12 January 2016


The Disguiser 伪装者 - Episode 20 (Recap)

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on January 12, 2016
Why so grim, dear Ah Cheng? Things are going quite well for you guys, I'd say ... and little Ming Tai is still cutely in love, which means he is far less annoying than usual. Things are quiet right now, but we all know what that means ...
JoAnne: Yep. Someone's gonna screw something up.
It's the quiet before the heart attack.
Eleanor: At least we got to see lots of Ah Cheng :)

Episode 20

Ming Tai is walking home in the morning sun, smiling proudly when he hears the newspaper headlines about the Embassy incident shouted through the streets and people excitedly commenting on the coup. At home, Ming Jing is at the breakfast table, eating nothing. She will wait. Ming Lou and Ah Cheng (in uniform, *gulp*) look at her, all concerned. And then, the Young Master walks through the door! FINALLY! Ming Jing forces him to his knees and then screams at him like a fury. He says he couldn't come back earlier because of curfew and she screams he should at least have called.
Seriously. Why didn't he call? It would have been such an easy thing to do.
Because Ming Tai is a brat. Well and also stuck on a roof, but yeah, he could totally have called. And yes, these Ming Bros in uniform *swoon*
But instead of just keeping quiet, Ming Tai starts defending himself, coming up with a story about his classmates not talking to him, because they said Big Bro was a traitor and himself the relative of a traitor. They even insulted him and chased him away. He couldn't leave because he had to show them who the boss is! (by drinking) You're a little devil, Ming Tai. Of course, that immediately dampens Ming Jing's anger.
Oh sure, make it Ming Lou's fault. If she beats him again I will have a serious problem with Ming Tai.
Damn Ming Tai is one smart cookie! And those looks Ah Cheng and Ming Lou exchange. Bratty baby brother is too smart for his own good. But also incredibly gorgeous in that tux. 
Ming Tai admits to getting drunk, falling and losing his watch. He really hurt his leg, he says. It's the truth, he has! At least it's not a bullet. After seeing the wound, Ming Jing shouts at Ming Lou and Ah Cheng to never wear those uniforms (she calls them "dog skin") again in the house. Ming Tai has clearly won this round, I'd say. Throughout the whole thing, Ming Tai keeps glaring at Ming Lou. Somebody PLEASE tell him they're on the same side TT_____TT
We've got to be getting close to a reveal, though, you think? It'd be funny if Ming Lou's cover is blown to Ming Tai, not for the KMT side, but the Communist side.
Haha. That would be funny. 
In the car, Ming Lou and Ah Cheng talk about Ming Tai. Ming Lou says he's a smart cookie, and he knows that if Ming Lou stays in his current position, they are bound to become enemies sooner rather than later. What he just did was a warning to him. But Ah Cheng thinks it's more than this. They have helped him so much with the embassy-mission, he is questioning their true identities. Ming Tai knows Ming Lou cannot really be a traitor, because he has been observing his sister's (overall friendly) behavior towards Big Bro. The question now is: how long can they keep it from him?
Exactly, Ah Cheng. Ming Tai is baiting Ming Lou to reveal himself, not because he thinks he's a traitor. Well, maybe he's a little thinking that the traitor part could be real, but mostly he thinks something is up.
I wish that Ming Tai would chillax a little though. Being so headstrong in this game could get everyone killed. But of course he doesn't know that Big Bro is super-duper-crazy important to the cause and that it's a serious safety risk to let too many people know. 
At their offices, one of Ah Cheng's baits caught a fish: Secretary Chen (that's the third secretary) thinks he has "uncovered" a scandal involving some stocks, with traces to Ming Lou/Ah Cheng. Ah Cheng closes the door and asks the young man what he wants in order to keep quiet. He wants: Secretary Li's position and tasks, to have better chances at becoming an official later. In short: Secretary Chen's actions make it pretty clear he is NOT Lone Wolf (cause he spoke up), as Ah Cheng reports to Ming Lou. He can be excluded from the list of suspects.
Yeah - not a spy, just an opportunist.
Ah Cheng. He's so good looking that it's distracting. 
In addition, he has confirmation that female Secretary Liu is Gao Mu's pawn, who seems to be angling for information to get him a higher position asap. That leaves .... Auntie Gui. She is Lone Wolf! Yup, that's a shock to our boys, especially her son! It means more acting at home for them ... and it means Ah Cheng needs to make her trust him, feed her information. Oh my poor boy TT______TT He's sure to get ulcers from this.
This should be fun to watch, though. Ah Cheng's pain is my pleasure? Wait, no, I like him. But still... it will be fun. I'm sorry Ah Cheng! Eleanor will make it up to you.
Yes, yes I will. I really feel for these two. If they survive all of this, they will need serious counseling or something. 
Well, our boys are not ones to plan for a long time, they believe in action. Therefore, they immediately start playing the charade at home. Ah Cheng shouts at Ming Lou about a pay raise he is not getting, about wanting to borrow some money, about being mistreated in general. Yup, Auntie Gui hears it alright and Ming Lou even asks her urgently to talk to Ah Cheng, and not let him stray from the right path. And she totally falls for it.
She's not that bright, huh?
Yeah, I was thinking Lone Wolf would catch on a little quicker, but I'm okay if trying to ingratiate herself with Ah Cheng causes her to slip up a bit. 
The next day, Ah Cheng accompanies Liang's wife and son to the train station. Wow, the scumbag ... so he is really sending them to his home town?! Well, he seems to think it's safer there (it probably is) and that's also the perfect excuse for himself so that he can enjoy life with his other wife. Liang lets Ah Cheng in on a little "secret" too: Chen Bing has gone missing. I wonder whether they ever will discover his body.
Wow... I forgot about him.
Oh yeah, I totally forgot about him too o.O
Secretary Li is out of the hospital and back as a secretary ... only his responsibilities have been switched with the ones Secretary Chen used to have. Minamida knows immediately that this means that his identity has been exposed, but as long as he remains at the office, he has some use. He even has further info for her: he has observed how Secretary Liu met secretly with Takagi (=Gao Mu). Now THAT is news to Minamida, and news she does not like one bit. It seems her superior Mr. Fujita (that's Teng Tian Fang Zheng, I'm guessing?) made him do it, which she takes as a sign that she isn't fully trusted. She must get Wasp to prove her loyalty! Must!
It gets so TWISTED, Kakashi. So Secretary 1, who was injured, is now Secretary 3. New Secretary 1 has no loyalty other than to himself.  Secretary 3 is actually a Japanese spy and reports to Minimida/Nantian - why does she have two names? (She has a Chinese and a Japanese name because they are pronounced differently. Nantian Yang Zi is her Chinese one) Secretary 2, the girl, reports to that soldier Gao - also Japanese. But she is not Japanese? or is she. No, she is not. Just a collaborator, I think.
Spying is some seriously convoluted business. 
Miss Cheng Jinyun is buying glasses in some shop in Shanghai. Fate! Ming Tai is stepping into the same shop that very moment. When asked about a pair, he says she looks good no matter what she is wearing - so she gives back the glasses. Haha, because his taste in glasses is off. Oh, it isn't fate at all, she actually called him there? She wants to give him some nicer glasses for himself (and he tells the saleswoman to bring him the most expensive ones she has). He ends up paying for it himself.
*grits teeth*
I noticed that she chose glasses that were pretty much the same as the ones he had. She must be blind.
When they're alone, Jinyun whispers to him that she also wants to thank him - there was a huge explosion at a Japanese military supply warehouse (remember Ming Tai discussed this with Man Li a while ago) - it was only possible due to the information he gave them. Cue some more recruitment talk. It goes on for a bit, but Hu Ge looks too good, I can't listen anymore.
Yeah, he sure does. Couldn't you picture him in a Mad Men-type show? Sixties, all clean cut in a narrow suit, sipping a martini?
He looked FABULOUS here!
Okay, but this is important: she asks him to rent two apartments she has selected on Scott Street for her (using his own money). Uh-oh. We've seen that name quite recently, in fact when Ming Lou instructed Ah Cheng to go for two apartments for their plan to bring down Minamida, and Ah Cheng walked along that very street! Ming Tai immediately realizes that this is a strategically important location and asks a few questions, but as always, he is stonewalled. He wants to spend some more time with her, too - but nope, can't be done: she has a blind date. He is mortified and offers to stage a scene for her at the location - which he is acting out right then and there on the street. Haha, Ming Tai. And awwww. He means it. He even gives her glasses ... so ugly that no man would develop any interest in her, he adds. 
He genuinely likes her. Sigh. And she likes him. So Ah Cheng told the Communists to rent two apartments as per instruction from Ming Lou, and then the Communists turn around and ask the rich boy from KMT to do it for them... okay. Why?
Well, that seems clear! So that all the evidence leads to HIM of course, and not them. Plus: rich kid. Has money. Uncle Li and his lot obviously have none. These apartments are bound to be expensive
I still think it's super stupid that she does that. It's going to get Ming Tai into trouble, isn't it?! Crap! Crap! Crap! I am getting so nervous! 
A bit later, Ming Tai arrives at the Ruiwa Restaurant ... I'm a bit surprised he knows how to drive a car all by himself, seeing how he always acts like a toddler. Before he goes in he puts on ... those glasses she called very ugly.
But I thought he knew? Or is it part of his act for his sister/a joke to make Trainwreck laugh?
No, he does not know who his date is going to be!!!! 
Haha. He is such a dork. I wonder if he ad-libbed this part a bit with the teeth. 
He goes in, is led to the table and ... his blind date is nobody else but Miss Communist Trainwreck Jinyun. Both are wearing ... ugly glasses. Awww, babies. Ming Jing and Mrs. Su are rather confused about the "kids'" behavior, but they're happy enough that they seem to be getting along quite well. Ming Tai even calls her Jinyun-meimei already. Sorry, Team ManLi, they are, once again, rather cute together! And NOW I NEED TO STOP RECAPPING because Hu Ge is singing on Dragon TV right now! brb
This was a cute scene. Dammit. I'm sorry, my Kitten, I'm so sorry!
It was very cute. I did think it was interesting that she's always going on about him being this spoilt, rich brat, when she is also rich. Hypocrite. 
Okay, I'm back - and this is giving me warm fuzzy feelings, cause everybody is so happy. They take leave and everybody is smiling. BAM, Hu Ge.
You just can't stay mad at that face. Well, that smile and those twinkly eyes.
Yeah, I don't think anyone could stay mad at him for long. 
Ming Jing thinks that he girl "seems a bit strange" (Ming Tai says that strange is good) and then adds: "You seem a bit strange too!". Yes, haha, he is smiling like a fool while driving. Sometimes, things just go right for you, and happiness is all you can feel. Savor it, Ming Tai. 
No! Take it as a bad omen!
Run away! Ming Jing, STOP him from dating/marrying her!
Ming Tai fell asleep on his sister's bed (seriously ... he really IS 5!), a habit of his since he was a child whenever he was troubled. Ming Lou tells her she has "spoilt him rotten" and I nod eagerly. Ming Jing reports that the blind date went surprisingly well - the kids acted as if they knew each other from a past life! Ming Tai even said he wants to get engaged next. Awwww, Ming Jing.
Uhhh, isn't he supposed to be 20? In college? Doesn't this seem premature to anyone else? 
He is 20-something and that was old enough to have a family and kids back then!
I bet he's totally trying to spy on them as well.   
She whispers to Ming Lou that she welcomes it that one of them will be a "normal" person soon, with family, kids, a stable job, etc. She tells her brother that she thinks Ming Tai is pitiful - why did his dad not come and pick him up back then? They published so many search notices. Ming Lou says that both his parents seemed to have used wrong identities. "Who do you think is his father?", Ming Jing asks. "A Communist", Ming Lou answers. And Ming Tai's eyes flow open.
Oooh, how compelling for the boy who's eying them anyway.
I bet Ming Lou said that just so he could hear. He knows Ming Tai might be listening. 
Ah Cheng is in his own room, writing something, when there is a knock at his door. It's his mother, with some special soup for him. She is still concerned about the incident she overheard earlier, and how angry Ah Cheng got at Ming Lou. He complains bitterly about the Mings, who never treated him like an equal. And then, he admits he wants to get his hands on a lot of money to leave the Mings once and for all. She clearly worries a lot and even wants to give him some of her own money. But this? This is about what he deserves.
Okay so I do have a tiny bit of fear that his 'play acting' is going to uncover some deep-rooted resentment that's really there, that maybe he never even realized he felt. This just feels dangerous.
It also feels dangerous to me too. Eep! No Ah Cheng! Please let it be just play-acting! Please!
Ming Lou explains why he thinks Ming Tai's parents were communists (at the time, work strikes were at their peak, and communists went around secretly, instigating strikes). But, he adds, they could also have been gang members or smugglers. But would Ming Jing be ready to give Ming Tai back if his father appeared now? Oh, but she is ... very sad, she calls him a big boy and thoughtful... even if he gains his own family now, he would never forget her as a sister.
That does seem reasonable.
I really loved this scene. It was really touching and beautiful. 
The two elder siblings start arguing over whether to wake him up (Ming Lou) or to go to the guest room (Ming Jing), when Ming Tai starts moving and sleepily asks whether it's time for dinner yet. Of course, Ming Jing has waited for him to wake up with dinner. When they have left, Big Bro looks VERY pleased with himself.
Because I think he knew Ming Tai wasn't asleep. Hey... do you think he WANTS Ming Tai to become a Communist? Do you think that's Ming Lou's real affiliation? In his heart he's a Communist, and he infiltrated the KMT just so he could get to the Japanese and be part of the New Government? I just always assumed he was playing both ends against the middle but now...
Oh, I've always assumed that Ming Lou was at heart a Communist, and that he wouldn't mind Ming Tai joining their team. I also think though that Ming Lou understands very well that unless the KMT and CCP cooperate, they won't be able to get rid of the Japanese. 


Things are very much under control again, which is a nice feeling ... some space for breathing before the next heart attack. There is still that Communist traitor at the hospital, he is still very ill, but he is a huge liability too. What are they going to do about him?! 
Kill him dead, of course.
The calm before the storm somehow unsettles me more than the storm sometimes. 

Ming Tai is in love and it's cute (Yup, sorry again, Team ManLi) and he is obviously also falling more and more in love with the whole Communist cause. In addition, Ming Lou very deliberately let that "Communist" thing slip in front of Ming Tai, steadily pushing him into the Communist camp. It's where his true heart is, that is why. It's beating left. Lefter than it already is. 
Glad to see we are thinking alike.
Yup, what I've always thought too. 

I feel very sorry for Ah Cheng, who meant so well and now is paying the highest price of them all. He is such a good actor, this character! He is using the right mixture of shove and pull with his mother, being abrasive one minute, and seeming vulnerable the next. He also knows her well enough to probably know that the issue of being "just a servant" is a sensitive topic.
He's the one I'm most curious about, most in the dark about. Is he really just what we see?
Every episode, I fall more in love with Wang Kai being so amazing at playing Ah Cheng! 
Why oh why did he pick up that watch...

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