So what really happened in the elevator?
“I entered the elevator and it got stuck. Then I heard a beeping sound and saw a bomb overhead. Fortunately the security latch wasn’t on. So I forced the door open and crawled out before the bomb detonated,” recounts Chen Lin lightheartedly to her father. But her trembling hands betrayed her outward clam. He reaches out and wraps his large, warm hands around her tiny ones.
“Dad, I’m fine. They only wanted to scare me. If they wanted to kill me, I wouldn’t be here.” Chen Lin comforts cheerfully. “Fine. Let’s not talk about it anymore. I will have people protect you 24/7,” the director smiles reassuringly. “It’s not me I’m worried about. I’m worried about you, dad.” The director laughs and says, “Look, my daughter’s all grown up.”
Once Chen Lin leaves the room, the Old Man’s smile falters — the enemy is more powerful than he thought. He orders Wild Goose to send a group of trustworthy San Lian Hui members to protect Chen Lin, he believes there are traders in San Lian Hui.
Che Jin on the other hand, exhibits a curious interest in the person the Old Man is protecting.
In her room, Chen Lin searches her purse to look for her notebook (that girl has a lot of crap in her bag!). When remembering she left it at Chen Zai Tian’s house, Chen Lin facepalms in frustration, hoping he doesn’t end up reading it.
The next day, Hero meets with his mysterious caller — only, he never quite sees the guy in time. The caller is being followed by Xiao Ma, who acts like the Observer in Fringe. In a burst of paranoid nervousness, the caller, Mr. Lee, starts to move away rapidly to elude Xiao Ma. Each time he relocates, he calls Hero to ask why he isn’t there yet. The supposedly quick meeting becomes a cat and mouse, until finally, out of carelessness, Mr. Lee runs into the ying-yang pair and gets stabbed in the gut — at which point, Hero finally catches up to his mouse. But the briefcase containing the mystery item is gone.
Angry, Hero bursts back to the police station and takes the phone apart before smashing it to pieces — Xi Ying suggested that the phone might be tapped. It wasn’t.
Hero’s outbreak attracted attention from concerned colleagues. When Lao Li taps his shoulder to make sure he’s feeling okay, Hero remembers Lao Li being near him when Mr. Lee first called and demands sharply, “Where did you go during lunch?” Taken aback, Lao Li repeats blankly, “Me?” “I asked, Where Did You Go During Lunch!” Hero barks. “I went out to eat lunch with a couple friends…” Lao Li replies, not seeing the connection between his activity and Hero’s anger.
Zai Tian watches thoughtfully on the side…
To exacerbate the matter, Unit Leader Chen walks in at this moment, nearly shouting to know why Hero was at the bridge earlier today and how did he stumble upon a murder. Enunciating each word, the unit leader threatens that if Hero is in any way involved in the bank robbery case when jurisdiction prevents such intervention, he will face dire consequences.
“I’m not,” Hero lies, smoothly.
With another clue cut off, Hero asks Hulk to find out everything he can about accountant Wong — Mr. Lee’s friend who died at the explosion.
As the topic returns to Xiao Ma, Hero recalls seeing Xiao Ma at the bridge and therefore deduces that Xiao Ma might be the murderer since he’s often observed to be at the crime scenes. In addition, his sudden disappearance after his identity was revealed also seems fishy. To find out more about Xiao Ma, Hero asks Hulk to investigate on Xiao Ma’s vendor permit that allows him to sell hot dogs, reasoning that his identity might be fake but the permit may be able to provide them with important information.
The pursuit for closure isn’t over, for Zai Tian is once again at Xi Ying’s lab table, asking to see the unidentified files of the explosion victims.
There is one Jane Doe and one John Doe. The Jane Doe is about 20-25 years of age and the John Doe falls in the 35-40 range. Since Miss Jane Doe was relatively close to the origin of explosion, her skeletal remain was not intact. Sexing is done base upon the features on the skull (which, by the way, isn’t very accurate — women can have robust skulls with prominent frontal boss, wide zygomatic as well as mandible. Vice versa. — they need a pelvis to sex the individual with confidence. So no, I’m still not convinced that Xiao Mei’s dead.) Conveniently, because Xiao Mei has no relatives, there isn’t any sample to run a comparative DNA test to ascertain the identity of Jane Doe.
Convulsing in pain, Zai Tian mutters, “I promised to be her family… But now, there’s nothing I can do… This feeling… is so painful… It’s like I’m being suffocated…”
Ever the clam and contained forensics personnel, Xi Ying relates,
“When my father died, I felt the same way… He was a forensic scientist working on a big case. Then one day, he disappeared after work. Two weeks later, his body was found in a ditch… The estimated time of death was the day he disappeared…
I was only 15 at the time. I couldn’t accept his death, nor could I understand how the police were able to close the case without finding the killer. No one could tell me why. Why he was murdered, why him.
No answer ever came, even today. So I decided to become a forensic scientist myself, to complete his dream. But the longer I stay at this job, the more apparent it is to me that there is nothing I can do for my father. Nothing.
“Everything you are doing right now,” Zai Tian contradicts, “they are done for your father.” Wiping away her tear, Xi Ying replies softly but surely, “Don’t worry. I will help you. I will find your family for you.”
Bored and in a gloomy mood, Chen Lin calls Hero out for a drink. Hero notes the increased security around Chen Lin, to which she smiles bitterly and explains that she was attacked a few days ago. “Attacked? Who attacked you? What happened? Are you okay?” suddenly tensing, Hero shoots out a chain of questions. “I’m fine.” Chen Lin laughs at his reaction, “Don’t you see me in front of you? Healthy as ever. Oh by the way, where is Chen Zai Tian?”
When Hero explains that Zai Tian has been working with Xi Ying a lot, trying to find Xiao Mei’s remains to conduct a proper burial, Chen Lin looks away, her eyes shiny with tears. Chen Lin’s sudden sadness doesn’t escape Hero’s eyes unnoticed. He takes a drink from his cup and looks away in the other direction.
After a little pause, Chen Lin starts again, “You and Zai Tian are both right. I have never truly tried to get to know you two.” Her words catches Hero off guard, he looks down in acquiescence.
She continues, “If I say that to be with me, you have to give up your role as a police, would you do that for me?” (Don’t tease him like that!) Conflicted, Hero furrows his brow and looks down, contemplating how to answer her. Chen Lin chuckles, “I was just kidding. Look how nervous you were!” She sighs and says, “I know we can’t change. I’m like you. We are the kind of people who don’t have the courage to face the people we care about. You don’t know how to face me, and I, I don’t know how to face the girl in Zai Tian’s heart. But it doesn’t matter. As long as I can see the one I like everyday, I am content.” Hero smiles back and downs his liquor — that wasn’t a good joke.
Chen Lin moves closer and addresses Hero eye to eye, “Hero, you know I don’t have friends in the first place. I’m fortunate to know you. So can you promise me that no matter what happens in the future, we will stay friends?” Hero averts his eyes to hide his sadness, when he looks up again, he smiles, “Of course.”
Meanwhile, a hooded figure lurks in the dimmed halls of a private residence — the dead accountant’s home. He drugs the residents unconscious, places a burning cigarette on the wire of the microwave cord, and turns the microwave on before exiting as quietly as he had entered. (Is that how he created the explosion at the burger restaurant?)
In the forensics lab, Zai Tian and Xi Ying are absorbed in their work. When Zai Tian’s done, he looks up and asks Xi Ying earnestly, “Is there something else I can help with? I really want to help.”
(It’s nice to see him invested in something.)
As the night deepens, Zai Tian drifts off into a light sleep. When he wakes up, he looks over and sees Xi Ying hovering on the side of the desk, sleeping. Quietly, he walks over and wraps a coat around her…
When Zai Tian returns home, he notices something is amiss: his door has been opened. Alarmed now, he scans the environment first and readies his gun.
When he reaches the balcony door, he is stunned for a second, then he puts down his gun. Chen Lin is sitting on the balcony waiting for him. (What happened to her 101 body guards?)
“You’re finally back!” she greets him. “Why are you here?” He asks. “Your door wasn’t too hard to unlock.” She replies cheerfully. “That’s not what I’m asking. Why did you come?” “To see the ocean. It’s strange, it’s the same ocean but it looks different from your balcony. I finally figured out why,” they exchange a glance and she continues, “because of someone. Because of that one person, the whole world is different. A person can live happily or sadly because of another… I just want to tell you, you’re the first to change me. For you, I’m willing to live happily and sincerely.” She squats before him and looks him in the face, (he doesn’t make eye contact with her) “It doesn’t matter who you were, because the one I like is the you right now…. I want to be with you everyday, even if we fight every time we see each other. And… I won’t disappear. Because I’m strong, like a big tree. Even if one day, the tree falls, I’ll still be there. Forever.”
When she has said everything she wants to say, she grabs her shoes and leaves.
(The lyrics on the second screencap totally matches with the current scenario: Because of my love for you, I choose to tolerate. She’s really taking a step back and accepting the fact that to Zai Tian, Xiao Mei will always have a special place.)
Long after Chen Lin left, Zai Tian murmurs to himself, “What kind of girl compares herself to a big tree?”
Sitting back in the car and allowing her still pumping heart to slow down gradually, she takes out the notebook that she just retrieved from Zai Tian’s house and fondles it gently. Then she opens it and let the words on the page take her down memory lane…
(Click to enlarge the screencap. The two lines on the notebook says “First kiss… Stupid jerk!!! But… So happy~” )
Distantly in the sky, the sun starts to rise…
In the San Lian conference room, the Old Man receives a threatening call, ordering him to disclose the name at nine o’clock to a phone number. No later, no sooner. Else, Chen Lin really will die this time.
Regarding the threat, the Old Man plan to ignore. Because he has some wild cards on hand himself. He has faith that once he reveals them, his enemies will regret ever trying to oppose him. In the meantime, he tells Wild Goose that it’s time to seek outside help. Help from capable people.
On the way out, Che Jin pokes his nose into the Chen Zai Tian business. He casually asks who Chen Zai Tian is and questions the value of protecting him. When Wild Goose gives no reply, he dismissively says, “Fine, if you won’t tell, I will find out myself.” Wild Goose stops walking and replies meaningfully, “He’s a very important person to director.” (Hey, maybe he’s the Old Man’s lover’s son. Who knows.) Che Jin leans in and whispers, “Could he be… Director’s illegitimate son?” (Har Har) Wild Goose shoots Che Jin a stern look and walks off.
Nine o’clock, the Minister of Defense awaits his call. When no call came, he orders his people to act.
A number of things are happening concurrently from this point on:
First, Xi Ying received a call from a fellow forensic scientist, Jeff, informing her the cloth she sent over contains insufficient chemicals for analysis. To help Zai Tian find out the truth, she returns to the crime scene to retrieve more sample and makes a new discovery — she found traces of sulfuric acid as well as a bottle of it — before she was knocked unconscious clunked in the head. (Woman, why must you go to a creepy crime scene at night?!)
Then, Hero finds Xiao Ma’s secret hide out and from the elaborate photos, maps, and plans on the wall (the burger restaurant being one of the hit man’s target), he spots Chen Lin’s picture amongst them. Without thinking, Hero dashes out to save his damsel in distress.
Lastly, Chen Lin disappeared from San Lian Hui’s radar. She is with Xiao Ma.
From shedding a single tear to wiping it away gracefully, Xi Ying’s disclosure of her father’s past with Zai Tian is supposed to be a beautiful segment of two people with shared experience bonding with one another. But the acting is marred by the bland line delivery. What could’ve been a great scene turns out to be too impassive to stir an emotional response from me.
But I am liking the development between Zai Tian and Xi Ying because it’s so natural. It doesn’t give you the feeling that she’s partaking the romantic polygon for the sake of dragging out the plot. It happens because Xi Ying and Zai Tian now have a special connection and are working towards a common goal. On top of that, her new relationship with Zai Tian will likely alter her dynamic with Hero and it would be interesting to see how that plays out. After all, I am getting tired of the focus on the Zai Tian-Chen Lin-Hero triangle.