Episodes 16-17 Recap
Is it just me or does this episode begin with eight minutes of recap? Anyway, new plot begins with Zhou Li’s husband reminiscing their past together as he remembers her present of a necklace to him. Chen Shen thinks of Qiuxia, and how he has grown mature after witnessing her sacrifice so that he and the others might live on. Similarly, Zhou Li has sacrificed her well-being so that the others, including her husband, can continue living.
Er Bao finds Zhou Li’s husband’s necklace on the ground, and he inspects it, along with the button he found clutched in one of the dead soldier’s hands. Zhongliang begins to suspect Chen Shen due to the mysterious delay in the transporting prisoners from Point A to Point B, and he also suspects Shanhai, who had told Er Bao he was going to send some wood to Boss Li’s friend as material for home furnishings. Zhongliang tells Er Bao to put the necklace back where he found it as a trap to bait whoever misplaced it. Indeed, that is how Zhou Li’s husband is captured.
Zhongliang assembles all the people at the bureau for a meeting and says he will talk one-on-one with each of them since he suspects someone among them to be involved with the earlier mishap regarding the prisoners. He eyes Shanhai’s coat buttons, which are all there. A flashback to ten minutes ago shows Chen Shen having the same button on one of his jackets in the closet, so he gives it to Bi Cheng, who swiftly sews it on to Shanhai’s jacket. Also, they line up their alibis in case Zhongliang asks them why they were at Qiao Jia Shan that day.
The one-on-one interview sessions are actually kind of funny, since everyone acts their part so well. Chen Shen practically reverses the roles and begins questioning Zhongliang. Chen Shen is asked what he was talking about with Xu Bicheng before he sent off the prisoners, and he says Bicheng was suspicious of Shanhai since he’s been visiting Qiao Jia Shan so often.
The next phase of interrogation begins as Zhongliang says Liu Meina and Xu Bicheng have to remain, while the others are free to go. He suspects Yu Pangzi, the car driver who could have purposefully lengthened the time the car took to drive from Point A to Point B, but doubts it was a one-man job – it was either Meina or Bicheng who helped him.
Chen Shen goes to visit Li Xiaonan, and their neighbor Shanhai also needs Chen Shen’s help. But one of Zhongliang’s men is closely following their conversation from outside so Chen Shen has Li Xiaonan pretend to be hungry and ask him for food. Then Shanhai disguises as Chen Shen and leaves the house. He’s able to meet up with Dachun, who tells him that the person captured is Lu Ming (Zhou Li’s husband), and this guy has seen Bicheng’s face before.
Xu Bicheng puts up an impressive performance in front of Zhongliang saying she suspects Shanhai might love someone else. Wow, Zhou Dongyu’s act of acting is superb here. She captures the fake innocence and timing of fake tears perfectly. But once she leaves the room, the facade fades and she starts sobbing in a room when she hears the prisoner being tortured.
As Zhongliang continues interrogating Lu Ming, the viewers hear his philosophy. We know Zhongliang is currently working for the Japanese. In part it is because he does not care about ideology and belonging to a party, because he says it does no good when you want to protect your family and those you care most for.
Lu Ming eventually reveals that Dachun did meet up with a girl the day before the prisoners switched prisons. He describes her as in her twenties, with long hair, and pretty. Zhongliang has all the women in the bureau line up in a room and has Lu Ming point out the girl he saw that day. However, Zhongliang gets a phone call from Boss Li, who’s unhappy that his relative is being held as suspect. During this time Chen Shen gets the opportunity to tell Lu Ming he must not point out Bicheng, or else his family will be killed. He shows Lu Ming a photo of his family and says that all who are interrogated by Zhongliang are killed anyways after they have no more “value”. Lu Ming ends up not revealing Bicheng’s identity.
Lu Ming is sent back into the jail cell, but he tries to tackle one of Zhongliang’s men and ends up getting shot in the process. By who is left unknown – it is either Chen Shen or one of Zhongliang’s other men. I’m guessing it’s not Chen Shen, since first of all his conscience is probably tugging at him given the lie he said earlier, and also because he is afraid to shoot.
The one-on-one interrogation part was clever and interesting. Loved how each “suspect” or person in the bureau all acted their parts so convincingly. Especially Bicheng, since she just screams genuine. The button scenario was kind of a far-fetched coincidence though – I mean, what are the odds that Chen Shen has the exact same button that Shanhai needs?
I’ve got a theory about Zhongliang. Spoilers. We know that Zhongliang is going to die in the end, but exactly how is unknown. It would be interesting if the drama was written so that Chen Shen’s first time shooting a gun in years was at Zhongliang, killing him. And ironic as well, since Chen Shen’s last time shooting a gun saved Zhongliang’s life in battle.
Off-topic, but Zhou Dongyu’s new movie Soul Mate has just premiered today! I’m definitely going to try to watch this in theaters (if it shows in America). The story follows two best friends, July and Ansheng, who fall in love with the same dude. Apparently the movie focuses more on their friendship than on the romance aspect, which is exciting since I’ve seen a lot of youth movies that do the opposite.
Gifs and pictures credit to the 电视剧麻雀 Weibo.