It came after all, the danger of carrying the chip. A self-important killer steps out in front of Xi Ying and rests his rifle on one shoulder. He smirks arrogantly and says, “Kill you or not, I’ll get the chip.” — speaking too soon — before the smug smile can disappear, the lights in the subway station shut off.
Another figure diverts the killer’s attention, giving Xi Ling a moment to stow away to safety. The killer swings back to shoot but a flying dagger finds its way to the killer’s thigh first. The figure jumps onto the killer and strikes. They exchange rapid blows, but the figure, Cheng Nuo, overpowers the killer and thrusts his knife into the killer’s leg… back… and belly. The killer slumps to the floor noiselessly.
Xi Ying, guarding her bag, steps away from Cheng Nuo slowly, cautiously…
Cheng Nuo walks into light and reassures her, “I’m not interested in what you have. I just want to help you.” (Aww!) Reading Xi Ying’s skepticism, he continues, “There’s a lot of people after your chip. You can’t deal with all of them by your self.” “Why are you helping me?” Xi Ying asks, alarm ringing in her voice. Cheng Nuo answers impatiently with a swing of the head, “I don’t want to answer that right now.” How full of personality!
Fearfully, Xi Ying follows Cheng Nuo. (Good acting here. Janine has Horror movie potential. Can’t wait to see her in The Murderer.) Before reaching Cheng Nuo’s car, a second Sarkozy spots the pair. She raises her rifle.
Hearing the faint click of the trigger, Cheng Nuo pushes Xi Ying out of the way and takes a bullet for her. Then a second. A third. And, a fourth.
Several times, Xi Ying tries to come out to help Cheng Nuo but each time, he shouts for her to return to her safety. Finally seen enough, Xi Ying bravely walks out with chip in hand.
The Sarkozy trained killing machines all seem to be equipped with a fulsome smugness. As Xi Ying threatens to destroy the chip in exchange for her and Cheng Nuo’s life, the shooter smirks mockingly, “I can put a bullet in your head before you can destroy it.”
Although shaking uncontrollably, Xi Ying dares the shooter to try. When the shooter accepts the dare, Xi Ying tries her bargaining skills. She pleads, “Let us go. We just want to live. When I leave, I’ll give you the chip.”
The shooter lowers her gun. Taking it as a good sign, Xi Ying bends down to help Cheng Nuo up and whispers to him that the chip is their last chance to uncover the truth, he must deliver it to Wu Yang. “I know about Night Wanderer because your forensic expert is someone very important to me. He taught me many important things.” Grabbing Cheng Nuo’s shotgun from his back holster, Xi Ying pushes him aside and shoots the Sarkozy.
Look where smugness landed this Sarokzy: a bullet through the skull, killed instantly. (Lesson learned: never underestimate seemingly frail women.)
Walking over to Cheng Nuo, Xi Ying pants, “The best thing he taught me is shooting.”
The battle on the boat continues, and Zai Tian is alone with Boss. Boss shakes his head in contempt, wondering why an excellent soldier like Q (AKA: Xiao Ma) would hang out with Zai Tian’s bunch. “What a disgrace,” Boss mutters disapprovingly.
“What’s that smell?” Zai Tian wrinkles his nose. Then the memory comes to him:
A chill creeps onto Zai Tian’s back; horror struck, he cries, “YOU! You bombed the burger restaurant!” (It must be a big deal to have Boss do the bombing personally.) Yes, Boss not only blew up the burger restaurant, killed Zai Tian’s Xiao Mei, he even walked past Zai Tian before initiating the explosion.
“So?” Facing Chen Zai Tian’s passionate accusation, Boss is apparently unmoved. Yet it’s this indifference that makes Zai Tian the more determined to win the battle and punish Sarkozy for the innocent lives they’ve killed.
On the deck of the rusting boat, Xiao Ma and Hero finally manage to hold off the Sarkozy soldiers. Assuring Hero that he will take care of the fighters, Xiao Ma urges Hero to aid Zai Tian inside.
As Xiao Ma predicted, Zai Tian is in a bit of trouble. Boss has receded deep into the shadow, attacking Zai Tian from the protection of darkness.
Inside and outside, fighting ensues, intensifies, climaxes, halts, and continues again.
Bones are snapped, blood shed; some are wounded, some are dead.
This be wounded (above left), this be dead (above right).
But like in a video game, Boss is difficult to defeat. So a second round of attack and counter attack begins.
After enough slashing and kicking, Boss’s health bar starts to show signs of decrease. A third round. (Though, in a real Boss fight, where do you get the time to pause and take a breath? Your palms are sweaty, your heart racing fast, and your fingers faster!)
By the end of the third round, all three of the musketeers are down, leaving Boss, standing tall.
A private jet’s arrival signals Boss’s victory. He picks up two suitcases and readies aboard — is he going to walk? No way he is.
A bullet shot out from Zai Tian’s gun and lodges inside Boss’ chest. He collapses. (How IRONIC! They ganged up on him and still couldn’t take him down, but a little bullet did! Gotta love the irony.)
Overhead, the jet notes that Boss is wounded and flies away (heartless indeed). Then bang, another bullet puts Boss down. (Level up!) Follow the direction of the second bullet, Zai Tian spots a gracile figure and chases after it.
The figure gets away but before fleeting she and looks back at Zai Tian, Zai Tian’s jaw drops open: the one looking back at him is Xiao Mei, alive and whole. (HAHA! Hail instincts! But poor guy, went through the stages of bereavement for no reason.)
Xiao Ma’s confirmation further mortifies Zai Tian. He’s seen Xiao Mei’s picture at Zai Tian’s house and has determined that she is one of Sarkozy. As to why she would be at the burger shop, she is probably making sure of the timing and exact location of the explosion.
After collecting Boss’s body, Xiao Ma tells Hero that the mastermind is still on the loose. With that, he hands Hero Boss’s cell phone and drives into the horizon.
Looking through Boss’s cell phone, Hero and Zai Tian (who’s moping silently) dial the last number on Boss’s phone. The senator picks up.
Now, the target is finally crystal clear.
When no voice speaks on the phone, the senator realizes that something is amiss. Hanging up hastily, he turns and tells his assistant to gather as much money as they can, it’s time to pack. He then calls Heaven and asks for help on the escape plan. The man on the phone points out that the senator no longer has any value to the organization and refuses to relent at first. When senator Fan threatens to publicize the organization secret, the man agrees to a boat. “But,” the voice on the phone says, “I’ll only save one person.”
If a reporter sees what the senator does next, tomorrow’s headline would surely be something along the lines of “Survival of the Fittest, Senator Spotted Hit and Run”. Yes, the senator clunks his assistant on the head, grabs the two cases of money and drives away to the coordinates provided by man on the phone, where the boat is waiting.
But when he got there, the dock looks a little familiar — not only did Lei Mu Sha shot herself there, Boss and a few Sarkozy killers slaughtered and got slaughtered only hours ago.
Distantly, a white van drives towards the senator. When it gets close enough, a hand reaches out and places a siren on the hood — it’s hero(es) chasing the villain!
Boy did the villain run for his life! He comes to an impasse at the other end of the dock and uses his politician’s charisma to hoax a fisherman into lending him a motor boat. Luckily, Hero happens to know how to drive a boat (apparently, so did the senator). So the chase continues on the ocean surface.
Zai Tian’s guns then come in handy a second time. When it’s looking impossible to catch up to the senator, Zai Tian busts out a gun (it’s a Sarkozy gun Zai Tian picked up before confronting Boss) and a stroke of luck helped him hit the senator’s motor. The guilty villain is caught.
It’s not a good ending without a tinge of nostalgia:
Walking back to Hero’s car, Zai Tian finds a piece of paper under the windshield wiper. Picking it up, he recognizes it as the theme park ticket he and Xiao Mei had kept as a token of their promise to never be apart. Swinging around, he scans the premise, searching for Xiao Mei. But she is no where to be found…
After all the intense and intensive actions, Chen Lin wakes up in her hospital bed. She cringes in pain and sits up. To her surprise, she finds two of the three most important men in her life asleep on the couch. She smiles and feels her nose sore with the urge to cry.
The truth is uncovered on television. The news shakes the entire island (let’s not get political on whether or not TW is a country).
Cheng Nuo is put under protective custody for willingly testify against the senator and the other involved personnel. Today, Xi Ying is waiting for him.
Cheng Nuo steps off the police car, accompanied by two agents (who he could’ve easily killed had he not been reformed). When he sees Xi Ying standing at the top of the stairs, a smile breaks out on his face. “You’re here,” he says. “I came to say thank you. If it weren’t for you, these people wouldn’t be put behind the bars.” Still smiling, Cheng Nuo tells Xi Ying that this is the best way to avenge for his sister. Besides, the government has granted a proper funeral for her.
Xi Ying steps forward and reaches for Cheng Nuo’s hands, “Remember what I said, live for yourself.” (Aww!) “I will,” he promises, “and when that happens, I will thank you personally.” (Double aww!)
As for Chen Jin, whose future prospect I had wondered in the last recap, he is confronted by Wild Goose (who got a haircut!) Wild Goose warns Che Jin to be careful. Although there is no evidence to prove he is the traitor yet, there will be one day. When that day comes, Wild Goose will do Che Jin the honor of killing him personally.
What? Delightful Duo? Oh, they are back to their pre-Black & White days. What’s different is that for Hero, there’d always two frustrated body guards yelling “young master!” and protecting him at all times, even when he’s chasing criminals. And for Chen Zai Tian, he’s still the team leader, (it sounds as if team leader Chen never left!) but he often invests his time taking over Societal Ethics’ cases (remember, the Bras & Panties, hooker flooded police division?) — don’t tell me you didn’t guess it, he’s back to his flirtatious ways. Besides, there’s always Hero to do the job.
Oh and Xiao Ma, he’s ready to sail away on his beautiful boat and live like a pirate! Well, I made up about the pirate part but he’s got pirate spirit! Xiao Ma is tired of the life filled with bloodshed. Now that he has regained his identity, (Huang Shi Kai is the name) he plans to travel the world and live without any burden.
To avoid a sissy teary goodbye, Zai Tian and Hero remain by the rail and watch as Xiao Ma sails away.
The mood is lightened up when Zai Tian points out that Chen Lin’s personality is not befitting with her pretty face. “Have your dad taken you to do the same operation I had underwent?” He asks jokingly. (Haha!) The remark doesn’t go well with Chen Lin, but as she approaches menacingly, Hero’s intercom starts up, alerting the two cops of an emergency. The two heroes head out to save the world once again.
Of the few others that didn’t get their last cameo appearance, they weren’t forgotten:
- The policemen and detectives that have sacrificed their lives in the course of the investigation all received honors for their contribution.
- Hulk underwent two operation and is in the process of recovery.
- Xiao Lu, the Southern Branch director’s accomplice has disappeared and is currently on the run.
- San Lian Hui director continues to evade the police force. He is said to have passed all San Lian Hui duties to his daughter Chen Lin (so much for not partaking San Lian Hui’s business).
- Wu Yang continued to pursuit the Heaven case. He has pressed various charges to over 50 government officials. The list is still growing. However, mysterious suicides of key players in and outside of the island are happening in an even more rapid rate.
- Night Wanders came public with Cheng Nuo’s arrest. Unfortunately, all the files on Night Wanders vanished overnight, leaving only the originating date and the last executioner’s name, Lan Xi En — Lan Xi Ying’s long lost brother! (I wonder who will be casted as Xi En in the movie.)
One last revelation is made as Hero and Zai Tian hurry to the crime scene: The senator is spared of imprisonment. He is killed by Xiao Mei.
And Heaven is fabricating a grand revenge against the Delightful Duo.
This is a satisfying finale. Although there is a lot of summing up towards the end, as made inevitable by a final episode, I didn’t get the “end of term report” feel from it. I especially liked the way the texts and the background sound were combined at the end of the episode, shortly before revealing the senator’s death. The text is not just the boring wrap up we squint our eyes to see and the noise is not just a retelling of the senator’s gruesome death without the gory visuals. In conjunction, the two modalities enhance one another so that the drama is fast paced down to the last minute.
I’m glad that the humor is back after a prolonged period of heavy handed deaths and betrayals. It lightens the mood and dilutes the nostalgia evoked by Xiao Ma’s departure and Xiao Mei’s re-disappearance. Cases in point: Hero’s personal body guards impeding his ability to catch the pickpocket; Chen Zai Tian carrying out a conversation with the hooker whose sister was caught in Episode 9; and Zai Tian’s plastic surgery joke on Chen Lin.
What delighted me the most in this episode is the touch on friendship. (I’m not against the love triangle, it’s just that the longer the love entanglement is drawn out, the less screen time there is to devote to the theme of camaraderie, which is, in my opinion, under represented in this drama.) When Chen Lin wakes up and sees that Zai Tian and Hero have both waited by her side. She’s touched by the depth of their friendship. And we, as keen audiences are also touched by the simple yet meaningful way in which this message is conveyed. Then this shot below, encapsulates the essence of the more valued aspect of these three people’s relationship:
There is still much left to say about this drama (especially on characters). I’m considering writing an Overview to summarize the good & the lacking and put together some of the beautiful screen shots appeared in the past episodes as well as some unpublished screen shots.
Final words: I know once I started lag behind on recaps and writing only one episode per week, I’ve lost a handful of readership (vast understatement). So I hereby send out my appreciation to those who stayed and those who cared to share a piece of their mind.
Till the movie, folks!