HSBC, who has kept an eye on that safe (that belongs to Ming Jing). Nobody has come to open it. And nothing that Ming Jing has done is in the least suspicious. But Manchun thinks they just need to be a bit more patient. The day will come when Ming Jing will fall into her hands.
Do you think that's coming, for real?
I hope not. We don't need even more people hunting down the Mings. 

Comments

Let's not be distracted too much by the sweetness and Hu Ge's incredible handsomeness ... because this episode is super important for what follows afterwards. Horrible, horrible mistake you made, Ah Cheng! I loved how quickly the deadly Cobra came up with a plan to counter-act and counter-attack. But they only have a week! Get ready for more heart-attack episodes, cause they're coming our way.
I loved this series of episodes particularly - the stakes get very high, very visible, very personal. Heart-stopping stuff coming!
I still think Big Bro could have helped stop the mistake before it got so big. 

The Ming Lou-Ah Cheng interactions were always great, but in this episode, they reach a new intensity. The acting is superb. And just like JoAnne, my doubts about Ah Cheng are gone. There is no resentment in this boy when it comes to the Mings. He is loyal and so is Ming Lou. There was not one angry word spoken, even though Ah Cheng's mistake could have cost them their lives. This is true comraderie. Love them.
Agreed - Ming Lou is practically vibrating with anger and tension, but he doesn't waste any time in blaming Ah Cheng or making him feel any worse than he already does. He is immediately focused on solutions; he can see how bad Ah Cheng feels - no need to pile it on. Let's just get this fixed!
They have such fabulous acting chemistry! It really is a joy to watch two actors so incredibly in-sync and invested in acting with such passion and intensity. It makes viewing so absolutely pleasurable.

As for Ming Tai and Jinyun ... no, I really cannot hate her in this episode, even though the drama HAD to show us Man Li worrying for a few seconds, didn't it. We get it, drama, believe us. If only you had given the communist woman better lines and better scenes, we might, probably?, have liked her. However, what I got in this episode is not enough, unfortunately, because in some future episode, she annoyed me so much I wished for a stray bullet to hit her.
This is a brief parting of my clouds of dislike. Very brief. I am still very much Team PK!
Yeah, while I like her marginally more, I am still most definitely #TeamManLi

Finally, it is time to mention what a good job Matsumine Lilie who plays Nantian/Minamida does in this. Not sure whether I remember it correctly, but I read somewhere that she speaks both Japanese and Mandarin fluently, and it seems she is not dubbed in this. She definitely is not a casting mistake. She is quite the opponent for our boys and even though Ah Cheng managed to gain back an ounce of trust by promising her Wasp, she is not that easily fooled. Careful, Ming boys. Careful.
I remember hearing that too, although I don't think I knew which woman it was about. She is very good, and in a much lower-key way, as intimidating as Killer Wang can be.
She's great! I love it when there are well acted bad guys to give the good guys trouble. Well, I guess in this case, bad woman. It certainly makes for more interesting watching, that's for sure!
 Disguiser BTS ... LOVE

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