“Don’t resist it. The first time you inhale it, you will feel a sensation of weightlessness… as if you are floating. Then slowly, you will feel a kind of elation that surfaces from the deepest, darkest corner of your heart.”
The preparation starts. Gao Yi hacks into the computerized system, switches off automated control and turns on manual driving. Then, to add a pinch of thrill to the act, he cranks up the speed.
His next move is to install a ticking device containing Dreamer into the air filter of the subway. Having taken care of the necessary set up, Gao Yi is ready to put on a dramatic act of horror.
Donning a golden mask and the persona of a pirate ship’s captain, Gao Yi spreads out his arms in a grand welcome . While people shrink from his presence, one figure approaches with the air of firm determination. He takes off his mask to get a better look at the brave soul and asks dreamily, “What can I do for you, m’am?”
At the last stop of the subway, The Delightful Duo find out some bad news: Gao Yi has managed to disconnect the subway from the operation desk’s control, meaning that there would be no way to stop the train. If the train doesn’t stop at the end of the route, it will hit a wall and the consequences will be dire.
Gao Yi approaches Chen Lin, she fiercely throws him on his back. Unaffected by her chagrin but rather enjoying it, he takes out his cell phone and activates the Dreamer “bomb”. Suddenly, the subway is washed by a wave of tingling electric pulse. People are falling left and right, gasping, crying, and laughing in hysteria.
Feeling lightheaded, Chen Lin struggles to regain her balance, but the drug has already taken effect. Her vision starts to blur, until eventually, she succumbs to the power of Dreamer.
Thoroughly enjoying his creation of “paradise”, Gao Yi jumps from one pole to the next, harassing his victims in turn.
On the outside, Hero and Zai Tian have found a solution — use the emergency breaks. It requires two men’s cooperation, a single mistake or the slightest hint of hesistation will send everyone to heaven (or hell).
There isn’t much time left, Zai Tian and Hero rush to the subway tracks and assume their respective position. Before departing, Zai Tian yells after Hero, “Hey, don’t die.”
By the way, the fools police teams under Group leader Chen have searched the in door mall, where Gao Yi is supposed to release his Dreamer, a total of three times. They found nothing. (Of course, what’s there to find?)
Hero rushes to the station platform where the train will be passing. He runs after the train and leaps across the open station door. Latching on to the end of the subway, Hero laboriously makes his way to the top of the vehicle. Then effortfully, he advances, barely able to hang on to the top.
And then he reaches it, the red lever. He forces open the door and jumps inside.
He looks around, subconsciously reaching for his gun and realizes that he doesn’t have it anymore. He grids his teeth and proceeds, calling out for Chen Lin’s name. When he finds her, she’s cowering on a bench, fading fast. At that time, Gao Yi appears, welcoming Hero for boarding the subway to heaven.
The two men entangle in a fist fight, where we get a little macho display of skills and considerable swing action. (I like how Kingone uses the environment to add to the acting. )
Gao Yi gains the upper hand as the effect of the drug starts to depress Hero’s central nervous system. But in time, Hero gets the hang of it and it’s time for comes back.
Gao Yi’s interference delays Hero’s plan to stop the subway from the control room. But thanks to Zai Tian, the external emergency break comes to the rescue in time and prevents a disaster.
(Screencap porn below!)
Having stopped the subway just short of smashing himself into a piece of meat pie, Zai Tian lets out a relieved sign and boards the subway to look for Hero. In a moment of crazed clarity, Gao Yi slips out of the cart as Zai Tian searches for Hero with a flashlight. After making sure Hero is okay, Zai Tian heads toward Chen Lin and carries her out to the open.
Once taken care of Chen Lin, the Delightful Duo sets out to chase down Gao Yi. They find him ascending the escalator in an unfazed placidity and separate to sandwich Gao Yi.
Zai Tian sneaks behind Gao Yi, but Gao Yi takes notice of him and points a gun at Zai Tian’s nose. He demands in a tiresome tone,
Gao Yi: Why must you stop me? Can’t you see, the entire city is drowning in morose? I’m here to bring happiness to people!
Zai Tian: There are many ways to arrive at the same solution, you did not have to choose such an extreme method.
Gao Yi: They called me. They told me to hurry and make people happy. Because so many of them are suffering.
Zai Tian: It’s not as bad as you think. If you think carefully, there is beauty in life. You didn’t have to use Dreamer to desensitize yourself.
Gao Yi: How dare you condemn Dreamer. You are a coward who fears the pain Dreamer might bring. But did you know, Dreamer lets you get closer to God?
Zai Tian, exasperated now: It’s because I’ve used it in the past, that’s why I know it’s not the best solution.
Gao Yi: You… You! I remember now. Do. You. Think. I. Don’t. Know?
Turning as he speak, Gao Yi raises the gun at Hero, who’s ready to attack. Zai Tian beats Gao Yi to it. He shoots Gao Yi in the arm, giving time for Hero to handcuff Gao Yi.
Pinned down to the floor, Gao Yi lets out of a shrilling laughter. Locking eyes with Zai Tian, he probes, “I remember you now. I remember you. The you before. You didn’t look like this before. A changed look. But does that change who you are? Are you happier now?”
Gao Yi’s capture marks the perfect closure to the case. But Zai Tian is feeling a little somber at Gao Yi’s last words.
Hero’s arrival breaks Zai Tian’s thoughts. Wanting to thank Zai Tian for saving him, twice, but too thin skinned to pull off a casual “thanks”, Hero tries to make conversation. Zai Tian replies, half frankly, half jokingly, “Actually, when I shot that round, I had my eyes closed.” Then he proceeds, “Aren’t you glad this case is over? Now you don’t have to be stuck with me. You won’t be pissed off all the time because of me and I don’t have to worry about dying on the job.” Hero says noting. (Which is equivalent to saying, “I wouldn’t mind if we’re still partners.”)
Ignoring Hero’s silence, Zai Tian continues in his usual boastful ways, “Oh dear, working in this district almost made me lose my life. If I die, all my babes will have to drown the city with their tears.”
“What does it mean when he said you didn’t used to look this way?” Hero finally asks. “Ah, that”, Zai Tian comes closer and in a hushed tone, he says, “To tell you the truth, I had plastic surgery in Korea. Their technique, oh man. If you want, I can refer you to a doc. With your features, a little adjustments, you won’t look as ugly.” (Hah, Mark actually has a nice bone structure.)
Hero shakes his head and steps away. Then remembering something, he turns and says unwillingly, “Today, thanks. Good work.” Just to tease Hero, Zai Tian yells, “HEY, EVERYBODY LOOK, Wu Ying Xiong is blushing!” (LOL)
Bureaucracy is one annoying system that no matter how unfair, one must abide by. After all the hard work, because Gao Yi was caught in Northern Branch’s territory, the police force from the Southern Branch must leave all the evidences behind and let their rival take the credit — hold your curses, because Team Leader Chan has done the same thing to the Northern Branch before, this guy is just here to repay the favor. Touché.
In the hospital, Hero watches as Chen Lin awakens. He explains to her briefly that she’s currently being treated for Dreamer overdose. She blinks at him and asks, “Did you save me? I remember someone carring me out of the cart, was it you?” Looking positively conflicted, Hero evades her gaze. Wanting to claim the credit but not willing to violate his personal rule and lie about it, Hero chooses middle ground. He merely says, “Saving people is what a police man should do.” Mistaken that as an implicit “yes”, Chen Lin struggles up and says, “I’ve never been saved before.” (Which comes to mean, you are the first and hence score for you.)
Zai Tian overhears the conversation at the door. Realizing Hero’s sentiments towards Chen Lin, he chooses to overlook the half lie and help Hero. Zai Tian enters, hinting that it’s a relief Chen Lin is finally awake, because Hero has been worrying himself sick over her. Then, he invites everybody out for a meal, gaining the awkward pair some alone time.
Hero shyly agrees and exits hastily to cover it up. Chen Lin smiles to herself sweetly at the added opportunity. Nothing escapes Zai Tian’s Casanova eyes. He leans close to Chen Lin and teases her that with her background and temper, only manly men like Hero can be a match. Chen Lin snaps that it’s none of his business, but Zai Tian ignores her flaring anger and probes further. Finally, Chen Lin bites back and claims, “Fine. I admit I like him. Not only do I like him, I will go after him and make him mine!” Satisfied, Zai Tian beams and says, “Don’t worry. I’ll help you.”
Once alone in the hospital room, Chen Lin sighs in regret. Why did she have to blurt it out? Now there is no taking back.
Later in Xi Ying’s forensic lab, Hero is found lost in thought. Xi Ying sits down beside him and asks, “What’s on your mind?” “Today on the subway when Gao Yi…” “That’s not what I’m asking”, she cuts him off, “What is on your mind?” Startled at how well she knows him, he explains, “Today, I saw my own shadow.” “Everybody has shadows.” “But I thought I was different. Without shadows, without conflict. Until today, when I saw my dark side for the first time.”
At night, the three of them (Hero, Zai Tian, and Chen Lin) go out to a bar for the promised meal. Zai Tian’s flirtatious nature disgusts Chen Lin right off the bat. But that doesn’t stop Zai Tian. As if emotionally drained from the Dreamer case, Zai Tian needs a hedonistic outlet to recharge.
To everyone’s surprise, Zai Tian has also invited Xi Ying. Xi Ying’s addition makes the already awkward dinner even more unbearable. Especially for Hero. On the one hand, he wants to spend some time to get to know Chen Lin, on the other hand, he needs to keep an eye out for Xi Ying.
After a bit, Xi Ying gets up to leave. Hero volunteers to walk her out. On the way out, Xi Ying asks, “Is she the one that made you feel conflicted?” When Hero makes no reply, she ventures on, “How does my dress look? I bought it this afternoon.” He nods numbly and watches her go. Once her back is turned, tears starts to gush down Xi Ying’s face.
Back in the bar, Zai Tian is dancing wildly. (And completely forgetting the fact he came with two other companions.) However, while dancing, he caught a glimpse of a passing girl. Zai Tian freezes in mid-motion, then it hits him. Forsaking all disguise, he pushes aside the crowd and goes after her as if he’s gone mad.
The girl hails a cab and gets on it. Not giving up, Zai Tian chases after the cab, cutting corners and running with the last of his endurance. A cascade of memories wash over as the wind breezes past his hair. Finally, exhaustion claims him. He falters and falls until he can no longer get up. Lying on the cold pavement, he lets out a long, pained scream.
I really like how this episode ended. Mainly because of the exertion and pain, but also because the extend in which Zai Tian ran after the girl hints at a traumatic past experience bad enough to put up an appearance for. What makes this past appealing, and hence different from the familiar “guy got dumped by first love and became a player” is that he have a dark past. We know that from Gao Yi’s words before the arrest. Recall how hard and twisted Gao Yi is, for Zai Tian to make a memorable impression on that kind of guy, he must have been something.
Let’s talk about Hero. I like the brief exchange between Xi Ying and Ying Xiong on the topic of shadows and conflicts, because it really gets at the theme of the drama. Ying Xiong notices how he bends his rule in front of a girl (when he failed to clarify that Zai Tian is the one that carried Chen Lin out of the subway) and he is ashamed of it. Although he neither claimed the credit nor contradicted Chen Lin, his roundabout answer is taken to mean “yes”. He recognizes that he’s been misleading and considers it a weakness in character. (Imagine if he did tell her the truth, she would feel gratitude at first, but get turned off by Zai Tian’s womanizing tendencies soon enough.) The fact is, if there isn’t a portion of him that wants to be Chen Lin’s hero, he wouldn’t even need to contemplate the response. But because he feels inclined towards Chen Lin, he is also conflicted. She is, after all, the mob boss’s daughter. And he, a cop. To him, the roles they must play presents conflict.
But perhaps, this is why they are not/might not be compatible for each other.