A forced kiss turns into a consensual kiss. As the two fall into bed and share a prolonged beat of gaze locking, the embarrassment of young love kicks in. They roll onto their sides and part as quickly as possible. (SEXUAL TENSION!)
Feeling guilty for sharing a kiss with the girl Hero has feelings for, Zai Tian struggles to come clean with Hero. Unfortunately, he’s cut off by Hulk, who provides the agents with information on the sniper. Che Jing, the man from San Lian Hui who picked up Chen Lin from the police station the last time she was held in custody, is one of the few expert shooters. Just as the Delightful Duo connect the dots with San Lian Hui, a phone call comes in and puts a temporary halt on the discussion: the killer is caught.
The killer is said to have a criminal record. Shortly after he was released from prison, he started stalking Ke Le. He confessed to killing her and claimed to have tossed the gun into the river. The Northern Branch is currently searching for the gun. Everything sounds reasonable on the surface. Perhaps too reasonable that it beings to looks fishy. Like someone is trying to wrap up the death quickly so the real murderer can get away.
Hero is unconvinced and wants to pursuit the case further. His supervisor objects to the idea, but the quest for truth rings louder than the necessity to follow order.
Discussing the case separately with Zai Tian, Hero raises a few blind spots that had him scratch his head in puzzlement:
- Lin Ke Le’s visit to the police station is not a prearranged event. The sniper must have monitored her activity and decided to kill her that morning. Chen Zai Tian’s late arrival happened to give the sniper time to choose a perfect location for the assignment. So the fundamental question is, why was Ke Le followed? What got her killed?
- Why did the sniper chose to kill Ke Le in Chen Zai Tian’s presence? Why not earlier, when she was alone? What was the sniper waiting for?
- Why didn’t the sniper kill Chen Zai Tian as well?
- Why was the Southern Branch director so afraid that Ke Le might have told Zai Tian something before she died?
As Hero and Zai Tian finish their lunch and head out, they spot a few masked robbers with rifles. Zai Tian instinctively calls for back up while Hero charges at them. He kills one man and runs after the others, even as the criminals drive away in a car. Uncompromising, Hero goes after the car, shooting at the car’s rear window and tire to slow them down.
The car is forced to stop further down the street. As Hero tries to make way towards the parked car, a cranky old passerby pulls over in front of the two cops, yelling and swearing at them for blocking the road.
As the argument prolongs, two black vans pull up by the parked car and out pours more men (and woman) in arms. Not wanting to be a live target, the two cops duck behind the car that belongs to the passerby for shelter. (See, this is what you get for being nosy and grumpy!) While covering his ears in mortification, Zai Tian screams at Hero, “You’ll get me killed! You’ll get me Killed!”
Hero, completely ignoring Zai Tian, breaks the window of the car they are using as a shield and starts shooting back from the open space.
(Does anyone else find this scene unintentionally funny?)
Having wasted enough bullets, the leader of the group orders everyone to go. And puff they are gone. When everything quiets down again, Hero and Zai Tian come out from hiding and return to the spot where one of the robbers was killed. But his corpse is already gone.
When the authorities arrive at the scene, Hero’s costly method at a crime scene is once again, the target of ridicule. (Which, is a valid concern. Aside from catching the bad guys, the police should also protect the citizens.)
After Xi Ying’s thorough look-through at the crime scene, she declares insufficient evidence: these robbers are extremely professional. Not only do their guns make small entry wounds — meaning, minimal blood spillage and hence very limited blood sample for DNA testing — they are able to move the corpse and clean up the crime scene under a short amount of time. These robbers are really something. (Oh hideously large Chinese subtitles, I thank thee. For without thee, I would NOT be able to make out of Janine Chang’s speech from her slurred words — WHAT is with TW actors and their inability to enunciate?!)
Even though I have problem getting through Xi Ying’s unclear line delivery, Hero has no trouble. On the contrary, her report on the crime scene reminds him of something.
As much as these above screencaps look like fan service shots where Mark takes off his shirt and flex us some manly muscle, it’s really not.
Hero recalls tossing a rifle into the bush after killing one of the robbers and takes off his jacket to retrieve the weapon. Now, that’s a place to start.
The rifle is the newest American brand, HK416. No prints, no serial number. HOWEVER, it’s a 5.56 caliber rifle. (Yes, the same caliber that was used to kill Ke Le.) Other than that, there is virtually no information on the weapon or the weapon user.
While the discussion over what to do next is being debated, Xi Ying is busy trying to recover the rifle’s serial number and use that to trace information related to production, purchase history, and import records. She succeeds and takes a photo of it before she is interrupted by team leader Chen.
When Xi Ying leaves behind the rifle in the unprotected investigation room that night, a dreadful feeling of doom is also left behind.
(click on the images to enlarge them)
Later that night, Lao Li takes the Delightful Duo to meet someone who will help with the investigation. After taking the information from Hero, the man reminds Lao Li of a promise that the director made: after this case, the man gets to retire. He wants to leave the country and marry his girlfriend and legally be the father of his five year-old son.
It is later revealed that the man is the only surviving undercover agent in San Lian Hui, they call him De Ge.
The feeling of doom thickens in the chilling night air.
When Xi Ying returns to the investigation room later that night, the rifle has already been stolen along with the picture of the serial number. According to the security records, Xi Ying checked out at 8:30 pm and returned around 10. However, someone else checked in, using Xi Ying’s identity at 8:45 pm. Clearly, the police station is no the only ones to knows how to plant undercover agents.
To find out who stole the rifle, the Delightful Duo turn to the security cameras first. As expected, it’s more complicated than that. All three security cameras have been turned off at around 8:17 pm (which is before Xi Ying checked out of the investigation room to go to a crime scene with team leader Chen). As unfavorable as the evidences seem, there’s still information to be gained. The security camera malfunction narrows down the pool of possibilities to two: 1) someone sitting at the top of the food chain, who has the power to selectively turn off the cameras AND gain access to Xi Ying’s ID card without being noticed or 2) someone who excels in hacking and programming.
When Zai Tian returns to the main office and sees Chen Lin passing out doughnuts, he nearly choked on his spit — the kiss springs to mind. But she isn’t here to make trouble or to demand responsibility from. She’s here because she has something to tell them.
An Zai’s mother died in the hospital last night. Before passing away, she thanked Hero and Zai Tian for what they’ve done for An Zai.
Hero drops his head at the sad news. He says solemnly, “I am sorry.” “Apology accepted,” Chen Lin replies, “I forgive you. Now, come and eat.”
Right when Zai Tian thinks he’s off the hook, Chen Lin approaches and whispers sternly, “What happened that day is an accident. (Yeah, it’s an accident that she kissed back. Totally accidental.) If you dare brag about it, I’ll have you buried in the ocean. Mark my words.”
Returning to Hero’s side, Chen Lin tells him that she’s lost her phone, if he needs to contact her, call her house phone instead. He asks if she knows how she lost it, but she gives no positive reply and urges him to eat. (Of course she knows, it’s at Zai Tian’s house.)
The next exchange is utterly amusing.
So Xi Ying walks into the scene and sees Chen Lin surrounded by people. But out of all these people, her attention is on Hero. With the preconception that the two are somewhat romantically affiliated in mind, the simple friendly gesture of offering food is misinterpreted as a sign of intimacy. As a result, Xi Ying remains aloof and watches in envy until she’s being called upon. At that point, an interesting role reversal takes place.
Now, we all know Zai Tian has expressed an interest in Xi Ying (he wants to know if she’s just as good in bed as she is in lab). He never misses any opportunity to offer himself as the next best choice to her (i.e. inviting her to the bar with Hero and Chen Lin, which is a smart move to get to know her in a non-awkward situation — and it would’ve worked had there been no emotional tension between Hero and Xi Ying in the first place). When he sees her, he offers the doughnut Chen Lin gave him to Xi Ying.
Chen Lin sees the food offering (similar to what Xi Ying just saw) and considers it flirtation, which is somewhat true (there is also the element of “being nice” and a vague awareness of the Xi Ying-Hero emotional attachment). But different from how Xi Ying reacted, Chen Lin asserts her alpha female dominance and walks over to invite Xi Ying for more doughnuts — a smart maneuver to separate out the pair while remain cordial. When her attempt fails, she is left to feel the same envy for intimacy Xi Ying felt not too long ago.
This is a clever, even slightly humorous (if you have the flare for it) displacement of role reversal that gets across some of the character similarities and differences.
Hero joins the party and finds out why Xi Ying is here. She has a new discovery.
The shell of the bullet used in the recent case is found to be manufactured in Chicago. Although any real connection to the two cases at hand remains uncertain, the take home message is: San Lian Hui is one of the investors for this bullet company.
New questions are surfacing every minute: the band of robbers are military trained with grade A machinery. But they only robbed 100 million TWD (about $30 million USD). Given the large number of participants in the robbery, the stolen amount isn’t nearly high enough to cover the costs of, for instance, rifle acquisition. Moreover, the presence of a spy makes internal affairs within the department difficult to manage. But despite all the headache inducing problems, one thing is certain — something big is going on.
Chen Lin seeks Zai Tian out in the usual place where he waits for Xiao Mei to appear. Curious, (a little too curious), she asks him if he must find the girl in the picture. He response that to him, she is very special. Chen Lin nods and says, “That’s very unlike you.” Zai Tian looks away and says nothing. “Do you have something to say to me? Like… an explanation?” Chen Lin asks carefully after a pause.
Zai Tian scratches his head and wonders blankly, “What are you talking about?” Chen Lin’s smile vanishes. After a moment of inner struggle, she nods with a sigh and hits Zai Tian on the shoulder, “I get it. Good luck to you. I hope you find her soon.”
When Chen Lin returns home, she sees Hero waiting for her. Surprised and noting the difference between Hero and Zai Tian, she asks him why didn’t he call first. He reminds her that her phone is stolen and hands her a box.
Chen Lin opens the box and sees a cell phone inside. She looks up at Hero, who explains, “Now I can call you before I come waiting for you.” That’s a cute gesture. Too bad, a phone call has to pull Hero back to reality and remind him just how incompatible a cop is with the mob . The undercover agent found the place where San Lian Hui sells guns and among them, he finds HK416, the prototype they are looking for.
The next day, the guys head over to check out the guns.
They found the guns, just as the one stolen from them, with the serial number scraped off.
While they are waiting for the support team to come and seize the illegal sellers, Zai Tian takes the liberty to purchase a variety of guns from the black market. He gets yelled at by Hero, but he retorts, with conviction, that each time they fire a round, they are required to write a report. But, if they shoot from their own guns then, no report! Amids the joking and yelling, the three men are surrounded by San Lian Hui (who probably overheard Hero yelling and claiming to be a cop) and knocked unconscious.
In the meantime, their undercover agent De Ge gets a personal visit from Che Jing.
He wants De Ge to take care of the Delightful Duo. A shrewd move to get rid of the duo and to test De Ge’s royalty.
What’s really neat about this episode besides the angle on romance, which is getting all the attention (hey, I’m not complaining!), is this flip-flop on one of the characters. I’m not talking about Zai Tian or Chen Lin or Xi Ying. I’m talking about Hero.
In the past episodes, Hero is established as a symbol for pure justice (whether pure justice exists or not, is a whole other discussion I’m sure will come up later). He is perfect in the sense that he does what’s just and always goes for it despite how his actions are received.
That’s always been a little too one dimensional for me, which is why I really liked it when he bent the truth when Chen Lin asked if it was him who carried her out of the subway. Sure, it marred his perfect image for being the living symbol of justice, but it also makes him human by equipping him with desires and weaknesses.
In this episode, we are made to realize a different perspective on the so-called perfection. There is no doubt that Hero is courageous, he does what is just — that is to capture the criminals. But what’s just is not always right. Sometimes, it’s more important to make sure the people are okay before going after the unlawful. (Because he didn’t understand that, that’s why he chose to chase after Gao Yi than to help Chen Lin out of the subway.) In line with that logic, what appears as perfection is in fact, imperfect. Consequently, by exploiting his weaknesses and allowing him to give in to desires (ahem hot sex scene that’s coming up!), he is becoming a more well rounded (and hence more interesting) character.
This flip-flop view on the character makes me itch for the new developments!