Black & White, Episode 17

Someone’s wasted —

— well, more like:

I just broke my Holy code of conduct, let loose the criminal boss, and lied to my ever so irritating superior. I have made myself THE epic failure of all failures. So now, I must mope around in a bar, bleary-eyed and pathetic.

Little does this yesterday’s hero notice that he might have sent an innocent man away from the grave, scored a point (or two) with the chick he has the hots for, and salvaged his best buddies’ only family. I don’t know about you, but that sure sounds like a handful of accomplishments to me.

But our brooding Hero must endure his fair share of self-loathing before becoming a real man. So go ahead and dwell, but I do expect to see the thieves busted for stealing wallets in the bar next time, when our hero isn’t too dejected to bother taking action.

On the other hand, Chen Zai Tian’s life isn’t much easier. He is called in by the police station director with a simple warning to pay extra attention to his behavior hereafter. Reason being that his ties with the San Lian Hui princess might give tabloid gossip materials to go off on and it wouldn’t make the police stations look any more competent than they do now, after the Old Man’s escape.

The real purpose behind Zai Tian’s one-on-one with the police station director is that the Dreamer confiscated upon Gao Yi’s capture is found to be missing. Not to speak ill of the dead, but there is reason to believe that the recently deceased director Lin might have reallocated the drugs to cover up clues relating back to her daughter’s death. The bottom line is, the Southern branch director wants Zai Tian to investigate someone in secret — the last person Director Lin called before she met her end (drum roll anyone?) — Lao Li.

The news comes as a shock and it doesn’t help that there is a large fund transferred to Lao Li’s bank account from an unknown source not too long ago.

When Zai Tian returns to the main office, it’s just in time for Lao Li’s retirement party. Retiring at this time of the year? Sounds like a great get away plan! During the brief discourse, Lao Li catches a tint of mockery in Zai Tian’s smile; disconcerted, he averts his eyes.

The policemen might be bummed or preoccupied, but crimes are still happening. On this particular day, a plum looking man checks himself into a hotel for a discrete “business transaction”. Once the man is alone in his room, the item of interest is revealed: a necklace called The Heart of Troy. (Mighty fake looking, I might add. See for yourself below:)

Soon after this Mr. Kim gets settled in his hotel, he is visited by a hooker escort…

In the lab together, Xi Ying asks Hero if his wounds still hurt. His reply is negative. She ventures on to comment that he wouldn’t have let them get away if he didn’t intend to. In the same round about way, Hero notes that Xi Ying also kept the piece of information that Chen Zai Tian’s prints are found all over the patrol car to herself. Upon Xi Ying’s acquiescence, Hero continues, “This man (referring to Zai Tian) is really something. He just made the two of us lie for him when we are unaccustomed to lying.” Xi Ying replies coldly, “I did what my heart told me to do. (Yeah, hormone congested heart)” she pauses and continues passionately, “He’s my friend and they are his family. I can understand where he’s coming from.”

“I didn’t know you’ve fallen for him that deeply already” was the only thing Hero could muster.

Xi Ying is taken aback by the observation. She pouts her mouth slightly to counter him, couldn’t think of any, and returns to her task.

When the room service lady wheels a cart to Mr. Kim’s hotel room later and finds the door ajar, she enters to make sure everything is okay. What could one find in a contrived situation such as this? A corpse, floating in the tub with what looks like a bottle of Dreamer sitting on the side. The safe is open, and the jewelry gone.

(I like this shot. While the dead man is eye-catching, what’s really in focus is the Dreamer bottle.)

There was no sign of struggle in the room but Xi Ying was able to collect hair samples to confirm antemortem sexual activity. The cause of death is heart failure, resulting from Dreamer overdose. Although the manner of death appears to be “natural”, (as natural as floating in the tub from an overdose can be,) the open safe and the missing jewelry rules out accident.

Due to the complicated nature of determining jurisdiction that involves a treasure from Russia, a Korean victim, and a crime scene located in Taiwan, an international police agent is sent to help. Her name is Lei Mu Sha.

Say hi to the new babe in town!

When Miss Lei arrives at the Southern branch, she is brought to meet Hero, her new assistant. As Hero gasps for air, Lei Mu Sha reaches out a friendly hand and smiles, “Wu Ying Xiong, long time no see.”

When they are alone, the formality turns into a tense silence as the mutual attraction gently tugs at them both. They stole subtle glances at each other, waiting for the right moment to make conversation. It’s Hero who breaks the ice first, “Honestly, I was surprised to see you. Especially, as an international police… That’s very much like you.” She smiles, a little embarrassed by his compliment, “That’s right. The last time we met was five years ago…” Thinking of the same thing, Hero continues her thoughts, “in New York, Kennedy Airport.” “The day after training,” she finishes for him.

Unnerved by the growing attraction, Hero clears his throat and changes the subject. “There was no sign of struggle, so the hooker must’ve taken the necklace after Kim passed out from the drug.” Lei Mu Sha smiles and nods. Ever the nervous child, Hero blabbers on after another clearing of the throat, “From Kim’s belongings, I found a few business cards of five star hotels. Businessmen like him don’t have a wide range of lodging places, it shouldn’t be hard to find.” Again, Lei Mu Sha smiles and nods. Hero looks away uncomfortably and clears his throat a third time — all the while peeking at Mu Sha surreptitiously.

They stop at a bar in one of the hotels Kim frequented. Upon Mu Sha’s invite, Hero sits down for a drink. (Drinking on the job huh? Forget the Holy Code of Conduct for the Morally Meticulous, who can resist the gentle urge of an attractive colleague?) While sipping whiskey, Hero fills Mu Sha in on the Odd and Obvious. From Gao Yi, Director Lin, and the Dreamer case to meeting Chen Zai Tian, falling for Chen Lin, and changing as a result, Hero tells it all.

“It sounded like you really care about the two of them,” Mu Sha observes. Hero denies to value Zai Tian and Chen Lin more than anyone else in his life, but he admits to being influenced. Lei Mu Sha teases, “I’m so jealous. From how much you care about them, they must be very special.” “Out of everyone I know, I think you are the most special.” Hero replies earnestly. “Then…” she considers his words for a while and probes, hinting heavily, “Am I someone special to you?” Hero gulps and downs his drink. “Can I have another one?” he turns to the bartender.

When Hero heads to the men’s room later, he notices a wall of whiskey stored under the deceased accountant Wong’s name. Puzzled, Hero quickly returns to the bar and inquires the bartender. The bartender tells him that the liquor was originally stored for accountant Wong. However, after Wong’s death, the drinks were reserved for Wong’s friend, Mr. Kim. Now even Kim is dead.

Speaking of dead-man Kim, the Big Boss, now revealed as the senator who’s running for presidency (whom we have encountered when Hero and Zai Tian disrupted the dinner after being given the wrong information about the location of San Lian Hui’s gun trade) wants the evidences regarding this particular death destroyed. In order to avoid suspicion, he and the Minister of Defense decide to retrieve the evidence through legal means. No more stealing evidences.

Hero gets drunk after one too many drinks. Lei Mu Sha helps him to a couch, undresses him, and tucks him in.

Watching Hero sleeping soundly on the couch, Mu Sha bends over him and gently, she strokes his face.

Slowly, she leans forward and kisses his forehead.

Then his nose.

And then, working her way down,

she kisses him on the mouth, slowly and softly…

Having done that, she slowly gets up and walks into the bathroom. She turns on the water and sits on the rim of the bath tub. (For a split second, I thought she’s gonna take out a vial of Dreamer. But instead –) She takes out a phone. She reports back on her findings, which confirms Hero’s suspicion that Kim’s death, the jewelry case, and Director Lin’s death are all connected to Dreamer. Then, she reassures the man on the other end of the phone line that although something unexpected had happened, she’ll take care of everything.

Overnight, Chen Zai Tian’s house has been raided (by Sarkozy). His hair and oral samples were taken for a DNA analysis — the quest for identity continues. (Question is, what are they cross referencing his DNA with? Without something to compare to, his genetic codes mean nothing.)

When Hero’s phone vibrates the next morning, Lei Mu Sha picks it up. The caller is Chen Lin.

Surprised that a female voice answered the phone, Chen Lin asks, “Is Hero there?” “He is, but he’s sleeping.” Mu Sha replies matter of factly. “And you are…?” “I’m a colleague of his. Is there anything you need? He’s with me, you can come here.” Even without seeing Chen Lin’s face, Mu Sha knows the flower of misunderstanding that she so delicately planted has blossomed. “Is it ok for me to come over?” Chen Lin asks. “Of course. He’s just getting up. Come and have breakfast with us.” Mu Sha invites, taking command like the graceful hostess of the house.

When Chen Lin did come by, a hung over Hero answers the door, followed by Mu Sha, in her bathrobe, fresh out of the shower. The misunderstanding deepens.

Chen Lin comes to thank Hero for letting her father go the other day. She understands the torment Hero went through in order to make the decision that he made and for that, she is grateful.

“Were you surprised when you learned that Zai Tian is my father’s son?” Hero nods, “Very.” “We found out about it not too long ago. At the beginning, it was hard to accept. No matter how you look at it, we don’t look like siblings do we?” Chen Lin muses but her tears betray her. She sniffles and continues, “You know me, I don’t have friends. You’re the only one I can talk to about things like this. You know, having a brother like that isn’t something to be happy about. He hangs around chicks all the time and talks incessantly. If I were to choose, I’d rather my brother is you.” When Hero says nothing, Chen Lin laughs it off and answers for him, “I know, I know, you wouldn’t want a sister having ties with a gang. Anyway, I’m here to say thank you.” She hugs him and walks away without giving Hero a chance to say more.

In the Old Man’s secret hide out, Wild Goose is filling his boss in with the newest development. Suddenly, the security alarm goes off. Turns out, Xiao Ma is making a cameo appearance to see the Old Man. Wild Good reproaches Xiao Ma for his method and leaves to the two men room. Without further ado, Xiao Ma reports, “Last Tuesday, that person sent me a picture of Chen Zai Tian.” “Then they know.” The Old Man nods thoughtfully. While Xiao Ma believes the enemy’s inaction can be attributed to a lack of evidence or crucial information, the Old Man disagrees. “They are waiting for the right moment. In any case, they will not give up so easily.” Both men agree and Xiao Ma ventures on to tell the Director that there is one more thing he needs. Once obtained, they will be able to end the nightmare for good.

“What do you think of San Lian Hui’s traitor?” asks the Old Man. Xiao Ma chuckles and says, “Since we all know who he is, we might as well let him live. I want to use him to fish out the man behind all this.” “I trust your judgment and I thank you for protecting Zai Tian and Lin Lin.”

“We may want different things, but we are on the same boat.” The Director smiles and asks, “When you reach the finish line, what is the one thing you want the most?” Without thinking, Xiao Ma answers, “Take back my identity.”

Two policemen are on their way transporting the Kim murder evidences to a forensics scientist. Their car starts smoking — you know where this is going don’t cha? — so the driver pulls over and gets off to inspect, while the other stays in the car to protect the evidence box. But alas, the poor guy inside never saw his end coming. Even as the last breath of air left his lung, he knows not the face of his perpetrator.

At the police station, Hero is discussing the dubious professional history of the newly dead with Mu Sha when Zai Tian walks in. “Hey Hero have you…” when he sees Mu Sha, he straightens his back and quickly checks her out from head to toe. When the mental calculator scored her a high double digit, he heads directly towards her, not breaking eye contact and completely forgets that he came in to talk to Hero. When Zai Tian’s in front of Mu Sha, he’s back to his comfortable, flirtatious persona and makes no haste to promote himself as the next most likely candidate to get in her pants. (Hey bud, you are SO out of practice, because that right there isn’t exactly what I would call smooth.)

Interrupting Zai Tian, Hero points to his face and says, “I am so used to you being the way you are. Look at me, I’m not bothered at all!” Then his smile fades, “Didn’t you have something you want to tell me?” (Whoa, Hero and sarcasm?! Was I dreaming?)

So comes the revelation time. Listen up:

The CEO died at the bank robbery and accountant Wong who died at the restaurant explosion, they both went to the same college as our primary suspect Jian Da De.

Who’s willing to bet that they were onto something but when things went south, it became a game of Survival of the Fittest?

Speaking of survival, if survival rate can be predicted and calculated mathematically, Chen Lin’s would look something like a quartic function (maybe?).

Today, there’s an unexpected visitor at Chen Lin’s apartment. They exchanged a few blows, which was awesome because she isn’t just some weak princess waiting to be saved. But eventually he secures her in a headlock and forces her to call Xiao Ma. (Oh la la, revenge sure is a dish best served cold! And cold it will get:)

When the call is connected, the impostor threatens Xiao Ma, “Hello stranger, you killed the woman of my life. An eye for an eye, I’ll show you how that feels.” Now, wait a sec, am I hearing a romantic undertone? Is that a not very subtle way of saying that Xiao Ma is feeling something special for the sassy female lead? On the other hand, am I going crazy or does this guy look like the twin brother? If he is… then OMGWTF!@%#! — if not, then he must be one of Sarkozy.

Whether the implied budding feelings of romance is true or not, Xiao Ma is on his feet for a gallant rescue.

The crazed man has tossed Chen Lin in a giant ice chest devoid of any heat (and cold it is!). She is expected to expire in, um, 30 minutes.

Tick tock, time is running out!

To my dear regular readers: It may seem like forever since I last wrote a Black & White recap, but it’s only been a week. And the good news is, I’m still alive! I’ve just been busy and unmotivated, and-uh, well, busy. The next three recaps will hopefully be written soon, depending on my packing and unpacking speed (plus whatever distraction that may surface).

Comments

If there is a breakout character in Black & White, I’d say it would be Xiao Ma for me. As for most breakout characters, they get the glory, the fans, AND the girl. If B&W is designed like any other TW drama that does filming and broadcasting concurrently, I might just be in luck (assuming other fans share the same sentiment and are vocal about their opinions). Unfortunately that’s not the case. So I sigh to myself and wish for an unorthodox twist in the story.

I was initially very excited for Sonia Sui’s appearance, thinking her presence will spice things up — I still am, just not as much. It’s mainly due to the lack of chemistry between the two actors. The timidness and nervousness are real; she is one of the top models in TW and Mark isn’t nearly as experienced with filming intimate scenes as, say Vic. This creates a kind of experienced vs. inexperienced dynamic that works well for the drama, except we’re a little short on the familiarity. They seem like what they are — strangers forced to act chummy.

The music does a good job of creating feelings of uneasy. I know I was on edge when Lei Mu Sha kissed the unconscious Hero against the dark lighting and ominous music.

To continue with the talk on Lei Mu Sha, her presence puts a strain on the Hero-Chen Lin relationship. Personally, I think it’s a good strain. If we want any advancement between Hero and Chen Lin — whether it’s for one to realize the unrealized feelings for another or reaffirm the lack of romantic connection — we need a little drama, jealousy maybe, to push for that final clarity.

10 thoughts on “Black & White, Episode 17”

  1. Well, thanks a lot for the review.
    I just finish to watch this episode, and rush to see your opinion. I feel that the drama gave me too many questions, and is a little hard to think how the end will be. Im not talkin about the romantic aspect, but to the main case. As the matter of fact Im not too excited about who ends with who, but what I wish is for an ending that resolve all the issues.
    Hope you can continue to review this drama, I always love this kind of bloggs, because it help me understand the little things, that sometimes are meaningless for me when im watching a drama.
    Thanks a lot!

    1. frankly speaking, when the whole ambitious politician plotting to take over the world idea started to unfold in the last episode, my interest for the grand mystery started to wane as well.

      i’ve never really cared for the romantic pairing until now. but strictly speaking, Xiao Ma and Chen Lin can make a very cute and workable couple, if they were given a chance.

  2. I just wanted to say thank you for recapping the episodes, this is a drama that I’m quite interested in, but not exactly interesting enough for me to find the time to sit down and watch. So this is very helpful and I find your recaps very entertaining. XD Keep up the good work!

  3. hey irugnotmis
    thanks for the recap , i love this recap it was witty and funny especially the parts on hero =]

    I thought the flashblack fitted in perfectly when Hero was reflecting on his relationship with zai tian and chen lin. it refreshes my views of the characters at the beginning of the drama.

    i’m beginning to really like xiao ma too! and im pretty sure many others will too! i agree whole heartedly with you in that he’s a ‘breakout charater’ and he totally deserves the ‘glory, fans AND girl’

    it was totally uncalled for when the attacker make Chen Lin called Xiao Ma i was like HUH? why xiao ma? and then i thought ‘oh maybe cause they have a good friendship’ i didn’t get the “not so subtle” hint of romance lol

    i quiet like xiao ma and chen lin interactions throughtout the drama b4 this ep already. better then chen lin/ zai tian. GEE Chen Zai Tian must do something totally AWE and he has only from now till the end of the drama. cos right now its totally XIAO MA + CHEN LIN for me. (oh how i wish mcdonald girl is still alive and breathing).

    looking forward to your next recap =]

    ps. Chen Lin’s attacker is he the guy twin that got knocked off into the sea with his girl twin or is he a completely different guy? IMO they look the same yet different lol *confuse* and plus he said xiao ma killed ‘his woman’ *even more confused now* . hope u don’t mind the long post ><

    1. Nope, I don’t mind the long comment. On the contrary, it’s fun to read. Personally, what’s a recap without reader feedback?

      Honestly I don’t know if the attacker is the twin brother. He looks like it but unless director Tseu is drawing his inspiration from Oedipus Rex, “my woman” sounds a little too incestuous to refer to one’s sister don’t you think?

      1. LMAO! having just finished watching eps 19 & 20 i can confidently say that our eyes are not playing tricks on us irugnotmis.

        Boy twin is back. lol wonder how are u going to analysis his ‘not so subtle’ declaration of love for his girl twin ? x]

        looking forwawrd to your next recaps lol

  4. Poor Hero… I see you don’t like him at all! lol
    From the beginning I thought it would be like that. Characters that seem to be very strong at first, show a great weakness sooner or later. And if the director’s intention was to impress viewers with a picture of the pitiful Hero, I have to say that it worked quite well with me! lol I’d really like to save him from all enemies and specialy from that bitch!

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