On the outside, the ostentatious team leader Chen brought reporters to the black market for fame; on the inside, the Delightful Duo have been strapped and hung from the ceiling for humiliation (and warning).
(Must they wear black and white respectively all the time?)
The (wonderful) irony is blind to the boastful team leader, so when he sees the majestic sight of his two best agents suspended in midair, a wave of panic replaces his previous self-acclamation. (Instead of letting the two men down first,) Chen shouts for his underlings to keep the reporters out. (Is this supposed to be funny? ‘Cos I can’t stop grinning.)
When Zai Tian and Hero are finally released from their hangman position, what awaits them is the wrath of their boss. Fortunately, not all of the “evidences” are gone. Zai Tian still has the small collection of guns that he bought from his attackers.
Team leader Chen is happy to see the guns, but once he learns the method in which they are acquired (bought through illegal means), his frustration level shoots up. Through stomped feet and gridded teeth, he rebukes that this is not how the police operates — so exasperated, that he almost pulled out his hair.
Hero on the other hand, is thinking on his feet. For San Lian Hui to remove all the guns in such short notice, they need a vehicle to transport the weapons. Without explaining himself, he pulls off a 100 meter dash towards the gatekeeper’s booth for a log of the outgoing trucks. Thinking out loud, Hero reasons that if they procure all the security camera recordings for the time frame after they were knocked unconscious and trace the direction the only outgoing truck is heading, they may be able to find the weapons after all.
All these talks about security cameras have a peculiar effect on Zai Tian. He walks towards the protruding camera on the side of the booth and speaks to it directly, “Did you know, I’ve always found the person who invented security cameras fascinating. For us police to look for criminals, wives to find their husbands’ mistresses, and teachers to catch students cheating, they all rely on security cameras.” (More on this later.)
In the Investigation Room, Xi Yi finds a perfect match between the contour of the bullet from the stolen rifle and the one that terminated Ke Le’s life — the same gun was used on both occasions. So the new question is, was the sniper also affected by the economic repression that he has to seek out a new career path? — why did the killer suddenly go rob a bank?
The next day at the police station, Hulk briefs the Delightful Duo on his progress with tracking the questionable truck that may have been transporting the weapons. At the end of the brief, Zai Tian casually suggests that on the night the rifle was stolen, a computer savvy person hacked into the system. As the computer expert on staff, maybe Hulk should look into it and find out who did it. Hulk looks troubled at first, but he agrees nonetheless. (More on this later.)
Their conversation is interrupted when Lao Li drops a big pile of files on the desk. These are the files on Director Lin, who seemed to be hiding something. According to the files, she graduated first of her class from PTS (Police Training School). Once she became a detective, there is virtually no case she could not solve. Despite the immaculate record, however, there is one case that connects Director Lin back to San Lian Hui.
Du Wen Yan AKA Da Yan (or Wild Goose, taken from the last word of his name), was arrested on multiple charges related to illegal possession of arms back in 1980. Now, he is the Southern regional master for San Lian Hui.
Guess who caught him and put him in jail? Director Lin. There is more to it. Ever since Mr. Badass became famous in the criminal circle, he’s been clever enough to not get caught. So the jail term in 1980 was his first time. That makes motive.
You know what’s bad timing? This is bad timing: right when the detectives are connecting the pieces to San Lian Hui, San Lian Hui’s princess calls.
When Hero doesn’t pick up (I know how that sounds, but he didn’t purposely not pick up. He just missed that call.), she texts him instead, mumbling almost lovingly that, “You have a phone, but you never pick it up.” The text message says, “Hero, want to go watch a movie together?” Bad, BAD timing.
While in the investigation lab looking over the evidences, Xi Ying gets a call from Hulk, asking her to inform Hero of a recent discovery. Leaving the room with Zai Tian, Hero briefly tells Xi Ying that they had asked Hulk to help find out the — if you will — spy. Xi Ying reluctantly tells them to forget about pursuing that line of inquiry, because, “Someone forged my ID to enter the forensic lab and hacked into the computer system to shut down the security cameras… That person must have extensive knowledge in computers…” She rather turn a blink eye to it than let the ugly truth be revealed.
“You are suspecting Hulk?”, Hero is surprised, “I’ve known him since PTS. He’s not that kind of person.” Xi Ying retorts,
“People are never static beings. Many factors can influence a person. You need to be more cautions, because the enemy is nearer than you think. It could be anyone.”
(Why is this guy so funny?)
After n hours of intensive video watching, Hulk finally figures out where the truck loaded the guns. At midnight, the truck discreetly enters San Lian Street (Dang, they get to have a street named after their organization!? That’s influence! And wealth!). Before it enters, the three green lights on the truck are all lit up — meaning it’s overloaded. When it exits the San Lian building, only one green light is on — now it’s empty. Where else could the guns go?
Hero decides to get to the bottom of this, but getting a search warrant and getting the operation approved become a problem. Team leader Chen is right, without solid proof, tampering with San Lian Hui is equivalent to a death wish. Reasoning aside, Team Leader Chen’s laissez faire attitude towards all San Lian Hui related incidents infuriates Hero.
To rock the boat, he yells after Chen, “What are you afraid of? Do you not want to solve the cases? … If it weren’t for you who made Xi Ying leave that day, the rifle would NOT have been stolen! ” (That was inappropriate. Gutsy, but still inappropriate.)
Ignoring Team Leader Chen’s warning, Hero returns to the main working area and inquires about getting a search warrant. Hulk volunteers to make contact for the warrant. Hero recalls Xi Ying’s warning, but decides to trust Hulk.
Zai Tian tries to stop Hero, citing that Leader Chen’s best pal once walked into San Lian street and never walked out. (Maybe he got converted and didn’t need to leave!) Hero doesn’t budge, “If they wanted to kill us, we’d be dead already.” Trying to buy time, Zai Tian hovers outside the car, pondering and worrying. It is not until Hero starts driving off does Zai Tian unwillingly hop into the shotgun seat. (Hey, Chen Zai Tian, no one’s forcing ya to go!)
So they got to the hooker filled street, sat in the car for a while as a mental prep, then Hero turns on the siren and makes quite an entrance driving through this le val d’amour.
Being on the street may be easy, but entering it isn’t so facile. Hero and Zai Tian are blocked by a few men in black, one of which being the one who knocked both cops unconscious at the gun trading just a day ago.
When the said man challenges Hero to arrest him (see above left), a fist fight is inevitable. Chen Zai Tian (above right in white, with his head down), on the other hand, recedes into the crowd after having initiated the fight (he prompted Hero to arrest the man for having assaulted police).
The commotion does not go unnoticed. Chen Lin is dining with Wild Goose at the time. Upon hearing that the two cops are from the Southern branch, she intervenes.
As the tension between both parties thicken, Chen Lin interjects that if there is a deeper reason behind Hero’s intent to find this batch of guns, then they can discuss it inside. “If I can help, I will”, she says. Even Zai Tian hurries over to advocate the idea of a more peaceful approach, after all, that is a more promising idea than brute force.
But Hero is brash with anger, he blurts out, “No matter what, you’re still one of San Lian Hui. No matter how hard you try to live your own life and steer clear of the family business, you are still the daughter of the mob boss. This filthy, cruel San Lian Hui is still your home, isn’t it? How can you not take part?”
Anybody knows this is the wrong thing to say, especially after Chen Lin had offered to help. But Hero can’t help himself. (This is precisely why I said as long as Hero couldn’t see Chen Lin for who she is without the family background, their relationship won’t work — given Hero’s personality now, they may not even be friends.) So Chen Lin, disappointed with Hero’s blunt accusation, responds in an even tone, “I thought you knew me. But you are just one of them.” (OUCH!)
Zai Tian jumps in to mediate. As Hero is being ushered away, Chen Lin yells after him,
“Do you think I want to be the daughter of a mob boss? When the other girls are learning how to put on new clothes for their barbie, I have learn how to assemble a gun in three minutes. Do you think I don’t want to be an ordinary girl, live an ordinary life, and have ordinary relationships? But I can’t. Because when I was born, they are already gangsters. They are my family. This ‘filthy, cruel San Lian Hui’ is my home. This is the environment I grew up in.
“I know you want to arrest my dad and all the uncles. But do you think once you did that there will be no more crimes? You are wrong. Because your notion of justice is only an illusion. Justice isn’t as black and white as you think.”
Hero disagrees. Right is right, wrong is wrong, there is no gray area.
“Who do you think you are? If it weren’t for the fact that you saved my life, I wouldn’t like a guy like you”, Chen Lin snaps. (Owie!)
“I’m not the one who saved you”, Hero replies, “It’s Chen Zai Tian.” Zai Tian turns in surprise. Hero continues, “My lack of explanation is equivalent to lying to you.” (Meaning, go on ahead and think the worst of me.)
Chen Lin stares at Hero in disbelief, tears welling up in her eyes again. Hero stares back.
Despite their differential view on justice, Chen Lin and Hero are very similar people. Especially in temperament. They let their temper get the best of them, blurting out hurtful truths in the expense of personal relationships — they hurt the other and get hurt themselves for hurting the other. (Doesn’t that sound confusing?)
The cul de sac is broken up by the arrival of more police cars.
Although reluctant, Team leader Chen comes to ameliorate the situation. He tells Hero and Zai Tian that their request for a search warrant is denied and they must return to the station with him. Since the team leader is here personally, Wild Goose graciously says he will pretend tonight’s disturbance didn’t happen. But he also warns, “I hope this is the end of it, that the issue be dropped all together.”
Chen Lin is miserable. But undoubtedly, it’s a good thing that the truth is out in the open. For one, Hero doesn’t have to live with guilt of “lying” anymore. For Chen Lin, she is forced to assess her relationship with Hero and Zai Tian. Finally, if in the end, there is something between her and Hero, it will be more than just the “I like you because you saved my life” or the “your shoulder reminds me of my dad”.
Feeling bad about what he’s done, Hero mops in the interrogation room. Xi Ying hands him a cup of coffee (cup bought by Zai Tian!) and assumes her best friend seat next to him, “I heard you went to San Lian street last night. Got hurt?” “No. But I hurt someone, really bad.” Xi Ying glances at him sideways and guessed everything. “I knew I shouldn’t say those words, but I couldn’t help myself”, Hero regrets. Carefully but sincerely, Xi Ying suggests, “If hurting someone makes you feel so anguished, maybe an apology is the most appropriate solution”.
Hero takes a snip of the coffee and changes the subject, “This is the cup given by Chen Zai Tian?” Xi Ying answers abashedly, “Well, since he’s already given it to me, might as well use it.” Hero doesn’t seem to notice the slight inflection in Xi Ying’s voice, he continues, “That guy, he just enters your life like that and never thinks about the changes he’s brought about. Sometimes, I envy his courage.”
Hulk hacks into San Lian Hui’s computer system and fetches the Delightful Duo the building’s blueprint. There is one room that might contain information related to the arms, but only a very small pool of people are able to enter that room. Chen Lin being one of them. Now Hero has to make up to her.
“Hey buddy, you’ve been staring at your phone for the past 30 minutes”, Zai Tian observes, “are you going to call or not?” “But, I haven’t figured out how to tell her.” “What?! Hey, Wu Ying Xiong, you are the case king of Southern Branch! How can you be bogged down by silly sentiments? Just go, watch a movie with her and let all your grudges dissolve in the dark theatre. Oh and remember to pick a long movie. Preferably three to four hours long. (So there’s enough time to get into the San Lain building and get out.) When you walk out of the theatre, I promise you, everything will be like the way it was before.” “But, what if she finds out we’re lying to her again and gets mad ?” Zai Tian leans in on this one and says, “Are we lying to her? You are really going to the movies with her. No one is lying here.” (Aha, except you are about to use her. I was afraid that something like this might happen. That’s just ASKING for a mess to clean up later.)
So finally, Hero calls. (It’s so cute to see him fret over something so easy to do and pull down his face to actually do it.)
Hero didn’t actually reach Chen Lin on the phone, he left a voice mail message. So when she actually shows up, he breaks into a smile and quickly averts his face to hide it. “Thanks for coming”, he tells her. “I only came because you said you couldn’t sleep unless you find me.” (Where did Hero learn to be so sweet mouthed? In any case, coming means forgiving.)
While entering the theatre, someone brushes against Chen Lin and snatched her phone out of her bag. (Hey, if the phone contains the key to the San Lian building… Assuming Chen Lin left her own phone at Zai Tian’s place… Then doesn’t that mean Zai Tian has a free pass to the facility?) In the midst of the commotion, the phone is shoved into Hero’s hand. Looking past his shoulder, Hero sees a disguised Zai Tian holding two thumbs up — mission accomplished! — and drops Chen Lin’s phone in a nearby trashcan. As he tries to catch up to Chen Lin, he motions Zai Tian to fetch the darn thing from the trash can.
The look of disgust on Zai Tian’s face as he sticks an arm into the trashcan is priceless.
Zai Tian gets inside the San Lian building to look for the weapon invoice while Hero feigns interest in the movie. But the fact is, Hero is more worried about being his cover being blown than Zai Tian is — at first.
What’s happening on Zai Tian’s side?
He gets in with Chen Lin’s phone. BUT! How is he going to find the right one amongst all these records?
More problem arises as the GPS indicator shows Chen Lin is in the building but her father has no means of locating her. So Wild Goose is sent back to check things out…
Look at the angle Zai Tian is pointing his cell phone. He’s not just aiming it anywhere. It’s the security camera in the underground parking lot that he’s talking to (e.g. “pay my bills” and “find Ke Le’s killer”).
Adding the time he spoke to the camera in this episode, that’s twice he’s addressed the security cameras directly. Considering his shady past and the mystery faxes, Zai Tian’s interaction with the security cameras suggests an awareness that he’s being watched. This is clever set up for further revelation and it has potential to work itself up as a theme. As of the present, these segments contribute to the mood. The first time we saw it, it was for comic relief following a bout of intensity. In this episode, it adds a flair of creepiness to an otherwise unremarkable scene.
Who took the pain to arrange and steal the rifle? I don’t particularly care who did it, I’m more concerned with the why. But since this episode took the time to nurture the suspicion on our two primary suspects, then let’s talk about it very briefly.
The accusation towards Hulk is definitely more heavily hinted, given his reaction when asked to follow up on the hacker who turned off the security cameras. What I find intriguing is the fact that Hulk the Suspect is asked to find the culprit. Whether Chen Zai Tian is consciously aware of it or not, it’s a smart move. If Hulk is behind it, the irony is inescapable. And it would be very interesting to see how Hulk deals with it. If he is not behind it, then all the better, he can contribute to finding the real thief.
Just to throw it out there, who said it has to be one man who stole the rifle? For what it’s worth, if Hulk was indeed involved, he could be asked to hack into the security cameras while another person does the actually stealing. Hulk doesn’t even have to know why he’s being asked to do it.
A Note on the Cast
I’m very happy that Na Wei Xun (那維勲) is casted as Wild Goose. He is so much stronger playing a serious role than as a comic actor. There is presence — a certain badness and depth to his character — that makes you want to see more of him.