Black & White, Episode 19

The gun, the prints, and the body, all that’s missing is a scented note saying:

I got you! ♥ Happy belated April fool’s!

— Love, Mu Sha

PS: See ya in another 5 yrs!

xxoo

She might as well try to rub it in his face, that way, he’d have someone to blame on. But deep down, Hero knows that the fault is his, which only made him the more furious. With himself.

At least, one thing is for certain – he won’t be engaging in reckless sexual behaviors any time soon.

The nerve racking interrogation doesn’t provide any console to Hero either. He is briefed with details of the murder: three bullets on the torso, the fatal shot being one in the heart. The estimated time of death is three hours ago.

“Technically you and Chen have no reason to be at the crime scene, why were you there?” The Southern Branch director interrogates personally. “I was framed!” Hero declares loudly, “When I got there, my gun was on the ground and Team leader Chen was already dead! I don’t know what happened!” But his words and his character mean nothing without a convincing alibi. “Explain to me again why your gun was found next to the body?” Almost as exasperated as Hero, the police director looks up expectantly.

With a sigh, Hero musters to explain, “My gun was stolen at the hotel.” “Stolen at a hotel?” the director muses sarcastically, “What were you doing at a hotel? (Apparently, trying to get a feel of how Chen Zai Tian’s love life feels like.) You are an experienced policeman, you should know better than to leave your gun around!” “I…” Hero starts to explain but shrinks back angrily.

Enters Xi Ying with a file, just in time for the confession, “I was spending the night in Lei Mu Sha’s room… When I woke up the next morning, my gun’s gone.” Dropping her head uncomfortably, she hands the police director the file and announces that the bullet caliber matches with those owned by Hero. On top of that, the murder weapon has Hero’s prints all over it and no one else’s.

“This morning, I got a call from the international police poll, confirming that they’ve never sent any agent to assist the jeweler murder case. I admit, I am remiss with regard to Lei Mu Sha’s fake identity, but carrying out a physical relationship with your partner and allowing personal feelings to cloud your judgment, these are your mistakes.” Hero’s face registers shock then frustration. He readily admits to being in the wrong but he also reminds the police director that he doesn’t have any motive.

So eager to prove his innocence, Hero loses his temper at one point. Then recollecting himself, he sighs deeply and states, “No matter what the cost, I. Will. Find. The. Culprit. Trust me…” The police director puts down his pencil and circles around the desk. He pats Hero on the shoulder and tells him, “You are an excellent police. This branch has been very dependent on you and your unrelenting spirit. But Team Leader Chen reported to me yesterday that Director Lin has connections with many other members of the Southern branch. ‘Two days’, he had promised, ‘Give me two days and I will bring you the list with the evidence.’ And now?” Hero slumps down in his chair, waiting for the Last Judgment.

“I don’t want to do this, but as the director of the Southern branch, I have to do it. Wu Ying Xiong, from now on, you will turn in your police badge and await investigation, until a conviction is finalized.”

It’s a teary goodbye. As Hero surrenders the badge he takes great pride in and bid his friends goodbye, the sad smile never left his face.

By the time Zai Tian storms into the station, Hero is gone. He runs out to catch up with Hero, trying to talk some sense into the disheveled Hero, but to no avail. To Zai Tian’s passionate encouragement, Hero only replies lightly, “The day I let you and San Lian Hui’s Director go is the day I lost what it takes to be a good cop.” It’s a sad pause as Zai Tian stares back into Hero’s eyes, trying to recover from the incredulity.

“How does that relate to this? If this is what it comes down to, I will go tell the police director now that I forced you into it. If worse comes to worse, we’ll both be jobless. I didn’t like being a police in the first place… Lei Mu Sha, that bitch! It’s all her fault! I’ll catch her and…”

Aside:
It's funny to see a guy turn from clean-shaven to unshaven
in a matter of seconds. It's like DANG his beard grew fast.
But I do appreciate the effort.

Hero scoffs and cuts Zai Tian off impatiently,

“Yes Lei Mu Sha is sly. She arranged for the seduction, the framing, and she killed all the witness. But it is me who fell for it anyway. I fell for her, against my better judgment. I thought she loved me. (Hey, maybe she did!) Can you believe that? (To quote from The Matrix series, you’re “Only human”. So chill, buddy.) I forgot who I was because I was foolishly in love with her.

“The police director is right. I’m no longer capable of doing what this job demands of me.”

Desperate now, Zai Tian puts the future of the “Delightful Duo” to Hero. Hero only laughs, bitter notwithstanding, “I’ve never dreamed of a day like this. I always thought you’d be the first to leave the department.” When Hero looks up again, pain has replaced his scornful laugh, “From now on, Delightful Duo doesn’t exist anymore. I’m tired. I need time to think. …Buddy, take care.”

Aside:
When you have a hot model on the set,
you wouldn’t be milking the cow for all she's worth IF
you didn’t give her a bath scene to show off her feminine beauty.
(Think: Angel Lover)
And I wouldn’t be a good recap writer if I didn’t honor that. ;)

So, for your eyes only (hey, no touching!) here’s the naked killa, mending her broken heart:

Lei Mu Sha is a professional. When bath time is over, so is lamenting.

With The Heart of Troy sitting safely in her possession, Mu Sha takes her time to retrieve the tiny chip hiding inside the jewelry. (See, if she had a glass of Scotch and a gun on the table, she’ll totally kick ass. But then again this is not my script.)

Fitting the missing chip in a device, Mu Sha connects it to a computer through a USB port and starts downloading the data onto her laptop.

Now, if this counts as anything for you Hero supporters out there who are just dying for some karma: when the chip is fully loaded onto Lei Mu Sha’s computer, it manifests as a virus, showing porn and cartoon and eventually kills her laptop.

Pretty lady is not happy.

(Dude, must I mention the choppy English? It just made her this much un-cool.)

In any case, the story with dead man Kim goes roughly like this: He was in the company and sitting pretty high up in the hierarchy. When things went south, he caught wind of change, packed his bags, stole the chip, and fled for his life. (This is starting to sound like our good old Prison Break.) In an effort to retrieve the chip and protect the company secret, Kim was killed and pretty lady here was sent to finish the job. But things went awry when she discovered that the chip in The Heart of Troy was only a decoy. What Kim did was scout for buyers. Naturally, the highest bidder gets Scylla the chip.

More revelations, The first of which doesn’t really come as a surprise. Well actually, neither does the second.

  1. Chen Zai Tian’s DNA results came out. He is 100% unrelated to the San Lian Hui Old Man. The question now – or, the question that’s been constantly asked is: Who is Chen Zai Tian?
    With that, a more important question: Did the Old Man know he’s got the wrong son? If he did, who is he protecting? Who then is the real illegitimate son? (Thanks to spoilers, I know the answer to this one.) What is the deal with Chen Zai Tian? His mother, his blurry childhood, and the lullaby he and Chen Lin shared? (Which is easy enough to guess)
  2. Hero sought escape in liquor and, well, more liquor. (Almost exactly what Chen Zai Tian did a few episodes back.)

But unlike how during Zai Tian’s turmoil, the spotlight was essentially glue on him, Hero’s silent stew is very much silent.

Instead, we’re spooked with Xi Ying’s night action at her own sealed maison. She picks the lock and enters it. Fondling over her father’s chair, desk, and photos, she finds a laptop from beneath the desk. After a few tries at the password, she enters the computer. A cursory view of the content brings Xi Ying to the brink of disappointment mingled with horror.

Her father worked for the dark organization who call themselves Night Wanderers. Secret instances of killing, arson, and kidnapping were done under the cover of night; her father helped covering the tracts. Among the list of Night Wanderers, Xi Ying found pictures of the ying-yang twins. (The twin brother’s bio reveals his name to be Cheng Nuo, which sounds like Promise. He is 22 years old, High School education, and an orphan.)

The development furthers. (Man, finally something new to perk up the interest!)

First, Hulk confronts Xiao Lu about her unusual computer usage. She has a software called Sniffer installed. According to Hulk, the software allows her to monitor the information flow in the police station. Whether it’s e-mail or surfing history, they will automatically download to her computer. In other words, she knows everything that’s going on electronically in the police station. (That’s kinda tight.) Xiao Lu denies knowledge of the said program and begs Hulk’s help to clear it off her computer.

Second, Jian Da De turns on the TV one day and finds himself in knee high trouble. There was an anonymous letter to the TV station, tipping them of the famous business man’s involvement in the production and trafficking of Dreamer. A photo of Jian inhaling Dreamer was also sent to provide evidence — it’s the senator doing some house cleaning before the election.

But the senator only wants Jian preoccupied with a scandal, not killed. Consequently, when the businessman’s body was found dead and words of suicide leaked, the senator speculates it to be the work of another organization, Heaven, and urges his men to speed up with his plan. Although Lei Mu Sha’s involvement in Jian Da De’s demise is a secret shared only by herself and the dead, her association with Heaven is made explicit to us, the audience.

Following Jian’s “suicide”, the embezzlement of the CIA with the Russian jeweler is exposed, giving the senator a perfect chance to push for a series of reformations.

The first of which is to give a grandiose speech at the Southern branch before implanting a few agents to monitor assist the police station. Ever the “charismatic” politician, the senator shakes hands with everyone to express his gratitude for the kind of work policemen devote themselves to. When he is face to face with Zai Tian, he jokes sarcastically, “Young man, I remember you. That was the experience of a life time. It was the first time I had someone holding a gun to my face.” Of course, we know the real reason the senator is so interested in Zai Tian.

He acknowledges Zai Tian’s accomplishments (capturing Gao Yi, the Dreamer case leading up to Jian Da De, and figuring out the deal between Director Lin and Jian Da De) and pushes for a promotion to reward the young man. This is how Chen Zai Tian became the new Team Leader, without trying.

Zai Tian’s surprise and his colleagues’ congratulation aside, Lao Li’s thoughtful countenance is noteworthy.

Hero comes out of his depressive isolation fairly quickly this time — though miserable he still looks. He returned to the hotel asking for recordings of the surveillance camera, but was denied access. Fortunately, Zai Tian’s arrival, with his shiny badge, saves Hero from the embarrassment. Hero, in appreciation, smiles the first heartfelt smile he’s let out in a long time.

The recordings weren’t able to provide much help. The person’s face, whom Lei Mu Shan handed Hero’s gun to, wasn’t revealed in the tape. Base on the stature of the individual, a rough estimation determines that person to be female. Other than that, the deceased Team leader Chen’s cell phone record shows an incoming call made from a pay phone hours before his death. But that’s about as far as the Delightful Duo got.

While waiting for the elevator, Zai Tian turns to Hero suddenly and states with rare sincerity,

“Buddy, I want to tell you that don’t worry. I will find out the truth and prove your innocence.”

The months of tribulation has instilled a newly founded despondency in Hero. Overcome by the the sense of futility, he tells Zai Tian that the “truth” doesn’t matter any more — because he can no longer distinguish fact from fiction.

Perhaps despair is an infectious state of mind. Facing Hero’s lassitude, Zai Tian expresses a similar weariness,

“It’s been so quiet in the police station lately. Lao Li’s retiring, Xiao Lu’s studying abroad… If you don’t plan on coming back… Then there’s no point for me to stay either. It’s such an unrewarding job, why bother? I can always go back to my mob dad. But don’t worry, before I turn to the dark side, I’ll help you find the truth. After all, you saved me once.”

Without the bad guys to catch, Hero finds time to go home. And for the first time, we get to meet the parent.

nice little cottage bathed in sunlight
nice little cottage bathed in sunlight

They share a nice meal together but once the brief moment of harmony is over, Life drags Hero by the ear and forces him back to reality.

His mother sits Hero down and announces the first of two bad news: she’s recently had a mammogram done and the result isn’t as bright and sunny as the weather outside. As a result, she’s made mental preparation to join Hero’s father in the land of the dead. Her deterioration of health forces her to deliver Hero the second bad news: she is not his real mother.

Instead, she hands Hero a brown fabric that belonged to his real mother and recounts the story…

When Hero was just two years old, his biological mother, a ravishing beauty, brought him to his parents today. Seeing how teary eyed the poor mother was, the infertile couple took pity on her and decided to keep Hero. Before leaving, the saddened mother had the couple promise that if one day Hero must know the truth, tell him she loved him very much. That, she didn’t want to give him up and, he wasn’t an abandoned child. She did it for his safety.

“When you were 10, your mother came to see you. But she remained at a distance, only looking at you from afar. She said she isn’t worthy of your forgiveness and she didn’t know how to face you. Before she left, she handed me this (pointing at the brown handkerchief). Then soon after, she died.”

Slowly, Hero expands the handkerchief, revealing a dainty lotus sewed on the handkerchief as well as a golden lotus pendant. Suddenly overwhelmed by emotion, Hero is rendered speechless.

Uncertain of how Hero is taking the news, his mother continues hastily, “Look, your mother told me her favorite flower is lotus. She sewed it herself. It’s a nice piece of handiwork isn’t it…?” But these words are lost to him as the cacophony of a thousand fragmented thoughts filled his head…

Can you imagine Lei Mu Sha’s face if she finds out the chip she’s been looking all over the place is sitting promptly in Kim’s fake tooth all this time?

When Xi Ying got the call about the chip, intuition tells her the chip must be very, very important. In a hurry to get her hands on the evidence asap, she neglected to notice that the taxi driver who dropped her off at the lab is Cheng Nuo.

When Xi Ying comes back out, she is attacked and rendered unconscious…

To find out more about his heritage (because this is SO about tracing heritage and finding roots), Hero calls Chen Lin to confirm a number of things. First, how the Lotus symbol came about. When that checks out with his “mother”‘s story, he proceeds to ask where Chen Lin’s dad is from. That of course, fits as well.

All the signs and evidences lead to one thing only: a confrontation with papa.

Comments

Here we go again, back to the Myth of the Birth.

See, the bad thing about lagging behind on recaps is that spoilers tend to make their way to me before I get to watch the episode. So when the big moment actually comes, it doesn’t wow me anymore. =( Case in point: Hero’s new identity as Chen Lin’s half brother. End of complain.

As much as I have stomped my feet and whined about Chen Lin&Zai Tian’s (incestuous) forbidden love being one big misstep, I was ready, body and soul, to embrace the turn of events that’s to reunite them again (though, I didn’t really care for this particular romantic arc). Suffice to say, the twist worked out beautifully — despite the fact that we would’ve been just fine without the overture starring Chen Lin and Zai Tian. It did give Zai Tian a solid reason to save the Director, but given his nature, he would’ve done it anyway.

It made sense that in an effort to protect her son, Hero’s real mother sent him away. Then, out of longing, she adopted another (namely Chen Zai Tian) and saw him as her own. When the Old Man finally found her, she’s already taken her secret to the grave, hence this — if you will — little farce.

What strikes me as a nice buildup for this revelation is the foreshadowing when Chen Lin said that if she were to choose, she’d rather Hero be her older brother than Zai Tian, on the day Mu Sha invited her over for breakfast.

So now, the interesting thing is how Zai Tian will react to the change — crawl back to Chen Lin or assume the que sera, sera attitude — if he’s going to have much of a reaction after everything that’s been happening lately.

Finally, a few words on the directing.

I always fantasize that one day, if I ever have the inspiration AND the endurance to sit down and write a story, (maybe in November) I will start mine In Medias Res. Just because it’s one of those intriguing techniques I dig.

Consequently, when the part that starts with Jian Da De being denounced on TV up to when Heaven is mentioned was edited and shown in a nonlinear narrative, the technique lights up the entire segment like a Christmas tree. In other words, it makes an otherwise unremarkable scene suddenly very appealing. Instead of showing Jian Da De’s death and introducing the idea of yet another organization soon afterward, which I would’ve phased out on, the back and forth between the murder and the senator talking on the couch makes for a smooth transition as well as an intriguing attention grabbing storytelling device.

7 thoughts on “Black & White, Episode 19”

  1. Hi,
    Regarding the matter of the mother giving away Hero & adopting Zai Tian, I actually intrepret it a totally different way than you. I thought the reason why the mother adopt Zai Tian was to use him as a cover up child to replace Hero. Since the only reason she gave away Hero was to protect him, it makes no sense for her to adopt Zai Tian. This would mean that Zai Tian is in the same danger that the mother tried to protect Hero from because no one knew Zai Tian was adopted.

    Another thought: there is way loads of foreshadowing in this drama. Many times, Zai Tian jokingly said things that would turn out to be true later on.

    1. i thought about that before writing down my interpretation. it’s possible, but it also makes his mother a calculating bitch. and that wouldn’t really go with the overall image of the mother nor the purity represented by the lotus she loved so much.

      so instead, i rather think of her as a doting mother sorrowful of her mistake. and out of emotional need, adopted and gave the love Hero never received to Zai Tian.

  2. or it could be that zai tian was really the son of his mother with another man…still, he would be unrelated to chen lin as blood relative, but half brother with hero….we never know! this drama surprises us many time already….DRAMA!

  3. I love recaps, first of all cuz I like to compare someone’s opinion with mine , but specially because of the screen caps! hahaha
    Thanks , your bolg is really cool!
    kisses from Brazil! :*

  4. I love your recaps, it helps me a lot to understand the complex plot, as I don’t speak mandarin and the english subtitle is not always complete.

    I really enjoy reading your recaps and critics after watching the drama.

    Thank you so much 🙂

  5. THanks for your insightful recaps 🙂 it was heartbreaking to see Hero bei g suspen ded 😦 really liked his scenes with Z. I wonder how theylre going to react upon the l8est revelation. Hope it strengthens their bond even more 🙂

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