Sparrow 麻雀 Episodes 22-23 Recap

Episodes 22-23 Recap

It’s always a struggle trying to figure out if I should watch the TV version or uncut version of Sparrow – the recap parts at the beginning of each episode confuse me.

Shanhai and Bicheng head out for breakfast at a food stall, but they are followed by Zhongliang’s men. They need to send news (regarding the 100 captives held by the bureau) to their headquarters, but it’s difficult to do so with so many eyes watching them. It just so happens that Chen Shen joins them for breakfast, and Shanhai asks for help. But there are two obstacles this creates for Chen Shen. First, this would seriously misplace the trust Zhongliang has just begun to have in him, and second, helping Shanhai does nothing good for Chen Shen’s mission, as the two belong to different parties.

Chen Shen ends up agreeing to help them – but only within a thirty minute time span for Shanhai to go talk to Dachun, since distractions can’t last that long against Zhongliang’s men. Shanhai sees Dachun, but is unable to talk to him, because right at that moment (so many coincidences what is this…) San Sheng drives by. The road he’s on is the road to Dachun’s team’s hiding place. Shanhai realizes that it’s probably too late to tell Dachun to change the location of the hiding place if San Sheng is heading there. But Dachun disappears and Shanhai doesn’t know where he went.

It turns out that leader Zeng had chosen to surrender his knowledge of Dachun’s team, though he doesn’t know Shanhai’s face. Dachun comes just in time to see San Sheng arrest all of his team members, and he runs away. However, Shanhai does not know if Dachun just happened to be gone at the right time, or if he really understood that it was no longer safe and ran away. If it was the former case, then Shanhai needs to send a message to him somehow, since the capture of Dachun would mean Shanhai and Bicheng’s identities exposed.

Dachun goes to find Shanhai when he is at a separate location with Chen Shen. But Er Bao sees him and begins to chase him through various alleys. Shanhai follows close behind and says “He’s going this direction” when really he’s going the other direction. But Er Bao doesn’t take the bait, and after a few seconds, begins to head towards the place Dachun is hiding. When the door opens, Dachun is gone and instead there’s Chen Shen. Chen Shen’s save was also an opportunity for him to tell Dachun to meet Shanhai later at a cafe. At that meeting, Dachun is told to head back towards Chongqing and tell the headquarters all of what happened.

San Sheng actually begins to be quite the pesky character at the bureau, irritating basically all of our main characters. A Japanese army general visits the bureau and ignores Zhongliang while complimenting San Sheng’s achievements. Zhongliang doesn’t get any prize money, which he wanted. It turns out San Sheng isn’t in such a good financial situation either, as his sister comes to visit him from their village and says she was amazed by the car sent to transport her to Shanghai. She asks for money and he gives almost all of his money in his wallet to her, but it’s not much. San Sheng isn’t paid well by the bureau either, since Zhongliang is somewhat jealous that San Sheng is getting so much attention from Boss Li. Also, Zhongliang finds out that San Sheng is on a secret mission as dictated by Boss Li to investigate something at his bureau, which irritates him.

Chen Shen and Zhongliang, who both dislike San Sheng, begin talking about a possible method to counter this guy. Chen Shen suggests in a nonchalant manner (but really it’s a dangerous slope because Zhongliang could possibly detect ulterior motive behind the request) that they trap San Sheng into finding the secret documents, but then framing him as looking at them when no one at the bureau is allowed to look at the papers except Zhongliang. Chen Shen tries to fake an air of not caring and he asks Zhongliang what the papers are, and he says it’s 归零计划, or Guilin plan.

Thoughts

What is up with San Sheng’s acting? Seriously, at first I thought I might have just been annoyed with his whole psycho character, but then I realized the actor was also overacting. Some more subtlety could add so much dimension to his character, but instead San Sheng is played off as a one-dimensional, emotional man who is petty.

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10 thoughts on “Sparrow 麻雀 Episodes 22-23 Recap

  1. Lireal

    Thanks for the recap.

    You mentioned in this recapture that Chen Shen belongs to a different group to Shanhai and Bicheng. I thought they were both spies from the Communist part. Do you mind explaining that point?

    I found the acting of San Sheng to be quite good so far. He had a very captivating, albeit dark, introduction to the dining group as he walked in dripping from the rain and brooding with malice. But he has an almost childlike joy when he united with his sister and talks to XiaoNan. When XiaoNan handed him her handkerchief he had this lost expression – like he was not used to being the recipient of kindness and didn’t know how to respond.

    The scene when he deliberately shamed his previous boss – maybe it was slightly over acted, but mostly I thought the scene shows that when provoked, he can be extremely crazy.

    To be honest, I find Bicheng quite annoying. Her innocence can be cute and loveable in anothe time and place, but in the current volatile situation her innocence is pure incompetence and dangerous. Character wise I like XiaoNan. I suspect that there’s more to Xiaonan’s story. I believe she might be a spy too. Do you like Bicheng or XiaoNan?

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    1. coffeenlucia Post author

      Thank you for reading and commenting; I really appreciate it.

      Chen Shen is definitely on a different side than Bicheng and Shanhai. I say that with 99% certainty. The reason they worked together beforehand was due to basically Chen Shen still kind of liking Bicheng, and he wanted to help her in the Zhou Li incident. Chen Shen is an undercover communist disguised as a Chinese traitor helping the Japanese. Bicheng and Shanhai I’m not so sure, but I think they are part of the nationalist party, and they too are disguised as Chinese traitors helping the Japanese.

      Also, they are now kind of “frenemies”, since both Chen Shen and Shanhai have separate missions to find out the content of the secret documents. If one finds it before the other, I doubt they would reveal the content to the other side. Think of it this way: as soon as the Japanese are kicked out of China historically, then the KMT and CCP are enemies. They are both fighting to take control of the government.

      I don’t know about San Sheng. His expressions sometime seem overplayed, but hey, maybe it’s meant to be that way.

      Yeah, Bicheng’s character can be really irritating. I know her innocence is supposed to be the best disguise as an agent, but I think it’s really a lame excuse just to create more conflicts and plot points for the writer to explore. Zhou Dongyu (who plays Bicheng in the drama) mentioned before in interviews that she actually thought the character of Bicheng was kind of dumb.

      Xiaonan is an interesting character, and I just feel so, so bad for her. I don’t want to spoil too much though.

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    1. coffeenlucia Post author

      Yeah San Sheng seems almost like a caricature of himself 😮 maybe xiaonan will make him a little less cruel if he falls in love with her…

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  2. pajamas

    Thanks for recap .
    i feel great fun when i’ve read recap and other comment,even if i don’t share anything, then i didn’t watch ep 21-23 (i had to waiting for subtitle)You see?, your recap useful for me now haha
    Thank you.

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      1. shannymelbournian

        I am waiting for Bi Cheng and Chen Shen kiss to happen .., very likely the kiss is not in the next 10 episodes (which means the kiss will happen at around episode 34 onwards??) sobs sobs sobs

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        1. coffeenlucia Post author

          lol maybe. i feel like there’s only that one kiss, and they’ll probably put it towards the end of the series. >.< also if bicheng kisses chen shen, that probably means by that time shanhai is already out of the picture

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