22 June 2016


The Disguiser 伪装者 - Episode 35 (Recap)

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on June 22, 2016
This is the episode in which Ming Tai faces a death squad and is shot in the heart. Yes, I speak the truth. Ming Tai dies and that's his salvation. It's an episode of pain and healing. And an episode of reckoning. Bittersweet victories are won, but is this the end of the struggle? Oh no. There are six more episodes.
Should we just keep going? How can we stop now? I can't carry this rage around for weeks.
Eleanor: It will be all over soon *rocks back and forth*

Episode 35

Tengtian Fang Zheng does not immediately believe Liang's gossip about Manchun, but Mr. Rabbittooth keeps piling on and on. Finally, the superior officer asks what he proposes. And he proposes this: to shoot Ming Tai immediately, to show Manchun who the boss is. And Tengtian signs the approval.
I trust Ah Cheng. I trust Ah Cheng. I trust Ahhhhhhhhhhhh I hope I can trust Ah Cheng.
Keep calm and trust Ah Cheng. Keep calm and trust Ah Cheng. Can I just say that it's kudos to this drama that we're still a little bit unsure of whether or not we can trust Ah Cheng. They've got us on a knife's edge and they like keeping us there. 
In the dungeons, the lights go partially out. A shady female figure (definitely our braided spy though) comes in and injects Ming Tai with something. I'm guessing that is good? Not a second too early because now, Liang's men storm in, followed by the man himself. The guard on duty puts up a bit of a fight, but that's futile, of course - Liang orders them to change Ming Tai's clothes (for dignity) and drag him out... into a prisoner car and away (he'll get quite a bit of money from Ah Cheng for this later).
Her hair had a reason for being way back when, OR they capitalized on a happy opportunity. Which do you think?
This plan had better work! Whatever it is. 
Ah Cheng drives through night time Shanghai in a hurry. Somewhere else, Jin Yun and Uncle Li sit in an ambulance, fretting. I hope you guys know what you're doing...
Why do they do that, that constant turning of the wheel? I know you don't drive ever but surely this is recognizably ridiculous to everyone? (YES!)

Well cars back then didn't have power steering so maybe he does need to wrench it more to go around corners? I don't know...that's my guess...that and they don't have enough resistance on the steering wheel to make driving more realistic. 
In the meantime, Ming Lou is at the Wang mansion, continuing to drink and being very depressed about his fate and all, about the betrayal of his adopted brother. I almost buy his act, almost! And Manchun... she buys it fully. She tries to support her love ... and to subtly drive a wedge between him and his sister.
Isn't this the room where she was so humiliated by Ming Jing?
I think she is desperate to buy the act because she wants to not think he's a spy. Ming Lou looks amazing here. 
The bottom line for her is: "You still have me. I will never betray you". He only looks at that incredulously, until she admits, yes, she had her doubts about him. Career instincts! But ultimately, she only tried to protect him - better her than the Japanese. Yeah, I don't know...
Seriously, I have to keep reminding myself of her inherent evil bitchness in scenes like this, where she is so obviously a vulnerable woman deeply in love. She's the star of her own K-drama. It's amazing.
I've lost all my sympathy for her. She's done. Ming Lou on the other hand - handsome devil that he is - is it no wonder Manchun can't keep her head straight? 
Liang and Ah Cheng are in an abandoned quarry or something... it's 1am. And creepily quiet, apparently. "About time", Liang says... and they lead forward Ming Tai, bound and still very bloody. When he sees Ah Cheng standing there he just stares. A three-man firing squad is getting ready. Ah Cheng tells Liang he wants a word with his little brother. But no tricks, hear me? Liang goes.
I would ask why people bother saying stupid things but that would make me one of them.
Please tell me that Ah Cheng and Ming Lou really do have a good plan that doesn't result in Ming Tai's death. Please. Please. 
But of course there are tricks: Ah Cheng goes over to Ming Tai and tells him that Big Bro asked him to see Little Bro off. Ming Tai shows no sign of being afraid... is it the drugs? He says to thank Big Brother for him. Ah Cheng puts something behind one of the ropes that bind Ming Tai ... where the heart is. And then, he hugs him and says: "Stand still. Don't shake".
Oh hell no, he isn't...he is, isn't he? He's going to shoot Ming Tai himself to save him. What's that little thing going to do? would it just be driven right into his body by the bullet? Make a bigger hole?
And there go the waterworks again. *reaches for Kleenex*
The, he heads back... and grabs a gun. He wants to kill him himself. Ah Cheng takes aim .... and shoots. Ming Tai flies backwards. Hit. Whatever the trick is, this looked GODDAMN REAL!
In a tragic coincidence, Ming Tai hits his head on a sharp rock as he lands. Dead instantly.
Okay, now I'm starting to think there's no way this can be a death fake-out. 
And then, he's in the ambulance, Uncle Li and Jin Yun shout his name, again and again ... and FINALLY! He takes a breath, coughs blood. But he's alive! He's alive! So... will be ever find out how this trick worked?
Or did he always know?
*breathes a sigh of relief* That looked so real! We had better find out and none of that "magicians never reveal their tricks thing". These Ming Brothers could put on a fricking magic show what with their roses and death fake outs. 
It's morning ... Wang Manchun wakes up on the couch, with a beastly headache. She's fully dressed though. Just saying. She calls for her mentor ... but he is gone. Sad face... is what she thinks! Cause here he is, coming down the stairs, with some breakfast for her. He suggests they eat it together ... and the go to work. Also together. X-mas came early for this girl, it seems.
She is deliriously happy. I guess it might seem reasonable that Ming Lou would turn to her - it's the bit about Ming Tai that works. He betrays the family by destroying Ming Lou's reputation by association, plus he plotted an assassination attempt - couple that with Ming Jing's obvious favoritism and I guess you have motive for jealousy.
Why isn't Manchun suspicious that she wakes up with whopping headaches after spending time with Ming Lou? 
Her delirious happiness lasts only until she gets to work (= her dungeon). Her favorite plaything is no longer there!! She runs to Liang, who shows her Ming Tai's death certificate. All her raging is moot - Ming Tai is "dead", Liang wins this round. 
No more cat toy, Kitty.
Sweet boy Ming Tai is recovering at Uncle Li's house. His fiancée is watching over him day and night. Things will be alright. And fingernails grow back.
I don't think they do, if you pluck them out by the root.
It depends in whether or not the nail matrix was damaged or not. It is possible (yes, the internet says it is), but they might not look pretty depending on damage to the nail bed and matrix. 
Not doing so good: Ming Jing, who was very ill at her friend's Mrs. Su. Ah Cheng wants her to come home. When she's home, sitting on the terrace, Ah Cheng tells her that Big Brother "arranged" Ming Tai's case - and that she needn't worry. But she can only think about the humiliation of him hitting her ... it seems she cannot get over it. But do you hear Ah Cheng warning you? They are under constant surveillance, even in their home (indeed, Lone Wolf is watching them from behind the curtains somewhere!!). They need to act as if Ming Tai is dead. 
So she was in on it, then? The impression I got from this conversation is that she was part of it, and was acting in the court yard - and apart from her natural worry and fear that something would go wrong, what affected her most strongly is that Ming Lou actually slapped her. Is it weird that I feel more relieved about the plan thinking she was part of it?
No, she wasn't part of it. They are only telling her now. And he hit her to make she didn't spill any secrets (not that I agree with his decision). But maybe I'm misunderstanding. 
She still does not seem to listen and Ah Cheng sighs and worries, the poor man ... but she heard him all right. She takes his hand (shipper heart, be still!) and tells him she knows how hard they worked all these years.
Okay fine, tiny ship. Just now, though, never before.
Don't worry Kakashi, you're not the only one out there - there are more of us. 
Manchun is obsessing over Ming Tai's case when Tengtian tells her to drop it and concentrate on Division 3. She does, though reluctantly ... and then, they intercept a secret report. Thanks to the code book, they can decipher it all and know exactly where the Chinese troops will be and what they will do. They change their strategy accordingly - and get pulverized. The report was false and they were fooled... utterly fooled.
And here we have why the Death Plan was made. 
Somebody has to pay for the disaster - and that somebody is Manchun. Liang is put in charge of her responsibilities and she gets to spend time in prison. Seems fair.
I'm good with it, yep.
Yeah, don't feel sorry for her at all. Wang Ou is gorgeous though, and I love that lighting!
Ming Tai - who is going to be sent north sometime soon (potentially without Trainwreck!) - is getting increasingly restless. Soon, he is able to move around the house and peep at people down in the street from the rooftop terrace. He is hanging up some shirts up there when he realizes he doesn't have enough clothes hangers. He goes down, into Uncle Li's room, to get some more... and then, something catches his eye. That something is a pellet drum - he owned one just like it as a boy.  
The onnnnnnnnnnnnly one in existence.
Hahaha, come on Jo, let the boy find his father. haha. 
There are many pellet drums in the world, undoubtedly, but something about it bugs him. (I cannot tell you how much it tickles me when say something, then read a next line like that.) He returns to Uncle Li's room and looks at it again. This isn't just any pellet drum. This is his pellet drum. And he opens the red box that is in that cupboard as well ... and finds a framed picture. With his momma. Uncle Li. And himself as a boy. Maybe Uncle Li forgot to tell you something?!
Good thing they don't use fingerprints to confirm relationships. Except as soon as I wrote that I realized it's his fingernails, not anything to do with his fingerprints. Whatever.
Ming Tai. His dad had better not get killed before they reunite or anything. 


Ha, I had completely forgotten about the "Daddy"-issue. Glad that's solved before Ming Tai disappears to the North. 
I'd forgotten too, but remembered it in the ambulance.
I was just hoping that Ming Tai would find out before his dad gets killed. And now I have a memory of walking down a street in Milano with Caitlyn and moonlil before we met up with fernweh and Kakashi and family and we were talking about Ming Tai and his dad. Milano! I want to go back! 
DAMN. We would have seen Hu Ge! 

At the end of episode 35, pretty much everything has become clear. Ming Tai had to be arrested to "die" - to disappear from the world to be saved. As a dead man, he can start a new life in the north and nobody will ever look for him. It's very, very clever. Probably too clever. Let's see whether it will work as planned.
But it wasn't the point of the plan. They used the plan to hopefully salvage that from the ashes, but were fully prepared for him to actually die in support of the KMT strategy.
Nope, the point of the plan was to save Ming Tai. The other stuff was useful fallout. 
Yes, I think it was the point of the plan. At least Ming Lou's part of the Death Plan. That's why he so desperately wanted Ming Tai to get arrested. Remember, the bank thing? Ming Tai was just too good and escaped, but actually, Ming Lou and Ah Cheng had hoped he would be caught, to be removed from Crazy Wang's part of the plan.  
Yeah, I agree with Kakashi. Of course they will use everything they can to work to their advantage, but the code books part and making sure there was a high number of Japanese casualties was the end goal of the Death Plan. Crazy Wang was quite content for Ming Tai to be another casualty in that game but having him arrested was Ming Lou's way of getting him saved. 

Manchun was played from several sides. Ming Lou drew her away from her dungeon, so that Ming Tai could be extracted. Ah Cheng worked on Liang, who more than willingly stabbed Manchun in the back, by telling on her and Ming Lou and made it look like she had a hidden agenda. When the fiasco with the code book happened, it seemed more than clear that she had to be behind it. Watch Ming Lou go in for the kill in the upcoming episodes. She is done for. Or is she? Be careful boys... this one is a fighter.
I expect her to be around until the end.
They can't get rid of her unless they kill her. 

As for the deaths of Guo, Manli, and our Airplane Wang... it seems utterly cruel, and maybe it was not "necessary", but it was very effective. That Wang betrayed his two subordinates in that way established him as "trustworthy" (or rather, utterly untrustworthy, but you get what I mean) - and when Ming Tai came after the code book in Manli's body, it seemed to be clear that it was the real one.
Yes, yes, very effective. Perhaps overkill, definitely overly risky. But it did work, in the end, so for a lot of people that makes it all okay.
Yeah, I have my doubts about it being necessary as well, but it did effectively get the job done. I wonder if Ming Lou had been in charge, if perhaps the casualty count for our people might have been a little lower. 

As I mentioned in one of the past recaps, Wang's own death at Ming Tai's hand, was more like a suicide than a murder. I think he staged it because he could not continue living with what he had done. Had had to do. Was it all worth it? I think this drama keeps telling us that in times of war, a life given for the greater good is always worth it. They saved many, many of their soldiers and they managed to kill many, many enemies. Thus: yes, worth it. Of course, I don't buy into that logic, because I don't live in a period of war - and for me, every life lost is a horrible tragedy. But I get this message. It hurts to think about it. But for those three, I think it was worth it.
Sacrifice a few for the many: yes, I do think that can be worth it. That was never my issue with this plan.
I think that not only was Wang getting a just execution from his pupil, (I saw more as an execution for a war crime than a suicide, though it was also that), but he was making it seem that if Ming Tai was angry enough to kill him, it looked even more like Wang betrayed his comrades, thus solidifying the plan's effectiveness. I just in general have a problem with war. I think that humans are bloodthirsty and quick to war with each other. I wish they weren't. I want to believe in a world where there are more peaceful options for conflict resolution. It seems so counter-intuitive to make children on a playground treat each other nicely, when the adults are bombing the crap out of each other. It seems so hypocritical. Anyway, that's a whole other conversation. 

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