08 March 2016

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The Disguiser 伪装者 - Episode 27 (Recap)

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on March 08, 2016
Preparation begins for the next big assignment - a prison break - and Ming Tai is back to being fully professional. Well, there's a little something called "defection" on his mind, but the forces around him seem to think that it's still too early to change camp. 
JoAnne: But I'm so used to him pouting now that this face of determination just looks a boy plotting revenge on the kid who stole his marbles.
Eleanor: LOL Dang those eyes! 

Episode 27

While slurping some steaming noodles, Uncle Li perfunctorily looks through the old newspapers. But ... there it is! A newspaper article about a woman who died saving someone else and probably an ad by the Mings, looking for a relative. Uncle Li starts crying and runs out. That night he stands in front of the Ming Mansion in the rain, still crying, thinking about all the times he has met Ming Tai, not knowing he was his son. But then, he turns away and leaves.
Do you think he turns away because of all the time that has gone by, or because of the politics?
I think he turns around because he realizes that it's complicated...that and he'll have to explain all sorts of things...and maybe he feels guilty, or loyalty to the Mings. He doesn't know who Ming Lou and Ah Cheng are and the role they play. 
Man Li - who is manning (womanning?) the telegraph - receives the order to start the rescue of the POW in the labor camp. Ming Tai isn't in though - Guo says he is "throwing a tantrum". But a phone call and a bit of waiting later, Ming Tai returns to the flour factory, where Guo and Man Li have installed themselves permanently as Manager and General Manager. He can be the Chairman, they tell him.
Look at that adorable little cupcake.
She is as cute as a button! 
It's back to business, in a double sense: the two have really started to manage the flour factory in the two days he was absent and well at that! And then, there is their latest assignment, which Ming Tai is not at all happy about, because how should the three of them manage this all by themselves? He has an idea though (wanna bet that is exactly what Ming Lou wanted him to do?): ask the Communists to join them. Under his command. It takes a bit of convincing his two subordinates, but it makes a lot of sense, so they agree.
Psst: Guo, Man Li: if an 'accident' should befall one of the communists...
hahahahaha plotting her death now are we? And man! Hu Ge looks AMAZING in this scene!
Ah Cheng meets with Uncle Li and tells him that Cobra wants him to join Ming Tai's mission. Fine, says Uncle Li, but there is something else... he has found his long-missing son... it is Ming Tai. He tells Ah Cheng what happened when he left Shanghai to help with labor protests in Hong Kong, how he could not return for quite a while, but when he finally did, all traces to his son had vanished and as much as he looked for him, he could not find him.
Ah Cheng is so surprised, and Uncle Li so apprehensive...poor guy.
All the feels! One big happy, fortuitous family meeting! 
Awww, Uncle Li ... he is not sure he should make himself known to Ming Tai, who has been brought up so well by the Mings. Ah Cheng offers to find ways to reunite them, but Uncle Li just wants to see him more often, not be recognized as his father. Ah Cheng is very happy with this and goes straight to Ming Lou with this news. Older Bro is as surprised as Ah Cheng was ... and quite a bit concerned about what that might mean for the Ming family. He is afraid they might lose their baby bro and he is thinking of how this news will affect Ming Jing. Ming Tai is more than her saviour's son - he is her only hope. Ming Lou cannot fathom letting Ming Tai "go" - and he hopes Uncle Li will keep quiet about the matter.
I'm sorry, that's selfish for him to think that his sister's feelings matter more than the father's feelings do.
I agree. 
Indeed, that is Uncle Li's intention. The meet-up between KMT and Communists takes place the next day. It takes Uncle Li a few seconds to find his voice after he sees Ming Tai. No wonder, because he looks exceptionally good. They have tea and Ming Tai outlines his plan: they need to go in quick in and quick out before reinforcement arrives, because he suspects there won't be many guards. To make sure, they first need to go scout: He knows the prisoners are forced to go work in the stone quarry ever day. Ming Tai's plan is rash and Uncle Li smiles when he says it's clear that Ming Tai in his youth militia ways has "more money than sense", but he is in.
It's not that they look alike but they have a matching slender delicacy.
Oh man! I want Ming Tai to know Uncle Li is his dad! Now! I really hope he does find out and that Uncle Li doesn't die on him or something. That would suck. Especially if Ming Tai were to find out that Ming Lou and Ah Cheng knew. This could get messy! No secrets! Tell him!
That is not all, though. Ming Tai also wishes to officially apply to become a member of the Communists. Uncle Li starts probing him for the reasons, but even though Ming Tai is quite convincing and also mentions being disillusioned in the KMT because he found out something bad, he says he cannot join them at this time. He does not want any children who run away from home after they've suffered an injustice. But Uncle Li promises to "pass on" Ming Tai's request nonetheless.
What a tricky thing to negotiate through, with all those competing feelings. I'm sure he feels pride and happiness but also worry for his son, and then concern for the group, too.
My worry is if Ming Tai were to ever find out that the Communists had done something bad...
And then, Phase 1 of Operation PoW Rescue begins. It's the stakeout phase. As planned, they first watch them work in the quarry. There seem to be about 80 prisoners, most are weak. They are quite shocked to see a boy down there too. Two garrisons are there to guard them, taking shifts. They're well armed and it seems an attack in the quarry is out of the question.
I wonder if Trainwreck gets a new nickname...
Hu Ge, outdoors wear spokesman for the new fall line of all weather spy gear. 
They retreat to the village and watch the prisoners being herded through, back to the camp. They see how many Japanese are with them (10 to 13, no heavy arms). The prisoners are in very bad shape, so they stop at the village's infirmary, to treat a few.
Didn't that seem odd to you? But then, the whole 'marching them through town' bit seemed odd. Why don't they have a camp set up out at the quarry?
To show they're in power? Maybe because it would cost them extra to build a prison so they're just using whatever existing structure they can in town? 
In there, you might have guessed it! Is Jin Yun, currently binding the boy-prisoner's poor feet. He is afraid he cannot work anymore and if that happens ... it's a death sentence in the camp. Hearing the boy, whose name is Man Zai, speak of his predicament affects Jin Yun very much. When he asks who she is, she whispers to him that she will get him out. With his help, she identifies the most senior military guys among the prisoners, a guy called Liu Cang (KMT) and an Officer Tian, from the Communist 4th army. Jin Yun asks for his help in connecting with them and he is ready, under one condition: he wants a promise that he can join the Communists after his rescue.
I spent the entire scene pre-occupied with the mystery of her here today-gone tomorrow bangs. Sometimes she has bangs and sometimes she doesn't! They are too short and too thick to 'hide' by styling differently, so it's obviously a continuity issue, and one which bugs me.
She is such a terrible spy. Why is she confiding in a boy she knows nothing about? Seriously, this made me so angry! Such terrible spying. 
At Division 76, Manchun is still fighting Liang, it seems. Late in the evening, she stomps into his office, confronting him with a document. He is cool as always, offering her various sorts of tea to choose from. She is on edge, as always, and demands to know why he gave an order to arrest certain people, which he seems to sell to the Japanese as illegal labor. You SCUMBAG, wow!! He doesn't give a shit about her unease, in fact, he seems to wait for some kind of action by the anti-Japanese rebels when he ships these people out in three days.
He sells his own people to the Japanese as slaves? When even Killer Wang thinks you're scum, that's bad.
Yeah, he's not exactly an honourable person. Definitely scum. 
In the meantime, Operation PoW Rescue progresses. Tian Liang, the New Fourth Army Battalion Commander, feigns a fever when they halt outside the infirmary again and Liu Cang, Platoon Leader of the Kuomintang Revolutionary Army, gets permission to carry him inside. The Japanese officer in charge looks like he's suspicious... I hope not too suspicious.
He looks like the guy on the train, but that guy died. I'm just having deja vu.
Whoa! He does look like the guy on the train! 
Because inside, all our friends are having a meeting. Tian is not happy that KMT and the Communists are working together and even less happy when it becomes clear that what they see in the room is the entirety of their rescue force. But Ming Tai has a plan to divert the soldiers when they're in the village (disguised as Japanese expatriate selling sake), with Guo's help. Man Li will shoot the leader, and Uncle Li and Jin Yun will quickly arm some of the soldiers among the prisoners. Then, they'll all go and hide in the forest, from where they will get away in a truck. Tian and Liu's task is to find the most able bodied soldiers among the prisoners and tell them about the plan, so that they're ready when the time comes.
It seems sort of loose, I don't know about this.
Yeah, it just seems like we're waiting for something to go wrong with this mission. 
All seems settled then! Uncle Li is about to return to Shanghai to get the weapons when Jin Yun informs them that the boy Man Zai wants to leave with them. Ming Tai is "Who?!" and Jin Yun explains that he is the child they saw. That prompts Man Li to comment on how fast the Communists move to recruit new flesh and Jin Yun barks back. Ming Tai says as he walks out that they should stop fighting, the kid can join whomever they want! Guo forces Uncle Li out of the room as well.
She's gonna fuck it all up again, I know it. It sucks that it's for a good reason because I just need to continue disliking her.
I don't get why she didn't consult the others first about this. This is throwing a major curveball into the operation. Honestly, they stand a better chance of rescuing the kid without him knowing what's going on. Isn't it like the first rule of spying to have as few people possible know the plan?! Such incompetent spying. It doesn't matter if there are good intentions, if the plan gets messed up because she was playing fast and loose with the information, it's all on her, and it doesn't matter how good her intentions were. Argh! 
Uh-oh. The two women glower at each other and then start fighting with words. It's a round of "do you want to say something?" - "why should I say something?" - "You know exactly what I want to say" etc. Finally, Man Li tells the other woman that they might be in the same mission together but they're certainly not on the same page. And frankly, she is pretty sure Jin Yun is just using Ming Tai. Well, but she's wrong about that.
Or so you'd like to THINK. Man Li is pretty sharp. The power of my intention will re-write this already completed drama, I am sure of it.
*sigh* These two. Man Li is definitely on to something here. I don't think Jin Yun likes Ming Tai as much as he likes her and she is totally using her wiles to convince him to defect.
Cut to the outside, where Guo is worried the two will end up in a serious fight. Oblivious Ming Tai is coming back up the stairs because he forgot his car key inside ... but the two men don't want to let him go in at first. He listens a bit for himself, but then, he bursts the door open and asks what they are doing. He is annoyed ... and rightfully so, I'd say, but the two women still bump into him really forcefully when they leave the room. Come on now. It's hardly his fault? 
Yes. It's his fault. He has crappy taste in women. How is that not his fault?
On a scale of it being his fault, I am in between Kakashi and JoAnne's opinions :) 

Ming Tai goes home after this, but only quickly ... he tells his sister that he's going on a date with Miss Cheng, camping! Two tents, of course. Pinky swear! Haha. But before he goes, he has to see Ah Cheng who has "helped him find a present" for Miss Cheng. Or not. They're discussing where the truck will wait for them once they have freed the prisoners. Also, there will be explosives and two extra men. And here is a timing issue: the prisoners are to be taken to Japan the day after tomorrow, so it's now or never. 
At first I was thinking, 'why would they take the prisoners to Japan?' but then I realized you meant that the Japanese would be taking them, not Ming Tai's folks.
Ah Cheng!!! I've missed you!!!
And would you believe it ... Ah Cheng has indeed brought something to give to Miss Cheng. The truth is that Big Sis selected it ... awwww. The marriage means a lot to her. That makes Ming Tai really sad ... he does not want to lie to his sister. But he has to.
He could keep the lies to a minimum, though.
Don't tell me Ming Tai is going to die on this mission. 

Comments

It's very noble of Uncle Li to say nothing. Intellectually, I understand why he is doing it (he does not want to disturb the peace the Mings have built for themselves), but he must also sense that this peace is, in truth, a lie ... there is no peace there, the siblings are lying to their Big Sister and anyway, Ming Tai is an adult, he can decide for himself. So, therefore, the decision made me angry and Ming Lou's fear, though understandable, made me angry too. As if Ming Tai would just say, "Fine, bye, you'll never see me again, I'm going with daddy!".
Yes, I was a bit shocked at his decision, but then again, not really. The Mings are pretty high-handed, when you think about it. They certainly give off an air of superiority, in any event.
Yeah. I also think it might just be weak writing. Like they want certain things to happen before Ming Tai finds out, for some sort of emotional pay off later, but I still think it's a cheap move now. 

What also made me angry: the stupid cat-fight between the two women. That was all Man Li's fault and while I still like her, at this point, the drama has completely sidelined her. Ming Tai has been very clear about his feelings towards her and if she cannot accept it, she should leave. Staying there with him under these circumstances requires following certain rules, and one rule for me would be: if he does not want you, accept it and act accordingly. Foremost, be professional, goddamit, and don't start silly fights with your "rival" who is going to marry him. Not okay, Man Li. 
I hate to admit it, but you are right.
I think you are right as well, but I also think that Man Li is suspicious that Jin Yun might not really love Ming Tai and might be using Ming Tai's affection as a way to get him to defect to the Communists. That I can understand Man Li being protective about - in that way she's looking out for Ming Tai and wants him to be with someone who really loves him, and it is what a partner would do. Of course the jealousy makes her more cat fighty than usual...but then again, she is Psycho Kitten and she does have sharp claws.

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