JoAnne: I love him to bits. And it HAS been forever, wow. It's easy to lose track because we see so many of these faces in NIF and so I don't feel like I'm away - but then we come back to this and it hits me that I've really missed these characters.
Eleanor: Man, it has been a while. I miss these characters so much. They feel so real to me. Granted I see these faces often on Weibo, but yeah, it's not the same as seeing them here.
The one disadvantage to the breaks we take are that this plot is fairly circuitous and it takes a bit to figure out which what is which and what path is true, etc.
I'm still not sure I even get all the plot points even after finishing the drama. I feel like if I went back and watched I would get all these twists and turns much, much, much better. Even just commenting here after finishing, this makes sense.
I had actually assumed that the Death Project was the little spy cell itself. Ming Tai, Man Li, and ...damn, what's his name? Guo. I was close, I kept thinking Go. That would be Korean, though.
Death Project. *throws something heavy through a window. I do not like this talk of a Death Project again. Please tell me it's not going to be that bad.
...but I thought it was the Japanese who needed to be fooled. Airplane Wang already knows about Ming Tai. He made Ming Tai. Does he somehow need to feel suspicious that Ming Tai is no longer KMT?
Maybe they want to foil the Death Plan? I'm guessing that there must be a reason that they're not thrilled about working with Wang Tianfeng. I also think that Ming Lou needs more than an aspirin at this point.
So that's for the Japanese, to think Ming Tai was involved in the assassination attempt. Okay. I'm good on this bit. Slowly working my way back in to the mess.
Muahahahahahahaha I LOVE when Ah Cheng is so sneaky! He makes such a good spy.
Oh right, there's this whole bit to keep straight, too - that he's disillusioned about the illegal trade/smuggling and determined to put an end to it, even if it's his own people. Now that, I could see them wanting to keep from Airplane Wang/Poison Bee. Or do they want him to know? UGH.
I don't even know. I think I'm getting a headache just trying to keep all the facts straight. Respect for these spies. Respect.
Yet another evil person I can't help but care about, Killer Wang. Whenever I think of how Ming Lou is using her, my blood runs cold at his cruelty. And yet, I line him up squarely on the side of the good guys. Sometimes I think it's impossible to articulate how we know which side to put someone on.
It's what makes this drama so good - the bad guys and the good guys are all sort of grey. Wang Manchun is definitely someone to be pitied...almost. And man, Wang Ou is GORGEOUS!
I laughed and laughed and laughed. Big Sis is so into her role Secret Supporter.
I think the Ming Bros are a little dense to not involve Big Sis a little more in spy work. I think she's got great potential.
Oddly, no sympathy from me for Lone Wolf, who is also being played very cruelly by someone important to her. Maybe subconsciously I don't really believe she cares for Ah Cheng, despite her story of loss, betrayal, grief, etc?
Maybe it also has something to do with that she abused a child terribly whereas Manchun is an adult - so it's a bit different. But yeah, Lone Wolf I really don't like.
Oops. But....Manli! It's my Psycho Kitten! I've MISSED HER.
Manli!!! Just let the kids have some fun Airplane Wang.
And kind of hot.
Man. This scene. What a way to so set up something so menacing with something so simple.
And hot, don't forget hot.
I love petty.
Um, Ming Tai will die. Um. Hell no. That is NOT allowed. Also, Wang Kai, please always wear trenchcoats. Always. 😍
I do understand Ming Lou wanting to protect his brother...but really, what makes his brother any different from anyone else? Nothing, just that he knows him. Why is it unthinkable that he'd have to die? No reason, just that he knows him. It stinks uncomfortably of the villain who thinks it's okay to blame a poor kid for his own son's misdeed, because being rich means never having to say you're sorry.
Yes and no. I think that for Ming Lou it's also extreme guilt. Ming Tai is really young, in his early twenties and wasn't supposed to get sucked into this - and Airplane Wang kidnapped him knowingly. There is also the whole Big Sis thing and the promises he has made to her to keep Ming Tai safe. I do understand his desire to keep those he loves safe and sound - but I also think that Ming Lou isn't such a big fan of the Death Project and feels like whomever would die would be a waste. Ming Lou strikes me as the sort of person who wouldn't wantonly waste life, but I could be wrong about that.
So then it's not really any one event. It's either a series of events leading to a specific outcome, or it's the fact of the cell itself.
It seems like it's a rather desperate plan. I don't know if I like a plan that has such high stakes but not a sure outcome. Death is kind of a big deal. Unless you can guarantee it won't be a waste...but then again I'm in the camp that thinks all war is waste.
So let me get this straight: Ming Lou and Ming Tai are pretending to Wang that Ming Lou doesn't know Ming Tai is KMT, and Wang and Ming Tai are pretending to Ming Lou that Ming Tai isn't KMT. Except: there was a rescue attempt at the school way back when, so Wang knows that Ming Lou knows, and Ming Lou (I think) knows that Wang knows he knows.
I'm not sure that Wang knows that Ming Tai knows that Ming Lou is KMT. I don't think Wang knows just how much Ming Tai knows, but I could be wrong about that. I think that's what's going on. Wang knows Ming Lou tried to stage a rescue, but he doesn't know that Ming Tai is in on the knowledge. So if Wang doesn't know that Ming Tai knows that Ming Lou is KMT, then Wang has to pretend that this meeting has nothing to do with spy stuff, so that Ming Tai won't side with Ming Lou. That's how I read the situation - he wants Ming Tai loyal to him (Wang) and no one else.
Surprisingly, I followed that very easily. And I think you're right. (But it made me laugh that we're reduced to a comedy skit in order to tell this story.)
Well that's certainly true.
Crap. This had better end well.
CommentsThis episode mildly confused me. The subs are really rocky and sometimes don't even make much sense, so there's that. But I'm guessing that even with perfect subs, the episode would have been confusing - nobody talks straight, it's all super cryptic.
Here, sit with me. There's plenty of room here in the Confusion Zone.
I feel like I need to rewatch the drama many times.
This is what I got: Ah Cheng and Ming Lou are implicating Ming Tai in Nantian's murder. Why? We don't fully know or understand, but it seems that someone has to take the blame, and he's the one whose name is on that rental agreement. Also, he's the most expendable.
I mean, I know they have a plan that puts him at risk but includes saving him, but when you get down to brass tacks, if it doesn't work, they HAVE basically agreed that if someone has to die, it should be him. Wow.
Maybe. I don't know. All of this seems pretty cold-blooded to me. There has to be a reason for all of this.
At the same time, the "Death Plan" is back on the table - and it seems pretty clear it has something to do with that codebook that was mentioned, seeing the way this info is fed to Manchun et al. The codebook and Ming Tai's Scott Road adventures seem somewhat connected, but we're not sure how ... It's also clear that the Death Plan means people will die. Seeing how Insane Person Wang tells everyone he has come to Shanghai to die, I'm guessing he actually will.
I really don't want to see the last of Wang.
I'm guessing more than just Wang will die if it's called the Death Plan. *sigh* I hate war.
But what about Ming Tai? Here, the info we have is not exactly straightforward. Ah Cheng and Ming Lou are trying to come up with a Plan B, because Plan A (Insane Wang's) involves Ming Tai's death. Right? Only, Insane Wang does not want plan B. He wants A. If Ming Tai wins this game, though... Plan B will be it.
I'm sort of thinking Wang has always, since he first realized that Ming Tai is Ming Lou's brother, planned for Ming Tai to die - to hurt Ming Lou as payback for something. That he could use him to further KMT objectives is a plus. But along the way, he became fond of Ming Tai, and that complicates things a bit. Only in the sense that it will now cost him as well, though, because he is after all Insane Person Wang, and breaking his own heart wouldn't be enough to stop him from anything.
I do think that Insane Person Wang does care for Ming Tai, but I also think he is ruthless - he will do whatever he can to save his country and if that means Ming Tai will die, well so be it. I think it's also part of a general tone of painting the KMT as more heartless than the Communists (given how history progressed). Man, I really hate war. Can everyone just stay alive and not die?