Black & White, Episode 9

Today, Zai Tian and Hero are out to catch an exhibitionist.

They went after the pervert after a bit of a tug-o-war and successfully drove the fogy into the pond. *splash* — great, a wet exhibitionist, just what they needed.

So, why did our two front runners of the criminal investigation have a sudden change of heart? Let’s rewind a little.

Recall their gallant entrance to the senator-slash-presidential candidate’s dinner, it is quite the embarrassment to their director. As a punishment, they are shipped over to the Societal Ethics Squad to play Catch Me if You Can with the pervs.

Zai Tian is much more comfortable swimming in the Bras and Panties squad (Also Known As the Societal Ethics Squad.) Not so for Hero. Alas, he no longer has jurisdiction over the Lin Ke Le-San Lian Hui case and must say bye-bye to his glorious crime stopping days. At least for the time being.

What does Chen Zai Tian spend his time doing when he’s not snatching those pantyhose sniffers by the ear? He stalks. Not women, but one man in particular. That’d be Wu Ying Xiong.

No matter how much near death experiences Chen Zai Tian has shared and will share with Wu Ying Xiong, he still prefers woman (sorry, those ZT-YX paring supporters out there!). He just enjoys taunting Hero with Hero’s only weakness — Chen Lin.

Hero admits to being a wuss when it comes to Chen Lin, he also confesses that,

“Before this, I was fine with any type of work related sacrifices — as long as it gets the work done. This is the first time I’m sorry for the sacrifice I have to make.”

Zai Tian looks after Hero’s departing figure, the depth of his partner’s feeling strikes him heavily and earnestly. That very night, he waits for Chen Lin in front of the bar. (Considering how much they frequent that bar, it can almost count as their secret meeting place!)

He came to say that stealing her cell phone was his idea and his idea alone. Hero did object to it. Chen Lin is not appeased, because Hero still hasn’t apologized to her personally. The situation is really not that complicated. As long as Hero pulls down his face to apologize, she will forgive him — in fact, she almost wants him to say sorry so she CAN forgive him — but because he is so slow to act, he’s in fact depriving her of the chance to restore their friendship, which only frustrates Chen Lin.

When Chen Lin remains hostile, Zai Tian begs, “Don’t be like this, Hero really likes you.” “What about you?” Chen Lin retorts, “are you okay with how I’m treating you?” “I’m a ‘whatever’ kind of person. How you treat me is how you treat me. I don’t think about it too much.”

Chen Lin gives him a dirty look and begins to walk away — this is when Zai Tian starts to send out mixed signals, like crazy. (A little consistency please!) He tries to grab her to stop her from walking away, when she resists, he holds onto her in a back hug. He says,

“We will not start. Your starting point is Hero, not me.”

She struggles free and cries, “Who are you to decide where my starting point is?”

When you desperately want something, it never comes to you. But when you least expect it, it finds you.

(Beautiful shot)
(Beautiful shot)

When Zai Tian first saw Xiao Mei, he thought it’s the beer doing its trick. But the smile is unmistakable.

Nervously, he waits in line to order food from her. When it’s his turn, he asks carefully, expectantly, “Do you remember me?” She does, to his relief.

He orders and when it’s time to leave the register, he lingers and stutters, “Do you… have time after work?” She smiles and says, “Sir, I don’t think we know each other very well yet. If there is nothing else you want to order, please wait for your food on the side so I can help the next customer.” Then she leans over to signal the next person in line. He blocks her, desperate but determined, he tells her, “I.. I can wait. I will come everyday, until you think we know each other well enough.”

He sits down by the window and mutters to himself, “It’s ok. I will wait for you. Because I’ve been waiting for a long time.”

The Bras and Panties squad must have very little to do that Zai Tian can sit around and wait all day. Similarly, Hero stays in the investigation room all day as well, but he actually learns something.

In Middle East, there is a troop called Sarkozy (not to be mistaken with Nicholas Sarközy). They don’t belong to any country but they are stronger than any military force in the world. Simply put, they are mercenaries involved in terrorist activities across Asia. Moreover, every soldier in Sarkozy has underwent brain surgery that lesioned their ventromedial prefrontal cortices (VMPFC) to eliminate any feelings of sympathy or remorse, making them merciless killing robots. The bad news is, according to reliable sources, Sarkozy has arrived in TW two weeks ago.

When one is in the police station, one hears things.

When news of Ah De’s death makes its way to Hero’s ears, adding yet another variable to the already convoluted equation, Hero can no longer resist the urgent need to find out the truth. Vexed, he seeks Zai Tian out to discuss the matter. Zai Tian wraps one arm around Hero’s shoulder and says, “No problem. I’ve got a solution.”

Ta-da, the omniscient fax machine enters.

“So, what am I looking for?” Hero asks. “I’m trusting you with the secret cuz you’re my bro. Now, this fax machine is no ordinary machine. I got all my tips from this baby. If you have a question, tell ‘t. The answer will come.” Hero tries very hard to believe Zai Tian — this guy really looks like he means it when he says the fax machine will spit out the answers — but the effort is futile. “Chen Zai Tian, tell me you’re kidding,” Hero hopes. “Of course I’m NOT kidding. Remember the time when I said Gao Yi will be at the subway station? How did I know? This baby here told me.”

Zai Tian waits for Xiao Mei at the fast food restaurant and gets the cold shoulder. He assures her all he wants is to be friends. She returns that she isn’t an idler like him, if he wants to make friends, there are opportunities elsewhere. Despite her rejection, he’s still happy that he gets to talk to her. Oh silly, silly boy.

Before Zai Tian can enjoy his private joke a little longer, a phone call puts a halt to his jolly self. An internal investigator (who didn’t bother to disclose his name) contacts Zai Tian to meet in a café. The agent demonstrates a good command of the problems within the police station (e.g. he knows there is a spy in the station, which was hidden to prevent from alerting the spy). He asks Zai Tian to cooperate with him, feeding him the newest information on the case.

When Zai Tian refuse to give a direct answer, the agent suggests sinisterly, “Have you considered the possibility that the entire evidence stolen case might be a staged decoy orchestrated by the perpetrator herself?” “Are you telling me you think Lan Xi Ying did it herself?” Zai Tian asks unconvinced. “Precisely,” coldly the man replies.

Zai Tian continues to wait at the fast food restaurant. Again and again, he tells Xiao Mei he only wants to be friends. No matter how much effort it takes, it will be worth it. Finally, the popsicle queen melts and says, “I get off work at six.” That’s a yay for Zai Tian.

A happy Chen Zai Tian then proceeds to creates an opportunity for Chen Lin and Hero to reconcile — they really do need it.

Their meeting was awkward at first. After averting his eyes and pouring himself a cup of hard liquor to muster the courage, Hero says, “Thank you for coming.” The sincerity carries across, Chen Lin almost chuckled and replies, “That’s what you said at the theatre.” He nods to himself and sinks into silence again. With another sigh, Hero apologizes, “I’m sorry.” Then half mockingly, he says, “Looks like ‘I’m sorry’ is the only thing I’m qualified to say to you.” Chen Lin smiles a half smile and answers with due seriousness, “Hero, you are not wrong. Police is your occupation. It’s not your fault, just like my dad being a mob boss is not my fault either. Our fault resides in we are too cocky. We think we can not care, we think we can be ordinary people… So, no more ‘I’m sorry’ from you, can we do that?” (Very gracefully handled, but does that also mean Hero no longer holds a special place so it’s easier to forgive him?)

Hero’s dinner with Chen Lin went smoother than imagined; Zai Tian’s date with Xiao Mei went… well.

It’s not just well, it’s cute and at points, funny. Zai Tian is scared to death of the rides, but for Xiao Mei, he goes on them. He’s iffy about hot dogs, but because of her, he eats them happily. When they sit down to eat the hot dog, the real talk begins.

Xiao Mei expresses her envy at seeing families coming to theme parks together, she has no family. Zai Tian agrees, he’s an orphan as well.

Zai Tian: “Did you remember three years ago Christmas night, there was a attempted robbery?”
Xiao Mei
: “I remember, what about it?”

Zai Tian: “Did you know your kindness let a plebian realize, for the first time in his life, that everyone has a fair chance to live better lives? Since that night, a man’s life was changed. Let me be your family, so we can eat hot dogs and fried chickens together; so that we don’t have to envy other people.”
Xiao Mei: “You know, you are not as annoying as I thought.”

Zai Tian: “I told you, being my friend won’t be a waste of time.”

Xiao Mei: “If we are a family, then promise, no one will leave the other.”
Zai Tian: “No one will leave the other.”

Maybe the alcohol allows Chen Lin to rave, maybe she’s been bottled up long enough, but when the night’s over, she is drunk as a skunk.

She keeps tottering, blabbering on and on about Chen Zai Tian waiting for his Goddess every night right here in front of the bar. Then she jumps into the water fountain, barely able to stand still.

Hero follows her into the fountain and holds her from the back with doleful affliction, he begs, “Stop, please.” She stops struggling but starts crying silently. “I know what you are thinking, I know how you feel”, Hero continues in a broken voice, “but it’s ok. Let me stay. Let me stay by your side when you are sad. Just let me stay, that’ll be enough for me.” (Now he’s some kind of martyr?!)

Zai Tian and Xiao Mei missed their last ride. Though disappointed, they promise each other that they will keep the ticket and come again, like a family. Then carefully, they stow away the tickets in their respective wallets.

In the empty, misty burger shop, a sinister figure slithers around. Overlooking the field of peaceful nightly scenery in front of him, the man holds up an icy blue flashlight. Expressionless, yet menacing…

Comments

I love this episode, but at the same time, I’m dissatisfied with this episode.

It’s a fun episode, really. There are many instances of lighthearted humor inserted at various parts. But it’s not all fun and no solidity. The impending feeling of doom pokes its head from time to time to remind us that this illusionary quietude (or absence of rapid action sequence) is only the peace before a bad storm (e.g. the dark mood at the ending of the episode).

I love the focus on Xiao Mei and Zai Tian. It’s a nice breather from the Cop-Mob Boss Daughter triangle. Additionally, rather than telling us that Chen Zai Tian can be serious when situation calls for it, his repeated waiting actually shows us how persistent he can be.

What I don’t like is the line delivery done by the actress who plays Xiao Mei. It’s hard and unnatural. Being a newbie explains the lack of fluidity in her delivery, and I can understand that. But whenever she has a long segment of speech, I inadvertently get pulled out of the mood that’s been building itself layer by layer. It’s a pity.

I like the juxtaposition between Zai Tian-Xiao Mei’s felicity and Hero-Chen Lin’s anguish, especially the sequencing of the two. I like how the angsty isn’t prolonged. It lingers just enough for the feeling to sink in, then it cuts into the cheerier scenes in the theme park — but the sharp contrast itself makes a more powerful delivery of the affective expression.

However, I fail to see where Hero is coming from with regards to his response to Chen Lin’s distress, nor can I agree with Chen Lin’s reaction in the first place. I am neutral on the subject of romantic pairing. I know I have said that Chen Lin and Hero are too similar to make a lasting couple, barring character growth. And I stand by that. But that does not remove the possibility of it actually happening. As long as there is a sufficient amount of development to push the characters together, I’ll gladly accept whatever the outcome. In this case, there is not.

Not enough for Chen Lin to feel this miserable towards Chen Zai Tian’s feigned indifference, nor for Hero to jump into a seemingly unreciprocated love blender and come out in pieces like a martyr. It’s not noble, it’s misguided.

Despite my dissatisfaction, I gotta say, who doesn’t appreciate the beautiful scenery and nice shots in this episode? And Mark Zhao’s vocal comes as a pleasant surprise.

6 thoughts on “Black & White, Episode 9”

  1. Hi, Thanks again for such a great and very quick reviews.
    Well, for me it’s a great episode. I really love the scenery and the funny moments. Many of the scenes makes me smile.
    As for the love triangle, now become more complicated. I guess, deep inside Hero knows that Chen lin have some feelings towards Zai (Poor Hero), meanwhile Zai is having the wonderful time with Xiao Mei (They are such a cute couple). Don’t you think, Chen lin reaction is because of her jealousy ?
    If you like Mark’s voice, then I like Zai’s voice…hahaha.. Thanks !!.

    1. Chen Lin isn’t jealous in the sense that Zai Tian is out with other women — she doesn’t know that. She’s just miserable because, funny enough, she’s practically in the same position as Hero — liking someone but the sentiment is not being returned (or so she thinks).

      It’s not so much about liking Mark’s voice, it’s the fact that he can sing that came as a pleasant surprise (unlike a lot of actor-turned-singer pop artists out there in TW who can’t sing for crap).

  2. Thanks for recaps… It is very interesting drama to follow. I just wonder how its ending will be… I just worry that it Zai Tian will turn to the bad side as the drama named “Black and White”. And I prefer Chen Lin develops the feeling to Hero. But up to this point, the romantic relationships are quite complicated… 😦

  3. Thank you so much for the recap.
    It is very helpfull for me.

    The scene I love the most in episod 9 is scene Zai Tian with Xiao Mei. They are sweet.
    Also pics in this recap very clear and beautiful

  4. At first I liked that duality of Hero – fearless facing bandits, but insecure with his own feelings – but now I think it’s overdone. Is it really so important to leave his feelings aside because of Chen Lin’s family if it’s so painful to him? And why be so disrespectful with the Forensic Officer, rubbing in her face that he likes another girl when he perfectly knows that she dies for him? Men … They are too complicated for me!

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