The Disguiser 伪装者 - Episode 40 (Recap)

This penultimate episode is Ah Cheng's episode ... and Liang's. Ah Cheng keeps cleaning up mess after mess and finds a rather unexpected helper in Liang. More danger is averted and more people die, but the Mings are never safe. Should we be glad all three brothers are still alive at this point - or does that mean we should fear the end of this show?
JoAnne: I keep waiting for one of them to die! Not that I want them to...but could it really happen? Could they all survive?
Eleanor: Maybe they will all die. Noooooooooooo!!!!

Episode 40

The anonymous phone call, the one sentence from the tape ("Wang Manchun, let go of my big sister - the person you wish to kill most today should be me") is a grave threat to the Ming brothers. Ah Cheng urges Ming Lou to flee immediately, but Big Bro is not ready to run yet, even though that sentence will give away that Scorpion/Ming Tai is still alive.
He'll turn it around. He always does.He will, right? Have you guys seen the end of this?
Keep calm and trust Ming Lou. *breathes deeply* It's going to be okay, right? RIGHT?!
The reason why Ming Lou isn't running is that he is still alive. If they knew, he'd be dead, he says. Why are they leaving him a way out? I don't know, Ming Lou, you tell me!!!! Or better .... RUN!
His logic: this evidence is insufficient for them to act. Pretending nothing is wrong, going with the flow, walking right into the trap is their best solution. If they retreat, they expose themselves. Nerve-wracking.
I don't want to play poker with him, that's for sure. This man knows how to run a bluff.
Um. Ming Lou. You. No words. Wow. He is fearless. 
They notice something is amiss and indeed, one of the secretaries (her name is Liu) is eavesdropping outside the door. She is bringing coffee that nobody asked for. 
Kill her! Kill her!
Um, lady, two Ming brothers, killing machines, are on edge. Don't mess around with them right now if you want to stay alive. 
Time to have a word with the nosy secretary, it seems. At gunpoint. Yum, Ah Cheng looks good. It seems it was this secretary who played the recording on the phone! Huh! She demands to speak to Ming Lou alone. She's no beginner, that much is clear! She keeps completely calm and collected during the whole "conversation".
How did SHE get it? Is she a pawn for Tengtian?
*stares at Ah Cheng* What was I thinking? Oh yes. Um, won't they have to shoot her now? 
Liang calls, asking whether it's "a convenient time to speak". Uhm, no? But Liang insists, come to his office right away. He just spoke to Tengtian, and Liang suggests that's the most important thing of them all. He might be right. The spy secretary gets a promise to get an appointment with Mr. Ming tomorrow (and has the audacity to demand 30 gold bars on top. 30!) woman, you get an extra picture for that. But do you think the Mings are that stupid?!
She's so dead.
Man, these people underestimate our Mings. She is sooooo dead. 
Liang tells his underlings that his conversation with Ah Cheng is top secret, nobody is allowed near. Ah Cheng plays dumb, but then, Liang attacks him with his cane. Ah, you foolish rabbit-tooth... But yes, he is that angry at "trusting the wrong guy". And he asks straight out whether Ming Tai is still alive. He may be angry, but he also looks a bit impressed.
Wait. Did he know before or didn't he?
He didn't know. Only Uncle Li and Trainwreck, and of course Ming Lou and Ah Cheng knew. Also, these people all have no idea who they are dealing with. Ah Cheng and Ming Lou will kill them so quickly it's not even funny if they even think to defy them. 
Ah Cheng quickly collects a bit of information on the tape, who gave it to Tengtian, etc. I kinda like how Liang is not working against them at all. He tells Ah Cheng that there's a manhunt going on for Ming Tai but really, really, really does not want to know anything that the Mings are planning.
I think if they dug too deeply into Ah Cheng, some of Liang's dirt would be uncovered. Plus I think he half likes the guy.
Who wouldn't?! haha
Is Ming Tai going to create a problem again? He is locked inside his father's house and is extremely restless. He shouldn't even open a window. Just look at it as a very difficult mission, says Uncle Li. Yes, sit still, you idiot!
Read a book! Where's his stupid wife? Have sex! Does she even know he's alive? (Yeah, she was part of it, okay...) How come she never comes to see him? Thank you for that, Show.

Ming Lou meets with the Spy Secretary. He praises her coffee making skills (lol) and says he will miss her after she's gone. She admits to being Japanese, but that is so not news to this man, you silly woman. Also, you've completely underestimated this man. He is not playing your games. He won't "buy" the recording because that would make him suspicious. It seems this woman is working against Tengtian though, at least she claims to be. Her plan is this: get a huge sum of money for herself (remember, her fiance was killed by the Mings), retire to the countryside and watch Tengtian go down when it comes out that Ming Lou was a secret communist. Ming Lou pulls out a suitcase and slides it over to her... the money?
Her fiancee was Guo? Which Guo? Not KMT Guo, right?
Nope, the Japanese soldier who was trying to overthrow Tengtian and was working with Manchun. 
Next, he has Ah Cheng take him to Mr. Tengtian. He is listening to a / the (?) tape recording on the way. He plays the "Ming Tai" tape to the Japanese commanding officer as soon as he's in his office. Yes, that has always been Ming Lou's style - walk straight into the trap and then twist your way out. He says some people think this proves he is a Communist - but that's a grave mistake. The voice on the tape is not Ming Tai - it's Ah Cheng. Somebody is using the tape to frame him, Ming Lou, but also works against him, Tengtian. And ... he can prove his innocence.
Oh I like this. A lot.
Hehe. You smart, lovely Ming Lou, you! 
And bam, he delivers Secretary Liu to the knife. Because he has made a recording of his own, recording the woman's "evil" plan against Tengtian that she spoke about a few moments ago. Yeah, oups, that's pretty damning... Secretary Liu is arrested on the spot and the gold is returned to the clear winner of this round.
Muahahahahaha. I love the Mings. 
But Lone Wolf is STILL at it. In fact, the woman is smart and has pretty much worked out all of Ming Lou's crazy plotting, starting with the assassination of Nantian. But Mr. Tengtian is fed up with all the suspicion without evidence. No evidence, no action! Plus, he's out of time. He has been assigned on a potentially deadly mission - he doesn't give a damn about Ming Lou's identity anymore.
Seriously,woman, let it go.
Ugh. Why hasn't she been killed yet? Why are you making trouble for our beloved Mings???
But he has two more days, and Lone Wolf assures him she will deliver the evidence he needs in time. Can't you just GO AWAY, you evil woman?!

At the Ming Mansion, all photos of Ming Tai have disappeared. Ming Jing is in uproar. Lone Wolf admits she put them away. Uhm, why?! She has to bring them back and the two maids put all the pictures back in order. Why is the Wolf staring at one with Ming Tai and Trainwreck on it? Oh no... She's monitoring Trainwreck and sees how she talks to Uncle Li.
Man, I really hate Lone Wolf so much. 
She follows him, seeing how he also got "clothes" from Trainwreck for someone. He goes and talks to Ming Tai (who is so bored he looks like he's about to explode soon), delivers the clothes, and goes out to buy something else. Ming Tai follows him across the courtyard - but is of course strictly forbidden to step a single foot outside. But, when Uncle Li opens the outer gate, Ming Tai is clearly visible from where Auntie Gui is standing. YOU FOOLS!
Honestly, can we just beat him for being stupid?
Yes, I'm sure Kakashi would love to spank Hu Ge. 
She sees Ming Tai, Ming Tai sees her - and takes pursuit. He has a knife in his hand. She tries to get to a busier street, but all of a sudden, there is Ah Cheng! With a muffled gun. That's it, Lone Wolf. He doesn't even blink when he pulls the trigger.
All is forgiven, my dearest faithful man.
That screenshot. Can't breathe. Wang Kai. You are so damn sexy it's not even funny. 
Damn, two police officers notice how they drag her corpse between them, so they drop her, Ah Cheng fires a warning at them and drives off with Ming Tai.
Cue Ming Lou rage fit. Yup, the situation is pretty bad, because Tengtian had lost his faith in the woman, but now that she was killed, that will probably change. But come on, Ming Lou. Don't scold Ah Cheng like this. Ming Lou thinks this is finally it: they need to leave the city.
Leave our boy alone!
Don't scold my hubby! 
Liang gets the intel file on the murder of Lone Wolf - to pass on to the Special Force Unit. He throws a little hissyfit over "this is just a middle-aged woman, why would we even need to get involved", rants against the police, tells his underling that this is not "raging", he is just teaching him how to do his job ... and then keeps the file. Good man.
Dammit, I'm starting to like this weasel.
Funny that - how likable he's become. 
He then calls Ah Cheng over. The Mings are like: what the heck does he want at this time? But Ming Lou is the one suggesting this might be their chance to "turn things around". He has a nose for such things, right? Haha, Ah Cheng gets scolded some more, this time by Rabbit Tooth. Liang is so smug. He doesn't demand money though as expected by Ah Cheng - he only has a request: on the day the Chinese win, he wants certainty that his wife and child that he sent away are safe. He has no hopes for himself to live. His hands are too dirty. 
OH, okay. Didn't see that coming. 
*Hugs Kakashi for all the beautiful Ah Cheng screencaps*
And thus, the Mings stay in Shanghai... only Ming Tai is to leave. And Liang - who would have thought! - wins this episode. Or does he? When he leaves his office, someone is waiting for him...
Shit. Shit, shit, shit.
Oh man. I guess the show is going to end on a bang then, is it? 


I am so impressed with Liang, I cannot even say anything. He is one of the characters we often laughed about - he did seem ridiculous in part - but he is also a character with a tremendous amount of character growth. That didn't come from nothing, of course, it's all Ah Cheng's hard work that has come to fruition! But still. Liang, I raise my glass to you: thank you for doing the right thing today. 
I don't know that he did it because it was the right thing. I think he did it because he calculated that this is the side he needs to be on. I think that's a fresh calculation for him every time.
I think it's a bit of both. I think he's a very human character - on the weasly side for sure - but in many ways he was probably like many people involved in political conflicts, doing what he could to survive. I definitely liked him more by the end of the show than the beginning. Excellent acting on his part, that's for sure.

It's interesting that Ming Tai's character has been completely sidelined for the last few episodes. He is actually a burden to his two older brothers and it almost seems like the drama has run out of things to do with him. The blunder in this episode is again his fault - at least partially. It doesn't help the impression we get of Ming Tai, that's for sure; but it also reinforces the impression that the true main character is - and has always been - Ming Lou.
Well, he for sure is the disguised one, so that makes sense. But you are right - this drama turned out to be not about what I thought it would be about at all.
It's kind of too bad that Jin Dong doesn't seem to have won as many awards for this show as Hu Ge. I really and truly think that Ming Lou is the star of the show, but in a quiet, shadowy, hidden, disguised sort of way. His performance has been spectacular.