I figured I would try to squeeze in another recap right before I leave for college. I am most probably going to also recap up until Episode 21 (Sunday’s episode), so I’ll just add on those episodes to this recap once they are released on the Youtube channel. That’s also why today’s recap is shorter than usual. I realize I’m using the words “probably” and “maybe” a lot lately, but it’s only because I really don’t know how hectic my schedule is going to become.
Lu Ming is killed by one of Zhongliang’s men in the cell because he tackles the jail cell guard. Chen Shen holds a gun, but did not fire, as he still has a fear of shooting. Lu Ming looks at Chen Shen one last time, and curiously, with a smile. Oh my goodness, what if he purposely initiated the fight so that he would be killed? Is it to ensure that his family would be safe, according to Chen Shen’s promise?
Bicheng and Shanhai go home, and both are internally sighing of relief. They are safe at least for now. However, though Bicheng smiles in front of Shanhai, tears fill her eyes as she says that it must be a mistake for her to still be living right now. My gosh, Zhou Dongyu’s performance here is phenomenal. Shanhai comforts her and says that today he was prepared to sacrifice himself along with her.
The next day Chen Shen
goes on a date takes a walk with Bicheng, where he says that he likes Bicheng’s optimistic spirit and her unwillingness to accept no for an answer. He then asks Bicheng to teach him sign language, since Pi Pi does not know how to speak and also is deaf.
Chen Shen talks to Bi Zhongliang, who is still frustrated about the whole Lu Ming situation. When Chen Shen asks if he still suspects Shanhai and Bicheng, Zhongliang replies that it’s not that he suspects them, but that he has never trusted them in the first place. He also says that Lu Ming mentioned before that his wife was captured by them, so this is another clue to investigate who exactly was his team member.
Chen Shen speaks with Shanhai and hands him the photo of Lu Ming and his family. Shanhai is about to burn the photo at home when Bicheng asks if she can take one last look at it. And as she reminisces the past, Shanhai decides not to burn it and gives it to Bicheng to safeguard. Oh dear. I can already tell this photo is going to cause trouble in the future.
Then Bicheng goes and drinks tea with Li Xiaonan, and they talk deep metaphors about life and how everyone is unique (Xiaonan doesn’t seem to have much self-confidence and describes herself as a vegetable when Bicheng says women are like flowers). Also, OTP moment between Bicheng and Shanhai when she refers to “our family” (咱们家).
Shanhai talks to Tao Dachun about the possibility of pushing the blame onto the other suspect in the Lu Ming incident – Yu Pangzi, the driver in charge of transporting the prisoners from one jail to the other. It turns out Pangzi is a heavy gambler who often loses, and Dachun lends him money to gamble on the condition that he repays him fivefold. Pangzi is unable to do so, so Dachun gives him one day, or he will have to repay with his life. However, Pangzi escapes, from both Dachun and from Zhongliang who is investigating him.
Zhongliang has Shanhai go and look for him, bringing along Er Bao and Chen Shen. He suspects that Shanhai might use this opportunity and kill Pangzi as a way to eliminate and put all blame onto the suspect. However, Shanhai does not know that all this is in Zhongliang’s considerations. Chen Shen wants to find a chance to tell Shanhai all this, but is impeded by Er Bao’s presence on the car. They arrive at the hotel where Pangzi is staying at, and Chen Shen thinks quick and shouts “Come out! If you come out right now there is still chance for you to live.” And when Shanhai kicks the door open, it appears that Pangzi has committed suicide, having hung himself. However, this is a method employed by Dachun / Shanhai to eliminate Pangzi. Chen Shen just helps make the scenario more believable.
Chen Shen and Xiaonan have dinner with Shanhai and Bicheng and the two men cook while the two women converse. Xiaonan points out her new leaf necklace that Chen Shen gave her as a birthday present, and Bicheng loves the necklace (in previous episodes she mentioned she likes leaves, not flowers).
Episode 20 is less plot-heavy and focuses more on the OTP. Bicheng skips the breakfast Shanhai made for her (aw) and rejects the leaf necklace Shanhai gives her (AW) and then eats breakfast with Chen Shen instead. Two important things are mentioned. First, Bicheng asks if Chen Shen is a communist. To which he obviously denies (except he doesn’t really directly deny it), because he doesn’t want to die. Second, Bicheng asks if Chen Shen knows anything about secret documents related to the Japanese. Chen Shen says no on the outside, but really he is now suspicious that why would Shanhai want to know these documents’ contents as well? Although previously they worked together and helped each other out mutually, this may no longer be the case in the future.
Dachun is about to meet up with Shanhai but is followed by San Xing (new character, and spoiler: a very bad person). What happens to Dachun is not revealed. At a dinner party that night, with the guests Bicheng, Shanhai, Zhongliang and his wife, Chen Shen, and Xiaonan, San Xing also joins later with a dramatic entrance. He says “Shanhai, from even before you entered the bureau, I had been looking forward to your arrival.” And there is no ounce of a smile on his face.
San Sheng (or San Xing) says he brings a small present to the table, and pulls out a list of people the bureau wants info on, who happen to be Shanhai’s men. Information is quite specific, really, and includes their nicknames. Awkward clapping commences starting from Boss Li, and the rest of the table follows. Shan Hai manages to plaster on a smile, though it’s obviously forced.
Bicheng once again acts on impulse and abruptly leaves the table to go warn one of the workers at the restaurant who is part of the same party to quickly leave, since she may be captured by Zhongliang’s men. This is actually a really bad idea, because now Zhongliang and Boss Li are alerted of Bicheng’s movements right after San Sheng has shown the list. However, Zhongliang’s assistants have all surrounded the place, making it impossible for anyone to leave. They also catch the lady worker trying to escape.
Also, the beginning of a possibly romantic relationship between San Sheng and Li Xiaonan, where San Sheng tells Chen Shen his future wife is pretty:
San Sheng launches an impromptu attack on people who are a part of Shanhai’s team. So here’s the thing: it seems like San Sheng doesn’t directly know that Shanhai is part of the same side, though it is revealed that San Sheng was originally on the same side as Shanhai. However, he decided to betray his group leader Zeng in order to, according to him, prove that leader Zeng is “dumb”. Well then. So San Sheng essentially sells out his team in exchange for the loyalty of Zhongliang and the bureau.
San Sheng captures 100 people from Shanhai’s team and they are sent to the bureau. Among them is leader Zeng, whom San Sheng tortures in order to get information on where one of the subdivisions of the party is located. Zeng does not reveal anything. However, though Zhongliang is pleased with San Sheng’s prolific progress, he has San Sheng stop the torture and Zeng is released… and we don’t see what happens to him.
Back at home, Shanhai is very shaken. For the first time ever, he doubts the purpose he was sent on the mission to achieve. He is also worried that if San Sheng manages to find out the location of the party’s subdivision, which includes Dachun’s whereabouts, then his identity along with Bicheng’s will be revealed. Bicheng tries to comfort him and says she will stay by his side. Chen Shen meets up with Xiaonan and he appears to also be shaken by the events of the night, though not as much. Before his eyes flash scenes of Qiuxia being shot, and he realizes he cannot keep Xiaonan near – it will only endanger her more. So he tells her he doesn’t love her, because he’s loved someone else before and knows that feeling. He leaves.