Black & White, Episode 2

Mob boss’ daughter gets mob boss’ daughter’s treatment — that is, 40-50 men in spiffy black suites coming to the police station to do three things 1) intimidate the local authority, 2) bring back the princess/the matriarch/the pearl of the mob, and 3) to make the welcome-back reception look magnificent.

Polite talk with spikes are exchanged between Che Jing, the San Lian Hui representative, and the director of the department. To make matter look orthodox on the appearance, a stubby lawyer finds his way out of the crowd.

He demands to see his client. Once in the interrogation room, the sly lawyer paces around the room and questions the necessity to keep Chen Lin in the police station. Ying Xiong steps up and explains that Chen Lin is involved with a drug related disappearance. Since the disappearance is crucial to the case, Chen Lin naturally becomes a primary suspect. (Since he isn’t exactly portrayed as someone methodical, I was impressed by the cool headed way he handled this.) The lawyer doesn’t budge. He sharply points out there is no direct evidence linking Chen Lin to the crime. Until there is sufficient evidence, his client should be free to go.

It’s Zai Tian’s turn to make some kind of contribution to keep Chen Lin a little longer (although he won’t be able to get what he wants out of her no matter how long she stays). He addresses the lawyer and suggests an alternative, “What if she attacks the legal force? Two patrol and one detective, is that enough?”

Chen Lin smiles sweetly at Zai Tian, as if to say, “funny you should mention that” and motions for the lawyer. She whispers something to his ear all the while peeking at the two uneasy detectives.

When she finishes, the lawyer speaks up,

My client tells me that she was forced to be handcuffed before any substantial evidence points to her connection with the disappearance. This violation of protocol clearly deprives my client’s personal freedom. Moreover, the discourse that took place during the interaction was marked by frivolous flirtation and inappropriate touching. My client merely reacted out of self-defense against those self-righteous detectives who clearly abuse the power granted to them by law.

Chen Lin’s look of triumph makes the usually smooth-tongued Zai Tian stutter as he struggles to defend himself.

When Chen Lin leaves, the director personally lectures the two detectives for their reckless action that is to result in the embarrassment of the whole Southern Branch. Before leaving the two pissed off detectives to sulk in the interrogation chamber, the director reminds them that they have one week left to either catch Gao Yi or bring back the 500 thousand USD they borrowed to use for the dealing.

In response to the Director’s scold, Ying Xiong cuffs Zai Tian and says, “Director, I can capture the first suspect,” then turning to Zai Tian, he demands sternly, “Chen Zai Tian, how do you explain your positive test results with Dreamer?” It turns out, when Xi Ying accidentally spilled the solution of Dreamer, she saw that the paper Zai Tian used to wipe his mouth reacted with the solution and makes the conclusion that Zai Tian is somehow involved with Dreamer. (I’m sure it’s one of those false positives or anomalies that Ms. Mad Skills just forgot to consider but will find out and add to her knowledge, somehow.)

To prove Zai Tian’s innocence, he agrees to have his blood drawn for a test. Yet, all four petri dishes showed positivity. But because the particular methodology Xi Ying developed has not been approved, Zai Tian cannot be arrested or investigated.

Now instead of Xi Ying perfecting her methodology, she is going to file her result and get it approved so it can become a legalized procedure. And it’s up to Zai Tian to prove, before the method is approved, how he ends up testing positive for Dreamer. Zai Tian’s situation doesn’t look to bright from where I’m standing, but it motivates him to work harder on the case.

Faced with a problematic case like this, Zai Tian pets and coos a black fax machine in a bar where he gets most of his leads on cases from. Ying Xiong on the other hand, is spotted to be deep in thought in the lab.

Later that day, Ying Xiong receives a call informing him the vehicle carrying the dead informant’s brother is found to be abandoned. Sensing the bad news, his temper flares up when he sees Zai Tian in the usual sleazy mode. He yells at Zai Tian for being incompetent and storms out the door. (Yikes, someone has a bad temper, though, Zai Tian’s happy-go-lucky ways don’t make it any better either.)

After confirming the informant’s brother’s death, Ying Xiong returns to the crime scene, hoping to find more information about the murder. He finds a phone number and the informant’s family portrait, which he gazes thoughtfully at.

Zai Tian returns to the bar to see if there is any fax for him. He is disappointed once more. So he sits there sipping beer, waiting for the fax. (That boy and his passivity!) But before the bar closes, the phone rings. All that waiting paid off!

The fax reads, “To Mr. Chen Zai Tian: the last clue will perish soon, hurry and protect.”

After leaving the crime scene, Ying Xiong heads towards the hospital to seek out the only surviving suspect from the gun fight scene the day prior. On his way there, he sees a hooded man dressed in complete black sitting on the side of the road. (Gasp, can it be Death himself!?) Ying Xiong takes a hard look at the oddly dressed man and enters the hospital. Inside the hospital room, a nurse is tending to the sick.

Ying Xiong asks when the wounded man will wake up, for he is an important clue to an investigation. The nurse replies coyly that perhaps tomorrow, when he wakes up. Once out of the hospital room, the woman changes her attire on her way down the stairs and exits the building with a smirk. She walks to the hooded man to delivery the news of successfully completed the task…

When Ying Xiong leaves the hospital room, he encounters Chen Lin coming for a visit. He blocks her way and says exasperatedly, “Miss Chen, can you tell me why you are always at places connected to the case?” “Can’t I come to see the doctor?” “You were at informant An’s place the day he was murdered, then you took away his mother… But that’s not enough for you, you had to kill his brother as well.” At the mention of the man’s brother, Chen Lin turns sharply and asks, “What happened to his brother?” “Stop pretending. He was killed within an hour on the road. Don’t tell me you weren’t behind this. Did you kill them all because you are afraid they will leak the fact that San Lian Hui is the source of Dreamer?” She breaks free of his grasp at that point and looks him in the eye, “I take no part in whatever San Lian Hui does.” Then she walks off.

Ying Xiong is desperate for someone to blame, he yells after her, “You are the mistress of San Lian Hui and you expect me to believe that you don’t participate in San Lian Hui related activities? Then what do you do?” She turns and replies lightly, “I only take part when it has to do with those I care about.”

When Zai Tian finds Ying Xiong with his crumpled sheet of fax and tries to convince him that their last clue is on the verge of death, Ying Xiong snaps at him, accusing him of being careless and irresponsible. He takes no pain to conceal his condescension and retorts that mysterious informant or not, he is not going to believe anything that comes out of a drug-addict’s mouth. (Ying Xiong is firmly convinced that Zai Tian is a drug user to test positive on all four tests.)

As they are speaking, the man in the hospital struggles for his last breath.

And Gao Yi enjoys a Dreamer trip. (Just to show you 1. the hallucinogenic effects of Dreamer and 2. Gao Yi is an idiot — don’t drug manufacturers know BETTER than to use drugs themselves? Especially such potent drugs?!)

To lighten up the mood a little:

Zai Tian is sipping beer in front of a large TV at home. (Him and his beer!) But his mind is on what Wu Ying Xiong said to him. He murmurs to himself, “Don’t believe me? Don’t you cry when you find out I was right!” As if to punish him for his unkind (and childish) thoughts, all the lights in his house went off, leaving Zai Tian wondering to himself, “What?! Have I said something wrong?” Hah!

The brief electric outage inspires Zai Tian as he carries a tiny candle to search for food in the fridge. He remembers Xi Ying’s words that the production of Dreamer requires a constant temperature below zero degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit). He looks at the dark fridge and thinks to himself, “It must require a huuuuuge freezer.” When the light flickers on and Zai Tian habitually blows out the candle, another idea occurs to him as the smoke from the candle rises up.

It would take a big electric bill to keep a large production factory at a constant zero degrees. And the location of any abnormal electric usage sites may be where Dreamer is being produced.

The next morning, the news of the only survivor’s death puts a promising lead, but it opens a brand new one (albeit a biased one). Since Ying Xiong saw Chen Lin going to the hospital, he is requesting a search warrant to search her house. Because San Lian Hui is so big, they get no search warrant. BUT, the director doesn’t necessarily say no to Ying Xiong’s desire to pursuit this line of investigation either.

Ying Xiong insists on going alone, it’s Zai Tian that yells some sense into the stubborn tough boy. They end up going together, like partners should.

The security of the building turns out to be hard to penetrate. The security guard insists that either the two detectives contact Chen Lin directly or they can request a search warrant. Otherwise, they were not to enter. Ying Xiong is not acquainted with civilians saying no to him, as the conversation approaches holy battleground, Zai Tian steps in.

He pretends to be in need of going to the restroom and distracts the security guard as he attempts to rush into the building. This gives Ying Xiong an opportunity to pull the fire alarm.

While the residents evacuate the building, Zai Tian and Ying Xiong search for the unit belongs to Chen Lin. As Zai Tian approaches the door in giddy self-congratulation, two rounds are fired at his chest. The force of the shot throws him back and against the opposite door. He flops onto the floor, unconscious.

This episode is SO much more enjoyable without the few overacting supporting casts.

I like the added mysterious informant to explain Zai Tian’s success as a detective, as he is clearly no brainiac. It opens up the door for speculation, the most obvious ones being: Who is the mystery informant? How does the informant know so much about the criminal organizations? Why is the informant helping the police, if (s)he is helping the police at all, etc.

In terms of acting, the casting group did a great job. I was initially skeptical about Mark being Ying Xiong because he is the least experienced actor with one of the heaviest roles. But on screen, he is so much better than some of the so-called more experienced supporting actors (yes, Mr. Team leader, I’m looking at you).

PS: Please don’t copy & paste the entire recap onto forums. I don’t mind sharing, after all, that’s what RSS is for. But it looks tacky without the screen caps, espcially when sometimes, screen caps are necessary to keep the flow of the text.

7 thoughts on “Black & White, Episode 2”

  1. Dear irugnotmis,

    Thank you again for recap episode. You are so kind sharing. Very excited after read it all. Now I know what text fax said. Sometime Zai Tian look funny but sometime serious. I love the role of Chen Zai Tian.

  2. Thanks a lot for the recap of Ep 2. I enjoyed reading it very much. Agree that Ep 2 is much more exciting. I was literally glued to the screen for most parts of this chapter. I guess Ep 1 was used to introduce the characters hence is more slow-moving. LOL! The veteran actors can be a little exaggerated in their speech and actions. Surprisingly, it’s the younger cast (Vic, Mark, Ivy, Janine) who are showing the more subtle and natural acting. Vic as Chen Zai Tian is the most flamboyant one but I believe this is part of his characterization of the role. But whenever he is in a serious mode (like when he was trying to comfort YX after his informant was found dead), you can see glimpses of the deep inner thots (or is that just my own view?). As for Mark/ YX, hope to see other emotions besides being angry (LOL!) and moody. I’m sure we will see more of that. I love Ivy Chen as the mob princess so far – she is adorable and smart, without being overly cute. And Janine is gorgeous!

    Note taken on posting the screencaps togther with the copy. Will correct my post at Asianfanatics later.

    Btw, there is one important part not in your recap ie. the fact that the Dreamer “factory” also suffered a black-out the same time as Chen Zai Tian’s apartment. It might be a very important clue to connect Zai Tian with Dreamer and also Kingone’s character (Gaoyi).

    1. I wrote about the blackout in the original version of the recap, but took it out later when it appears too stand alone of an event to include. Also, mentioning it would require a discussion of assumptions on the relevance of the two blackouts, which I’m not ready to make yet.

      For future reference, can you not copy & paste at all? I’m iffy about the idea for aesthetic reasons. I mean I’m fine with trackbacks and RSSing the full post, but copying it onto a forum makes the presentation of the recap look tacky. Thanks!

      PS: I’m very excited about the character development!

      1. –PS: I’m very excited about the character development! —

        Ditto! All the main character shold so much promise. I love all the little glimpses of each character’s inner thots and real nature in different scenes. I love that the director does not “outrightly” point things out to the audience (which most Taiwan dramas are fond of doing). I love finding out little clues of the characters myself and also the links btwn different scenes/ dialogues. Love it, esp 2nd time watching.

        OK, I will not copy and pasting the recap to other sites. Will post the link direct to your site instead. I think some have already started to do that. 😀

        Thanks again for the effort. Hope the drama keeps getting better and that you’ll keep recapping. 😀

        sytwo

  3. the story just begin…

    i really enjoy 2nd recap,.. its seems a lot of mysterious just begin to solve…

    actually.. a lil confius bout the fax received by Zai Tian.. who send that?.. the time he in bar really make me confius before.. i dont know what he trying to do.. but now.. atleast i can understand it.. even a lot of ‘question mark’ still running in my mind..

    thanks so much.. keep it up ya!!.. really appreciate it!!

  4. Thank you for the recap, Irugnotmis. I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t had time to reply. I had to re-read the recap to refresh my memory of ep. 2.

    I also agree: this episode was much better than the first (even though I thought the first one was pretty okay as far pilot episodes went). I had only one problem with this episode and that was the whole Zai-Tian-testing-positive-for-Dreamer situation. My initial thought as to why Zai Tian tested positive for Dreamer was because of his run-in with Gao Yi in ep. 1 – that somehow the drug got on him – but on further consideration, that scenario seemed improbable since that wouldn’t explain how the drug got into his system unless he inhaled it from wherever it spilled on his shirt. Of course, that would have meant that anyone who’s been in close contact with him would have also inhaled the drug – which brings me to my next point. Why didn’t Xi Ying also run the same test on other people for comparison, or at least to have a control subject? But I think my biggest complaint in this episode is Hero’s reaction to the test results. I understand he’s all for justice and I even admire his steadfast views, but a little discretion would have been nice. Granted, Zai Tian hasn’t made a great impression so far, but to publicly announce his test results to the whole police force, handcuffing him, and interrogating him like a suspect in front of everyone was a bit premature and extreme, considering the fact that the test results came from a methodology that hasn’t even been approved yet, and aside from his supposed positive test results, there is no evidence to suggest that Zai Tian is in any way related to the case. As far as I can tell, everything is just circumstantial: testing positive for Dreamer (based on an unapproved test method) and Zai Tian coincidentally being at that particular coffee shop at that particular time (it wasn’t like they started there; Hero did chase Gao Yi there after all). And since Hero is the great policeman that he is, I’m sure he’s heard of chain of custody. Before he destroys Zai Tian’s career and any hope of building trust with his new co-workers, Hero should at least wait until the methodology is approved before he gives Zai Tian the third degree. It’s already hard enough being the new guy and trying to build rapport with your new colleagues, but to have this cloud hanging over you when nothing is concrete would make it even more difficult.

    1. I understand your irritation.

      It did look somewhat over the head, but it also necessitated Chen Zai Tian’s involvement in the Dreamer case as well as established Hero’s quick-to-conclusion trait.

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